Surah An Nasr (Arabic: النصر‎) is the 110th Surah of the Qur’an composed of 3 ayat (verses). It is one of the shortest Surah in the entire Quran. The other Surahs being Surah Al-Asr and Surah Al-Kawthar which are both 3 verses long.

The meaning of Surah Nasr is “the victory” or “the assistance”. This surah praises Allah for leading people in masses to Islam.

The reason why it is called “The Victory” is because it refers to the conquest of Mecca where Islam beat the Kuffar and other enemies. It was the last Surah revealed moments before the death of Prophet Muhammad (saws).

If you’d like to learn more about the history, background, and significance of Surah Nasr read the tafsir works provided at the bottom.

One of the goals of My Islam site is to make it easy to read and understand the Qur’an so below every ayah you can find the transliteration and the translation of each verse.

Read Surah Nasr Translation and Transliteration

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ

Iza jaaa’a nasrul-laahi walfath
1. When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest,

وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا

Wa ra-aitan naasa yadkhuloona fee deenil laahi afwajaa
2. And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes,

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا

Fasabbih bihamdi rabbika wastaghfirh, innahoo kaana tawwaaba 
3. Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.

Tafsir of Surah An Nasr

Below we’ve provided four different tafsir works on Surah Nasr which you can read to expand your knowledge on this chapter of the Qur’an.

The Virtues of Surat An-Nasr

It has been mentioned previously that it (Surat An-Nasr) is equivalent to one-fourth of the Qur’an and that Surat Az-Zalzalah is equivalent to one-fourth of the Qur’an. An-Nasa’i recorded from `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah that Ibn `Abbas said to him, “O Ibn `Utbah! Do you know the last Surah of the Qur’an that was revealed” He answered, “Yes, it was

﴿إِذَا جَآءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ ﴾

 

(When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest.) (110:1)” He (Ibn `Abbas) He (Ibn `Abbas) said, “You have spoken truthfully.”

 

﴿بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

This Surah informs of the Completion of the Life of Allah’s Messenger

Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “Umar used to bring me into the gatherings with the old men of (the battle of) Badr. However, it was as if one of them felt something in himself (against my attending). So he said, `Why do you (`Umar) bring this (youth) to sit with us when we have children like him (i.e., his age)’ So `Umar replied, `Verily, he is among those whom you know. Then one day he called them and invited me to sit with them, and I do not think that he invited me to be among them that day except to show them. So he said, `What do you say about Allah’s statement,

﴿إِذَا جَآءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ ﴾

 

(When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest.)’ Some of them said, `We were commanded to praise Allah and seek His forgiveness when He helps us and gives us victory.’ Some of them remained silent and did not say anything. Then he (`Umar) said to me, `Is this what you say, O Ibn `Abbas’ I said, `No.’ He then said, `What do you say’ I said, `It was the end of the life of Allah’s Messenger that Allah was informing him of. Allah said,

﴿إِذَا جَآءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ ﴾

 

(When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest.) which means, that is a sign of the end of your life.

﴿فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوِبَا ﴾

 

(So, glorify the praises of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.)’ So, `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, `I do not know anything about it other than what you have said.”’ Al-Bukhari was alone in recording this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “When

﴿إِذَا جَآءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ ﴾

 

(When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest.) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah said,

«نُعِيَتْ إِلَيَّ نَفْسِي»

 

(My death has been announced to me.) And indeed he died during that year.” Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah used to say often in his bowing and prostrating,

«سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي»

 

(Glory to You, O Allah, our Lord, and praise be to You. O Allah, forgive me.) He did this as his interpretation of the Qur’an (i.e., showing its implementation).” The rest of the group has also recorded this Hadith except for At-Tirmidhi. Imam Ahmad recorded from Masruq that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah used to often say towards the end of his life,

«سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ، أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْه»

 

(Glory to Allah, and praise be unto Him. I seek Allah’s forgiveness and I repent to Him.) And he said,

«إِنَّ رَبِّي كَانَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَنِّي سَأَرَى عَلَامَةً فِي أُمَّتِي، وَأَمَرَنِي إِذَا رَأَيْتُهَا أَنْ أُسَبِّحَ بِحَمْدِهِ وَأَسْتَغْفِرَهُ، إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا، فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهَا:

 

﴿إِذَا جَآءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ – وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِى دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَجاً – فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوِبَا ﴾»

 

(Verily, my Lord has informed me that I will see a sign in my Ummah and He has commanded me that when I see it, I should glorify His praises and seek His forgiveness, for He is the One Who accepts repentance. And indeed I have seen it (i.e., the sign). (When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest (Al-Fath). And you see that the people enter Allah’s religion in crowds. So glorify the praises of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.))” Muslim also recorded this Hadith. The meaning of Al-Fath here is the conquest of Makkah, and there is only one view concerning it. For indeed the different areas of the Arabs were waiting for the conquest of Makkah before they would accept Islam. They said, “If he (Muhammad is victorious over his people, then he is a (true) Prophet.” So when Allah gave him victory over Makkah, they entered into the religion of Allah (Islam) in crowds. Thus, two years did not pass (after the conquest of Makkah) before the peninsula of the Arabs was laden with faith. And there did not remain any of the tribes of the Arabs except that they professed (their acceptance) of Islam. And all praise and blessings are due to Allah. Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that `Amr bin Salamah said, “When Makkah was conquered, all of the people rushed to the Messenger of Allah to profess their Islam. The various regions were delaying their acceptance of Islam until Makkah was conquered. The people used to say, `Leave him and his people alone. If he is victorious over them he is a (true) Prophet.”’ We have researched the war expedition for conquest of Makkah in our book As-Surah. Therefore, whoever wishes he may review it there. And all praise and blessings are due to Allah.Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu `Ammar that a neighbor of Jabir bin `Abdullah told him, “I returned from a journey and Jabir bin `Abdullah came and greeted me. So I began to talk with him about the divisions among the people and what they had started doing. Thus, Jabir began to cry and he said, `I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

«إِنَّ النَّاسَ دَخَلُوا فِي دِينِ اللهِ أَفْوَاجًا، وَسَيَخْرُجُونَ مِنْهُ أَفْوَاجًا»

 

(Verily, the people have entered into the religion of Allah in crowds and they will also leave it in crowds.)” This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat An-Nasr, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

Name of the Surah and place of its revelation

According to the consensus of scholars, this Surah was revealed in Madinah. Its other name is Surah At-Tawdi`. The word Tawdi` means ‘to bid farewell’. As this Surah indicates the approach of the demise of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، it bids farewell to him and is thus entitled Surah At-Tawdi’.

The Last Surah and the Last Verses of the Noble Qur’ an
It is recorded in Sahih of Muslim on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، that Surah An-Nasr was the last Surah to be revealed. [ Qurtubi ]. This means that this was the last complete Surah that was revealed to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . No complete Surah was revealed after this. Some individual verses reported to have been revealed after this are not in conflict with this statement, because no complete Surah was sent down after the present one. It is like Surah Al-Fatihah which is said to be the first Surah, while a few verses of Surah Al-‘Alaq, a few verses of Surah Al-Muddaththir, and a few verses of other Surahs were revealed even before Surah Al-Fatihah, because it means that it was the first Surah to be revealed completely. No complete Surah was revealed before Al-Fatihah.

Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar ؓ reports that this Surah was revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage, and shortly after that a fragment of verse [ 3] of Surah [ 5] الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ (…Today, I have perfected your religion for you_[ 5:3]) was revealed. After these two revelations, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ lived only for eighty days, after which he passed away. After these two revelations, the Holy Prophet ﷺ received the verse of kalalah. Then the Holy Prophet ﷺ lived for fifty days. After that he received the following verse [ 9:128] of Surah [ 9] لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَ‌سُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ (Surely, there has come to you a Messenger from amongst you, hard on whom is your suffering, for the good of you he craves…) After this revelation, he lived for 35 days. After this verse was revealed the following verse: [ 2:281] اتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْ‌جَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّـهِ (And be fearful of a day when you shall be returned to Allah…). After this verse he lived only for twenty-one days, and according to Muqatil, he lived for seven days only and passed away. [ Qurtubi ]

Verse [ 110:1] إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ‌ اللَّـهِ وَالْفَتْحُ (When there comes Allah’s help and the victory). The expression ‘victory’ here is in reference to ‘the promised Victory or Conquest of Makkah’. There is complete unanimity on this historical fact. However, the scholars disagree whether this Surah was revealed before or after the Conquest. The phrase idha ja’a [ when there comes ] apparently indicates that its revelation took place before the Conquest. Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani cites a narration from Al-Bahr-ul-Muhit which concurs with this view, in which it is stated that this Surah was revealed while returning from the expedition of Khaibar. It is a known fact that the victory of Khaibar took place prior to the Conquest of Makkah. Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani cites, on the authority of ` Abd Ibn Humaid, Sayyidna Qatadah’s statement that the Prophet ﷺ lived for two years after the revelation of this Surah. Narratives report that it was revealed on the occasion of the Conquest of Makkah or on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage may be explained by saying that the Holy Prophet ﷺ might have recited this Surah and proclaimed it on one of those occasions; as a result people must have thought that it was revealed on that occasion. Please refer to Bayan-ul Qur’an for fuller explanation.

Several Prophetic Traditions and statements of the Companions narrate that this Surah indicates that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has fulfilled his task, and accomplished his mission of life, and he could look forward to returning to his Lord in full favour as his death was approaching fast. The Surah teaches the Holy Prophet ﷺ the beautiful manners of asking Allah’s forgiveness and offering constant praise and thanks to his Lord.

It is reported in Muqatil’s narration that when this Surah was revealed, the Holy Prophet ﷺ recited it in a gathering of the blessed Companions, among whom were Sayyidna Abu Bakr, ` Umar, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas ؓ . All were happy at the revelation of this Surah, because it contained the glad tidings of the Conquest of Makkah, but Sayyidna ` Abbas ؓ began to weep. The Holy Prophet ﷺ asked him the reason for weeping, and he replied that it covertly conveys the termination of your life and nearness of your death. The Holy Prophet ﷺ confirmed this. Sahih of Bukhari records a similar explanation of this Surah given by Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہما in which there is the addition that when Sayyidna ` Umar رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ heard this, he concurred with him and said: ‘I do not know anything about it other than what you [ Ibn ` Abbas ] have said’. [Transmitted by Tirmidhi who graded it as hasan, Sahih vide Qurtubi]

Verse [110:2] وَرَ‌أَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّـهِ أَفْوَاجًا (And you see people entering Allah’s [ approved ] religion in multitudes,) Before the conquest of Makkah there were many people who were almost convinced of the verity of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Islam, but there were several factors that were obstructing them to embrace the religion. Some people were afraid of the Quraishite opposition, or they were hesitant for some other reason. The Conquest of Makkah removed those obstacles, and people entered the fold of Islam in throngs. Seven hundred people from Yemen embraced the religion, and joined the Holy Prophet ﷺ . On the way, they recited the call to prayer [ adhan ] and recited the Qur’an. In this way, the populace of Arabia embraced the religion of Islam and entered into its fold in droves.

When the approach of death is sensed, one needs to exert oneself immensely in Tasbih and Istighfar
Verse [ 110:3] فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَ‌بِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ‌هُ (then pronounce the purity and praise of your Lord, and seek forgiveness from Him…) Sayyidah ` A’ishah Siddiqah ؓ says that after the revelation of this Surah, whenever the Messenger of Allah ﷺ performed a prayer, he would recite the following supplication: سُبحَانَکَ رَبَّنَا و بِحَمدِکَ اللَّھُمَّ اَغفِرلِی (I pronounce Your purity, 0 Allah, our Lord, and praise be to You, 0 Allah, forgive me.) [ Bukhari ].

Sayyidah ‘Umm Salamah ؓ says that after the revelation of this Surah, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to often recite the following supplication: سُبحَانَ اللہِ وَ بِحَمدِہٖ اَستغفِرُ اللہَ وَ اَتُوبُ اِلیہِ (I pronounce the purity of Allah, and praise be to Him. I seek Allah’s forgiveness and I repent to Him.) He used to say, “I have been commanded to do so.” In evidence, he used to recite this Surah.

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ says that after the revelation of this Surah, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to exert himself in the worship of Allah so immensely that his feet would swell. [ Qurtubi ].

Al-Hamdulillah
The Commentary on
Surah An-Nasr
Ends here

Tafsir Shade of Qur’an Surah Nasr
Overview

This short surah brings the good news to Muhammad, God’s Messenger, that God’s help will be forthcoming, as will victory and peoples’ collective acceptance of His religion. It instructs him to turn towards his Lord in devoted adoration coupled with a humble request for His forgiveness. The surah also presents the nature and the righteousness of this faith and its ideology, which elevates humanity to a standard of dignity, dedication and freedom that it can never attain except through responding to the call of Islam and implementing the Islamic message.

Of the several traditions regarding the revelation of this surah, we quote the one related by Imam Ahmad which runs as follows: “A’ishah said that God’s Messenger used to repeat very frequently, towards the end of his life: All glorification and praises are due to God. I seek His forgiveness; and I repent of my sins.’ He also said: ‘My Lord told me I would see a sign in my community. He ordered me to glorify and praise Him, the Forgiving, and ask His pardon when I see this sign. Indeed, I have. When God’s help and victory come, and you see people embracing God’s religion in large numbers then extol your Lord’s limitless glory, and praise Him, and seek His forgiveness. He is the One who accepts repentance.” [Related also by Muslim with a different chain of transmission.]

Ibn Kathir says in his commentary on the Qur’an: “The victory mentioned in this surah refers, as unanimously agreed, to the conquest of Makkah. The Arab tribes were awaiting the settlement of the conflict between the Quraysh and the Muslims, before making a decision about their acceptance of Islam, saying that if Muhammad were to prevail over his people, he would indeed be a prophet. Consequently, when that was accomplished they accepted Islam in large numbers. Within two years of the conquest of Makkah, the whole Arabian Peninsula was dominated by Islam, and, all thanks to God, every Arab tribe declared its belief in Islam.”

In his Sahih al-Bukhari quotes `Amr ibn Salamah as saying: “When Makkah fell to Islam, every tribe hastened to declare to God’s Messenger its acceptance of Islam. They were waiting for it to take place, saying, ‘Leave him alone with his people. He would indeed be a prophet if he prevailed over them…”

These reports are chronologically in line with the wording of the surah, in the sense that its revelation was a sign of something to follow, with some instructions to the Prophet on what he should do when this event would take place.

There is, nevertheless, a different report which is not difficult to reconcile with the one we have already discussed. `Abdullah ibn`Abbas, the Prophet’s cousin and learned Companion, reports: “Umar used to let me join the company of elders who were present at Badr, but some of them felt uneasy and asked why I should be allowed with them when I was of the same age as their own children. But `Umar said to them, ‘You know to what family he belongs.’ One day `Umar invited them all and invited me as well. I felt that he wanted to show them why he gave me such a privilege. He asked them, ‘What do you make of God’s saying: When God’s help and victory come?’ Some of them replied, ‘It is an order that we must praise Him and seek His forgiveness when He helps us to triumph and bestows His favours on us.’ Others remained silent. Then `Umar asked me, ‘Do you agree with this view, Ibn `Abbas?’ I answered in the negative. `Umar asked me again, ‘What, then, do you say?’ I replied, ‘It was a sign from God to His Messenger indicating the approach of the end of his life. It means: when God’s help and victory come, you should know that your end is near, then extol your Lord’s limitless glory, and praise Him, and seek His forgiveness. He is the One who accepts repentance.’” `Umar commented, ‘To my knowledge, it only means what you have just said.” [Related by al-Bukhari.]

So it is possible that God’s Messenger, having witnessed his Lord’s sign, realized that he had fulfilled his mission in this life, and that it was time for him to depart, which was what Ibn `Abbas actually meant.

A different report related by al-Bayhaqi, also on Ibn Abbas’s authority, mentions that when this surah was first revealed, the Prophet asked his daughter, Fatimah, to come over and told her, ‘My death has been announced to me.’ She was seen to start crying. But a little later she smiled. Some time later she explained, “I cried when he told me of his approaching death. But he then said to me, Be patient, because you will be the first of my household to join me’, so I smiled.”

According to this last hadith, the time of the revelation of the surah is actually fixed as coming later than the sign. That is, the victory and the people’s collective acceptance of Islam. When events took place in this fashion the Prophet knew that his life would soon come to a close. But again the first account is more authentic and fits in more suitably with the import of the surah, especially as the incident concerning Fatimah and her crying and smiling is related in a different context which agrees with the version we prefer. This other report goes as follows: “Umm Salamah, the Prophet’s wife, said: ‘The Prophet invited Fatimah one day during the year of the victory and spoke to her in private. She cried. Then he spoke to her again and she was smiling. After he died, I asked her about the incident and she explained, God’s Messenger told me he was soon to die, so I cried. Then he told me that I would be the next most celebrated woman in heaven, next to Maryam bint `Imran, so I smiled.” [Related by al-Tirmidhi.]

This report agrees with the general meaning of the Qur’anic text and with what Imam Ahmad related, which also appears in Muslim’s Sahih. That is, there was a sign between God and His Messenger, which the surah specifies. Hence, when the victory that secured Makkah to Islam was accomplished, the Prophet knew that he was soon to meet his Lord. Hence he spoke to Fatimah in the manner described by Umm Salamah.

An Awaited Event

We will now consider the permanent import and instructions outlined in this short surah: “When God’s help and victory come, and you see people embracing God’s religion in large numbers, then extol your Lord’s limitless glory, and praise Him, and seek His forgiveness. He is the One who accepts repentance.” (Verses 1-3)

The beginning of the first verse implicitly presents a concept of what goes on in this universe and the events that take place in this life. It also covers the actual role of the Prophet and his followers in the progress of Islam, and to what extent it depends on their efforts. ‘When God’s help and victory…’, denotes that it is help granted by God, and it is He who brings about victory in His own good time, in the form He decides and for the purpose He determines. The Prophet and his Companions have nothing to do with it at all, and they obtain no personal gain from it. It suffices for them that He does it through them, appoints them as its guards and entrusts it to them. This is all they acquire from God’s help, the victory and people’s acceptance en masse of His religion.

According to this concept, the duty of the Prophet and his Companions whom God chose and gave the privilege of being the instruments of victory for His cause, was to turn to Him at the climax of victory in praise, expressing gratitude and seeking forgiveness. Gratitude and praise are for His being so generous as to have chosen them to be the standard-bearers of His religion; for the mercy and favour He did to all humanity by making His religion victorious; and for the conquest of Makkah and people’s collective acceptance of Islam.

His forgiveness is sought for any defective feeling, privately entertained, such as vanity, which sometimes creep into one’s heart when victory is attained after a long struggle. It is almost impossible for human beings to prevent this happening and therefore God’s forgiveness is to be sought. Forgiveness also has to be sought for what might have been insinuated within one’s heart during the long and cruel struggle and for petulance resulting from a conceived delay of victory, or the effects of convulsive despair, as the Qur’an mentions elsewhere: “Do you reckon that you will enter paradise while you have not suffered like those [believers] who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, and so terribly shaken were they that the Messenger and the believers with him would exclaim, ‘When will God’s help come?’ Surely, God’s help is close at hand.” (2: 214)

It is also necessary to seek God’s forgiveness for one’s shortcomings in praising God and thanking Him for His infinite favours which are granted at all times. “If you were to count God’s favours, never will you be able to number them.” (16: 18) However great one’s efforts in this respect are, they are never adequate.

Seeking forgiveness at a moment of triumph also arouses feelings of weakness and imperfection at a time when an attitude of pride and conceit seems natural. All these factors guarantee that no tyranny will afflict the vanquished. The victorious leader is made to realize that it is God who has appointed him, a man who has no power of his own and who is devoid of any strength, for a predetermined purpose; consequently the triumph and the conquest as well as the religion are all His, and to Him all things ultimately return.

This is the lofty, dignified ideal the Qur’an exhorts people to toil towards, an ideal in which man’s exaltation is in neglecting his own pride and where his soul’s freedom is in his subservience to God. The goal set is the total release of human souls from their egoistic shackles, their only ambition being to attain God’s pleasure. Along with this release there must be exerted effort which helps man flourish in the world, promotes human civilization and provides a rightly-guided, unblemished, constructive, just leadership devoted to God.

By contrast, man’s efforts to liberate himself while in the grip of egoism, shackled by his zest for worldly things, or overpowered by his cravings, turn out to be absolutely useless unless he frees himself from personal desires and ambitions. His loyalty to God must be made to override everything else, particularly at the moment of triumph and the collection of booty. Such behaviour, which God wants humanity to attain, was the characteristic feature of all the Prophets.

Such was the case with the Prophet Joseph, when all he wanted was achieved and his dream came true: “And he raised his parents to the highest place of honour, and they fell down on their knees, prostrating themselves before him. He said: ‘Father, this is the real meaning of my dream of long ago. My Lord has made it come true. He has been gracious to me, releasing me from prison, and bringing you all from the desert after Satan had sown discord between me and my brothers. My Lord is gracious in whatever way He wishes. He is All-Knowing, truly Wise.” (12: 100)

Then, at that moment of climax, Joseph took himself away from the jubilations and embracing arms to turn towards his Lord, praising Him with a pure sense of gratitude: “My Lord, You have given me power and imparted to me some understanding of the real meaning of statements. Originator of the heavens and the earth! You are my guardian in this world and in the life to come. Let me die as one who has surrendered himself to You, and admit me among the righteous.” (12: 101)

Thus any sense of his own egotism and happiness brought about by his reunion with his family vanished, and the picture we are left with is that of an individual, Joseph, praying to God to help him remain submissive to Him until he dies and to let him, out of His mercy and grace, join His righteous servants.

o, it was also with the Prophet Solomon, when he saw the Queen of Sheba’s throne brought into his very reach: “When he saw it set in his presence he said: ‘This is of the bounty of my Lord, that He may try me whether I give thanks or remain ungrateful. He who gives thanks does so for his own good, and he who is ungrateful, well, my Lord is all sufficient and bountiful.” (27: 40)

And so indeed it was with Muhammad throughout his life. In the moment of triumph, as the conquest of Makkah was accomplished, he entered the city on the back of his camel with his head bowed low. He forgot the joy of victory and thankfully bowed his head seeking his Lord’s forgiveness, even though he had just conquered Makkah, whose people had openly and unashamedly persecuted and expelled him. This also was the practice of his Companions after him. Thus, upon belief in God, was that great generation of humanity raised very high, reaching an unparalleled standard of greatness, power and freedom.

Surah Nasr Tafsir – Abul A’la Maududi

Victory here does not imply victory in any one particular campaign but the decisive victory after which there remained no power in the land to resist and oppose Islam, and it became evident that Islam alone would hold sway in Arabia. Some commentators have taken this to imply the conquest of Makkah. But the conquest of Makkah took place in A.H. 8, and this Surah was revealed towards the end of A.H. 10, as is shown by the traditions related on the authority of Abdullah bin Umar and Sarra bint Nabhan, which we have cited in the Introduction. Besides, the statement of Abdullah bin Abbas that this is the last Surah of the Quran to be revealed also goes against this commentary. For if the victory implied the conquest of Makkah, the whole of Surah at-Taubah was revealed after it then it could not be the last Surah. There is no doubt that the conquest of Makkah was decisive in that it broke the power of the Arabian pagans, yet even after this, they showed clear signs of resistance. The battles of Taaif and Hunain were fought after it, and it took Islam about two years to attain complete control over Arabia.

“And you see… in multitudes”: When the time for the people to enter Islam in ones and twos comes to an end, and when whole tribes and people belonging to large tracts start entering it in crowds of their own free will and without offering battle or resistance. This happened from the beginning of A.H. 9, because of which that year has been described as the year of deputations. Deputations from every part of Arabia started coming before the Messenger (peace be upon him), entering Islam and taking the oath of allegiance to him, until when he went for the farewell pilgrimage to Makkah, in A.H. 10, the whole of Arabia had become Muslim, and not a single polytheist remained anywhere in the country.

Hamd implies praising and hallowing Allah Almighty as well as thanking and paying obeisance to Him; tasbih means to regard Allah as pure and free from every blemish and weakness. The Holy Prophet was enjoined to do hamd and tasbih of Allah when he witnessed this manifestation of His power. Here, hamd means that in respect of his great success he should never entertain even a tinge of the idea that it was the result of any excellence of his own, but he should attribute it to Allah’s favor and mercy, thank Him alone for it, and acknowledge with the heart and tongue that praise and gratitude for the victory and success belonged to Him alone. And tasbih means that he should regard Allah as pure and free from the limitation that exaltation of His word stood in need of his effort and endeavor, or was dependent on it. On the contrary, his heart should be filled with the faith that the success of his effort and struggle was dependent upon Allah’s support and succor. He could take this service from any of His servants He pleased. And this was His favor that He had taken this service from him, and made His religion meet success through him. Besides, there is an aspect of wonder also in pronouncing the tasbih, i.e. Subhan Allah. When a wonderful incident takes place, one exclaims subhan Allah, thereby implying that only by Allah’s power such a wonderful thing had happened; otherwise no power of the world could have caused it to happen.

“Pray for His forgiveness”: Pray to your Lord to overlook; and pardon whatever error or weakness you might have shown inadvertently in the performance of the service that He had entrusted to you. This is the etiquette that Islam has taught to man. A man might have performed the highest possible service to Allah’s religion, might have offered countless sacrifices in its cause, and might have exerted himself extremely hard in carrying out the rites of His worship, yet he should never entertain the thought that he has fulfilled the right his Lord had on him wholly. Rather he should always think that he has not been able to fulfill what was required of him, and he should implore Allah, saying: Lord, overlook and forgive whatever weakness I might have shown in rendering Your right, and accept the little service that I have been able to perform. When such an etiquette was taught to the Messenger (peace be upon him), none in the world conceivably has toiled and struggled so hard in the cause of Allah as he did, how can another person regard his work as superb and be involved in the misunderstanding that he has fulfilled the right Allah had imposed on him. Allah’s right, in fact, is so supreme that no creature can ever fulfill and render it truly and fully.

Allah in this command has taught Muslims an eternal lesson: Do not regard any of your worship, devotion or religious service as something superb; even if you have spent your entire life in the cause of Allah, you should always think that you could not do all that was required of you by your Lord. Likewise, when you attain some victory, you should not regard it as a result of some excellence in yourselves but as a result of only Allah’s bounty and favor. Then bowing humbly before your Lord, you should praise and glorify Him, and should repent and beg for His forgiveness instead of boasting and bragging of your success and victory.