When Allah Defends You
In tafsir al-Tabari, the incident which sparked off anger in the believers and exposed the hypocrites during the battle of Tabuk is mentioned.
Allah `azza wa jall says,
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” [al-Tawbah: 65]
It is narrated that on the way to the battle, a man from amongst the hypocrites said to ‘Awf ibn Malik, “What’s with these Qurraa’ (recitors) of ours? They are the greediest out of all of us, they lie the most and they are also the most cowardly when it comes to meeting the enemy.” This angered ‘Awf who said, “You’ve lied, rather you are a hypocrite! I am going to tell the Messenger of Allah.”
He set off to inform the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), but when he got there, he saw that the Qur’an had already superseded him. Surah al-Tawbah, verse 65 and 66 were already revealed condemning the hypocrites and exposing their disbelief, hatred and enmity towards the believers – in particular the people of the Qur’an (i.e. the Qurraa’). The man began making excuses saying that he was only joking, but Allah, the Knower of the Unseen and the Knower of what lies deep in the hearts, revealed the truth and exposed the matter clearly:
قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ
“Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuses, you have indeed disbelieved after your belief.” [al-Tawbah: 65-66]
I think more than anything, what stands out the most is how Allah `azza wa jall came to the swift defense of the Qurra’; His believing slaves who turn to His Book day in & day out. Naturally, the one who associates with the Book of Allah on a regular basis and takes time out to read it, learn it, implement it and ponder over it will have a grand and mighty status in the Sight of Allah Ta’ala – the One Who spoke such words and revealed that very Book. Naturally then, He will be in full defense of these slaves (whom He holds dear) whenever they are attacked, abused, spoken ill of and hurt by others.
The month of Qur’an is upon us once more, and what a great month to witness and be blessed to live in. Let us lift our rank with our Creator by becoming righteous slaves of His who turn to His Book and are His Qurraa’ upon this earth, His witnesses and loved ones.