Chapter 8: The Spoils of War

A Mosque Courtyard

SECTION 1: The Battle of Badr

 

In the name of God,

Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

 

1. They ask you concerning (things taken as) spoils of war. Say: "(Such) spoils are at the disposal of God and the Messenger. So fear God, and keep straight the relations between yourselves: Obey God and His Messenger, if you do believe." 2. For Believers are those who, when God is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord; 3. Who establish regular prayers and spend (freely) out of the gifts We have given them for sustenance: 4. Such in truth are the believers: they have grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness, and generous sustenance. 5. Just as your Lord ordered you out of your house in truth, even though a party among the Believers disliked it, 6. Disputing with you concerning the truth after it was made manifest, as if they were being driven to death and they (actually) saw it. 7. Behold! God promised you one of the two (enemy) parties, that it should be yours: You wished that the one unarmed should be yours, but God willed to justify the Truth according to His words and to cut off the roots of the Unbelievers; – 8. That He might justify Truth and prove Falsehood false, distasteful though it be to those in guilt. 9. Remember you implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you: "I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks." 10. God made it but a message of hope, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from God; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise.

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God made it but a message of hope, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from God; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise. (8:10)

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SECTION 2: The Battle of Badr

 

11. Remember He covered you with a sort of drowsiness, to give you calm as from Himself, and He caused rain to descend on you from heaven, to clean you therewith, to remove from you the stain of Satan, to strengthen your hearts, and to plant your feet firmly therewith. 12. Remember your Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite you above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." 13. This because they contended against God and His Messenger. If any contend against God and His Messenger, God is strict in punishment. 14. Thus (will it be said): "Taste you then of the (punishment): for those who resist God, is the penalty of the Fire."

 

15. O you who believe! when you meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. 16. If any do turn his back to them on such a day – unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own) – he draws on himself the wrath of God, and his abode is Hell, – an evil refuge (indeed)! 17. It is not you who slew them; it was God; when you threw (a handful of dust), it was not your act, but God’s: in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself: for God is He Who hears and knows (all things). 18. That, and also because God is He Who makes feeble the plans and stratagem of the Unbelievers. 19. (O Unbelievers!) if you prayed for victory and judgment, now has the judgment come to you: if you desist (from wrong), it will be best for you: if you return (to the attack), so shall We. Not the least good will your forces be to you even if they were multiplied: for verily God is with those who believe!

 

SECTION 3: The Way to Success

 

20. O you who believe! Obey God and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when you hear (him speak). 21. Nor be like those who say, "We hear," but listen not: 22. For the worst of beasts in the sight of God are the deaf and the dumb, – those who understand not. 23. If God had found in them any good, He would indeed have made them listen: (As it is), if He had made them listen, they would but have turned back and declined (Faith). 24. O you who believe! give your response to God and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life; and know that God comes in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom you shall (all) be gathered. 25. And fear tumult or oppression, which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong: and know that God is strict in punishment. 26. Call to mind when you were a small (band), despised through the land, and afraid that men might despoil and kidnap you; But He provided a safe asylum for you, strengthened you with His aid, and gave you good things for sustenance: that you might be grateful.

 

27. O you that believe! betray not the trust of God and the Messenger, nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you. 28. And know you that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial; and that it is God with Whom lies your highest reward.

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O you who believe! Obey God and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when you hear (him speak). (8:20)

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SECTION 4: Muslims to be Guardians to the Sacred Mosque

 

29. O you who believe! if you fear God, He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong), remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you, and forgive you: for God is the Lord of grace unbounded.

 

30. Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against you, to keep you in bonds, or slay you, or get you out (of your home). They plot and plan, and God too plans; but the best of planners is God.

 

31. When Our Signs are rehearsed to them, they say: "We have heard this (before): if we wished, we could say (words) like these: these are nothing but tales of the ancients." 32. Remember how they said: "O God if this is indeed the Truth from You, rain down on us a shower of stones form the sky, or send us a grievous penalty." 33. But God was not going to send them a penalty while you were among them; nor was He going to send it while they could ask for pardon. 34. But what plea have they that God should not punish them, when they keep out (men) from the sacred Mosque – and they are not its guardians? No men can be its guardians except the righteous; but most of them do not understand. 35. Their prayer at the House (of God) is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands: (Its only answer can be), "Taste you the penalty because you blasphemed." 36. The Unbelievers spend their wealth to hinder (man) from the path of God, and so will they continue to spend; but in the end they will have (only) regrets and sighs; at length they will be overcome: and the Unbelievers will be gathered together to Hell; – 37. In order that God may separate the impure from the pure, put the impure, one on another, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. They will be the ones to have lost.

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But God was not going to send them a penalty while you were among

them; nor was He going to send it while they could ask for pardon. (8:33)

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SECTION 5: Badr a Sign of the Prophet’s Truth

 

38. Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). 39. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily God does see all that they do. 40. If they refuse, be sure that God is your Protector – the best to protect and the best to help.

 

PART X

 

41. And know that out of all the booty that you may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God, – and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer, – if you do believe in God and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing, – the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For God has power over all things. 42. Remember you were on the hither side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on lower ground than you. Even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet, you would certainly have failed in the appointment: But (thus you met), that God might accomplish a matter already enacted; that those who died might die after a clear Sign (had been given), and those who lived might live after a Clear Sign (had been given). And verily God is He Who hears and knows (all things). 43. Remember in your dream God showed them to you as few: if He had shown them to you as many, you would surely have been discouraged, and you would surely have disputed in (your) decision; but God saved (you): for He knows well the (secrets) of (all) hearts. 44. And remember when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes, and He made you appear as contemptible in their eyes: that God might accomplish a matter already enacted. For to God do all questions go back (for decision).

 

SECTION 6: Success Does Not Depend on Numbers

 

45. O you who believe! When you meet a force, be firm, and call God in remembrance much (and often); that you may prosper: 46. And obey God and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest you lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: For God is with those who patiently persevere: 47. And be not like those who started from their homes insolently and to be seen of men, and to hinder (men) from the path of God. For God compasses round about all that they do. 48. Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them, and said: "No one among men can overcome you this day, while I am near to you": But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he turned on his heels, and said: "Lo! I am clear of you; lo! I see what you see not; Lo! I fear God. for God is strict in punishment."

 

SECTION 7: The Enemy’s Strength Weakened

 

49. Lo! the hypocrites say, and those in whose hearts is a disease: "These people, – their religion has misled them." But if any trust in God, behold! God is Exalted in might, Wise. 50. If you could see, when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers (at death), (How) they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): "Taste the penalty of the blazing Fire – 51. "Because of (the deeds) which your (own) hands sent forth; for God is never unjust to His servants: 52. "(Deeds) after the manner of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them: They rejected the Signs of God, and God punished them for their crimes: for God is Strong, and Strict in punishment: 53. "Because God will never change the grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily God is He Who hears and knows (all things)." 54. (Deeds) after the manner of the people of Pharaoh and those before them": They treated as false the Signs of their Lord: so We destroyed them for their crimes, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh: for they were all oppressors and wrong-doers.

 

55. For the worst of beasts in the sight of God are those who reject Him: They will not believe. 56. They are those with whom you did make a covenant, but they break their covenant every time, and they have not the fear (of God). 57. If you gain the mastery over them in war, disperse, with them, those who follow them, that they may remember. 58. If you fear treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for God loves not the treacherous.

 

SECTION 8: Peace to be Secured by Strength

59. Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). 60. Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom you may not know, but whom God does know. Whatever you shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.

61. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God; for He is One that hears and knows (all things). 62. Should they intend to deceive you, – verily God suffices you: He it is that has strengthened you with His aid and with (the company of) the Believers; 63. And (moreover) He has put affection between their hearts: not if you had spent all that is in the earth, could you have produced that affection, but God has done it: for He is Exalted in Might, Wise. 64. O Messenger; sufficient unto you is God, – (unto you) and unto those who follow you among the Believers.

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But if the enemy incline towards peace, do you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God;

for He is One that hears and knows (all things). (8:61)

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SECTION 9: Muslims to Meet Overwhelming Numbers

 

65. O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty among you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding. 66. For the present, God has lightened your (task), for He knows that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of God; for God is with those who patiently persevere.

 

67. It is not fitting for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has thoroughly subdued the land. You look for the temporal goods of this world; but God looks to the Hereafter: and God is Exalted in Might, Wise. 68. Had it not been for a previous ordainment from God, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that you took. 69. But (now) enjoy what you took in war, lawful and good: but fear God; for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

SECTION 10: Relations of a Muslim State with Others

 

70. O Prophet! Say to those who are captives in your hands: "If God finds any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." 71. But if they have treacherous designs against you, (O Messenger!), they have already been in treason against God, and so has He given (you) power over them. And God so He Who has (full) knowledge and wisdom.

 

72. Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of God, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid, – these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another. As to those who believed but came not into exile, you owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile; but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance. And (remember) God sees all that you do. 73. The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless you do this, (protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief. 74. Those who believe, and adopt exile, and fight for the Faith, in the cause of God as well as those who give (them) asylum and aid, – these are (all) in very truth the Believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a provision most generous. 75. And those who accept Faith subsequently, and adopt exile, and fight for the Faith in your company, – they are of you. But kindred by blood have prior rights against each other in the Book of God. Verily God is well-acquainted with all things.

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O Prophet! Say to those who are captives in your hands: "If God finds any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (8:70)

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