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walaqad
وَلَقَدْ
And certainly
kānū
كَانُوا۟
they had
ʿāhadū
عَٰهَدُوا۟
promised
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
min
مِن
before,
qablu
قَبْلُ
before,
لَا
not
yuwallūna
يُوَلُّونَ
they would turn
l-adbāra
ٱلْأَدْبَٰرَۚ
their backs.
wakāna
وَكَانَ
And is
ʿahdu
عَهْدُ
(the) promise
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
(to) Allah
masūlan
مَسْـُٔولًا
to be questioned.

Wa laqad kaanoo 'aahadul laaha min qablu laa yuwal loonal adbaar; wa kaana 'ahdul laahi mas'oolaa

Sahih International:

And they had already promised Allah before not to turn their backs and flee. And ever is the promise to Allah [that about which one will be] questioned.

1 A. J. Arberry

Yet they had made covenant with God before that, that they would not turn their backs; and covenants with God shall be questioned of

2 Abdul Haleem

Yet they had already promised God that they would not turn tail and flee, and a promise to God will be answered for.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And arruredly they had already covenanted with Allah that they would not turn their backs; verily the covenant with Allah must be questioned about.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And yet they had already covenanted with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must (surely) be answered for.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

They had earlier covenanted with Allah that they would not turn their backs in flight. And a covenant made with Allah must needs be answered for.

6 Ahmed Ali

Whereas earlier they had made a promise to God that they would never turn their backs; and a promise made to God is answerable.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And indeed before this they had agreed with Allah that they would not turn their backs; and the covenant of Allah will be questioned about.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

though they had already pledged to Allah before that they would not turn their backs [to flee], and pledges given to Allah are accountable.

9 Ali Ünal

Yet before that they had (in swearing allegiance to God’s Messenger) made a covenant with God, that they would never turn their backs (in the face of the enemy). Covenants with God will certainly be accounted for.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And previous to that they had made a covenant with Allâh that they would not turn (their) backs. And a covenant (made) with Allâh will have to be answered for.

11 English Literal

And they were had been (E) they promised God from before (they had before promised God that) they do not turn away (on) the backs/ends, and God`s promise was questioned.

12 Faridul Haque

And indeed before this they had agreed with Allah that they would not turn their backs; and the covenant of Allah will be questioned about.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And if the enemy had entered upon them from the outlying parts of it, and they had been exhorted to treachery, they would certainly have done it, and they would have hesitated but little.

14 Hilali & Khan

And indeed they had already made a covenant with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must be answered for.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And they had indeed made a covenant with Allah before, (that) they would not turn (their) backs. And a covenant with Allah must be answered for.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And certainly they had made a covenant with Allah before, that) they would not turn (their) backs; and Allah's covenant shall be inquired of.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And verily they had already sworn unto Allah that they would not turn their backs (to the foe). An oath to Allah must be answered for.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

They had certainly promised God that they would not turn away. To promise God is certainly a (great) responsibility.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Yet before that, they made a covenant with Allah never to turn their backs. And covenants with Allah shall be questioned.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And indeed they had already made a covenant with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must be answered for.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

They had already vowed before God that they would never turn their backs: and a vow made to God must be answered for.

22 Talal Itani

Although they had made a pledged to God, in the past, that they will not turn their backs. A pledge to God is a responsibility.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Though they had assuredly pledged to God before that, that they would not turn their backs [to flee]; and a pledge given to God must be answered for, regarding whether it was fulfilled [or not].

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَلَقَدْ كَانُوا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ مِن قَبْلُ لَا يُوَلُّونَ الاَْدْبَارَ

And if the enemy had entered from all sides, and they had been exhorted to Al-Fitnah, they would surely have committed it and would have hesitated thereupon but little.

And indeed they had already made a covenant with Allah not to turn their backs,

Allah tells us about those who said;
يَقُولُونَ إِنَّ بُيُوتَنَا عَوْرَةٌ وَمَا هِيَ بِعَوْرَةٍ إِن يُرِيدُونَ إِلاَّ فِرَارًا
("Truly, our homes lie open." And they lay not open. They but wished to flee).

If the enemy had entered upon them from every side of Al-Madinah and from every direction, then demanded that they become disbelievers, they would have promptly done so. They would not have adhered to their faith or remained steadfast in it if they were faced with the slightest fear.

This is how it was interpreted by Qatadah, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd and Ibn Jarir.

This is a condemnation of them in the clearest terms. Then Allah reminds them of the promise they had made to Him before this fear struck them, that they would not turn their backs or flee from the battlefield.

وَكَانَ عَهْدُ اللَّهِ مَسْوُولاً



and a covenant with Allah must be answered for.

means, Allah will inevitably ask them about that covenant