(Alif. Lam. Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the nearer land…) [30:1-3].
The commentators of the Qur’an said: “Chosroes sent an army under the command of a man called Shahryaraz to Byzantium. This man marched on Byzantium and defeated them. He killed the men, destroyed their cities and demolished all their olive trees. The Caesar had entrusted the command of his army to a man called Juhannas. The latter fought against Shahryaraz at Adhri‘at and Busrah, which are the closest parts of Syria to the land of the Arabs. The Persian defeated the Byzantines. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his Companions heard this while in Mecca and felt sad about it. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, disliked that the Magians, who did not have a revealed Scripture, have the upper hand over the Byzantines who were people of the Book. The disbelievers of Mecca, on the other hand, were exultant and spiteful. When they met the Companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, they said to them: ‘You are people of the Book and the Christians are people of the Book. We are without a revealed Scripture and our brothers the Persians have defeated your brothers the Byzantines. If you ever fight us, we will defeat you too’. Therefore, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Alif. Lam. Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the nearer land) to the end of these verses”.
Isma‘il ibn Ibrahim al-Wa‘iz informed us> Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hamid al-‘Attar> Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar> al-Harith ibn Shurayh> al-Mu‘tamir ibn Sulayman> his father> al-A‘mash> ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi> Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri who said: “When the Battle of Badr took place, the Byzantines had also defeated the Persians. The believers rejoiced and so these verses were revealed (Alif. Lam. Mim. The Romans have been defeated) up to His words (… believers will rejoice in Allah’s help to victory), i.e. the believers will rejoice in the defeat of the Persians by the Byzantines”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou