The Quranic Word Series: Wa’d

Today’s Quranic Word of the Day is Wa’d = وَعْد

As we have seen in the video, the word wa’d means “promise”. A promise is a deliberate vow to do, give, or leave something either for yourself or another.

The Quran mentions two types of promises. The one made by Allah and one made by the creation of Allah. (i.e. by shaytaan or man.)

Allah says regarding shaytaan:

وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ ۖ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

[Quran 14:22]

And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, “Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.”

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The Promises of Allah

The first type of promise is made by Allah ﷻ and is always true. Allah has made a lot of promises to mankind. Some of them have come to pass while some are yet to come. As Muslims, we must believe these promises will surely come and are therefore facts.

Here are some of the promises of Allah, which include promises that have come to pass and upcoming ones:

The promise that the Romans will be defeated

The idolaters of Makkah wanted the Persians to prevail over the Romans because the Persians were idol worshippers. The Muslims wanted the Romans to prevail over the Persians because the Romans were from the People of the Book. This was mentioned to Abu Bakr (RA) who in turn told the Prophet ﷺ and he said, “They (the Persians) will certainly prevail.” [Sahih at-Tirmidhi]

When the Romans were indeed defeated, the Makkans rejoiced. However, Allah had also promised the Prophet ﷺ that within 3-9 years after the Persians won, the Romans would take back charge and the Muslims will rejoice. Allah foretold this in Surah Rum verses 1-5. Then, in the sixth verse, He said:

وَعْدَ اللَّهِ ۖ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[Quran 30:6]

[It is] the promise of Allah. Allah does not fail in His promise, but most of the people do not know.

The promise that Muslims will be victorious

Allah promised the Muslims that they would surely be victorious over their enemies, which came true. Allah made them victorious on the Day of Badr, Uhud, and Khandaq. Later, Allah gave them victory on the Day of Hunayn. Allah says: 

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ –

[Quran 24:55]

Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.

Allah has also promised victory to Muslims with the condition that they worship Him alone and not associate partners with Him. We must believe this will surely come true.

The promise of forgiveness and reward

Allah also promises to forgive the sins of believers as well as reward them for their good deeds. The path to attaining Allah’s forgiveness can be achieved in many different ways, such as walking to the masjid, seeking forgiveness, performing Hajj and Umrah, Friday prayers, and so on. Allah says:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ۙ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

[Quran 5:9]

Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds [that] for them there is forgiveness and great reward.

The promise that the Day of Judgment will come

He (SWT) has promised us that all humans will stand before Allah on the Day of Judgment and will be held accountable for what they have done in this world. The disbelievers, on the other hand, deny this Day as they believe that after they die they will cease to exist. But Allah has promised them that this Day will surely come. Allah says:

إِنَّ مَا تُوعَدُونَ لَآتٍ ۖ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ

[Quran 6:134]

 Indeed, what you are promised is coming, and you will not cause failure [to Allah].

The promise of paradise and hell

Allah has also promised paradise for those who have amassed good deeds, led good lives that were pleasing to Allah, and worshipped Allah in this world as a reward for their efforts. Similarly, He has promised Hell for those who have done evil, disbelieved, and disobeyed Allah as a punishment for their evil deeds. Allah says regarding the believers:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَاُ

[Quran 9:72] 

Allah has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally,

And He says regarding the hypocrites and disbelievers:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْكُفَّارَ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ

[Quran 9:68]

Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell

After the promise of Allah has come true, the People of Paradise will ask the People of Hellfire, “Have they gotten what Allah promised them?” As it is stated in the Quran:

وَنَادَىٰ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ أَن قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا ۖ قَالُوا نَعَمْ ۚ فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن لَّعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ

[Quran 7:44]

And the companions of Paradise will call out to the companions of the Fire, “We have already found what our Lord promised us to be true. Have you found what your Lord promised to be true?” They will say, “Yes.” Then an announcer will announce among them, “The curse of Allah shall be upon the wrongdoers.”

May we be guided to receive the good that Allah has promised for the companions of Paradise and be saved from disgrace on the Day of Resurrection, Ameen.

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The Promises of Shaytaan

Shaytaan has also made promises to his followers but his promises are full of falsehood, evil desires, and deception. His goal is to mislead humankind and make them join him as the dwellers of the Hellfire. Among the promises of shaytaan is poverty, which is a big tool that he uses to threaten mankind. Allah says regarding shaytaan’s promises:

يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ ۖ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا

[Quran 4:120]

 Satan promises them and arouses desire in them. But Satan does not promise them except delusion.

So don’t believe the false promise of shaytaan and instead aim to be from the believers who are promised Jannah.

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The Promises of Mankind

Mankind, too, makes promises either for Allah, themselves, or others. When these promises are fulfilled, Allah will reward and praise this person. The person will also receive rewards and praise from other people. However, if these promises are not fulfilled, the person will receive sin. Allah says about Prophet Ismail (AS):

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَّبِيًّا

[Quran 19:54]

And mention in the Book, Ishmael. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet.

The Prophet ﷺ encourages us to fulfil our promises because breaking promises is among the signs of a hypocrite. He said:

عن أبي هريرة ، رضي الله عنه ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ “آية المنافق ثلاث‏:‏ إذا حدث كذب، وإذا وعد أخلف، وإذا أؤتمن خان‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ ‏.‏

[Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.”

May Allah assist us in fulfiling our promises and protect us from falling victim to the promises of shaytaan. Ameen.

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Conjugations of Wa’d (وَعْد) Found in the Qur’an

وَعْد
Promise
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مَوْعِدَ
A promise.

مِيعاد
The promise, The appointment
.

مَوْعُود
Promised
.

وَعَدَ
Promises you
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مَوْعِد
Promised time, An appointed time
.

واعَدْ
We appointed
.

تَواعَد
You (had) made an appointment.

وَعِيد
My threat, Warnings
.

تُوعِد
Threatening


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Discover More Quranic Arabic Words

Has learning about وَعْد and the types of different promises in the Quran expanded your understanding of promises?

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