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al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
as rendered by Aisha Bewley

Aisha Bewley rendition of Surah The Spoils of War(al-Anfal)
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8:1 They will ask you about booty. Say: ´Booty belongs to Allah and the Messenger. So have taqwa of Allah and put things right between you. Obey Allah and His Messenger if you are muminun.´
8:2 The muminun are those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose iman is increased when His Signs are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord;
8:3 those who establish salat and give of what We have provided for them.
8:4 They are in truth the muminun. They have high ranks with their Lord and forgiveness and generous provision.
8:5 Just as your Lord brought you out from your house with truth, even though a group of the muminun disliked it,
8:6 arguing with you about the Truth after it had been made clear as though they were being driven to their death with open eyes.*
8:7 When Allah promised you that one of the two parties would be yours and you would have liked it to have been the unarmed one, whereas Allah desired to verify the Truth by His words and to cut off the last remnant of the kafirun.
8:8 This was so that He might verify the Truth and nullify the false, even though the evildoers hate that.
8:9 Remember when you called on your Lord for help and He responded to you: ´I will reinforce you with a thousand angels riding rank after rank.´
8:10 Allah only did this to give you good news and that so your hearts would be at rest. Victory comes from no one but Allah. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.
8:11 And when He overcame you with sleep, making you feel secure, and sent you down water from heaven to purify you and remove the taint of Shaytan from you, and to fortify your hearts and make your feet firm.
8:12 And when your Lord revealed to the angels, ´I am with you so make those who have iman firm. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who are kafir, so strike their necks and strike all their finger joints!´
8:13 This was because they were hostile to Allah and His Messenger. If anyone is hostile to Allah and His Messenger, Allah is severe in retribution.
8:14 That is your reward, so taste it. The kafirun will also have the punishment of the Fire.
8:15 You who have iman! when you encounter those who are kafir advancing in massed ranks into battle, do not turn your backs on them.
8:16 Anyone who turns his back on them that day, unless he is withdrawing to rejoin the fight or withdrawing to support another group, brings Allah´s anger down upon himself. His refuge is Hell. What an evil destination!
8:17 You did not kill them; it was Allah who killed them; and you did not throw, when you threw; it was Allah who threw: so He might test the muminun with this excellent trial from Him. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
8:18 That is your reward. Allah always confounds the schemes of the kuffar.
8:19 If it was a decisive victory you were seeking, that victory has clearly been won. If you desist, it will better for you; but if you return, We also will return. Your troops will not help you at all, however many they are. Allah is with the muminun.
8:20 You who have iman! obey Allah and His Messenger. And do not turn away from him when you are able to hear.
8:21 Do not be like those who say, ´We hear,´ when they do not hear.
8:22 The worst of beasts in Allah´s sight are the deaf and dumb who have no intellect.
8:23 If Allah knew of any good in them, He would have made them able to hear. But even if He had made them able to hear, they would still have turned away.
8:24 You who have iman! respond to Allah and to the Messenger when He calls you to what will bring you to life! Know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that you will be gathered to Him.
8:25 Be fearful of trials which will not afflict solely those among you who do wrong. Know that Allah is severe in retribution.
8:26 When you were few and oppressed in the land, afraid that the people would snatch you away, He gave you refuge and supported you with His help and provided you with good things so that hopefully you would be thankful.
8:27 You who have iman! do not betray Allah and His Messenger, and do not knowingly betray your trusts.
8:28 Know that your wealth and children are a trial and that there is an immense reward with Allah.
8:29 You who have iman! if you have taqwa of Allah, He will give you discrimination and erase your bad actions from you and forgive you. Allah´s favour is indeed immense.
8:30 When those who are kafir were plotting against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they were plotting and Allah was plotting, but Allah is the Best of Plotters.
8:31 When Our Signs are recited to them, they say, ´We have already heard all this. If we wanted, we could say the same thing. This is nothing but the myths of previous peoples.´
8:32 And they say, ´Allah, if this is really the truth from You, rain down stones on us out of heaven or send a painful punishment down on us.´
8:33 Allah would not punish them while you were among them. Allah would not punish them as long as they sought forgiveness.
8:34 But why should Allah not punish them now when they bar access to the Masjid al-Haram? They are not its guardians. Only people who have taqwa can be its guardians. But most of them do not know that.
8:35 Their prayer at the House is nothing but whistling and clapping. So taste the punishment because you were kafir!
8:36 Those who are kafir spend their wealth barring access to the Way of Allah. They will spend it; then they will regret it; then they will be overthrown. Those who are kafir will be gathered into Hell,
8:37 so that Allah can sift the bad out from the good, and pile the bad on top of one another, heaping them all together, and tip them into Hell. They are the lost.
8:38 Say to those who are kafir that if they stop, they will be forgiven what is past; but if they return to it, they have the pattern of previous peoples in the past.
8:39 Fight them until there is no more fitna and the deen is Allah´s alone. If they stop, Allah sees what they do,
8:40 but if they turn away, know that Allah is your Master, the Best of Masters, and the Best of Helpers!
8:41 Know that when you take any booty a fifth of it belongs to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to close relatives, orphans, the very poor and travellers, if you believe in Allah and in what We sent down to Our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the day the two groups met — Allah has power over all things —
8:42 when you were on the nearer slope, and they were on the further slope and the caravan was lower down than you. If you had made an appointment with them you would have broken the appointment. However, it happened so that Allah could settle a matter whose result was preordained: so that those who died would die with clear proof, and those who lived would live with clear proof. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
8:43 Remember when Allah showed them to you in your dream as only a few. If He had shown you them as many, you would have lost heart and quarrelled about the matter; but Allah saved you. He knows what your hearts contain.
8:44 Remember when Allah made you see them as few when you met them, and also made you seem few in their eyes. This was so that Allah could settle a matter whose result was preordained. All matters return to Allah.
8:45 You who have iman! when you meet a troop, stand firm and remember Allah repeatedly so that hopefully you will be successful.
8:46 Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappear. And be steadfast. Allah is with the steadfast.
8:47 Do not be like those who left their homes in arrogance, showing off to people and barring them from the way of Allah — Allah encompasses what they do —
8:48 when Shaytan made their actions appear good to them, saying, ´No one will overcome you today for I am at your side.´ But when the two parties came in sight of one another, he turned right round on his heels saying, ´I wash my hands of you. I see what you do not see. I fear Allah. Allah is severe in retribution.´
8:49 And when the hypocrites and those with sickness in their hearts said, ´These people have been deluded by their deen.´ But those who put their trust in Allah will find Allah to be Almighty, All-Wise.
8:50 If only you could see when the angels take back those who were kafir at their death, beating their faces and their backs: ´Taste the punishment of the Burning!
8:51 That is for what you did. Allah does not wrong His slaves.´
8:52 Such was the case with Pharaoh´s people and those before them. They rejected Allah´s Signs so Allah seized them for their wrong actions. Allah is Strong, Severe in Retribution.
8:53 That is because Allah would never change a blessing He has conferred on a people until they had changed what was in themselves. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
8:54 Such was the case with Pharaoh´s people and those before them. They denied their Lord´s Signs so We destroyed them for their wrong actions. We drowned Pharaoh´s people. All of them were wrongdoers.
8:55 The worst of animals in the sight of Allah are those who are kafir and do not have iman,
8:56 those with whom you make a treaty and who then break it every time. They have no taqwa.
8:57 So if you come upon such people in war, make a harsh example of them to deter those coming after them so that hopefully they will pay heed.
8:58 If you fear treachery on the part of a people, revoke your treaty with them mutually. Allah does not love treacherous people.
8:59 Do not imagine that those who are kafir have got ahead. They are quite powerless.
8:60 Arm yourselves against them with all the firepower and cavalry you can muster, to terrify the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides them whom you do not know. Allah knows them. Anything you spend in the Way of Allah will be repaid to you in full. You will not be wronged.
8:61 If they incline to peace, you too incline to it, and put your trust in Allah. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
8:62 If they intend to deceive you, Allah is enough for you. It is He who supported you with His help and with the muminun,
8:63 and unified their hearts. Even if you had spent everything on the earth, you could not have unified their hearts. But Allah has unified them. He is Almighty, All-Wise.
8:64 O Prophet! Allah is enough for you, and for the muminun who follow you.
8:65 O Prophet! spur on the muminun to fight. If there are twenty of you who are steadfast, they will overcome two hundred; and if there are a hundred of you, they will overcome a thousand of those who are kafir, because they are people who do not understand.
8:66 Now Allah has made it lighter on you, knowing there is weakness in you. If there are a hundred of you who are steadfast, they will overcome two hundred; and if there are a thousand of you, they will overcome two thousand with Allah´s permission. Allah is with the steadfast.
8:67 It is not fitting for a Prophet to take captives until he has let much blood in the land. You desire the goods of this world, whereas Allah desires the Next World. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.
8:68 Were it not for a prior decree which had already proceeded from Allah, a terrible punishment would have afflicted you on account of what you took.
8:69 So make full use of any booty you have taken which is halal and good; and have taqwa of Allah. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
8:70 O Prophet! say to those you are holding prisoner, ´If Allah knows of any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you and forgive you.´ Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
8:71 But if they mean to betray you, they have already previously betrayed Allah, so He has given you power over them. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
8:72 Those who have iman and have made hijra and done jihad with their wealth and themselves in the Way of Allah, and those who have given refuge and help, they are the friends and protectors of one another. But as for those who have iman but have not made hijra, you are not in any way responsible for their protection until they make hijra. But if they ask you for help in respect of the deen, it is your duty to help them, except against people you have a treaty with. Allah sees what you do.
8:73 Those who are kafir are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption.
8:74 Those who have iman and have made hijra and done jihad in the Way of Allah and those who have given refuge and help, they are the true muminun. They will have forgiveness and generous provision.
8:75 Those who have iman and make hijra later on and accompany you in doing jihad, they also are of your number. But blood relations are closer to one another in the Book of Allah. Allah has knowledge of all things.


   


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