While delivering the good news to His believing servants that victory and dominance will be theirs against the disbelieving, atheistic People of the Scriptures, Allah then said,
﴿لَن يَضُرُّوكُمْ إِلاَّ أَذًى وَإِن يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ يُوَلُّوكُمُ الاٌّدُبَارَ ثُمَّ لاَ يُنصَرُونَ ﴾
(They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance; and if they fight against you, they will show you their backs, and they will not be helped.) ﴿3:111﴾
This is what occurred, for at the battle of Khaybar, Allah brought humiliation and disgrace to the Jews. Before that, the Jews in Al-Madinah, the tribes of Qaynuqa`, Nadir and Qurayzah, were also humiliated by Allah. Such was the case with the Christians in the area of Ash-Sham later on, when the Companions defeated them in many battles and took over the leadership of Ash-Sham forever. There shall always be a group of Muslims in Ash-Sham area until `Isa, son of Maryam, descends while they are like this ﴿on the truth, apparent and victorious﴾. `Isa will at that time rule according to the Law of Muhammad , break the cross, kill the swine, banish the Jizyah and only accept Islam from the people.
Allah said next,
﴿ضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ أَيْنَ مَا ثُقِفُواْ إِلاَّ بِحَبْلٍ مِّنْ اللَّهِ وَحَبْلٍ مِّنَ النَّاسِ﴾
(Indignity is put over them wherever they may be, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah, and a covenant from men;) meaning, Allah has placed humiliation and disgrace on them wherever they may be, and they will never be safe,
﴿إِلاَّ بِحَبْلٍ مِّنْ اللَّهِ﴾
(except when under a covenant from Allah,) under the Dhimmah (covenant of protection) from Allah that requires them to pay the Jizyah (tax, to Muslims,) and makes them subservient to Islamic Law.
﴿وَحَبْلٍ مِّنَ النَّاسِ﴾
(and a covenant from men;) meaning, covenant from men, such as pledges of protection and safety offered to them by Muslim men and women, and even a slave, according to one of the sayings of the scholars. Ibn `Abbas said that,
﴿إِلاَّ بِحَبْلٍ مِّنْ اللَّهِ وَحَبْلٍ مِّنَ النَّاسِ﴾
(except when under a covenant from Allah, and a covenant from men;) refers to a covenant of protection from Allah and a pledge of safety from people. Similar was said by Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. Allah's statement,
﴿وَبَآءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ﴾
(they have drawn on themselves the wrath of Allah,) means, they earned Allah's anger, which they deserved,
﴿وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَسْكَنَةُ﴾
(and destitution is put over them), meaning they deserve it by decree and legislatively.
Allah said next,
﴿ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ الاٌّنْبِيَآءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ﴾
(This is because they disbelieved in the Ayat of Allah and killed the Prophets without right.) meaning, what drove them to this was their arrogance, transgression and envy, earning them humiliation, degradation and disgrace throughout this life and the Hereafter. Allah said,
﴿ذلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ﴾
(This is because they disobeyed and used to transgress (the limits set by Allah).) meaning, what lured them to disbelieve in Allah's Ayat and kill His Messengers, is the fact that they often disobeyed Allah's commands, committed His prohibitions and transgressed His set limits. We seek refuge from this behavior, and Allah Alone is sought for each and every type of help.
﴿لَيْسُواْ سَوَآءً مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ أُمَّةٌ قَآئِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ءَانَآءَ الَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ - يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُسَـرِعُونَ فِى الْخَيْرَتِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ مِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ - وَمَا يَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلَنْ يُكْفَروهُ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالْمُتَّقِينَ - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَنْ تُغْنِىَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَلُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُهُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئاً وَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ - مَثَلُ مَا يُنْفِقُونَ فِى هِـذِهِ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَثَلِ رِيحٍ فِيهَا صِرٌّ أَصَابَتْ حَرْثَ قَوْمٍ ظَلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ فَأَهْلَكَتْهُ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَـكِنْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴾
(113. Not all of them are alike; a party of the People of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer.) (114. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin Al-Ma`ruf and forbid Al-Munkar; and they hasten in (all) good works; and they are among the righteous.) (115. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knows well the Muttaqin (the pious).) (116. Surely, those who disbelieve, neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them against Allah. They are the dwellers of the Fire, therein they will abide.) (117. The parable of what they spend in this world is that of a wind of Sir; it struck the harvest of a people who did wrong against themselves and destroyed it. Allah wronged them not, but they wronged themselves.)