Yā ayyuhalladhīna āmanū in tansurul-lāha yansurkum wayu thabbit aqdāmakum
O you who have faith! If you help Allah, He will help you and make your feet steady
(Sūrat Muhammad, No.47, Āyat 7)
This verse shows that those who have faith will help and work for what they believe in. They will defend the truth sent by God and rise against those who wish to destroy it. Believers need to use their physical capacities as well as mental strategies to defeat the enemies of God. It is a duty not only for those involved in war but also for all those who witness different forms of attack against the religion of God. The goal is only to elevate and keep high the word of God. As the Quran says: and He made the word of the faithless the lowest, and the word of Allah is the highest; and Allah is all-mighty, all-wise (Q 9:40).
Allah subhānahu wa-ta‘ālā makes a promise in this verse. If you help Him (i.e. His mission), He will help you and make your feet steady. Tafsīr says that the help would be in the following forms;
• An inner light that makes things clear.
• A peace and calmness that enables you to handle challenges.
• Strong determination that is steady and unflinching.
• Closeness to God that makes everything else insignificant.
• Forces of Allah (swt) that steer things in the right direction.
• Inclining the hearts of people towards you.
• Making your words and actions have impact and productivity.
• Putting awe and fear in the hearts of the enemies.
The help of Allah makes your work successful, multiplying its effects beyond anything you had imagined. Success cannot come from human efforts alone. But the initial step of wanting to help and working towards it must come from them.
Note that out of all the different forms of help that will be made available, the verse singles out ‘steady feet’. The first promise of ‘help’ is a general promise, while the promise of ‘steady feet’ is specific. Steadfastness and determination are important ingredients of a successful mission. It is easy to get excited and resolve to help. But to stay constant on it and not succumb to feelings of despair and weakness requires a lot of strength. Such strength sent by Allah ‘azza wa-jall to His helpers is the most outstanding form of help for them.
Imam Ali (a) in Nahjul Balagha says:
You should try for the release of your necks before their mortgage is foreclosed, keep your eyes awake at night, make your bellies lean, use your feet, spend your money, take your bodies and use them for your souls, and do not be niggardly about them, because Allah the Glorified, has said: ‘if you help Allah, He will help you and will set firm your feet.’ He does not seek your support because of any weakness. He seeks your help, although He possesses the armies of the skies and the earth and He is the All-mighty, the All-wise. He intends to try you as to which of you is best in conduct (Sermon 183).
In the coming New Year resolve to help Allah’s religion. In whatever way you can. Resolve to defend and protect it from the attacks of the enemies. Spread its truth, through your words and actions. It could be in small circles of friends and family. Or in the larger circles of community and society. There are many ways to help Allah’s mission. His promise of help and steady feet gives the assurance of success.
Sources: Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; http://www.alketab.org/