[3:165] Now that you have suffered a setback, and even though you inflicted twice as much suffering (upon your enemy), you said, “Why did this happen to us?” Say, “This is a consequence of your own deeds.” GOD is Omnipotent.
[3:166] What afflicted you the day the two armies clashed was in accordance with GOD’s will, and to distinguish the believers.
[3:167] And to expose the hypocrites who were told, “Come fight in the cause of GOD, or contribute.” They said, “If we knew how to fight, we would have joined you.” They were closer to disbelief then than they were to belief. They uttered with their mouths what was not in their hearts. GOD knows what they conceal.
[3:168] They said of their kinsmen, as they stayed behind, “Had they obeyed us, they would not have been killed.” Say, “Then prevent your own death, if you are truthful.”
3:165 – 3:168 show what how the disbelievers react to a setback or hardship and 3:173 – 3:179 shows how a believer handles the same situation. This is similar to 33:9 – 14 and 33:21 – 24. We think that we are all believers, but God will bring out our true convictions.
In 3:165 What did the believers do that caused them to have a set back?
This may be related to the decision some did during the Battle of Uhud in 3:133 where they left their post to go after the spoils of war. This incident left those with doubt in their heart despondent, hopeless, and regretful. They thought that if only they behaved or acted different that the outcome would be different. This grief and regret is their punishment as they don’t understand God’s system.
The true believers realize that this is all for our own good. That the setback is designed to strengthen them. In the book the Triple Package the authors deconstruct why certain groups of people are disproportionately successful. The three reasons according to the author is a combination of a feeling of superiority and inferiority and impulse control. This is a perfect description of a submitter. A submitter realizes that if they abide by all God expects of them that they will be triumphant, but they also realize that they will be mocked, ridiculed and face a society that will look down on them. It is this contrast that creates the circumstances for growth.
The Triple Package: Amy Chua & Jed Rubenfeld at TEDxUMassAmherst 2014
Our intentions only matter when we do the good deeds not the bad deeds. God holds us responsible for our innermost thoughts that we may not even be aware of.
[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD’s revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer.
I think this set back is only looked as a negative for those who have doubt in their heart. This only strengthened the believers.
There doubt it causing them to be exposed. This constant doubt and regret in people’s lives is their own consequence because they lack trust and confidence in God.