Sunday 19 April 2020

Surah Anfal - The Spoils of War: 8th Chapter of Quran (Exegesis Part I)

Sürah Al Anfal " ٱلْأَنْفَال‎ " is the eighth surah with 75 ayahs with ten rukus, part of the 9th-10th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The date of this Sürah is shortly after the battle of Badr, on Friday, the 17th of Ramadan in the second year of the account of the Hijrah. A short account of battle is given Surah 3. Al-i'Imran, verse 13.

A detailed background to the environment under which this Sürah was revealed has already been given in the Overview, already posted. Here is a summary of the subject matter discussed in this chapter:
This Sürah mainly hinges on the lessons of the Battle of Badr enforced in their larger aspects: (1) the question of war booty; (2) the true virtues necessary for fighting the good fight; (3) victory against odds; (4) clemency and consideration for one's own and for others in the hour of victory.
As regards booty taken in battle, the first point to note is that that should never be our sole aim in war. It is only an accidental circumstance, a sort of windfall. Secondly, no soldier or troop has any prior right to it. A righteous war is a community affair, and any accessions resulting from it belong to Allah. Thirdly, certain equitable principles of division should be laid down to check human greed and selfishness. A fifth share goes to the Imam; and he can use it at his discretion; for his own expenses, and for the relief of the poor and suffering, and the orphans and widows (vii. 41). The remainder was divide according to the Prophet's practice, not only among those who were actually in the fight physically, but all who were in the enterprise, young and old, provided they loyally did some duty assigned to them. Fourthly, there be no disputes, as they interfere with internal discipline and harmony.
As regards the military virtues, which are the types of virtues throughout the life, we are shown by an analysis of the incidents of Badr how against the greatest odds, Allah's help will give the victory if men are fighting not for themselves but for the sacred Cause of Allah. And directions are given for the treatment of prisoners and for maintaining the solidarity of the Muslim community.
For ease of understanding, the Sürah has been divided into two parts already mentioned in the OverviewLet us start with the Part I that covers Ruku / Sections 1-5 (Verses 1-44). The summary of subject matter of these verses is s under:
  • All booty is really at the disposal of Allah's Messenger under directions from Allah. Men of faith accept and obey these directions with cheerfulness. Victory and the prize of victory come from Allah, as was proved at Badr (vii 1-19)
  • Obedience and intelligent discipline, zeal, faith, and gratitude to Allah, are the true passports to success and protection from the assaults of evil. Evil will be piled up with evil and destroyed (vii 20-37)
  • Verse 41 exclusively out lines the distribution of the spoils of war.
You may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles at the end of the exegesis of this Part.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku / Sections 1 [Verses 1-10]
Verses 1-10 Commandment relating to the spoils of war (booty) and Battle of Badr, a battle between truth and falsehood:

يَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الۡاَنۡفَالِ​ ؕ قُلِ الۡاَنۡفَالُ لِلّٰهِ وَالرَّسُوۡلِ​ۚ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَاَصۡلِحُوۡا ذَاتَ بَيۡنِكُمۡ​ وَاَطِيۡعُوا اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗۤ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِيۡنَ‏ 
( 1 )   They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the bounties [of war]. Say, "The [decision concerning] bounties is for Allah and the Messenger." So fear Allah and amend that which is between you and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you should be believers.
The critique of the battle opens with this unusual note. Some disagreements had arisen among the Muslims with regard to sharing the spoils of war. As it was their first experience of fighting under the banner of Islam, the Muslim soldiers had scarcely any notion of the regulations they were required to follow on the battlefield and for settling problems arising from warfare. Doubtlessly some preliminary instructions had been laid down for them in (Surah al-Baqarah 2 )and (Surah Muhammad 47), (See 2: 190 ff. and 47: 4 ff. - Ed.) However the full set of regulations that could contribute to civilizing the conduct of warfare had yet to be laid down. Hence, when it came to war as with several other societal matters, the Muslims were still under the influence of pre-Islamic ideas and concepts. Going by the age-old Arab customs, those who had seized the spoils of war considered themselves their sole and legitimate owners. On the other hand, the Muslims who had concentrated on driving away the enemy rather than on collecting the spoils, claimed that they deserved an equal share of the spoils. They contended that had they slackened in their duty of pursuing the enemy, the latter might have struck back, turning the Muslim victory into a defeat. Similarly, another group of Muslims who had escorted the Prophet (peace he on him) on the battlefield, also laid claim to an equal share, For, they believed, it was they who had rendered an invaluable service insofar as neglect of duty on their part might have resulted in endangering the precious life of the Prophet (peace be on him), in which case the possibility of victory and its attendant spoils and their distribution would all have been totally out of the question. Nonetheless, the group of Muslims who already possessed the spoils saw no merit in these claims. Arguments and counter-arguments gave rise to bitterness and bad blood. (For disagreements among Muslims on the question of distribution of spoils of war see Ibn Hisham, vol. 1. pp. 641-2; al-Waqadi, vol. 1, p. 78. See also the comments on the verse in Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir - Ed.)

It was at this juncture that God revealed the present surah. The opening verse takes up this issue. 'They ask you concerning anfal' is the query with which the surah opens. The very use of the word anfal instead of ghana'im in the query implies the answer. For the word anfal, which is the plural of nafl, stands for that which is extra, that which is over and above what is obligatory. If this extra is from the servant, it denotes that additional service which he voluntarily renders over and above what is obligatory. On the other hand, when this extra is from the master, it denotes the additional reward which the master awards his servant over and above what he is entitled to. What is being conveyed here by using the word anfal is, in fact, that all wrangling about spoils is out of place since it concerns not their rights, but the additional rewards they might receive from God. Any and all heated discussion in which they engaged was irrelevant since it was entirely for God to decide whether He should grant any extra reward or not; and if He should grant it, then how much, and to whom. In short, it was not for men to say who should and who should not receive any party of the spoils.

This was a major conceptual reform. The war that a Muslim wages is not in order to accumulate worldly benefits. He resorts to it for the moral and social reform of the world and does so when the opposing forces make it impossible to bring about reform by means of persuasion and preaching. Being reformers, the Muslims should focus their attentions on their goal - the reform of the world - rather than on the material benefits which accrue to them incidental by way of God's additional reward in lieu of their strivings. If the attention of Muslims is not diverted from material benefits to their true mission, it is likely that material benefits would become an end in themselves.

Moreover, the concept introduced by the Qur'an (see the verse above) also brought about a major administrative reform pertaining to war and the spoils of war. Before the advent of Islam, a soldier used to appropriate all that he could lay his hands on, claiming to be its rightful owner, or else spoils were seized either by; the king or the commander of the army. In the former case, mutual conflicts ensued among soldiers of the victorious army, with the frequent result that their victory turned into defeat. On the other hand, if the spoils were seized by the commander of the army or the ruler, soldiers often concealed and stole the spoils. By declaring that the spoils belong to God and His Messenger, the Qur'an made it obligatory on all soldiers to commit all the spoils of war to the custody of the commander, concealing not even something as trivial as a sewing needle. Subsequently the Qur'an laid down an elaborate set of laws to distribute the spoils of war. According to it, one-fifth of the spoils is to be deposited in the public treasury for public welfare and to provide support for the poor, while four-fifths is to be distributed among the soldiers. (al-Anfal 8: 41 - Ed.)It thus put an end to the evils inherent in the old system.

A subtle point implicit in the above verse should not he overlooked. In the opening verse of the Surah nothing has been said beyond affirming the principle that the spoils belong to God and His Messenger. The problem as to how the spoils should be distributed was not touched upon. The Qur'an does however subsequently treat the question of distribution see (verse 41) below. It is significant that in this second instance the word used is a verbal derivative of ghanimah (spoils, booty) see (verse 41 )below whereas in the opening verse the word used is anfal.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The occasion was the question of the division of the booty after the battle of Badr.

Booty taken in a lawful and just war. It belongs to the Cause, in this case the Cause of Allah, as administered by His Messenger. The chief thing is to remain staunch to the Cause of Allah, and have no differences among those who stand for the Cause. Our internal relations must be kept straight: they must not be disturbed by cupidity or worldly considerations of gain, for any windfalls of this kind should be outside our calculations.

اِنَّمَا الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ الَّذِيۡنَ اِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّٰهُ وَجِلَتۡ قُلُوۡبُهُمۡ وَاِذَا تُلِيَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ اٰيٰتُهٗ زَادَتۡهُمۡ اِيۡمَانًا وَّعَلٰى رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُوۡنَ​​ۖ ​ۚ‏ 
( 2 )   The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely
A man's faith grows as he is able to confirm and submit to the command of God which he comes across. This is especially so where he submits to commands which go against his own personal predilections. A man's faith attains great heights if instead of trying to twist and distort the commands of God and the Prophet (peace he on him), he develops the habit of accepting and submitting to all the commands of God and the Prophet (peace be on him); if he strives to shape his conduct to the teachings which go against his personal opinions and conceptions, which are contrary to his habits, interests and convenience, which are not in consonance with his loyalties and friendships. For if he hesitates to respond positively to God's command, his faith is diminished. One thus learns that faith is not a static, immobile object. Nor is every, act of belief, or unbelief, of the same quality. An act of belief may be better or worse than another act of belief. Likewise, an act of unbelief may differ in quality from another act of unbelief. For both belief and unbelief, are capable of growth and decline.

All this concerns the essence of belief and unbelief. However, when belief and unbelief are mentioned as a basis for membership of the Muslim community or in connection with legal rights and responsibilities as necessary corollaries of that membership, a clear line of demarcation has to be drawn between those who believe and those who do not. In this respect the determination of who is a believer and who is not will depend on the basic minimum of belief regardless of quality of belief. In an Islamic society all those who believe will be entitled to the same legal rights and will be required to fulfill the same duties regardless of the differences in the quality of their faith. Likewise, all unbelievers - regardless of the differences in the quality of their unbelief - will be placed in the category of unbelievers disregarding the question whether their unbelief is of an ordinary quality or an extremely serious one.

الَّذِيۡنَ يُقِيۡمُوۡنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ يُنۡفِقُوۡنَؕ‏  
( 3 )   The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend.
 اُولٰۤـئِكَ هُمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ حَقًّا ​ؕ لَهُمۡ دَرَجٰتٌ عِنۡدَ رَبِّهِمۡ وَمَغۡفِرَةٌ وَّرِزۡقٌ كَرِيۡمٌ​ۚ‏ 
( 4 )   Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.
 Even the best and the most devoted believers are liable to commit lapses. As long as man is man, it is impossible for his record to be filled exclusively with righteousness of the highest order and to be free from all lapses, shortcomings and weaknesses. Out of His infinite mercy, however, God overlooks man's shortcomings as long as he fulfills the basic duties incumbent upon him as God's servant, and favours him with a reward far greater than that warranted by his good works. Had it been a rule that man would be judged strictly on the basis of his deeds, that he would be punished for every evil deed and rewarded for every good deed, no man, howsoever righteous, would have escaped punishment.

كَمَاۤ اَخۡرَجَكَ رَبُّكَ مِنۡۢ بَيۡتِكَ بِالۡحَـقِّ وَاِنَّ فَرِيۡقًا مِّنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ لَـكٰرِهُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 5 )   [It is] just as when your Lord brought you out of your home [for the battle of Badr] in truth, while indeed, a party among the believers were unwilling,
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Just as: the comparison takes us back to the first clause in verse 4: "such in truth are the Believers"-just as thy Lord also is just and true in ordering thee out to fight against heavy odds, when the alternative was to fight against the unarmed caravan which would have given thee abundant booty almost without a fight. To appreciate the full meaning, remember that the word haqq, translated "truth" means also "right," "just", "what is becoming." The true Believers believe in truth and do right in obedience to Allah's command. So Allah also, in asking them to fight against odds, is not asking them to rush to destruction, but is providing them with an opportunity of vindicating the truth in scorn of worldly advantage. And He made good His promise by giving them victory.

يُجَادِلُوۡنَكَ فِى الۡحَـقِّ بَعۡدَ مَا تَبَيَّنَ كَاَنَّمَا يُسَاقُوۡنَ اِلَى الۡمَوۡتِ وَهُمۡ يَنۡظُرُوۡنَؕ‏
( 6 )   Arguing with you concerning the truth after it had become clear, as if they were being driven toward death while they were looking on.
When the people in question were required to fight, they were disinclined to do so for they felt that they were being driven to death and destruction. Their condition is somewhat similar for they are now required not to contend about spoils of war and wait for God's command as to how the spoils of war should be distributed.

This verse could also mean that if Muslims obeyed God and followed the Prophet (peace be on him) rather than their own desires, they would witness as good a result as they witnessed on the occasion of the Battle of Badr. On this occasion too many were reluctant to take on the Quraysh and considered it nothing short of suicide see( verse 6). But when they obeyed the command of God and His Prophet (peace be on him), it proved to be a source of life and survival.

Incidentally, this statement in the Qur'an implicitly negates reports usually mentioned in the works of Sirah and Maghazi and which suggest that the Prophet (peace be on him) and his Companions had initially set out from Madina in order to raid the trading caravan of the Quraysh, and that it was only when they came to know that the Quraysh army was advancing to provide protection to the trading caravan that the Muslims were faced with the option of either attacking the caravan or the Quraysh army. The Qur'anic version is quite contrary. Accordingly, from the moment when the Prophet (peace be on him) set out from his house, he was intent upon a decisive battle with the Quraysh. In addition, the decision as to whether the Muslims should confront the trading caravan or the army was taken at the very beginning rather than later on. It is also evident that even though it was quite clear that it was essential to confront the Quraysh army, a group of Muslims tried to avoid it and kept pleading for their viewpoint. Even when a firm decision had been taken that the Muslims would attack the Quraysh army rather than the caravan, this group set out for the encounter with the view that they were being driven to death and destruction.

See (verses 5-8).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In verse 6 we have again the word "truth": some of the Believers disputed concerning "the truth": they did not feel sure that the course recommended was the right course. They thought it would be certain destruction: they saw death almost staring them in the face.

وَاِذۡ يَعِدُكُمُ اللّٰهُ اِحۡدَى الطَّآئِفَتَيۡنِ اَنَّهَا لَـكُمۡ وَتَوَدُّوۡنَ اَنَّ غَيۡرَ ذَاتِ الشَّوۡكَةِ تَكُوۡنُ لَـكُمۡ وَيُرِيۡدُ اللّٰهُ اَنۡ يُّحِقَّ الۡحَـقَّ بِكَلِمٰتِهٖ وَيَقۡطَعَ دَابِرَ الۡـكٰفِرِيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 7 )   [Remember, O believers], when Allah promised you one of the two groups - that it would be yours - and you wished that the unarmed one would be yours. But Allah intended to establish the truth by His words and to eliminate the disbelievers
God's promise was that the Muslims would be able to overcome whichever of the two parties they wished to attack - the trading caravan or the Quraysh army.

This refers to the trading caravan which had some 30 to 40 armed guards for protection.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Just before Badr there were two alternatives before the Muslims in Madinah to save themselves from being overwhelmed by the Makkan Quraish with all their resources from the rich Syrian trade. One, which had least danger for the time being, and also promised much booty, was to fall upon the Quraish caravan returning from Syria to Makkah richly laden, and led by Aba Sufyan with only 40 men unarmed. From a worldly point of view this was the safest and most lucrative course. The other alternative, was to leave the booty out boldly against the well-armed and well-equipped Quraish army of 1,000 men coming from Makkah. The Muslims had no more than 300 men, ill-armed, to oppose this force. But if they could defeat it, it would shake the selfish autocracy which was in possession of Makkah. By Allah's help they won a splendid victory, and the standard of Truth was established, never to be lowered again.

لِيُحِقَّ الۡحَـقَّ وَيُبۡطِلَ الۡبَاطِلَ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ الۡمُجۡرِمُوۡنَ​ۚ‏  
( 8 )   That He should establish the truth and abolish falsehood, even if the criminals disliked it.
This gives some idea of the prevalent situation at the time. As we have said earlier the march of the Quraysh towards Madina meant that only one of the two would survive in Arabia - either Islam or the entrenched system of Jahiliyah (Ignorance). Had the Muslims not taken up the challenge, the very survival of Islam would have been imperiled. But since the Muslims took the initiative and dealt a severe blow to the military strength of the Quraysh it became possible for Islam to consolidate itself and subsequently the forces of Ignorance suffered a succession of humiliating reverses.

 اِذۡ تَسۡتَغِيۡثُوۡنَ رَبَّكُمۡ فَاسۡتَجَابَ لَـكُمۡ اَنِّىۡ مُمِدُّكُمۡ بِاَلۡفٍ مِّنَ الۡمَلٰۤـئِكَةِ مُرۡدِفِيۡنَ‏ 
( 9 )   [Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, "Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. iii. 123, 125, 126. The number of angels, a thousand at Badr and three thousand and five thousand at Uhud, is equal to the strength of the enemy.

 وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللّٰهُ اِلَّا بُشۡرٰى وَلِتَطۡمَـئِنَّ بِهٖ قُلُوۡبُكُمۡ​ۚ وَمَا النَّصۡرُ اِلَّا مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَزِيۡزٌ حَكِيۡمٌ
( 10 )   And Allah made it not but good tidings and so that your hearts would be assured thereby. And victory is not but from Allah. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
All help comes ultimately from Allah. In special cases it may take special forms to put heart into us, and to fit in with our feelings and our psychology.

Ruku / Sections 2 [Verses 11-19]
Verses 11-19 Allah's help during the Battle of Badr and Allah's decision between Muslims and kafirs / disbelievers:

إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ النُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِّنْهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيْكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً لِّيُطَهِّرَكُم بِهِ وَيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمْ رِجْزَ الشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ الْأَقْدَامَ 
( 11 )   [Remember] when He overwhelmed you with drowsiness [giving] security from Him and sent down upon you from the sky, rain by which to purify you and remove from you the evil [suggestions] of Satan and to make steadfast your hearts and plant firmly thereby your feet.
In the Battle of Uhud the Muslims passed through a similar experience see (Al'lmran 3: 154). On both occasions, when prevalent conditions should have produced intense fear and panic among them, God filled their hearts with such peace and tranquility that they were overpowered with drowsiness.

This refers to the heavy downpour on the night preceding the Battle of Badr. It helped the Muslims in three ways. First, it provided them with an abundant water supply which they quickly stored in large reservoirs. Second, rain compacted the loose sand in the upper part of the valley where the Muslims had pitched their tents. This helped the Muslims plant their feet firmly and facilitated their movement. Third, where the Quraish army was stationed in the lower part of the valley, the ground turned marshy.

The defilement caused by Satan which occurs in the verse refers to the fear and panic which initially, afflicted the Muslims.

Ibn Kathir explains the phenomenon of drowsiness and effect of rain on the battlefield of Badr quoting another similar incident as happened on day of Uhd, quoting a verse from Surah Al'lmran 3: 154:
(Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves. ) 
Abu Talhah said, "I was among those who were overcome by slumber during (the battle of) Uhud. The sword fell from my hand several times, and I kept picking it up again, several times. I also saw the Companions' heads nodding while in the rear guard.'' Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la narrated that `Ali said, "Only Al-Miqdad had a horse during Badr, and at some point, I found that all of us fell asleep, except the Messenger of Allah . He was praying under a tree and crying until dawn.'' `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "Slumber during battle is security from Allah, but during prayer, it is from Shaytan.'' Qatadah said, "Slumber affects the head, while sleep affects the heart.''
Slumber overcame the believers on the day of Uhud, and this incident is very well-known. As for this Ayah (8:11), it is describing the battle of Badr, indicating that slumber also overcame the believers during Badr. Therefore, it appears that this will occur for the believers, whenever they are in distress, so that their hearts feel safe and sure of Allah's aid, rewards, favor and mercy from Allah with them. 
(and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky.)
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "When the Prophet arrived at Badr, he made camp. At the time, there was a sandy piece of land between the idolators and the water (the wells at Badr). Muslims felt weak and the Shaytan cast frustration into their hearts. He whispered to them, `You claim that you are Allah's supporters and that His Messenger is among you! However, the idolators have taken over the water resource from you, while you pray needing purity.' Allah sent down heavy rain, allowing the Muslims to drink and use it for purity. Allah also removed Shaytan's whisper and made the sand firm when rain fell on it, and the Muslims walked on the sand along with their animals, until they reached the enemy. Allah supported His Prophet and the believers with a thousand angels on one side, five hundred under the command of Jibril and another five hundred under the command of Mika'il on another side.''
An even a better narration is that collected by Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, author of Al-Maghazi, may Allah have mercy upon him. Ibn Ishaq narrated that, Yazid bin Ruwman narrated to him that, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, "Allah sent rain down from the sky on a sandy valley. That rain made the area where the Messenger of Allah and his Companions camped firmer so that it did not hinder their movement. Meanwhile, the part that the Quraysh were camping on became difficult to move in.'' Mujahid said, "Allah sent down the rain on the believers before slumber overtook them, and the rain settled the dust, made the ground firmer, made them feel at ease and their feet firmer.'' 
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. iii. 154 for Uhud. Calm (presence of mind) is essential in battle and in 'ill posts of danger. If the mind is too much in a state of excitement, it cannot carry out a well-considered or well-concerted plan. This spirit of calm confidence on the part of the Muslims won against the blustering violence of the Quraish.

The rain was welcome for many reasons. (1) Water was scarce both for drinking and ablutions; (2) the Muslim band, without baggage or equipment or comforts, found that their thirst aggravated their fatigue; (3) the sand was loose, and the rain consolidated it and enabled them "to plant their feet firmly."

"Stain of Satan". Dirt is physically a symbol of evil, and the Muslims were particular about ablutions before prayer. But the rain also refreshed their spirits and removed any lurking doubts in their minds (suggestions of the Evil) that victory might be impossible in such adverse circumstances.

  إِذْ يُوحِي رَبُّكَ إِلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَنِّي مَعَكُمْ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۚ سَأُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ فَاضْرِبُوا فَوْقَ الْأَعْنَاقِ وَاضْرِبُوا مِنْهُمْ كُلَّ بَنَانٍ 
( 12 )   [Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, "I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip."
In view of the general principle propounded in the Qur'an we presume that the angels did not take part in the actual fighting. What we may suggest is that the angels helped the Muslims and as a result their blows became more accurate and effective.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
((Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, "Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed.'')
This is a hidden favor that Allah has made known to the believers, so that they thank Him and are grateful to Him for it. Allah, glorified, exalted, blessed and praised be He, has revealed to the angels -- whom He sent to support His Prophet, religion and believing group -- to make the believers firmer.
(I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved.) means, `you -- angels -- support the believers, strengthen their (battle) front against their enemies, thus, implementing My command to you. I will cast fear, disgrace and humiliation over those who defied My command and denied My Messenger, 
(so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.) strike them on their foreheads to tear them apart and over the necks to cut them off, and cut off their limbs, hands and feet. It was said that, (over the necks) refers to striking the forehead, or the neck, according to Ad-Dahhak and `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi. In support of the latter, Allah commanded the believers,
Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, "In the aftermath of Badr, the people used to recognize whomever the angels killed from those whom they killed, by the wounds over their necks, fingers and toes, because those parts had a mark as if they were branded by fire.''
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The vulnerable parts of an armed man are above the neck. A blow on the neck, face or head, finishes him off. If he has armour it is difficult to get at his heart. But if his hands are put out of action, he is unable to wield his sword or lance or other weapon, and easily becomes a prisoner.

 ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ شَاقُّوا اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ  
( 13 )   That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger - indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
In recounting the events of the Battle of Badr, the Qur'an aims to explain the significance of the word al-anfal (spoils of war). In the opening verse of the surah the Muslims were told that they should not deem the spoils to be a reward for their toil. Rather, the spoils should constitute a special reward granted to the Muslims by God, to Whom the spoils rightfully belong. The events recounted here support this. The Muslims could reflect on the course of events and see for themselves to what extent the victory they had achieved was due to God's favour, and to what extent it was due to their own efforts.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
For He will crush whoever defies and disobeys Him. Nothing ever escapes Allah's grasp nor can anything ever stand against His anger. Blessed and exalted He is, there is no true deity or Lord except Him.

 ذَٰلِكُمْ فَذُوقُوهُ وَأَنَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابَ النَّارِ  
( 14 )   "That [is yours], so taste it." And indeed for the disbelievers is the punishment of the Fire.
Here the discourse is suddenly directed to the unbelievers who we mentioned in( verse 13) as deserving of God's punishment.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
This Ayah addresses the disbeliever, saying, taste this torment and punishment in this life and know that the torment of the Fire in the Hereafter is for the disbelievers.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا زَحْفًا فَلَا تُوَلُّوهُمُ الْأَدْبَارَ  
( 15 )   O you who have believed, when you meet those who disbelieve advancing [for battle], do not turn to them your backs [in flight].
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The laws of Jihad are exactly similar to those enforced by military virtue and discipline. Meet your enemy fairly and squarely, not rashly, but after due preparation. Zahfan in the text (meeting in hostile array) implies a slow and well-planned proceeding towards a hostile army. When once in combat, carry it through: there is no room for second thoughts. Death or victory should be the motto of every soldier: it may be death for himself individually, but if he has faith, there is triumph in either case for his cause. Two exceptions are recognized: (1) reculer pour mieux sauter, to go back in order to jump forward; or to deceive the enemy by a feint; (2) if an individual or body is, by the chances of battle, isolated from his own force, he can fall back on his force in order to fight the battle. There is no virtue in mere single-handedness. Each individual must use his life and his resources to the best advantage for the common cause.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah said, while warning against fleeing from the battlefield and threatening those who do it with the Fire. So when you get near the enemy and march towards them, and do not run away from battle and leave your fellow Muslims behind.

  وَمَن يُوَلِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ دُبُرَهُ إِلَّا مُتَحَرِّفًا لِّقِتَالٍ أَوْ مُتَحَيِّزًا إِلَىٰ فِئَةٍ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَمَأْوَاهُ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ 
( 16 )   And whoever turns his back to them on such a day, unless swerving [as a strategy] for war or joining [another] company, has certainly returned with anger [upon him] from Allah, and his refuge is Hell - and wretched is the destination.
The Qur'an does not forbid orderly retreat under strong pressure from the enemy provided it is resorted to as a stratagem of war, for example seeking reinforcements or joining another party in the rear.

What the Qur'an does forbid is disorderly flight produced by sheer cowardice and defeatism. Such a retreat takes place because the deserter holds his life dearer than his cause. Such cowardice has been characterized as one of those three major sins which, if committed, can be atoned for by no other good deed whatsoever.

These three sins are: ascription of divinity to anyone or anything other than God, violation of the rights of parents, and flight from the battlefield during fighting in the way of God.

In another tradition the Prophet (peace be on him) has mentioned seven deadly sins which totally ruin a man's Next Life. One of these is flight from the battlefield in an encounter between Islam and Unbelief. (Muslim, 'K. al-lman', 'Bab al-Kabi'ir wa Akbaruha'; Bukhari, 'K. al-Wasaya', 'bab - fi Qawl Allah - Tala: inna al-ladhina Ya'kuluna Amwal al-Yatami Zulman' - Ed.) This has been declared a deadly sin because in addition to being an act of sheer cowardice, it demoralizes others and can generate demoralization which can have disastrous consequences. An individual soldier's desertion might cause a whole platoon, or even a whole regiment, and ultimately the whole army, to take flight. For once a soldier flees in panic, it is hard to control the others.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
The Ayah says, whoever flees from the enemy by way of planning to pretend that he is afraid of the enemy, so that they follow him and he takes the chance and returns to kill the enemy, then there is no sin on him. This is the explanation of Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi. Ad-Dahhak also commented, "Whoever went ahead of his fellow Muslims to investigate the strength of the enemy and make use of it,
(or to retreat to a troop (of his own)), meaning he leaves from here to another troop of Muslims to assist them or be assisted by them. So that is allowed for him, or even during the battle if he flees from his brigade to the commander. Or going to the grand Imam, would also fall under this permission.''
`Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said about Abu `Ubayd when he was fighting on the bridge in the land of the Persians, because of the many Zoroastrian soldiers, "If he retreated to me then I would be as a troop for him.''
This is how it was reported by Muhammad bin Sirin from `Umar. In the report of Abu `Uthman An-Nahdi from `Umar, he said: When Abu `Ubayd was fighting, `Umar said, "O people! We are your troop.'' Mujahid said that `Umar said, "We are the troop of every Muslim.'' Abdul-Malik bin `Umayr reported from `Umar, "O people! Don't be confused over this Ayah, it was only about the day of Badr, and we are a troop for every Muslim.'' Ibn Abi Hatim ﴿recorded﴾ that Nafi` questioned Ibn `Umar, "We are people who are not stationary when fighting our enemy, and we may not know where our troop is, be it that of our Imam or our army.''
So he replied, "The troop is Allah's Messenger .'' I said but Allah said,
(when you meet those who disbelieve in the battlefield) to the end of the Ayah . So he said; "This Ayah was about Badr, not before it nor after it.''
(or to retreat to a troop), refers to "Those who retreat to the Messenger of Allah and his Companions (when the Messenger was alive), and those who retreat in the present time to his commander or companions.'' However, if one flees for any other reason than those mentioned here, then it is prohibited and considered a major sin.  
  فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ 
( 17 )   And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
This refers to the occasion when the armies of the Muslims and the unbelievers stood face to face in the Battle of Badr and were on the verge of actual fighting. At that moment, the Prophet (peace be on him) threw a handful of dust at the enemy saying: 'May, their faces be scorched.' So saying the Prophet (peace be on him) made a gesture and the Muslims started their charge.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah's Signs displayed during Badr, And throwing Sand in the Eyes of the Disbelievers: Allah states that He creates the actions that the servants perform and that whatever good actions they take, it is He Who should be praised for them, for He directed and helped them perform these actions. Allah said,
(You killed them not, but Allah killed them.) meaning, it is not because of your power and strength that you killed the pagans, who were many while you were few. Rather, it is He Who gave you victory over them, just as He said in another Ayah,
(And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force.) [3:123] , and,
(Truly, Allah has given you victory on many battlefields, and on the day of Hunayn when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight.) [9:25]
Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, states that victory does not depend on numbers or collecting weapons and shields. Rather, victory is from Him, Exalted He is.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When the battle began, the Holy Prophet prayed, and threw a handful of dust or sand at the enemy, which, as described in traditions, struck the eyes of the enemy. This had a great psychological effect,

Numerically the odds against the Muslims were three to one. In other ways they were at a disadvantage: of arms and equipment they had but little, while the enemy were well-found: they were inexperienced, while the Quraish had brought their foremost warriors. In all this there was a test, but the test was accompanied by gracious favours of countless value: their Commander was one in whom they had perfect faith, and for whom they were ready to lay down their lives; the rain refreshed them; their spirit was unshaken; and they were fighting in Allah's cause. Thus the trial or test became itself a blessing.

 ذَٰلِكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ مُوهِنُ كَيْدِ الْكَافِرِينَ  
( 18 )   That [is so], and [also] that Allah will weaken the plot of the disbelievers.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
This is more good news, aside from the victory that the believers gained. Allah informed them that He will weaken the plots of the disbelievers in the future, degrade them and make everything they have perish and be destroyed, all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

  إِن تَسْتَفْتِحُوا فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمُ الْفَتْحُ ۖ وَإِن تَنتَهُوا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَإِن تَعُودُوا نَعُدْ وَلَن تُغْنِيَ عَنكُمْ فِئَتُكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَوْ كَثُرَتْ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ 
( 19 )   If you [disbelievers] seek the victory - the defeat has come to you. And if you desist [from hostilities], it is best for you; but if you return [to war], We will return, and never will you be availed by your [large] company at all, even if it should increase; and [that is] because Allah is with the believers.
Before marching out from Makkah the unbelievers held the covering of the Ka'bah and prayed: 'O God! Grant victory to the better of the two parties.' Abu Jahl, in particular invoked God's judgement: 'O God! Grant victory to the one who is in the right and cause humiliation to the wrong-doer.' God answered these prayers fully and the outcome of the battle clearly pointed to the party which was in the right.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
The Response to the Disbelievers Who ask for a Judgement, Allah says to the disbeliever,
(If you ask for a judgement, then now has the judgement come unto you,) until the end of the Ayah. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Tha`labah said, "Abu Jahl asked for (Allah's judgment) when he said upon facing the Muslims, `O Allah! Those among us who severed the relations of the womb and brought forth what we do not recognize, then destroy him this day.''' This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i in the Book of Tafsir (of his Sunan) and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, and he said, "It is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Shaykhs, and they did not record it. ''. Similar statements were reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Yazid bin Ruwman and several others. As-Suddi commented, "Before the idolators left Makkah for Badr, they clung to the curtains covering the Ka`bah and supplicated to Allah for victory, `O Allah! Give victory to the exalted among the two armies, the most honored among the two groups, and the most righteous among the two tribes.' Allah revealed the Ayah:
(If you ask for a judgement, then now has the judgement come unto you.) Allah says here, `I accepted your supplication and Muhammad gained the victory.'''
`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said; "This is Allah the Most High's answer to their supplication;

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Fath = victory, decision, judgment. The Quraish in Makkah had prayed for victory: they were confident that their superior numbers, equipment, and experience would be decisive. With a play on the word, they are told that the decision had come, and the victory-but not in the sense they had hoped for!

Ruku / Sections 3 [Verses 20-28]
Verses 20-28 Worst people in the sight of Allah are those who do not use their common sense and Guard yourselves against temptations of Shaitan:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ وَأَنتُمْ تَسْمَعُونَ 
( 20 )   O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn from him while you hear [his order].
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah commands His believing servants to obey Him and His Messenger and warns them against defying him and imitating the disbelievers who reject him. Allah said,
(and turn not away from him...), neither refrain from obeying him or following his commands nor indulge in what he forbade,
(while you are hearing.) after you gained knowledge of his Message, 
 وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ  
( 21 )   And do not be like those who say, "We have heard," while they do not hear.
In the present context, 'hearing' means taking heed with a view to obey'. The verse alludes to those hypocrites who professed to believe and yet were not willing to carry out the commands of God. [Cf ii. 93]

Ibn Kathir Explanation: Allah commands:
(And be not like those who say: "We have heard,'' but they hear not.)
Ibn Ishaq said that this Ayah refers to the hypocrites, who pretend to hear and obey, while in fact they do neither. Allah declares that these are the most wicked creatures among the Children of Adam,

  إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّـهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ 
( 22 )   Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.
These are the ones who neither hear nor speak the truth. So far as truth is concerned, their ears are deaf and their mouths dumb. [Cf ii.18]

  وَلَوْ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا لَّأَسْمَعَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ أَسْمَعَهُمْ لَتَوَلَّوا وَّهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ 
( 23 )   Had Allah known any good in them, He would have made them hear. And if He had made them hear, they would [still] have turned away, while they were refusing.
Such people have neither any love for the truth nor any desire to strive for it. Hence even if they were enabled by God to go forth to the battlefield. they would have turned on their heels at the very first sight of danger. That such people should be a part of the Muslim army might have led to greater harm than good.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen.) He would have helped them understand. However, this did not happen because there is no goodness in such people, for Allah knows that, (even if He had made them listen...) and allowed them to understand, (they would but have turned...), intentionally and out of stubbornness, even after they comprehend, (with aversion.), to the truth.

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّـهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ 
( 24 )   O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.
The most effective means of preventing man from failing prey to hypocrisy is to implant two ideas in his mind. First, that he will have to face the reckoning and judgement of God Who knows what is in the deep recesses of his heart. Even man's intentions and desires, the purposes which he seeks to achieve, the ideas that he seeks to keep hidden in his heart, are all well known to God. Second, that ultimately every man will be mustered to God; that He is so powerful that none can escape His judgement. The deeper the roots of these convictions. the further is man removed from hypocrisy. Hence, while admonishing Muslims against hypocrisy, the Qur'an frequently resorts to emphasizing these two articles oi belief.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
There are two points to note. (1) Note that after Allah and His Messenger are mentioned, the pronoun and verb in the next clause are singular: everything that Allah's Messenger put forward as an injunction came by inspiration from Allah: the Messenger made his will coincide completely with Allah's will. (2) We are asked actively to give our response in deed and life to the call of duty and conscience, for that call leads to real life, the life eternal, even though it may apparently mean in this world the loss of things that make life dear or the loss of life itself. If we refer this to Jihad, i.e., fighting in and for the Cause, both literally and metaphorically, the meaning becomes quite clear.

If the human heart is refractory and refuses to obey the call of Allah, that is not the end of the matter. Allah has to be reckoned with. The refusal may be because there was some pet human scheme which the heart of man was not willing to give up for Allah's Cause. Will that scheme come to fruition by refusing to serve the higher Cause? By no means. Man proposes, but God disposes. If the scheme or motive was perfectly secret from men, it was not secret from Allah. The heart is the innermost seat of man's affections and desires: but Allah intervenes between man and his heart.

  وَاتَّقُوا فِتْنَةً لَّا تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنكُمْ خَاصَّةً ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ 
( 25 )   And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty.
This refers to those widespread social evils whose baneful effects are not confined only to those addicted to them, but which affect even those who, although they might not be addicted to those sins, are a part of that society. For example, if filth is found at just a few places in a locality it will possibly affect only those who have not kept themselves or their houses clean. However, if it becomes widespread and no one is concerned with removing uncleanliness and maintaining sanitary conditions, then everything including water and soil will become contaminated. As a result, if epidemics break out, they will not only afflict those who were responsible for spreading filth and themselves lived in unsanitary conditions, but virtually all the residents of that locality.

What is true of unsanitary conditions in a physical sense, also holds true for filth and uncleanliness in a moral sense. If immoral practices remain confined to a few people here and there but the overall moral concern of the society prevents those practices from becoming widespread and public, their harmful effects remain limited. But when the collective conscience of the society is weakened to a point whereby immoral practices are not suppressed, when people indulge in evils without any sense of shame and even go around vaunting their immoral deeds, when good people adopt a passive attitude and are content with being righteous merely in their own lives and are unconcerned with or silent about collective evils, then the entire society invites its doom. Such a society then becomes the victim of a scourge that does not distinguish between the grain and the chaff.

What God's directive seeks to impress upon people is that the reformatory mission of the Prophet (peace be on him) and the cause he was inviting people to was the source of life and well-being for them both individually and collectively. People should bear in mind that if they fail to participate wholeheartedly in the task to which they were invited and remain silent spectators to rampant evils, that would invite a scourge that would embrace all. It would afflict even those individuals who neither themselves committed evils nor were instrumental in spreading them and who might in fact have been righteous in their personal conduct. This point was emphasized earlier see (al-A'raf 7: 163-6)and was illustrated by reference to the Sabbath-breakers, and constitutes the underlying Islamic philosophy for waging war for purposes of reform.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Fitna has many meanings: (1) the root meaning is trial or temptation, as in ii. 102 and viii. 28; (2) an analogous meaning is trial or punishment, as in v. 71; (3) tumult or oppression, as in ii. 193, and here: and in viii. 39 (4) there is here (viii. 25) the further shade of meaning suggested, discord, sedition, civil war. This warning against internal discord or tumult was very necessary in the Civil Wars of early Islam, and was never more necessary than it is now. For it affects innocent and guilty alike.

 وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ النَّاسُ فَآوَاكُمْ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصْرِهِ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ 
( 26 )   And remember when you were few and oppressed in the land, fearing that people might abduct you, but He sheltered you, supported you with His victory, and provided you with good things - that you might be grateful.
The reference to gratefulness in the verse is worthy of reflection. Bearing in mind the subject under discussion, it appears that gratefulness does not simply mean that Muslims should acknowledge God's favour to them insofar as He rescued them from their state of abject weakness. God had not only salvaged them from an insecure life in Makkah and provided them with a haven of security in Madina where they enjoyed an abundance of livelihood. Gratefulness does not simply require all that. Apart from acknowledging God's favour, gratefulness also demands that Muslims should faithfully obey God and His Messenger out of a consciousness of God's munificence, out of loyalty and devotion to the Prophet's mission, and should cast aside all dangers, hardships and misfortunes that might confront them. In their struggle for God's cause Muslims should have complete trust in God Who has helped them on earlier occasions and Who has delivered them from dangers. The Muslims should also have faith that if they work sincerely in God's cause He will certainly help and protect them. Hence, the gratefulness expected of the Muslims does not simply consist of a verbal acknowledgement of God's benefaction. Gratefulness to God should manifest itself in actual deeds as well. If someone were to acknowledge the favour of his Lord, and yet is slack in seeking His good pleasure, lacks sincerity in serving Him, and entertains doubts that God's benefaction will continue in the future, then that can hardly be characterized as gratitude.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
On the immediate occasion the Muslims were reminded that they were a small band in Makkah despised and rejected; living in a state of insecurity for their persons, their lives, their property, and those of their dependents, persecuted and exiled and how by the grace of Allah they found a safe asylum in Madinah how they found friends and helpers, how their many needs were cared for, and how at length they gathered strength and numbers enough to defeat the forces of godlessness, injustice, and oppression.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah, the Exalted, reminds His believing servants of His blessings and favors on them. They were few and He made them many, weak and fearful and He provided them with strength and victory. They were meek and poor, and He granted them sustenance and livelihood. He ordered them to be grateful to Him, and they obeyed Him and implemented what He commanded.

When the believers were still in Makkah they were few, practicing their religion in secret, oppressed, fearing that pagans, fire worshipers or Romans might kidnap them from the various parts of Allah's earth, for they were all enemies of the Muslims, especially since Muslims were few and weak. Later on, Allah permitted the believers to migrate to Al-Madinah, where He allowed them to settle in a safe resort. Allah made the people of Al-Madinah their allies, giving them refuge and support during Badr and other battles. They helped the Migrants with their wealth and gave up their lives in obedience of Allah and His Messenger .

Qatadah bin Di`amah As-Sadusi commented,

(And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land,)

"Arabs were the weakest of the weak, had the toughest life, the emptiest stomachs, the barest skin and the most obvious misguidance. Those who lived among them lived in misery; those who died went to the Fire. They were being eaten up, but unable to eat up others! By Allah! We do not know of a people on the face of the earth at that time who had a worse life than them. When Allah brought Islam, He made it dominant on the earth, thus bringing provisions and leadership for them over the necks of people. It is through Islam that Allah granted all what you see, so thank Him for His favors, for your Lord is One Who bestows favors and likes praise. Verily, those who thank Allah enjoy even more bounties from Him.''

  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَخُونُوا اللَّـهَ وَالرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوا أَمَانَاتِكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ 
( 27 )   O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know [the consequence].
'Trusts' embrace all the responsibilities which are imparted to someone because he is trusted. These might consist of obligations arising out of an agreement or collective covenant. It might also consist of the secrets of a group. It might also consist of personal or collective property, or any office or position which might be bestowed upon a person by the group.

A similar mention is made in Surah al-Nisa' 4:
Here the Muslims are forewarned against the evils which had afflicted the Israelites. One of the fundamental mistakes committed by the Israelites was that in the time of their degeneration they had handed over positions of trust (i.e. religious and political leadership) to incompetent, mean, immoral, dishonest and corrupt people. The result was that corruption spread throughout the nation. The Muslims are directed to take heed of this, and to entrust positions of responsibility only to those who are capable of shouldering the burdens of such positions. The other major weakness of the Israelites was that they completely lost their sense of justice. In their pursuit of either personal or national interests, honesty and good faith were often sacrificed. The Muslims, in the time of the Prophet (peace be on him), were themselves subjected to gross injustice at their hands. On the one side were the Prophet (peace be on him) and his followers, to whose purity of life and conduct the Jews were themselves witnesses. On the other side were those who worshiped idols, buried their daughters alive, married their step-mothers and circumambulated the Ka'bah naked. Despite this, these so-called People of the Book felt no shame in declaring that the latter were closer to righteousness than the Muslims. After informing the Muslims of the iniquity of the Jews, God now warns them against committing similar injustices. They should rather declare what is right in the face of friend and foe alike, and judge between people with equity and justice.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Trusts may be of various kinds: (1) property, goods, credit, etc.; (2) plans, confidences, secrets, etc.; (3) knowledge, talents, opportunities, etc., which we are expected to use for our fellowmen. Men may betray the trust of Allah and His Prophet by misusing property, or abusing the confidence reposed in them, or the knowledge or talents given to them. On that special occasion, when the plans for the protection of Allah's worshipers against annihilation were of special importance, the Prophet's trust and confidence had to be guarded with special care. Occasions for scrupulously respecting the trust and confidence of our fellow-men occur every day in our life, and few of us can claim perfection in this respect. Hence the special distinction of the Prophet of Allah, who earned the title of Al-Amin, the one who was true to every trust reposed in him.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
The Two Sahihs mention the story of Hatib bin Abi Balta`ah. In the year of the victory of Makkah he wrote to the Quraysh alerting them that the Messenger of Allah intended to march towards them. Allah informed His Messenger of this, and he sent a Companion to retrieve the letter that Hatib sent, and then he summoned him. He admitted to what he did. `Umar bin Al-Khattab stood up and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Should I cut off his head, for he has betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the believers'' The Prophet said,
"Leave him! He participated in Badr. How do you know that Allah has not looked at those who participated in Badr and said, Do whatever you want, for I have forgiven you."
However, it appears that this Ayah is more general, even if it was revealed about a specific incident. Such rulings are dealt with by their indications, not the specific reasons behind revealing them, according to the majority of scholars.

Betrayal includes both minor and major sins, as well those that affect others. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah:

(nor betray your Amanat) "The Amanah refers to the actions that Allah has entrusted the servants with, such as and including what He ordained. Therefore, Allah says here, (nor betray...), `do not abandon the obligations.''' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd commented, "Allah forbade you from betraying Him and His Messenger, as hypocrites do.''

  وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ 
( 28 )   And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.
Excessive love of money and one's children often impair the sincerity of a person's faith and often lead man to hypocrisy, treachery and dishonesty. The Qur'an, therefore, clearly points out ihat since love of wealth or children drives people off the right path, it constitutes a considerable test for them. One's property, one's business and one's offspring constitute a test for man since they have been in his custody so as to judge to what extent he observes the limits of propriety laid down by God and adequately performs his responsibilities. What is tested is how far man is able to control his animal self - which is strongly attached to worldly purposes - so that he is able to act as God's servant and render all the rights of worldly life in the manner laid down by God.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A big family-many sons-was considered a source of power and strength: iii. 10, 116. So in English, a man with many children is said to have his "quiver full": Cf. Psalms, cxxvii. 4-5: "As arrows are in the hands of a mighty man, so are the children of thy youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." So with property and possessions: they add to a man's dignity, power, and influence. But both possessions and a large family are a temptation and a trial. They may turn out to be a source of spiritual downfall, if they are mishandled, or if the love of them excludes the love of Allah.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial.) from Him to you. He grants these to you so that He knows which of you will be grateful and obedient to Him, or become busy with and dedicated to them instead of Him.

Allah said in other Ayahs:
"(Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward.) [64:15], and "(And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good.) [21:35], and (O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.)[63:9], and (O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you (who may stop you from the obedience of Allah); therefore beware of them!) [[64:14]
Allah said next: (And that surely with Allah is a mighty reward.) Therefore, Allah's reward, favor and Paradise are better for you than wealth and children. Certainly, among the wealth and children there might be enemies for you and much of them avail nothing. With Allah alone is the decision and sovereignty in this life and the Hereafter, and He gives tremendous rewards on the Day of Resurrection.

In the Sahih, there is a Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah said:
(There are three qualities for which whomever has them, he will have tasted the sweetness of faith. (They are:) whoever Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anyone else, whoever loves a person for Allah's sake alone, and whoever prefers to be thrown in fire rather than revert to disbelief, after Allah has saved him from it.)
Therefore, loving the Messenger of Allah comes before loving children, wealth and oneself. In the Sahih, it is confirmed that he said: (By He in Whose Hand is my soul! None of you will have faith unless I become dearer to him than himself, his family, his wealth and all people.)

Ruku / Sections 4 [Verses 29-37]
Verses 29-37 If you become God fearing, Allah will grant you wisdom to judge between right and wrong and Lawful guardians of Ka'bah are those who have fear of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَانًا وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ 
( 29 )   O you who have believed, if you fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty.
'Criterion' signifies that which enables one to distinguish between true and false; between real and fake. This is the shade of meaning conveyed by the Qur'anic term 'furqan'. If a man is God-fearing and tries his best to refrain from acts which displease God, God will create in him the ability to discern for himself at every step which actions are proper and which are not; which attitude conduces to God's good pleasure and which is likely to incur His wrath. This inner light will serve as a pointer at every turn and crossing, at every up and down in life, guiding him as to when he should proceed and when he should refrain, telling him which is the path of truth and leads to God, and which is false and leads to Satan.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Ibn `Abbas, As-Suddi, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and several others said that:
فُرْقَانًا (Furqan), means, `a way out'; Mujahid added, "In this life and the Hereafter.'' In another narration, Ibn `Abbas is reported to have said, `Furqan' means `salvation' or -- according to another narration -- `aid'. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that `Furqan' means `criterion between truth and falsehood'. This last explanation from Ibn Ishaq is more general than the rest that we mentioned, and it also includes the other meanings. Certainly, those who have Taqwa of Allah by obeying what He ordained and abstaining from what he forbade, will be guided to differentiate between the truth and the falsehood. This will be a triumph, safety and a way out for them from the affairs of this life, all the while acquiring happiness in the Hereafter. They will also gain forgiveness, thus having their sins erased, and pardon, thus having their sins covered from other people, as well as, being directed to a way to gain Allah's tremendous rewards,
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ii. 53 and ii. 185. The battle of Badr is called the Furqan in Muslim theology, because it was the first trial of strength by battle, in Islam, between the powers of good and evil. Evil was defeated, and those who had real faith were tested and sorted out from those who had not faith enough to follow the banner of Faith. See also viii. 41.

  وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ ۚ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّـهُ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ 
( 30 )   And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.
Apprehending the Prophet's migration to Madina, the Quraysh convened a high-level council attended by all the tribal chiefs at Dar al-Nadwah (Council House) to decide on a decisive course of action against the Prophet (peace be on him). They realized that once the Prophet (peace be on him) left Makkah, he would be beyond their reach, rendering them helpless in face of a formidable threat.
A group of them was of the view that the Prophet (peace be on him) should be imprisoned for life and kept in chains. This proposal was, however, turned down on the ground that the Prophet's detention would not deter his followers from preaching Islam and that they would seize the first opportunity to release the Prophet (peace be on him) even at the risk to their own lives.
Another group suggested that the Prophet (peace be on him) should be exiled, for this would remove the mischief and subversion far from Makkah, and it would not matter where he spent his days nor what he did, for Makkah would be immune from his influence. This proposal, too, was discarded for fear of the Prophet's persuasiveness and eloquence, and his ability to win the hearts of the people of other tribes and thus pose a greater threat in the future.
Finally, Abu Jahl suggested that a band of young men drawn from all the different clans of the Quraysh should jointly pounce upon the Prophet (peace be on him) and kill him. In such a case the responsibility for his blood would rest upon all the clans of the Quraish. It would thus become impossible for 'Abd Manaf, the Prophet's clan. to take revenge on any one particular clan. Such a move would compel the Prophet's relatives to drop their claims for retaliation and force them to settle for blood-money. Accordingly, the young men charged with the execution of this plan were selected, and were advised of the exact place and time at which they were expected to carry out the crime. Not only that, the would-be assassins did indeed arrive at the appointed place at the appointed time. However, before they could harm him the Prophet (peace be on him) managed to escape safely. The Quraysh plot was thus frustrated at the eleventh hour. 
Ibn Kathir Explanation: Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said:

لِيُثْبِتُوكَ (Liyuthbituka) means "to imprison you.'' As-Suddi said, "Ithbat is to confine or to shackle.''

Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, the author of Al-Maghazi, reported from `Abdullah bin Abi Najih, from Mujahid, from Ibn `Abbas, "Some of the chiefs of the various tribes of Quraysh gathered in Dar An-Nadwah (their conference area) and Iblis (Shaytan) met them in the shape of an eminent old man. When they saw him, they asked, `Who are you' He said, `An old man from Najd. I heard that you are having a meeting, and I wished to attend your meeting. You will benefit from my opinion and advice.' They said, `Agreed, come in.' He entered with them. Iblis said, `You have to think about this man (Muhammad)! By Allah, he will soon overwhelm you with his matter (religion).' One of them said, `Imprison him, restrained in chains, until he dies just like the poets before him all died, such as Zuhayr and An-Nabighah! Verily, he is a poet like they were.' The old man from Najd, the enemy of Allah, commented, `By Allah! This is not a good idea. His Lord will release him from his prison to his companions, who will liberate him from your hands. They will protect him from you and they might expel you from your land.' They said, `This old man said the truth. Therefore, seek an opinion other than this one.'

Another one of them said, `Expel him from your land, so that you are free from his trouble! If he leaves your land, you will not be bothered by what he does or where he goes, as long as he is not among you to bring you troubles, he will be with someone else.' The old man from Najd replied, `By Allah! This is not a good opinion. Have you forgotten his sweet talk and eloquence, as well as, how his speech captures the hearts By Allah! This way, he will collect even more followers among Arabs, who will gather against you and attack you in your own land, expel you and kill your chiefs.' They said, `He has said the truth, by Allah! Therefore, seek an opinion other than this one.' Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, spoke next, `By Allah! I have an idea that no one else has suggested yet, and I see no better opinion for you. Choose a strong, socially elevated young man from each tribe, and give each one of them a sharp sword. Then they would all strike Muhammad at the same time with their swords and kill him. Hence, his blood would be shed by all tribes. This way, his tribe, Banu Hashim, would realize that they cannot wage war against all of the Quraysh tribes and would be forced to agree to accept the blood money; we would have brought comfort to ourselves and stopped him from bothering us.'

The old man from Najd commented, `By Allah! This man has expressed the best opinion, and I do not support any other opinion.' They quickly ended their meeting and started preparing for the implementation of this plan.

Angel Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet and commanded him not to sleep in his bed that night and conveyed to him the news of their plot. The Messenger of Allah did not sleep in his house that night, and Allah gave him permission to migrate. After the Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, Allah revealed to him Suat Al-Anfal reminding him of His favors and the bounties He gave him,

(And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you to imprison you, or to kill you, or to expel you (from Makkah); they were plotting and Allah too was plotting; and Allah is the best of plotters.)

Allah replied to the pagans' statement that they should await the death of the Prophet , just as the poets before him perished, as they claimed.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The plots against Al-Mustafa in Makkah aimed at three things. They were not only foiled, but Allah's wonderful working turned the tables, and brought good out of evil in each case. (1) They tried to hold the Prophet in subjection in Makkah by putting pressure on his uncles, relatives, and friends. But the more they persecuted, the more the little Muslim community grew in faith and numbers. (2) They tried to injure or slay him. But the wonderful example of his humility, perseverance, and fearlessness furthered the cause of Islam. (3) They tried to get him and his followers out of their homes. But they found a new home in Madinah from which they eventually reconquered not only Makkah but Arabia and the world. A) Cf. iii. 54.

وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا قَالُوا قَدْ سَمِعْنَا لَوْ نَشَاءُ لَقُلْنَا مِثْلَ هَـٰذَا ۙ إِنْ هَـٰذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ  
( 31 )   And when Our verses are recited to them, they say, "We have heard. If we willed, we could say [something] like this. This is not but legends of the former peoples."
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah describes the disbelief, transgression, rebellion, as well as misguided statements that the pagans of Quraysh used to utter when they heard Allah's Ayat being recited to them:

("We have heard (the Qur'an); if we wish we can say the like of this.'')

They boasted with their words, but not with their actions. They were challenged several times to bring even one chapter like the Qur'an, and they had no way to meet this challenge. They only boasted in order to deceive themselves and those who followed their falsehood. It was said that An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, may Allah curse him, was the one who said this, according to Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ibn Jurayj and others. An-Nadr visited Persia and learned the stories of some Persian kings, such as Rustum and Isphandiyar. When he went back to Makkah, He found that the Prophet was sent from Allah and reciting the Qur'an to the people. Whenever the Prophet would leave an audience in which An-Nadr was sitting, An-Nadr began narrating to them the stories that he learned in Persia, proclaiming afterwards, "Who, by Allah, has better tales to narrate, I or Muhammad'' When Allah allowed the Muslims to capture An-Nadr in Badr, the Messenger of Allah commanded that his head be cut off before him, and that was done, all thanks are due to Allah.

" أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ " means (. ..tales of the ancients) implying that the Prophet has plagiarized and learned books of ancient people, and this is what he narrated to people, as they claimed. This is the pure falsehood that Allah mentioned in another Ayah:

(And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has written down:, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.'' Say: "It (this Qur'an) has been sent down by Him (Allah) Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') [25:5-6] for those who repent and return to Him, He accepts repentance from them and forgives them.

  وَإِذْ قَالُوا اللَّـهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـٰذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ 
( 32 )   And [remember] when they said, "O Allah, if this should be the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from the sky or bring us a painful punishment."
These words were uttered by way of challenge rather than a prayer to God. What they meant was that had the message of the Prophet (peace be on him) been true, and from God, its rejection would have entailed a heavy scourge, and stones would have fallen on them from heaven. Since nothing of the sort happened, it was evident that the message was neither true nor from God.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
This is indicative of the pagans' enormous ignorance, denial, stubbornness and transgression. They should have said, "O Allah! If this is the truth from You, then guide us to it and help us follow it.'' However, they brought Allah's judgment on themselves and asked for His punishment.

Allah said in other Ayats:
"And they ask you to hasten on the torment (for them), and had it not been for a term appointed, the torment would certainly have come to them. And surely, it will come upon them suddenly while they perceive not!" [29:53]
"They say: "Our Lord! Hasten to us Qittana (our record of good and bad deeds so that we may see it) before the Day of Reckoning!''") [38:16]
"A questioner asked concerning a torment about to befall. Upon the disbelievers, which none can avert. From Allah, the Lord of the ways of ascent." [70:1-3]
The ignorant ones in ancient times said similar things. The people of Shu`ayb said to him:
"So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!''" [26:187] 
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This was actually a challenge thrown out by the Infidels in Makkah not seriously but as a taunt. The answer is in the two following verses. Allah punishes in His own good time, not according to the foolish and frivolous taunts of the Unbelievers. While the Holy Prophet was with them, he-the Mercy of the Worlds-conferred a certain amount of immunity to them. There were also other Muslims, just men who asked for forgiveness. And Allah keeps the door of repentance and forgiveness open to all as long as they make it possible. But let them not be puffed up with pride, or think that they have lasting immunity. What became of Abu Jahl? He and some of his greatest warriors were slain at Badr. The little autocratic clique that prevented Muslims from access to the Sacred Mosque had their punishment not long afterwards. They pretended to be its guardians. But were they? Could they be? Only the righteous could be true guardians to Allah's places of worship, and particularly to the Central House of the Ka'ba. It was to be a place of pure worship, while their idolatrous worship was mere mummery,- whistling and clapping of hands. All false worship advertises itself by noise and unseemly riot: it is said that the Pagans used to go naked round the Ka'ba.

  وَمَا كَانَ اللَّـهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّـهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ 
( 33 )   But Allah would not punish them while you, [O Muhammad], are among them, and Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.
This is a rejoinder to the challenge implicit in the above-mentioned remark of the unbelievers. In response it was explained why people were spared heavenly scourge during the Makkan period of the Prophet's life.
The first reason being that God does not punish a people as long as the Prophet is in their midst, busy inviting them to the truth. Such people are rather granted respite and are not deprived of the opportunity to reform themselves by sending a scourge all too quickly. Second, if there are a good number of people in a land who recognize that they have been negligent and heedless and have been guilty of iniquity, who seek God's forgiveness and strive to reform themselves, there remains no legitimate ground for subjecting them to a heavenly scourge. 
The time for such a scourge comes when a Prophet who has spared no efforts to reform his people feels that he has exhausted all his efforts, and concludes that his people have no justification to persist in their iniquity, and departs from that land or is banished from it by its people or is murdered by them. A scourge from on high then becomes imminent since the people of that land have proven by their deeds their inability to tolerate any righteous element in their midst.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Shu`bah said from `Abdul-Hamid that Anas bin Malik said that it was Abu Jahl bin Hisham who uttered this statement:
"O Allah! If this (the Qur'an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.''"
So Allah revealed this Ayah:
(And Allah would not punish them while you are among them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah's) forgiveness.)
Al-Bukhari recorded it.

  وَمَا لَهُمْ أَلَّا يُعَذِّبَهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَهُمْ يَصُدُّونَ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَمَا كَانُوا أَوْلِيَاءَهُ ۚ إِنْ أَوْلِيَاؤُهُ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقُونَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ 
( 34 )   But why should Allah not punish them while they obstruct [people] from al-Masjid al- Haram and they were not [fit to be] its guardians? Its [true] guardians are not but the righteous, but most of them do not know.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah states that the idolaters deserved the torment, but He did not torment them in honor of the Prophet residing among them. After Allah allowed the Prophet to migrate away from them, He sent His torment upon them on the day of Badr. During that battle, the chief pagans were killed, or captured. Allah also directed them to seek forgiveness for the sins, Shirk and wickedness they indulged in. If it was not for the fact that there were some weak Muslims living among the Makkan pagans, those Muslims who invoked Allah for His forgiveness, Allah would have sent down to them the torment that could never be averted. Allah did not do that on account of the weak, ill-treated, and oppressed believers living among them, as He reiterated about the day at Al-Hudaybiyyah;
"They are the ones who disbelieved and hindered you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) and detained the sacrificial animals from reaching their place of sacrifice. Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills if they (the believers and the disbelievers) had been apart, We verily, would have punished those of them who disbelieved with painful torment.' [48:25]
Thus here Allah asks, `why would not He torment them while they are stopping Muslims from going to Al-Masjid Al-Haram, thus hindering the believers, its own people, from praying and performing Tawaf in it'

Allah said: (And they are not its guardians None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa,) meaning, the Prophet and his Companions are the true dwellers (or worthy maintainers) of Al-Masjid Al-Haram, not the pagans.

Allah said in other Ayah:
"It is not for the polytheists, to maintain the Masjids of Allah, while they witness disbelief against themselves. The works of such are in vain and in the Fire shall they abide. The Masjids of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; perform the Salah, and give the Zakah and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on true guidance." [9:17-18]
`Urwah, As-Suddi and Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Allah's statement: "None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa") refers to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Mujahid explained that this Ayah is about the Mujahidin  in Allah's cause, whomever and wherever they may be.

  وَمَا كَانَ صَلَاتُهُمْ عِندَ الْبَيْتِ إِلَّا مُكَاءً وَتَصْدِيَةً ۚ فَذُوقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ 
( 35 )   And their prayer at the House was not except whistling and hand clapping. So taste the punishment for what you disbelieved.
This is to dispel a misconception common among the Arabs of those days. They were generally inclined to assume that since the Quraysh were the guardians and keepers of the Ka'bah and were also engaged in worship at that holy spot, they were recipients of God's special favours. Here people are told that the defacto guardianship of the Ka'bah should not be confused with its de jure guardianship. For only the God-fearing and pious are the rightful guardians of the Ka'bah. As for the Quraysh, far from behaving in a manner becoming of the guardians of the Ka'bah, they had virtually installed themselves as its masters, and were guilty of preventing people from worshiping there at will. This attitude blatantly betrayed their impiety. As for their worship in the Ka'bah. it was altogether devoid of religious devotion and sincerity. They neither turned earnestly to God, nor displayed any genuine submission or humility, nor engaged in worship fully remembering Him. Their worship consisted of meaningless noise and clamour, of acts which seemed closer to play and jest than acts of religious devotion. How could such a guardianship of the Ka'bah and such non-serious acts in the name of worship win God's favour for them, or secure for them immunity from God's scourge?

The Quraysh believed that God's punishment necessarily takes the form of some natural calamity or a rain of stones from the sky. They are, however, told that their decisive defeat in the Battle of Badr, which ensured the survival of Islam and spelled death for their much-cherished Jahiliyah was a form of God's punishment for them.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
"The Quraysh used to perform Tawaf (encircling the Ka`bah) while naked, whistling and clapping their hands, for Muka' means `whistling', while, Tasdiyah means `clapping the hands.''' This meaning was also reported from Ibn `Abbas, by `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi. Similar was recorded from Ibn `Umar, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Abu Salamah bin `Abdur-Rahman, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi, Hujr bin `Anbas and Ibn Abza.

"Therefore taste the punishment because you used to disbelieve." This refers to the death and capture that they suffered during the battle of Badr, according to Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Jurayj and Muhammad bin Ishaq.

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ لِيَصُدُّوا عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۚ فَسَيُنفِقُونَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسْرَةً ثُمَّ يُغْلَبُونَ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ يُحْشَرُونَ 
( 36 )   Indeed, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to avert [people] from the way of Allah. So they will spend it; then it will be for them a [source of] regret; then they will be overcome. And those who have disbelieved - unto Hell they will be gathered.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Az-Zuhri, Muhammad bin Yahya bin Hibban, `Asim bin `Umar bin Qatadah, and Al-Husayn bin `Abdur-Rahman bin `Amr bin Sa`id bin Mu`adh said, "The Quraysh suffered defeat at Badr and their forces went back to Makkah, while Abu Sufyan went back with the caravan intact. This is when `Abdullah bin Abi Rabi`ah, `Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Safwan bin Umayyah and other men from Quraysh who lost their fathers, sons or brothers in Badr, went to Abu Sufyan bin Harb. They said to him, and to those among the Quraysh who had wealth in that caravan, `O people of Quraysh! Muhammad has grieved you and killed the chiefs among you. Therefore, help us with this wealth so that we can fight him, it may be that we will avenge our losses.' They agreed.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "

" هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ " (they who are the losers. )'' Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hakam bin `Uyaynah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Abza said that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Sufyan and his spending money in Uhud to fight the Messenger of Allah . Ad-Dahhak said that this Ayah was revealed about the idolaters of Badr. In any case, the Ayah is general, even though there was a specific incident that accompanied its revelation. Allah states here that the disbelievers spend their wealth to hinder from the path of truth. However, by doing that, their money will be spent and then will become a source of grief and anguish for them, availing them nothing in the least. They seek to extinguish the Light of Allah and make their word higher than the word of truth. However, Allah will complete His Light, even though the disbelievers hate it. He will give aid to His religion, make His Word dominant, and His religion will prevail above all religions. This is the disgrace that the disbelievers will taste in this life; and in the Hereafter, they will taste the torment of the Fire. Whoever among them lives long, will witness with his eyes and hear with his ears what causes grief to him. Those among them who are killed or die will be returned to eternal disgrace and the everlasting punishment.

This is why Allah said: "And so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will  be  gathered unto  Hell. "

  لِيَمِيزَ اللَّـهُ الْخَبِيثَ مِنَ الطَّيِّبِ وَيَجْعَلَ الْخَبِيثَ بَعْضَهُ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ فَيَرْكُمَهُ جَمِيعًا فَيَجْعَلَهُ فِي جَهَنَّمَ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ 
( 37 )   [This is] so that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good and place the wicked some of them upon others and heap them all together and put them into Hell. It is those who are the losers.
What can be more calamitous than a person's discovery at the end of the road that all the time, energy, ability and the very quintessence of his life which he has devoted has driven him straight to his utter ruin; that his investments far from yielding any interest or dividend will require from him the payment of a grievous penalty instead.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
It is only when matters are brought to an issue that evil is separated distinctly from the good. Then evil consorts with evil, and good with good. The evil will be piled into a heap. When the cup is full, the punishment will come. There will be no mistake about it. The good should not be discouraged, because in fighting against them, all forces of evil join together and pool their resources together. The more they do so, the easier is the final arbitrament. It is all in Allah's Plan.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah said: (In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good.), meaning recognize the difference between the people of happiness and the people of misery, according to Ibn `Abbas, as `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from him. Allah distinguishes between those believers who obey Him and fight His disbelieving enemies and those who disobey Him. 

Allah said in another Ayah:
"Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghayb (Unseen)." [3:179]
"Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah (tests) those of you who fought (in His cause) and (also) tests those who are the patient" [3:142]
Therefore, the Ayah (8:37) means, `We tried you with combatant disbelievers whom We made able to spend money in fighting you,'  (in order that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good, and put the wicked one over another, heap them together) put in a pile on top of each other, (and cast them into Hell. Those! It is they who are the losers.) [8:37] in this life and the Hereafter.

Ruku / Sections 5 [Verses 38-44]
Verses 38-40 Unbelievers, who embrace Islam, their past is forgiven:

قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِن يَنتَهُوا يُغْفَرْ لَهُم مَّا قَدْ سَلَفَ وَإِن يَعُودُوا فَقَدْ مَضَتْ سُنَّتُ الْأَوَّلِينَ 
( 38 )   Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility] - then the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah commands His Prophet Muhammad:
(Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease...) the disbelief, defiance and stubbornness they indulge in, and embrace Islam, obedience and repentance. (their past will be forgiven.) along with their sins and errors. 
It is recorded in the Sahih Al-Bukhari that Abu Wa'il said that Ibn Mas'ud said that the Messenger of Allah said: (He who becomes good in his Islam, will not be punished for what he has committed during Jahiliyyah (before Islam). He who becomes bad in his Islam, will face a punishment for his previous and latter deeds.)

It is also recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said: ("Islam erases what occurred before it, and repentance erases what occurs before it.'')

Here thus Allah said: (But if they return, ) and remain on their ways, (then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded.)  meaning, Our way with the nations of old is that when they disbelieve and rebel, We send down to them immediate torment and punishment.

  وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّـهِ ۚ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ 
( 39 )   And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease - then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.
This is a reiteration of the purpose, mentioned earlier in al-Baqarah 2: 193, for which Muslims are required to wage war. The purpose is two-fold. Negatively speaking, the purpose is to eradicate 'mischief'. The positive purpose consists of establishing a state of affairs wherein all obedience is rendered to God alone. This alone is the purpose for which the believers may, rather should, fight. Fighting for any other purpose is not lawful. Nor does it behove men of faith to take part in wars for worldly purposes.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Al-Bukhari recorded that a man came to Ibn `Umar and said to him, "O Abu `Abdur-Rahman! Why do you not implement what Allah said in His Book: (And if two parties (or groups) among the believers fall to fighting...[49:9].

What prevents you from fighting as Allah mentioned in His Book'' Ibn `Umar said, "O my nephew! I prefer that I be reminded with this Ayah rather than fighting, for in the latter case, I will be reminded by the Ayah in which Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, said:
(And whoever kills a believer intentionally...) [4:93]''

The man said, "Allah, the Exalted, said: (And fight them until there is no more Fitnah...).''

Ibn `Umar said, "We did that during the time of the Messenger of Allah, when Islam was weak and the man would be tried in religion, either tormented to death or being imprisoned. When Islam became stronger and widespread, there was no more Fitnah.'' When the man realized that Ibn `Umar would not agree to what he is saying, he asked him, "What do you say about `Ali and `Uthman'' Ibn `Umar replied, "What do I say about `Ali and `Uthman! As for `Uthman, Allah has forgiven him, but you hate that Allah forgives him. As for `Ali, he is the cousin of the Messenger of Allah and his son-in-law,'' and he pointed with his hand saying, "And this is his house over there.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Ibn `Umar came to us and was asked, "What do you say about fighting during Fitnah'' Ibn `Umar said, "Do you know what Fitnah refers to Muhammad was fighting against the idolaters, and at that time, attending (or residing with) the idolators was a Fitnah (trial in religion). It is nothing like what you are doing, fighting to gain leadership!'' All these narrations were collected by Al-Bukhari, may Allah the Exalted grant him His mercy.

Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah: (And fight them until there is no more Fitnah...) "So that there is no more Shirk.'' Similar was said by Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Zayd bin Aslam.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that he was informed from Az-Zuhri, from `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr and other scholars that: (until there is no more Fitnah) the Fitnah mentioned here means, until no Muslim is persecuted so that he abandons his religion.

Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj said: (and the religion will all be for Allah alone) "So that La ilaha illa-llah is proclaimed.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq also commented on this Ayah, "So that Tawhid is practiced in sincerity towards Allah, without Shirk, all the while shunning all rivals who (are being worshipped) besides Him.''

There is a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs that testifies to this explanation. The Messenger of Allah said:
(I was commanded to fight against the people until they proclaim, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' If and when they say it, they will preserve their blood and wealth from me, except for its right (Islamic penal code), and their reckoning is with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.)
Also, in the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said, "The Messenger of Allah was asked about a man who fights because he is courageous, in prejudice with his people, or to show off.

Which of these is for the cause of Allah He said: (Whoever fights so that Allah's Word is the supreme, is in the cause of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.)''

Allah said next: (But if they cease), and desist from their Kufr as a result of your fighting them, even though you do not know the true reasons why they did so, (then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.)

Allah said in similar Ayah: (And fight them until there is no more Fitnah and the religion (worship) is for Allah (alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against the wrongdoers.) [2:193]

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If they cease from fighting and from the persecution of truth, Allah judges then by their actions and their motives, and would not wish that they should be harassed with further hostility. But if they refuse all terms, the righteous have nothing to fear: Allah will help and protect them.
[Cf. ii. 193]

  وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۚ نِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ 
( 40 )   But if they turn away - then know that Allah is your protector. Excellent is the protector, and Excellent is the helper.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah says, if the disbelievers persist in defying and fighting you, then know that Allah is your protector, master and supporter against your enemies. Verily, what an excellent protector and what an excellent supporter.

Verse 41 Rules about the distribution of the spoils of war: This verse is the crux of the matter concerning the distribution of the spoils of war and has thus been deliberated in lengthy detail:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّـهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللَّـهِ وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ 
( 41 )   And know that anything you obtain of war booty - then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our Servant on the day of criterion - the day when the two armies met. And Allah, over all things, is competent.
This verse lay's down the law for distributing the spoils of war. Spoils of war, as mentioned earlier, essentially belong to God and His Messenger. They alone have the right to dispose of them. As for the soldiers who fight, they are not the rightful owners of the spoils; whatever they do receive should be considered an extra reward from God rather than their legitimate right.

Here it is stated how God and His Messenger decided to dispose of the spoils. The prescribed rule is that the soldiers should deposit all the spoils with the ruler or the commander without making any effort to conceal anything. One-fifth of the spoils thus deposited would be assigned for the purposes mentioned in the present verse and four-fifths would be distributed among the soldiers who had taken part in the fighting. In keeping with the directive contained in the present verse, after every battle the Prophet (peace be on him) used to proclaim: 'These are your spoils. My own share in them is no more than one-fifth and even that fifth is spent on you. Bring everything, even if it be a piece of thread or a needle, or anything bigger or smaller, and take nothing by stealth (gulal), for taking by stealth is a shameful deed, and would lead to Hell.' (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 316 - Ed.)

It is pertinent to remember that the share of God and His Messenger (peace be on him) in the spoils signifies that a part of the spoils should be earmarked for the struggle to exalt the Word of God and to establish Islam as an operational system of life..

As to the word 'kinsmen' in the verse, during the Prophet's lifetime, it stood for his relatives. Since the Prophet (peace be on him) devoted all his time to the cause of Islam, he was not in a position to earn his own living. Hence, some arrangement had to be made for the maintenance of the Prophet (peace be on him) as well as for his family, and the relatives dependent upon him for financial support. Hence a part of khums (one-fifth of the spoils of war) was specified for that purpose. There is, however, some disagreement among jurists as to whom this share should go to after the Prophet's death. Some jurists are of the view that after the Prophet's death the rule stands repealed. According to other jurists, this part should go to relatives of those who succeeded him to Caliphate. Other jurists are of the view that this share should be distributed among the poor members of the Prophet's family. To the best of my knowledge, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs followed the last practice. (See the comments of Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir and Jassas on the verse. See also Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid, vol. 1, pp. 377-8 - Ed. )

This refers to the support and help from God which brought about victory for the Muslims.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The rule is that a fifth share is set apart for the Imam (the Commander) and the rest is divided among the forces. The fifth share reserved is expressed to be for Allah and the Prophet, and for charitable purposes for those to whom charity is due. Ultimately everything is at the disposal of Allah and His Prophet: viii. 1: but four-fifths are divided, and only one-fifth is retained for the special purposes. The Imam has discretion as to the mode of division. In the Prophet's life-time a certain portion was assigned to him and his near relatives.

Testing: Furqan: Criterion between right and wrong, decision between the forces of faith and unbelief. The battle of Badr is called by this name. See viii. 29.

Allah's power is shown in the events detailed in the three verses following (vv. 42-44), leading to the complete victory of the Muslims over the pagan Quraish.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah explains the spoils of war in detail, as He has specifically allowed it for this honorable Ummah over all others. We should mention that the `Ghanimah' refers to war spoils captured from the disbelievers, using armies and instruments of war. As for `Fai', it refers to the property of the disbelievers that they forfeit in return for peace, what they leave behind when they die and have no one to inherit from them, and the Jizyah (tribute tax) and Khiraj (property tax). Allah said,

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَىْءٍ فَأَنَّ للَّهِ خُمُسَهُ
(And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah) indicating that the one-fifth should be reserved and paid in full ﴿to Muslim leaders﴾ whether it was little or substantial, even a yarn and needle.

وَمَن يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ
(And whosoever deceives (his companions over the booty), he shall bring forth on the Day of Resurrection that which he took (illegally). Then every person shall be paid in full what he has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.) ﴿3:161﴾

Allah's statement, "فَأَنَّ للَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ " (verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger, ) was explained by Ibn `Abbas, as Ad-Dahhak reported from him, "Whenever the Messenger of Allah sent an army, he used to divide the war booty they collected into five shares, reserving one-fifth and divided it into five shares.''

Then he recited; "وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَىْءٍ فَأَنَّ للَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ " (And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger,)

Ibn Abbas said, "Allah's statement " فَأَنَّ للَّهِ خُمُسَهُ " (verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah) is inclusive of the Messenger's share, just as the following Ayah is inclusive of Allah owning whatever is on the earth also:

لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَـوتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth)[2:284].'' So He addressed the share of Allah and the share of His Messenger in the same statement.

Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Al-Hanifiyyah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ash-Sha`bi, `Ata' bin Abi Rabah, `Abdullah bin Buraydah, Qatadah, Mughirah and several others, all said that the share designated for Allah and the Messenger is one and the same. Supporting this is what Imam Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi recorded, with a Sahih chain of narrators, that `Abdullah bin Shaqiq said that a man from Bilqin said, "I came to the Prophet when he was in Wadi Al-Qura inspecting a horse.

I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What about the Ghanimah' He said: "للهِ خُمُسُهَا وَأَرْبَعَةُ أَخْمَاسِهَا لِلْجَيْش" (Allah's share is one fifth and four-fifths are for the army.)

I asked, `None of them has more right to it than anyone else' He said:

«لَا، وَلَا السَّهْمُ تَسْتَخْرِجُهُ مِنْ جَنْبِكَ لَيْسَ أَنْتَ أَحَقَّ بِهِ مِنْ أَخِيكَ الْمُسْلِم»
(No. Even if you remove an arrow that pierced your flank, you have no more right to it than your Muslim brother.)''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dikarib Al-Kindi sat with `Ubadah bin As-Samit, Abu Ad-Darda' and Al-Harith bin Mu`awiyah Al-Kindi, may Allah be pleased with them, reminding each other of the statements of the Messenger of Allah . Abu Ad-Darda' said to `Ubadah, "O `Ubadah! What about the words of the Messenger of Allah during such and such battle, about the fifth (of the war booty)'' `Ubadah said, "The Messenger of Allah led them in prayer, facing a camel from the war booty. When he finished the prayer, he stood up, held pelt of a camel between his fingers and said,

«إِنَّ هَذِهِ مِنْ غَنَائِمِكُمْ وَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لِي فِيهَا إِلَّا نَصِيبِي مَعَكُمْ إِلَّا الْخُمُسُ، وَالْخُمُسُ مَرْدُودٌ عَلَيْكُمْ، فَأَدُّوا الْخَيْطَ وَالْمَخِيطَ، وَأَكْبَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْغَرَ، وَلَا تَغُلُّوا فَإِنَّ الْغُلُولَ نَارٌ وَعَارٌ عَلَى أَصْحَابِهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، وَجَاهِدُوا النَّاسَ فِي اللهِ الْقَرِيبَ وَالْبَعِيدَ، وَلَا تُبَالُوا فِي اللهِ لَوْمَةَ لَائِمٍ، وَأَقِيمُوا حُدُودَ اللهِ فِي الْحَضَرِ وَالسَّفَرِ، وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، فَإِنَّ الْجِهَادَ بَابٌ مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ عَظِيمٌ، يُنْجِي بِهِ اللهُ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْغَم»
(This is also a part of the war booty you earned. Verily, I have no share in it, except my own share, the fifth designated to me. Even that fifth will be given to you (indicating the Prophet's generosity). Therefore, surrender even the needle and the thread, and whatever is bigger or smaller than that (from the war spoils). Do not cheat with any of it, for stealing from the war booty before its distribution is Fire and a shame on its people in this life and the Hereafter. Perform Jihad against the people in Allah's cause, whether they are near or far, and do not fear the blame of the blamers, as long as you are in Allah's cause. Establish Allah's rules while in your area and while traveling. Perform Jihad in Allah's cause, for Jihad is a tremendous door leading to Paradise. Through it, Allah saves (one) from sadness and grief.)''

This is a tremendous Hadith, but I did not find it in any of the six collections of Hadith through this chain of narration. However, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i recorded a Hadith from `Amr bin Shu`ayb, from his father, from his grandfather `Abdullah bin `Amr, from the Messenger of Allah , and this narration is similar to the one above, and a version from `Amr bin `Anbasah was recorded by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i. The Prophet used to choose some types of the war booty for himself; a servant, a horse, or a sword, according to the reports from Muhammad bin Sirin, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi and many scholars. For instance, Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi -- who graded it Hasan -- recorded from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah chose a sword called `Dhul-Fiqar' on the day of Badr. `A'ishah narrated that Safiyyah was among the captured women, and the Prophet chose ﴿and married﴾ her (upon his own choice and before distribution of war booty), as Abu Dawud narrated in the Sunan. As for the share of the Prophet's relatives, it is paid to Bani Hashim and Bani Al-Muttalib, because the children of Al-Muttalib supported Bani Hashim in Jahiliyyah after Islam. They also went to the mountain pass of Abu Talib in support of the Messenger of Allah and to protect him (when the Quraysh boycotted Muslims for three years). Those who were Muslims (from Bani Al-Muttalib) did all this in obedience to Allah and His Messenger , while the disbelievers among them did so in support of their tribe and in obedience to Abu Talib, the Messenger's uncle.

Allah said next: "وَالْيَتَـمَى " (the orphans), in reference to Muslim orphans, and "وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ" (and the wayfarer), the traveler and those who intend to travel for a distance during which shortening the prayer is legislated, but do not have resources to spend from. We will explain this subject in Surah Bara'h ﴿9:60﴾, Allah willing, and our reliance and trust is in Him alone.

Allah said: " إِن كُنتُمْ ءَامَنْتُم بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا" (If you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our servant)

Allah says, `Adhere to what We legislated for you, such as the ruling about one-fifth of the war spoils, if you truly believe in Allah, the Last Day and what We have revealed to Our Messenger .' In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Abdullah bin `Abbas said, - while narrating the lengthy Hadith about the delegation of Bani Abdul Qays - that the Messenger of Allah said to them, s

«وآمُرُكُمْ بِأَرْبَعٍ، وَأَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْ أَرْبَعٍ. آمُرُكُمْ بِالْإِيمَانِ بِاللهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ: هَلْ تَدْرُونَ مَا الْإِيمَــانُ بِاللهِ؟ شَهَــــادَةُ أَن لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ، وَإِقَامُ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءُ الزَّكَاةِ، وَأن تُؤَدُّوا الْخُمُسَ مِنَ الْمَغْنَم»
I command you with four and forbid four from you. I command you to believe in Allah. Do you know what it means to believe in Allah Testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, giving Zakah and honestly surrendering one-fifth of the war spoils.)

Therefore, the Messenger listed surrendering one-fifth of the war booty as part of faith. This is why Al-Bukhari wrote a chapter in his Sahih entitled, "Chapter: Paying the Khumus (one-fifth) is Part of Faith.'' He then narrated the above Hadith from Ibn `Abbas.

Allah said next: " يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ " - (on the Day of Criterion, the Day when the two forces met; and Allah is Able to do all things.)

Allah is making His favors and compassion towards His creation known, when He distinguished between truth and falsehood in the battle of Badr. That day was called, `Al-Furqan', because Allah raised the word of faith above the word of falsehood, He made His religion apparent and supported His Prophet and his group. `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Badr is YawmAl-Furqan; during it, Allah separated between truth and falsehood.'' Al-Hakim collected this statement. Similar statements were reported from Mujahid, Miqsam, `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and several others.

The remaining verses 42-44 of Ruku 5 have been included with Part II as these form the premise for Battle of Badr (Ruku 6 onward). The Part II will deliberate on the following:
  • The Battle of Badr was a testing time, and showed how virtue and valour can conquer against odds. Steadfastness and obedience; faith, courage, and fearlessness: due preparation and free expenditure of resources and energy:- these are expected from you by Alan, and His help is all-sufficient (vii. 38-64)
  • Even tenfold odds against you do not count if you are fighting for truth and faith, but remember clemency and consideration in the hour of victory (viii. 65-75.)
You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Al Anfal with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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