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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

48. Triumph (1 – 21)

A Medinan sura that takes its title from verse 1 and makes reference to the occasion when the Prophet had a vision that he and his followers would be performing pilgrimage to Mecca (verse 27). They set out, but the Meccans decided to bar them at Hudaybiyya from reaching the town and sent emissaries to have discussions with the Prophet. 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 often years during which time, if any Meccan went over to his side, he would return him to the Meccans, but if any of his people went over to the Meccans, they would not return them. 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 (verses 4–5, 24–6). The sura condemns both the hypocrites in Medina (verse 6) and the idolaters of Mecca (verses 6 and 26) and closes by praising the believers (verse 29).

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

1Truly We have opened up a path to clear triumph for you [Prophet],

2so that God may forgive you your past and future sins, complete His grace upon you, guide you to a straight path, 3and help you mightily. 4It was He who made His tranquillity descend into the hearts of the believers,a When they pledged to accept the Prophet's decision. See verse 18. to add faith to their faith —the forces of the heavens and earth belong to God; He is all knowing and all wise —5so 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 —6and to torment the hypo critical and idolatrous men and women who harbour evil thoughts about Godb See verse 12.— 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! 7The forces of heaven and earth belong to God; He is almighty and all wise.8We have sent you [Prophet] to bring good news and to give warning,9so that you [people] may believe in God and His Messenger, support Him, honour Him, and praise Him morning and evening.

10Those who pledge loyalty to you [Prophet] are actually pledging loyalty to God Himself— God's hand is placed on theirsa Loyalty was pledged by everybody placing their right hands on top of the Prophet's. —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. 11The 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. 12No! 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: 13We have prepared a blazing Fire for those who do not believe in God and His Messenger. 14Control 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.

15When 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!

16Tell 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— 17the 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.

18God 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 tranquillity down to them and rewarded them with a speedy triumph 19and with many future gains. God is mighty and wise. 20He 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. 21There are many other gains [to come], over which you have no power. God has full control over them: God has power over all things.

Notes:

a When they pledged to accept the Prophet's decision. See verse 18.

b See verse 12.

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

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