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al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
as rendered by [Al-Muntakhab]

[Al-Muntakhab] rendition of Surah The Spoils of War(al-Anfal)
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8:1 They ask you O Muhammad about the spoils of war what to do with them, to whom do they belong and how are they going to be divided among the victors! Say to them: "They belong to Allah and His cause and to the Messenger who administers Allah's affairs according to divine instructions. The main thing is that you people entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Allah and to stand firm to Allah's principles and purpose, to concert all matters in difference and to obey Allah and His Messenger if indeed your hearts have been impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues".
8:2 Those whose innermost thoughts and secret feelings are indeed purposed to serve Allah are they whose innermost being is inspired with reverential wonder combined with latent fear at the thought of Allah. When His revelations are recited to them, their force of reason becomes stronger and more powerful and in Allah they trust.
8:3 It is they who faithfully observe their act of worship and spend in divine service of what Allah has apportioned to them of His bounty.
8:4 These are the true believers whose hearts reflect the image of religious and spiritual virtues; they are classified according to grades of rank and quality, grades of honour commensurate with their deeds in addition to forgiveness and gracefully blessed provisions.
8:5 The spoils of war precipitated diversity of opinion, exactly as did your contemplated expedition when Allah, your Creator, induced you O Muhammad to leave your home on a mission of truth authorizing war of belief against disbelief . Some of those who conformed to Islam did not have fighting in their minds and were hesitant to join battle, declaring their aversion.
8:6 Contending with you with opposing arguments after it had been made clear to them that victory would sit on their helm. Yet they behaved as if they would be driven to death being shaped to them in their minds' eyes as a monstrous apparition.
8:7 Allah has promised you victory over one of the two organized parties. Some of your people chose to seize the unarmed caravan for easy gains, whereas Allah has willed that you go at the organized well armed troops which came to their aid, so that truth should triumph over falsehood and His words be verified as He uproots the infidels.
8:8 And as such, shall Allah vindicate the truth and blot out falsehood, offensive as it may be to those sinful idolaters.
8:9 You implored Allah's aid with touching entreaties and Allah responded favourably, thus: "I will", He said: "uphold you with one thousand angels in sets succeeding one another".
8:10 We voiced this spiritual support to give you people mental comfort and joyful tidings and make your hearts return to their settled calmness, Indeed, victory comes only by the help of Allah Who is AL-Aziz (the Almighty), and Hakimun (Wise).
8:11 And there did Allah replace the emotion of sorrow and grief which was caused by fear of the unpredictable outcome by peace of mind and sense of security thus inducing your eyes to take themselves to slumber. He sent down from the floor of the vault of heaven rain - water to free you people from foreign matter as well as from moral and spiritual pollution and from the incitement of evil instigated by AL-Shaytan (Satan) and by those with characteristics befitting Him, and to do your hearts good and set your feet firm.
8:12 There and then did Allah, your Creator, inspire the angels. Thus: " I am acting with you", Allah said: "and so support the cause of those whose hearts have been impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues and sustain them spiritually and help them take a firm position and set their feet firm". "I will inspire terror", Allah added, "in the hearts of those who are given to disbelief; strike them above the necks and strike their finger tips, their weak limbs and their failing joints".
8:13 This train of events succeeding one another were occasioned on account of their hostility to Allah and to His Messenger; and he who is hostile to Allah and His Messenger shall realize that Allah punishes severely indeed.
8:14 This is it you infidels, but that is not all; there awaits you the torment to be laid on the damned.
8:15 O you who have conformed to Islam: "If you happen to meet with the infidels -the enemy to your faith- and you see they are marshaled for fighting you, do not turn your backs upon them nor reverse your course or retreat.
8:16 And he who turns his back, reverses his course or retreats, unless it be a stratagem for gaining advantage over the enemy or for falling back on other troops projected and directed as the larger military movement and operation of the campaign, will have come within the measure of Allah's wrath and be destined to the abode in Hell, and how evil is the destination!
8:17 You people must realize that it was not you who brought death upon the infidels but it was Allah Who destroyed them. It was not you O Muhammad who aimed when you spattered, but it was Allah Who directed the sand you hurled at your enemy. Nor was it you who deprived them of power when you threw the handful of sand at their faces, but it was Allah Who eclipsed their sight. Nonetheless, Allah has determined to test the quality of those who have conformed to Islam with gracious intentions; on the one hand with His prevenient grace producing the repentance and faith without which the grace of justification cannot be received and on the other hand with the efficacious grace really effecting the end for which it is given; Allah is indeed Sami'un (Omnipresent) with unlimited audition and 'Alimun (Omniscient).
8:18 And so, this is it. Meantime Allah defies the infidels; He suspends their volition and renders their stratagem inefficient.
8:19 And you infidels, if you were looking for victory and judgement; your hopes have been doomed to disappointment; the Ka'ba belongs to those who have conformed to Islam. And if you exercise your faculty of volition toward peaceful existence and desist from the hostile course of action and your prudence gets the better of your pride, it would be to your advantage. But if your pride gets the better of your prudence and you resume hostilities, then the two sides shall inevitably meet again. And your troops, multitudinous as they will be, shall be of no advantage to you, for Allah upholds those whose hearts are faithful to Him.
8:20 O you who have conformed to Islam: Obey Allah and His Messenger and never withdraw from his presence when you are listening to his discourse on practical divinity.
8:21 Nor permit yourselves to be like those -the hypocrites- who pretended to have listened faithfully to the truth and pretended to abide by it when in fact they counselled deaf and closed their hearts' ears to discourses on practical divinity; there is speed in their dumbness.
8:22 Indeed, the worst creatures in Allah's sight are the deaf and dumb who are unwilling to hear nor heed.
8:23 Had Allah found in them any good He would have opened their hearts' ears and their minds' eyes and made their prudence get the better of their pride. And if He did, they would have turned away and counselled deaf to the spirit of truth that guides into all truth.
8:24 O you who have conformed to Islam: Respond favourably to Allah's commands and to the admonition by His Messenger when he invites you to lead a life that deserves the name, a life that is based on clean hearts and on divine knowledge and on denunciation of evil and ignorance and superstitions of later times. A life that is based on the faculty or sum of faculties of the mind or the soul by which one knows and reasons and exercises the power of thought and understanding. Life based on freedom from idolatry to the inanimate and the animate and on worshipping and obeying the One and Only -the Creator of the universe- Who gives life and occasions death. A life that is based on the quality of mind showing itself in facing danger without fear and based on kindness, compassion, benevolence and on religious and spiritual virtues. A life that is productive and fulfilling the normal purpose, so that it be meaningful, honourable and worth living. And you people had better realize that Allah intervenes between man and his heart to love or hate, to open its ears or counsel deaf, to be courageous or wanting courage, to be kind, or hard, to beat or fail and stop, and to Him shall all of you be thronged.
8:25 And avoid dissension, temptation and discord which may be brewed by some and practiced by others. The fatal consequence does not fall only on the wrongful but it unites all of you, and you must realize that Allah punishes severely.
8:26 Remember, you were some few viewed with contempt, living in fear of persecution, abduction and exile, and Allah put you under His tutelage, gave you shelter and made you strong in influence and authority and gave you security of position and reinforced you by His additional support and made victory sit on your helm. He provided you with victuals of the various good and wholesome kinds hoping you would impel yourselves to gratitude and gratefulness.
8:27 O you who have conformed to Islam : Do not prove false to the trust nor to Allah and His Messenger Who trusted you nor knowingly misappropriate anything that has been entrusted to you.
8:28 And you must realize that your wealth and your progeny are but a temptation and a means of trial to test your spiritual and moral attributes, your accomplishments and attainments as well as your course of actions. Do not forget that in Allah's realm you obtain the ultimate of your desires.
8:29 O you who have conformed to Islam: If you entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Allah, He will confer on your souls the faculty of knowing and reasoning, of thought and understanding, so that you can perceive the difference between right and wrong, have the capacity to discriminate one individual from another and constitute a difference between the powers of good and evil to the end that He blots out your iniquities. He is the source of sufficient grace abounding in whom He will and of efficacious grace which really effects the end for which it is given.
8:30 And remember O Muhammad how the infidels, with cleverness in circumventing, had recourse to stratagem tending to take you as prisoners and keep you in bondage or kill you, and in His plan did Allah also have recourse to stratagem, and who can gain advantage on Allah
8:31 When Our revelations are recited to them. They insolently say: "We have heard, and the like of this we heard before, and if we will we could discourse the like thereof. This is nothing but fables of old".
8:32 And remember O Muhammad when their pride and insolence got the better of their prudence and they said: O Allah, "if this is a divine discourse revealed from Your heaven's realm, then pour down upon us from the floor of the vault of heaven a rain of stones or a rain of large blows".
8:33 But Allah was not going to rain on them large blows while you are in their midst, nor was He going to put them to the torment before giving them plenty of rope to allow them free scope so that they either commit themselves and deserve annihilation or be sober minded, stand repentant and invoke Allah's forgiveness.
8:34 What excuse can they offer now to justify their wrongful deeds and bar prosecution! Therefore there is no reason why Allah should make them suffer for their offense. They have abused the act of grace and fallen from grace. They malevolently obstructed the way to the Sacrosanct House when they are not its guardians. Its guardians are those who entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Allah but most of these do not realize this fact.
8:35 Their prayer at the Sacrosanct House was simply featured in whistling and applause. Therefore, you infidels have well deserved to be put to the torment in requital of infidelity.
8:36 These infidels spend their money in the warring campaigns of disbelief against belief with the motive principle of obstructing the way to the path of Allah, the path of righteousness. They shall spend until they exhaust themselves and suffer losses, and then lament the events and circumstances with sighing. Then shall reason conquer passion and they lose the field and be subdued, and all infidels shall be thronged into Hell.
8:37 Such an amount of money spent in the war of disbelief against belief brings the two opposing sides into contact. There and then does Allah distinguish those who prevail upon themselves to serve Him and expose those who perform half - heartedly and those croakers who are always boding their ruin, He sums up the evidence of all evil and adds it together and casts all who have an evil savour in their composition into Hell; these are they who were born to be losers.
8:38 Tell O Muhammad these infidels: if they are willing to renounce infidelity, desist from evil purpose and turn to Allah, they will be forgiven their past iniquities. But should they resume hostilities and persist in their intentional assertion of falsehood, then suffice it to say that Allah's mode of action pursued in the past for each typical instance of punishment shah not alter.
8:39 So conditioned, then, fight against them the good fight of faith until persecution comes to an end and concord replaces discord and Allah's system of faith and worship prevails, and people take upon themselves: The recognition of Allah and His control of destiny, His rightful claim to obedience, reverence and worship, and the general mental and moral attitude resulting from this belief and its effect upon the individual and the people at large. If they desist and turn to Allah, He certainly is Bassirun(graceful and kind to his servants), He sees all that they do.
8:40 But if they refuse and counsel deaf, then you Muslims must realize that Allah is your tutelary Guardian and how Ultimate in excellence is the Protector, and the Ultimate of ultimate to afford help.
8:41 And you Muslims must realize that whatever you capture from your enemy in the way of spoils of war, comes under Allah's Authority. One fifth is assigned to Allah and His Messenger, to the kindred and to the orphans and the needy, that is if the heart of your purpose is indeed Allah's purpose and you have exercised your minds in thought and contemplation conferred on Our Messenger and on your souls to vindicate the powers of good and beat down the powers of evil when the two forces met, and Allah is Qadirun over all things; He overrules personal aims.
8:42 You were on the near side of the valley and the infidels on the far side, and the caravan below you marching by; a web of circumstance calculated and timely arranged by the Omnipotent. Had you tried to plan such a precise arrangement you would have failed. Allah had planned it in such a manner as to serve His purpose and to help you obtain an advantage over your enemy who outnumbered you to a great disproportion, the survivors among the infidels will then realize that their defeat was made by Allah's Omnipotence and Authority and the survivors among the Muslim victors realize Allah's Omnipotence and Sovereignty and Allah is indeed Sami'un with unlimited audition and 'Alimun.
8:43 Allah O Muhammad -in His infinite mercy has presented to your mind in your sleep the troops of the infidels as being some few- at the psychologically appropriate moment in which your minds were in actual expectation of war to happen. Had He presented them to you in your vision as being multitudinous you would have been smitten with mental anguish and dismay and you would have fallen into dispute, but Allah saved the situation; He is 'Alimun of all that is brewed secretly in the breasts.
8:44 When the two forces met, We influenced your minds' eyes so as you view them as being some few, and you would be viewed as being some few, so that you assail each other, and Allah's purpose would be served as has been enacted, and to Allah, the Ultimate Authority are committed and submitted all matters and all affairs for consideration, decision and execution here and Hereafter.
8:45 O you who have conformed to Islam: When you come upon an encounter with a troop of your enemies; do-not waver, but be resolute and firm, and think of Allah and call Him to mind as often as you can so that Heaven may help you gain the upper hand,
8:46 Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not contend with each other with opposing arguments lest your hopes should be doomed to disappointment and you lose heart, and the wind be taken out of your sails. Have patience and remember that Allah upholds the patient.
8:47 And be not like those* who left their homes -for battle- displaying deliberately and ostentatiously their might in order to, attract notice, win admiration and warn others; they aimed at obstructing the way to the path of Allah, the path of righteousness, but Allah is Omniscient of all that they do.
8:48 They were befooled by AL-Shaytan and those with characteristics befitting him who allured them to brighter worlds as a logical result and sequence to their doings and led the way. "Rest assured ", AL-Shaytan said, " that no man can overpower you today in battle and I will be by your side". But when the two forces met** he turned on his heels and reversed his position declaring his innocence of their ills, and said: "I see with my mind's eyes what you cannot see; I fear Allah Whose torment is laid upon the damned".
8:49 There and then said those in whose hearts reigned vice, the hypocrites and those with ill-natured hearts- thus: "How foolish the Muslims are to challenge such a large force; they are befooled by their religion which induced them to attack a great and superior force!". But he who puts his trust in Allah, shall find Allah 'Azizun and Hakimun.
8:50 If you could only see the infidels when the angels of death besiege them all about to disembody their souls, how they descend violently upon them striking their faces and their backs, and say to them: " Now you shall taste the torment of the Fire laid upon the damned".
8:51 "This is in the train of the evil deeds your wrongful and unclean have committed, and Allah is not unjust to His servants".
8:52 These peoples' disposition and attitude of mind do not differ from those of the Pharaoh and his people and their predecessors; they denied Allah and rejected His signs and revelations; so great was Allah's indignation against them for their wickedness that He took them by storm. Allah is indeed Qawiyun (Omnipotent); His torment is laid upon the damned.
8:53 This reasoning is based on Allah's justified course of action adopted as an expedient. He never withdraws nor changes His merited or unmerited favour He graced a given nation with until they change their own minds' attitude and the disposition of their innermost being, Allah is indeed Sami'un (with unlimited audition), and 'Alimun.
8:54 A reasoning marked by circumspection: it is attentive to all circumstances that may affect action, circumstances that are similar to those of the Pharaoh and his people and their predecessors who were united in their innate quality. They abused Allah's grace and by consequence fell from grace; they denied Allah's signs and revelations and persisted in their intentional assertion of falsehood. As a result, We destroyed them in requital of their willful violation of the divine law and their transgression against Allah and His commands. We drowned Pharaoh and his People; they were all wrongful of actions.
8:55 Indeed, the worst creatures in Allah's sight are those whose hearts' ears are closed and whose minds' eyes are blind, who counsel deaf to divine discourse and disavow Allah.
8:56 Who concluded with you O Muhammad a truce and resolved to cause a discord to pass into a concord, yet they break every agreement contracted for amity and peace, and never do they entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Allah.
8:57 Therefore, whenever and wherever you Muslims meet them in an active hostile contention, reduce them into a useless form to set an example of their humiliation serving as a deterrent to those who attempt thereafter to war against you.
8:58 Should you suspect treachery on the part of a people with whom you have concluded a peace treaty, let them know that you have cancelled your vow just the same; Allah detests indeed the treacherous.
8:59 And those infidels who deny Allah must realize that they have not escaped His divine attributes of Prescience and Omniscience nor shall they deter Him from afflicting them with a retributive punishment.
8:60 And prepare for them you Muslims all you can recruit of strength: armed forces and mounted troops- to strike terror into the hearts and minds of Allah's enemy who is your enemy, and into the hearts and minds of others whom you do not know but Allah knows them. And remember that whatever you spend in divine service you shall be reimbursed and never shall you be wronged.
8:61 If they incline to reconcile themselves with their own hearts and with Allah and make peace, then be willing to incline thereto, and put your trust in Allah; He is AL-Sami' (Omnipresent) with unlimited audition, and AL-'Alim.
8:62 And if this happens to be an instance of deception and they mean to disappoint your expectation of peace, then good enough for you is Allah to count upon for support; He is it Who upheld your cause and crowned you with victory with His aid and with those who have conformed to Islam.
8:63 And it is He Who united their feeling and thought, their action and interest and their purpose, and caused their spiritual union with Allah. It is He Who made them reconcile themselves with their own hearts and with Allah. Had you spent all the available wealth on earth for this purpose, you would have failed to tune their hearts to one thought. But Allah brought this unison by tuning their frame of mind, their mood and their disposition; Allah is indeed Azizun and Hakimun.
8:64 O you the Prophet: Sufficient for you, and for those Muslims who fell into line with you, is Allah Who upholds your cause and helps you accomplish your divine purpose.
8:65 O you the Prophet: Urge the Muslims to action; twenty of you exercising patience and standing firm shall vanquish two hundred, and if there are a hundred of such a caliber, they shall defeat a thousand of the infidels who are fighting against the truth because they are characterized with dullness of comprehension.
8:66 Now that the powers of good have defeated the powers of evil and Allah, being aware of your poor physical strength, has commuted your obligation due to Him. If there are a hundred of you who exercise patience and stand firm, they shall vanquish two hundred, and if there are one thousand, they shall vanquish two thousand, Allah willing, Allah upholds the patient.
8:67 No Prophet is entitled to take prisoners of war under the circumstances when the infidels are doing their best to defy Allah's religion, until he has humbled the avowed enemies of faith and subdued the land at the peril of their lives. To take prisoners and ransom them at this stage means that you Muslims are concerned with the interests and pleasures of this life when Allah's concern is the Hereafter, and Allah is Azizun and Hakimun.
8:68 Had it not been for Allah's authoritative decree proclaimed beforehand to forgive a votary who inadvertently errs, you people would have been severely punished for what you have undertaken*
8:69 Therefore, you may enjoy what you have gained, in the way of spoils of war, it is a lawful gain, but fear Allah and entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Him.
8:70 O you the Prophet, say to those of the captives upon your hands: If Allah finds in your hearts a zeal to promote the common good, we will compensate to you more than what you have lost and give up resentment against you and pardon your offense; Allah is Ghafurun (Forgiving), and Rahimun.
8:71 And if they intend to betray you and disappoint your expectations, they have betrayed Allah's cause before, but Allah gave you power to subdue them at their peril, and Allah is 'Alimun and Hakimun.
8:72 Those who conformed to Islam and emigrated to where they could best serve Allah and strove in His cause with their wealth and their lives, and those who gave them refuge and afforded them help, are joined one to the other in mutual intimacy. Those who conformed to Islam but due to social or business interests did not emigrate to where they could best serve Allah will be denied your tutelary protection until they have emigrated. But if they seek your aid against persecution directed against them by their people for holding Allah's religious system, then it is incumbent on you to help them, unless you happen to have concluded with their people a treaty of mutual alliance, Allah is Bassirun (Omnipresent) He sees all that you do.
8:73 These infidels who deny Allah are joined one to another in mutual intimacy and afford one another mutual help, and unless you Muslims do the same, then discord shall replace concord and the world shall be given to great mischief and perversion of integrity.
8:74 And those who conformed to Islam and emigrated to where they could best serve Allah, and strove in His cause with their wealth and their lives, as well as those who gave them refuge and afforded them help, are the recipients of Allah's blessings. These are indeed the faithful who are conscientious in the fulfillment of their duty to Allah, they shall be graced with forgiveness and blessed provisions.
8:75 And those who have since conformed to Islam and emigrated at a later date and fought in the cause of Allah by your side, constitute an integral part of you and enjoy the same rights. Now that the stability of the faith has been ensured then those who are related by blood do have prior rights toward each other as is decreed in the archetypal Book of Allah; Allah is indeed 'Alimun of the whole and of all in all.


   


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