Tafseer of Surah Nasr

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللّٰهِ وَالْفَتْحُ ‎﴿١﴾‏ وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا ‎﴿٢﴾‏ فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ ط إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا ‎﴿٣﴾

(O Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)) When the help of Allah Ta’ala and the victory (the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah) comes, and you see people entering into the Deen of Allah in multitudes, then glorify the praise of your Rabb and beg His forgiveness, for surely He is most forgiving.

Throughout the Mubaarak life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the kuffaar endeavoured to oppose him and put an end to his mission. Night and day they planned and plotted to harm the Muslims and to eliminate Islam from the face of this world.

Prior to the hijrah to Madinah Munawwarah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) underwent severe torture and persecution at the hands of the kuffaar.

After the hijrah to Madinah Munawwarah as well, their efforts did not abate, but continue to increase until many battles ensued between Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Quraish.

Then came the time when Allah Ta‘ala granted Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) victory and Fath-e-Makkah (the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah) took place.

The conquest of Makkah Mukarramah was as though the culmination of the lifelong effort and sacrifice of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). It was a time when Allah Ta‘ala showed Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his illustrious Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) the fruits of their efforts materialize and the glory of Islam become evident in the world.

According to the mufassireen, this surah was revealed in the 8th year of the hijrah shortly before Fath-e-Makkah (the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah), approximately two and a half years before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) left the world.

In this surah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was given the glad tidings that soon Makkah Mukarramah would be conquered and that many tribes will embrace Islam.

Surah Faatihah was the first complete surah to be revealed in the Qur’aan Majeed, though there were certain verses that were revealed before it (e.g. the beginning verses of Surah Alaq and the beginning verses of Surah Muddassir).

As for this surah (Surah Nasr), then it was the last complete surah of the Qur’aan Majeed to be revealed, even though there were certain verses that were revealed after it.

The mufassireen explain that among the verses that were revealed after this surah were the following verses:

1) The verse (الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ) “Today I have perfected for you your Deen”.

This aayah was revealed to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) on the plains of Arafaat, on the day of Jumuah, the 9th of Zul Hijjah, approximately eighty days before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)’s demise.

2) The verse of kalaalah which pertained to inheritance. This verse was revealed approximately fifty days prior to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) leaving this world.

3) The second last verse to be revealed was the concluding verse of Surah Taubah i.e. (لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ) “A Rasul has come to you from among yourselves”.

This verse was revealed approximately thirty-five days before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) left the world.

4) The last verse to be revealed was (وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّـهِ) “Fear the day when you will be brought back to Allah Ta’ala.” (Surah Baqarah: 281)

This verse was revealed approximately twenty-one days (and according to some narrations, seven days) before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) departed from this world.

وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا

And you see people entering into the Deen of Allah in multitudes.

Until the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah, many tribes were waiting to see the response of the Quraish. The reason is that the Quraish were regarded as the most honoured tribe among all the Arabs. Therefore, the rest of the Arabs waited to see what they would do.

Thus, at the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah, after the Quraish accepted Islam, many tribes began to enter into the fold of Islam in multitudes.

It is reported that at one time, seven hundred people entered Madinah Munawwarah to accept Islam and declare their shahaadah. People from different countries sent their delegations to Madinah Munawwarah to accept Islam and to proclaim the shahaadah.

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ

Then glorify the praise of your Rabb and beg His forgiveness.

In this verse, Allah Ta‘ala informs Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that when he sees the people entering into the Deen of Allah Ta‘ala in multitudes, then he should glorify the praises of Allah Ta‘ala and beg His forgiveness as his mission is about to reach completion and the time for him to leave the world is drawing close.

Islam teaches us that the life which a person is granted by Allah Ta‘ala is not for the purpose of him acquiring self-recognition, worldly fame or displaying his power and might over people as is misconstrued in this day and age.

Rather, the bounty of life granted to a person is for the purpose of showing humility before Allah Ta‘ala while leading a life of piety and righteousness and showing kindness, service and compassion to the creation.

We should not be self-centred and nor should we attribute good to ourselves. Rather, we should attribute all good and every achievement to the grace and glory of Allah Ta’ala.

On this occasion of Fath-e-Makkah, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was at the pinnacle of glory and power, he expressed the greatest humility before Allah Ta‘ala and attributed all victory to Allah Ta‘ala alone.

The poet describes the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) entered Makkah Mukarramah as a victorious leader on the occasion of Fath-e-Makkah. The poet says:

فاتحانہ مکہ آئے سر جکھائے چشمِ نم امن کا اعلان کیا نادم ہوئے اہل وطن

He entered Makkah Mukarramah as a victorious leader, with his head lowered and tears rolling down from his Mubaarak eyes (out of humility and gratitude to Allah Ta‘ala). He then publicly announced general forgiveness and complete safety and amnesty for all the people of Makkah Mukarramah, (despite them being guilty of persecuting and torturing the Muslims before this. On seeing his sublime conduct,) the people of Makkah Mukarramah were remorseful and ashamed (over their previous conduct).

After entering Makkah Mukarramah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) delivered a khutbah (public sermon), and in the khutbah, he recited the takbeer thrice and then recited the following praise of Allah Ta‘ala:

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله وَحْدَهُ، صَدَقَ وَعْدَهُ، وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ، وَهَزَمَ الْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

There is no deity besides Allah Ta’ala alone, who has fulfilled His promise, assisted His slave, and defeated the armies Alone.

One should ask himself that when one is in the position of power, how will he behave?

Will he look down at people with pride and contempt, considering himself superior to them, or will he treat them with compassion, show them mercy and forgive them as Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) dealt with those who ill-treated him and his Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum)?

Similarly, we understand from the Mubaarak conduct of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that he did not attribute greatness and victory to himself, rather he attributed it to Allah Ta‘ala alone, as he understood that it is Allah Ta‘ala alone who brought this day of glory, honour and victory to him.

In other words, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was expressing his utmost humility before Allah Ta‘ala, understanding that we being the servants are full of weakness and shortcomings, and it is Allah Ta‘ala Alone who is the Supreme Being, most perfect and eternal. He is the greatest and has no defect or deficiency in Him.

So, in order to declare the perfection of Allah Ta‘ala, we are commanded to recite Subhaanallah and Alhamdulillah, and to express our helplessness and deficiency, we are commanded to recite istighfaar.

Hence, through praising Allah Ta’ala, we are declaring that He is the only Being who is Flawless and that all praise belongs to Him alone.

And through reciting istighfaar, we are declaring that we are His sinful slaves, and thus we seek His forgiveness for our shortcomings and sins.

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ

Then glorify the praise of your Rabb and beg His forgiveness.

Since this surah indicated towards the mission of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) reaching completion and it also indicated towards the time of his demise being close, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was directed to engage in tasbeeh (pronouncing Allah Ta‘ala’s purity), tahmeed (pronouncing Allah Ta‘ala’s praise and offering gratitude to him) and istighfaar (seeking forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala).

We are taught in the Mubaarak Hadith that upon the completion of any good work, we should praise Allah Ta‘ala for bringing the work to completion, and we should also seek His forgiveness for any shortcomings and mistakes that had occurred from our side during the course of the work.

In essence, this surah teaches every muslim that on the culmination of every accomplishment, he should turn to Allah Ta‘ala by reciting tasbeeh, tahmeed and istighfaar.

Hazrat Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) would say that after this surah was revealed, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would very often recite the following zikr (praise of Allah Ta‘ala):

سُبحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوْبُ إِلَيْهِ

It is reported in the Hadith that the zikr (سُبحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ سُبحَانَ اللهِ العَظِيم) will weigh most heavily on the scales on the Day of Qiyaamah.

Therefore, we should take out some time daily to recite this zikr.

Similarly, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would also recite the following zikr (أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوْبُ إِلَيْهِ).

Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) reports that after this surah was revealed, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to recite سُبحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِكَ أَسْتَغِفُرُ الله in his Ruku and Sajdah when performing nafl salaah.

In one Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned, “Glad tidings be for the person who has abundant istighfaar in his book of deeds.”

In this Hadith, glad tidings have been granted for the person who always repents and seeks Allah Ta’ala’s forgiveness.

Therefore, instead of one being over-confident of oneself and being complacent about the good that he is doing, he should express his deficiency and weakness before Allah Ta‘ala, and compensate for his weakness by continuously begging Allah Ta’ala for His forgiveness.


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