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al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Spoils of War(al-Anfal)
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8:1 THEY ASK you about the spoils. Say: ‘The spoils belong to God and the Apostle. Therefore fear God and end your differences. Obey God and His apostle, if you are true believers.‘
8:2 The true believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe at the mention of God, and whose faith grows stronger when His revelations are recited to them.
8:3 They are those who put their trust in their Lord, pray steadfastly, and give from what We gave them.
8:4 Such are the true believers. They will be exalted to high ranks by their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision awaits them.
8:5 Just as your Lord bade you leave your home in the cause of Truth, and some of the faithful were reluctant,
8:6 they argued with you about the Truth that had been revealed, as though they were being led to certain death while they looked on.
8:7 While God promised you victory over one of the two bands, it was your wish to take possession of the one that was unarmed.² God wished to vindicate the Truth by His words and to rout the unbelievers;
8:8 to vindicate the Truth and to render falsehood vain, though the transgressors wished otherwise.
8:9 Remember when you prayed to your Lord for help and He answered: ‘I am sending to your aid a thousand angels in their ranks.‘
8:10 By this good news God sought to reassure your hearts, for victory comes only from God; surely God is Almighty and wise.
8:11 You were overcome by sleep, a token of protection from Him. He sent down water from the sky to cleanse you and to purify you of Satan‘s abomination, to strengthen your hearts and to steady your footsteps.
8:12 Remember when God revealed His will to the angels: ‘I am with you; so give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers!‘
8:13 That was because they defied God and His apostle; and he that defies God and His apostle shall be sternly punished by God.
8:14  ‘That is it: taste it.‘ The scourge of the Fire awaits the unbelievers.‘
8:15 Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight.
8:16 If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except for tactical reasons, or to join another band, he shall incur the ire of God and Hell shall be his shelter: a wretched fate!
8:17 You did not slay them, but it was God who slew them. You did not smite them, but it was God who smote them so that He might richly reward the faithful. God hears all and knows all.
8:18 Even so; God will surely frustrate the designs of the unbelievers.
8:19 If you¹ were seeking a judgement, now has a judgement come to you. If you desist, it will be best for you. And if you resume the fight, We will fight back, and your forces shall avail you nothing, superior though they be in number: for God is with the faithful.
8:20 Believers, obey God and His apostle, and do not forsake him, now that you have heard all.
8:21 Do not be like those who say: ‘We hear,‘ but pay no heed to what they hear.
8:22 The meanest beasts in God‘s sight are those that are deaf, dumb, and devoid of reason.
8:23 Had God perceived any virtue in them, He would have surely made them hear. But even if He had made them hear, they would have turned away and refused to listen.
8:24 Believers, obey God and the Apostle when he calls you to that which gives you life. Know that God stands between man and his heart, and that in His presence you shall all be herded.
8:25 Guard yourselves against temptation.¹ The wrongdoers among you are not the only men who will be tempted; and know that God‘s punishment is stern.
8:26 And remember when you were few in number and persecuted in the land, ever fearing the onslaught of the people, how He gave you shelter. He made you strong with His help and provided you with wholesome things that you might give thanks.
8:27 Believers, do not betray God and the Apostle, nor knowingly betray your trust.
8:28 Know that your worldly goods and your children are but a temptation, and that God‘s recompense is great.
8:29 Believers, if you fear God He will grant you salvation and cleanse you of your sins and forgive you. Supreme is God‘s bounty.
8:30 And remember how the unbelievers plotted against you,² seeking to take you captive or to have you slain or banished. They schemed ― and God also schemed. God is the most adroit of schemers.
8:31 Whenever Our revelations are recited to them, they say: ‘We have heard them. If we wished, we could say the like. They are but fables of the ancients.‘
8:32 They also say: ‘Lord, if this be indeed the Truth revealed from You, rain down upon us stones from heaven or bring us some woeful scourge to punish us.‘
8:33 But God would not punish them while you were present in their midst. Nor would God punish them if they sought forgiveness.
8:34 And yet it is but just that God should punish them; for they have debarred others from the Sacred Mosque, although its guardian they are not. Its guardians are only those that fear God, but most of them have no knowledge.
8:35 Their prayers at the Sacred House are nothing but whistling and clapping of hands. ‘Taste then the scourge, because you disbelieved.‘
8:36 The unbelievers expend their riches in debarring others from the path of God. Thus do they dissipate their wealth: but they shall rue it, and in the end be overthrown. The unbelievers shall into Hell be driven.
8:37 God will separate the wicked from the just. He will heap all the wicked one upon another and then cast them into Hell. These will surely be lost.
8:38 Tell the unbelievers that if they mend their ways their past shall be forgiven; but if they relapse, then theirs shall be the fate of bygone nations.
8:39 Fight them until idolatry¹ shall cease and God‘s religion shall reign supreme.² If they desist, God is cognizant of what they do;
8:40 but if they pay no heed, know then that God is your protector; the noblest Protector and the noblest Helper.
8:41 And know that if you gain any spoils one-fifth of them shall belong to God, the Apostle, his kin, the orphans, the destitute, and the traveller in need: if you truly believe in God and what We revealed to Our servant on the Day of Salvation, the day when the two armies met. God has power over all things.
8:42 You were on the nearer side of the valley and the unbelievers on the farther side, with the caravan below you. Had they offered battle, you would have surely declined; but God sought to accomplish what had been ordained, so that he that was destined to perish might by a clear sign die, and he that was destined to live might by a clear sign survive. Surely God hears all and knows all.
8:43 God made them appear to you in a dream as few; had He showed them to you as many, your courage would have failed you and discord would have triumphed in your ranks. But this God spared you. He has knowledge of man‘s innermost thoughts.
8:44 And when you met them, He made each appear to the other few in number, that God might accomplish what had been ordained. To God shall all things return.
8:45 Believers, when you meet a troop stand firm and pray to God at all times, so that you may triumph.
8:46 And obey God and His apostle and do not quarrel among yourselves, lest you lose courage and your resolve weaken. Have patience: God is with those that are patient.
8:47 Do not be like those who left their homes gloating and to be seen by people. They debar others from the path of God: but God has full knowledge of what they do.‘
8:48 Satan had made their deeds seem fair to them; and he said: ‘No one shall conquer you this day. I shall be at hand to help you.‘ But when the two armies came within sight of each other, he took to his heels, saying: ‘I am done with you, for I can see what you cannot. I fear God. God‘s punishment is stern.‘
8:49 The hypocrites, and those whose hearts were tainted, said: ‘Their religion has deceived them.‘ But he that puts his trust in God shall find God mighty and wise.
8:50 If you could see the angels when they carry off the souls of the unbelievers! They shall strike them on their faces and their backs, saying: ‘Taste the torment of the Conflagration!
8:51 This is the punishment for what your hands committed.‘ God is never unjust to His servants.
8:52 Like Pharaoh‘s people and those before them, they disbelieved God‘s revelations. Therefore God smote them for their sins; mighty is God and stern His retribution.
8:53 God does not change the blessings He has bestowed upon a people until they change what is in their hearts. And God hears all and knows all.
8:54 Like Pharaoh‘s people and those before them, they disbelieved their Lord‘s revelations. We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned Pharaoh‘s people. They were wrongdoers all.
8:55 Surely the basest creatures in the sight of God are the blasphemers who will not believe;
8:56 those who time after time violate their treaties with you and have no fear of God.
8:57 If you capture them in battle discriminate between them and those that follow them, so that their followers may take warning.
8:58 If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may fairly retaliate by breaking off your treaty with them. God does not love the treacherous.
8:59 And let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away; they have not the power so to do.
8:60 Muster against them all the armed forces and cavalry at your command, that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your own enemy, and others besides them who are unknown to you but known to God. All that you give in the cause of God shall be repaid to you; and you shall not be wronged.
8:61 If they incline to peace, make peace with them, and put your trust in God. Surely He it is who hears all and knows all.
8:62 And should they seek to deceive you, all-sufficient is God for you. He it was who has made You strong with His help and rallied the faithful round you, uniting their hearts.
8:63 If you had given away all the riches of the earth, you could not have so united them: but God has united them. He is mighty and wise.
8:64 Prophet, sufficient is God for you, and sufficient are the faithful who follow you.
8:65 Prophet, rouse the faithful to arms. If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding.
8:66 God has now lightened your burden, for He knows that you are weak. If there are a hundred steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a thousand, they shall, by God‘s will, defeat two thousand. God is with those that are steadfast.
8:67 A prophet may not take captives until he has fought and triumphed in the land. You¹ seek the chance gain of this world, but God desires for you the world to come. God is mighty and wise.
8:68 Had there not been, a previous writ from God, you would have been sternly punished for what you took.
8:69 Enjoy therefore the good and lawful things which you have gained in war, and fear God. Surely God is forgiving and compassionate.
8:70 Prophet, say to those you have taken captive: ‘If God finds goodness in your hearts, He will give you that which is better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you. God is forgiving and compassionate.‘
8:71 But if they seek to betray you, they have already betrayed God. Therefore He has made you triumph over them; God is all-knowing and wise.
8:72 Those that have embraced the Faith and left their land, and fought for the cause of God with their wealth and with their persons; and those that sheltered and helped, shall be as friends to each other. Those that have embraced the Faith, but have not left, shall in no way be your friends until they leave. But if they seek your help in the cause of the Religion, it is your duty to assist them, except against a people with whom you have a treaty. And God is ever observant of what you do.
8:73 The unbelievers give aid and comfort to each other. If you fail to do likewise, there will be sedition in the land and great corruption.
8:74 Those that have embraced the Faith and fled their land and fought for the cause of God, and those that sheltered and helped ― they are the true believers. Forgiveness and a gracious provision await them.
8:75 Those that have since embraced the Faith and left their land and fought with you ― they too are your brothers; although according to the Book of God those who are bound by ties of blood are nearest to one another. Surely God has knowledge of all things.


   


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