ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن بَعْدِ الْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُّعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَائِفَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ وَطَائِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ظَنَّ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ ۖ يَقُولُونَ هَل لَّنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّهِ ۗ يُخْفُونَ فِي أَنفُسِهِم مَّا لَا يُبْدُونَ لَكَ ۖ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَّا قُتِلْنَا هَاهُنَا ۗ قُل لَّوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ وَلِيَبْتَلِيَ اللَّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
Then, after grief, He sent down peace and security for you: a slumber overtook some of you; and some, being concerned (merely) about themselves, were entertaining false notions about God—notions of (the pre-Islamic) Ignorance—and saying: “Do we have any part in the authority (in the decision-making)?” Say: “The authority rests with God exclusively.” Indeed, they concealed within themselves what they would not reveal to you, and were saying (among themselves): “If only we had had a part in the authority (in the decision-making), we would not have been killed here.” Say (O Messenger): “Even if you had been in your houses, those for whom killing had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the places where they were to lie (in death).” (All of this happened as it did) so that He may test what (thoughts, intentions, and inclinations) is in your bosoms and purify and prove what is (the faith) in your hearts. God has full knowledge of what lies hidden in the bosoms. (Al ‘Imrān 3:154)
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi used to point this verse out to his students and friends when they were exposed to attacks as the students of the Risale-i Nur. At this time, let us read the translation of the verse once more and take the lesson we need from it, supposing that we are among his study groups.
A serene “slumber,” and thus complete contentment (free from the horror and anxiety) felt in slumber during intense fear, terror, and confusion, is a favor from God. On the part of those who fell with such serenity, this is a trust and confidence in God as well as complete submission to and reliance on Him. The Companions’ experience of this during both the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud shows that feeling this is possible at any time when believers give full support to God’s Religion, turn their hearts ever to Him, and act in perfect loyalty to Him.
So long as religion becomes the spirit of life, uplifting or exalting God’s Word is the most sublime of duties. Sacrificing one’s life for this sake is considered an attempt to attain eternal life of happiness, and as long as obtaining God’s good pleasure is the believers’ primary goal in life, no matter what era or what circumstances people are in, the grace, protection, and help of God will certainly come to them in a way similar to what the Prophet’s Companions were favored with. Such heroes of faith who have complete submission to and reliance on God will experience the utmost peace and contentment even while they are in the fires of Nimrods and will transform such fires into gardens of safety and peace.
As opposed to their peaceful and faithful lives, there is another group of people who, since they are unable to breathe the same atmosphere although they live in the same place with such heroes, will be concerned only about themselves. The confusions and hesitations in their feelings and thoughts will reflect on their entire lives as shameful zigzags. Neither confidence and good sleep, nor peace of mind will they have. With the view of Jāhilīya (pre-Islamic age of Ignorance), these people will consider themselves to have been abandoned and left helpless, and they will entertain false notions about God, even if they may have faith in Him. The part of the verse, “… some, being concerned (merely) about themselves, were entertaining false notions about God—notions of (the pre-Islamic) Ignorance…,” describes the desperation, hesitation, and despair of these wavering souls.