We say, whilst Tawfeeq is from Allah (swt), that because of influencing cultures upon the Muslims and their distance from abiding by the Laws of Allah (swt), the understanding of Victory (نصر Nasr) has become confused within many. This further leads to disputes over how to achieve Victory. The misunderstanding has also affected attitudes towards what has befallen the Islamic world in our time.
Some Muslims consider Victory as a divine gift, bestowed by Allah (swt) upon whom He (swt) wishes from His servants, without merit, preparation, trials and tribulations. This understanding is incorrect in light of the verse, وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ لاَنتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَنْ يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ * سَيَهْدِيهِمْ وَيُصْلِحُ بَالَهُمْ * وَيُدْخِلُهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ عَرَّفَهَا لَهُمْ * يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ “And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds. He will guide them and amend their condition. And admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them. O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” (Surah Muhammad 47:4-7). Victory is from Allah (swt) and it has its Legal Prerequisites. It is not sought by mere wishful thinking such as that by the People of the Book. Allah (swt) said, لَيْسَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلاَ أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مَنْ يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلاَ يَجِدْ لَهُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلاَ نَصِيرًا “Paradise is not [obtained] by your wishful thinking nor by that of the People of the Scripture. Whoever does a wrong will be recompensed for it, and he will not find besides Allah a protector or a Naseer (نصير Granter of Victory).” (Surah Nisa 4:123). Some think that the current reality will not allow Victory and that it is far away and so they have submitted to circumstances. Others link it to the coming of the Mahdi, the Hadiths about the End of Time and sayings in addition to these.
However, if we direct attention to the tide of history and the struggle of civilisations, we would see a universal rule regarding the rise and fall of states. There has neither been a state that has dominated all of human history, nor has there been a state that continued without an end. The changing of circumstances is a rule from the rules of Allah (swt) for human society. At times, Victory may be for the people of Falsehood and, at other times, for the people of the Truth. However, the final consequences are for those who hold to the Truth as long as they are firm upon it. This is a divine law that is a fixed law that neither favours anyone, nor excludes anyone, but by His (swt) permission. Whosoever falls under the scope of this law, it is applied upon him as it applies upon others, as is understood from the verse, إِنْ يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِثْلُهُ وَتِلْكَ الأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ “If an affliction should touch you – there has already touched the [opposing] people a affliction similar to it. And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people so that Allah may make evident those who believe and [may] take to Himself from among you martyrs – and Allah does not like the wrongdoers.” [Surah Aali-Imran 3:140]
So, we found that it is necessary to shed light on the concept of Victory generally.
Victory (Nasr) carries many linguistic meanings, including help and support. However, by convention, Victory is conquering the enemies, overcoming them and gaining superiority. The word Nasr is found in the Quran with its derivatives in many different places.
As for Nasr by Islamic Legal definition, it is mentioned eleven times in the Quran. It varies in every place, depending on the context of the verse and what is of importance from its meaning:
Firstly: Protection and Defence, and most of these were in reference to threaten the kuffar and wrongdoers in several ways:
1- In the Seeghatul Nafee (صيغة نفي Form of Denying) of the protection from the torment of the Hereafter as in the verse, يَوْمَ لاَ يُغْنِي عَنْهُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ “The Day their plan will not avail them at all, nor will they be helped.” [Surah at-Tur 52: 46]
2- In the form of denying self-ability to defend torment as in the verse, وَيَا قَوْمِ مَنْ يَنصُرُنِي مِنْ اللَّهِ إِنْ طَرَدْتُهُمْ أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ “And O my people, who would protect me from Allah if I drove them away? Then will you not be reminded?” [Hud: 56:30]
3- In the form of avenging against oppression, وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ “And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged – those have not upon them any cause [for blame].” [Surah ash-Shura 42:41]
4- In the form of help and assistance, مَنْ كَانَ يَظُنُّ أَنْ لَنْ يَنصُرَهُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ فَلْيَمْدُدْ بِسَبَبٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ لِيَقْطَعْ فَلْيَنظُرْ هَلْ يُذْهِبَنَّ كَيْدُهُ مَا يَغِيظُ “Whoever should think that Allah will not support [Prophet Muhammad] in this world and the Hereafter – let him extend a rope to the ceiling, then cut off [his breath], and let him see: will his effort remove that which enrages [him]?” [Surah al-Hajj 22:15]
And here the Ulema’a mentioned a difference between Victory (نصر Nasr) and Help (إعانة). So, Victory is only in the case of adversarial struggle, whilst Help is in all other cases. Thus, Help is more general than Victory.
Secondly: Victorious (غلبة Ghalbah) and Triumph (ظفر Zafar): This meaning comes to mind when you hear the word Victory, as in the verse, وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بُشْرَى وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ بِهِ قُلُوبُكُمْ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ “And Allah made it not but good tidings and so that your hearts would be assured thereby. And Victory is from none but from Allah. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:10]. This confirms the confining of the reality of Victory to being from Allah (swt) alone.
Thirdly: Mushtaqaat (مشتقات Grammatical Derivatives) of Victory: There are many in the Quran, so we mention some of them only, by way of example: Fatah (فتح Conquest), Tamkeen (تمكين Establishment), Rise (ظهور), Fawz (فوز Winning), Furqan (فرقان Criterion), Nijaah (نجاة Deliverance), Victorious (غلبة Ghalbah)…
From the aforementioned, and from the Usuli (Foundation of Jurisprudence) definition of Sabab (سبب Cause), Sabab is, ما يلزم من وجوده الوجود، ومن عدمه العدم لذاته “that whose existence necessitates the existence and whose absence necessitates the absence by itself” So, we find that the Cause of Victory is in the Hand of Allah (swt) exclusively. And the Thaman (ثمن Price) for granting of Victory for His Deen has two conditions. The Usooli definition of the Shart (شرط Condition) is ما يلزم من عدمه العدم، ولا يلزم من وجوده وجود ولا عدم لذاته “that whose absence necessitates the absence but whose existence does not necessitate the existence, but not by the absence of itself.” Victory is the result of its Granter, which is Allah (swt). The two conditions for Victory are:
1- The Eman (إيمان Belief) that holds us to obey Allah (swt) and use Him alone and give Him recognition, and that’s in the verse, وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ رُسُلاً إِلَى قَوْمِهِمْ فَجَاءُوهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُوا وَكَانَ حَقًّا عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ “And We have already sent messengers before you to their peoples, and they came to them with clear evidences; then We took retribution from those who committed crimes, and incumbent upon Us was support of the believers.” [Surah Ar-Rum 30:47]
2- The strong I’adaad (إعداد Preparation) in its general meaning, a preparation which is achievable, though not arriving at perfection in preparation. Allah (swt) said, وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لاَ تُظْلَمُونَ “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:60]
Victory has many types, including:
1-The Victory which Allah (swt) has promised us; the one we seek to deserve and the one for which we have fulfilled both conditions: Eman and preparing available power. Any negligence in this matter will result in Victory not coming to be. Our example is that of Uhud, where some Companions (ra) fell into error when the archers left their positions and violated the order of the Prophet ﷺ. And also in Hunayn, when they fell into small shirk, because they were impressed by their opponents’ power.
2- There is also a preferential Victory. Here, it is the Wisdom of Allah (swt) that requires a party to be victorious over another party. By way of example are the verses, غُلِبَتِ ٱلرُّومُ * فِيٓ أَدۡنَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَهُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ غَلَبِهِمۡ سَيَغۡلِبُونَ * فِي بِضۡعِ سِنِينَۗ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ مِن قَبۡلُ وَمِنۢ بَعۡدُۚ وَيَوۡمَئِذٖ يَفۡرَحُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ “The Byzantines have been defeated. In the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. Within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice.” [Surah ar-Rum 30:2-4]
3- There is a Victory for the principle, whereupon the human-being dies upon the principle, such that he is granted victory by Allah (swt). The example is like the people of Ukhdood, who all died, but won a Victory for the principle, because they have confirmed their Eeman in Allah (swt).
These are the types of Victory, but the Victory that Allah (swt) has promised us, and the one that was foretold by His Noble Messenger ﷺ is of the first type i.e. the victory that we are seeking to be deserving of and we ask Allah (swt) that it comes soon.
We will now discuss the relationship of Victory with tribulation, struggle and human effort. It is a firm fact from the Qur’an that there is no victory without tribulation. Yet, there are those who say: Is it necessary for us to be tested in order to attain victory? Yes, the Sunnah of Allah (swt) necessitates that there must be adversity and anguish, so that nothing of effort or energy is spared. Then victory comes after despair through all apparent reasons. Allah said, أَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأۡتِكُم مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوۡاْ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۖ مَّسَّتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَأۡسَآءُ وَٱلضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلۡزِلُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ ٱلرَّسُولُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُۥ مَتَىٰ نَصۡرُ ٱللَّهِۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ نَصۡرَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٞ “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were afflicted by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, “When is the help of Allah?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:214]
Were it not for Allah (swt) fighting the people of Falsehood by means of the people of Truth to overcome the people of Falsehood and Corruption, who oppress the righteous, the land would have been corrupted. That is why we find struggle before victory, that is, the truth strives against the Falsehood such that the struggle becomes more intense and direct. It is then when Allah (swt) supports the Truth with His Victory in speech, action and outcome. As He (swt) said, ٱلَّذِينَ أُخۡرِجُواْ مِن دِيَٰرِهِم بِغَيۡرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّآ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُۗ وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعۡضَهُم بِبَعۡضٖ لَّهُدِّمَتۡ صَوَٰمِعُ وَبِيَعٞ وَصَلَوَٰتٞ وَمَسَٰجِدُ يُذۡكَرُ فِيهَا ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ كَثِيرٗاۗ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ “[They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah .” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely grant Victory to those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.?” [Surah al-Hajj 22:40] There are some misconceptions among Muslims today inherited through the concept of indifference. This is due to their ignorance of this Deen which is a divine approach to human life. Human effort must be within the limits of the material reality. As a result, in order to achieve human victory, a group from the people must carry this Deen and believe in it with full Eman, be tested within it until they are upright upon it, strive in achieving it in the hearts of others; thus, prevailing upon themselves with their steadfastness and adherence to the Deen. Then comes Victory, after human change is achieved, which is followed by divine change and victory being achieved, As He (swt) said, إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمۡ ‘Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.’ [Surah ar-Ra’ad 13:11]
Furthermore, there are Mawaani’a (موانعُ Preventions) in the way of Victory. In Islamic Jurisprudence, the Maania (مانع Prevention) is ما يلزم من وجوده العدم، ولا يلزم من عدمه وجود ولا عدم لذاته “that whose existence necessitates the absence but whose absence does not necessitate the existence and not by the absence of itself.” These include:
- Dispute and division, Allah (swt) said,وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَلَا تَنَٰزَعُواْ فَتَفۡشَلُواْ وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡ وَٱصۡبِرُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ “And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:46] The dispute is the difference that creeps in between the Mujahideen in the Path of Allah after their gaining power, as Allah (swt) said, وَلَا تَنَٰزَعُواْ فَتَفۡشَلُواْ وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡ “and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:46]
- Ma’siyah (معصية Sin) and disobedience of commands. Here, the sin is a disobedience of the commands of Allah (swt) as well as the disobedience of the leadership’s commands of the leaders which do not anger Allah (swt), and which are not for the sake of gains of wealth and position and other than that.
- Mawaalaah (موالاة Allegiance) to other than Allah (swt), and Itibaa’a (اتباع Adoption) of a path other than His (swt) Path. If we want Allah to support us, we must not be loyal to other than Allah (swt) and we not adopt other than His (swt) Path. Allah (swt) said, يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّخِذُواْ بِطَانَةٗ مِّن دُونِكُمۡ لَا يَأۡلُونَكُمۡ خَبَالٗا وَدُّواْ مَا عَنِتُّمۡ قَدۡ بَدَتِ ٱلۡبَغۡضَآءُ مِنۡ أَفۡوَٰهِهِمۡ وَمَا تُخۡفِي صُدُورُهُمۡ أَكۡبَرُۚ قَدۡ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ ٱلۡأٓيَٰتِۖ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡقِلُونَ “O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason.” [Surah Aali Imran 3:118]. And there are further Preventions as well.
After all this distance from Allah (swt), how do we wonder where is the promised victory of Allah (swt)? Victory may be delayed a little upon those who work with the truth and try to resume the Islamic life, because Victory does not come by accident, but is subject to the Sunnah of Allah (swt) and divine laws. Allah (swt) only delayed Victory according to His Foresight and from its forms are:
- that the Ummah has not yet matured to attain Victory, and if Victory was granted, the Ummah would not be able to protect it.
- or that the Ummah did not crystallize in its conviction that even if all the forces of the world combined, Victory is not guaranteed without Allah (swt).
- or that the Ummah was not sure that their connection to Allah is the only guarantee for its establishment after Victory.
- or that until all falseness and deceit are exposed to us, as well as the people of falsehood in all its forms.
As for the haste in Victory, it is not a defect or Haraam (Forbidden), because man is hasty by his nature, وَيَدۡعُ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ بِٱلشَّرِّ دُعَآءَهُۥ بِٱلۡخَيۡرِۖ وَكَانَ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ عَجُولٗا “And man supplicates for evil as he supplicates for good, and man is ever hasty.” [Surah Al-Isra’a 17:11]
The Companions (ra) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked him ﷺ to ask for Victory for them and supplicate for them, but he ﷺ asked them to be patient. Khabbab bin Al-Art (ra) complained to RasulAllah ﷺ about their state while he was leaning against his sheet cloak in the shade of the Ka`ba. Khabbab (ra) said, “Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you invoke Allah for us?” He ﷺ said, «كَانَ الرَّجُلُ فِيمَنْ قَبْلَكُمْ يُحْفَرُ لَهُ فِي الأَرْضِ فَيُجْعَلُ فِيهِ، فَيُجَاءُ بِالمِنْشَارِ فَيُوضَعُ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ فَيُشَقُّ بِاثْنَتَيْنِ وَمَا يَصُدُّهُ ذَلِكَ عَنْ دِينِهِ، وَيُمْشَطُ بِأَمْشَاطِ الحَدِيدِ مَا دُونَ لَحْمِهِ مِنْ عَظْمٍ أَوْ عَصَبٍ وَمَا يَصُدُّهُ ذَلِكَ عَنْ دِينِهِ، وَاللَّهِ لَيَتِمَّنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ، حَتَّى يَسِيرَ الرَّاكِبُ مِنْ صَنْعَاءَ إِلَى حَضْرَمَوْتَ لَا يَخَافُ إِلَّا اللَّهَ أَوِ الذِّئْبَ عَلَى غَنَمِهِ، وَلَكِنَّكُمْ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ» “Among those who were before you a (believer) used to be seized and, a pit used to be dug for him and then he used to be placed in it. Then a saw used to be brought and put on his head which would be split into two halves. His flesh might be combed with iron combs and removed from his bones, yet, all that did not cause him to turn away from his Deen. By Allah! This Deen (Islam) will be completed (and triumph) till a rider (traveller) goes from San`a’ (the capital of Yemen) to Hadramout fearing nobody except Allah and the wolf lest it should trouble his sheep, but you are hasty.” [Bukhari]
After this simple clarification, we say: Yes, Allah’s (swt) Victory is coming inevitably when we satisfy His Conditions. However, the change begins from human beings such that each of us takes it upon ourselves to be a part of the group which carries the call to the Deen of Allah with all sincerity, and the sin falls of his shoulders due to him working with those who are working. Amongst them are those who do their very best and in these days many false masks, empty slogans and empty content have been exposed such that little is left in the arena. With a simple effort, the brother of the believer can find this group which has a clear project, an ideological goal, and which does not deviate from the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Noble Messenger ﷺ. InshaaAllah, perhaps Allah (swt) has Good for you and enlighten for you insight, for you are the one who is requested to undertake effort and collective societal action for change, and your work is a vindication for your protection. And Allah is behind all purpose.
Abdul Karim Abu Mus’ab from Al-Waie Issue 384