Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 11

Among Allah’s Favors is that He Prevented the Disbelievers from Fighting the Muslims

In the seventh ayah which appeared earlier Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asked the Muslims to remember the pledge taken from them to which they professed belief and obedience. This pledge is the pledge of obedience to Allah and His Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam and the pledge of practical adhere to the Shariah of Islam. This is technically known as the Kalimah or the statement of creed. Every Muslim who says this Kalimah is bound by this pledge.

In ayah 8, there are some important articles of the pledge. These enjoin equity and justice for friend and foe alike and teach justice and tolerance – not revenge – for enemies once overpowered. This pledge is in itself a great blessing of Allah, therefore, it has begins with, اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ “And remember Allah’s favor upon you”

By beginning the present ayah with the same sentence, the objective is to tell the Muslims that as long as they remained faithful to their pledge, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala blessed them with power and excellence in the present world and with high ranks for the Hereafter, shielding them all along against their enemies, in war and in peace.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَن يَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ

“O you who believe! Remember the favor of Allah unto you when some people desired (made a plan) to stretch out their hands against you, but (Allah) withheld their hands from you.”

This ayah mentions how enemies conspired to destroy Muslims and kill their Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam on so many occasions, but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala foiled all their plans and put them to disgrace.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Jabir radhiAllahu anhu said, “The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam once stayed at an area and the people spread out seeking shade under various trees. The Prophet hung his weapon on a tree, and a bedouin man came and took possession of the Prophet’s weapon and held it aloft. He came towards the Prophet and said, ‘Who can protect you from me?’ He replied, ‘Allah, the Exalted, Most Honored.’ The bedouin man repeated his question twice or thrice, each time the Prophet answering him by saying, ‘Allah.’

The bedouin man then lowered the sword, and the Prophet called his Companions and told them what had happened while the bedouin was sitting next to him, for the Prophet did not punish him.” Ma`mar said that Qatadah used to mention that some Arabs wanted to have the Prophet killed, so they sent that bedouin. Qatadah would then mention this Ayah,

اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَن يَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ

The story of this bedouin man, whose name is Ghawrath bin Al-Harith, is mentioned in the saheeh.

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, Mujahid and Ikrimah said that this Ayah was revealed about Bani An-Nadir, who plotted to drop a stone on the head of the Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam when he came to them for help to pay the blood money of two persons whom Muslims killed. The Jews left the execution of this plot to Amr bin Jihash bin Ka`b and ordered him to throw a stone on the Prophet from above, when he came to them and sat under the wall. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala told His Prophet about their plot, and he went back to Madina and his Companions radhiAllahu anhum followed him later on. Allah sent down this Ayah concerning this matter.

This shows that Allah’s blessings are not only the tangible goods that can be seen and touched, but safety as well is a blessing. Ask people who live in war-struck or violence prone areas, how do they live day to day. Allah’s saving His Messenger was a great favor upon him as well as his followers.

Therefore, after mentioning this unseen protection Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah by saying,

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

 “So have fear of Allah. And in Allah let the believers put their trust.”

This blessing from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not restricted to the Prophet only, rather the cause of this Divine support and protection is the quality of taqwa and tawakkul. Any nation or individual who lives by these two virtues, in any time and in any place, will have the support and protection from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in the same manner.

Taqwa is the only factor which can compel a person to abide by a pledge both physically and spiritually. Wherever this quality of taqwa remains missing, pledges get broken easily. This ayah gives a clear hint that a Muslim victory with Divine support does not simply depend upon outward logistics and hardware, instead of that, the secret of their real power lies in taqwa and tawakkul.

Those who have taqwa of Allah and have tawakkul in Him, then Allah shall suffice for them and shall protect them from the evil plots of the people. Thereafter, Allah commanded His Messenger to expel Bani An-Nadir, and he laid siege to their area and forced them to evacuate Madina.


– At the time of success one must not attribute success to himself. It was Allah who made it possible. He should remember the times he was about to give up or failed. Who picked him up during those down times? It was Allah!

There are moments when we say this is it we can’t go on any more. But suddenly things start smoothening out. It is as if everything is being fixed. Who makes it possible? It is Allah!

– A blessing includes tangible as well as intangible things

– We can’t do tawakkul on ourselves, our family, our money, our time. There will always be challenges. We can only be successful by having tawakkul in Allah.


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