How many a prophet have myriads,1 fought with, yet they fainted not at what befell them on the path of God, nor were they weakened, nor did they make themselves abject, and God loveth the persevering. Sura Al-'Imran (iii) 140.

The doctrine of predestination and the power of Satanic influence are also urged as an explanation:—

If God help you none can overcome you, but if He abandon you, who is he that shall help you

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Some of the Munafiqun said: 'Had he been a prophet he had not been killed, return to your brethren and your religion.' See Abdu'l-Qadir's note to his translation of these verses of the Qur'an, and also the Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 85.
When Muhammad died, many could not believe it and it is said that Abu Bakr then quoted these verses in order to convince 'Umar and others that the Prophet was really dead. Some say that Abu Bakr composed them then for this purpose and afterwards got them inserted in the Qur'an. This is not at all likely. 1 Another meaning of the word translated 'myriads' is learned, pious men, rabbis. The Arabic verse is
وَ كَايُّنُ مِن نَبِىّ ٍ قَتَلَ مَعَة رِبِيُّونَ كَثِيرَّ
The commentator Muhaddith translates this verse by
بسا بيغامبركة قتال كردند كفار همراة او خدا برستان بسيار
'Many a prophet has killed infidels and with him were many pious men.'
'Abdu'llah ibn 'Abbas says:
رِبِيُّونَ كثِيرَّ 'myriads' is جموع كثير — great crowd.' Husain says the words mean سباة فراوان abundant force.'
The Khalasatu't-Tafasir has 'Before Muhammad there have been prophets, with whom pious men fought (i.e., aided them).' Vol. i, p. 308.
آب سى بهلى بيغمبر كزرى جن كى ساتهى إلَّه والى لزتى
The Qaris Ibn Kathir, Nafi, 'Abu 'Amr and Ya'qub read قُتِلَ , 'was fought, or was killed,' for قَاتَلَ , 'fought or killed.' There is another reading قُتِلَ , 'were killed.' Baidawi says قِتّلَ (qutila) 'was slain' may refer to the myriads, or the Prophet. If these readings which are given by Baidawi are adopted, the meaning seems to be in the first case; 'How many a prophet has been slain when pious men were with him'; in the second case, 'How many a prophet have pious men been slain with.' The meaning of the verse then seems to be not the idea of a prophet fighting against myriads, but of pious men fighting alongside the prophet and killing the enemy, or being killed with him, or his being killed while they were with him.


thereafter? In God then let the faithful trust. Sura Al-'Imran (iii) 154.

The meaning of this is, according to Baidawi, if God helps you as He did at Badr you can conquer; if He leaves you as He did at Uhud you will be beaten.

No one can die except by God's permission, written down for an appointed time. 1
Of a truth it was Satan who caused those of you to fail in duty who turned back when the hosts met. Sura Al-'Imran (iii) 139, 149.2
No accident befalls on the earth, or on yourselves, but it was in the Book (of eternal decrees) before we created them. Sura Al-Hadid (lvii) 2 2.3

But after all, those who had been killed had gained a great reward; they were now martyrs, blessed in the realms above:—

Repute not those slain on God's path to be dead. Nay, alive with their Lord are they richly sustained.4

1 The Traditionist Rawi says that Satan assuming a human form cried out, 'Muhammad is dead' and then the Companions dispersed on every side. Tarikhu'l-Waqidi, p. 239.
2 Baidawi says: 'They disobeyed the Apostle in leaving their posts and hastening after the booty.' Vol. i, p.181.
3 This is said by Nöldeke to have been revealed at a period when Muhammad was in distress, and this leads him to place the whole Sura after the battle of Uhud. The Muslim commentators do not interpret the verse as if it applied to any special occasion, but give it a general meaning. Husain says it refers to famines, loss of property, sickness and poverty, all of which are decreed in the Preserved Tablet (
لوح محفوظ ) (Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. ii, p. 381). But the object of the Sura is to stir up the faithful to zeal and energy. The Lord is the Mighty and Wise: the First and the Last: the Creator and Ruler of all; who rewards faithful service, who punishes all defections. It is thus most suitable to a period of depression and anxiety such as followed the defeat at Uhud.
4 Wonderful accounts are given in the Traditions of the felicity of the martyrs in Paradise. The Prophet is reported to have said of them:—
جب مؤمنين احد مين شهيد هوى إلَّه تعالىا كى اون كى روح سبز جزيون كى بدنون سين كردى جو جنت كى نهرون اور ميوون سى كهاتى بيتى هين
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