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alam
أَلَمْ
Have not
tara
تَرَ
you seen
ilā
إِلَى
[towards]
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
qīla
قِيلَ
(when) it was said
lahum
لَهُمْ
to them,
kuffū
كُفُّوٓا۟
"Restrain
aydiyakum
أَيْدِيَكُمْ
your hands
wa-aqīmū
وَأَقِيمُوا۟
and establish
l-ṣalata
ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ
the prayer
waātū
وَءَاتُوا۟
and give
l-zakata
ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ
the zakah?"
falammā
فَلَمَّا
Then when
kutiba
كُتِبَ
was ordained
ʿalayhimu
عَلَيْهِمُ
on them
l-qitālu
ٱلْقِتَالُ
the fighting,
idhā
إِذَا
then
farīqun
فَرِيقٌ
a group
min'hum
مِّنْهُمْ
of them
yakhshawna
يَخْشَوْنَ
[they] fear
l-nāsa
ٱلنَّاسَ
the people
kakhashyati
كَخَشْيَةِ
as (they) fear
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
Allah
aw
أَوْ
or
ashadda
أَشَدَّ
more intense
khashyatan
خَشْيَةًۚ
fear,
waqālū
وَقَالُوا۟
and they said,
rabbanā
رَبَّنَا
"Our Lord
lima
لِمَ
why
katabta
كَتَبْتَ
have You ordained
ʿalaynā
عَلَيْنَا
upon us
l-qitāla
ٱلْقِتَالَ
[the] fighting?
lawlā
لَوْلَآ
Why not
akhartanā
أَخَّرْتَنَآ
You postpone (it for) us
ilā
إِلَىٰٓ
[towards]
ajalin
أَجَلٍ
a term."
qarībin
قَرِيبٍۗ
near."
qul
قُلْ
Say,
matāʿu
مَتَٰعُ
"Enjoyment
l-dun'yā
ٱلدُّنْيَا
(of) the world
qalīlun
قَلِيلٌ
(is) little
wal-ākhiratu
وَٱلْءَاخِرَةُ
and the Hereafter
khayrun
خَيْرٌ
(is) better
limani
لِّمَنِ
for whoever
ittaqā
ٱتَّقَىٰ
fears (Allah)
walā
وَلَا
and not
tuẓ'lamūna
تُظْلَمُونَ
you will be wronged
fatīlan
فَتِيلًا
(even as much as) a hair on a date-seed."

Alam tara ilal lazeena qeela lahum kuffooo aidiyakum wa aqeemus Salaata w aaatuz Zakaata falammaa kutiba 'alaihimul qitaalu izaa fareequm minhum yakhshawnnan naasa kakhashyatil laahi aw ashadda khashyah; wa qaaloo Rabbanaa lima katabta 'alainal qitaala law laaa akhkhartanaa ilaaa ajalin qareeb; qul mataa'ud dunyaa qaleelunw wal Aakhiratu khairul limanit taqaa wa laa tuzlamoona fateelaa

Sahih International:

Have you not seen those who were told, "Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah"? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, "Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time." Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed]."

1 A. J. Arberry

Hast thou not regarded those to whom it was said, 'Restrain your hands, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms'? Then, as soon as fighting is prescribed for them, there is a party of them fearing the people as they would fear God, or with a greater fear, and they say, 'Our Lord, why hast thou prescribed fighting for us? Why not defer us to a near term?' Say: 'The enjoyment of this world is little; the world to come is better for him who fears God; you shall not be wronged a single date-thread.'

2 Abdul Haleem

[Prophet], do you not see those who were told, ‘Restrain yourselves from fighting, perform the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms’? When fighting was ordained for them, some of them feared men as much as, or even more than, they feared God, saying, ‘Lord, why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You would give us just a little more time.’ Say to them, ‘Little is the enjoyment in this world, the Hereafter is far better for those who are mindful of God: you will not be wronged by as much as the fibre in a date stone.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Hast thou not observed those unto whom it was said;. withhold your hands, and establish prayer and give the poor-rate; but when thereafter fighting was prescribed unto them, lo! there is a party of them dreading men as with the dread of Allah, or with greater dread; and they say: our Lord! why hast Thou prescribed unto us fighting! Wouldst that Thou hadst let us tarry a term nearby! Say thou: the enjoyment of the world is little, and the Hereafter is better for him who feareth God; and ye shall not be wronged a whit.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were told to hold back their hands (from fight) but establish regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! a section of them feared men as - or even more than - they should have feared Allah; They said; "Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordered us to fight? Wouldst Thou not Grant us respite to our (natural) term, near (enough)?" Say; "Short is the enjoyment of this world; the Hereafter is the best for those who do right; Never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Have you not seen those who were told: 'Restrain you hands, and establish the Prayer, and pay the Zakah'? But when fighting was enjoined upon them some of them feared men as one should fear Allah, or even more, and said: 'Our Lord, why have You ordained fighting for us? Why did You not grant us a little more respite?' Say to them: 'There is little enjoyment in this world. The World to Come is much better for the God-fearing. And you shall not be wronged even to the extent of the husk of a date-stone.

6 Ahmed Ali

Have you not seen the people who were told: "Hold back your hands (from attacking), observe your devotional obligations and pay the zakat?" But when they were commanded to fight, behold, a section among them were filled with fear of men as though it were the fear of God and even more, and said: "O Lord, why did you make war compulsory for us? Why did you not allow us to live a little more?" Say to them: "How short-lived is the commerce of this world; but that of the next is best for those who fear God; and you will not be wronged the breadth of a thread."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Did you not see those to whom it was said, “Restrain your hands, keep the prayer established and pay the charity”; but when fighting was ordained for them, some of them started fearing people, the way they feared Allah – or even greater! And they said, “Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You would have let us live some more!” Say (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him), “The usage of this world is meagre; and the Hereafter is better for the pious; and you will not be wronged even (the weight of) a single thread.”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Have you not regarded those who were told, ‘Keep your hands off [from warfare], and maintain the prayer and give the zakat’? But when fighting was prescribed for them, behold, a part of them feared the people as if fearing Allah, or were even more afraid, and they said, ‘Our Lord! Why did You prescribe fighting for us? Why did You not respite us for a short time?!’ Say, ‘The enjoyments of this world are trifle and the Hereafter is better for the Godwary, and you will not be wronged so much as a single date-thread.

9 Ali Ünal

Do you not consider those who were told, "Restrain your hands (from war and similar endeavor), and do the Prayer in conformity with all its conditions, and pay the Prescribed Purifying Alms (at which time they insistently asked you when they would be allowed to fight). But as the time has come and fighting has been ordained for them, a party among them fear people as one should fear God, or with even greater fear, and say: "O Lord! Why have you ordained fighting for us? If only You had granted us a little more respite!" Say (to them, O Messenger): "The enjoyment of the world is short-lived, whereas the Hereafter is the best for him who keeps from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety, and you will not be wronged by so much as a tiny hair."

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Have you not considered those to whom it was said, `Withhold your hands (from fighting) and keep up Prayer and go on presenting Zakât?´ But now when fighting has been made binding upon them, a section of them (- the hypocrites) begin to fear the people as they should fear Allâh or with a still stronger fear and they say, `Our Lord! why have You made fighting binding upon us? Would You not defer us to a near term (and grant us a little respite).´ Say, `The enjoyment of this world is short (and negligible its pleasures) and the Hereafter is better for him who guards against evil and keeps his duty to Allâh, and you shall not be done injustice to, not even a whit.´

11 English Literal

Did you not see to those who were said to them: "Prevent/stop your hands and keep up the prayers, and give the charity." So when the fighting/killing was written/decreed on them, then a group from them fear the people, as God`s fear, or stronger fear, and they said: "Our Lord, for what (did) You write/decree on us the fighting/killing, if only You delayed us to (a) near term/time." Say: "The present world`s enjoyment (is) little, and the end (other life) (is) best to who feared and obeyed, and you do (will) not be caused injustice to/oppressed (as little as) a cleft in a seed ."

12 Faridul Haque

Did you not see those to whom it was said, "Restrain your hands, keep the prayer established and pay the charity"; but when fighting was ordained for them, some of them started fearing people, the way they feared Allah - or even greater! And they said, "Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You would have let us live some more!" Say (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him), "The usage of this world is meagre; and the Hereafter is better for the pious; and you will not be wronged even (the weight of) a single thread."

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Whatever befalls you of good (O man) it is from Allah; and whatever befalls you of evil it is from your own soul. We have sent you to (instruct) mankind as a Messenger, and Allah suffices for a witness.

14 Hilali & Khan

Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more. They say: "Our Lord! Why have you ordained for us fighting? Would that you had granted us respite for a short period?" Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatila (a scalish thread in the long slit of a date-stone).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the way of the devil. So fight against the friends of the devil; surely the struggle of the devil is ever weak.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Have you not seen those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; but when fighting is prescribed for them, lo! a party of them fear men as they ought to have feared Allah, or (even) with a greater fear, and say: Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? Wherefore didst Thou not grant us a delay to a near end? Say: The provision of this world is short, and the hereafter is better for him who guards (against evil); and you shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Hast thou not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands, establish worship and pay the poordue, but when fighting was prescribed for them behold! a party of them fear mankind even as their fear of Allah or with greater fear, and say: Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou wouldst give us respite yet a while! Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the down upon a date-stone.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Have you not seen those who were told to stop fighting, to say their prayers, and pay the religious tax? When they were ordered to fight, some of them feared other men as much as or more than they feared God and so they said, "Lord, why have you ordered us to fight? If only you would give us a little time." (Muhammad), tell them, "The pleasures of the worldly life are trivial. The life hereafter is best for the pious ones. You will not be treated the slightest bit unjustly.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Have you not seen those to whom it has been said: 'Restrain your hands, establish your prayers and pay the obligatory charity' Then, as soon as fighting is written for them, there is a party of them fearing people as they would fear Allah, or with stronger fear. And they say: 'Our Lord, why have You written fighting for us, why not postpone us to a near term' Say: 'The pleasure of this life is little. The Everlasting Life is better for the cautious. You shall not be wronged a single tissue (of the fine skin that covers a date stone).

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform Salah and give Zakah, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more. They say: "Our Lord! Why have You ordained for us fighting Would that You granted us respite for a short period" Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Have you not seen those to whom it was said, "Restrain your hands, say your prayers and pay the prescribed alms?" And when they have been ordered to fight, some of them have felt afraid of human beings just as they should be afraid of God, or they are even more afraid. They say, "Our Lord, why have You ordered us to fight? If You would only postpone it for a little while longer!" Say, "The benefits of this world are negligible and the Hereafter will be better for one who fears God; and you shall not be wronged in the slightest.

22 Talal Itani

Have you not considered those who were told, “Restrain your hands, and perform your prayers, and spend in regular charity”? But when fighting was ordained for them, a faction of them feared the people as God is ought to be feared, or even more. And they said, “Our Lord, why did You ordain fighting for us? If only You would postpone it for us for a short while.” Say, “The enjoyments of this life are brief, but the Hereafter is better for the righteous, and you will not be wronged one bit.”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Have you not seen those to whom it was said, `Restrain your hands, from fighting the disbelievers when they desired it at Mecca, because of the harm the disbelievers had inflicted upon them -- and these were a group from among the Companions -- and establish the prayer, and pay the alms'? Then, as soon as fighting was prescribed, was made obligatory, for them, lo, a party of them fear people, the disbelievers, that is, [they fear] punishment at their hands through death, as they would fear, the punishment of, God, or with more fear, than their fear of Him (ashadda, `more', is in the accusative because it is a circumstantial qualifier; the response to the lamm, `as soon as', is indicated by idh, `lo', and what follows), in other words, they are taken aback by fear, and they said, frightened of death, `Our Lord, why have You prescribed fighting for us? Why not (lawl is [to be understood as] hall) defer us to a near term?' Say, to them; `The enjoyment of this world, that which is enjoyed therein, or enjoying it [the world], is trifling, it will end up by perishing; and the Hereafter, Paradise, is better for him who fears God's punishment by avoiding disobedience to Him; and you shall not be wronged (l tuzlamna, may also be read l yuzlamna, `they shall not be wronged') you shall not be diminished of your deeds, a single date-thread, as much as the peel on a date-stone, so struggle [in the way of God].

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Wish that the Order for Jihad be Delayed

Allah says;

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلَةَ وَاتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً

Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform Salah and give Zakah, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more.

In the beginning of Islam, Muslims in Makkah were commanded to perform the prayer and pay some charity, so as to comfort the poor among them. They were also commanded to be forgiving and forbearing with the idolators and to observe patience with them at the time. However, they were eager and anticipating the time when they would be allowed to fight, so that they could punish their enemies.

The situation at that time did not permit armed conflict for many reasons. For instance, Muslims were few at the time, compared to their numerous enemies. The Muslims' city was a sacred one and the most honored area on the earth, and this is why the command to fight was not revealed in Makkah.

Later on when the Muslims controlled a town of their own, Al-Madinah, and had strength, power and support, Jihad was then legislated. Yet, when the command to fight was revealed, just as Muslims wished, some of them became weary and were very fearful of facing the idolators in battle.

وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَى أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ

They say;"Our Lord! Why have You ordained for us fighting Would that You had granted us respite for a short period!"

meaning, we wish that Jihad was delayed until a later time, because it means bloodshed, orphans and widows. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْلَا نُزِّلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَإِذَا أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ مُّحْكَمَةٌ وَذُكِرَ فِيهَا الْقِتَالُ

Those who believe say;"Why is not a Surah sent down (for us) But when a decisive is sent down, and fighting is mentioned. (47;20)

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said that;

Abdur-Rahman bin Awf and several of his companions came to the Prophet while in Makkah and said, "O Allah's Prophet! We were mighty when we were pagans, but when we embraced the faith, we became weak."

The Prophet said,

إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ بِالْعَفْوِ فَلَ تُقَاتِلُوا الْقَوْم

I was commanded to pardon the people, so do not fight them.

When Allah transferred the Prophet to Al-Madinah, He commanded him to fight (the idolators), but they (some Muslims) held back. So, Allah revealed the Ayah;
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ
(Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands).

This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa'i and Al-Hakim.

Allah's statement,

قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدَّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالاخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَى

Say;"Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah,

means, the destination of the one who with Taqwa is better for him than this life.

وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلً



and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil.

for your good deeds. Rather, you will earn your full rewards for them.

This promise directs the focus of believers away from this life and makes them eager for the Hereafter, all the while encouraging them to fight in Jihad.
There is No Escaping Death

Allah said