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Quran Chapter 48 - The Victory - Success for the Believers, Disobedience Results in Punishment

The Medinan sura makes reference to when the Prophet had a vision he and his followers would pilgrimage to Mecca (verse 27). They set out, but the Meccans decided to bar them at Hudaybiyya from reaching the town. In the end the Prophet signed a treaty that he and the believers would not enter Mecca that year, but would do so the next year. Seeing the long-term significance of this treaty, in the interests of peace he agreed to a truce of ten years. Throughout the sura, the Prophet is assured that this treaty that God has given him is a great breakthrough (cf. verses 1–3, 18–21, 27). The believers are reassured that their self-restraint and obedience to the Prophet were inspired by God.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Success for the Believers

1 Truly We have opened up a path to clear triumph for you [Prophet], 2 so that God may forgive you your past and future sins, complete His grace upon you, guide you to a straight path, 3 and help you mightily. 4 It was He who made His tranquility descend into the hearts of the believers, [a] to add faith to their faith––the forces of the heavens and earth belong to God; He is all knowing and all wise–– 5 so as to admit believing men and women into Gardens graced with flowing streams, there to remain, absolving their bad deeds––a great triumph in God’s eyes–– 6 and to torment the hypocritical and idolatrous men and women who harbor evil thoughts about God [b] ––it is they who will be encircled by evil!––who carry the burden of God’s anger, whom God has rejected and for whom He has prepared Hell, an evil destination! 7 The forces of heaven and earth belong to God; He is almighty and all wise. 8 We have sent you [Prophet] to bring good news and to give warning, 9 so that you [people] may believe in God and His Messenger, support Him, honor Him, and praise Him morning and evening.

10 Those who pledge loyalty to you [Prophet] are actually pledging loyalty to God Himself– God’s hand is placed on theirs [b] ––and anyone who breaks his pledge does so to his own detriment: God will give a great reward to the one who fulfils his pledge to Him.

Choosing to Disobey Results in Punishment

11 The desert Arabs who stayed behind will say to you, ‘We were busy with our property and our families: ask forgiveness for us,’ but they say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say, ‘Whether it is God’s will to do you harm or good, who can intervene for you?’ No! God is fully aware of everything you [people] do. 12 No! You thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families and this thought warmed your hearts. Your thoughts are evil, for you are corrupt people: 13 We have prepared a blazing Fire for those who do not believe in God and His Messenger. 14 Control of the heavens and earth belongs to God and He forgives whoever He will and punishes whoever He will: God is most forgiving and merciful.

15 When you [believers] set off for somewhere that promises war gains, those who [previously] stayed behind will say, ‘Let us come with you.’ They want to change God’s words, but tell them [Prophet], ‘You may not come with us: God has said this before.’ They will reply, ‘You begrudge us out of jealousy.’ How little they understand!

16 Tell the desert Arabs who stayed behind, ‘You will be called to face a people of great might in war and to fight them, unless they surrender: if you obey, God will reward you well, but if you turn away, as you have done before, He will punish you heavily– 17 the blind, the lame, and the sick will not be blamed.’ God will admit anyone who obeys Him and His Messenger to Gardens graced with flowing streams; He will painfully punish anyone who turns away.

Swearing Allegiance Pleases God

18 God was pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you [Prophet] under the tree: He knew what was in their hearts and so He sent tranquility down to them and rewarded them with a speedy triumph 19 and with many future gains. God is mighty and wise. 20 He has promised you [people] many future gains: He has hastened this gain for you. He has held back the hands of hostile people from you as a sign for the faithful and He will guide you to a straight path. 21 There are many other gains [to come], over which you have no power. God has full control over them: God has power over all things.

22 If the disbelievers had fought against you, they would have taken flight and found no one to protect or support them: 23 such was God’s practice in the past and you will find no change in God’s practices. 24 In the valley of Mecca it was He who held their hands back from you and your hands back from them after He gave you the advantage over them [c] ––God sees all that you do. 25 They were the ones who disbelieved, who barred you from the Sacred Mosque, and who prevented the offering from reaching its place of sacrifice. If there had not been among them, unknown to you, believing men and women whom you would have trampled underfoot, inadvertently incurring guilt on their account– God brings whoever He will into His mercy– if the [believers] had been clearly separated, We would have inflicted a painful punishment on the disbelievers. 26 While the disbelievers had fury in their hearts– the fury of ignorance– God sent His tranquility down on to His Messenger and the believers and made binding on them [their] promise to obey God, [d] for that was more appropriate and fitting for them. God has full knowledge of all things.

27 God has truly fulfilled His Messenger’s vision: ‘God willing, you will most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque in safety, shavenheaded or with cropped hair, [e] without fear!’– God knew what you did not– and He has granted you a speedy triumph. 28 It was He who sent His Messenger, with guidance and the religion of Truth, for him to show that it is above all [false] religion. God suffices as a witness: 29 Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

Those who follow him are harsh towards the disbelievers and compassionate towards each other. You see them kneeling and prostrating, seeking God’s bounty and His good pleasure: on their faces they bear the marks of their prostrations. This is how they are pictured in the Torah and the Gospel: like a seed that puts forth its shoot, becomes strong, grows thick, and rises on its stem to the delight of its sowers. So God infuriates the disbelievers through them; God promises forgiveness and a great reward to those who believe and do righteous deeds.


a. When they pledged to accept the Prophet’s decision. See verse 18. b See verse 12.

b. Loyalty was pledged by everybody placing their right hands on top of the Prophet’s.

c. A detachment of eighty Meccan fighters attacked the Prophet’s camp but were captured. The Prophet released them after the treaty was signed.

d. The promise they made under the tree at Hudaybiyya (see verse 18).

e. These are some of the final rites of pilgrimage.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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