I am with you. How Allah strengthens believers and responds to their call

I am with you. How Allah strengthens believers and responds to their call

إِذۡ تَسۡتَغِیثُونَ رَبَّكُمۡ فَٱسۡتَجَابَ لَكُمۡ أَنِّی مُمِدُّكُم بِأَلۡفࣲ مِّنَ ٱلۡمَلَـٰۤىِٕكَةِ مُرۡدِفِینَ

When you were calling your Lord for help, so He responded to you (saying): “I am going to support you with one thousand of the angels, one following the other.” [Al-Anfāl, 8:9]

وَمَا جَعَلَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشۡرَىٰ وَلِتَطۡمَىِٕنَّ بِهِۦ قُلُوبُكُمۡۚ وَمَا ٱلنَّصۡرُ إِلَّا مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِیزٌ حَكِیمٌ

And Allah has made it (the promise) merely to give you a good news, and so that your hearts might be at rest thereby. And the help is from none but Allah. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise. [Al-Anfāl, 8:10]

إِذۡ یُوحِی رَبُّكَ إِلَى ٱلۡمَلَـٰۤىِٕكَةِ أَنِّی مَعَكُمۡ فَثَبِّتُوا۟ ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ۚ سَأُلۡقِی فِی قُلُوبِ ٱلَّذِینَ كَفَرُوا۟ ٱلرُّعۡبَ فَٱضۡرِبُوا۟ فَوۡقَ ٱلۡأَعۡنَاقِ وَٱضۡرِبُوا۟ مِنۡهُمۡ كُلَّ بَنَانࣲ

When your Lord revealed to the angels: “I am with you. So, make firm the feet of those who believe. I shall cast awe into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So, strike at the necks, and strike at every finger-joint of theirs.” [Al-Anfal, 8:12]

In these verses, Allah Almighty highlights the very first battle the Prophet (peace be upon him) faced in Madinah, which was at Badr. Without going into the details of the battle, we know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and 319 companions were outnumbered by the army of the Quraysh, who were over 1000, which is a big number. Quraysh wanted to uproot Islam, kill Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions had to face the arrogance of Quraysh as well as their might. Sahih Muslim, and other books of the Sunnah describe how the Prophet (peace be upon him) mobilised and positioned his troops. He did his homework and all the preparations then began to supplicate. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) described that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went with Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) into a tent, where he raised his hands and called on Allah, as Allah mentioned in the verse above, ‘You [Prophet] were seeking help from your Lord’

Umar bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ قَالَ لَمَّا كَانَ يَوْمُ بَدْرٍ نَظَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَهُمْ أَلْفٌ وَأَصْحَابُهُ ثَلاَثُمِائَةٍ وَتِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ رَجُلاً فَاسْتَقْبَلَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْقِبْلَةَ ثُمَّ مَدَّ يَدَيْهِ فَجَعَلَ يَهْتِفُ بِرَبِّهِ ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ أَنْجِزْ لِي مَا وَعَدْتَنِي اللَّهُمَّ آتِ مَا وَعَدْتَنِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ تَهْلِكْ هَذِهِ الْعِصَابَةُ مِنْ أَهْلِ الإِسْلاَمِ لاَ تُعْبَدْ فِي الأَرْضِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَمَازَالَ يَهْتِفُ بِرَبِّهِ مَادًّا يَدَيْهِ مُسْتَقْبِلَ الْقِبْلَةِ حَتَّى سَقَطَ رِدَاؤُهُ عَنْ مَنْكِبَيْهِ فَأَتَاهُ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فَأَخَذَ رِدَاءَهُ فَأَلْقَاهُ عَلَى مَنْكِبَيْهِ ثُمَّ الْتَزَمَهُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ كَذَاكَ مُنَاشَدَتُكَ رَبَّكَ فَإِنَّهُ سَيُنْجِزُ لَكَ مَا وَعَدَكَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏{‏ إِذْ تَسْتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمْ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَكُمْ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُمْ بِأَلْفٍ مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ مُرْدِفِينَ‏}‏ فَأَمَدَّهُ اللَّهُ بِالْمَلاَئِكَةِ ‏.‏(مسلم).

When it was the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cast a glance at the infidels, and they were one thousand while his own Companions were three hundred and nineteen. The Prophet (ﷺ) turned (his face) towards the Qibla. Then he stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord: “O Allah, accomplish for me what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah, bring about what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed. Thou will not be worshipped on this earth.” He continued his supplication to his Lord, stretching his hands, facing the Qibla, until his mantle slipped down from his shoulders. So Abu Bakr came to him, picked up his mantle and put it on his shoulders. Then he embraced him from behind and said: Prophet of Allah, this prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice you, and He will fulfill for you what He has promised you. So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed (the Qur’anic verse): “When ye appealed to your Lord for help, He responded to your call (saying): I will help you with one thousand angels coming in succession.” So Allah helped him with angels. (Muslim)

The believers were calling for help from Allah Almighty, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) was in the forefront appealing for His support, to the extent that Abu Bakr was calming the Prophet (peace be upon him) down, saying ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, this is too much. You call upon your Lord too much, He will respond to you.’ Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) described how the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) cloak fell from his shoulders while he was making dua, and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) picked it up and put it back on his shoulders.

Ibn Ishaq narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

وَعِنْد اِبْن إِسْحَاق أَنَّهُ صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ : ( اللَّهُمَّ هَذِهِ قُرَيْش قَدْ أَتَتْ بِخُيَلَائِهَا وَفَخْرهَا ، تُجَادِل وَتُكَذِّب رَسُولك , اللَّهُمَّ فَنَصْرك الَّذِي وَعَدَّتْنِي ) .

”Oh God, these Quraysh have come with their arrogance and pride, arguing and denying Your Messenger, Oh God, grant me the victory that You promised me. (Ibn Ishaq)

When you call upon Allah sincerely, He responds

Tastageeth means to ask for support and one of Allah’s names is ‘Al Ghiyath’, or ‘Al Ghawaath’ – the One who gives support and help to those who are seeking it with sincerity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) with his sincerity called upon Allah Almighty, and Allah Almighty did respond to him.

We see the sequence of the events from the ayah. They called upon Allah from the bottom of their hearts (tastageethuna). Then Allah responded (fastajaba lakum). His response was to strengthen their side by sending 1000 troops of angels (Malaika), one following the other.

I am with you

Scholars of tafseer commented on this ayah, by saying that when Allah Almighty says ini ma’akum, ‘I am going to support you with the angels’ He gave them the mission to go and support the believers. And before they went, He said to them, ‘I am with you’. Ibn Ashur (may Allah have mercy on him) said, this is tashreef, a call of honour. Allah honoured the believers who were standing firmly to defend their deen.

Supporting believers

The mission of the angels was to make firm the feet of the believers who were fighting on the ground against falsehood. In tafseer books, scholars say the angels were sent in human form, riding besides believers and encouraging them, ‘Press forward! Victory is yours! We are with you!’

Striking fear in the hearts of the enemies

Allah declared that he would strike fear in the hearts of the enemies:

 فَثَبِّتُوا۟ ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ۚ سَأُلۡقِی فِی قُلُوبِ ٱلَّذِینَ كَفَرُوا۟ ٱلرُّعۡبَ

“I will throw on the hearts of the disbelievers fear.”

Scholars of tafseer have commented that this means the angels conveyed valuable intelligence to the believers about the psychological vulnerabilities of their enemy. They disclosed that the Quraysh, despite their formidable numbers, were internally fragile and gripped by fear. It gave them motivating insight into the enemy’s real mindset, and a strategic advantage. They need not be daunted by the sheer numerical superiority, weaponry, or facade of strength presented by the Quraysh. The message resonated: Proceed with confidence, because when you advance they will crumble and collapse. This emboldened the believers, giving them courage to charge forwards assured that they would win.

Defying expectations

This was the first battle the Prophet (peace be upon him) faced in Madinah. Ibn Ashur commented beautifully on the ayah saying, this mission defied expectations. The believers defeated an army three times their size, which goes against maths and probability – it was extraordinary. It overturned established truths by uprooting them and substituting opposites – turning cowardice into courage, fear into determination, and panic into steadfastness among believers, while instilling fear and anxiety in the hearts of pagans.

This also shows the significance of psychological stability in such situations. By the removal of psychologically troubling emotions such as fear and worry, it instilled confidence in believers, inspiring a sense of being supported, guided towards reality, and protected from satanic whispers. Such encouragement is beneficial when aligned with God’s will and genuine, compared to taking deceptive risks which may lead to arrogance. Encouragement is seen as angelic guidance when it fosters courage as desired by God, while warning against satanic influences that may distort reality and lead to misguidance.

By sending the angels, Allah changed the rules, making the impossible become a reality. The outcome went against the odds and changed the course of history.

Miracles can happen. However there are requirements for these miracles to happen.

Hope and gratitude

Why has Allah opened a window to the Unseen here, unveiling the curtains that keep hidden what going on behind the scenes? He showed us His instructions to His angels, which nobody had witnessed but they themselves. What was the reason behind this? It was to show the believers Allah Almighty’s support for which they could be grateful and appreciative. If they had not known this they would not have been appreciative of what Allah Almighty had done for them. This is why these verses are crucial to understand, especially when you feel that you have no power, no strength to change or do anything.

We have the formula – supplicate to Allah Almighty, do your homework, do everything you possibly can and rely on Allah Almighty. He is the Ghiyath and Ghawth, The Helper. When you rely on Him, He will never let you down. This is exactly what happened with the Prophet (peace be upon him).

These three ayahs are very powerful as they show us the power of supplication, and the response from Allah Almighty. With His support, help, and execution, the final result is victory.

In order to achieve the final result we have to follow the steps which Allah has outlined in the Quran. It is crucial for us to understand this, because Allah Almighty wants us to apply the Quranic and the prophetic approach in our life. This is how Allah Almighty takes us from one level to another level, from defeat to victory, from hopelessness to power. This is exactly what the Ummah needs to do on the individual level, on the community level, on the Ummah level. We need to trust Allah Almighty more and have a better relationship with Him, and supplicate more, and exert our efforts and channel them in the right direction.

The 7 requisites for success

When you go through the verses of victory and support from Allah Almighty in the Qur’an, you find there are around 7 reasons where Allah Almighty can give support and victory. In summary the 7 things you need to get support and victory from Allah Almighty are:

  1. Sincerity
  2. Actions – its not enough to have sincerity and no actions, you have to have actions
  3. Obedience to Allah Almighty
  4. Asking for forgiveness
  5. Remembrance of Allah Almighty all the time, which is a reflection of your connection with Allah Almighty
  6. Learn from the previous mistakes
  7. Continuous supplication to Allah Almighty

When we fulfil these 7 main conditions inshallah we will be successful in everything we do. Ameen.

Based on the khutbah of Shaykh Haytham Tamim 22nd Dec 2023 Transcribed by Zayna

Seven requisites for victory


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.