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Sura 30
Aya 6
وَعدَ اللَّهِ ۖ لا يُخلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعدَهُ وَلٰكِنَّ أَكثَرَ النّاسِ لا يَعلَمونَ

Ali Unal

(This is) God’s promise. God never fails His promise, but most people do not know this (as they have no true knowledge about God).1
  • These verses contain important predictions. Some saintly scholars have arrived at many predictions based on these. For example, as reported by Abū Hayyān, a commentator from al-Andalusia, in his Bahr al-Muhīt, Abū al-Hakam ibn al-Barrajān predicted the recovery of Jerusalem by the Muslims from the Crusaders in 1187ce with its exact date. However, what is clear to everybody in these verses is that the Byzantine Romans who were defeated by the Persians would be victorious over them within nine years and in the same year, the Muslims would rejoice because of the victory which would be granted to them by God (Yazır, 6: 3802–3803).
    In 615CE, when some Muslims were forced, by the persecution that they faced in Makkah, to migrate to Abyssinia, the Persians gained a victory over the Romans in the war that had begun in 613CE. The victory was so great that the total destruction of the Byzantine Empire seemed imminent. The sūrah decisively pronounced that within nine years from that time, the Romans would defeat the Persians. The war continued and the Persians advanced as far as Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), the capital of the Byzantines, in 617CE. No one thought that the Byzantines would be able to turn defeat into victory so soon in the future; when these verses were revealed, the pagan Makkans made fun of them and of the Muslims for believing in them.
    However, in 622CE, just nine years after the beginning of this war, the tide began to turn in favor of the Byzantines. In that year, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings also emigrated to Madīnah. In 624CE, again nine years after the decisive victory of the Persians, the Byzantines gained the first victory over them and destroyed the birthplace of Zoroaster in Azerbaijan. It was in this year also that the Muslims were victorious in the Battle of Badr against the polytheist Makkans. When the Byzantines completely routed the Persians in 627CE, the Muslims won the Battle of the Trench, and the next year they signed the treaty of Hudaybiyah, which the Qur’an describes as a manifest victory (48: 1); this proved to be a door opening to the free expansion of Islam. This same year witnessed the imprisonment and death of the Persian king, and the Messenger’s entering Makkah for a minor pilgrimage.