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The Lord Complete Holy Book (The Quran)

in English Audio Spoken by J.D. Hall

Translated by Malik


Now Playing # (8) The Spoils of War (Al-Anfal)

(75 Verses)
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In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

They ask you about booty (spoils of war). Tell them: “The Booty belongs to Allah and His Rasool: so fear Allah, end your disputes, and correct the relations among yourselves: obey Allah and His Rasool if you are true believers."[1] The true believers are those whose hearts tremble with fear, when the name of Allah is mentioned, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations and they put their trust in their Rabb,[2] who establish Salah and spend in charity out of the sustenance which We have given them.[3] They are the ones who are the true believers; they will have exalted ranks with their Rabb, forgiveness for their sins, and honorable sustenance.[4] Your Rabb ordered you to leave your home to fight for justice, but some of the believers were reluctant.[5] They argued with you about the truth which had been made clear, as if they were being driven to death with their eyes wide open.[6] Remember, Allah promised you victory over one of the two enemy parties and you wished for the one which was unarmed but Allah intended to prove the truth to be true according to His words and to cut off the roots of the unbelievers,[7] so that truth should come out as truth and falsehood should be proved as false, even though the criminals wished otherwise.[8] When you prayed to your Rabb for help, He answered: “I will assist you with one thousand angels, one after another."[9] By this good news, Allah sought to comfort your heart, for victory comes only from Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.[10]


Commandment relating to the spoils of war (booty)

Battle of Badr, a battle between truth and falsehood

Remember (before the battle of Badr) when He caused drowsiness to overcome you as an assurance from Himself, and sent down water from the sky to cleanse you and to remove from you the uncleanliness caused by Shaităn, to strengthen your hearts and to steady your feet therewith.[11] Then your Rabb revealed His will to the angels: “I am with you, give courage to the believers. I will cast panic into the hearts of the unbelievers, therefore, smite their necks and beat every joint of their bodies."[12] This is because they defied Allah and His Rasool. Whoever defies Allah and His Rasool should know that Allah is strict in retribution,[13] that it is the reality, so taste it, and there will also be the torture of hellfire for the unbelievers.[14] O believers! When you encounter the unbelievers in a battle, never turn your backs to them,[15] and whoever turns his back to them on such an occasion - unless it be a strategy of war, or to join towards a detachment - shall incur the wrath of Allah and his abode shall be hell, and how awful shall be that dwelling![16] In fact, it was not you who killed them, but it was Allah Who killed them; it was not you who threw the handful of sand, but it was Allah Who threw it so that He might pass the believers successfully through this excellent trial; surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.[17] This is His dealing with you: as for the unbelievers, Allah will surely frustrate their evil plots.[18] O unbelievers! You wanted a decision; lo! The decision, in shape of the believers' victory, has come to you. Now if you desist, it will be better for you, and if you repeat your act of war against the believers, so shall We repeat the act of providing them assistance, and your forces, however large in number they may be, shall avail you nothing, for verily Allah is with the believers.[19]


Allah's help during the Battle of Badr

Allah's decision between Muslims and kuffar

O believers! Obey Allah and his Rasool and do not turn your back to him, now that you have heard all.[20] Do not be like those who say: “We hear,” but give no heed to what they hear.[21] For the worst animals in the sight of Allah are those deaf and dumb people who do not use common sense.[22] Had Allah perceived any virtue in them He would have indeed endowed them with hearing. Had he made them (those without virtue) hear, they would have turned away and refused to listen.[23] O believers! Respond to the call of Allah and His Rasool, when He calls you to that which gives you life; and know that Allah stands between man and his heart, and that it is He in Whose presence you shall all be assembled.[24] Guard yourselves against temptation. The wrongdoers among you are not the only ones who will be tempted; and know that Allah is strict in retribution.[25] Call to mind how He gave you shelter when you were a few in number and were oppressed in the land, ever fearing lest the enemy would kidnap you. He made you strong with His help and provided you a safe asylum and gave you pure things for sustenance so that you may give thanks.[26] O believers! Do not betray the trust of Allah and His Rasool, nor violate your trusts knowingly.[27] You should know that your wealth and your children are, in fact, a test for you, and that Allah is He with Whom is your mighty reward.[28]


The worst people in the sight of Allah are those who do not use their common sense

Guard yourselves against temptations

O believers! If you fear Allah He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong), do away with your sins and forgive you. Allah is the Lord of Mighty Grace.[29] Remember, how the unbelievers plotted against you. They sought to take you captive or kill you or exile you. They planned - and Allah also planned - Allah is the best planner of all.[30] Whenever Our revelations are recited to them they say: “Well, we have heard this. If we wanted we could fabricate the like. These are nothing but the tales of the ancients."[31] Also remember how they said: “O Allah! If this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or inflict some dreadful scourge to punish us."[32] But Allah would not punish them while you were present in their midst. Nor does Allah punish people while they are asking His forgiveness.[33] But now there is no reason why Allah should not punish them when they are blocking others from the Masjid-al-Harăm (Ka'bah), whereas they are not its lawful guardians. In fact, its only guardians are those who fear Allah, even though most of them do not understand.[34] Their prayer at the House of Allah is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands: whose only answer can be, “Taste the punishment because of your denying the truth."[35] Surely the unbelievers spend their wealth in blocking the way of Allah and so will they continue to spend; but in the end these very efforts will become the cause of their regrets; at length they will be defeated, and in the hereafter these unbelievers will be gathered together and driven to hell,[36] in order that Allah may separate the filthy from the pure. He will heap the filthy one upon another, altogether, and then cast them into hell. They are the ones who will be the losers.[37]


If you become Godfearing, He will grant you wisdom to judge between right and wrong

The lawful guardians of Ka'bah are those who have fear of Allah

O Prophet, tell the unbelievers that if they desist from unbelief, their past shall be forgiven; but if they persist in sin, let them reflect upon the fate of their forefathers.[38] O believers, fight them until there is no more mischief and the Deen of Allah (way of life prescribed by Allah) is established completely; but if they do stop from mischief, then surely Allah is observant of all their actions.[39] If they give no heed, then you should know that Allah is your protector. He is the best to protect and the best to help.[40]


For the unbelievers, who embrace Islam, their past is forgiven

Know that one-fifth of the booty (spoils of war) is for Allah, His Rasool, close relatives of the Rasool, orphans, the needy and the wayfarer, if you do believe in Allah and in what We revealed to Our servant on the day of distinction (between right and wrong), the day when two armies met in combat. Allah has power over everything.[41] Remember when you were on this side of the valley and they on the farther side, and the caravan was on lower ground than you both. If you had made a mutual appointment to fight, you would have certainly failed; but Allah sought to accomplish what He has ordained, that those who were destined to perish might die by clear proof and those who were destined to live might survive by clear proof. Surely, Allah is He Who hears all and knows all.[42] Also remember that Allah made them appear in your dream as few in number; if He had shown them to you as many in number, you would surely have been discouraged and you would have disputed in your decision. But Allah saved you; surely He knows the very secrets of the hearts.[43] And remember when you met them in the encounter, He showed them to you as few in number in your eyes and He made you appear as a few in number in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish what He had ordained: for ultimately all affairs return to Allah for decision.[44]


Rules about the distribution of spoils of war

O believers! When you encounter an enemy in a combat, be firm and frequently remember Allah so that you may be successful.[45] Obey Allah and His Rasool and do not argue with one another, lest you lose courage and weaken your strength. Show patience, surely Allah is on the side of the patient.[46] Do not be like those who started from their homes recklessly in order to be seen by everybody and debar others from the Way of Allah. Allah encompasses all their actions.[47] Remember when Shaităn made their actions seem attractive to them, and said: “No one from mankind can overcome you today, for I will be at hand to help you." Yet when the two armies came within sight of each other he turned upon his heels saying: “ I am done with you, for I can see what you cannot. I fear Allah, for Allah is severe in punishment.[48]

8: [45-48]

Order of Allah to remain firm during combat against enemy

At that time the hypocrites and all those who had malice in their hearts were saying: “Their religion has deceived them.” But you should know that anyone who puts his trust in Allah will find Allah Mighty, Wise.[49] If you could only see the angels when they were taking away the souls of the killed unbelievers! They were smiting their faces and their backs saying: “Taste the torment of the conflagration![50] This is the punishment for what your hands have sent forth, for Allah is never unjust to His servants."[51] This was the same that happened to the people of Fir‘on (Pharaoh) and to those that had gone before them. They also rejected the revelations of Allah and Allah seized them for their sins. Surely Allah is Mighty and severe in punishment.[52]


Victory of the believers and the painful death of the unbelievers

That is because Allah has never changed the blessings which He has bestowed on a people until they themselves changed the condition of their souls; verily Allah hears all and knows all.[53] This same principle was applied to the people of Fir'on and those who have gone before them, they rejected the revelations of their Rabb so We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned the people of Fir'on; they were all wrongdoers.[54]


Allah does not change His blessings unless people change themselves

The worst of animals in the sight of Allah are those who reject the truth and do not become believers.[55] Those who make treaties with you and time after time violate their treaties, and have no fear of Allah.[56] If you encounter them in combat, make them a fearsome example for others who would follow them so that they all may learn a lesson.[57] If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may fairly retaliate by breaking off the treaty with them (through properly notifying them to that effect), for Allah does not love the treacherous.[58]


Treaties must be honored unless broken with proper notification

Let not the unbelievers think that they have won the game; surely they can never frustrate the believers.[59] Muster against them all the military strength and cavalry that you can afford so that you may strike terror into the hearts of your enemy and the enemy of Allah, and others besides them who are unknown to you but known to Allah. Remember that whatever you will spend in the cause of Allah, shall be paid back to you in full and you shall not be treated unjustly.[60] If the enemy is inclined towards peace, do make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the One Who hears all , knows all.[61] Should they intend to deceive you, verily Allah is All-Sufficient for you. He is the One Who has strengthened you and the believers with His help ,[62] through putting affection in their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have so united their hearts; but Allah has united them. He is Mighty, Wise.[63] O Prophet! Allah is all-sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you.[64]


Order to remain prepared for war against the unbelievers

Make peace, if the enemy is inclined towards peace

O Prophet! Rouse the believers to prepare for combat. If there are twenty steadfast among you, they shall vanquish two hundred: if there are one hundred they shall overcome one thousand of the unbelievers, for they are a people who lack understanding.[65] For now Allah is lightening your burden, because He knows that there are still some weak individuals among you, so if there are one hundred steadfast among you, they shall vanquish two hundred and if there be one thousand, they will overcome two thousand with the leave of Allah, for Allah is with those who are steadfast.[66] It is not fit for a Prophet that he should take prisoners of war until he has thoroughly subdued the land. Do you, O followers of Muhammad, desire the temporal goods of this world, while Allah desires for you the hereafter? Allah is Mighty, Wise.[67] Had there not been a previous sanction from Allah to take ransom, you should have been sternly punished for what you have taken.[68] Very well, enjoy the booty which you have taken, for it is lawful and pure, but in the future fear Allah. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.[69]


Allah's promise to make the believers victorious over armies 2 to 10 times larger than the believers

O Prophet! Tell the captives in your custody: “If Allah finds goodness in your hearts He will give you even better than what has been taken from you, as well as forgive you. Allah Is Forgiving, Merciful." [70] But if they have treacherous designs against you, O Prophet, they have already shown treason against Allah. That is why He made them your captives. Allah is Knowledgeable, Wise.[71]

8: [70-71]

Treatment of prisoners of war who embrace Islam

Those who believed (embraced Islam), migrated and made Jihăd (exerted their utmost struggle) with their wealth and their persons in the cause of Allah; as well as those who gave them asylum and help, are indeed the protecting friends of one another. As to those who believed (embraced Islam) but did not emigrate (to Dar-ul-Islam, the Islamic State), you are under no obligation to protect them until they emigrate; yet it is your obligation to help them in the matters of faith if they ask for your help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty. Allah is observant of all your actions.[72] The unbelievers are protectors of one of another. If you fail to do likewise, there will be disorder in the land and great corruption.[73] Those who believed (embraced Islam), migrated and made Jihăd (exerted their utmost struggle) in the cause of Allah, and those who gave them asylum and help - they are the true believers. They shall have forgiveness and honorable provisions.[74] Those who believed (embraced Islam) afterwards, migrated and joined you in Jihăd - they too are your brothers, although according to the Book of Allah the blood relatives have greater rights on one other. Indeed Allah knows everything.[75]

8: [ 72-75]

Muslims living in non-Muslim countries

Major Issues, Divine Law and Guidance:

* Battle of truth and falsehood.
* Truth should not fear to be cowed down by odds against it.
* Fighting should not be for spoils or gains but for a just cause.
* Laws relating to peace and war.
* Relation of an Islamic state with Muslims living in non-Muslim countries.

The battle of Badr took place in the 2nd year of Hijrah, therefore, rules and regulations relating to peace and a critical review of war have been made in this Sürah. But this review is quite different from the reviews that are usually made by worldly commanders after a great victory. Instead of gloating over the victory, the moral weaknesses that had come to the surface in that expedition have been pointed out as follows:

  1. The fact that the victory was due to the help of Allah rather than to their own valor and bravery has been stressed so that the Muslims should learn to rely on Him and obey Allah and His Rasool.
  2. The moral lesson of the conflict between the truth and falsehood has been explained.
  3. The mushrikďn, the hypocrites, the Jews, and the prisoners of war are addressed in a very impressive manner advising them to learn a lesson.
  4. Instructions are given in regard to the spoils of war. The Muslims have been told not to regard these as their right but as a bounty from Allah. Therefore, they should accept with gratitude the share that is granted to them out of it and willingly accede to the share which Allah sets aside for His cause, for His Rasool, and for the help of the needy.
  5. It also gives normal instructions concerning the laws of peace and war, for these were urgently needed at the stage which the Islamic movement had entered. It enjoined that the Muslims should refrain from ways of ignorance whether they are in peace or in war and thus establish their moral superiority in the world.
  6. This Sürah also states some articles of the Islamic Constitution which differentiate the status of Muslims living within the limits of Dar-ul-Islam (the Abode of Islam) from that of the Muslims living beyond its limits.

In order to understand the circumstances and conditions which were being faced by the Muslim community and the Islamic State, in relation to which Divine guidance and laws were enacted, it is important to know how the battle of Badr took place.

Battle of Badr

The message of Islam had proved its firmness and stability. However, the Muslims had not yet had an opportunity to demonstrate practically the blessings of the system of life based on Islam. There was neither any Islamic culture, nor any social, economic or political system; nor were there any established principles of war and peace. Therefore the Muslims had no opportunity for demonstrating those moral principles on which they intended to build their entire system of life; nor had it been proved on the touchstone of trial that the Muslims as a community were sincere in their proclamation of the message. Allah created opportunities for making up these deficiencies in Al-Madinah.

The people of Makkah had realized that Muhammad (pbuh), who had a great personality and possessed extraordinary talents, was going to gain a strong footing in Al-Madinah. This would help integrate his followers - whose constancy, determination, and unwavering fidelity to Al-Islam had been tried - into a disciplined community under his wise leadership and guidance. They knew that this would spell death for their old ways of life. They also realized the strategic importance of Al-Madinah to their trade, which was their main source of livelihood. The Muslims could strike at the caravans travelling on the trade route between Yemen and Syria, and thus strike at the root of their economy. The value of the trade done by the people of Makkah on this route amounted to about two hundred thousand dinărs annually.

In Sh‘abăn, 2 A. H. (February or March, 623 A. D.) a big trade caravan of the Qureysh , on its way back from Syria carrying goods worth over 50,000 dinărs with a guard of thirty to forty men, reached the territory from where it could be easily attacked from Al-Madinah. As soon as the caravan entered the dangerous territory, Abu Sufyăn, the caravan’s leader, despatched a camel rider to Makkah with a frantic appeal for help. This caused great excitement and anger at Makkah. An army of approximately 1000 warriors with great pomp and show marched towards Al-Madinah. They intended not only to rescue the caravan but also to put an end to the rising power of the Muslims and overawe the clans surrounding the route so as to make it absolutely secure for future trade.

The Prophet, who always kept himself well informed, felt that the hour had come to take a bold step; otherwise the Islamic Movement would become lifeless with no chance to rise again. The condition of the Muslim community was still very shaky because the Muslim immigrants from Makkah (Muhăjirin) had not been able to stabilize their economy; their helpers (the Ansăr)from the natives of Madinah, who became Muslims after the Prophet and his followers migrated there from Makkah, had not yet been tried; and the neighboring Jewish clans could not be trusted. Above all, the surrounding clans lived in awe of the Qureysh and had all their religious sympathies with them. Therefore, the consequences of the coming attack could not be favorable to the Muslims. A careful study of the situation indicated to the Prophet that he should take a decisive step and go into the battle with whatever strength he could muster and demonstrate whether the Muslim community had the ability to survive or was doomed to perish.

The Holy Prophet's analysis of the situation was supported by Divine inspiration, therefore, he called the Muhăjirďn and the Ansăr to a meeting and placed the whole situation before them, without any reservation, saying: “Allah has promised that you will confront one of the two, the trade caravan coming from the north or the army of the Qureysh marching from the south. Now, tell me which of the two you would like to confront!” The majority of the people replied that they should go for the caravan. When the Prophet repeated the same question, Miqdăd bin ‘Amr, a Muhăjir, stood up and said: “O Rasool of Allah! Please march in the direction which Allah commands you; we will accompany you wherever you go. We will not say like the Israelites: 'You and your Rabb go and fight, we will wait.' In contrast to them we say: 'Let you and your Rabb decide; we will fight by your side to our last breath.'" Even then, he did not announce any decision, but waited for a reply from the Ansăr who had not yet taken any part in any confrontation for Islam. As this was the first opportunity for them to prove that they were ready to fulfill their promise of fighting for the cause of Islam, he repeated the question without directly addressing them. At this, Sa‘ad bin Mu‘az, an Ansăr, stood up and said: “O Rasool of Allah, it appears that you are addressing this question to us." When the Prophet said, “Yes," he replied, “We have believed in you and confirmed that what you have brought is the truth, and have made a solemn pledge with you that we will listen to you and obey you. Therefore, O Rasool of Allah, do whatever you intend to do. We swear by Allah Who has sent you with the truth that we are ready to accompany you to the seashore and if you enter it, we will plunge into it. We assure you that not a single one of us will remain behind or forsake you, for we will not hesitate at all to go to fight, even if you should lead us to the battlefield tomorrow. We will, Insha Allah (Allah willing), remain steadfast in the battle and sacrifice our lives for Islam. We do hope that by the grace of Allah our behavior will gladden your heart. So, trusting in Allah’s blessing, take us to the battlefield." After this it was decided that they would march towards the army of the Qureysh and not towards the trade caravan.

The number of people who came forward to go to the battlefield was only a little more than three hundred (86 Muhăjirin, 62 from Aus, and 170 from Khazraj). Over and above that, this little army was ill-armed and hardly equipped for battle. Only a couple of them had horses to ride and the others had to take their turn in threes or fours on camel back. They had a total of 70 camels. Above all, they did not even have enough weapons for the battle; only 60 of them had armor. They marched straight to the southwest, wherefrom the army of the Qureysh was coming. This is also an indication that, from the very beginning, they had gone out to fight with the army and not to plunder the caravan. If they had aimed at plundering the caravan they would have taken the north-westernly direction rather than the southwest. The two parties met in combat at Badr on the seventeenth day of Ramadhăn. When the two armies confronted each other and the Prophet noticed that the Qureysh army outnumbered the Muslims by three to one and was much better equipped, he raised his hands up in supplication and made this earnest prayer with great humility: “O Allah! Here are the Qureysh proud of their war material: they have come to prove that Your Rasool is false. O Allah! Now send the help that You have promised me. O Allah! If this little army of Your devotees is destroyed, then there will be no one left in the land to worship You."

In this combat the emigrants from Makkah were put to the hardest test because they had to fight against their own relatives, putting to the sword their fathers, sons, brothers, and uncles. It is obvious that only such people could do this who had accepted the truth sincerely and cut off all relations with falsehood. Similarly, the test to which the Ansăr were put was not less hard. So far the Ansăr had only alienated the powerful Qureysh and their allies by giving shelter to the Muslims against their wishes but now, for the first time, they were going to give fight to them and to sow the seeds of a long and bitter war with them. This meant that a small town of a few thousand inhabitants was going to wage a war with the whole of Arabia. It is obvious that only such people could take a stand who believed in the Truth of Islam so firmly that they were ready to sacrifice every personal interest for its sake. Allah accepted these sacrifices of the Muhăjirin and the Ansăr because of their true faith, and rewarded them with His help through angels.

The proud, well-armed Qureysh were defeated by these ill-equipped devotees of Islam. Seventy men of the Qureysh army were killed and seventy captured as prisoners of war. Their arms and equipment came into the hands of the Muslims as spoils of war. All their big chiefs, who were their best soldiers and who had led the opposition to Islam, were killed in this battle. This decisive victory made Islam a power to be reckoned with.

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7 The Heights (Al-A'raf) listen
8 The Spoils of War (Al-Anfal) listen
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43 Ornaments of Gold (Az-Zukruf) listen
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45 The Kneeling (Al-Jathiya) listen
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58 She That Dispute (Al-Mujidala) listen
59 The Gathering (Al-Hashr) listen
60 The Examined One (Al-Mumtahina) listen
61 The Row (As-Saff) listen
62 Friday (Al-Jumu'ah) listen
63 The Hypocrites (Al-Munafiqoon) listen
64 Loss and Gain (At-Taghabun) listen
65 The Divorce (At-Talaq) listen
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77 Those Sent Forth (Al-Mursalat) listen
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79 Those Who Pull Out (An-Naziat) listen
80 He frowned (Abasa) listen
81 The Folding Up (At-Takwir) listen
82 The Cleaving (Al-Infitar) listen
83 Those Who Deal in Fraud (Al-Mutaffifin) listen
84 The Splitting Asunder (Al-Inshiqaq) listen
85 The Mansions of the Stars (Al-Burooj) listen
86 The Night Comer (At-Tariq) listen
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99 The Earthquake (Az-Zalzala) listen
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102 Rivalry in world increase (At-Takathur) listen
103 The Declining Day (Al-Asr) listen
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105 The Elephant (Al-Feel) listen
106 Quraish ( Quraish) listen
107 Small Kindnesses (Al-Maun) listen
108 Abundance (Al-Kawthar) listen
109 The Disbelievers (Al-Kafiroon) listen
110 Divine- Support (An-Nasr) listen
111 The Flame (Al-Masadd) listen
112 Sincerity (Al-Ikhlas) listen
113 The Daybreak (Al-Falaq) listen
114 The Mankind (An-Nas) listen


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The Lord Complete Audio English Quran in MP3 Spoken by J.D. Hall

Translated by Malik

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Now Playing # (8) The Spoils of War (Al-Anfal) (75 Verses)