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أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلْمَلإِ مِن بَنِيۤ إِسْرَائِيلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَىۤ إِذْ قَالُواْ لِنَبِيٍّ لَّهُمُ ٱبْعَثْ لَنَا مَلِكاً نُّقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ قَالَ هَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْقِتَالُ أَلاَّ تُقَاتِلُواْ قَالُواْ وَمَا لَنَآ أَلاَّ نُقَاتِلَ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَقَدْ أُخْرِجْنَا مِن دِيَارِنَا وَأَبْنَآئِنَا فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْقِتَالُ تَوَلَّوْاْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنْهُمْ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِٱلظَّالِمِينَ
٢٤٦
-Al-Baqarah ( البقرة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Have you not seen, the story and the tale of, the council, an assembly, of the Children of Israel, after, the death of, Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs, namely, Samuel, ‘Send, establish, for us a king, to unite us and to whom we can refer [matters], and we will fight, with him, in God’s way’. He, the prophet, said, to them: ‘Might it be that (‘asaytum, or ‘asītum) if fighting is prescribed for you, you will not fight? (allā tuqātilū is the predicate of ‘asā, ‘might it be’; the interrogative is intended to confirm the expectation that follows [sc. that they will not fight]). They said, ‘Why should we not fight in God’s way, when we have been expelled from our habitations and our children?’, as a result of these latter being taken captive or killed, that which they suffered at the hands of Goliath and his men. The meaning is, ‘There is nothing to stop us fighting, provided the requirement [we demanded] is forthcoming’. God, exalted be He, says, Yet when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned their backs, from fighting in cowardice, except a few of them, the ones that crossed the river with Saul (Tālūt), as will be mentioned; and God has knowledge of the evildoers, and will requite them accordingly. The prophet then asked his Lord to send forth a king, and God responded by sending forth Saul.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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