Tafsir

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إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ فَلاَ غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا ٱلَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّنْ بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
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-Âl ‘Imrân ( آل عمران )

Al Qushairi Tafsir

If God helps you, then none can overcome you; but if He forsakes you, then who is there who can help you after Him? Therefore on God let the believers rely.
He helps the believers by granting success to the bodily forms (bi-l-tawfīqi lil-ashbāḥ), and then by granting [spiritual] realization to the spirits (thuma bi-l-taḥqīqi lil-arwāḥ).
It is said that God helps you by supporting you in your outward cir- cumstances (bi-taÌyīdi al-ẓawāhir) and by guiding the innermost selves (wa-tasdīdi al-sarāÌir).
It is said that while [He will] help [you] against the enemy, the worst enemy you have is the lower self within you. [His] help against [your] lower self comes when its claims of strength are routed by the guardians of His mercy and the armies of cravings (junūd al-shahawāt) scatter upon the attacks of the arriving hosts (wufūd al-munāzilāt). The protective friend- ship (walāya) of God will remain, purified from the confused clamoring of human qualities, and the cravings and desires of the lower selves which are the remaining effects of [what] veils and hinders [people] from nearness.
If He forsakes you: The forsaking is the abandonment of those who are disobedient. Those whom He helps He holds back from pursuing what is objectionable and those to whom He gives free rein and leaves to their own bad choices He forsakes. The state [of someone He forsakes] becomes unsettled in the torrents of cravings, so he sometimes wanders to the east without shame (fa-marratan yusharriqu ghayra muḥtashimin) and sometimes to the west without respect (wa-tāratan yugharribu ghayra mutaḥrimin). Surely, when the Real lets someone go and does not take him by the hand, leaving him to himself, there is no protector for him.
Therefore on God let believers rely in finding security through sincere supplication, and laying the robe of pardon over the defects of sin. [This is done] by devoutly seeking refuge and by rejecting any strength or power [other than God].
It is said that when the matter was that of [His] help, He said, “then none can overcome you.” In the matter of being forsaken, He did not say “then there is no helper for you,” but rather said more indirectly,“then who is there who can help you after Him?” Here there is a subtlety regarding the finer properties of the [divine] address.