Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation (1930)
Muḥammad. This Sûrah takes its name from the mention of the Prophet by name in v. 2. Most commentators agree that v. 18 was revealed when the Prophet, forced to flee from Mecca, looked back, weeping, for a last sight of his native city. Some have considered the whole Sûrah to be a Meccan revelation, but with no good reason.
It belongs to the first and second years after the Hijrah, with the exception of v. 18, which was revealed during the Hijrah.
1. Those who disbelieve and turn (men) from the way of Allah, He render eth their actions vain.
2. And those who believe and do good works and believe in that which is revealed unto Muḥammad — and it is the truth from their Lord — He riddeth them of their ill-deeds and improveth their state.
3. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood and because those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Tims Allah cometh their similitudes for mankind.
4. Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some