English Translation of Al-Quran
.Surah Ar-Rum [The Romans]
Ayat 1. Alif-Lâm-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings].
Ayat 2. The Romans have been defeated.
Ayat 3. In the nearer land (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine), and they, after their defeat, will be victorious.
Ayat 4. Within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before and after (these events) is only with Allah, (before the defeat of Romans by the Persians, and after, i.e. the defeat of the Persians by the Romans). And on that Day, the believers (i.e. Muslims) will rejoice (at the victory given by Allah to the Romans against the Persians),
Ayat 5. With the help of Allah, He helps whom He wills, and He is the Almighty, the Most Merciful.
Tafseer of Surah Al Rum (The Romans) Ayat 01 to 05. A. L. M. These are abbreviated letters, the Muqatta’at, on which a general discussion will be found in Appendix I (at the end of this Surah). The particular letters, Alif, Lam, Mim, are found prefixed to this Surah, and Surahs 3, 29, 30, 31 and 32 (six in all). In 2 and 3 the argument is about the rise and fall of nations, their past, and their future in history, with ordinances for the new universal people of Islam. In 29 a similar argument about nations leads off to the mystery of Life and Death, Failure and Triumph, Past and Future, in the history of individual souls. The burden of 30 is that Allah is the source of all things and all things return to Him. In 31 and 32 the same lesson is enforced: Allah is the Creator and He will be the Judge on the Last Day. There is therefore a common thread, the mystery of Life and Death, Beginning and End. Much has been written about the meaning of these letters, but most of it is pure conjecture. Some commentators are content to recognize them as some mystic symbols of which it is unprofitable to discuss the meaning by more verbal logic. 2. The Roman Empire has been defeated- The remarkable defeats of the Roman Empire under Heraclius and the straits to which it was reduced are reviewed in Appendix VIII (to follow this Surah). It was not merely isolated defeats; the Roman Empire lost most of its Asiatic territory and was hemmed in on all sides at its capital, Constantinople. The defeat, "in a land close by" must refer to Syria and Palestine . Jerusalem was lost in 614-15 A.C., shortly before this Surah was revealed. 3. In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious- The Pagan Quraysh of Makkah rejoiced at the overthrow of Rome by Persia . They were pro-Persian. and in their heart of hearts they hoped that the nascent movement of Islam, which at that time was, from a worldly point of view, very weak and helpless, would also collapse under their persecution. But they misread the true Signs of the times. They are told here that they would soon be disillusioned in both their calculations, and it actually so happened at the battle of Issus in 622 A.C. (the year of Hijrah) and in 624 A.C., when Heraclius carried his campaign into the heart of Persia (see Appendix VIII) and the Makkan Quraysh were beaten off at Badr. 4. Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision, in the past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice- Bid’ in the text means a short period-a period of from three to nine years. The period between the loss of Jerusalem (614-15 A.C.) by the Romans and their victory at Issus (622 A.C.) was seven years, and that to the penetration of Persia by Heraclius was nine years. The battle of Badr (2 A.H. = 624 A.C.) was a real time of rejoicing for the Believers and a time of disillusionment for the arrogant Quraysh , who thought that they could crush the whole movement of Islam in Madinah as they had tried to do in Makkah, but they were signally repulsed. 5. With the help of Allah. He helps whom He will, and He is exalted in might, most merciful. Whom He will As explained elsewhere, Allah’s Will or Plan is not arbitrary: it is full of the highest wisdom. His Plan is formed in mercy, so as to safeguard the interests of all his creatures, against the selfish aggrandizement of any section against them. And He is able to carry out His Plan in full, and there is no power that can stop or delay His Plan.