This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.
CHAPTER 14 JIHAD, A SETBACK (continued)
The Muslims must realize that Allah will purify them through tests such as the one they have just had. Those of true faith will not be discouraged. The hypocrites will be exposed and deprived of all blessing. Do you think you will get to heaven before Allah has tested you? Allah must know who is really a believer. A Muslim warrior must be given a trial. Losing at Uhud is merely a trial. After the big victory at Badr, those who were not there wanted to be part of the winning army. They were anxious to be able to show off as warriors, but when the actual killing started, many were not as good as they thought they would be.
3:142 Did you think that you would be permitted into Paradise before Allah tested you to see who would fight for His cause [jihad] and endure until the end? You used to wish for death before you saw it, but now that you have seen it with your own eyes, you turn and run from it. Mohammed is only a messenger, and many messengers have come before him. If he died or was killed, would you turn your backs on the faith? But those who do in fact turn their backs will not hurt Allah in the least. And Allah will surely reward those who serve Him with gratitude.
3:145 No soul will ever die unless it is Allah’s will. The length of each life is predetermined according to the Scriptures. Those who wish to receive their reward in this world will receive it, and those who wish to receive their reward in the world to come will also receive it. And We will undoubtedly reward those who serve Us with gratitude.
The Muslims should not think that they are the first to experience failure. In history many have failed in jihad, but they never lost heart or weakened. The lesson of Uhud is to be firm and not get depressed over a small failure.
3:146 Many of the messengers have fought for Allah’s cause [jihad] alongside large armies. They were never frightened by what they encountered on Allah’s path, nor did they weaken or cringe with fear. Allah loves those who stand firm. Their only cry was this, “Lord! Forgive us of our sins and the things we have done that were against our duty; help us stand firm and make us victorious over the unbelievers.” Therefore, Allah gave them their reward in this world, as well as an excellent reward in the world to come. Allah loves those who do good.
Do not think that the jihad is over. Soon Islam will bring terror to the unbelievers. After death, they will burn in Hell. The evil that will bring about their destruction is that they do not practice the religion of Islam.
3:149 Believers! If you follow the unbelievers, they will cause you to reject the faith and lead you to eternal damnation. But Allah is your protector and the best of helpers. We will strike terror into the hearts of the unbelievers because they worship others besides Allah, which He gave them no permission to do. Their home will be the Fire, a terrible resting place for the evil-doers.
Your slaughter of the unbelievers went well and you were about to wipe the unbelievers off the face of the earth, thanks to Allah. But then you disobeyed Mohammed. Allah did not destroy you because he is merciful. But your greed is of this world and you wanted the spoils of war of this world. But you must desire what comes after death, not the wealth of this world. You must learn this lesson with the grace of Allah.
3:152 Allah fulfilled His covenant with you [Mohammed] when He allowed you to destroy your enemies [at the battle of Badr]. And then later, when you [the Muslims at Uhud] lost your courage, arguments broke out among you [the Muslims disobeyed orders and broke ranks to run and get the exposed spoils of the Meccans] and you sinned after you had come so close to what you wanted [spoils of war]. Some of you wish for the desires of this world and some of you for the world to come. Therefore, He caused you to be defeated so that you might be tested. Now He has forgiven you for Allah shows grace to the believers.
3:153 Remember when you [at Uhud the Muslims broke and fled] ran up the hill in cowardice and paid no attention to anyone and the messenger was behind you calling you back to the battle? Allah rewarded you with trouble for the trouble you caused Him so that you would not grieve for the spoils you lost or for what happened to you. Allah knows all that you do.
After the battle some were at ease, but others were in a state of anxiety because they did not trust Allah. The hypocrites divorced themselves from the decision and blamed others for failure. If they had had their way then everyone would have been safe. But when Allah decrees your time has come, nothing can stay the hand of death. Death must come and it is better to die in jihad.
3:154 Then, after the trouble Allah sent down upon you, He sent down calmness to wash over some of you. Some were overtaken by sleep, and others lay awake, stirred by their own passions, ignorantly thinking unjust thoughts about Allah. And they ask, “What do we gain by this affair?” Say: Truly the affair is entirely in Allah’s hands. They hide in their hearts that which they do not want to tell you. They speak out saying, “If we had any say in this affair then none of us would have been killed here.” Say: If you had stayed at home, those of you who were destined to be killed would have died regardless. This has taken place so that Allah might test your faith and see what is in your hearts. Allah knows the deepest secrets of every heart. Those of you who fled in cowardice on the day the two armies met in battle must have been tricked by Satan because of some evil you have done. But now Allah has forgiven you for Allah is forgiving and gracious.