بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Surat al-Nasr: a reminder to the Prophet () about glorifying and praising Allah and seeking forgiveness from Him

First of all, we present an easy translation of the chapter Al-Nasr:

  1. When Allah’s help and victory come,
  2. And you see people accepting Allah’s religion in multitudes,
  3. Then glorify your Lord with His praise and seek His forgiveness. He is always ready to accept repentance.

This short chapter consisting of only three verses was revealed during the Madinan period. According to the majority of the Qur’anic exegetes, it was revealed before the conquest of Makkah. By this, the Muslims were given the glad tidings of conquest of Makkah and people’s entering into Islam in multitudes. However, some exegetes are of the opinion that the chapter was revealed on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage (Hajjat al-Wada’), three months before the Prophet (SAWS) departed this world(in Rabi al-Awwal, 11 AH). Though some verses contained in other chapters were revealed afterward, yet chronologically Surat al-Nasr is the last complete chapter to be sent down to Prophet Muhammad ().

As a number of Ahadith and statements of the noble Companions suggest, this Surah impliedly predicted that the Prophet (SWAS) was going to depart this world soon. Following revelation of the Surah, the Prophet () recited it in a gathering in which Abu Bakr, Umar and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas among others were also present. All were happy to receive the glad tidings of the conquest of Makkah but Abbas (RZ) was weeping. When asked by the Prophet () as to what made him cry, he said, ‘it says you are going to leave us soon’. The Prophet () affirmed that he got it right. Therefore, the chapter is also called Surat al-Tawdi’ (Farewell).

The chapter guides that we should take extra care of glorifying Allah and seeking His forgiveness when we feel our time is near. Though we should always glory and praise Allah and constantly seek His forgiveness because no one knows when one is going to leave this world yet if we see the signs and feel that our time is near we should turn to Allah beseechingHim to forgive us as we may not find a chance again.

Before the conquest of Makkah, a great number of the Arabs despite having believed in the truth of Islam and the prophethood of the noble Prophet () lacked the courage to proclaim what their hearts believed to be true as they were afraid of the Quraish of Makkah. With the conquest of Makkah, all the ways were clear for them hence people started accepting Islam in multitudes. This was the ‘victory’ referred to in the chapter. Historically, the 9th year of the Hijrah witnessed an uncountable number of delegations heading from different parts of the Peninsula to pay homage to the Prophet () and embrace Islam. Therefore, it is called the Year of Delegations.

Our beloved Prophet, Muhammad the Chosen One () was sent as a Universal Messenger for all mankind and the jinn. He brought about such a revolution in a short span of 23 years that a nation engrossed in paganism and ignorance emerged as a role model for entire humanity in respect of faith and conduct. The Arabs who knew nothing about civilization later ruled a larger part of the world providing the best example of governance to be followed.  Despite that, the Prophet () was not asked to celebrate the great success he achieved within twenty-three years of his prophethood but was instructed to glory his Lord and seek His forgiveness and the greatest of all men humbly submitted himself to the Divine injunction.

Ayesha (RZ) narrated: After“ When comes the Help of Allah and the conquest” (i.e., Surat al-Nasr) was revealed to the Prophet () he did not offer any prayer except that he said therein:

سُبْحَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ

(Exalted [from unbecoming attributes] are You O our Lord, and by Your praise [do I exalt You]. O Allah! Forgive me). (Sahih Bukhari)

Um Salamah (RZ) also narrated that following revelation of Surat al-Nasr the Messenger of Allah () frequently recited the following, saying that he was so instructed:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ

(Exalted [from unbecoming attributes] is Allah, and by His praise [do I exalt Him]. I seek Allah’s forgiveness and turn to Him.)And then he would mention Surat al-Nasr to substantiate what he said.

Moreover, Abu Hurairah (RZ) said, "The Prophet () exerted himself (in worship) after its revelation (so much), until his feet swelled.”

On the other hand, the Messenger of Allah () said:  "By Allah, I seek Allah's forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times a day." (Sahih Bukhari) Despite being Divinely protected from sin and already forgiven, the Messenger of Allah () used to seek Allah’s forgiveness more than seventy times to leave an example for his Ummah to follow. Therefore, we should regularly ask Allah to forgive us for all our sins as it is going to benefit none but us. The noble Prophet () is reported to have said: "If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not." (Abu Dawud)

There are a number of Qur’anic verses and Prophetic reports promising great reward and virtues of remembering and glorifying Allah the Exalted. In a Hadith, for instance, the Messenger of Allah () said: “The son of Adam never acts with a deed better to save him from the punishment of Allah than with the remembrance of Allah.” It was said, “Not even Jihād in the way of Allah?” The Prophet () said, “Not even Jihād, except if one of you continues to strike with his sword until it breaks.” (Tabarani & Majma’ al-Zawa’id) Recitation of the Qur’an and praying Salah also constitute remembrance (dhikr) of Allah. In light of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the Ulama advise that we should spare some time especially in the morning and evening to engage exclusively in glorifying, praising and exalting Allah, sending Salawat (darood) upon the Prophet () and seeking Allah’s forgiveness.

Dr. Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi

http://www.najeebqasmi.com/