The following are the beginning verses of Surah Room:
“The Romans have been defeated in the near land (to al-Hijaz) and after their defeat they will soon be victorious in a few years time.”
To understand the prophecy, it is preferable to refer to the commentary made by Allamah Ahmad Uthmani. This is as follows:
“It means within nine years, the Greeks shall overcome the Persians,
because in the Arabic lexion and in Hadith the word mentioned in the afore-mentioned
aayah, implies a period ranging from three to nine years. In this
verse the Holy Quran has made a wonderous prophecy, which is the proof of
its truthfulness. The fact is that the two great empires of the time
– the Persian and Roman Empires – were in conflict for a long period of
time. They remained fighting from 602 CE to 614 CE and onwards.”
Our Prophet Muhammad was born in 517 CE and was bestowed
with prophethood at the age of forty, as given in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
News of the battle between both sides reached the Makkans now and then.
Meanwhile, the claim to prophethood by the Holy Prophet and the establishment of the Islamic movement created a
special interest for the Makkans in the news coming from the war-zone.
The Persian fire worshippers had a special relation with the Makkan idolaters, whereas the Muslims were related (due do their belief in a single Supreme Being) to the Romans, who were followers of the Christian religion. Whenever the news of the victory of the Persians came, the idolaters became glad and thereby took the prophecy of their own victory over the Muslims, leading them to cherish good hopes for the future. Muslims were naturally shocked that the Christians who were known as the people of the book should be over-powered by the fire worshippers.
After the year 614 CE when 45 Lunar years had passed by since the birth of the Prophet of which the last five years consisted of his prophethood, Kosros II (the Persian Emperor) gave a crushing and decisive defeat to the Romans. The Middle East, Asia Minor etc. were by now in the hands of the Persians. Heraclitus (the roman leader) was forced to take refuge in Constantinople and the Roman capital was also in danger. Priests were either slain or made prisoners. Caesars sovereignty no longer existed. Now it seemed that the Romans had no longer the power to free these lands from the Persian occupation. By acknowledging these conditions, the Makkan idolaters were overjoyed and they teased the Muslims. They were ambitious and hopeful to such an extent that they remarked to Hadhrat Abu Bakr , “Today our Persian brothers have blotted out your Roman friends, tomorrow we shall exterminate you like them.”
This is when the Quraan made a general proclamation against the external factors that, no doubt the Persians vanquished the Romans for a while, but within nine years they would again become triumphant.
On the basis of this prediction, Hadhrat Abu Bakr made a bet with some of the idolaters (betting was not prohibited at that time) that if the Romans did not get victory within nine years, he would give them a hundred camels, otherwise they would give him a certain number of camels. In the beginning Hadhrat Abu Bakr appointed ‘bidh’a sineen’ (a few more years) as three years from his own opinion. Bur afterwards, at the bidding of the Prophet , the covenant was made on the term of nine years, which is the real application of the word ‘bidha’. On the other side, the Caesar of the Roman Empire was determined to regain the lost power and vowed that if he defeated the Persians, he would go to ‘Baitul Maqdis’ by foot. Behold the power of Allah! According to the Quranic prediction, right within nine years, after the passing of one year of Hijrah, on the day of Badr, when the Muslims were rejoicing in the clear victory over the idolaters, by the grace of Allah, became happier with the news that Allah had made the Romans (the people of the book) to prevail over the Persians fire-worshippers. In this way the idolaters got a double blow of disgrace.
Observing this Divine revelation issued by the Holy Quran, many people embraced Islam and Hadhrat Abu Bakr won a hundred camels from the idolaters, about which the Prophet ordered that they should be given in alms. Praise be to Allah for his external bounties and manifest signs.
Miraculous Nature of the Quraan - Maulana Ashraf Patel
The Holy Qur'an - links