Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 1-44

The Tafsir of Surat Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War)

(Chapter – 8)

Which was revealed in Al-Madinah

There are seventy-five Ayat in this Surah. The word count of this Surah is one thousand, six hundred and thirty-one words and its letters number five thousand, two hundred and ninety- four.

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

{1. They ask you about Al-Anfal (the spoils of war). Say: “Al-Anfal are for Allah and the Messenger.” So have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of difference among you, and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers.}

Meaning of Anfal

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “Al-Anfal are the spoils of war.” Al-Bukhari also recorded that Said bin Jubayr said, “I said to Ibn Abbas, Surat Al-Anfal’ He said, ‘It was revealed concerning (the battle of) Badr.”’ (Fath Al-Bari 8:156) Ali bin Abi Talhah reported, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn Abbas without a chain of narration, that Ibn Abbas said, “Al-Anfal are the spoils of war; they were for the Messenger of Allah , and none had a share in them.” (At-Tabari 13:378) Similar was said by Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata’, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Abdur- Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others. (At-Tabari 13:361-362) It was also said that the Nafl (singular for Anfal) refers to the portion of the spoils of war that the commander gives to some of the fighters after dividing the bulk of the spoils. It was also said that Anfal refers to the Khumus; one-fifth of the captured goods after four-fifths are divided [between the fighters]. It was also said that the Anfal refers to the Fay’, the possessions taken from the disbelievers without fighting, and the animals, servants or whatever other possessions escape from the disbelievers to Muslims.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ali bin Salih bin Hay said: “It has reached me that, ”They ask you about Al-Anfal” is about the divisions. This refer to what the Imam gives to some squads in addition to what is divided among the rest of the soldiers.”

The Reason behind revealing Ayah 8:1

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sad bin Malik said, “I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, Allah has brought comfort to me today over the idolators, so grant me this sword.’ He said, ”This sword is neither yours nor mine; put it down.” So I put it down, but said to myself, ‘The Prophet might give this sword to another man who did not fight as fiercely as I did.’ I heard a man calling me from behind and I said, ‘Has Allah revealed something in my case?’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“You asked me to give you the sword, but it is not for me to decide about. However, it has been granted to me (by Allah), and I give it to you.”

So Allah sent down this Ayah, “They ask you about Al-Anfal. Say: “Al-Anfal are for Allah and the Messenger”.  (Ahmad 1:178) Abu Dawud, At -Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i collected this Hadith, At -Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih”. (Abu Dawud 3:177)

Another Reason behind revealing the Ayah 8:1

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said, “I asked Ubadah about Al-Anfal and he said, ‘It was revealed about us, those who participated in (the battle of) Badr, when we disputed about An-Nafl and our dispute was not appealing. So Allah took Al-Anfal from us and gave it to the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger divided it equally among Muslims.”’ (Ahmad 5:322)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said that Ubadah bin As-Samit said, “We went with the Messenger of Allah to the battle of Badr. When the two armies met, Allah defeated the enemy and some of us pursued them inflicting utter defeat and casualties. Another group of us came to the battlefield collecting the spoils of war. Another group surrounded the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, so that the enemy could not attack him suddenly. When it was night and the various army groups went back to our camp, some of those who collected the spoils said, ‘We collected it, so none else will have a share in it.’ Those who went in pursuit of the enemy said, ‘No, you have no more right to it than us. We kept the enemy away from the war spoils and defeated them.’ Those who surrounded the Messenger of Allah to protect him said, ‘You have no more right to it than us, we surrounded the Messenger of Allah for fear that the enemy might conduct a surprise attack against him, so we were busy.’ The Ayah, ‘‘They ask you about Al-Anfal (the spoils of war). Say: “Al-Anfal are for Allah and the Messenger.” So fear Allah and settle all matters of difference among you.” was revealed and the Messenger of Allah divided the Anfal equally between Muslims.” (Ahmad 5:323)

“And Allah’s Messenger would give a fourth for Anfal when there was a surprise attack in the land of the enemy, and when there was a confrontation then a third to the people who returned”.

The Prophet used to dislike the Anfal and encouraged strong fighters to give some of their share to weak Muslim fighters. At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected a similar narration for this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan”. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:468 and Ibn Majah 2:951)

Allah said, “So have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of difference among you” 

The Ayah commands, have Taqwa of Allah in all your affairs, settle matters of differences between you, do not wrong each other, do not dispute, and do not differ. Certainly, the guidance and knowledge that Allah has granted you is better than what you are disputing about [such as Al-Anfal], “and obey Allah and His Messenger” in the division that the Messenger makes according to Allah’s order. The Prophet only divided according to what Allah ordained, which is perfectly just and fair. Ibn Abbas commented on this Ayah, “This is a command from Allah and His Messenger to the believers, that they should have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of differences between them.” (At-Tabari 13:384) A similar statement was reported from Mujahid.  (At-Tabari 13:384) As-Suddi also commented on Allah’s statement, “So have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of difference among you”, meaning “Do not curse each other.”  (At-Tabari 13:384)

 

{2. The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned,  feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord

3. Who perform the Salah and spend out of what We have provided them,

4. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).}

 

Qualities of the Faithful and Truthful Believers

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts” “None of Allah’s remembrance enters the hearts of the hypocrites upon performing what He has ordained. They neither believe in any of Allah’s Ayat nor trust (in Allah) nor pray if they are alone nor pay the Zakah due on their wealth. Allah stated that they are not believers. He then described the believers by saying, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts” and they perform what He has ordained, “and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith” and conviction, “and they put their trust in their Lord”, having hope in none except Him. ”  (At-Tabari 13:386) Mujahid commented on, “their hearts Wajilat”, “Their hearts become afraid and fearful.”  (At-Tabari 13:386) Similar was said by As-Suddi and several others.  (At-Tabari 13:386) The quality of a true believer is that when Allah is mentioned, he feels a fear in his heart, and thus implements His orders and abstains from His prohibitions. Allah said in a similar Ayah, “And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (immoral sin) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know” (3:135), and, “But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from vain desires. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.” (79:40-41)

Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that As-Suddi commented, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts” A man might be thinking of committing injustice or a sin. But he abstains when he is told, ‘Have Taqwa of Allah’, and his heart becomes fearful.”’

Faith increases when the Qur’an is recited

Allah’s statement, “And when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith” is similar to His statement, “And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice”(9:124).

Al-Bukhari and other scholars relied on this Ayah (8:2) and those similar, as evidence that faith increases and varies in strength from heart to heart. This is also the view of the majority of the scholars of Islam, prompting some scholars, such as Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Abu Ubayd to declare that this is the consensus of the Ummah, as we mentioned in the beginning of the explanation of Sahih Al-Bukhari. All the thanks and praises are due to Allah.

Allah said, “And they put their trust in their Lord.”

The Reality of Tawakkul

Therefore, the believers hope in none except Allah, direct their dedication to Him alone, seek refuge with Him alone, invoke Him alone for their various needs and supplicate to Him alone. They know that whatever He wills, occurs and that whatever He does not will never occurs, that He alone is the One Who has the decision in His kingdom, without partners; none can avert the decision of Allah and He is swift in reckoning. Hence the statement of Said bin Jubayr, “Tawakkul of Allah is the essence of faith.”

Deeds of Faithful Believers

Allah said next, “Who perform the Salah and spend out of what We have provided them.”

Allah describes the actions of the believers after He mentioned their faith. The acts mentioned here include all types of righteous acts, such as establishing prayer, which is Allah’s right. Qatadah said, “Establishing the prayer requires preserving its times, making ablution for it, bowing down and prostrating.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:37) Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “Establishing the prayer means to preserve its times, perform perfect purity for it, perform perfect bowings and prostrations, recite the Qur’an during it, sitting for Tashahhud and reciting the Salah (invoking Allah’s blessings) for the benefit of the Prophet.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:37)

Spending from what Allah has granted includes giving the Zakah and the rest of the what is due from the servant, either what is obligatory or recommended. All of the servants are Allah’s dependents, and the most beloved among them to Him are the most beneficial to His creation.

The Reality of Faith

Allah’s statement, “It is they who are the believers in truth.” means, those who have these qualities are the believers with true faith.

The Fruits of Perfect Faith

Allah said, “For them are grades of dignity with their Lord” meaning, they have different grades, ranks and statusin Paradise, “They are in varying grades with Allah, and Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” (3:163) Next, Allah said, “and forgiveness”, therefore, Allah will forgive them their sins and reward them for their good deeds. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“The residents of Illiyyin (in Paradise) are seen from those below them, just as you see the distant planet in the horizon of the sky.”

They said, “O Allah’s Messenger! They are the grades of the Prophets that none except them would attain.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Rather, by He in Whose Hand is my soul! They are for men who have faith in Allah and believed in the Messengers.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:368 and Muslim 4:2177)

In a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan, Abu Atiyyah said that Ibn Abu Said said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Residents of Paradise see the residents of the highest grades just as you see the distant planet in the horizon of the sky. Verily, Abu Bakr and Umar are among them (in the highest grades), and how excellent they are.” (Ahmad 3:27)

 

{5. As your Lord caused you to go out from your home with the truth; and verily, 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, while they were looking (at it).

7. And (remember) when Allah promised you (Muslims) one of the two parties, that it should be yours; you wished that the one not armed should be yours, but Allah willed to justify the truth by His Words and to cut off the roots of the disbelievers.

8. That He might cause the truth to triumph and bring falsehood to nothing, even though the criminals hate it.}

 

Following the Messenger is Better for the Believers

Allah said, “As your Lord caused you to go out…” After Allah described the believers as fearing their Lord, resolving matters of dispute between themselves and obeying Allah and His Messenger, He then said here, “since you disputed about dividing war spoils and differed with each other about them, Allah took them away from you. He and His Messenger then divided them in truth and justice, thus ensuring continued benefit for all of you. Similarly, you disliked meeting the armed enemy in battle, who marched in support of their religion and to protect their caravan. You disliked fighting, so Allah decided that battle should occur and made you meet your enemy, without planning to do so on your part.’ This incident carried guidance, light, victory and triumph. Allah said; “Jihad is ordained for you though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”  (2:216)

As-Suddi commented, “And verily, a party among the believers disliked” to meet [the armed] idolators. ” “Disputing with you concerning the truth after it was made manifest” Some have commented, “(Allah says) they ask and argue with you about Al-Anfal just as they argued with you when you went out for the battle of Badr, saying, ‘You marched with us to confiscate the caravan. You did not inform us that there will be fighting and that we should prepare for it.”’ “but Allah willed to justify the truth by His Words”

Allah says, ‘He willed for you to meet the armed enemy [rather than the caravan] so that He makes you prevail above them and gain victory over them, making His religion apparent and Islam victorious and dominant above all religions. He has perfect knowledge of the consequences of all things, you are surrounded by His wise planning, although people only like what appears favorable to them, “Jihad (fighting in Allah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you” (2:216).

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Abdullah bin Abbas said, “When the Messenger of Allah heard that Abu Sufyan had left the Sham area (headed towards Makkah with Quraysh’s caravan), he encouraged the Muslims to march forth to intercept them, saying,

“This is the caravan of Quraysh carrying their property, so march forth to intercept it, Allah might make it as war spoils for you.”

The people started mobilizing Muslims, although some of them did not mobilize, thinking that the Prophet would not have to fight. Abu Sufyan was cautiously gathering information on the latest news spying on travelers he met, out of fear for the caravan, especially upon entering the area of Hijaz (Western Arabia). Some travelers told him that Muhammad had mobilized his companions for his caravan. He was anxious and hired Damdam bin Amr Al-Ghifari to go to Makkah and mobilize the Quraysh to protect their caravan, informing them that Muhammad had mobilized his Companions to intercept the caravan. Damdam bin Amr went in a hurry to Makkah. Meanwhile, the Messenger of Allah marched with his companions until he reached a valley called Dhafiran. When he left the valley, he camped and was informed that the Quraysh had marched to protect their caravan. The Messenger of Allah consulted the people for advice and conveyed the news about Quraysh to them. Abu Bakr stood up and said something good, and so did  Umar. Al-Miqdad bin Amr stood up and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! March to what Allah has commanded you, for we are with you. By Allah! We will not say to you what the Children of Israel said to Musa, “So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here’‘ (5:24). Rather, go you and Your Lord and fight, we will be fighting along with you both. By He Who has sent you with Truth! If you decide to take us to Birk-ul-Ghimad, we will fight along with you until you reach it.’ The Messenger of Allah said good words to Al-Miqdad and invoked Allah for his benefit. The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, again said,

“Give me your opinion, O people!” wanting to hear from the Ansar. This is because the majority of the people with him then were the Ansar. When the Ansar gave the Prophet their pledge of obedience at Al-Aqabah, they proclaimed, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! We are not bound by this pledge unless, and until, you arrive in our land. When you have arrived in our area, you are under our protection, and we shall protect you in the same manner we protect our children and wives.’ The Messenger of Allah feared that the Ansar might think that they are not obliged to support him except from his enemies who attack Al-Madinah, not to march with him to an enemy in other areas. When the Prophet said this, Sad bin Muadh asked him, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Is it us whom you meant’. The Prophet answered in the positive. Sad said, ‘We have faith and believed in you, testified that what you brought is the truth, and gave you our pledges and promises of allegiance and obedience. Therefore, march, O Allah’s Messenger, for what Allah has commanded you. Verily, by He Who has sent you in Truth, if you decided to cross this sea (the Red Sea), we will follow you in it, and none among us would stay behind. We do not dislike that we meet our enemy tomorrow. Verily, we are patient in war, fierce in battle. May Allah make you witness what makes your eyes pleased with us. Therefore, march with us with the blessing of Allah.’ The Messenger of Allah was pleased with what Sad said and was encouraged by it. He proclaimed,

“March with the blessing of Allah and receive the good news. For Allah has indeed promised me one of the two camps (confiscating the caravan or defeating the Quraysh army). By Allah! It is as if I am now looking at the demise of the people (the Quraysh).”(At-Tabari 13:399)

Al-Awfi reported similar from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 13:403) As-Suddi, Qatadah, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam; and several others among the Salaf and later generations mentioned similarly, (At-Tabari 13:402 and 405) We have just summarized the story as Muhammad bin Ishaq briefed it.

 

{9. (Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): “I will help you with a thousand of the angels Murdifin.”

10. Allah made it only as glad tidings, and that your hearts be at rest therewith. And there is no victory except from Allah. Verily, Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.}

 

Muslims invoke Allah for Help, Allah sends the Angels to Help Them

Al-Bukhari wrote in the book of battles (in his Sahih) under “Chapter: Allah’s statement,“(Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you”until, “then verily, Allah is severe in punishment” that Ibn Masud said, “I was a witness to something that Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad did, that I would like more than almost anything else to have been the one who did it. Al-Miqdad came to the Prophet while he was invoking Allah against the idolators and proclaimed, ‘We will not say as the people of Musa said, “So go you and your Lord and fight you two.”

Rather, we will fight to your right, to your left, before you and behind you.’ I saw the Prophet’s face beaming with pleasure because of what Al-Miqdad said to him.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:335) Al-Bukhari next narrated from Ibn Abbas that on the day of Badr, the Prophet said,

“O Allah! I invoke You for Your covenant and promise (victory). O Allah! If You decide so (cause our defeat), You will not be worshipped.”

Abu Bakr held the Prophet’s hand and said, “Enough.” The Prophet went out proclaiming,

“Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.”

An-Nasa’i also collected this Hadith. (Fath Al-Bari 7:335 and An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:477) Allah’s statement, “with a thousand of the angels Murdifin” means, they follow each other in succession, according to Harun bin Hubayrah who narrated this from Ibn Abbas about, “Murdifin”, (At-Tabari 13:412) meaning each behind the other in succession. Ali bin Abi Talhah Al-Walibi reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Allah supported His Prophet and the believers with a thousand angels, five hundred under the leadership of Jibril on one side and five hundred under the leadership of Mika’il on another side.” (At-Tabari 13:423) Imams Abu Jafar bin Jarir At-Tabari and Muslim recorded that Ibn Abbas said (At-Tabari 13:409 and Muslim 3:1383) that Umar said, “While a Muslim man was pursuing an idolator (during the battle of Badr), he heard the sound of a whip above him and a rider saying, ‘Come, O Hayzum!’ Then he looked at the idolator, who fell to the ground. When he investigated, he found that the idolator’s nose had wound and his face torn apart, just as if he received a strike from a whip on it, and the entire face had turned green. The Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah and told him what had happened and the Messenger replied,

“You have said the truth, that was from the reinforcements from the third heaven.”

The Muslims killed seventy (pagans) in that battle and captured another seventy. (Muslim 3:1384)

Al-Bukhari also wrote a chapter in his Sahih about the participation of the angels in Badr. He collected a Hadith from Rifah bin Rafi Az-Zuraqi, who participated in Badr, Jibril came to the Prophet and asked him, “How honored are those who participated in Badr among you” The Prophet said, “Among the best Muslims.” Jibril said, “This is the case with the angels who participated in Badr.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:362) Al-Bukhari recorded thisHadith. At-Tabarani also collected it in Al-Mujam Al-Kabir, but from Rafi bin Khadij, which is an apparent mistake. The correct narration is from Rifa`h, as Al-Bukhari recorded it. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to Umar, when Umar suggested that the Prophet have Hatib bin Abi Balta’ah executed,

“He [Hatib] participated in Badr. How do you know that Allah has not looked at the people of Badr and proclaimed, ‘Do whatever you want, for I have forgiven you.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:355 and Muslim 4:1941)

Allah said next, “Allah made it only as glad tidings…” Allah made sending down the angels and informing you of this fact as glad tidings, “and that your hearts be at rest therewith.”

Surely, Allah is able to give you (O Muslims) victory over your enemies, and victory only comes from Him, without need to send the angels, “And there is no victory except from Allah.” Allah said in another Ayah, “So, when you meet (in fight in Allah’s cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until war lays down its burden. Thus, but if it had been Allah’s will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others. But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost. He will guide them and set right their state. And admit them to Paradise which He has made known to them.” (47:4-6) [That is, they will recognise their places as they did in this worldly life.] and, “And so are the days (good and not so good), that We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the wrongdoers. And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.”(3:140-141)

These are points of wisdom for which Allah has legislated performing Jihad, by the hands of the believers against the disbelievers. Allah used to destroy the previous nations that denied the Prophets, using various disasters that encompassed these rebellious nations. For instance, Allah destroyed the people of Nuh with the flood, Ad with the wind, Thamud with the scream, the people of Lut with an earthquake and the people of Shuayb by the Day of the Shadow. After Allah sent Musa and destroyed his enemy Firawn and his soldiers by drowning, He sent down the Tawrah to him in which He legislated fighting against the disbelievers, and this legislation remained in the successive Laws. Allah said,“And indeed We gave Musa – after We had destroyed the generations of old – the Scripture as an enlightenment.” (28:43)

It is more humiliating for the disbeliever and more comforting to the hearts of the faithful that the believers kill the disbelievers by their own hands. Allah said to the believers of this Ummah, “Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands, and disgrace them, and give you victory over them, and heal the breasts of a believing people.” (9:14)

This is why killing the disbelievers of Quraysh by the hand of their enemies, whom they used to despise, was more humiliating to the disbelievers and comforting to the hearts of the party of faith. Abu Jahl, for instance, was killed in battle and this was more humiliating for him than dying in his bed, or from lightening, wind, or similar afflictions. Also, Abu Lahab died from a terrible disease [that caused him to stink] and none of his relatives could bear approaching him. They had to wash him with water by sprinkling it from a distance, then threw stones over his corpse, until it was buried under them! Allah said next, “Verily, Allah is All-Mighty”, the might is His, His Messengers and the believers, both in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said in another Ayah, “We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe, in this world’s life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth (Day of Resurrection).” (40:51)

Allah said next, “All-Wise.” in that He legislated fighting the disbeliever, even though He is able to destroy them and bring their demise by His will and power, all praise and honor is due to Him.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 4 Pages 251-269

{11. (Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him, and He caused water (rain) to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the Rijz (whispering or dirt) of Shaytan, and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.

12. (Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.”

13. This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is severe in punishment.

14. This is (the torment), so taste it; and surely, for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.}

Slumber overcomes Muslims

Allah reminds the believers of the slumber that He sent down on them as security from the fear they suffered from, because of the multitude of their enemy and the sparseness of their forces. They were given the same favour during the battle of Uhud, which Allah described, “Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves.” (3:154)

Abu Talhah said, “I was among those who were overcome by slumber during (the battle of) Uhud. The sword fell from my hand several times, and I kept picking it up again, several times. I also saw the Companions’ heads nodding while in the rear guard.” Al-Hafiz Abu Yala narrated that Ali said, “Only Al-Miqdad had a horse during Badr, and at some point, I found that all of us fell asleep, except the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. He was praying under a tree and crying until dawn.” (Musnad Abu Ya’la 1:242) Abdullah bin Masud said, “Slumber during battle is security from Allah, but during prayer, it is from Shaytan.” (At-Tabari 13:419) Qatadah said, “Slumber affects the head, while sleep affects the heart.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 5:1664)

Slumber overcame the believers on the day of Uhud, and this incident is very well-known. As for this Ayah (8:11), it is describing the battle of Badr, indicating that slumber also overcame the believers during Badr. Therefore, it appears that this will occur for the believers, whenever they are in distress, so that their hearts feel safe and sure of Allah’s aid, rewards, favour and mercy from Allah with them. Allah said in another Ayah, “Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.” (94:5-6)

In the Sahih, it is recorded that on the day of Badr, while he was in the bunker with Abu Bakr, the Messenger and Abu Bakr were invoking Allah. Suddenly, slumber overcame the Messenger and he woke up smiling and declared,

“Good news, O Abu Bakr! This is Jibril with dust on his shoulders.”

He left the shade while reciting Allah’s statement,

“Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.” (54:45)

(Fath Al-Bari 7:364)

Rain falls on the Eve of Badr

Allah said next, “and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky.”

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “When the Prophet arrived at Badr, he made camp. At the time, there was a sandy piece of land between the idolators and the water (the wells at Badr). Muslims felt weak and the Shaytan cast frustration into their hearts. He whispered to them, ‘You claim that you are Allah’s supporters and that His Messenger is among you! However, the idolators have taken over the water resource from you, while you pray needing purity.’ Allah sent down heavy rain, allowing the Muslims to drink and use it for purity. Allah also removed Shaytan’s whisper and made the sand firm when rain fell on it, and the Muslims walked on the sand along with their animals, until they reached the enemy. Allah supported His Prophet and the believers with a thousand angels on one side, five hundred under the command of Jibril and another five hundred under the command of Mika’il on another side.” (At-Tabari 13:423)

An even a better narration is that collected by Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, author of Al-Maghazi, may Allah have mercy upon him. Ibn Ishaq narrated that, Yazid bin Ruwman narrated to him that, Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, “Allah sent rain down from the sky on a sandy valley. That rain made the area where the Messenger of Allah and his Companions camped firmer so that it did not hinder their movement. Meanwhile, the part that the Quraysh were camping on became difficult to move in.” (Al-Waqidi in Al-Maghazi 1:54) Mujahid said, “Allah sent down the rain on the believers before slumber overtook them, and the rain settled the dust, made the ground firmer, made them feel at ease and their feet firmer.” (At-Tabari 13:425)

Allah said next, ”to clean you thereby” using it after answering the call of nature or needing to wash oneself, and this involves cleansing what is on the outside, ”and to remove from you the Rijz of Shaytan” such as his whispers and evil thoughts, this involves sinner purification, whereas Allah’s statement about the residents of Paradise, “Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver” (76:21) involves outer appearance, “and their Lord will give them a pure drink.” (76:21) that purifies the anger, envy and hatred that they might have felt. This is the inner purity. Next, Allah said, “and to strengthen your hearts,” with patience and to encourage you to fight the enemies, and this is inner courage, “and make your feet firm thereby”, this involves outer courage. Allah know best.

Allah commands the Angels to fight and support the Believers

Allah said next, “(Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed.” This is a hidden favour that Allah has made known to the believers, so that they thank Him and are grateful to Him for it. Allah, glorified, exalted, blessed and praised be He, has revealed to the angels – whom He sent to support His Prophet, religion and believing group – to make the believers firmer. Allah’s statement, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved.” means, ‘you – angels – support the believers, strengthen their (battle) front against their enemies, thus, implementing My command to you. I will cast fear, disgrace and humiliation over those who defied My command and denied My Messenger, “so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.” strike them on their foreheads to tear them apart and over the necks to cut them off, and cut off their limbs, hands and feet. It was said that, “over the necks” refers to striking the forehead, or the neck, according to Ad-Dahhak and Atiyyah Al- Awfi. In support of the latter, Allah commanded the believers, “So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, take them as captives).” (47:4)

Ar-Rabi bin Anas said, “In the aftermath of Badr, the people used to recognize whomever the angels killed from those whom they killed, by the wounds over their necks, fingers and toes, because those parts had a mark as if they were branded by fire.” Allah said, “and smite over all their fingers and toes.”

Ibn Jarir commented that this Ayah commands, “O believers! Strike every limb and finger on the hands and feet of your (disbelieving) enemies.” (At-Tabari 13:431) Al-Awfi reported, that Ibn Abbas said about the battle of Badr that Abu Jahl said, “Do not kill them (the Muslims), but capture them so that you make known to them what they did, their ridiculing your religion and shunning Al- Lat and Al-Uzza (two idols).” Allah than sent down to the angels, “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.”

In that battle, Abu Jahl (may Allah curse him) was killed along with sixty-nine men. Uqbah bin Abu Muait was captured and then killed, thus bring the death toll of the pagans to seventy, “This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.” joining the camp that defied Allah and His Messenger not including themselves in the camp of Allah’s Law and faith in Him. Allah said, “And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is severe in punishment.” for He will crush whoever defies and disobeys Him. Nothing ever escapes Allah’s grasp nor can anything ever stand against His anger. Blessed and exalted He is, there is no true deity or Lord except Him.“This is (the torment), so taste it; and surely, for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.”

This Ayah addresses the disbeliever, saying, taste this torment and punishment in this life and know that the torment of the Fire in the Hereafter is for the disbelievers.

{15. O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battlefield, never turn your backs to them.

16. And whoever turns his back to them on such a day – unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own) – he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!}

 

Fleeing from Battle is prohibited, and its Punishment

Allah said, while warning against fleeing from the battlefield and threatening those who do it with the Fire, “O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battlefield” when you get near the enemy and march towards them, “never turn your backs to them.” do not run away from battle and leave your fellow Muslims behind, “And whoever turns his back to them on such a day – unless it be a stratagem of war…” 

The Ayah says, whoever flees from the enemy by way of planning to pretend that he is afraid of the enemy, so that they follow him and he takes the chance and returns to kill the enemy, then there is no sin on him. This is the explanation of Sa’id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi. (At-Tabari 13:436-437) Ad-Dahhak also commented, “Whoever went ahead of his fellow Muslims to investigate the strength of the enemy and make use of it, “or to retreat to a troop (of his own)”, meaning he leaves from here to another troop of Muslims to assist them or be assisted by them. So that is allowed for him, or even during the battle if he flees from his brigade to the commander. Or going to the grand Imam, would also fall under this permission.”

Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said about Abu Ubayd when he was fighting on the bridge in the land of the Persians, because of the many Zoroastrian soldiers, “If he retreated to me then I would be as a troop for him.”

This is how it was reported by Muhammad bin Sirin from Umar. In the report of Abu Uthman An-Nahdi from Umar, he said: When Abu Ubayd was fighting, Umar said, “O people! We are your troop.” Mujahid said that Umar said, “We are the troop of every Muslim.” Abdul-Malik bin Umayr reported from Umar, “O people! Don’t be confused over this Ayah, it was only about the day of Badr, and we are a troop for every Muslim.” Ibn Abi Hatim [recorded] that Nafi questioned Ibn Umar, “We are people who are not stationary when fighting our enemy, and we may not know where our troop is, be it that of our Imam or our army.”

So he replied, “The troop is Allah’s Messenger .” I said but Allah said, “when you meet those who disbelieve in the battlefield” to the end of the Ayah . So he said “This Ayah was about Badr, not before it nor after it.” (At-Tabari 13:436)

Ad-Dahhak commented that Allah’s statement, “or to retreat to a troop”, refers to “Those who retreat to the Messenger of Allah and his Companions (when the Messenger was alive), and those who retreat in the present time to his commander or companions.” However, if one flees for any other reason than those mentioned here, then it is prohibited and considered a major sin. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

“Shun the seven great destructive sins.”

The people inquired, “O Allah’s Messenger! What are they?” He said,

“(They are) Joining others in worship with Allah, magic, taking life which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law), consuming Riba, consuming an orphan’s wealth, fleeing the battlefield at the time of fighting, and false accusation to chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.” (Fath Al-Bari 5:462)

This is why Allah said here, “he indeed has drawn upon himself…”, and returned with, “wrath from Allah. And his abode…”, destination, and dwelling place on the Day of Return, “is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!”

 

{17. You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All- Hearer, All-Knower).

18. This (is the fact) and surely Allah weakens the deceitful plots of the disbelievers.}

Allah’s Signs displayed during Badr, And throwing Sand in the Eyes of the Disbelievers

Allah states that He creates the actions that the servants perform and that whatever good actions they take, it is He Who should be praised for them, for He directed and helped them perform these actions. Allah said, “You killed them not, but Allah killed them.” meaning, it is not because of your power and strength that you killed the pagans, who were many while you were few. Rather, it is He Who gave you victory over them, just as He said in another Ayah, “And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force.” (3:123), and, “Truly, Allah has given you victory on many battlefields, and on the day of Hunayn when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight.” (9:25)

Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, states that victory does not depend on numbers or collecting weapons and shields. Rather, victory is from Him, Exalted He is. “How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave?” And Allah is with the patient.” (2:249)

Allah then mentioned the handful of sand that His Prophet threw at the disbelievers during the day of Badr, when he went out of his bunker. While in the bunker, the Prophet invoked Allah humbly and expressing his neediness before Allah. He then threw a handful of sand at the disbelievers and said, “Humiliated be their faces.” He then commanded his Companions to start fighting with sincerity and they did. Allah made this handful of sand enter the eyes of the idolators, each one of them were struck by some of it and it distracted them making each of them busy. Allah said, “And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw.” Therefore, it is Allah Who made the sand reach their eyes and busied them with it, not you (O Muhammad).

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Muhammad bin Jafar bin Az-Zubayr narrated to him that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said about Allah’s statement, “that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him.” “So that the believers know Allah’s favor for them by giving them victory over their enemy, even though their enemy was numerous, while they were few. They should thus know His right and express gratitude for His favour on them.” (At-Tabari 13:448) Similar was said by Ibn Jarir. It is stated in a Hadith,

“Every trail (from Allah) is a favour for us.” [A similar hadith is recorded by Muslim no.6900]

Allah said next, “Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”

Allah hears the supplication and knows those who deserve help and triumph. Allah said, “This (is the fact) and surely Allah weakens the deceitful plots of the disbelievers.” This is more good news, aside from the victory that the believers gained. Allah informed them that He will weaken the plots of the disbelievers in the future, degrade them and make everything they have perish and be dest royed, all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

{19. (O disbelievers) if you ask for a judgement, now has the judgement come unto you; and if you cease (to do wrong), it will be better for you, and if you return (to the attack), so shall We return, and your forces will be of no avail to you, however numerous they be; and verily, Allah is with the believers.}

The Response to the Disbelievers Who ask for a Judgement

Allah says to the disbeliever, “If you ask for a judgement”, you invoked Allah for victory, judgement and a decision between you and your believing nemesis, and you got what you asked for. Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others reported from Az-Zuhri from Abdullah bin Thalabah bin Suayr who said that Abu Jahl said on the day of Badr, “O Allah! Whichever of the two camps (pagans and Muslims) severed the relation of the womb and brought us what is not familiar, then destroy him this day.” This Ayah was later on revealed, “If you ask for a judgement, then now has the judgement come unto you” until the end of the Ayah. (At-Tabari 13:453) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Thalabah said, “Abu Jahl asked for (Allah’s judgment) when he said upon facing the Muslims, ‘O Allah! Those among us who severed the relations of the womb and brought forth what we do not recognize, then destroy him this day.” (Ahmad 5:531)  This was also recorded by An-Nasa’i in the Book of Tafsir (of his Sunan) and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, and he said, “It is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Shaykhs, and they did not record it.” (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:350)  Similar statements were reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Yazid bin Ruwman and several others. As-Suddi commented, “Before the idolators left Makkah for Badr, they clung to the curtains covering the Kabah and supplicated to Allah for victory, ‘O Allah! Give victory to the exalted among the two armies, the most honored among the two groups, and the most righteous among the two tribes.’ Allah revealed the Ayah, “If you ask for a judgement, then now has the judgement come unto you.” Allah says here, ‘I accepted your supplication and Muhammad gained the victory.”’

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said; “This is Allah the Most High’s answer to their supplication; “And (remember) when they said: “O Allah! If this is indeed the truth from you..)” (8:32) (At-Tabari 13:453) Allah said next, “and if you cease…” from your disbelief and rejection of Allah and His Messenger, “it will be better for you”, in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said, “and if you return, so shall We return…” This is similar to another Ayah, “but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our punishment).” (17:8) meaning, ‘if you persist in your disbelief and misguidance, We shall repeat the defeat that you suffered,’ ”and your forces will be of no avail to you, however numerous they be…” for even if you gather whatever forces you can, then know that those whom Allah is with cannot be defeated, “and verily, Allah is with the believers” in reference to the Prophet’s group, the side of the chosen Messenger.

 

{20. O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him while you are hearing.

21. And be not like those who say: “We have heard,” but they hear not.

22. Verily, the worst of living creatures with Allah are the deaf and the dumb (the disbelievers), who understand not.

23. Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen; and even if He had made them listen, they would but have turned away with aversion.}

 

The Command to obey Allah and His Messenger

Allah commands His believing servants to obey Him and His Messenger and warns them against defying him and imitating the disbelievers who reject him. Allah said, “and turn not away from him…”, neither refrain from obeying him or following his commands nor indulge in what he forbade, “while you are hearing.” after you gained knowledge of his Message, “And be not like those who say: “We have heard,” but they hear not.”

Ibn Ishaq said that this Ayah refers to the hypocrites, who pretend to hear and obey, while in fact they do neither. (At-Tabari 13:458) Allah declares that these are the most wicked creatures among the Children of Adam, “Verily, the worst of living creatures with Allah are the deaf” who do not hear the truth, “and the dumb” who cannot comprehend it, “who understand not.” These indeed are the most wicked creatures, for every creature except them abide by the way that Allah created in them. These people were created to worship Allah, but instead disbelieved. This is why Allah equated them to animals, when He said, “And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those that hear nothing but calls and cries.” (2:171), and, “They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.” (7:179)

It was also said that the Ayah (8:22) refers to some of the pagans of Quraysh from the tribe of Bani Abd Ad-Dar, according to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 13:460) Muhammad bin Ishaq said that this Ayah refers to hypocrites, as we stated. There is no contradiction here, because both disbelievers and hypocrites are devoid of sound comprehension, in addition to having lost the intention to do good. Allah states here that such are those who neither have sound understanding nor good intentions, even if they have some type of reason, “Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen.”

He would have helped them understand. However, this did not happen because there is no goodness in such people, for Allah knows that, “even if He had made them listen…” and allowed them to understand, “they would but have turned…”, intentionally and out of stubbornness, even after they comprehend, “with aversion”, to the truth.

 

{24. O you who believe! Answer Allah and (His) Messenger when he (the Messenger) calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allah comes between a person and his heart. And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered.}

 

The Command to answer and obey Allah and His Messenger

Al-Bukhari said, “Answer”, obey, “that which will give you life” that which will make your affairs good.” Al-Bukhari went on to narrate that Abu Sa’id bin Al-Mualla said, “I was praying when the Prophet passed by and called me, but I did not answer him until I finished the prayer. He said,

“What prevented you from answering me? Has not Allah said: “O you who believe! Answer Allah and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life”

He then said:

“I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur’an before I leave.”

When he was about to leave, I mentioned what he said to me. He said, “All the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of all that exists…” (1:1-6). Surely, it is the seven oft-repeated verses.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:158)

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Muhammad bin Jafar bin Az-Zubayr said that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr explained this Ayah, “O you who believe! Answer Allah and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life” “Answer when called to war (Jihad) with which Allah gives you might after meekness, and strength after weakness, and shields you from the enemy who oppressed you.” (Sirah Ibn Hisham 2:234)

Allah comes in between a Person and His Heart

Allah said, and know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart.” Ibn Abbas commented, “Allah prevents the believer from disbelief and the disbeliever from faith.” (At-Tabari 13:468) Al-Hakim recorded this in his Mustadrak and said, “It is Sahih and they did not record it.” (Al-Hakim 2:328) Similar was said by Mujahid, Sa’id, Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Salih Atiyyah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi. (At-Tabari 13:470-471) In another report from Mujahid, he commented; “…comes in between a person and his heart.” “Leaves him without comprehension,” As-Suddi said, “Prevents one self from his own heart, so he will neither believe nor disbelieve except by His leave.” There are several Hadiths that conform with the meaning of this Ayah. For instance, Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to often say these words,

“O You Who changes the hearts, make my heart firm on Your religion.”

We said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! We believed in you and in what you brought us. Are you afraid for us?’ He said,

“Yes, for the hearts are between two of Allah’s Fingers, He changes them (as He wills).” (Ahmad 3:112)

This is the same narration recorded by At-Tirmidhi in the Book of Qadar in his Jami’ [Sunan], and he said, “Hasan.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 6:349-350) Imam Ahmad recorded that An-Nawwas bin Saman Al-Kilabi said that he heard the Prophet saying,

“Every heart is between two of the Fingers of the Most Beneficent (Allah), Lord of all that exists, if He wills, He makes it straight, and if He wills, He makes it stray.” (Ahmad 4:182)

And he said:

“O You Who changes the hearts! Keep my heart firm on Your religion”

And he would say;

“The Balance is in the Hand of Ar-Rahman, He raises and lowers it.” (Ahmad 3:182)

This was also recorded by An-Nasai and Ibn Majah (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 4:414 and Ibn Majah 1:72)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 4 Pages 269-288

{25. And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong, and know that Allah is severe in punishment.}

Warning against an encompassing Fitnah

Allah warns His believing servants of a Fitnah, trial and test, that encompasses the wicked and those around them. Therefore, such Fitnah will not be restricted to the sinners and evildoers. Rather, it will reach the others if the sins are not stopped and prevented. Imam Ahmad recorded that Mutarrif said, “We asked Az-Zubayr, O Abu Abdullah! What brought you here (for the battle of Al-Jamal)? You abandoned the Khalifah who was assassinated (Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him) and then came asking for revenge for his blood?’ He said, ‘We recited at the time of the Messenger of Allah, and Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, “And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong” We did not think that this Ayah was about us too, until it reached us as it did.”’ (Ahmad 1:165)

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah, “And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong,” refers to the Companions of the Prophet in particular. (At-Tabari 13:474) In another narration from Ibn Abbas, he said, “Allah commanded the believers to stop evil from flourishing among them, so that Allah does not encompass them all in the torment (Fitnah). ” (At-Tabari 13:474) This, indeed, is a very good explanation, prompting Mujahid to comment about Allah’s statement, “And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong” “Is for you too!” (At-Tabari 13:475) Several said similarly, such as Ad-Dahhak and Yazid bin Abi Habib and several others. Ibn Masud said, “There is none among you but there is something that represents a Fitnah for him, for Allah said, “Your wealth and your children are only a trial (Fitnah)…” (64:15).

Therefore, when you seek refuge, seek it with Allah from the Fitnah that causes misguidance.” Ibn Jarir collected this Hadith. (At-Tabari 13:475) The view that the warning in this Ayah addresses the Companions and all others is true, even though the speech in the Ayah was directed at the Companions. There are Hadiths that warn against Fitnah in general, thus providing the correctness of this explanation. Similarly there will be a separate book in which this subject will be discussed, Allah willing, as also is the case with the Imams, there being a number of writings about this. Of the most precise things that have been mentioned under this topic, is what was recorded by Imam Ahmad from Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman that the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, or Allah will send a punishment upon you from Him; you will supplicate then to Him, but He will not answer your supplication.” (Ahmad 5:388)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ar-Riqad said, “I heard Hudhayfah saying, ‘A person used to utter one word during the time of the Messenger of Allah and become a hypocrite on account of it. I now hear such words from one of you four times in the same sitting. Surely, you will enjoin good, forbid evil and encourage each other to do good or Allah will surround you all with torment, or make the wicked among you become your leaders. The righteous among you will then supplicate, but their supplication will not be accepted.”’ (Ahmad 5:390)

Imam Ahmad recorded that An- Nu’man bin Bashir said that the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, gave a speech in which he said, while pointing to his ears with two of his fingers,

“The parable of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them, or sit idle while they are being violated, is that of those who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the lower part, which is the most rough and worst part, and the others in the upper. When the former needed water, they had to go up to bring water and that troubled the others, so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship and get water, saving those who are above us from troubling them, so, if the people in the upper part let the others do what they suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”   (Ahmad 4:269)

This was recorded by Al-Bukhari, but not Muslim, in the Book of Partnerships and the Book of Witnesses. (Fath Al-Bari 5:157 and 345) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi through a different route of narration. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 6:394)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah, the Prophet’s wife, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying,

”If sins become apparent in my Ummah, Allah will surround them with punishment from Him.”

I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Will they have righteous people among them then?’ He said,

“Yes.”

I asked, ”What will happen to them?’ He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“They will be striken as the people, but they will end up with Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure.” (Ahmad 6:304)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Every people among whom sins are being committed, while they are mightier and more numerous than those who do wrong, yet they did nothing to stop them, then Allah will surround them all with punishment.” (Ahmad 4:364)

Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. (Ibn Majah 2:1329 and Ahmad 4:366)

{26. And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land, and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He provided a safe place for you, strengthened you with His help, and provided you with good things (for livelihood) so that you might be grateful.}

Reminding Muslims of Their previous State of Weakness and Subjugation which changed into Might and Triumph

Allah, the Exalted, reminds His believing servants of His blessings and favors on them. They were few and He made them many, weak and fearful and He provided them with strength and victory. They were meek and poor, and He granted them sustenance and livelihood. He ordered them to be grateful to Him, and they obeyed Him and implemented what He commanded.

When the believers were still in Makkah they were few, practicing their religion in secret, oppressed, fearing that pagans, fire worshippers or Romans might kidnap them from the various parts of Allah’s earth, for they were all enemies of the Muslims, especially since Muslims were few and weak. Later on, Allah permitted the believers to migrate to Al-Madinah, where He allowed them to settle in a safe resort. Allah made the people of Al-Madinah their allies, giving them refuge and support during Badr and other battles. They helped the Migrants with their wealth and gave up their lives in obedience of Allah and His Messenger. Qatadah bin Diamah As-Sadusi commented, ”And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land”

“Arabs were the weakest of the weak, had the toughest life, the emptiest stomachs, the barest skin and the most obvious misguidance. Those who lived among them lived in misery; those who died went to the Fire. They were being eaten up, but unable to eat up others! By Allah! We do not know of a people on the face of the earth at that time who had a worse life than them. When Allah brought Islam, He made it dominant on the earth, thus bringing provisions and leadership for them over the necks of people. It is through Islam that Allah granted all what you see, so thank Him for His favors, for your Lord is One Who bestows favors and likes praise. Verily, those who thank Allah enjoy even more bounties from Him.” (At-Tabari 13:478)

{27. O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you).

28. And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and that surely, with Allah is a mighty reward.}

Reason behind revealing This Ayah, and the prohibition of Betrayal

The Two Sahihs mention the story of Hatib bin Abi Balta’ah. In the year of the victory of Makkah he wrote to the Quraysh alerting them that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, intended to march towards them. Allah informed His Messenger of this, and he sent a Companion to retrieve the letter that Hatib sent, and then he summoned him. He admitted to what he did. Umar bin Al- Khattab stood up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Should I cut off his head, for he has betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the believers” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Leave him! He participated in Badr. How do you know that Allah has not looked at those who participated in Badr and said, Do whatever you want, for I have forgiven you.”

However, it appears that this Ayah is more general, even if it was revealed about a specific incident. [He is saying this here because he mentioned two unauthentic stories in that regard. Additionally, in the case of Hatib, the Ayah revealed was Al-Mumtahinah 60:1 as recorded by Al-Hakim and others.] Such rulings are dealt with by their indications, not the specific reasons behind revealing them, according to the majority of scholars.

Betrayal includes both minor and major sins, as well those that affect others. Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn  Abbas commented on the Ayah, “nor betray your Amanat” “The Amanah refers to the actions that Allah has entrusted the servants with, such as and including what He ordained. Therefore, Allah says here, “nor betray…”, ‘do not abandon the obligations.”’ (At-Tabari 13:485) Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd commented, “Allah forbade you from betraying Him and His Messenger, as hypocrites do.” (At-Tabari 13:483)

Allah said, “And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial.” from Him to you. He grants these to you so that He knows which of you will be grateful and obedient to Him, or become busy with and dedicated to them instead of Him. Allah said in another Ayah, “Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward.” (64:15), “And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good.” (21:35), “O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.” (63:9), and, “O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you (who may stop you from the obedience of Allah); therefore beware of them!” (64:14) Allah said next, “And that surely with Allah is a mighty reward.” Therefore, Allah’s reward, favour and Paradise are better for you than wealth and children. Certainly, among the wealth and children there might be enemies for you and much of them avail nothing. With Allah alone is the decision and sovereignty in this life and the Hereafter, and He gives tremendous rewards on the Day of Resurrection. In the Sahih, there is a Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“There are three qualities for which whomever has them, he will have tasted the sweetness of faith. (They are) whoever Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anyone else, whoever loves a person for Allah’s sake alone, and whoever prefers to be thrown in fire rather than revert to disbelief, after Allah has saved him from it.” (Muslim 1:66)

Therefore, loving the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, comes before loving children, wealth and oneself. In the Sahih, it is confirmed that he said,

“By He in Whose Hand is my soul! None of you will have faith unless I become dearer to him than himself, his family, his wealth and all people.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:75)

{29. O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant you Furqan, and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you; and Allah is the Owner of the great bounty.}

Ibn Abbas, As-Suddi, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and several others said that, “Furqan”, means, ‘a way out’; Mujahid added, “In this life and the Hereafter.” (At-Tabari 13:489-490) In another narration, Ibn Abbas is reported to have said, ‘Furqan’ means ‘salvation’ or – according to another narration – ‘aid’. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that ‘Furqan’ means ‘criterion between truth and falsehood’. This last explanation from Ibn Ishaq is more general than the rest that we mentioned, and it also includes the other meanings. Certainly, those who have Taqwa of Allah by obeying what He ordained and abstaining from what he forbade, will be guided to differentiate between the truth and the falsehood. This will be a triumph, safety and a way out for them from the affairs of this life, all the while acquiring happiness in the Hereafter. They will also gain forgiveness, thus having their sins erased, and pardon, thus having their sins covered from other people, as well as, being directed to a way to gain Allah’s tremendous rewards, “O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, and believe in His Messenger, He will give you a double portion of His mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight). And He will forgive you. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (57:28).

{30. And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you to imprison you, or to kill you, or to expel you (from your home, Makkah); they were plotting and Allah too was plotting; and Allah is the best of plotters.}

The Makkans plot to kill the Prophet, imprison Him or expel Him from Makkah

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said, “Liyuthbituka” means “to imprison you.” (At-Tabari 13:492) As-Suddi said, “Ithbat is to confine or to shackle.” (At-Tabari 13:491)

Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, the author of Al-Maghazi, reported from Abdullah bin Abi Najih, from Mujahid, from Ibn Abbas, “Some of the chiefs of the various tribes of Quraysh gathered in Dar An-Nadwah (their conference area) and Iblis (Shaytan) met them in the shape of an eminent old man. When they saw him, they asked, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘An old man from Najd. I heard that you are having a meeting, and I wished to attend your meeting. You will benefit from my opinion and advice.’ They said, ‘Agreed, come in.’ He entered with them.

Iblis said, ‘You have to think about this man (Muhammad)! By Allah, he will soon overwhelm you with his matter (religion).’ One of them said, ‘Imprison him, restrained in chains, until he dies just like the poets before him all died, such as Zuhayr and An-Nabighah! Verily, he is a poet like they were.’ The old man from Najd, the enemy of Allah, commented, ‘By Allah! This is not a good idea. His Lord will release him from his prison to his companions, who will liberate him from your hands. They will protect him from you and they might expel you from your land.’ They said, ‘This old man said the truth. Therefore, seek an opinion other than this one. ‘

Another one of them said, ‘Expel him from your land, so that you are free from his trouble! If he leaves your land, you will not be bothered by what he does or where he goes, as long as he is not among you to bring you troubles, he will be with someone else.’ The old man from Najd replied, ‘By Allah! This is not a good opinion. Have you forgotten his sweet talk and eloquency, as well as, how his speech captures the hearts By Allah! This way, he will collect even more followers among Arabs, who will gather against you and attack you in your own land, expel you and kill your chiefs.’ They said, ‘He has said the truth, by Allah! Therefore, seek an opinion other than this one.’ hAbu Jahl, may Allah curse him, spoke next, ‘By Allah! I have an idea that no one else has suggested yet, and I see no better opinion for you. Choose a strong, socially elevated young man from each tribe, and give each one of them a sharp sword. Then they would all strike Muhammad at the same time with their swords and kill him. Hence, his blood would be shed by all tribes. This way, his tribe, Banu Hashim, would realize that they cannot wage war against all of the Quraysh tribes and would be forced to agree to accept the blood money; we would have brought comfort to ourselves and stopped him from bothering us.’

The old man from Najd commented, ‘By Allah! This man has expressed the best opinion, and I do not support any other opinion.’ They quickly ended their meeting and started preparing for the implementation of this plan.

Jibril came to the Prophet and commanded him not to sleep in his bed that night and conveyed to him the news of their plot. The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not sleep in his house that night, and Allah gave him permission to migrate. After the Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, Allah revealed to him Suat Al-Anfal reminding him of His favors and the bounties He gave him, “And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you to imprison you, or to kill you, or to expel you (from Makkah); they were plotting and Allah too was plotting; and Allah is the best of plotters.”

Allah replied to the pagans’ statement that they should await the death of the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, just as the poets before him perished, as they claimed, “Or do they say: “He is a poet! We await for him some calamity by time!” (52:30) [Sirah Ibn Hisham 1:480-482. This story as narrated here is not authentic.]

As-Suddi narrated a similar story.

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Muhammad bin Jafar bin Az-Zubayr, from Urwah bin Az- Zubayr who commented on Allah’s statement, “…they were plotting and Allah too was plotting, and Allah is the best of plotters.”

“I (Allah) plotted against them with My sure planning, and I saved you (O Muhammad) from them.” (Sirah Ibn Hisham 2:325)

{31. And when Our Ayat are recited to them, they say: “We have heard (the Qur’an) if we wish we can say the like of this. This is nothing but the tales of the ancients.”

32. And (remember) when they said: “O Allah! If this (the Qur’an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.”

33. And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad ) are among them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) forgiveness.}

The Quraysh claimed They can produce Something similar to the Qur’an

Allah describes the disbelief, transgression, rebellion, as well as misguided statements that the pagans of Quraysh used to utter when they heard Allah’s Ayat being recited to them, “We have heard (the Qur’an) if we wish we can say the like of this.”

They boasted with their words, but not with their actions. They were challenged several times to bring even one chapter like the Qur’an, and they had no way to meet this challenge. They only boasted in order to deceive themselves and those who followed their falsehood. It was said that An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, may Allah curse him, was the one who said this, according to Said bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ibn Jurayj and others. An-Nadr visited Persia and learned the stories of some Persian kings, such as Rustum and Isphandiyar. When he went back to Makkah, He found that the Prophet was sent from Allah and reciting the Qur’an to the people. Whenever the Prophet would leave an audience in which An-Nadr was sitting, An-Nadr began narrating to them the stories that he learned in Persia, proclaiming afterwards, “Who, by Allah, has better tales to narrate, I or Muhammad” When Allah allowed the Muslims to capture An-Nadr in Badr, the Messenger of Allah commanded that his head be cut off before him, and that was done, all thanks are due to Allah. The meaning of, “…tales of the ancients” meaning that the Prophet has plagiarized and learned books of ancient people, and this is what he narrated to people, as they claimed. This is the pure falsehood that Allah mentioned in another Ayah, “And they say: “Tales of the ancients, which he has written down:, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.” Say: “It (this Qur’an) has been sent down by Him (Allah) Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (25:5-6) for those who repent and return to Him, He accepts repentance from them and forgives them.

The Idolators ask for Allah’s Judgment and Torment!

Allah said, “And (remember) when they said: “O Allah! If this (the Qur’an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.”

This is indicative of the pagans’ enormous ignorance, denial, stubbornness and transgression. They should have said, “O Allah! If this is the truth from You, then guide us to it and help us follow it.” However, they brought Allah’s judgment on themselves and asked for His punishment. Allah said in other Ayat, “And they ask you to hasten on the torment (for them), and had it not been for a term appointed, the torment would certainly have come to them. And surely, it will come upon them suddenly while they perceive not!” (29:53), “They say: “Our Lord! Hasten to us Qittana (our record of good and bad deeds so that we may see it) before the Day of Reckoning!” (38:16), and, “A questioner asked concerning a torment about to befall. Upon the disbelievers, which none can avert. From Allah, the Lord of the ways of ascent.” (70:1-3)

The ignorant ones in ancient times said similar things. The people of Shuayb said to him, “So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!” (26:187) while the pagans of Quraysh said, “O Allah! If this (the Qur’an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.”

Shubah said from Abdul-Hamid that Anas bin Malik said that it was Abu Jahl bin Hisham who uttered this statement, “O Allah! If this (the Qur’an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.”

So Allah revealed this Ayah, “And Allah would not punish them while you are among them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) forgiveness.”

Al-Bukhari recorded it. (Fath Al-Bari 8:160)

The Presence of the Prophet, and the Idolators’ asking For forgiveness, were the Shelters against receiving Allah’s immediate Torment

Allah said, “And Allah would not punish them while you are among them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) forgiveness.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “Pagans used to go around the House in Tawaf and proclaim, ‘We rush to Your obedience, O Allah, there is no partner with You,’ and the Prophet would tell them, “Enough, enough.” But they would go on, ‘We rush to Your obedience, O Allah, there is no partner with You except a partner who is with You, You own Him but he does not own! They also used to say, ‘O Allah, Your forgiveness, Your forgiveness.’ Allah revealed this verse; “And Allah would not punish them while you are among them…” Ibn Abbas commented, “They had two safety shelters: the Prophet , and their seeking forgiveness (from Allah). The Prophet went away, and only seeking forgiveness remained.” (At-Tabari 13:511) At- Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Musa said that the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

 “Allah sent down to me two safe shelters for the benefit of my Ummah”

”And Allah would not punish them while you are among them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) forgiveness.”

”When I die, I will leave the seeking of forgiveness with them, until the Day of Resurrection.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:472)

What testifies to this Hadith, is the Hadith that Ahmad recorded in his Musnad and Al-Hakim in hisMustadrak, that Abu Sa’id narrated that the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Shaytan said, ‘By Your might, O Lord! I will go on luring Your servants as long as their souls are still in their bodies.’ The Lord said, ‘By My might and majesty! I will keep forgiving them, as long as they keep invoking Me for forgiveness.” (Ahmad 3:29)

Al-Hakim, “Its chain is Sahih and they did not record it.” (Al-Hakim 4:261)

{34. And why should not Allah punish them while they hinder (men) from Al-Masjid Al-Haram, and they are not its guardians None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa, but most of them know not.

35. Their Salah at the House was nothing but Muka’ and Tasdiyah. Therefore taste the punishment because you used to disbelieve.}

The Idolators deserved Allah’s Torment after Their Atrocities

Allah states that the idolators deserved the torment, but He did not torment them in honor of the Prophet residing among them. After Allah allowed the Prophet to migrate away from them, He sent His torment upon them on the day of Badr. During that battle, the chief pagans were killed, or captured. Allah also directed them to seek forgiveness for the sins, Shirk and wickedness they indulged in. If it was not for the fact that there were some weak Muslims living among the Makkan pagans, those Muslims who invoked Allah for His forgiveness, Allah would have sent down to them the torment that could never be averted. Allah did not do that on account of the weak, ill-treated, and oppressed believers living among them, as He reiterated about the day at Al-Hudaybiyyah, ”They are the ones who disbelieved and hindered you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) and detained the sacrificial animals from reaching their place of sacrifice. Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills if they (the believers and the disbelievers) had been apart, We verily, would have punished those of them who disbelieved with painful torment.” (48:25)

Allah said here, “And why should not Allah punish them while they hinder (men) from Al-Masjid Al-Haram, and they are not its guardians None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa, but most of them know not.”

Allah asks, ‘Why would not He torment them while they are stopping Muslims from going to Al- Masjid Al-Haram, thus hindering the believers, its own people, from praying and performing Tawaf in it?’ Allah said, “And they are not its guardians None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa” meaning, the Prophet and his Companions are the true dwellers (or worthy maintainers) of Al- Masjid Al-Haram, not the pagans. Allah said in other Ayah, ”It is not for the polytheists, to maintain the Masjids of Allah, while they witness disbelief against themselves. The works of such are in vain and in the Fire shall they abide. The Masjids of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; perform the Salah, and give the Zakah and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on true guidance.” (9:17- 18), and, “But a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants,” (2:217).

Urwah, As-Suddi and Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Allah’s statement, “None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa” refers to Muhammad and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Muj ahid explained that this Ayah is about the Mujahidin [in Allah’s cause], whomever and wherever they may be.

Allah then mentioned the practice of the pagans next to Al-Masjid Al-Haram and the respect they observed in its vicinity, “Their Salah (prayer) at the House was nothing but Muka’ and Tasdiyah.” Abdullah bin Umar, Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr,  Abu Raja Al-Utardi, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Hujr bin Anbas, Nubayt bin Sharit, Qatadah and Abdur- Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that this part of the Ayah refers to whistling. (At-Tabari 13:522,526) Mujahid added that the pagans used to place their fingers in their mouth (while whistling). (At-Tabari 13:525) Said bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement, ”Their Salat at the House was nothing but Muka’ and Tasdiyah.”

“The Quraysh used to perform Tawaf (encircling the Kabah) while naked, whistling and clapping their hands, for ‘Muka’ means ‘whistling’, while, Tasdiyah means ‘clapping the hands.”’ This meaning was also reported from Ibn Abbas, by Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-Awfi. Similar was recorded from Ibn Umar, Mujahid Muhammad bin Kab, Abu Salamah bin Abdur- Rahman, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Atiyyah Al-Awfi, Hujr bin Anbas and Ibn Abza. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Umar explained the Ayah, “Their Salat at the House was nothing but Muka and Tasdiyah.” “Muka’ means ‘whistling’, while, ‘Tasdiyah’ means ‘clapping the hands.”’ Said bin Jubayr and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd said that, “and Tasdiyah”, means, they hindered from the path of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. (At-Tabari 13:527) Allah said, “Therefore taste the punishment because you used to disbelieve.”

This refers to the death and capture that they suffered during the battle of Badr, according to Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Jurayj and Muhammad bin Ishaq. (At-Tabari 13:528)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 4 Pages 288-308)

{36. Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell.

37. In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good, and put the wicked one over another, heap them together and cast them into Hell. Those! It is they who are the losers.}

 

The Disbelievers spend Their Wealth to hinder Others from Allah’s Path, but this will only cause Them Grief

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Az-Zuhri, Muhammad bin Yahya bin Hibban, Asim bin Umar bin Qatadah, and Al-Husayn bin Abdur-Rahman bin Amr bin Said bin Muadh said, “The Quraysh suffered defeat at Badr and their forces went back to Makkah, while Abu Sufyan went back with the caravan intact. This is when Abdullah bin Abi Rabiah, Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Safwan bin Umayyah and other men from Quraysh who lost their fathers, sons or brothers in Badr, went to Abu Sufyan bin Harb. They said to him, and to those among the Quraysh who had wealth in that caravan, ‘O people of Quraysh! Muhammad has grieved you and killed the chiefs among you. Therefore, help us with this wealth so that we can fight him, it may be that we will avenge our losses.’ They agreed.” Muhammad bin Ishaq said, “This Ayah was revealed about them, according to Ibn Abbas, ”Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth…” until, ”they who are the losers.” (At-Tabari 13:532) Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr, Al-Hakam bin Uyaynah, Qatadah, As- Suddi and Ibn Abza said that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Sufyan and his spending money in Uhud to fight the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. (At-Tabari 13:530-531) Ad-Dahhak said that this Ayah was revealed about the idolators of Badr. (At-Tabari 13:533) In any case, the Ayah is general, even though there was a specific incident that accompanied its revelation. Allah states here that the disbelievers spend their wealth to hinder from the path of truth. However, by doing that, their money will be spent and then will become a source of grief and anguish for them, availing them nothing in the least. They seek to extinguish the Light of Allah and make their word higher than the word of truth. However, Allah will complete His Light, even though the disbelievers hate it. He will give aid to His religion, make His Word dominant, and His religion will prevail above all religions. This is the disgrace that the disbelievers will taste in this life; and in the Hereafter, they will taste the torment of the Fire. Whoever among them lives long, will witness with his eyes and hear with his ears what causes grief to him. Those among them who are killed or die will be returned to eternal disgrace and the everlasting punishment. This is why Allah said, “And so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell.”

Allah said, “In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good”, meaning recognize the difference between the people of happiness and the people of misery, according to Ibn Abbas, as Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from him. (At-Tabari 13:534) Allah distinguishes between those believers who obey Him and fight His disbelieving enemies and those who disobey Him. Allah said in another Ayah, “Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghayb (Unseen).” (3:179), and, “Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah (tests) those of you who fought (in His cause) and (also) tests those who are the patient?” (3:142).

Therefore, the Ayah (8:37) means, ‘We tried you with combatant disbelievers whom We made able to spend money in fighting you,’ “in order that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good, and put the wicked one over another, heap them together” put in a pile on top of each other, “and cast them into Hell. Those! It is they who are the losers.” (8:37), in this life and the Hereafter.

{38. Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease, their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning).

39. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah, and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah alone. But if they cease, then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.

40. And if they turn away, then know that Allah is your protector – (what) an excellent protector and (what) an excellent helper!}

Encouraging the Disbelievers to seek Allah’s Forgiveness, warning Them against Disbelief

Allah commands His Prophet Muhammad , “Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease…” the disbelief, defiance and stubbornness they indulge in, and embrace Islam, obedience and repentance. “their past will be forgiven.” along with their sins and errors. It is recorded in the Sahih Al- Bukhari that Abu Wa’il said that Ibn Mas’ud said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“He who becomes good in his Islam, will not be punished for what he has committed during Jahiliyyah (before Islam). He who becomes bad in his Islam, will face a punishment for his previous and latter deeds.” (Fath Al-Bari 12:277)

It is also recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Islam erases what occurred before it, and repentance erases what occurs before it.” (Muslim:5121) 

Allah said, “But if they return,” and remain on their ways, “then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded.” (8:38) meaning, Our way with the nations of old is that when they disbelieve and rebel, We send down to them immediate torment and punishment.

The Order to fight to eradicate Shirk and Kufr

Allah said, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah, and the religion will all be for Allah alone.” Al-Bukhari recorded that a man came to Ibn Umar and said to him, “O Abu Abdur-Rahman! Why do you not implement what Allah said in His Book, “And if two parties (or groups) among the believers fall to fighting…” (49:9). What prevents you from fighting as Allah mentioned in His Book?” Ibn Umar said, “O my nephew! I prefer that I be reminded with this Ayah rather than fighting, for in the latter case, I will be reminded by the Ayah in which Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, said, “And whoever kills a believer intentionally…” (4:93) ” The man said, “Allah, the Exalted, said, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah…” Ibn Umar said, “We did that during the time of the Messenger of Allah, when Islam was weak and the man would be tried in religion, either tormented to death or being imprisoned. When Islam became stronger and widespread, there was no more Fitnah.” When the man realized that Ibn Umar would not agree to what he is saying, he asked him, “What do you say about Ali and Uthman?” Ibn Umar replied, “What do I say about Ali and Uthman! As for Uthman, Allah has forgiven him, but you hate that Allah forgives him. As for Ali, he is the cousin of the Messenger of Allah and his son-in-law,” (Fath Al-Bari 8:160) and he pointed with his hand saying, “And this is his house over there.” Sa’id bin Jubayr said, “Ibn Umar came to us and was asked, “What do you say about fighting during Fitnah?” Ibn Umar said, “Do you know what Fitnah refers to? Muhammad was fighting against the idolators, and at that time, attending (or residing with) the idolators was a Fitnah (trial in religion). It is nothing like what you are doing, fighting to gain leadership!” (Fath Al-Bari 8:160) All these narrations were collected by Al-Bukhari, may Allah the Exalted grant him His mercy.

Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah…” “So that there is no more Shirk.” (At-Tabari 13:538) Similar was said by Abu Al-Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Zayd bin Aslam. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that he was informed from Az-Zuhri, from Urwah bin Az-Zubayr and other scholars that “until there is no more Fitnah” the Fitnah mentioned here means, until no Muslim is persecuted so that he abandons his religion. (Ibn Abi Hatim 5:1701) Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said about Allah’s statement, ”and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah alone.” “So that Tawhid is practiced in sincerity with Allah.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 5:1701) Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj said, “and the religion will all be for Allah alone” “So that is proclaimed.” (At-Tabari 13:538-539) Muhammad bin Ishaq also commented on this Ayah, “So that Tawhid is practiced in sincerity towards Allah, without Shirk, all the while shunning all rivals who (are being worshipped) besides Him.” (Sirah Ibn Hisham 2:327)

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said about, “and the religion will all be for Allah alone” “So that there is no more Kufr (disbelief) with your religion remains.” (At-Tabari 13:538-539) There is a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs that testifies to this explanation. The Messenger of Allah. peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“I was commanded to fight against the people until they proclaim, ‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.’ If and when they say it, they will preserve their blood and wealth from me, except for its right (Islamic penal code), and their reckoning is with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honoured.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:95 and Muslim 1:53)

Also, in the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ashari said, “The Messenger of Allah was asked about a man who fights because he is courageous, in prejudice with his people, or to show off. Which of these is for the cause of Allah He said,

“Whoever fights so that Allah’s Word is the supreme, is in the cause of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honoured.” (Al-Bukhari nos: 123, 2810, 3126 and 7458)

Allah said next, “But if they cease”, and desist from their Kufr as a result of your fighting them, even though you do not know the true reasons why they did so, “then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” Allah said in similar Ayah, “But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give Zakah, then leave their way free.” (9:5), “…then they are your brethren in religion.” (9:11), and, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah and the religion (worship) is for Allah (alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against the wrongdoers.” (2:193)

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to Usamah bin Zayd when he overpowered a man with his sword, after that man proclaimed that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah;

“Have you killed him after he proclaimed, ‘La Ilaha Illallah’? What would you do with regard to ‘La Ilaha Illallah’ on the Day of Resurrection?”

Usamah said, “O Allah’s Messenger! He only said it to save himself.” The Messenger replied,

“What would you do with regard to ‘La Ilaha Illallah’ on the Day of Resurrection?”

until Usamah said, “I wished I had embraced Islam only that day.” (Muslim 1:86)

Allah said next, “Did you cut his heart open” The Messenger kept repeating, “And if they turn away, then know that Allah is your protector, an excellent protector, and an excellent helper!”

Allah says, if the disbelievers persist in defying and fighting you, then know that Allah is your protector, master and supporter against your enemies. Verily, what an excellent protector and what an excellent supporter.

{41. And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives (of the Messenger), the orphans, the poor, and the wayfarer, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Criterion, the Day when the two forces met; and Allah is able to do all things.}

Ruling on the Spoils of War (Ghanimah and Fai)

Allah explains the spoils of war in detail, as He has specifically allowed it for this honorable Ummah over all others. We should mention that the ‘Ghanimah’ refers to war spoils captured from the disbelievers, using armies and instruments of war. As for ‘Fai’, it refers to the property of the disbelievers that they forfeit in return for peace, what they leave behind when they die and have no one to inherit from them, and the Jizyah (tribute tax) and Khiraj (property tax). Allah said, “And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah” indicating that the one-fifth should be reserved and paid in full [to Muslim leaders] whether it was little or substantial, even a yarn and needle. “And whosoever deceives (his companions over the booty), he shall bring forth on the Day of Resurrection that which he took (illegally). Then every person shall be paid in full what he has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” (3:161)

Allah’s statement, “verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger,” was explained by Ibn Abbas, as Ad-Dahhak reported from him, “Whenever the Messenger of Allah sent an army, he used to divide the war booty they collected into five shares, reserving one-fifth and divided it into five shares.” Then he recited; “And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger”

Ibn Abbas said, “Allah’s statement, “verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah” is inclusive [of the Messenger’s share], just as the following Ayah is inclusive [of Allah owning whatever is on the earth also], “To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth” (2:284). (At-Tabari 13:549) So He addressed the share of Allah and the share of His Messenger in the same statement.

Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Al-Hanifiyyah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ash-Shabi, Ata’ bin Abi Rabah, Abdullah bin Buraydah, Qatadah, Mughirah and several others, all said that the share designated for Allah and the Messenger is one and the same.  (At-Tabari 13:548, 550) Supporting this is what Imam Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi recorded, with a Sahih chain of narrators, that Abdullah bin Shaqiq said that a man from Bilqin said, “I came to the Prophet when he was in Wadi Al-Qura inspecting a horse. I asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! What about the Ghanimah?’ He said,

“Allah’s share is one fifth and four-fifths are for the army.” 

I asked, ‘None of them has more right to it than anyone else?’ He said,

“No. Even if you remove an arrow that pierced your flank, you have no more right to it than your Muslim brother.” (As-Sunan Al-Kubra, by Al-Bayhaqi 6:324)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Madikarib Al-Kindi sat with Ubadah bin As-Samit, Abu Ad-Darda’ and Al-Harith bin Muawiyah Al-Kindi, may Allah be pleased with them, reminding each other of the statements of the Messenger of Allah. Abu Ad-Darda said to Ubadah, “O Ubadah! What about the words of the Messenger of Allah during such and such battle, about the fifth (of the war booty)” Ubadah said, “The Messenger of Allah led them in prayer, facing a camel from the war booty. When he finished the prayer, he stood up, held pelt of a camel between his fingers and said,

“This is also a part of the war booty you earned. Verily, I have no share in it, except my own share, the fifth designated to me. Even that fifth will be given to you (indicating the Prophet’s generosity”. Therefore, surrender even the needle and the thread, and whatever is bigger or smaller than that “from the war spoils”. Do not cheat with any of it, for stealing from the war booty before its distribution is Fire and a shame on its people in this life and the Hereafter. Perform Jihad against the people in Allah’s cause, whether they are near or far, and do not fear the blame of the blamers, as long as you are in Allah’s cause. Establish Allah’s rules while in your area and while traveling. Perform Jihad in Allah’s cause, for Jihad is a tremendous door leading to Paradise. Through it, Allah saves (one) from sadness and grief.” (Ahmad 5:316)

This is a tremendous Hadith, but I did not find it in any of the six collections of Hadith through this chain of narration. However, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i recorded a Hadith from Amr bin Shuayb, from his father, from his grandfather Abdullah bin Amr, from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and this narration is similar to the one above, (Ahmad 2:184 and Abu Dawud:2694) and a version from Amr bin Anbasah was recorded by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i. (Abu Dawud: 2755) The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to choose some types of the war booty for himself; a servant, a horse, or a sword, according to the reports from Muhammad bin Sirin, Amir Ash-Shabi and many scholars. For instance, Imam Ahmad and At- Tirmidhi – who graded it Hasan – recorded from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, chose a sword called ‘Dhul-Fiqar’ on the day of Badr. (Ahmad 1:271) A’ishah narrated that Safiyyah was among the captured women, and the Prophet chose [and married] her (upon his own choice and before distribution of war booty), as Abu Dawud narrated in the Sunan. (Abu Dawud 2994) As for the share of the Prophet’s relatives, it is paid to Bani Hashim and Bani Al-Muttalib, because the children of Al- Muttalib supported Bani Hashim in Jahiliyyah after Islam. They also went to the mountain pass of Abu Talib in support of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and to protect him (when the Quraysh boycotted Muslims for three years). Those who were Muslims (from Bani Al-Muttalib) did all this in obedience to Allah and His Messenger, while the disbelievers among them did so in support of their tribe and in obedience to Abu Talib, the Messenger’s uncle.

Allah said next, “the orphans”, in reference to Muslim orphans, “and the wayfarer”, the traveler and those who intend to travel for a distance during which shortening the prayer is legislated, but do not have resources to spend from. We will explain this subject in Surah Bara’h [9:60], Allah willing, and our reliance and trust is in Him alone.

Allah said, “If you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our servant” Allah says, ‘Adhere to what We legislated for you, such as the ruling about one-fifth of the war spoils, if you truly believe in Allah, the Last Day and what We have revealed to Our Messenger .’ In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said, – while narrating the lengthy Hadith about the delegation of Bani Abdul Qays – that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to them,

“I command you with four and forbid four from you. I command you to believe in Allah. Do you know what it means to believe in Allah? Testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, giving Zakah and honestly surrendering one-fifth of the war spoils.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:157)

Therefore, the Messenger listed surrendering one-fifth of the war booty as part of faith. This is why Al-Bukhari wrote a chapter in his Sahih entitled, “Chapter: Paying the Khumus (one-fifth) is Part of Faith.” He then narrated the above Hadith from Ibn Abbas. Allah said next, “on the Day of Criterion, the Day when the two forces met; and Allah is Able to do all things.” Allah is making His favors and compassion towards His creation known, when He distinguished between truth and falsehood in the battle of Badr. That day was called, ‘Al-Furqan’, because Allah raised the word of faith above the word of falsehood, He made His religion apparent and supported His Prophet and his group. Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Badr is YawmAl-Furqan; during it, Allah separated between truth and falsehood.” (At-Tabari 13:561) Al- Hakim collected this statement. Similar statements were reported from Mujahid, Miqsam, Ubaydullah bin Abdullah, Ad-Dahhak, Qat adah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and several others. (At-Tabari 13:561)

{42. (And remember) when you (the Muslim army) were on the near side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on the ground lower than you. Even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet, you would certainly have failed in the appointment, but (you met) that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained (in His knowledge), so that those who were to be destroyed (for rejecting the faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live (believers) might live after a clear evidence. And surely, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.}

 

Some Details of the Battle of Badr

Allah describes Yawm Al-Furqan, (i.e. the day of Badr), “(And remember) when you (the Muslim army) were on the near side of the valley” camping in the closest entrance of the valley towards Al-Madinah, “and they”, the idolators, who were camped, “on the farther side”, from Al-Madinah, towards Makkah. “and the caravan”, that was under the command of Abu Sufyan, with the wealth that it contained, “on the ground lower than you”, closer to the sea, “even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet” you and the idolators, “you would certainly have failed in the appointment”

Muhammad bin Ishaq said, “Yahya bin Abbad bin Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated to me from his father about this Ayah “Had there been an appointed meeting set between you and them and you came to know of their superior numbers and your few forces, you would not have met them, “but (you met) that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained” Allah had decreed that He would bring glory to Islam and its people, while disgracing Shirk and its people. You [the companions] had no knowledge this would happen, but it was out of Allah’s compassion that He did that.” (Ibn Hisham 2:328) In a Hadith, Kab bin Malik said, “The Messenger of Allah and the Muslims marched to intercept the Quraysh caravan, but Allah made them meet their (armed) enemy without appointment.” (At-Tabari 13:566) Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Yazid bin Ruwman narrated to him that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, “Upon approaching Badr, the Messenger of Allah sent Ali bin Abi Talib, Sad bin Abi Waqqas, Az-Zubayr bin Al-Awwam and several other Companions to spy the pagans. They captured two boys, a servant of Bani Said bin Al-As and a servant of Bani Al- Hajjaj, while they were bringing water for Quraysh. So they brought them to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, but found him praying. The Companions started interrogating the boys, asking them to whom they belonged. Both of them said that they were employees bringing water for Quraysh (army). The Companions were upset with that answer, since they thought that the boys belonged to Abu Sufyan (who was commanding the caravan). So they beat the two boys vehemently, who said finally that they belonged to Abu Sufyan. Thereupon companions left them alone. When the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ended the prayer, he said,

“When they tell you the truth you beat them, but when they lie you let them go! They have said the truth, by Allah! They belong to the Quraysh. (addressing to the boys He said: Tell me the news about Quraysh.”

The two boys said, ‘They are behind this hill that you see, on the far side of the valley.’ The Messenger of Allah asked, “How many are they?” They said, ‘They are many.’ He asked, “How many?” They said, ‘We do not know the precise number.’ He asked,

“How many camels do they slaughter every day?”

They said, ‘Nine or ten a day.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“They are between nine-hundred and a thousand.” He asked again,

“Which chiefs of Quraysh are accompanying the army?”

They said, Utbah bin Rabiah, Shaybah bin Rabiah, Abu Al-Bakhtari bin Hisham, Hakim bin Hizam, Nawfal bin Khuwaylid, Al-Harith bin Amir bin Nawfal, Tuaymah bin Adi bin Nawfal, An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, Zamah bin Al-Aswad, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Umaymah bin Khalaf, Nabih and Munabbih sons of Al-Hajjaj,  Suhayl bin Amr and Amr bin Abd Wadd.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to the people,

“This is Makkah! She has brought you her most precious sons (its chiefs)!)” (Ibn Hisham 2:268 although this version is not authentic, Muslim no.1779)

Allah said, “So that those who were to be destroyed might be destroyed after a clear evidence.” (8:42)

Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, “So that those who disbelieve do so after witnessing clear evidence, proof and lessons, and those who believe do so after witnessing the same.” (At-Tabari 13:568) This is a sound explanation. Allah says,He made you meet your enemy in one area without appointment, so that He gives you victory over them.’ This way, ‘He will raise the word of truth above falsehood, so that the matter is made clear, the proof unequivocal and the evidence plain. Then there will be no more plea or doubt for anyone. Then, those destined to destruction by persisting in disbelief do so with evidence, aware that they are misguided and that proof has been established against them, “and those who were to live might live”, those who wish to believe do so, “after a clear evidence”, and proof. Verily, faith is the life of the heart, as Allah said, “Is he who was dead (without faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and faith) and set for him a light (of belief) whereby he can walk among men …?” (6:122).

Allah said next, “And surely, Allah is All-Hearer”, of your invocation, humility and requests for His help, “All-Knower” meaning; about you, and you deserve victory over your rebellious, disbelieving enemies

 

{43. (And remember) when Allah showed them to you as few in your dream; if He had shown them to you as many, you would surely have been discouraged, and you would surely have disputed in making a decision. But Allah saved (you). Certainly, He is the All-Knower of that is in the breasts.

44. And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes and He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained, and to Allah return all matters (for decision).}

Allah made each Group look few in the Eye of the Other

Mujahid said, “In a dream, Allah showed the Prophet the enemy as few. The Prophet conveyed this news to his Companions and their resolve strengthened.” (At-Tabari 13:570) Similar was said by Ibn Ishaq and several others. (At-Tabari 13:570) Allah said, “If He had shown them to you as many, you would surely, have been discouraged” you would have cowardly abstained from meeting them and fell in dispute among yourselves, “But Allah saved”, from all this, when He made you see them as few, “Certainly, He is the All-Knower of that is in the breasts.” (8:43).

Allah knows what the heart and the inner-self conceal, “Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal” (40:19). Allah’s statement, “And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes” demonstrates Allah’s compassion towards the believers. Allah made them see few disbelievers in their eyes, so that they would be encouraged and feel eager to meet them. Abu Ishaq As-Subai said, that Abu Ubaydah said that Abdullah bin Masud said, “They were made to seem few in our eyes during Badr, so that I said to a man who was next to me, ‘Do you think they are seventy?’ He said, ‘Rather, they are a hundred.’ However, when we captured one of them, we asked him and he said, ‘We were a thousand.”’ (At-Tabari 13:572) Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded it.

Allah said next, “And (remember) when you met. He showed them to you…”, He encouraged each of the two groups against the other, according to Ikrimah, as recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. (Ibn Abi Hatim 5:1710) This statement has a Sahih chain of narrat ors. Muhammad bin Ishaq said t hat Yahya bin Abbad bin Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated to him that his father said about Allah’s statement, “so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained” “In order for the war to start between them, so that He would have revenge against those whom He decided to have revenge (pagans), and grant and complete His favor upon those He decided to grant favor to, His supporters.” (Ibn Hisham 2:328) The meaning of this, is that Allah encouraged each group against the other and made them look few in each other’s eyes, so that they were eager to meet them. This occurred before the battle started, but when it started and Allah supported the believers with a thousand angels in succession, the disbelieving group saw the believers double their number. Allah said, “There has already been a sign for you (O Jews) in the two armies that met (in combat, the battle of Badr). One was fighting in the cause of Allah, and as for the other, (they) were disbelievers. They (disbelievers) saw them (believers) with their own eyes twice their number. And Allah supports with His aid whom He wills. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand.” (3:13)

This is how we combine these two Ayat, and certainly, each one of them is true, all the thanks are due to Allah and all the favors are from Him.

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