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al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
as rendered by Bijan Moeinian

Bijan Moeinian rendition of Surah The Spoils of War(al-Anfal)
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8:1 O’ Mohammad, they will come to you to settle their disagreement as to how to divide whatever they have confiscated in the war [of Badr (the first war between the Muslims and the disbelievers).] Say: “Whatever gained in the war belong to God and His Messenger has the final word in distributing them. Therefore, respect the Lord and obey Him, if you are true believers.”
8:2 The true believers are those who are taken by awe when the name of their Lord is mentioned. Their faith increases any time that the verses of Qur’an is recited to them and they put their trust in God
8:3 The true believers worship the Lord on regular basis and devote a part of their God given earnings to the charity.
8:4 Such are the true believers. They earn different rank with their Lord. Their sins will be forgiven and they will be entitled to the most generous reward.
8:5 Recall how your Lord ordered you to leave your home for a mission of truth and how some believers resented it.
8:6 They were disputing with you about the necessity of the mission, although they knew the truth. They were behaving as if they were seeing the death in front of them.
8:7 When God promised that you will be triumphant over one of the two parties (the caravan who was carrying the Muslims’ confiscated wealth or the army which was marching to destroy the Muslims.) At that time you were wishing that the weaker party (the caravan carrying the wealth) would fall to you. However, it was the will of God to establish the truth (Islam) with His word and to cut across the root of the disbelievers (who were much stronger than the Muslims’ army.)
8:8 God wanted that the truth be triumphant and the falsehood to be defeated, to the dismay of the guilty ones.
8:9 When you were desperately praying for help, your Lord responded: “I am going to send you one thousand angels one after another.”
8:10 God gave you this good news as a relief. The only source of help is God; the Almighty, the Most Wise.
8:11 I showered you with peace and assurance up to the point of drowsiness. I sent you the rain to cleanse you from the satanic thoughts, to fortify your belief and to strengthen your foothold.
8:12 Your Lord inspired the angels by saying: “I am with you; keep the spirit of the believers high. I will cast terror in the hearts of the disbelievers. You have the permission not only to strike the disbelievers’ heads but also every joint of their bodies.”
8:13 This was in account of their challenging God and His prophet. Whoever opposes God and His Prophet should know that God is severing in punishment.
8:14 Taste your worldly punishment and know that, as a disbeliever, you will be subjected to the Hellfire.
8:15 O’ Believers, when your army engages in fight with the disbeliever, never turn your back to them.
8:16 Those who turn their backs (except for tactical reasons), they will earn the Lord’s anger and will end up in the Hell which is an awful place to live in.
8:17 Know that it was not you who killed them! It was the Lord Who killed them. It was not you who threw (the sand) against them! It was the Lord Who did it. God did it in order to make it easier for the believer to pass this excellent test of theirs; God hears everything and Knows everything.
8:18 This is the way that God comes to your help. As for the secret plans of the disbelievers [against the believers], God will make them ineffective.
8:19 You (the disbelievers) prayed (at the holy site of Mecca) to God (saying: “may the truthful ones win”); the Lord has answered your prayer! Therefore; the best thing for you is to give up. Now if you return back to fight [the believers], you will face the same punishment and your well equipped army will be of no benefit for you. God sides with the believers.
8:20 O’ You who believe; obey God and His messenger and do not disregard him after having heard his orders.
8:21 Do not behave like those who say [with their tongues]: “We hear you” but in reality they have not listened (letting the words come from one ear and left through the other.)
8:22 The worse kind of [so called humans who have turned themselves into] animals are those who are deaf [when they hear the truth] and blind [preferring not to see the truth] and do not think.
8:23 If there was just a little bit goodness in them, God would have done a favor to them, letting the words penetrate in their conscious. However [the way they are], their absorbing the truth [and joining the army of the believers in the fight against the disbelievers] would have caused more trouble.
8:24 O’ you who believe, respond to God and His messenger when he invites you to a cause which will lead you to [an eternal and the most pleasant] life [either through the manifestation of the bravery or the ultimate achievement which is the martyrdom.] Know that God is closer to you than your own heart and that [one day] you will be summoned to His Audience.
8:25 Raise against that kind of collective sins [which is committed by the society as a whole and not a person (such as the passage of those “civil laws” which contradict the Divine laws,...] which its punishment is not limited to those who commit it [but will afflict the whole society.] Know that God subjects the guilty ones to the most sever kind of punishment.
8:26 Remember when you were used to be a few powerless people [in Mecca], fearing that your enemies will destroy you anytime. Then God provided a sanctuary for you (when the people of Medina out of blue invited the prophet and the Muslims to migrate there), gave you victory over your enemies and showered you with pure provisions so that you turn to Him gratefully.
8:27 O’ you who have believed, do not betray God and His messenger, nor knowingly destroy the trust.
8:28 Know that [the love of] your children and your wealth are in fact a matter of trial for you (to see whether or not you can sacrifice your worldly possessing for the truth.) The fact of the matter is, what is in reserve for you with the Lord, is much more precious than what you may ever own in this life.
8:29 O’ you who have chosen to believe, If you respect the Lord, He will provide you with a divine criteria for your behavior, cover your wrongdoings and forgive you. God’s Grace is countless.
8:30 Remember [Mohammad] when the disbelievers were plotting to imprison you, exile you or kill you. They had their own plan and God had His own; and God is the One Who comes with the best plan.
8:31 When you were reciting My Revelations to them, they responded: “We have heard these [nonsense] before. We can fabricate such things too; after all, they are nothing but the ancient myths.”
8:32 They were challenging you to ask God to send them fiery stones from the sky or any other sever punishment. [How foolish of them to ask for a miracle that will kill them instantly, not giving them time to contemplate about it and then either accept it or reject it!}
8:33 At that time, God did not send them such a punishment as you were among them. Besides, God will not destroy a whole community as long as [there are people in it for whom there is a possibility that may come to their senses and] they may ask for forgiveness.
8:34 But [let them beware that] now, there is no reason why God should not send them a punishment; they are preventing the believer from having free access to “Masjid-Al-Haram” (built by Abraham and Ishmael for the sole purpose of worshipping the Lord alone] whereas they are not it lawful guardians. Most people do not realize that only God fearing people are entitled to the guardianship of such a holy place.
8:35 As to what they consider it worshipping, it is nothing more than [making senseless noises by] whistling and clapping of hands (like some churches of our time who have forgotten how Jesus uses to pray [see Matthew and consider singing and dancing and clapping of hands as the acts of worship!] Therefore, taste your punishment as a result of what you deny.
8:36 Those who have chosen to disbelieve, spend lots of their wealth to block the path which leads to the Lord and [when they see that it does not work,] they go on spending more. What they will earn for this is only the regret; then they will be overpowered and led to the Hell.
8:37 Thus God separate the filthy ones from the good ones. Once the filthy ones are piled up together, they will be cast into the Hell; talking about the losers.
8:38 Let the disbelievers know that, if they stop it, all their past will be forgiven. If they continue [their old tricks,] they will be subjected to what the guilty nations before them were subjected to.
8:39 Fight with the disbelievers till they give up the persecution and a God pleasing “way of life” is established. God sees what they do [and, therefore, knows whether or not they are sincere in their “cease fire.”]
8:40 Now, if they do not give up, know that the Lord is your Protector; the best Protector and the best Helper.
8:41 The fifth of whatever is taken from the enemy in the war, belongs to God and His messenger to be distributed among the relatives, the orphans, the needy ones and the traveler in distress. You will obey this decision [which is the answer to the beginning question of this chapter,] If you believe in God and what I sent to My servant (Mohammad) on the Day of Decision (the Devine help which led to your victory); the day that the two armies (in the battle of Badr) clashed. Never forget that God has power over everything.
8:42 Remember the battlefield in which you were in the higher grounds of the valley and they were in the lower side of the valley (destined to suffer from the rain that was sent before the battle) and the caravan was below you. Even if you had agreed to meet each other, you would have not come to the battlefield (as you were low in number and ill-equipped] but God had decided to accomplish His plan and let whoever had to perish to perish and whoever deserved to live to live; thus sending a clear message. Indeed, God hears and knows everything.
8:43 Remember when the Lord made them appear to you (in your dream) as a small band.. Had I shown them as they were (a great army), you would surely have lost courage and began to dispute the wisdom of the engagement. The Lord, however, saved the situation as He knows even the innermost thought of yours.
8:44 When you engaged in the fight, God made them appear to you fewer in number [to encourage you to fight] and made you appear fewer in number in their eyes too, so that [they would be encouraged to engage in the fight and that] God materializes His will; ultimately, it is God Who decides what should take place.
8:45 O’ you who believe, when you face an enemy, show courage and mention the Lord’s name frequently; may you come out victoriously [if it is the will of God.]
8:46 And obey God and His messenger without any dispute; otherwise, you will loose your enthusiasm. Be patient [and do not expect an easy and immediate victory]; God sides with he patient people.
8:47 Do not be like those [disbelievers of Mecca] who marched arrogantly [with the music, dancing, etc.] displaying their force to the spectators. These are the people who prevent people from following the Lord’s path. God is fully aware [and in control of] what they are doing.
8:48 Satan made their opposition fair seeming in their eyes and said: “Today no body can defeat you as I am with you!” As soon as you and your enemies [in the battle of Badr] engaged in the fight [and Satan saw the angels coming to help], he ran away and said: “I do not have anything to do with you. I see what you cannot see. I fear God as I know how sever His punishment can be.”
8:49 Simultaneously, the hypocrites and those who are sick of mind [and are not endowed with the belief and courage] said: “The religion has made these people crazy” whereas the fact of the matter is: the one who depends upon the lord, has chosen the Most High and the Most Wise [as his partner.]
8:50 If you could only see how the angels would treat the disbelievers who had been killed in the battle [of Badr] They would slap their faces and kick their rear end saying: “Now is the time that you face the Fire that [you used to deny.]
8:51 “This [misfortune] is what you, yourselves, have earned as God is not unjust towards His servants.”
8:52 The same [misfortune] happened to Pharaoh and his people as well as the previous [unjust] people as they chose to disregard the Lord’s revelations. God punished them for their sins as He is the Most Powerful and sever in punishment.
8:53 This took place in accordance the Lord’s tradition: God does not take His favors back from people, unless they [change their way of life and] prove that they do not deserve such favors. God sees everything and knows everything.
8:54 Thus, I destroyed Pharaoh and his people, as well as the guilty people before them, in account of their sins. I drowned Pharaoh and his administrators for being wicked.
8:55 Those who chose to deny the Lord and not to believe in Him are the worse kind of animals in the sight of God.
8:56 You have signed agreement with such disbelievers and they have violated the agreements time after time; this is because they do not fear the Lord.
8:57 Consequently, if you meet them in combat, make of them such an example that those who dare to come after them think twice.
8:58 When you are betrayed by a given people, annul their treaties. God does not like those who recourse to betrayal.
8:59 Let not those who disbelieve think that they can get away with it. There is no way that they can frustrate the Lord.
8:60 You must organize a well-equipped army [to defend yourself and] to frighten your enemies as well as the enemies of God (whom you know) and the other enemies (whom you do not know) but God knows them well. Know that anything that you spend in the cause of God is not lost and you will be paid back in full.
8:61 If your enemies resort to peace, you should incline to peace too. Put your trust in God as He hears everything and knows everything.
8:62 If they intend to deceive you, do not worry as God alone is enough for you as a Protector. Do not forget that it was God Who came to your help at first place and strengthened you with the believers.
8:63 It was God Who made the believers feel like being brothers. Even if you have spent all the wealth of the world, you could not have united them (only two years ago the clan of Aas and Khadhraj were killing each other out of animosity.) God is the Greatest, God is the Most Wise.
8:64 O’ My messenger, God is more than enough a Protector for you and the believers who follow you.
8:65 O Prophet, lift the spirit of the believers to fight. Let them know that twenty of them can overcome two hundred enemies with perseverance. The same is true for one hundred with such an attitude who can easily defeat one thousand of disbelievers as the latter do not understand [why they are fighting and consequently suffer from lack of morale.]
8:66 Now [that new converts have joined you,] God’s will double your power. Therefore, one hundred of you can defeat two hundred disbelievers and one thousand of you can overcome two thousand of them. God sides with those [of you] who show perseverance.
8:67 It is beneath the dignity of a prophet to hold people captive, after the war is over [and after their ransom is being paid.] For you the possessions of this world is important (and that is why you want to keep the captives, humiliate them and even kill them) while it is Hereafter that God recommends to you and, of course [He knows what is the best for you as], God is the Most Knowledgeable, the Most High.
8:68 If God had not pre-determined a decree, you would have been subject to a sever punishment for what you have taken [as ransom for the prisoners of the war.]
8:69 Therefore, enjoy what you have gained in the war and respect the Lord as God is Forgiving and Merciful.
8:70 O’ prophet, tell the prisoners of the war: “If God finds any good in your conscious, He will give you something which is much better than what you have lost [in the war] and He will forgive you as He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
8:71 Now if they betray you, they have declared animosity to the Lord. That is why God has given you victory over them [so that they may come to their senses.] God knows everything and is the Most Wise.
8:72 Those who chose to believe and emigrated [from Mecca to Medina, leaving everything behind and thus] gave up their possessions and [put in danger their] lives in the cause of God, and those [citizens of Medina] who gave refuge to the latter and helped them, are indeed one of a kind. As for those who have chosen to believe, yet not emigrated, [although they are your brothers,] they are not the citizens [of the Islamic State] until they emigrate [to Medina.] If they ask you for a help in their religious affairs, be of assistance to them. You may refrain from helping those Muslims who are living with the disbelievers with whom you have a treaty of non-intervention in their affairs. Know that God sees what you are doing.
8:73 The disbelievers assist each other. If you do not unite, the world will be turned into a great decayed land and the mischief will be spread all over.
8:74 Those who chose to believe and emigrated and offered their best in the cause of God, as well as those who welcomed and helped them, they are true believers. Theirs is forgiveness and a great reward.
8:75 As for those who chose to believe and joined you later and strove with you, are your people. However, [do not forget that] in the Book of God, those who are related to each other with blood, have a higher degree of relationship [than those who are brothers in religion] as God knows everything [to the fullest detail.]


   


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