(And to the three also (did He turn in mercy) who were left behind) He also turned in mercy to the three who stayed behind: Ka'b Ibn Malik and his two Companions: (when the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for them, and their own souls were straitened for them) their hearts became straitened because of the delay in the acceptance of their repentance (till they bethought) until they knew and became certain (them that there is no refuge from Allah) that there is no safety from Allah (save towards Him) save in repenting to Him for failing to join in the Battle of Tabuk. (Then turned He unto them in mercy) He pardoned and forgave them (that they (too) might turn (repentant unto Him)) for failing to join in the Battle of Tabuk. (Lo! Allah! He is the Relenting) the Forgiving, (the Merciful) towards he who repents.