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al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
as rendered by Ali Ãœnal

Ali Ünal rendition of Surah The Spoils of War(al-Anfal)
8:1 They (the believers) ask you about the war-gains. Say: "The war-gains belong to God and the Messenger (and they distribute them as they will)." So keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety, and set things right among yourselves to allow no discord; and obey God and His Messenger if you are true believers.
8:2 The true believers are only those who, when God is mentioned, their hearts tremble with awe, and when His Revelations are recited to them, it strengthens them in faith, and they put their trust in their Lord.
8:3 They establish the Prayer in conformity with its conditions, and out of whatever We have provided for them (of wealth, knowledge, power, etc.,) they spend (to provide sustenance for the needy, and in God’s cause, purely for the good pleasure of God and without placing others under obligation.)
8:4 Those (illustrious ones) are they who are truly believers. For them are ranks with their Lord (to be granted one after the other), and forgiveness (to bring unforeseen blessings), and generous, honorable provision.
8:5 Just so, your Lord caused you to go forth from your home for a true cause (which He had already determined would be realized); and yet a group from among the believers were averse (to the direction that events took).
8:6 They argued with you concerning the truth (of the matter which God had already decided would be realized) even after it (the direction that developments would take) had been manifest, as if they were being driven toward death with their eyes wide open.
8:7 Even when God had promised you that one of the two hosts (the trade caravan and the Makkan army approaching) would fall to you, you still wished that other than the powerful, armed one should fall into your hands – whereas God willed to prove the truth to be true by His decrees and make it triumphant, and uproot the unbelievers (by causing their leaders to die).
8:8 (He willed it so) so as to prove the truth to be true and make it triumphant, and the falsehood to be false, however hateful this might be to the disbelieving criminals.
8:9 When you were imploring your Lord for help (as a special mercy), and He responded to you: "I will help you with a thousand angels, coming host after host."
8:10 God did that only as glad tidings (of your imminent victory), and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. For help and victory come from God alone. Surely God is All-Glorious with irresistible might, All-Wise.
8:11 When (at the time that you most needed courage), He caused a slumber to enfold you as a reassurance from Him, and sent down water upon you from the sky, that thereby He might cleanse you (of all actual or ritual impurities, by enabling you to do the minor and major ablution), and take away from you the polluting whisperings of Satan, and through it make your hearts strong, and your steps steady.
8:12 When (in the meantime) your Lord revealed to the angels: "I am certainly with you, so make firm the feet of those who believe. I will cast fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So strike at their necks and strike at every finger (which holds a sword or bow).
8:13 "Do so because they defied God and His Messenger." Whoever defies God and His Messenger: (let everyone know that) God is severe in retribution.
8:14 That is (by your deserving, O enemies of God), so taste it, and (let everyone know that) for the unbelievers there is also the punishment of the Fire.
8:15 O you who believe! When you encounter in battle those who disbelieve, do not turn your backs on them in flight.
8:16 For whoever turns his back on them on the day of such an engagement – except that it be tactical maneuvering to fight again or joining another troop of believers (or taking up a position against another enemy host) – has indeed incurred God’s condemnation, and his final refuge is the Fire; how evil a destination to arrive at!
8:17 You (O believers) did not kill them (by yourselves in the battle), but God killed them; and when you (O Messenger) threw (dust at them at the start of the battle), it was not you who threw but God threw. (He did all this) so that He might put the believers to a test by a fair testing from Him (so that could attain to their goal and should know that victory is from God). Surely, God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
8:18 That is (how He treats you) and (let everyone know that) God it is Who undermines the schemes of the unbelievers.
8:19 If you (O unbelievers) sought a judgment (through battle to see which party is in the right), then surely a judgment has come to you. If you cease (hostilities towards the believers), it is what will be to your good. But if you revert (to hostilities), We will also revert (to what We did to you in that battle). And never will your being a great host be of any avail to you, however numerous it be, and (let everyone know) that God is with the believers.
8:20 O you who believe! Obey God and His Messenger, and do not turn away from him when you are hearing (from him God’s Revelations).
8:21 And do not be like those who say, "We hear," but in truth they do not hear.
8:22 Indeed the worst kind of all living creatures in God’s sight are the deaf and dumb, who do not reason and understand.
8:23 And had God seen any good in them, He would certainly have made them hear, but (being as they are) even if He made them hear, they would surely turn away in aversion.
8:24 O you who believe! Respond to God and to the Messenger when the Messenger calls you (in the Name of God) to that which gives you life; and know well that surely God "intervenes" between a person and his heart (to cause his heart to swerve); and that He it is to Whom you will be gathered.
8:25 And beware and guard yourselves against a trial that will surely not smite exclusively those among you who are engaged in wrongdoing; and know that God is severe in retribution.
8:26 And remember (with gratitude) when you were few and deemed weak in the land (and oppressed), fearing that people would snatch you away, how He provided you with refuge, and strengthened you with His help, and provided for you sustenance out of the pure, wholesome things, that you might give thanks (to Him from the heart and in speech, and in action by fulfilling His commandments).
8:27 O you who believe! Do not betray God and His Messenger, that you should not betray the trusts in your keeping while you know (what doing so means).
8:28 Know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and temptation, and God is He with Whom there is a tremendous reward.
8:29 O you who believe! If you keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety to deserve His protection, He will make a criterion for you (in your hearts to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and right and wrong), and blot out from you your evil deeds, and forgive you. God is of tremendous grace and bounty.
8:30 And (recall, O Messenger,) how those who disbelieve schemed against you to take you captive, or kill you, or drive you away (from Makkah). Thus were they scheming, but God put His will into effect (and brought their scheme to nothing). God wills what is the best (for His believing servants) and makes His will prevail.
8:31 When Our Revelations are recited to them, they say: "We have heard (the like of this before many times); if we wish, we can speak the like of this; this is nothing but fables of the ancients."
8:32 And when they said (even this): "O God! If this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from the sky or bring upon us another painful punishment!"
8:33 But God would not punish them so long as you were among them; and God is not to punish them (or other people) while they implore Him for forgiveness for their sins.
8:34 What plea do they have that God should not punish them, seeing that they bar (the believers) from the Sacred Mosque, although they are not qualified to own and guard it? Its qualified, rightful guardians are only the pious who keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him, but most of them (those unbelievers) do not know.
8:35 Their Prayer at the House (in the Sacred Mosque) is nothing but whistling and hand-clapping. Then, taste the punishment because you persistently disbelieve.
8:36 Those who are persistent in unbelief spend their wealth in order that they may bar from God’s way. They will continue to spend it so until it becomes for them a source of sighs and anguish, and then they will be vanquished. Those who are persistent in unbelief will finally be gathered into Hell.
8:37 Thus does God separate the corrupt from the pure, and make all those who are corrupt into a pile one upon another, and then place them in Hell. Those are indeed the losers.
8:38 Tell those persistent in unbelief that if they cease (to disbelieve themselves and prevent others from entering the fold of Islam), what is past will be forgiven them; but if they revert (to their hostilities), then it is manifest by what happened to the people of old times (what their fate must be).
8:39 And (if they still persist in unbelief and hostilities), fight against them until there is no longer disorder and oppresssion rooted in rebellion against God, and the whole of religion (the full authority to order the way of life is recognized) for God exclusively. If they cease (to persist in unbelief and continue hostilities toward the believers), then surely God sees well all that they do.
8:40 If they still follow their own way, know that God is your Owner and Guardian. How excellent a Guardian and an Owner He is, how excellent a Helper.
8:41 And know that whatever you take as gains of war, to God belongs one fifth of it, and to the Messenger, and the near kinsfolk, and orphans, and the destitute, and the wayfarer (one devoid of sufficient means of journeying). (This you must observe) if you truly believe in God and what We sent down on our Servant on the day when the truth and falsehood were distinguished from each other, the day when the two hosts met in battle. God has full power over everything.
8:42 (Remember the day) when you were at the nearer end of the valley (of Badr on the Madinah side) and they were at the farther end and the caravan below you (on the coastal plain). If you had mutually made an appointment to meet for battle in such circumstances, indeed you would not have been able to hold to the appointment. But (God caused you to meet for battle in such circumstances) so that God might accomplish a thing that He had already decreed in order that he who was to perish should perish by a clear evidence (of his deserving perishing because he followed falsehood), and he who survived might survive by a clear evidence (of his deserving survival because of his devotion to the truth). Surely God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
8:43 (And recall, O Messenger) when God showed them to you in your dream as few. If He had showed them to you as numerous (as they really were), you (O believers) would surely have lost heart, and would surely have disagreed with one another about the matter. But God saved (you from that). God surely has full knowledge of what lies hidden in the bosoms.
8:44 And when He made them appear as few in your eyes when you met them in the battle just as He lessened you in their eyes, so that God might accomplish a thing that He had already decreed. And to God are all affairs ultimately referred, (and whatever He wills occurs).
8:45 O you who believe! When you meet a host in battle, stand firm and remember and mention God much, that you may triumph.
8:46 And obey God and His Messenger, and do not dispute with one another, or else you may lose heart and your power and energy desert you; and remain steadfast. Surely, God is with those who remain steadfast.
8:47 Be not like those (unbelievers) who went forth from their habitations swaggering boastfully and to show off to people, and bar (others) from God’s way. And God fully encompasses (with His Knowledge and Power) all that they do.
8:48 Satan decked out their deeds to be appealing to them, and said: "Today no power among humankind can overcome you, and for sure I am your supporter." But when the two hosts came within sight of each other, he turned on his heels to run away and said: "Indeed I am quit of you; surely I see that which you do not see. Indeed, I fear God." And God is severe in retribution.
8:49 And (remember) when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts there is a sickness (that dries up the source of their spiritual life) were saying (of the believers): "Their religion has deluded those (people)." But whoever puts his trust in God, truly God is All-Glorious with irresistible might, All-Wise.
8:50 If you could but see how it will be when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieve, striking them on the faces and the backs, and (saying): "Taste the punishment of the scorching Fire!
8:51 This is because of (the evil deeds) that you forwarded with your own hands, for never does God do the least wrong to the servants."
8:52 Just as that which happened to the clan (the court and military aristocracy) of the Pharaoh, and those before them: they disbelieved in God’s Revelations, and so God seized them for their sins. Surely God is All-Strong, severe in retribution.
8:53 That (happened so) because God never changes a favor that He has bestowed upon a people unless they change what is in themselves (their belief, life-style, world-view, and devotion to God’s laws embodied in religion and in the creation, life and operation of the universe). And God is indeed All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
8:54 Just as that which happened to the court and military aristocracy of the Pharaoh, and those before them: they denied the Revelations of their Lord, and so We destroyed them for their sins, and We caused the court and military aristocracy of the Pharaoh to drown. All of those peoples (destroyed in the past) were wrongdoers (in that they rebelled against their Lord, oppressed people, and so wronged themselves).
8:55 Indeed the worst kind of living creatures in God’s sight are those who are so rooted in unbelief that they cannot believe.
8:56 Those of them with whom you have made a treaty, and who break their treaty on every occasion without fearing God.
8:57 If you meet them in war, deal with them in such a manner as to deter those behind them (who follow them and those who will come after them), so that they may reflect and be mindful.
8:58 If you have strong reason to fear treachery from a people (with whom you have a treaty), return it to them (i.e. publicly declare to them, before embarking on any action against them, that you have dissolved the treaty) so that both parties should be informed of its termination. Surely God does not love the treacherous.
8:59 And let not those who disbelieve ever think that they can outdo the believers or otherwise escape Our punishment. They can never frustrate Our will.
8:60 (Believers:) make ready against them whatever you can of force and horses assigned (for war), that thereby you may dismay the enemies of God and your enemies and others besides them, of whom (and the nature of whose enmity) you may be unaware. God is aware of them (and of the nature of their enmity). Whatever you spend in God’s cause will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.
8:61 And if they (the enemies) incline to peace, incline to it also, and put your trust in God. Surely, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
8:62 And if they seek (thereby only) to deceive you (O Messenger), surely God is sufficient for you. He it is Who has strengthened you with His help and with the believers.
8:63 He has attuned their (the believers’) hearts. If you had spent all that is on the earth, you could not have attuned their hearts, but God has attuned them. Surely He is All-Glorious with irresistible might, All-Wise.
8:64 O (most illustrious) Prophet! God is sufficient for you and the believers who follow you.
8:65 O (most illustrious) Prophet! Rouse the believers to fighting. If there be twenty of you who are steadfast, they will vanquish two hundred; and if there be of you a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of those who disbelieve, for they (the disbelievers) are a people who do not ponder and seek to penetrate the essence of matters in order to grasp the truth.
8:66 For now (while you lack in necessary equipment and training), God has lightened your burden, for He knows that there is weakness in you. So if there be a hundred of you who are strong-willed and steadfast, they will vanquish two hundred; and if there be a thousand of you, they will vanquish two thousand by God’s leave. God is with those who are steadfast.
8:67 It is not for a Prophet to have captives until he has widely exhausted the enemies in the land. You (O believers) seek the fleeting gains of the present, worldly life, but God wills that the Hereafter will be yours. God is All-Glorious with irresistible might, All-Wise.
8:68 Had there not been a previous decree from God (concerning that gains of war are lawful and captives can be released in return for ransom), a tremendous punishment would surely have touched you because of what you took (the gains of war, and the captives taken in expectation of ransom, before the enemies’ power in the land had been sufficiently suppressed and exhausted).
8:69 (But since such a decree has already come) now enjoy as lawful and pure and wholesome of what you have obtained (as gains of war and ransom); and keep from disobedience to God in all your actions. Surely God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate (especially toward His believing, pious servants).
8:70 O (most illustrious) Prophet! Say to the captives in your hands: "If God knows any good in your hearts (any readiness to believe in and surrender to God), He will grant you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you." God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate (especially towards His servants who return to Him in repentance).
8:71 But if they seek to betray you (O Messenger) – well, they were treacherous to God before (and the outcome thereof is plain to see): God has given you power over them. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
8:72 Those who have believed and emigrated (to the home of Islam) and striven hard with their wealth and persons in God’s cause, and those who give refuge (to them) and help (them) – those (illustrious ones) are friends and protectors of one another, and can inherit from one another. But those who believe but have not emigrated – you have no duty of protection towards them until they emigrate and inheritance is not permissible between them and you. Yet, if they ask you for help in the matter of religion, it is your duty to provide help except against a people between whom and you there is a treaty. God sees well all that you do.
8:73 Those who disbelieve – they are friends and protectors of one another (especially against you). Unless you do it also (i.e. maintain solidarity among the believers) there will be unrest on the earth and great corruption.
8:74 Those who have believed and emigrated (to the home of Islam) and striven (with their wealth and persons) in God’s cause, and those who give refuge (to them) and help (them) – those (illustrious ones) are the believers in truth. For them is forgiveness (to bring unforeseen blessings) and honorable, generous provision.
8:75 And those who believe after (the Prophet’s emigration) and emigrate and strive hard alongside you, they also belong to you. And those related by blood are nearer to one another according to God’s ordinance (with respect to inheritance). Surely God has full knowledge of every thing.


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