innal-lāha yuhibbul-ladhīna yuqātilūna fī sabīlihi saffan
kannahum bunyānun marsūs
Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks
as if they were a compact structure.
(Sūratus Saff No.61, Āyat 4)
This verse describes people who fight and struggle in a particular way which earns them the love of Allah. The following are their qualities:
– Their struggle is in the way of Allah, not for personal gain or worldly attachments.
– They are arrayed in ranks. They don’t stand individually but rather close together with others
– Their unity and strength is like that of a building that is held firmly together. The word marsūs comes from risās which means lead. Building were strengthened through lead that was poured down through the cracks to solidify it and make it impenetrable.
The description shows a group of people who are like one solid unit when facing the enemy. What unites them is the love of Allah that runs through their veins, binding them firmly to each other.
Believers are often faced with forces that attempt to sweep them away. They seek to drown out their faith and their values. To counter these forces it is necessary to resist with a strong wall of counter measures. These must be undertaken by groups who stand firmly together and make faith in Allah to seal the differences between them. They can thus become a dam that obstructs the flow of water and prevents it from destroying them.
The unity of the ranks comes from a united goal. Believers can only have that when they are sincere and focused.
The story of Karbala shows us a group of believers who were an excellent example of such a compact structure. They stood firmly with Imam al-Husayn (a) and fought in the way of Allah. They were united by their love for Allah, His Messenger and his family. Their unwavering devotion gave solace to Imam al-Husayn (a) in that time of affliction. He says: I know of no companions more loyal and better than my companions. This is testimony to their strength and support for him.
Recite this verse when you remember the band of loyal fighters in Karbala. Their strength led to the ultimate victory, that of truth over falsehood. It is an inspiration for all times to come.
Source: Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed), Tafsīr-e Namūneh