Alif Lam Mim.
غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ ﴿٢
The Romans have been defeated.
فِي أَدْنَى الْأَرْضِ وَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ غَلَبِهِمْ سَيَغْلِبُونَ ﴿٣
In the nearest land, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious.
فِي بِضْعِ سِنِينَ لِلَّهِ الْأَمْرُ مِن قَبْلُ وَمِن بَعْدُ وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٤
In Bid`i years. The decision of the matter, before and after is only with Allah. And on that day, the believers will rejoice.
بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنصُرُ مَن يَشَاء وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٥
With the help of Allah. He helps whom He wills, and He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.
وَعْدَ اللَّهِ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٦
Seven years prior to the Hijra (migration) of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the two biggest empires – Persian and Roman, were at war. Muslims wanted the Romans to win as they were from the people of the Book (injeel) whereas, the pagans of Makkah wanted the Persians to be victorious because they both didn’t believe in the hereafter. The Romans were Christians and Persians were Zoroastrians. The romans were defeated. Their victories were the talk of the town, and the pagans of Makkah were delighted and were taunting the Muslims to the effect: “Look the fire worshipers of Iran are winning victories and the Christian believers in Revelation and Prophethood are being routed everywhere. Likewise, we, the idol worshipers of Arabia, will exterminate you and your religion.”
During this time, Allah revealed the first few aayats of Surah Ar-Rum comforting the Muslims that the Romans after their defeat will be victorious, and that the believers will rejoice.
Narrated Niyar bin Mukram Al-Aslami:
“When (the following) was revealed: ‘Alif Lam Mim. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious in Bid’ years (30:1-4).’ – on the day that these Ayat were revealed, the Persians had defeated the Romans, and the Muslims had wanted the Romans to be victorious over them, because they were the people of the Book. So Allah said about that: ‘And on that day, the believers will rejoice – with the help of Allah. He helps whom He wills, and He is the Almighty, the Most Merciful (30:4 & 5). The Quraish wanted the Persians to be victorious since they were not people of the Book, nor did they believe in the Resurrection. So when Allah revealed these Ayat, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, went out, proclaiming throughout Makkah: ‘Alif Lam Mim. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious, in Bid’ years (30:1-4).’ Some of the Quraish said: ‘Then this is (a bet) between us and you. Your companion claims that the Romans will defeat the Persians in Bid’ years, so why not have a bet on that between us and you?’ Abu Bakr said: ‘Yes.’ This was before betting had been forbidden. So Abu Bakr and the idolaters made a bet, and they said to Abu Bakr: ‘What do you think – Bid’ means something between three and nine years, so let us agree on the middle.’ So they agreed on six years; then six years passed without the Romans being victorious. The idolaters took what they won in the bet from Abu Bakr. When the seventh year came and the Romans were finally victorious over the Persians, the Muslims rebuked Abu Bakr for agreeing to six years. He said: ‘because Allah said: ‘In Bid’ years.’ At that time, many people became Muslims.” (Sahih, Darussalam, English, Vol 5, Book 44, Hadith 3194)
This did not end with just the Romans’ victory in 621 AD. Heraclius (Hiraql), the king of Rome entered Azerbaijan and destroyed Clorumia, the birthplace of Zoroaster, and ravaged the principal fire temple of Iran. Great are the powers of Allah, this was the very year when the Muslims achieved a decisive victory at Badr for the first time against the idol worshippers. Thus both the predictions made in Surah Rum were fulfilled simultaneously within the stipulated period of ten years.
All Praises is due to Allah alone. He gives victory to whomever He wills, gives defeat to whomever He wills, and Allah never breaks His promise.