Surah 110 Help (Al-Nasr ): Poetry based on the Qur’an with exegesis
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
1 When God’s help comes and He opens up a your way [Prophet], 2 when you see people embracing God’s faith in crowds, 3 celebrate the praise of your Lord and ask His forgiveness: He is always ready to accept repentance.
According to various hadiths this was the last full Surah to be revealed before the Prophet Muhamammad’s death (pbuh) which was reportedly sent down during the Farewell Pilgrimage. Also reportedly the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told several followers that he would pass away within the year. According to the dating of the traditions relaying these events, it is theorized that the Prophet passed away three months and some days after the revelation of this Surah.
As Allah’s messenger and Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) had fulfilled Allah’s purpose through dissent, mocking, battles and other struggles. It is important to note that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is told that when he sees multitudes embracing Islam then he is to give all the Glory to Allah, and in a state of spiritual poverty acknowledge His lack of perfection and seek forgiveness for sins derived from normal human weaknesses. This is prefaced by an acknowledgement of who it was that that helped him in time of need and “opens up your way.” No Prophet takes the onus for the successes that Allah brought about, but in humility always give thanks to Allah. It is Allah who provides revelation, makes a way through every difficulty, and provides help and encouragement during challenging times and need.
In this extremely short Surah, the emphasis is on Allah’s power providing the Prophet(pbuh) with everything that he needed to be successful in completing Allah’s will and purpose. The Prophet’s destiny had been fulfilled and he was looking towards his own death which had been revealed to him as happening soon. Shortly after this Surah was revealed the Prophet(pbuh) gave his last sermon which was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H. in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat (in Mecca). The primary points of his sermon emphasized fair and just treatment of others, and reminded his followers of their duties in implementing the five pillars of Islam. The well known quote regarding equality was given during this sermon, “All humankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab…except by piety and good action…learn that every Muslim is a brother or sister to every [other] Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one family” (the Ummah).
For years the Prophet Muhammad’s followers had turned to him for help and guidance, so knowing his death was near, he taught them to turn towards each other as family members should turn to each other for help and encouragement. The body of Islam is kept strong by the chain of good actions towards each other. It is helping your brothers and sisters in need, and also encouraging each other in the faith. It is not allowing one of your own to backslide into sin, but being aware and holding each other accountable. When some Muslims are weak, the strong need to step in to assist them, and in this way the whole body is kept strong.
The following revelation was provided by Allah during the Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon:
“This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear ME. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed MY favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion”
He makes the way
when we are weak,
when we can’t push
When our way is blocked
He clears the path,
when all seems impossible
He makes all things possible.
Our weaknesses are His strength
and His witness —
Glory to the God on High
whose purpose will always be accomplished!
“And who is more beautiful in color than God?” (Qur’an 2:137–138)
“Then we will bring a people who appear in the color of tawhid, who are adorned with the attribute of friendship, and who are clothed in God’s color, which is colorlessness.” (1)
(1) Citing Ansari, Chittick, William C., Divine Love: Islamic Literature and the Path to God, p. 433