"Do not be dejected nor grieve. You shall be the uppermost if you are Believers." (Quran 3: 139)
The first thought which comes to mind on reading this verse is that it relates to the form of Jihaad which is actual fighting; but the spirit of this message and its application, with its manifold implications, is greater and wider than this particular aspect. Indeed, it describes that eternal state of mind which ought to inspire the Believer's consciousness, his thoughts, his estimates of things, events, values and persons.
It describes a triumphant state which should remain fixed in the Believer's heart in the face of every thing, every condition, every standard and every person; the superiority of the Faith and its value above all values which are derived from a source other than the source of the Faith.
It means to be above all the powers of the earth which have deviated from the way of the Faith, above all the values of the earth not derived from the source of the Faith, above all the customs of the earth not colored with the coloring of the Faith, above all the laws of the laws of the earth not sanctioned by the Faith, and above all traditions not originating in the Faith.
It means to feel superior to others when weak, few and poor, as well as when strong, many and rich.
It means the sense of supremacy which does not give in before any rebellious force, before any social custom and erroneous tradition, before any behavior which may be popular among people but which has no authority in the Faith.
Steadfastness and strength on the battlefield are but one expression among many of the triumphant spirit which is included in this statement of Almighty God.
The superiority through faith is not a mere single act of will nor a passing euphoria nor a momentary passion, but is a sense of superiority based on the permanent truth centered in the very nature of existence. This eternal truth is above the logic of force, the concept of environment, the terminology of society, and the customs of people, as indeed it is joined with the Living God Who does not die.
A society has a governing logic and a common mode, its pressure is strong and its weight heavy on anyone who is not protected by some powerful member of the society or who challenges it without a strong force. Accepted concepts and current ideas have a climate of their own, and it is difficult to get rid of them without a deep sense of truth, in the light of which all these concepts and ideas shrink to nothingness, and without the help of a source which is superior, greater and stronger than the source of these concepts and ideas.
The person who takes a stand against the direction of the society - its governing logic, its common mode, its values and standards, its ideas and concepts, its error and deviations -will find himself a stranger, as well as helpless, unless his authority comes from a source which is more powerful than the people, more permanent than the earth, and nobler than life.
Indeed, God does not leave the Believer alone in the face of oppression to whimper under its weight, to suffer dejection and grief, but relieves him of all this with the message:
"Do not be dejected nor grieve; you shall be the uppermost if you are Believers." (Quran 3:139)
This message relieves him from both dejection and grief, these two feelings being natural for a human being in this situation. It relieves him of both, not merely through patience and steadfastness, but also through a sense of superiority from whose heights the power of oppression, the dominant values, the current concepts, the standards, the rules, the customs and habits, and the people steeped in error, all seem low.