The Treachery of the Hypocrites Exposed
Reference to the heavenly help rendered to the Muslims through invisible forces - The treachery of the hypocrites and the wavering minds among the converts and their treacherous intentions, exposed.
(9) يَآ أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ اِذْ جَآءَتْكُمْ جُنُودٌ فَاَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحاً وَجُنُوداً لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا
9. "O you who believe! Remember Allah's blessing upon you when hosts came against you, so We sent upon them a strong wind and hosts, that you saw not, and Allah sees what you do."
This verse, as well as the verses next to it, relate to the Battle of 'Ahzāb which occurred in the fifth year of Hejira. In this war the Jews, pagans, and the hypocrites had decided to occupy Medina by a sudden attack. Salmān Farsī suggested and the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) agreed that the Muslims would dig a ditch around Medina and defend against the enemy. In this action, digging the ditch, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) himself began digging the ground, and every time that a lightning was seen as the result of picking on a piece of stone, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) gave the glad tidings of the victory of Islam over an area of the world. In this Battle, Allah helped the Muslims by means of blowing winds and the descent of some angels.
However, this holy verse speaks about one of the greatest Divine trials concerning the believers and the hypocrites, and the trial of the truthfulness of their speech in action, which was pointed out in the previous verses.
This verse and the verses next to it discuss about one of the most important events of the history of Islam, i.e., the Battle of 'Ahzāb. It was a war that, in fact, was counted a turning point in the history of Islam and changed the balance of forces between Islam and infidelity in the benefit of the Muslims, and the victory of which was as a key for the later great victories. In fact, the enemies of Islam were hopeless in this Battle, and after that they could not perform any magnificent work.
The Battle of 'Ahzāb, as it is clear from its name, was a conclusive war from the side of all enemies of Islam with different groups whose unlawful benefits would be in danger by the development of this religion.
The first spark of fight was lit from the side of a group of the Jews by the name of 'Banī Nadīr' who came to Mecca and encouraged Quraysh to fight against the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). They promised the Quraysh to be with them and fight until the end. Then they went to the tribe of Qatfān and made them agree to the war.
These tribes invited their own confederate, such as the tribes 'Banī 'Asad' and 'Banī Salīm', too; and since all of them had felt the danger they united with each other to put an end to Islam for ever. They wanted to kill the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), to annihilate the Muslims, to occupy Medina, to spoil it, and quench the torch of Islam.
When the Muslims saw themselves before this great group of enemy, under the command of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) they began to consult, and, before anything else, by the suggestion
of Salmān Farsī, dug a ditch around Medina so that the enemy could not easily pass it and attack the city. (That is why one of the names of this Battle is 'The Battle of Ditch.)
Muslims tolerated some hard and dangerous moments. At that time the lives had become close to the lips. The hypocrites were hastily running here and there among the Muslims. The mass of the forces of the enemy and the small number of the soldiers of Islam in front of them, and their preparation from the point of war equipments and providing the accessory means, illustrated a hard and painful future before the eyes of the Muslims.
But Allah wished that the last stroke would come down on the body of the infidelity; and the row of the hypocrites would be recognized from the rows of Muslims; He wanted to divulge the conspirators, and put the true Muslims under a severe examination.
As it will be explained later, this Battle, at last, ended with the triumphant of the Muslims. A strong storm came under the command of Allah. It destroyed all the camps and means of the disbelievers. It caused a horrible fear to appear in their hearts. Allah sent some unseen forces of the angels to help the Muslims.
The manifestation of some surprising powers, such as that of Amīr-ul-Mu'minīn's against 'Amr-ubn-i-'Abdiwudd, were also added to them and the pagans, without being able to do anything, ran away.
This was a brief scenery of the Battle of 'Ahzāb which happened in 5 A.H.
 What was said in the above was a brief from the detail discussion that Ibn-Athīr, has recorded in his Book, 'Kāmil'.
From here on, we pay to the commentary of the verse and let the details of this Battle be discussed later under the title of 'points'.
The Holy Qur'ān, at first, summarizes this event in one verse, and then through sixteen other verses it explains its specialties. It says:
when hosts came against you, …"
Then, it continues saying:
you saw not, and Allah sees what you do."
Points Worthy to Be Noted:
1- The application of the Qur'ānic phrase: /'uŏkurū/ (remember) shows that these holy verses were revealed after the end of the Battle when some length of time had passed during which the Muslims could contemplate over what they had seen in that Battle and analysed them so that it had a deep effect in them.
2- The application of the word /junūd/ points to different clans of the Age of Ignorance (such as: Quraysh, Qatfān, Banī-Salīm, Banī 'Asad, Banī Fazārah, Banī Ashja', and Banī Marrah) and the Jews of Medina inside the city.
3- The purpose of "hosts that you saw not.", who came to help the Muslims, is the same angels whose help to the believers in the Battle of Badr has also explicitly been mentioned in the Qur'ān, but, as it was said in the commentary of verse No. 9 from Sura Al-'Anfāl, there is not any evidence that these angels, these unseen Divine forces, had formally participated in the Battle and started fighting. But there are some hints which show that they came down for strengthening the spirit of the believers and to encourage them.
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