Allah warns His believing servants against obeying the disbelievers and hypocrites, because such obedience leads to utter destruction in this life and the Hereafter. This is why Allah said,
﴿إِن تُطِيعُواْ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَـبِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُواْ خَـسِرِينَ﴾
(If you obey those who disbelieve, they will send you back on your heels, and you will turn back (from faith) as losers) ﴿3:149﴾.
Allah also commands the believers to obey Him, take Him as their protector, seek His aid and trust in Him. Allah said,
﴿بَلِ اللَّهُ مَوْلَـكُمْ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ النَّـصِرِينَ ﴾
(Nay, Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers).
Allah next conveys the good news that He will put fear of the Muslims, and feelings of subordination to the Muslims in the hearts of their disbelieving enemies, because of their Kufr and Shirk. And Allah has prepared torment and punishment for them in the Hereafter. Allah said,
﴿سَنُلْقِى فِى قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ الرُّعْبَ بِمَآ أَشْرَكُواْ بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَـناً وَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ وَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الظَّـلِمِينَ ﴾
(We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined others in worship with Allah, for which He sent no authority; their abode will be the Fire and how evil is the abode of the wrongdoers). In addition, the Two Sahihs recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ قَبْلِي: نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا، وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَائِمُ، وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ، وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً وَبُعِثْتُ إِلى النَّاسِ عَامَّة»
(I was given five things that no other Prophet before me was given. I was aided with fear the distance of one month, the earth was made a Masjid and clean place for me, I was allowed war booty, I was given the Intercession, and Prophets used to be sent to their people, but I was sent to all mankind particularly.)
﴿وَلَقَدْ صَدَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ﴾
(And Allah did indeed fulfill His promise to you) ﴿3:152﴾,
in the beginning of the day of Uhud,
(when you were killing them), slaying your enemies,
(with His permission), for He allowed you to do that against them,
﴿حَتَّى إِذَا فَشِلْتُمْ﴾
(until when you Fashiltum). Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn `Abbas said that Fashiltum means, `lost courage'.
﴿وَتَنَـزَعْتُمْ فِى الاٌّمْرِ وَعَصَيْتُمْ﴾
(and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed) such as the mistake made by the archers,
﴿مِّن بَعْدِ مَآ أَرَاكُمْ مَّا تُحِبُّونَ﴾
(after He showed you what you love), that is, victory over the disbelievers,
﴿مِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الدُّنْيَا﴾
(Among you are some that desire this world) referring to those who sought to collect the booty when they saw the enemy being defeated,
﴿وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الاٌّخِرَةَ ثُمَّ صَرَفَكُمْ عَنْهُمْ لِيَبْتَلِيَكُمْ﴾
(and some that desire the Hereafter. Then He made you flee from them, that He might test you).
This Ayah means, Allah gave them the upper hand to try and test you, O believers,
﴿وَلَقَدْ عَفَا عَنْكُمْ﴾
(but surely, He forgave you),
He forgave the error you committed, because, and Allah knows best, the idolators were many and well supplied, while Muslims had few men and few supplies.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "We met the idolators on that day (Uhud) and the Prophet appointed `Abdullah bin Jubayr as the commander of the archers. He instructed them, `Retain your position, and if you see that we have defeated them, do not abandon your positions. If you see that they defeated us, do not rush to help us.' The disbelievers gave flight when we met them, and we saw their women fleeing up the mountain while lifting up their clothes revealing their anklets and their legs. So, the companions (of `Abdullah bin Jubayr) said, `The booty, the booty!' `Abdullah bin Jubayr said, `Allah's Messenger commanded me not to allow you to abandon your position.' They refused to listen, and when they left their position, Muslims were defeated and seventy of them were killed. Abu Sufyan shouted, `Is Muhammad present among these people' The Prophet said, `Do not answer him.' Then he asked, `Is the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) present among these people' The Prophet said, `Do not answer him.' He asked again, `Is the son of Al-Khattab (`Umar) present among these people As for these (men), they have been killed, for had they been alive, they would have answered me.' `Umar could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyan), `You lie, O enemy of Allah! The cause of your misery is still present.' Abu Sufyan said, `O Hubal, be high!' On that the Prophet said (to his Companions), `Answer him back.' They said, `What shall we say' He said, `Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime.' Abu Sufyan said, `We have the (idol) Al-`Uzza, and you have no `Uzza.' The Prophet said, `Answer him back.' They asked, `What shall we say' He said, `Say, Allah is our protector and you have no protector.' Abu Sufyan said, `Our victory today is vengeance for yours in the battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents. You will find some of your killed men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed.''' Only Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith using this chain of narration. cMuhammad bin Ishaq said that, `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated that Az-Zubayr bin Al-`Awwam said, "By Allah! I saw the female servants and female companions of Hind (Abu Sufyan's wife) when they uncovered their legs and gave flight. At that time, there was no big or small effort separating us from capturing them. However, the archers went down the mount when the enemy gave flight from the battlefield, seeking to collect the booty. They uncovered our back lines to the horsemen of the disbelievers, who took the chance and attacked us from behind. Then a person shouted, `Muhammad has been killed.' So we pulled back, and the disbelievers followed us, after we had killed those who carried their flag, and none of them dared to come close the flag, until then.''' Muhammad bin Ishaq said next, "The flag of the disbelievers was left on the ground until `Amrah bint `Alqamah Al-Harithiyyah picked it up and gave it to the Quraysh who held it.''
﴿ثُمَّ صَرَفَكُمْ عَنْهُمْ لِيَبْتَلِيَكُمْ﴾
(Then He made you flee from them, that He might test you) ﴿3:152﴾.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "My uncle Anas bin An-Nadr was absent from the battle of Badr. He said, `I was absent from the first battle the Prophet fought (against the pagans). (By Allah) if Allah gives me a chance to fight along with the Messenger of Allah, then Allah will see how (bravely) I will fight.' On the day of Uhud when the Muslims turned their backs and fled, he said, `O Allah! I apologize to You for what these (meaning the Muslims) have done, and I denounce what these pagans have done.' Then he advanced lifting his sword, and when Sa`d bin Mu`adh met him, he said to him, `O Sa`d bin Mu`adh! Where are you! Paradise! I am smelling its aroma coming from before (Mount) Uhud,' and he went forth, fought and was killed. We found more than eighty stab wounds, sword blows or arrow holes on his body, which was mutilated so badly that none except his sister could recognize him, and she could only do so by his fingers or by a mole.'' This is the narration reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim also collected a similar narration from Thabit from Anas.