People in their life think that if they can only relieve this one ailment they will be happy and disregard the root of their problem. These people think that their problem is their friends that died and the hardship they faced, but forget that their problem is with the lack of trust in God. When we have a headache we think that if only our headache goes away we will be happy, but what we may miss is that the headache is not the root of our problem it is the symptom. The root of all our problems always has to do with lack of righteousness.
[3:155] Surely, those among you who turned back the day the two armies clashed have been duped by the devil. This reflects some of the (evil) works they had committed. GOD has pardoned them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement.
As submitters we need to have our priorities in order. Obtaining victory can cause humbleness or an enlarged ego. They were so distracted by the materials of this world that they stopped listening to the messenger. If we are distracted by this world we will be disappointed. Our actions can change the outcome.
Preoccupation With the Wrong Life
[30:6] Such is GOD’s promise – and GOD never breaks His promise – but most people do not know.
[30:7] They care only about things of this world that are visible to them, while being totally oblivious to the Hereafter.
Some people become complacent in righteousness when they think that their desired outcome is a sure thing. For instance if you want something you may try your best to be the best submitter, and when you think that the answering of your prayer is a done deal you become lax and that is when the devil can dupe you.
Re-arrange Your Priorities
[29:64] This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew.
[29:65] When they ride on a ship, they implore GOD, devoting their prayers to Him. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, they revert to idolatry.
[29:66] Let them disbelieve in what we have given them, and let them enjoy temporarily; they will surely find out.
Chasing the materials of this world at the expense of the Hereafter is like the following way some trappers catch monkeys. The way they do this is by placing food into a hole that is large enough for the monkey to slip its hand into the hole, but not large enough to be pulled out unless the monkey lets go of the item. In this world if we don’t let go of the materials of this world for the sake of the Hereafter then we will be trapped as well.
How to Catch a Monkey
Even though that these people were willing to go to battle they were still distracted by the material possessions of this world. This is similar to the example of Saul and his troops. When Saul left with the troops to face the Philistines some people didn’t go to war, some people drank the water, and some people complained that they lacked the strength to face the Philistines because they were not able to drink. This shows that this life and our tests are a constant refinement process. That even if we make it pass the first stage we still need to be steadfast and trust in God to make it through the entire process.
God thus toughens those who believe. This life is a refining process where some people will be sifted out and others will be able to withstand and strengthen from the situation. This is the reason we have to be continuously steadfast.
Opportunities like this are times when the weak believers and hypocrites will be exposed.
[33:13] A group of them said, “O people of Yathrib, you cannot attain victory; go back.” Others made up excuses to the prophet: “Our homes are vulnerable,” when they were not vulnerable. They just wanted to flee.
[33:14] Had the enemy invaded and asked them to join, they would have joined the enemy without hesitation.
[33:15] They had pledged to GOD in the past that they would not turn around and flee; making a pledge with GOD involves a great responsibility.
The Weak Believers
[8:5] When your Lord willed that you leave your home, to fulfill a specific plan, some believers became exposed as reluctant believers.
[8:6] They argued with you against the truth, even after everything was explained to them. They acted as if they were being driven to certain death.
[8:7] Recall that GOD promised you victory over a certain group, but you still wanted to face the weaker group. It was GOD’s plan to establish the truth with His words, and to defeat the disbelievers.
[8:8] For He has decreed that the truth shall prevail, and the falsehood shall vanish, in spite of the evildoers.
The actions of the true believers can be seen in the previous verses of 3:146 – 3:147
[3:146] Many a prophet had godly people fight along with him, without ever wavering under pressure in the cause of GOD, nor did they hesitate or become discouraged. GOD loves the steadfast.
[3:147] Their only utterance was, “Our Lord, forgive us our sins, and our transgressions, strengthen our foothold, and grant us victory over the disbelievers.”