Who are the three people who remained behind and did not join the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?
Ka`b ibn Malik Al-Sulamy,
Mararah ibn Al-Rabi` Al-`Amiry and
Hilal ibn Umayyah Al-Waqify. All of them were Ansar (Helpers, residents of Madinah who supported the Prophet). Their remaining behind does not mean that they refused to participate in the Battle of
Tabuk, but that they did not make false excuses as the hypocrites did; rather, they were honest, so the judgment on them was delayed until Allah revealed that their Tawbah (repentance) was accepted in the Ayah in which He stated,
And (He did forgive also) the three [who did not join the Tabûk expedition whose case was deferred (by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم)] (for Allâh’s Decision) till for them the earth, vast as it is, was straitened and their own selves were straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allâh, and no refuge but with Him. Then, He forgave them (accepted their repentance), that they might beg for His pardon [repent (unto Him)] Verily, Allâh is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful.
(Surah Al-Tawbah, 9: 118). (Part No. 3; Page No. 403) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.