Showing posts with label Surah Anfal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surah Anfal. Show all posts

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Rules in Islam for keeping covenant (or otherwise) with others

War and peace are fought and kept while remaining under some rules which should not be broken unilaterally. Islam is one such religion which emphasises the need to keeping covenants with non Muslims and even within themselves so that no wrongs or excesses are committed. Every effort must be made to keep the treaties intact till they reach their maturity or timed restrictions.

However, if Muslims feel that they are being wronged and undue advantage is being taken under the garb of a treaty, then they are allowed to inform the opposite site of the breech of the terms and conditions of the treaty and if despite this the opposing side shows belligerency and continues to hurt the very essence of the treaty, they should cast back the treaty at he opposing side in an equitable manner and be ready to counter their treachery for Allah does not like the treacherous. 

The 58th verse of Surah 8. Al Anfal (The Spoils of War) lays down the rule for keeping covenants or otherwise with their opponents. In fact this verse lays down the basis of a very strong and just foreign policy for Muslims:

وَاِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِنۡ قَوۡمٍ خِيَانَةً فَانْۢبِذۡ اِلَيۡهِمۡ عَلٰى سَوَآءٍ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الۡخَآئِنِيۡنَ‏ 
(8:58) If thou hast reason to fear treachery from people [with whom thou hast made a covenant], cast it back at them in an equitable manner: for, verily, God does not love the treacherous!.
This verse lays down a very clear and strict rule for the breaking of a treaty when necessary, and enjoins the Muslims to "throw their treaty openly before them" . According to this verse, it is unlawful to make a unilateral decision of its termination, even if the Muslims felt that the other party with whom they had entered into an alliance, was not observing the treaty strictly and properly, or if they were afraid that the other party would turn treacherous on the first opportunity. Therefore it forbids them to treat the other party in a way as if there had been no treaty with it at all. On the other hand, this verse binds the Muslims to inform the other party in clear words, before taking any step against it, that the treaty with it had been terminated. This is essential so that the other party should have no misunderstanding whatsoever that the treaty was still in force. The Holy Prophet based the international policy of Islam on this verse. He decreed, "The one that has made a treaty with another party is bound by it until the expiry of its teen. Or if obliged, then one should throw it before the other party so that both may be set on equal footing" . Then he extended the same principle to all other affairs, saying, "Behave not treacherously even towards those who are treacherous to you" . And he had impressed the same so deeply on the minds that this principle was observed most strictly both in letter and in spirit. That is why when Amir Mu'aviyah assembled his army near the frontiers of the Roman Empire with the intention that he would invade their territory immediately after the expiry of the term of the treaty, Hadrat Amar bin `Anbasah, a Companion of the Holy Prophet, strongly protested against this and recited the same Tradition before him according to which even concentration of army was a piece of treachery. The Amir had to submit to this, and he gave up the concentration of army.

It may also be noted that the practice of unilateral abrogation of treaties `and invading the enemy without any declaration of war was common during the time of `ignorance' in the ancient times and is also in vogue in the civilized ignorance: of today. For example, during World War' II, Germany invaded Russia, and Britain and Russia took military action against Iran without any formal declaration of war. It may be noted that the pleas put forward for such breaches and violations are very flimsy: it is argued that if a declaration of war had been made beforehand, the other party would have taken precautionary measures and given a tough fight; or that if they had not taken action, their enemy would have forestalled them. But they seem to forget that if moral responsibilities were to be set aside on such lame excuses, then there remains no crime and no sin that cannot be justified on one plea or the other, and every thief, every robber; every adulterer, every murderer and every forgerer can put forward a justification for his crime or sin. But it is strange that the modem leaders have two standards of judgment. While they justify the acts of treachery in the international sphere, they condemn the same when these are committed in their own national sphere.

There is, however, an exception to the above principle. The Islamic Law allows the Muslims to attack the other party, if it violates the treaty openly and takes some specific inimical action against them. In such a clear case, this verse does not bind them to give a due notice of the termination of the treaty, but grants them the right to take military action against such a treacherous party without giving any ultimatum. The Muslim jurists have deduced this exception from a precedent set by the Holy Prophet. When the Quraish openly broke the treaty of Hudaibiyah, in regard to Bani Khuza`ah, he did not consider it obligatory to give them a notice that he, too, had terminated the same. He, therefore, invaded Makkah without giving them any notice. But here we must strike a note of warning. In order to take advantage of this exception, we must consider all the circumstances under which the Holy Prophet thought it right to invade Makkah. In that case, and in that alone, it is lawful for us to follow the precedent set by him; otherwise we are liable to take undue advantage of it. We learn from the books of Hadith and Sirat that the following circumstances led him to take this step:
  • (1) The violation of the treaty by the Quraish was so glaring that there was absolutely no doubt that there had been a breach and they themselves confessed that the treaty had come to an end. That is why they sent Abu Sufyan to AI-Madinah for its renewal. Though that was a proof that they also knew that the treaty had come to an end, it does not mean that this exception will be justifiable only if those who violate the treaty also know it and confess it. The exception will be only justifiable if the violation would be quite clear and beyond any doubt.
  • (2) After the violation of the treaty, the Holy Prophet did not indicate in any way whatever by word or by deed or by implication- that in spite of the violation of the treaty by them he regarded the treaty to be still in force; nor did he continue such relations with them as might indicate the same. All the traditions show that he rejected the offer of the renewal of the treaty made by Abu Sufyan.
  • (3) He openly took the military action against the Quraish and did nothing at all to show an outward display of peace while harboring secret intentions of war.
This is the excellent precedent set by the Holy Prophet in this matter. An exception to the injunction contained in this verse can, therefore, be made under such specific circumstances that existed on the occasion, and that, too, in the same straightforward noble way.

Besides, it is lawful for the Muslims to use force for the settlement of an issue if and when they find that the other party is neither willing to solve it by mutual talk nor by international arbitration, but is bent upon using force. In such a case, this verse makes it incumbent on the Muslims to make a clear and open declaration to this effect before taking any action. Islam considers a secret military action as immoral and does not allow it, if the Muslims are not prepared to make an open declaration of war.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(If you fear from any people), with whom you have a treaty of peace, (treachery), and betrayal of peace treaties and agreements that you have conducted with them, (then throw back (their covenant) to them), meaning their treaty of peace.

(on equal terms), informing them that you are severing the treaty. This way, you will be on equal terms, in that, you and they will be aware that a state of war exists between you and that the bilateral peace treaty is null and void,

(Certainly Allah likes not the treacherous. ) This even includes treachery against the disbelievers. Imam Ahmad recorded that Salim bin `Amir said, "Mu`awiyah was leading an army in Roman lands, at a time the bilateral peace treaty was valid. He wanted to go closer to their forces so that when the treaty of peace ended, he could invade them. An old man riding on his animal said, `Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Great), Allahu Akbar! Be honest and stay away from betrayal.' The Messenger of Allah said,
(Whoever has a treaty of peace with a people, then he should not untie any part of it or tie it harder until the treaty reaches its appointed term. Or, he should declare the treaty null and void so that they are both on equal terms.) When Mu`awiyah was informed of the Prophet's statement, he retreated. They found that man to be `Amr bin `Anbasah, may Allah be pleased with him.'' This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''
Muhammad Asad Explanation:
The "reason to fear treachery" must not, of course, be based on mere surmise but on clear, objective evidence (Tabari, Baghawi, Razi; also Manar X, 58).

I.e., "renounce the covenant in an equitable manner ('ala sawa')". Tabari explains this sentence thus: "Before making war on them, inform them that because of the clear evidence of their treachery thou hast renounced the treaty which existed between thee and them, so that both thou and they should know that thou art at war with them." Baghawi, in his commentary on this verse, gives an almost identical interpretation and adds, "so that they should not be under the false impression that thou hast renounced the treaty after having started the war." Thus, the concluding sentence of this verse - "God does not love the treacherous" - is a warning to the believers as well as to their enemies (Manar X, 58 f.).

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: عَلٰي سَوَآءٍ. What do they mean? Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
... The expression عَلٰي سَوَآءٍ means that Muslims also have the right to retaliate on equal footing. It is evident from it that the revenge should never exceed the harm inflicted: it should be commensurate with it. Some people have derived from this expression that it is essential to inform the opposite party about the termination of a treaty. I could find no argument for this deduction in it. However, what is evident is that a mere hypothetical fear is not enough to end a treaty. The other party must have practically breached it. In the first place the verb تَخَافَنَّ has emphasis in it. Secondly, the condition عَلٰي سَوَآءٍ also points to this. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī,
Explanation Qur'an Wiki:
The ruling deals with fearing and expecting treachery. There should be clear signs that a particular group or community are actually contemplating such violation of a treaty. In this case the Prophet is directed to take the following approach: “And if you fear treachery from any folk, cast [your treaty with them] back to them in a fair manner. God does not love the treacherous.” (Verse 58)

Islam here sets out a code of practice. When a treaty is concluded, the Muslim community will undoubtedly honour it. If they fear that the other party is about to violate it, then the Muslims declare the termination of the treaty, without any attempt to cheat or deceive the other party. What is meant here is an open and clear termination of a treaty so that each party realizes that peaceful relations are over. Islam attaches a very high value to honesty and integrity in order to ensure peace and security. Launching a treacherous attack on people who rely on covenants that remain in force is alien to the nature of Islam.

Islam wants humanity to rise above worldly temptations and to be sublime. Hence, it does not allow treachery for the sake of achieving a cheap victory at a time when it strives for the noblest of causes and aims. People who have honourable aims cannot utilize dishonourable means. Islam finds treachery repugnant and looks at traitors who violate their treaties with contempt. Therefore, it does not accept that Muslims violate their covenants for the achievement of any objective, noble as it may be. The human soul is a complete whole. When it allows itself to resort to disgraceful means it cannot maintain its noble aims. He is not a Muslim who claims that the ends justify the means. Such a principle is alien to Islamic thinking and cannot fit with Islamic sensitivities. Within the human self there can be no gulf to separate the ends from the means. Reaching a clean shore does not tempt a Muslim to walk through a muddy pool, because the shore will not remain clean after dirty feet have walked there. Hence, “God does not love the treacherous.” 

You may like to listen to prominent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the above said ayah:

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others life miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Reading the Qur'ān 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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so  that they are able to discuss issues with Non Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Reference: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
Reading the Qur'ān 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 Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the 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. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
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.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Monday 29 March 2021

When Allah's name is mentioned, hearts of true believers quake

Believing in Allah is not easy. When a believer tries to follow the true path shown by Allah, he is too cautious not to step out of the straight path for evil forces are too tempting and provocation. and even if a digressive thought comes into their mind for a moment, his heart trembles of the wrath of Allah that may befall on them. Hearts of believers are always fearful whenever name of Allah is mentioned for this instantly remind them that if they take a wrong step, Allah will be watching. That is why they take solace in listening to the verses of Qur'an for it reassures them of mercy of Allah and their trust grows:

اِنَّمَا الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ الَّذِيۡنَ اِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّٰهُ وَجِلَتۡ قُلُوۡبُهُمۡ وَاِذَا تُلِيَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ اٰيٰتُهٗ زَادَتۡهُمۡ اِيۡمَانًا وَّعَلٰى رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُوۡنَ ​​ۖ ​ۚ‏ 
The true believers are those who, when Allah's name is mentioned, their hearts quake, and when His verses are recited to them their faith grows, and who put their trust in their Lord; (Surah 8 Anfal:2) 

The believers, those whose faith is complete, are only those who, when God is mentioned, that is, when His threat of punishment [is mentioned], their hearts tremble, fear, and when His verses are recited to them, they increase their faith, their acceptance of the truth, and who rely upon their Lord, [who] put their trust in Him [alone], and not in any other.

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 fulfil 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.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
"None of Allah's remembrance enters the hearts of the hypocrites upon performing what He has ordained. They neither believe in any of Allah's Ayat nor trust (in Allah) nor pray if they are alone nor pay the Zakah due on their wealth. Allah stated that they are not believers. He then described the believers by saying,
( " إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ " The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts)
(" وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً " and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith)
( وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ and they put their trust in their Lord), having hope in none except Him. '' 
Mujahid commented on: ( وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ their hearts Wajilat), "Their hearts become afraid and fearful.'' Similar was said by As-Suddi and several others. The quality of a true believer is that when Allah is mentioned, he feels a fear in his heart, and thus implements His orders and abstains from His prohibitions. 

Allah said in a similar Ayah:
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (immoral sin) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; -- and none can forgive sins but Allah -- and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know) [3:135], and,
But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from vain desires. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.) [79:40-41]
Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that As-Suddi commented: "A man might be thinking of committing injustice or a sin. But he abstains when he is told, `Have Taqwa of Allah', and his heart becomes fearful.'''

To summaries, it can be said: The true believers are those who are in owe of Allah (s.w.t) because of His glorification and veneration. That is, when the speech is delivered upon Allah's justice, retribution, and power, they dread, and when the speech is about His bounties, kindnesses, graces, and rewards, they feel peace in themselves; as the Qur'an says:
“... now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest.” (Surah Ar-Ra'd, No. 13, verse 28).
Thus, there is no contrast between these two verses, because fear relates to the remembrance of Allah's retribution and peace, but peace and rest relates to the remembrance of Allah's forgiveness and kindness.

Moreover, whenever a believer remembers the Divine bounties and forgiveness of Allah, he obtains a favorable opinion and he rests, but when he remembers his own sins, he becomes inconvenient and anxious. The verse says:
“Verily believers are only those who, when Allah is mention, their hearts quake...”
The Arabic term /wajila/ means ‘to fear, apprehend’ which is accompanied with sadness. Then the verse continues saying: “...and when His Signs are recited to them, it increases them in faith...” In that circumstance, their faith and their certainty will be increased. “...and in their Lord (alone) do they trust.”
Such people trust in Allah in any conditions and they rely on Him for the affairs of their lives.
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Reference: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Reading the Qur'ān 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 Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the 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. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
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.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Tuesday 21 April 2020

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

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 pasted. 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 Overview. We now commence with the Part II that covers Ruku / Sections 5-10 (Verses 38-75). Two main subjects have been discussed in this part:
  • The Battle of Badr which 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 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"

We start the Part II with the remaining verses 42-44 of Ruku 5 (included in Part I) as these form a premise for the Battle of Badr:

اِذۡ اَنۡتُمۡ بِالۡعُدۡوَةِ الدُّنۡيَا وَهُمۡ بِالۡعُدۡوَةِ الۡقُصۡوٰى وَ الرَّكۡبُ اَسۡفَلَ مِنۡكُمۡ​ؕ وَلَوۡ تَوَاعَدْتُّمۡ لَاخۡتَلَفۡتُمۡ فِى الۡمِيۡعٰدِ​ۙ وَلٰـكِنۡ لِّيَقۡضِىَ اللّٰهُ اَمۡرًا كَانَ مَفۡعُوۡلًا ۙ لِّيَهۡلِكَ مَنۡ هَلَكَ عَنۡۢ بَيِّنَةٍ وَّيَحۡيٰى مَنۡ حَىَّ عَنۡۢ بَيِّنَةٍ​ ؕ وَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَسَمِيۡعٌ عَلِيۡمٌۙ‏ 
( 42 )   [Remember] when you were on the near side of the valley, and they were on the farther side, and the caravan was lower [in position] than you. If you had made an appointment [to meet], you would have missed the appointment. But [it was] so that Allah might accomplish a matter already destined - that those who perished [through disbelief] would perish upon evidence and those who lived [in faith] would live upon evidence; and indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
The living and the dead spoken of in the above verse do not signify the individuals who survived the battle or those killed during it. The reference here is to the ideological entities of Islam and Jahiliyah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The little Islamic force from Madinah went out to meet the big Makkan army, and they met on the two sides of a valley at Badr, while the Quraish caravan was on lower ground towards the sea, about 3 miles from Badr.

They were all at cross purposes. The caravan was making for Makkah, but scarcely thought it could get there. The Quraish force was trying to save the caravan and then annihilate the Muslims. The Muslims had decided to attack the Quraish army from Makkah which turned out to be big, more than three times their number. Yet the two forces met, precisely at the spot and at the time when a decisive battle should take place and the Muslims dispose of the pretensions of the Makkans. If they had carefully planned a mutual appointment, they could not have carried it out more precisely. On the Muslim side the few martyrs knew that the victory was theirs and those who survived the battle enjoyed the fruits of the victory. On the pagan side, both those who died and those who lived knew fully the issue joined. Even psychologically both sides went in with full determination to decide the issue.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah describes Yawm Al-Furqan, (i.e. the day of Badr):
((And remember) when you (the Muslim army) were on the near side of the valley,) camping in the closest entrance of the valley towards Al-Madinah, (and they), the idolaters, who were camped, (on the farther side), from Al-Madinah, towards Makkah. (and the caravan), that was under the command of Abu Sufyan, with the wealth that it contained, (on the ground lower than you), closer to the sea, (even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet,) you and the idolaters, (you would certainly have failed in the appointment)

Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "Yahya bin `Abbad bin `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated to me from his father about this Ayah "Had there been an appointed meeting set between you and them and you came to know of their superior numbers and your few forces, you would not have met them:
(but (you met) that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained,) Allah had decreed that He would bring glory to Islam and its people, while disgracing Shirk and its people. You ﴿the companions﴾ had no knowledge this would happen, but it was out of Allah's compassion that He did that.'' In a Hadith, Ka`b bin Malik said, "The Messenger of Allah and the Muslims marched to intercept the Quraysh caravan, but Allah made them meet their (armed) enemy without appointment.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Yazid bin Ruwman narrated to him that `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, "Upon approaching Badr, the Messenger of Allah sent `Ali bin Abi Talib, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, Az-Zubayr bin Al-`Awwam and several other Companions to spy the pagans. They captured two boys, a servant of Bani Sa`id bin Al-`As and a servant of Bani Al-Hajjaj, while they were bringing water for Quraysh. So they brought them to the Messenger of Allah , but found him praying. The Companions started interrogating the boys, asking them to whom they belonged. Both of them said that they were employees bringing water for Quraysh (army). The Componions were upset with that answer, since they thought that the boys belonged to Abu Sufyan (who was commanding the caravan). So they beat the two boys vehemently, who said finally that they belonged to Abu Sufyan. Thereupon companions left them alone. 
When the Prophet ended the prayer, he said: (When they tell you the truth you beat them, but when they lie you let them go They have said the truth, by Allah! They belong to the Quraysh. (addressing to the boys He said:) Tell me the news about Quraysh.)

The two boys said, `They are behind this hill that you see, on the far side of the valley.' The Messenger of Allah asked: (How many are they). (How many) They said, `We do not know the precise number.' He asked: (How many camels do they slaughter every day). They said, `Nine or ten a day.'

He asked again, They said, `They are many.' He asked: (They are between nine-hundred and a thousand.)

He asked again: (Which chiefs of Quraysh are accompanying the army) They said, `Utbah bin Rabi`ah, Shaybah bin Rabi`ah, Abu Al-Bakhtari bin Hisham, Hakim bin Hizam, Nawfal bin Khuwaylid, Al-Harith bin `Amir bin Nawfal, Tu`aymah bin Adi bin Nawfal, An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, Zam`ah bin Al-Aswad, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Umayyah bin Khalaf, Nabih and Munabbih sons of Al-Hajjaj, Suhayl bin `Amr and `Amr bin `Abd Wadd.'

The Messenger of Allah said to the people: (This is Makkah! She has brought you her most precious sons (its chiefs)!)''

Allah said:(So that those who were to be destroyed might be destroyed after a clear evidence.) [8:42]

Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, "So that those who disbelieve do so after witnessing clear evidence, proof and lessons, and those who believe do so after witnessing the same.'' This is a sound explanation. Allah says, He made you meet your enemy in one area without appointment, so that He gives you victory over them.' This way, `He will raise the word of truth above falsehood, so that the matter is made clear, the proof unequivocal and the evidence plain. Then there will be no more plea or doubt for anyone. Then, those destined to destruction by persisting in disbelief do so with evidence, aware that they are misguided and that proof has been established against them,

(and those who were to live might live), those who wish to believe do so, (after a clear evidence), and proof. Verily, faith is the life of the heart, as Allah said:(Is he who was dead (without faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and faith) and set for him a light (of belief) whereby he can walk among men ...) ﴿6:122﴾.

Allah said next: (And surely, Allah is All-Hearer), of your invocation, humility and requests for His help, (All-Knower) meaning; about you, and you deserve victory over your rebellious, disbelieving enemies.

إِذْ يُرِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ فِي مَنَامِكَ قَلِيلًا ۖ وَلَوْ أَرَاكَهُمْ كَثِيرًا لَّفَشِلْتُمْ وَلَتَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ سَلَّمَ ۗ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ 
( 43 )   [Remember, O Muhammad], when Allah showed them to you in your dream as few; and if He had shown them to you as many, you [believers] would have lost courage and would have disputed in the matter [of whether to fight], but Allah saved [you from that]. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.
This refers to the time when the Prophet (peace be on him) was leaving Madina along with the Muslims, or was on his way to Badr for the encounter with the Quraysh and did not have any definite information about the strength of the enemy. In a dream, however, the Prophet (peace be on him) had a vision of the enemy. On the basis of that vision, the Prophet (peace he on him) estimated that the enemy, was not too powerful. Later when the Prophet (peace be on him) narrated his dream to the Muslims, they; were also encouraged and boldly went ahead to confront the enemy,

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Mujahid said, "In a dream, Allah showed the Prophet the enemy as few. The Prophet conveyed this news to his Companions and their resolve strengthened.'' Similar was said by Ibn Ishaq and several others.

Allah said: (If He had shown them to you as many, you would surely, have been discouraged,) you would have cowardly abstained from meeting them and fell in dispute among yourselves, (But Allah saved), from all this, when He made you see them as few,

(Certainly, He is the All-Knower of that is in the breasts.) Allah knows what the heart and the inner-self conceal, and (Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal) [40:19]

 وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِكُمْ قَلِيلًا وَيُقَلِّلُكُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِهِمْ لِيَقْضِيَ اللَّـهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّـهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُورُ 
( 44 )   And [remember] when He showed them to you, when you met, as few in your eyes, and He made you [appear] as few in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish a matter already destined. And to Allah are [all] matters returned.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes) demonstrates Allah's compassion towards the believers. Allah made them see few disbelievers in their eyes, so that they would be encouraged and feel eager to meet them. Abu Ishaq As-Subai`i said, that Abu `Ubaydah said that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "They were made to seem few in our eyes during Badr, so that I said to a man who was next to me, `Do you think they are seventy' He said, `Rather, they are a hundred.' However, when we captured one of them, we asked him and he said, `We were a thousand.''' Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded it.

Allah said next: (and He made you appear as few in their eyes,)

Allah said:(And (remember) when you met. He showed them to you...), He encouraged each of the two groups against the other, according to `Ikrimah, as recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. This statement has a Sahih chain of narrators. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Yahya bin `Abbad bin `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated to him that his father said about Allah's statement,

(so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained, ) "In order for the war to start between them, so that He would have revenge against those whom He decided to have revenge (pagans), and grant and complete His favor upon those He decided to grant favor to, His supporters.'' The meaning of this, is that Allah encouraged each group against the other and made them look few in each other's eyes, so that they were eager to meet them. This occurred before the battle started, but when it started and Allah supported the believers with a thousand angels in succession, the disbelieving group saw the believers double their number.

Allah said:(There has already been a sign for you (O Jews) in the two armies that met (in combat, the battle of Badr). One was fighting in the cause of Allah, and as for the other, (they) were disbelievers. They (disbelievers) saw them (believers) with their own eyes twice their number. And Allah supports with His aid whom He wills. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand.) [3:13]

The actual disparity between the two armies was roughly three to one, but even a cursory glance was enough to tell the casual observer that the army of unbelievers was about twice as large as that of the believers.

The events and results of the Battle of Badr are briefly reviewed [3:13] so as to bring home certain lessons to the Muslims. There are three important lessons to be learnt.
First, the manner in which the believers and the unbelievers advanced to the battlefield clearly demonstrated the difference in the moral fiber of the two armies. In the army of the unbelievers, the soldiers held drinking parties and were entertained by the songs and dances of slave girls. The prevalent mood of that army was one of self-indulgence. On the other hand, piety, fear of God and moral restraint of the highest order characterized the Muslim army. The soldiers were busy in devotion and remembrance of God, to Whom they addressed all their prayers and supplication. It was obvious to anyone which army was fighting in God's cause. 
Second, the believers won a resounding victory against an army of unbelievers superior to them in numbers, and in the quality and the quantity of arms. So the victory clearly indicated which of the two armies enjoyed the support of God. 
Third, the outcome of the battle came as a shocking humiliation for those who, heedless of God's might, had been exulting in the strength of their arms and the number of their supporters. It came as a shock to such people when God subjected a tribe like the Quraysh, foremost in influence and power throughout Arabia, to an ignominious defeat at the hands of a few ill-equipped Makkan fugitives and peasants from Madina.
This is how we combine these two Ayat (43-44), and certainly, each one of them is true, all the thanks are due to Allah and all the favors are from Him.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Muslim army though they knew their worldly disadvantage, did not realize the full odds against them. The Makkans came exulting in any case, and they despised the contemptible little force, opposed to them. Even though they thought the Muslim force was twice as great as it was (iii. 13), still that number was contemptible, when taken with its poor equipment. Both these psychological visions subserved the main Plan, which was to bring the matter to a decisive issue, whether the Pagans of Makkah were to continue their arrogant oppression, or the religion of Allah was to be established in freedom and honour.

Ruku / Sections 6 [Verses 45-48]
Verses 45-48 Order of Allah to remain firm during combat against enemy:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا لَقِيتُمْ فِئَةً فَاثْبُتُوا وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ 
( 45 )   O you who have believed, when you encounter a company [from the enemy forces], stand firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah instructs His faithful servants in the manners of fighting and methods of courage when meeting the enemy in battle: (O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them)

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Abdullah bin Abi Awfa said that during one battle, Allah's Messenger waited until the sun declined, then stood among the people and said:
(O people! Do not wish to face the enemy (in a battle) and ask Allah to save you (from calamities). But if you should face the enemy, then be patient and let it be known to you that Paradise is under the shadows of the swords.)
He then stood and said: (O Allah! Revealer of the (Holy) Book, Mover of the clouds, and Defeater of the Confederates, defeat them and grant us victory over them.)

  وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ ۖ وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ 
( 46 )   And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
The believers were asked to exercise self-restraint. They were required to refrain from haste, panic, consternation, creed and uncalled-for enthusiasm. They were counselled to proceed cool-headedly and to take well-considered decisions. They were also asked not to relent an inch even in the face of crave dangers: refrain from acting rashly under provocation; to desist from taking hasty action out of impatience. They were also asked to exercise control over themselves lest they were tempted by worldly gains. All these instructions are implicit in the Qur'anic directive of patience given to the Muslims. God extends all help and support to those who exercise 'patience' (sabr) in the above sense.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah commands endurance upon meeting the enemy in battle and ordains patience while fighting them. Muslims are not allowed to run or shy away, or show cowardice in battle. They are commanded to remember Allah while in that condition and never neglect His remembrance. They should rather invoke Him for support, trust in Him and seek victory over their enemies from Him. They are required to obey Allah and His Messenger in such circumstances adhering to what He commanded them, and abstaining from what He forbade them. They are required to avoid disputing with each other, for this might lead to their defeat and failure,

(lest your strength departs), so that your strength, endurance and courage do not depart from you,

(and be patient. Surely, Allah is with the patients.)

In their courage, and obedience to Allah and His Messenger, the Companions reached a level never seen before by any nation or generation before them, or any nation that will ever come. Through the blessing of the Messenger and their obedience to what he commanded, the Companions were able to open the hearts, as well as, the various eastern and western parts of the world in a rather short time. This occurred even though they were few, compared to the armies of the various nations at that time. For example, the Romans, Persians, Turks, Slavs, Berbers, Ethiopians, Sudanese tribes, the Copts and the rest of the Children of Adam. They defeated all of these nations, until Allah's Word became the highest and His religion became dominant above all religions. The Islamic state spread over the eastern and western parts of the world in less than thirty years. May Allah grant them His pleasure, as well as, be pleased with them all, and may He gather us among them, for He is the Most Generous, and Giving.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A fine description of the Muslim virtues which make for success and whose loss brings about humiliation and failure. "Power": literally, "wind",-the favourable wind for a sailing ship.

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ خَرَجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِم بَطَرًا وَرِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ 
( 47 )   And do not be like those who came forth from their homes insolently and to be seen by people and avert [them] from the way of Allah. And Allah is encompassing of what they do.
A true description of the Makkan army which met its doom.

This alludes to the army of the disbelieving Qurayash, which, when it proceeded on a military expedition against the Muslims, was accompanied by singing and dancing minstrels. (See Ibn Sa'd. vol. 2, p. 13 - Ed.) Whenever the army halted, dancing and drinking parties were held. Also the army arrogantly vaunted its military power and numerical strength before the tribes and localities which fell on the way, and boasted of its invincibility. (See al-Waqidi, vol. 1, p. 39 - Ed.) This much is about the moral state of the Quraysh army. What was even worse was the object of their fighting. They were not fighting for any lofty ideal. What they aimed at was merely to defeat the forces of truth and justice, to suppress and obliterate the only group which sought to uphold the truth. They simply did not want any one to champion the cause of truth and justice.

This occasion was considered appropriate to warn the Muslims not to let themselves degenerate into a group like the Quraysh. God had favoured them with faith and devotion to the truth. and gratitude to God for this favour required that they should purify both their conduct and their reason for fighting.

This directive was not meant just for the time in which it was revealed. It is equally applicable today, and will remain applicable in all times to come. The forces of Unbelief today are no different from those in the time of the Prophet (peace he on him) for the moral state of the present-day armies is no better than of armies in the past. Arrangements for prostitution and drinking are as much a part of the present-day armies of unbelievers as ever before. The soldiers in these armies feel no shame in openly demanding the maximum amount of alcoholic drinks and as many call-girls as possible. Without any sense of shame the soldiers virtually ask their compatriots to make available to them their daughters and sisters for the gratification of their lust. That being the case how can one expect that the soldiers of today would not go about committing debauchery and polluting the life of the people in the lands which they happen to conquer?

Apart from moral corruption, the soldiers of the present-day armies are known for their arrogance and affrontery to the conquered peoples. Their gestures and conversation - both of ordinary soldiers and officers - bespeak of their arrogance. Arrogance is also reflected in the statements made by the statesmen of the militarily-strong and triumphant nations who in effect boastfully say to their people, in the words of the Quran: 'No one shall overcome you today' (al-Anfal 8: 48) and challenging the whole world in their vainglory: 'Who is greater than us in strength?' (Surah 41 Fusilat: 15).

These powers are evidently wicked, but the purposes for which they wage war are even more so. These powers are keen, out of sheer trickery, to assure the rest of the world that in waging war they are prompted only by the welfare of mankind. In actual fact, they might have either one motive for waging war or another, but it is absolutely certain that the motive is not the welfare of mankind. Their purpose is to establish their exclusive control and to exploit the resources created by God for all mankind. Their goal is to reduce other nations to the position of hewers of wood and drawers of water and to subject them to thraldom and servitude. Here Muslims are being told, in effect, that they should eschew the ways of non-Muslims and desist from devoting their lives, energy, and resources to the evil purposes for which non-Muslims engage in warfare.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
After Allah commanded the believers to fight in His cause sincerely and to be mindful of Him, He commanded not to imitate the idolaters, who went out of their homes

(boastfully) to suppress the truth, (and to be seen of men), boasting arrogantly with people. When Abu Jahl was told that the caravan escaped safely, so they should return to Makkah, he commented, "No, by Allah! We will not go back until we proceed to the well of Badr, slaughter camels, drink alcohol and female singers sing to us. This way, the Arabs will always talk about our stance and what we did on that day.'' However, all of this came back to haunt Abu Jahl, because when they proceeded to the well of Badr, they brought themselves to death; and in the aftermath of Badr, they were thrown in the well of Badr, dead, disgraced, humiliated, despised and miserable in an everlasting, eternal torment.

This is why Allah said here: (and Allah is Muhit (encompassing and thoroughly comprehending) all that they do.) He knows how and what they came for, and this is why He made them taste the worst punishment. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi commented on Allah's statement: (And be not like those who come out of their homes boastfully and to be seen of men,) "They were the idolaters who fought against the Messenger of Allah at Badr.'' Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "When the Quraysh left Makkah towards Badr, they brought female singers and drums along.

Allah revealed this verse: (And be not like those who come out of their homes boastfully and to be seen of men, and hinder (men) from the path of Allah; and Allah is Muhit (encompassing and thoroughly comprehending) all that they do.)

  وَإِذْ زَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ وَقَالَ لَا غَالِبَ لَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَإِنِّي جَارٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا تَرَاءَتِ الْفِئَتَانِ نَكَصَ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ وَقَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّنكُمْ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ مَا لَا تَرَوْنَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّـهَ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ 
( 48 )   And [remember] when Satan made their deeds pleasing to them and said, "No one can overcome you today from among the people, and indeed, I am your protector." But when the two armies sighted each other, he turned on his heels and said, "Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I see what you do not see; indeed I fear Allah. And Allah is severe in penalty."
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah said next: (And (remember) when Shaytan made their (evil) deeds seem fair to them and said, "No one of mankind can overcome you today and verily, I am your neighbor.'')

Shaytan, may Allah curse him, made the idolaters' purpose for marching seem fair to them. He made them think that no other people could defeat them that day. He also ruled out the possibility that their enemies, the tribe of Bani Bakr, would attack Makkah, saying, "I am your neighbor.'' Shaytan appeared to them in the shape of Suraqah bin Malik bin Ju`shum, the chief of Bani Mudlij, so that, as Allah described them:

(He (Shaytan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan's promises are nothing but deceptions) [4:120].

Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, (8:48) "On the day of Badr, Shaytan, as well as, his flag holder and soldiers, accompanied the idolaters. He whispered to the hearts of the idolaters, `None can defeat you today! I am your neighbor.'

When they met the Muslims and Shaytan witnessed the angels coming to their aid, (he ran away), he went away in flight while proclaiming, (Verily, I see what you see not.)''

`Ali bin Abi Talhah said, that Ibn `Abbas said about this Ayah: ("No one of mankind can overcome you today and verily, I am your neighbor'):
"Shaytan, as well as, his devil army and flag holders, came on the day of Badr in the shape of a Suraqah bin Malik bin Ju`shum, man from Bani Mudlij, Shaytan said to idolators, `None will defeat you this day, and I will help you.' When the two armies stood face to face, the Messenger of Allah took a handful of sand and threw it at the faces of the idolators, causing them to retreat. Jibril, peace be upon him, came towards Shaytan, but when Shaytan, while holding the hand of a Mushrik man, saw him, he withdrew his hand and ran away with his soldiers. That man asked him, `O Suraqah! You claimed that you are our neighbor'  
Shaytan said this when he saw the angels: (Verily, I see what you see not. Verily, I fear Allah for Allah is severe in punishment)

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
It is the way with the leaders of evil, when they find their cause lost, that they wash their hands of their followers and leave them in the lurch. They see more clearly than their dupes. They are not simpletons: they know the consequences of the wrath of Allah. Satan's "fear" of Allah is terror combined with hatred,-the very opposite of the feeling which is described in Taqwa viz., the desire to avoid doing anything against Allah's will, such desire being founded on trust in Allah and the love of Allah.

Ruku / Sections 7 [Verses 49-58]
Verses 49-52 Victory of the believers and the painful death of the unbelievers:

 إِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ غَرَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ دِينُهُمْ ۗ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 49 )   [Remember] when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was disease said, "Their religion has deluded those [Muslims]." But whoever relies upon Allah - then indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Observing that a small band of resource less Muslims was getting ready to confront the powerful Quraysh, the hypocrites as well as those who were heedless of God and cared only for worldly interests, often tended to say to one another that the religious passion of the Muslims had driven them to utter fanaticism and zealotry. They were sure that the Muslims would face a total rout on the battlefield. They were puzzled by how the Prophet (peace be on him), in whom the Muslims believed, had cast such a spell over them that they were altogether incapable of rational calculation and were hence rushing straight into the very mouth of death.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah said next: (When the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was a disease (of disbelief) said: "These people (Muslims) are deceived by their religion.'')

`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "When the two armies drew closer to each other, Allah made the Muslims look few in the eyes of the idolaters and the idolaters look few in the eyes of the Muslims.

The idolaters said: (These people (Muslims) are deceived by their religion.) because they thought that Muslims were so few. They believed, without doubt, that they would defeat the Muslims.

Allah said: (But whoever puts his trust in Allah, then surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) Qatadah commented, "They saw a group of believers who came in defense of Allah's religion. We were informed that when he saw Muhammad and his Companions, Abu Jahl said, `By Allah! After this day, they will never worship Allah!' He said this in viciousness and transgression.'' `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said, "Some people from Makkah were considering embracing Islam, but when they went with the idolaters to Badr and saw how few the Muslims were.

They said: (These people (Muslims) are deceived by their religion.)

Allah said next: (But whoever puts his trust in Allah), and relies on His grace, (then surely, Allah is All-Mighty), and verily, those who take His side ﴿in the dispute﴾ are never overwhelmed, for His side is mighty, powerful and His authority is All-Great, (All-Wise) in all His actions, for He places everything in its rightful place, giving victory to those who deserve it and defeat to those who deserve it.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ii. 10: "There is a disease in their hearts and Allah has intensified this disease. A painful chastisement awaits them for their lying."
' Disease' here refers to the disease of hypocrisy. The statement that 'Allah has intensified this disease' means that He does not punish the hypocrites immediately but allows them to indulge in their hypocrisy and exult in the success of their ruses. This feeling of success intensifies their hypocrisy.
"Disease in the heart." Trust in Allah brings its own reward: our eyes are opened, and we see how great, good, and wise is the Cherisher of the Worlds. Others may sneer and despise. But the blessing of Allah keeps our minds fresh and our hearts contented.

 وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذْ يَتَوَفَّى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۙ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَارَهُمْ وَذُوقُوا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ 
( 50 )   And if you could but see when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieved... They are striking their faces and their backs and [saying], "Taste the punishment of the Burning Fire.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah says, if you witnessed the angels capturing the souls of the disbelievers, you would witness a tremendous, terrible, momentous and awful matter,

Ibn Jurayj said that Mujahid said that, (and their backs), refers to their back sides, as happened on the day of Badr. Ibn Jurayj also reported from Ibn `Abbas, "When the idolators faced the Muslims (in Badr), the Muslims smote their faces with swords. When they gave flight, the angels smote their rear ends.''

Although these Ayat are describing Badr, they are general in the case of every disbeliever. This is why Allah did not make His statement here restrictive to the disbelievers at Badr.

(And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death); they smite their faces and their backs,)

In Surat Al-Qital (or Muhammad chapter 47) there is a similar Ayah, as well as in Surat Al-An`am:
(And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls!'') [6:93]

The angels stretch their hands and smite the disbelievers by Allah's command, since their souls refuse to leave their bodies, so they are taken out by force. This occurs when the angels give them the news of torment and Allah's anger. There is a Hadith narrated from Al-Bara' that when the angel of death attends the disbeliever at the time of death, he comes to him in a terrifying and disgusting shape, saying, "Get out, O wicked soul, to fierce hot wind, boiling water and a shadow of black smoke.'' The disbeliever's soul then scatters throughout his body, but the angels retrieve it, just as a needle is retrieved from wet wool. In this case, veins and nerve cells will be still attached to the soul. Allah states here that angels bring news of the torment of the Fire to the disbelievers.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In contrast to the taunt against those who trust in Allah, "that their religion has misled them," is shown the terrible punishment, after death, of those who laughed at Faith.

  ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ 
( 51 )   That is for what your hands have put forth [of evil] and because Allah is not ever unjust to His servants."
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(This is because of that which your hands forwarded.) meaning, this punishment is the recompense of the evil deeds that you have committed in the life of the world. This is your reckoning from Allah for your deeds,

(And verily, Allah is not unjust to His servants.)

Certainly, Allah does not wrong any of His creatures, for He is the Just, who never puts anything in an inappropriate place. Honored, Glorified, Exalted and Praised be He, the All-Rich, Worthy of all praise.

Muslim recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said;
(Allah, the Exalted, said, `O My servants! I have prohibited injustice for Myself, and made it prohibited to you between each other. Therefore, do not commit injustice against each other. O My servants! It is your deeds that I am keeping count of, so whoever found something good, let him praise Allah for it. Whoever found other than that, has only himself to blame.) 
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The punishment is shown to be due to their own deeds of wrong, because Allah is never unjust to the least of His servants.

 كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ ۙ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّـهِ فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللَّـهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ قَوِيٌّ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ 
( 52 )   [Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. They disbelieved in the signs of Allah, so Allah seized them for their sins. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and severe in penalty.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah says, `The behavior of these rebellious disbelievers against what I sent you with, O Muhammad, is similar to the behavior of earlier disbelieving nations. So We behaved with them according to Our Da'b, that is, Our behavior ﴿or custom﴾ and way, as We did with them with what We often do and decide concerning their likes, the denying people of Fir`awn and the earlier nations who rejected the Messengers and disbelieved in Our Ayat,'

(so Allah punished them for their sins.) Because of their sins, Allah destroyed them

(Verily, Allah is All-Strong, severe in punishment.) none can resist Him or escape His grasp.

Verses 53-54 Allah does not change His blessings unless people change themselves:

 ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّـهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّرًا نِّعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ 
( 53 )   That is because Allah would not change a favor which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
Unless a nation renders itself totally unworthy of God's favour, it is not deprived of it.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Unless a nation renders itself totally unworthy of God's favour, it is not deprived of it.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah affirms His perfect justice and fairness in His decisions, for He decided that He will not change a bounty that He has granted someone, except on account of an evil that they committed. Allah said in another Ayah,

(Verily, Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves. But when Allah wills a people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, and they will find besides Him no protector.) [13:11]

  كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ ۙ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَهْلَكْنَاهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ ۚ وَكُلٌّ كَانُوا ظَالِمِينَ 
( 54 )   [Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. They denied the signs of their Lord, so We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh. And all [of them] were wrongdoers.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(Similar to the behavior of the people of Fir`awn,) meaning, He punished Fir`awn and his kind, those who denied His Ayat. Allah destroyed them because of their sins, and took away the favors that He granted them, such as gardens, springs, plants, treasures and pleasant dwellings, as well as all of the delights that they enjoyed. Allah did not wrong them, but it is they who wronged themselves.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Note that in verse 51, the words were that they rejected the Signs of Allah and were punished: here the words are that they treated the Signs as false and were destroyed:-a higher degree of guilt deserved a severer punishment.

Verses 55-58 Treaties must be honored unless broken with proper notification:

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّـهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ 
( 55 )   Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved, and they will not [ever] believe
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In viii. 22 we were warned against "the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah", who do not make use of their faculties of hearing, speaking and understanding, in the service of Allah, and in fact misuse their faculties to blaspheme Allah. The same brute creatures are shown here in another light: they are faithless both to Allah and man.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah states here that the worst moving creatures on the face of the earth are those who disbelieve, who do not embrace the faith, and break promises whenever they make a covenant, even when they vow to keep them,

(and they do not have Taqwa) meaning they do not fear Allah regarding any of the sins they commit.

  الَّذِينَ عَاهَدتَّ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَهُمْ فِي كُلِّ مَرَّةٍ وَهُمْ لَا يَتَّقُونَ 
( 56 )   The ones with whom you made a treaty but then they break their pledge every time, and they do not fear Allah.
This refers especially to the Jews. After arriving in Madina, the Prophet (peace be on him) concluded a treaty of mutual co-operation and good neighbourhood with them. Not only did the Prophet (peace be on him) take the initiative in this connection, he also tried his best to maintain pleasant relations with them. The Prophet (peace be on him) also felt greater affinity with the Jews than with the polytheists of Makkah. As a rule he always showed preference to the customs and practices of the People of the Book over those of the polytheists. But somehow the Jewish rabbis and scholars were irked by the Prophet's preaching of pure monotheism and moral uprightness, let alone his scathing criticism of the deviations which appeared in Jewish belief and conduct. They were constantly engaged, therefore, in efforts to sabotage the new religious movement. In this respect, they left no stone unturned. They collaborated with the hypocrites who were apparently an integral part of the Muslim body-politic. To serve the same end they fanned flames to rejuvenate the old animosities between the Aws and Khazraj which had brought about bloodshed and fratricide in pre-Islamic times. They attempted to hatch conspiracies against Islam in collaboration with the Quraysh and other tribes. What was all the more deplorable was that they indulged in these nefarious activities despite their treaty of friendship and co-operation with the Prophet (peace be on him).

When the Battle of Badr took place, they took it for granted that the Muslims would not be able to survive the very first attack of the Quraysh. However, when the outcome of the battle dashed their hopes, they became all the more spiteful. Apprehending that the victory in the Battle of Badr would help the Muslims consolidate their position, they carried out their hostile activities against Islam even more vigorously'. Ka'b b. Ashraf, a Jewish chief, went to Makkah personally and recited stirring elegies for their dead warriors with a view to provoking the Quray'sh into hostile action against the Muslims. It was the same Ka'b b. Ashraf who considered the Muslim victory in the Battle of Badr such a catastrophe that he regarded death to be better than life. In his own words: 'The belly of the earth has become preferable to us than its back.' (Ibn Hisham, vol. 2. p. 51 - Ed.) Banu Qaynuqa', a Jewish tribe, in brazen violation of their agreement of friendship and alliance with the Muslims, took to indecent molestation and teasing the Muslim women who passed through their quarters. When the Prophet (peace be on him) reproached them for this shameful conduct, they threatened the Prophet (peace be on him), saying: 'Do not be deluded by your encounter with a people who had no knowledge of warfare, and so you had good luck with them. By God, if we were to wage war against you, you will know that we are the men.'(lbn Hisham, vol. 2, p. 47 - Ed.)

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The immediate occasion was the repeated treachery of the Banu Quraiza after their treaties with the Muslims. But the general lesson remains, as noted in the two following verses. Treachery in war is doubly wrong, for it endangers so many lives. Such treachery should be punished in such a way that it gets no chance again. Not only the actual perpetrators but those who follow their standard should be rendered powerless. And the broken treaty should be denounced so that the innocent party can at least fight on equal terms. From actual physical warfare we can carry the same lesson to spiritual warfare. A truce or understanding is possible with those who respect definite principles, not with those who have no principles and are merely out for oppression and wickedness. A) The purpose of the verse is to urge Muslims to act against their enemies described above with a severity and resoluteness which would serve as a deterrent to other enemies of Islam who might be inclined to follow their example and act treacherously towards Muslims.

  فَإِمَّا تَثْقَفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْحَرْبِ فَشَرِّدْ بِهِم مَّنْ خَلْفَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ 
( 57 )   So if you, [O Muhammad], gain dominance over them in war, disperse by [means of] them those behind them that perhaps they will be reminded.
The verse makes it lawful for Muslims to feel absolved of the obligations of a treaty with a people who, despite that alliance, threw the obligations of the treaty overboard and engaged in hostile actions against the Muslims. It would even be lawful for the Muslims to engage in hostilities against them. Likewise, if the Muslims are engaged in hostilities against a people and the non-Muslims who are bound in treaties of alliance or friendship with the Muslims, array themselves on the side of the enemy and fight against the Muslims, it would he lawful for the Muslims to treat them as enemies and kill them. For by their brazen violation of the obligations of the treaty concluded with their people, they had made it absolutely lawful for Muslims to disregard the terms of that treaty concerning the inviolability of the lives and properties of at least those individuals.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(So if you gain the mastery over them in war), if you defeat them and have victory over them in war,

(then disperse those who are behind them,) by severely punishing (the captured people) according to Ibn `Abbas, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and Ibn `Uyaynah. This Ayah commands punishing them harshly and inflicting casualties on them. This way, other enemies, Arabs and non-Arabs, will be afraid and take a lesson from their end,

(so that they may learn a lesson. )

As-Suddi commented, "They might be careful not to break treaties, so that they do not meet the same end.''

  وَإِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِن قَوْمٍ خِيَانَةً فَانبِذْ إِلَيْهِمْ عَلَىٰ سَوَاءٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْخَائِنِينَ 
( 58 )   If you [have reason to] fear from a people betrayal, throw [their treaty] back to them, [putting you] on equal terms. Indeed, Allah does not like traitors.
According to the above verse, it is not lawful for Muslims to decide unilaterally that their treaty with an ally is annulled either because of their grievance that their ally did not fully observe the terms of the treaty in the past or on ground of the fear that he would treacherously breach it in the future. There is no justification for Muslims to make such a decision nor to behave as if no treaty bound the two parties. On the contrary, whenever the Muslims are forced into such a situation they are required to inform the other party, before embarking on any hostile action, that the treaty was terminated. This step is necessary in order that both parties are clear in their minds as to where things stand. Guided by this principle, the Prophet (peace be on him) laid down a basic rule of Islamic international law in the following words: 'Whoever is bound in treaty with a people may not dissolve it until either its term expires, or he flings it at them (i.e. publicly declares that it had been annulled).' (Abu Da'ud, 'Jihad', Babfi al-Iman yakunbaynaha al-'Aduw 'Ahad, vol. 2, p. 75; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 4, pp. 111 and 113 - Ed.) The Prophet (peace be on him) further elucidated this by sayling: 'Do not be treacherous even to him who is treacherous to you' (Abu Da'ud, Kitab al-Buyu', 'Bab fi al-Rajul Ya'khudh Hakkahu man tahe Yadih', vol. 2, p. 260 - Ed.)

These directives were not given merely in order that preachers might preach them from the pulpit or embellish them in religious books. On the contrary, Muslims were required to foliow these directive in their everyday lives, and they did in fact do so. Once Mu'awiyah during his reign, concentrated his troops on the borders of the Roman Empire in order to carry out a sudden attack immediately after the expiry of the treaty. 'Amr b. 'Anbasah, a Companion, strongly opposed this manoeuvre. He supported his opposition by reference to a tradition from the Prophet (peace he on him) in which he condemned such an act of treachery. Ultimately Mu'awiyah had to yield and call off his troops. (See the comments on the verse by Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir. See also Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad , vol. 4, pp. 113 and 389 - Ed,)

To annul a treaty unilaterally and to launch an armed attack without any warning was common practice in the time of ancient jahiliyah (Ignorance). That practice remains in vogue in the civilized jahiliyah of the present day as well. Recent instances in point are the Russian invasion of Germany and the Russian and British military action against Iran during the Second World War. Such actions are usually justified on the ground that a previous warning would have put the enemy on the alert and would have enabled him to put up even stiffer resistance. It is also justified by saying that a military initiative has the effect of pre-empting a similar military initiative by the enemy. If such pleading can absolve people of their moral obligations, then every offence is justifiable. In such a case even those who commit theft, robbery, illegitimate sexual intercourse, homicide, or forgery can proffer either one pretext or the other for so doing. It is also amazing that acts which are deemed unlawful for individuals are deemed perfectly lawful when they are committed by nations.

It should also be pointed out that an unannounced attack. according to Islamic law, is lawful in one situation: when the ally has clearly violated the treaty and has blatantly indulged in hostile action. Only in such an eventuality it is not binding on Muslims to first declare the dissolution of the treaty. Not only that, in such a circumstance it is also lawful to launch an unannounced military action. In deriving this legal rule, Muslim jurists have drawn on the Prophet's own conduct in regard to the Quraysh who had breached the Hudaybiyah Treaty in dealing with Bana Khuza'ah. In this instance the Prophet (peace be on him) did not notify them that the treaty had been annulled. On the contrary, he invaded Makka without warning. (See Qurtubi's comments on the verse - Ed.) Nonetheless, while acting on this exceptional provision one should be cautious and take into account the totality of circumstances in which the Prophet (peace be on him) took this step. That alone will help one to properly follow the Prophet's example. For one should try to imitate the Prophet's example in its totality rather than just one or other aspect of it depending on one's whim. What we know from the Sirah and Hadith with regard to this is the following:

First, that the Quraysh had so openly violated the treaty that its annulment had become absolutely clear. Even men of the Quraysh themselves acknowledged that the treaty was no longer in operation. It is because of this realization that the Qurayrsh had deputed Abu Sufyan to Madina to negotiate for its renewal (Al-Tabari. Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 46 -Ed.) This fact clearly indicates that the Quraysh were in no doubt that the treaty stood dissolved. It is immaterial whether the party which annulled the treaty verbally declared so or not for it had been violated so blatantly that no room for doubt was left.

Second, after the annulment of the treaty the Prophet (peace be on him) did not say anything, either in clear or ambiguous terms, which could justify the impression that he still regarded the Quraysh to be his allies or that the treaty relations with them were still intact. All relevant reports, on the contrary, suggest that when Abu Sufyan pleaded for the renewal of the treaty, the Prophet (peace be on him) did not accede to that request, (Ibn Hisham. vol. 2, p. 395 - Ed.)

Third, the Prophet (peace he on him) himself initiated military action against the Quraysh and he did so openly. There was no element of duplicity or fraud in the Prophet's behaviour; there was no trace of pretence to be at peace while secretly engaging in belligerent activities.

This is the full picture of the Prophet's attitude on the occasion. Hence the directive of flinging the treaty in the face of the other party as embodied in the above verse (i.e. informing the other party that the treaty had been terminated) may only be disregarded in very special circumstances such as those existing then. And should it be disregarded then this should be done in the straightforward and graceful manner adopted by the Prophet (peace be on him).

Moreover, if some dispute arises with a people with whom the Muslims have a treaty and the dispute remains unresolved even after direct negotiations or international mediation; or if the other party appears bent upon forcing a military solution to the problem, it would be lawful for Muslims to resort to force. However, according to the above verse, force may be used by Muslims after making a clear proclamation of the annulment of the treaty, and that the action taken should be overt. To carry out military action by stealth is an immoral act and can nowhere be found among the teachings of Islam.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(If you fear from any people), with whom you have a treaty of peace,

(treachery), and betrayal of peace treaties and agreements that you have conducted with them,

(then throw back (their covenant) to them), meaning their treaty of peace.

(on equal terms), informing them that you are severing the treaty. This way, you will be on equal terms, in that, you and they will be aware that a state of war exists between you and that the bilateral peace treaty is null and void,

(Certainly Allah likes not the treacherous. ) This even includes treachery against the disbelievers. Imam Ahmad recorded that Salim bin `Amir said, "Mu`awiyah was leading an army in Roman lands, at a time the bilateral peace treaty was valid. He wanted to go closer to their forces so that when the treaty of peace ended, he could invade them. An old man riding on his animal said, `Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Great), Allahu Akbar! Be honest and stay away from betrayal.'

The Messenger of Allah said:
(Whoever has a treaty of peace with a people, then he should not untie any part of it or tie it harder until the treaty reaches its appointed term. Or, he should declare the treaty null and void so that they are both on equal terms.) When Mu`awiyah was informed of the Prophet's statement, he retreated. They found that man to be `Amr bin `Anbasah, may Allah be pleased with him.'' This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' 
Ruku / Sections 8 [Verses 59-64]
Verses 59-64 Order to remain prepared for war against the unbelievers and Make peace if enemy is willing to make peace:

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَبَقُوا ۚ إِنَّهُمْ لَا يُعْجِزُونَ 
( 59 )   And let not those who disbelieve think they will escape. Indeed, they will not cause failure [to Allah].
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Making Preparations for War to strike Fear in the Hearts of the Enemies of Allah: Allah says to His Prophet , in this Ayah,

(those who disbelieve think that they can outstrip), Do not think that such disbelievers have escaped Us or that We are unable to grasp them. Rather, they are under the power of Our ability and in the grasp of Our will; they will never escape Us.' Allah also said,
(Or think those who do evil deeds that they can outstrip Us (escape Our punishment) Evil is that which they judge!) [29:4]
(Consider not that the disbelievers can escape in the land. Their abode shall be the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination.) [24:57], and,
(Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.) [3:196-197]
Allah commands Muslims to prepare for war against disbelievers, as much as possible, according to affordability and availability. Allah thus says in next ayat:

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّـهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِن شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ  
( 60 )   And make ready your strength to the utmost of your power including sinews of war to strike terror into the hearts of enemies of Allah, and your enemies, and other besides them whom you know not but Allah doth knows. And whatever you expend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly
Muslims should he equipped with military resources and should have a standing army in a state of preparedness, in order that it may be used when needed. Never should it happen that the Muslims are caught unawares and have to hurriedly look around right and left to build up their defenses and collect arms and supplies in order to meet the challenge of the enemy. For then it might be too late and the enemy might have accomplished its purpose.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The immediate occasion of this injunction was the weakness of cavalry and appointments of war in the early fights of Islam. But the general meaning follows. In every fight, physical, moral, or spiritual, arm yourself with the best weapons and the best arms against your enemy, so as to instill wholesome respect into him for you and the Cause you stand for.

There are always lurking enemies whom you may not know, but whom Allah knows. It is your duty to be ready against all, for the sacred Cause under whose banner you are fighting.

Be always ready and put all your resources into your Cause. You do not do so in vain. Allah's reward will come in various forms. He knows all, and His reward will always be more generous than you can possibly think of.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah says to His Prophet , in this Ayah: (those who disbelieve think that they can outstrip), Do not think that such disbelievers have escaped Us or that We are unable to grasp them. Rather, they are under the power of Our ability and in the grasp of Our will; they will never escape Us.'
Elsewhere Allah also said:
(Or think those who do evil deeds that they can outstrip Us (escape Our punishment) Evil is that which they judge!) [29:4]
(Consider not that the disbelievers can escape in the land. Their abode shall be the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination.) [24:57], and
(Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.) [3:196-197]
Allah commands Muslims to prepare for war against disbelievers, as much as possible, according to affordability and availability. Allah said: (And make ready against them all you can) whatever you can muster, (of power, including steeds of war). Imam Ahmad recorded that `Uqbah bin `Amir said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, while standing on the Minbar; (And make ready against them all you can of power,)

Imam Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Horses are kept for one of three purposes; for some people they are a source of reward, for some others they are a means of shelter, and for some others they are a source of sin. The one for whom they are a source of reward, is he who keeps a horse for Allah's cause (Jihad) tying it with a long tether on a meadow or in a garden. The result is that whatever it eats from the area of the meadow or the garden where it is tied, will be counted as good deeds for his benefit; and if it should break its rope and jump over one or two hillocks then all its dung and its foot marks will be written as good deeds for him. If it passes by a river and drinks water from it, even though he had no intention of watering it, then he will get the reward for its drinking. Therefore, this type of horse is a source of good deeds for him. As for the man who tied his horse maintaining self - sufficiency and abstinence from begging, all the while not forgetting Allah's right concerning the neck and back of his horse, then it is a means of shelter for him. And a man who tied a horse for the sake of pride, pretense and showing enmity for Muslims, then this type of horse is a source of sins.)
Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith, this is the wording of Al-Bukhari. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Prophet said:
(There are three reasons why horses are kept: A horse that is kept for Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent), a horse kept for Shaytan and a horse kept for the man. As for the horse kept for Ar-Rahman, it is the horse that is being kept for the cause of Allah (for Jihad), and as such, its food, dung and urine, etc., (he made mention of many things). As for the horse that is for Shaytan, it is one that is being used for gambling. As for the horse that is for man, it is the horse that one tethers, seeking its benefit. For him, this horse will be a shield against poverty.) 
(and others besides them), such as Bani Qurayzah, according to Mujahid, or persians, according to As-Suddi. Muqatil bin Hayyan and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that this Ayah refers to hypocrites, as supported by Allah's statement:
(And among the bedouins around you, some are hypocrites, and so are some among the people of Al-Madinah who persist in hypocrisy; you know them not, We know them.)[9:101].
Allah said next: (And whatever you shall spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.) Allah says, whatever you spend on Jihad will be repaid to you in full.

We also mentioned Allah's statement:
(The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is that of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.) [2:261] 
وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ 
( 61 )   And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
While we must always be ready for the good fight lest it be forced on us, even in the midst of the fight we must always be ready for peace if there is any inclination towards peace on the other side. There is no merit merely in a fight by itself. It should be a joyful duty not for itself, but to establish the reign of peace and righteousness and Allah's Law.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah says, if you fear betrayal from a clan of people, then sever the peace treaty with them, so that you both are on equal terms. If they continue being hostile and opposing you, then fight them,

(But if they incline), and seek, (to peace), if they resort to reconciliation, and seek a treaty of non-hostility,

(you also incline to it), and accept offers of peace from them. This is why when the pagans inclined to peace in the year of Hudaybiyah and sought cessation of hostilities for nine years, between them and the Messenger of Allah he accepted this from them, as well as, accepting other terms of peace they brought forth. `Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(There will be disputes after me, so if you have a way to end them in peace, then do so.)

Allah said next, (and trust in Allah. ) Allah says, conduct a peace treaty with those who incline to peace, and trust in Allah. Verily, Allah will suffice for you and aid you even if they resort to peace as a trick, so that they gather and reorganize their forces, (then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you).

  وَإِن يُرِيدُوا أَن يَخْدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللَّـهُ ۚ هُوَ الَّذِي أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ 
( 62 )   But if they intend to deceive you - then sufficient for you is Allah. It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers
In international dealings Muslims should not act with timidity. They should rather have faith in God and should act with courage and bravery. However, as soon as the enemy is inclined to reconciliation, they should welcome the move and should not he reluctant to make peace even if they are unsure whether or not the enemy is sincere about peace, and whether or not he intends to use the settlement as a ruse to Commit later treachery.

Since it is impossible to know the true intention of others, allowance should be made for their words. If the enemy is sincere in his offer of reconciliation, the Muslims should not continue bloodshed because his sincerity, in their eyes, is suspect. On the contrary, if the enemy is insincere, the Muslims should have courage, thanks to their trust in God, and should go forth for reconciliation. They should stretch out the hand of peace in answer to the enemy's outstretched hand, for that is an index of their moral superiority. As for the hand of friendship which has been hypocritically stretched out in enmity, Muslims should have the strength to smash that hand to pieces.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In working for peace there may be a certain risk of treachery on the other side. We must take that risk: because the men of Faith have Allah's aid to count upon and the strength of the united body of the righteous.

  وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَّا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 63 )   And brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Here the allusion is to that strong bond of love and brotherhood that developed among the Arabs who embraced Islam and whose conversion brought them solidarity. This strong solidarity existed despite the fact that they came from a variety of tribes which had long-standing traditions of mutual enmity. This was a special favour of God on the Muslims, especially evident in the case of the Aws and Khazraj. It was barely a couple of years before their acceptance of Islam that the two clans virtually thirsted for each other's blood. During the battle of Bu'ath both seemed set to exterminate each other. (Ibn Hisham, vol. 1. pp. 427-8-Ed.) To turn such severe enmity into deep cordiality and brotherhood within a span of two or three years and to join together mutually repellent elements into a unity as firm as that of a solid wall as was witnessed in regards to the Muslim community during the life of Prophet (peace be upon him) was doubtlessly beyond the power of any mortal. Were anyone to depend on worldly factors alone, it would have been impossible to bring about such an achievement. God's support was the deciding factor in this development and this only serves to emphasize that Muslims should always seek and depend on God's support and favour rather than on worldly factors.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Reminding the Believers of Allah's Favor of uniting Them: Allah mentioned His favor on the Prophet , in that He aided him with believers, the Muhajirin and the Ansar,

(He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers. And He has united their hearts.)

The Ayah says, `it is Allah who gathered the believers' hearts, believing, obeying, aiding and supporting you -- O Muhammad,'

(If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts.) because of the enmity and hatred that existed between them. Before Islam, there were many wars between the Ansar tribes of Aws and Khazraj, and there were many causes to stir unrest between them. However, Allah ended all that evil with the light of faith,

(And remember Allah's favor on you, for you were enemies one to another, but He united your hearts, so that, by His grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided.) [3:103]

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that when the Messenger of Allah gave a speech to the Ansar about the division of war booty collected in the battle of Hunayn, he said to them,
(O Ansar! Did I not find you misguided and Allah guided you by me, poor and Allah enriched you by me, and divided and Allah united you by me) Every question the Prophet asked them, they said, "Truly, the favor is from Allah and His Messenger.'' 
Allah said, (But Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) He is the Most Formidable, and the hopes of those who have trust in Him, never end unanswered; Allah is All-Wise in all of His decisions and actions.

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَسْبُكَ اللَّـهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ 
( 64 )   O Prophet, sufficient for you is Allah and for whoever follows you of the believers.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Believers: mere lip-profession of belief, or even the kind of belief that does not result in action, is not enough. To those whose belief is so sincere that it results in complete trust in Allah and in fearless action in His service, the consequences on this earth do not matter. Allah's good pleasure is enough for them.

Ruku / Sections 9 [Verses 65-69]
Verses 65-69 Allah's promise to make the believers victorious over armies TWO to TEN times larger in quantity than believers:

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ ۚ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّائَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ 
( 65 )   O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand.
What is nowadays called morale has been described as 'understanding' in the Qur'an. The Qur'anic expression is more scientific than the currently used word 'morale'. For the word in this context refers to the one who is fully cognizant of his objective, who is quiet clear in his mind that the cause for which he has staked his life is much more valuable than his own life, and hence if that cause is left unrealized, his life will lose all its worth and meaning. Such a conscious, omitted person actually becomes many times more powerful than he who fights without any consciousness of his cause, even though the two might be comparable in physical strength. Above all, he who has a clear understanding of reality of his own being, of God, of his relationship with God, of the reality of life and death, and of life after death, who is also well aware of the difference between truth and falsehood, and of the consequences of the victory of falsehood over truth, his strength surpasses by far the strength of others for whom, even though they 'understand', their consciousness is related to nationalism or patriotism or class conflict. It is for this reason that the Qur'an declares that a believer with understanding is ten times stronger than an unbeliever. For the believer understands the truth and a non-believer does not. It may be remembered, however, that the verse also mentions another important factor in addition to 'understanding' which makes a believer much stronger than an unbeliever, and that is 'patience'.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In a fight, odds of ten to one against any one are appalling. But they do not daunt the men of faith. Whether they personally win or die, their Cause prevails. They are sure to win: because (1) they have divine aid, and (2) even humanly speaking, those who take up arms against truth and righteousness are fools, and their seeming power is but a broken reed.

 الْآنَ خَفَّفَ اللَّـهُ عَنكُمْ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ ضَعْفًا ۚ فَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّائَةٌ صَابِرَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ أَلْفٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفَيْنِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ 
( 66 )   Now, Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you a thousand, they will overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the steadfast.
This does not mean that since the faith of Muslims had declined, their ten times superiority over the unbelievers has been reduced to twice only. What it means is that ideally a Muslim is ten times stronger than an unbeliever. However, since the Muslims had not as yet been thoroughly trained and had reached the desire level of maturity in their understanding, they are asked not to feel uneasy at least of challenging an enemy which is twice as strong. It should be borne in mind that the Qur'anic directive was given in 2A.H./624 C.E. when most of the Muslims, being recent converts to Islam, had undergone little training. As they gained maturity under the Prophet's guidance, the desired ratio of one to ten between the Muslims and the unbelievers was established. That Muslims are ten times stronger than unbelievers is a fact witnessed frequently in the battles during the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Given equal conditions, Muslims on account of their faith could win against odds of ten to one. But where their organization and equipment are weak, as was the case about the time of Badr, they were set a lighter task, and asked to tackle no more than odds of two to one against them. As a matter of fact at Badr they won through against odds of more than three to one.

 مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّـهُ يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 67 )   It is not for a prophet to have captives [of war] until he inflicts a massacre [upon Allah 's enemies] in the land. Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
An ordinary war may be for territory or trade, revenge or military glory,-all "temporal goods of this world." Such a war is condemned. But a Jihad is fought under strict conditions laid down by Islam, and solely for the cause of Allah. All baser motives, therefore are strictly excluded. The gain in the shape of ransom from captives has no place in such warfare. At the same time, if there has been heavy loss of life already, captives may be taken, and it would be for the Imam to exercise his discretion as to the time when it was safe to release them, and whether the release should be free or on parole or on a fine by way of punishment. Destruction and slaughter, however repugnant to a gentle soul like that of Muhammad, were inevitable where evil tried to suppress the good. Even Jesus, whose mission was more limited, had to say: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword." (Matt. x. 34). Seventy captives were taken at Badr, and it was decided to take ransom for them. While the general principle of fighting for the purpose of taking captives in order to get their ransom is condemned, the particular action in this case was approved in vv. 68-71.
  لَّوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ 
( 68 )   If not for a decree from Allah that preceded, you would have been touched for what you took by a great punishment.
فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ  
( 69 )   So consume what you have taken of war booty [as being] lawful and good, and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
In attempting to explain the circumstantial background of the above verse, some commentators on the Qur'an have referred to the deliberations for deciding the fate of the Quraysh captives after the Battle of Badr. In that council Abu Bakr pleaded to release the captives in return for ransom while 'Umar suggested that they should be put to the sword. Preferring Abu Bakr's suggestion, the Prophet (peace be on him) set all the captives free in return for ransom. However, God disapproved the decision as is evident from the above-quoted verse. (See Muslim, 'Jihad', 'Bab al-lmdad bi al-Mala'ikah fi Ghazwah Badr'; and the comments on verses 67 and 68 by Ibn Kathir; and on verse 67 by Jassas and Qurtubi - Ed.) The viewpoint of the commentators can be faulted on the grounds that they failed to offer any persuasive explanation of this part of the same Qur'anic verse: 'Had it not been for a previous decree from Allah.' This could mean either the Divine decree in eternity which determines all that will happen, or, God's decree in eternity to make the spoils of war lawful for the Muslims. Now, it is evident that it is unlawful to take anything from someone unless it has been declared lawful according to Revealed Law. Hence, were the above view to be accepted, it would mean that all, including the Prophet (peace be on him), had committed a sin. Such an interpretation can hardly he entertained especially since this view is dependent on the authority of isolated ('ahad) traditions.

In my opinion, in order to understand the above verse it should be borne in mind that preliminary instructions about war had already been given in Surah Muhammad which was revealed before the Battle of Badr:

Therefore, when you meet, the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them). Thereafter, either resort to generosity or to ransom until the war lays down its burden (Muhammad 47: 4).

This verse had already made it lawful for the Muslims to hold the enemy in captivity or to accept ransom contingent on the total suppression of the enemy. The Muslims had, therefore, acted in accordance with the permission granted by God to accept ransom. However, in so doing they had neglected the stipulation that the enemy should be fully subdued before the acceptance of ransom. (See the comments of Jassas on verses 67- 9-Ed.) While the Quraysh army was retreating, many Muslims took to collecting the spoils and taking the unbelievers as captives. It was only a few Muslims who chased the fleeing enemy. Had the Muslims made a concerted pursuit, a death-blow could have been struck at the Quraysh power, once and for all. God, therefore expressed His disapproal of this manner of dealing with the situation as the above-quoted verse suggests. It is obvious that it is not the Prophet (peace be on him) but the generality of Muslims at whom the reproach is directed.

The purpose of the verse is to impress upon the Muslims that they had not yet imbibed the mission of the Prophet (peace be on him). Prophets are not concerned with filling their coffers with spoils and ransom money. Rather their mission is to crush the power of the unbelievers. This was not the first instance when the Muslims had showed their worldliness. They had earlier expressed their preference to raid the trade caravan to fighting against the Quraysh army. Then, rather than try to crush the enemy, they turned to collecting spoils and taking captives, and later remonstrated about the distribution of booty. Had it not been that God had granted them permission to accept ransom see (Muhammad 47: 4), He would have severely punished them on that count. God, howeve, was merciful to them and permitted them to enjoy whatever they had seized. They should, therefore, refrain from behaviour which might be displeasing to God. It is pertinent to point out that Jassas in his Ahkam al-Qur'an, considers the above view a plausible interpretation of the verse. (See the comments of Jassas on this verse, vol. 3, pp. 72-3 - Ed.) Ibn Hisham also contains a report which supports the view. The report mentions that while the Muslims were engaged in seizing captives of war and collecting booty, the Prophet ( peace be on him) observed signs of disapproval on the face of Sa'd b. Mu'adh. The Prophet (peace be on him) asked him: 'O Sa'd! It appears that you do not approve of the behaviour of these people.' He replied: 'Yes, O Messenger of God! It is the first encounter in which God has caused the rout of the unbelivers. This opportunity should have been better utilized for crushing the unbelievers thoroughly rather than for amassing captives of war.' (Ibn Hisham. vol. 1, p. 628 - Ed.)

Ruku / Sections 10 [Verses 70-75]
Verses 70-71 Treatment to prisoners of war who embrace Islam:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّمَن فِي أَيْدِيكُم مِّنَ الْأَسْرَىٰ إِن يَعْلَمِ اللَّـهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ خَيْرًا يُؤْتِكُمْ خَيْرًا مِّمَّا أُخِذَ مِنكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 70 )   O Prophet, say to whoever is in your hands of the captives, "If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This is a consolation to the prisoners of war. In spite of their previous hostility, Allah will forgive them in His mercy if there was any good in their hearts, and confer upon them a far higher gift than anything they have ever lost. This gift in its highest sense would be the blessing of Islam, but even in a material sense, there was great good fortune awaiting them. Note how comprehensive is Allah's care. He encourages and strengthens the Muslims, at the same time condemning any baser motives that may have entered their minds, He consoles the prisoners of war and promises them better things if there is any good in them at all. And He offers comfort to those who have left their homes in His Cause, and knits them into closer fellowship with those who have helped them and sympathized with them.
  وَإِن يُرِيدُوا خِيَانَتَكَ فَقَدْ خَانُوا اللَّـهَ مِن قَبْلُ فَأَمْكَنَ مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 71 )   But if they intend to betray you - then they have already betrayed Allah before, and He empowered [you] over them. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If the kindness shown to them is abused by the prisoners of war when they are released, it is not a matter for discouragement to those who showed the kindness. Such persons have in their treachery shown already their treason to Allah, in that they took up arms against Allah's Prophet, and sought to blot out the pure worship of Allah. The punishment of defeat, which opened the eyes of some of their comrades, evidently did not open their eyes. But Allah knows all, and in His wisdom will order all things for the best. The Believers have done their duty in showing such clemency as they could in the circumstances of war. For them "Allah sufficeth" (viii. 62).

Verses 72-75 Duties and obligations of the Islamic State towards Muslims living in a non-Muslim country:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوا وَّنَصَرُوا أُولَـٰئِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يُهَاجِرُوا مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَايَتِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا ۚ وَإِنِ اسْتَنصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ 
( 72 )   Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided - they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate - for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do.
The above verse is an important provision in Islamic constitutional law. For it prescribes that any agreement on guardianship would be applicable exclusively to Muslims who are either the original inhabitants of the territory which has become Dar al-Islam (the Domain of Islam) or Muslims who have migrated to the Dar al-Islam. As to Muslims living outside the jurisdiction of the Islamic state, the bond of religious brotherhood would doubtlessly exist between them and Muslim residents of the Islamic state. The two groups, however, would not have the relationship of walayah (mutual alliance). Likewise, a walayah relationship would not exist between Muslims who do not migrate to Dar al-Islam but come to it as Muslim subjects of a non-Muslim state.

The Arabic word walayah denotes the relationship of kinship, support, succour, protection, friendship, and guardianship. In the context of the present verse the word signifies the relationship of mutual support between the Islamic state and its citizens, and between the citizens themselves. Thus, this verse lays down that in a political and constitutional sense, only those Muslims who live within the territorial boundaries of the Islamic state will enjoy the privileges of walayah (guardianship) of the Islamic state. As for Muslims who are settled in a non-Islamic state, they are excluded from its political and constitutional guardianship.

It is difficult to spell out in detail the implications of this rule. Just to give some idea of it. it should be pointed out that because they lack guardianship the Muslims of Dar al-Kufr (the Domain of Unbelief) cannot inherit the property of a deceased Muslim in the Islamic state. Nor may they act as guardians of Muslim citizens of an Islamic state. Nor is it lawful for a matrimonial contract to be made between Muslims, one of whom is living in an Islamic state and the other outside of it. Likewise, the Islamic state may not appoint to an office of authority those who have not surrendered their citizenship of the non-Islamic state. Above all, these provisions of Islamic law determine the foreign policy of the Islamic state. (Cf. Ibn Qudimah, al-Mughni, vol. 8, pp. 456-8 - Ed.) Since this clause restricts the role and control of the Islamic state over Muslims living within that state, the Islamic state is not obliged to look after the Muslims outside its domain. The following tradition embodies this point: 'I am acquit of every Muslim living among the polytheists.' (Abu Da'ud. 'Jihad', 'Bab al-Nahy'an, 'katl man i'tasama bi al-Sujud - Ed.) Islamic law, therefore, strikes at the root cause of the conflict which bedevils the relationship between different nations. For, whenever a state tries to champion the cause of the minority living outside its territory, it gives rise to intricate problems which cannot be resolved even by a succession of wars.

51. The above verse makes it clear that the Muslims living outside the Islamic state have no political bond with the Islamic state. This verse, however, does emphasize that those Muslims are not free of the bond of religious brotherhood. If Muslims living in a non-Islamic state are persecuted and seek help from the Islamic state or its citizens, it is incumbent upon the latter to help the persecuted Muslims.

While helping one's brethren-in-faith the Muslims are expected to act scrupulously. This help should be rendered without iritermitional oblioations and with due regard to the requirements of rnoral propriety.

If the Islamic state happens to be bound in a treaty relationship with a nation which inflicts wrong on Muslims, the oppressed Muslims will not be helped in a manner which is inconsistent with the moral obligations incumbent on the Islamic state as a result of that treaty .

The Qur'an uses the word mithaq for treaty. This expression is a derivative of an Arahic word which stands for trust and confidence. The expression, therefore, implies that the two parties trust each other, that there is no difference between-them irrespective of whether a no-war agreement has been formally, concluded or not.

The actual words of the verse "bainakum wa bainahum mithaq" ('[unless there be] a pact between you and them') make it plain that the treaty concluded by the Islamic state with a non-Muslim state does not merely bind the two governments. The moral obligations arising from that treaty are binding upon the Muslim nation as a whole including its individuals not to violate the obligations of the treaty into which an Islamic state has entered with some other state. However, it is only the Muslims of the Islamic state who are bound by the agreement signed by the Islamic state. Muslims living outside the Islamic state have no such obligations. This accounts for the fact that Abu Basir and Abu Jandal were not bound by the Hudaybiyah treaty concluded between the Prophet (peace he on him) and the Makkan unbelievers.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Believers (Muslims) were entitied to all assistance in matters of religion. But if they were not strong enough to suffer voluntary exile on behalf of the Cause and make the personal sacrifices which their more ardent brethren in faith made, they could not reasonably ask for political or military assistance or protection.

If a community suffers voluntary exile on account of persecution and oppression, and some of its weaker brethren stay behind, holding fast to faith but not prepared for the higher sacrifice, the exiles have still a duty to help their weaker brethren in matters of religion. The exiles, being at open war against the State which oppressed them, would be free to fight against such State. But if the weaker brethren are in a State in mutual alliance with the Community, the Community cannot in honour interfere with that State, whether it is Muslim or not. Presumably the alliance implies that the grievances of the weaker brethren will be redressed by the State itself. But it is not honourable to embarrass your own ally.

  وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ 
( 73 )   And those who disbelieved are allies of one another. If you do not do so, there will be fitnah on earth and great corruption.
If the words 'unless you also help one another' in the verse are regarded as a continuation of the preceding verse, they would mean that if Muslims do not support each other in the way, unbelievers do, this would give rise to much mischief and disorder in the world. However, if these words are considered to be connected with the directives embodied in (verse 72) onward, their purpose would be to emphasize that the world would become full of mischief and disorder if the Muslims of Dar al-Islam (a) failed to help one another; (b) failed to provide political support and protection to the Muslims who have settled down in non-Islamic states and have not migrated to Dar al-Islam; (c) failed to help the Muslims living under oppression in territories outside Dar al-Islam when they ask for it, and (d) failed to sever their friendly ties with the unbelievers.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Evil consorts with evil. The good have all the more reason for drawing together and not only living in mutual harmony, but being ready at all times to protect each other. Otherwise the world will be given over to aggression by unscrupulous people, and the good will fail in their duty to establish Allah's Peace and to strengthen all the forces of truth and righteousness.

  وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوا وَّنَصَرُوا أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا ۚ لَّهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ 
( 74 )   But those who have believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided - it is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Believers who make all sacrifices in the Cause of Allah have given the best possible proof of their Faith by their actions. They have loved Allah much, and much will be forgiven them. What they sacrificed was, perhaps, judged by universal standards, of small value, but its value will be estimated by the precious love behind it, and its reward will be of no ordinary kind. It will not be a reward in the ordinary sense at all, for a reward is given once for all. It will be a provision which last for ever, and is on the most generous scale.

 وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِن بَعْدُ وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا مَعَكُمْ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَأُولُو الْأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَىٰ بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ 
( 75 )   And those who believed after [the initial emigration] and emigrated and fought with you - they are of you. But those of [blood] relationship are more entitled [to inheritance] in the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Those who come into the fold last are none the less brethren in the fullest acceptation of the term. But any special provisions made in the special circumstances of the first martyrs for the Cause will not of course apply to them as the special circumstances which made them necessary have ceased to exist.

The Book of Allah,- i.e., the Eternal Decree, the Preserved Tablet (lxxxv. 22). Blood-relationship and its rights and duties do not depend on special circumstances of a temporary nature. Any temporary rights of mutual inheritance established between the early Emigrants and Helpers (n. 1239) would not apply after the revelation of this verse any more.

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 
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. [2]
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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