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al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
as rendered by Abdel Haleem

Abdel Haleem rendition of Surah The Spoils of War(al-Anfal)
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8:1 They ask you [Prophet] about [distributing] the battle gains. Say, ‘That is a matter for God and His Messenger, so be mindful of God and make things right between you. Obey God and His Messenger if you are true believers:
8:2 true believers are those whose hearts tremble with awe when God is mentioned, whose faith increases when His revelations are recited to them, who put their trust in their Lord,
8:3 who keep up the prayer and give to others out of what We provide for them.
8:4 Those are the ones who truly believe. They have high standing with their Lord, forgiveness, and generous provision.’
8:5 For it was your Lord who made you [Prophet] venture from your home for a true purpose––though a group of the believers disliked it
8:6 and argued with you about the truth after it had been made clear, as if they were being driven towards a death they could see with their own eyes.
8:7 Remember how God promised you [believers] that one of the two enemy groups would fall to you: you wanted the unarmed group to be yours, but it was God’s will to establish the truth according to His Word and to finish off the disbelievers––
8:8 to prove the Truth to be true, and the false to be false, much as the guilty might dislike it.
8:9 When you begged your Lord for help, He answered you, ‘I will reinforce you with a thousand angels in succession.’
8:10 God made this a message of hope to reassure your hearts: help comes only from God, He is mighty and wise.
8:11 Remember when He gave you sleep as a reassurance from Him, and sent down water from the sky to cleanse you, to remove Satan’s pollution from you, to make your hearts strong and your feet firm.
8:12 Your Lord revealed to the angels: ‘I am with you: give the believers firmness; I shall put terror into the hearts of the disbelievers- strike above their necks and strike all their fingertips.’
8:13 That was because they opposed God and His Messenger, and if anyone opposes God and His Messenger, God punishes them severely-
8:14 ‘That is what you get! Taste that!’––and the torment of the Fire awaits the disbelievers.
8:15 Believers, when you meet the disbelievers in battle, never turn your backs on them:
8:16 if anyone does so on such a day- unless maneuvring to fight or to join a fighting group- he incurs the wrath of God, and Hell will be his home, a wretched destination!
8:17 It was not you who killed them but God, and when you [Prophet] threw [sand at them] it was not your throw [that defeated them] but God’s, to do the believers a favour: God is all seeing and all knowing-
8:18 ‘That is what you get!’––and God will weaken the disbelievers’ designs.
8:19 [Disbelievers], if you were seeking a decision, now you have witnessed one: if you stop here, it will be better for you. If you return, so shall We, and your forces, though greater in number, will be of no use to you. God is with the believers.
8:20 Believers, obey God and His Messenger: do not turn away when you are listening to him;
8:21 do not be like those who say, ‘We heard,’ though in fact they were not listening-
8:22 the worst creatures in God’s eyes are those who are [wilfully] deaf and dumb, who do not reason.
8:23 If God had known there was any good in them, He would have made them hear, but even if He had, they would still have turned away and taken no notice.
8:24 Believers, respond to God and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. Know that God comes between a man and his heart, and that you will be gathered to Him.
8:25 Beware of discord that harms not only the wrongdoers among you: know that God is severe in His punishment.
8:26 Remember when you were few, victimized in the land, afraid that people might catch you, but God sheltered you and strengthened you with His help, and provided you with good things so that you might be grateful.
8:27 Believers, do not betray God and the Messenger, or knowingly betray [other people’s] trust in you.
8:28 Be aware that your possessions and your children are only a test, and that there is a tremendous reward with God.
8:29 Believers, if you remain mindful of God, He will give you a criterion [to tell right from wrong] and wipe out your bad deeds, and forgive you: God’s favour is great indeed.
8:30 Remember [Prophet] when the disbelievers plotted to take you captive, kill, or expel you. They schemed and so did God: He is the best of schemers.
8:31 Whenever Our Revelation is recited to them they say, ‘We have heard all this before- we could say something like this if we wanted- this is nothing but ancient fables.’
8:32 They also said, ‘God, if this really is the truth from You, then rain stones on us from the heavens, or send us some other painful punishment.’
8:33 But God would not send them punishment while you [Prophet] are in their midst, nor would He punish them if they sought forgiveness,
8:34 yet why should God not punish them when they debar people from the Sacred Mosque, although they are not its [rightful] guardians? Only those mindful of God are its rightful guardians, but most of the disbelievers do not realize this.
8:35 Their prayers before the House are nothing but whistling and clapping. ‘So taste the punishment for your disbelief.’
8:36 They use their wealth to bar people from the path of God, and they will go on doing so. In the end this will be a source of intense regret for them: they will be overcome and herded towards Hell.
8:37 God will separate the bad from the good, place the bad on top of one another- heaping them all up together- and put them in Hell. They will be the losers.
8:38 [Prophet], tell the disbelievers that if they desist their past will be forgiven, but if they persist, they have an example in the fate of those who went before.
8:39 [Believers], fight them until there is no more persecution, and all worship is devoted to God alone: if they desist, then God sees all that they do,
8:40 but if they pay no heed, be sure that God is your protector, the best protector and the best helper.
8:41 Know that one-fifth of your battle gains belongs to God and the Messenger, to close relatives and orphans, to the needy and travellers, if you believe in God and the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the day of the decision, the day when the two forces met in battle. God has power over all things.
8:42 Remember when you were on the near side of the valley, and they were on the far side and the caravan was below you. If you had made an appointment to fight, you would have failed to keep it [but the battle took place] so that God might bring about something already ordained, so that those who were to die might die after seeing a clear proof, and so that those who were to live might live after seeing a clear proof- God is all hearing and all seeing.
8:43 [Prophet], remember when God made you see them in your sleep as few: if He had shown them to you [believers] as many, you would certainly have lost heart and argued about it, but God saved you. He knows the secrets of the heart.
8:44 When you met He showed them to you as few, and He made you few in their eyes, so that He might bring about what has been ordained: everything goes back to God.
8:45 Believers, when you meet a force in battle, stand firm and keep God firmly in mind, so that you may prosper.
8:46 Obey God and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another, or you may lose heart and your spirit may desert you. Be steadfast: God is with the steadfast.
8:47 Do not be like those who came out of their homes full of conceit, showing off to people, and barring others from the way of God- God has full knowledge of all that they do.
8:48 Satan made their foul deeds seem fair to them, and said, ‘No one will conquer you today, for I will be right beside you,’ but when the armies came within sight of one another he turned on his heels, saying, ‘This is where I leave you: I see what you do not, and I fear God- God is severe in His punishment.’
8:49 The hypocrites and those who have sickness in their hearts said, ‘These people [the believers] must be deluded by their religion,’ but if anyone puts his trust in God, God is mighty and wise.
8:50 If only you [Prophet] could see, when the angels take the souls of the disbelievers, how they strike their faces and backs: it will be said, ‘Taste the punishment of the Fire.
8:51 This is caused by what your own hands have stored up for you: God is never unjust to His creatures.’
8:52 They are like Pharaoh’s people and those before them who ignored God’s signs, so God punished them for their sins: God is strong and severe in His punishment.
8:53 [He did] this because God would never change a favour He had conferred on a people unless they changed what was within themselves. God is all hearing, all knowing.
8:54 They are indeed like Pharaoh’s people and those before them, who denied the signs of their Lord: We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned Pharaoh’s people- they were all evildoers.
8:55 The worst creatures in the sight of God are those who reject Him and will not believe;
8:56 who, whenever you [Prophet] make a treaty with them, break it, for they have no fear of God.
8:57 If you meet them in battle, make a fearsome example of them to those who come after them, so that they may take heed.
8:58 And if you learn of treachery on the part of any people, throw their treaty back at them, for God does not love the treacherous.
8:59 The disbelievers should not think they have won; they cannot escape.
8:60 Prepare whatever forces you [believers] can muster, including warhorses, to frighten off God’s enemies and yours, and warn others unknown to you but known to God. Whatever you give in God’s cause will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.
8:61 But if they incline towards peace, you [Prophet] must also incline towards it, and put your trust in God: He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.
8:62 If they intend to deceive you, God is enough for you: it was He who strengthened you with His help,
8:63 and with the believers, and brought their hearts together. Even if you had given away everything in the earth you could not have done this, but God brought them together: God is mighty and wise.
8:64 Prophet, God is enough for you, and for the believers who follow you.
8:65 Prophet, urge the believers to fight: if there are twenty of you who are steadfast, they will overcome two hundred, and a hundred of you, if steadfast, will overcome a thousand of the disbelievers, for they are people who do not understand.
8:66 But God has lightened your burden for now, knowing that there is weakness in you––a steadfast hundred of you will defeat two hundred and a steadfast thousand of you will defeat two thousand, by God’s permission: God is with the steadfast.
8:67 It is not right for a prophet to take captives before he has conquered the battlefield. You [people] desire the transient goods of this world, but God desires the Hereafter [for you]- God is mighty and wise-
8:68 and had it not been preordained by God, a severe punishment would have come upon you for what you have taken.
8:69 So enjoy in a good and lawful manner the things you have gained in war and be mindful of God: He is forgiving and merciful.
8:70 Prophet, tell those you have taken captive, ‘If God knows of any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you: God is forgiving and merciful.’
8:71 But if they mean to betray you, they have betrayed God before, and He has given you mastery over them: He is all knowing, all wise.
8:72 Those who believed and emigrated [to Medina] and struggled for God’s cause with their possessions and persons, and those who gave refuge and help, are all allies of one another. As for those who believed but did not emigrate, you are not responsible for their protection until they have done so. But if they seek help from you against persecution, it is your duty to assist them, except against people with whom you have a treaty: God sees all that you do.
8:73 The disbelievers support one another. If you do not do the same, there will be persecution in the land and great corruption.
8:74 Those who believed and emigrated, and struggled for God’s cause, and those who gave refuge and help- they are the true believers and they will have forgiveness and generous provision.
8:75 And those who came to believe afterwards, and emigrated and struggled alongside you, they are part of you, but relatives still have prior claim over one another in God’s Scripture: God has full knowledge of all things.


   


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