Moment of Death Predetermined
[3:154] After the setback, He sent down upon you peaceful slumber that pacified some of you. Others among you were selfishly concerned about themselves. They harbored thoughts about GOD that were not right – the same thoughts they had harbored during the days of ignorance. Thus, they said, “Is anything up to us?” Say, “Everything is up to GOD.” They concealed inside themselves what they did not reveal to you. They said, “If it was up to us, none of us would have been killed in this battle.” Say, “Had you stayed in your homes, those destined to be killed would have crawled into their death beds.” GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
[3:155] Surely, those among you who turned back the day the two armies clashed have been duped by the devil. This reflects some of the (evil) works they had committed. GOD has pardoned them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement.
[3:156] O you who believe, do not be like those who disbelieved and said of their kinsmen who traveled or mobilized for war, “Had they stayed with us, they would not have died or gotten killed.” GOD renders this a source of grief in their hearts. GOD controls life and death. GOD is Seer of everything you do.
[3:157] Whether you get killed or die in the cause of GOD, the forgiveness from GOD, and mercy are far better than anything they hoard.
[3:158] Whether you die or get killed, you will be summoned before GOD.
Dealing with the death of others will be a source of grief for those who don’t believe in God’s word that God controls life and death. This is interesting that God is the one who controls who lives and dies and the very moment of life and death, yet for hypocrites among the believers not only did they cause the death of their comrades (3:153) by rushing for the spoils of this world, but they also feel additional shame and regret for what took place. If they realized that God is doing everything and repented for their sin they would have been better off and been able to absolve that burden that they felt.
3:155 shows that if we fail to trust in God and commit sin that this is a reflection of our past sins. Someone who gains in righteousness will be protected from sin.
What did God see in them to forgive them for this matter in 3:155?
God knows that some people are weak believers and therefore can choose to pardon them.
[22:52] We did not send before you any messenger, nor a prophet, without having the devil interfere in his wishes. GOD then nullifies what the devil has done. GOD perfects His revelations. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.