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Sura 8
Aya 1

Chapter 8

The Spoilsal-Anfāl ( الأنفال )

75 verses • revealed at Medinan

»The surah that answers the question that the believers put to the Prophet regarding how God and His Messenger would have them distribute The spoils, after the believers had differed among themselves about its disbursement. It takes its name from the term “spoils” (al-anfāl) mentioned in verse 1. The main part of this surah is a comment on the Battle of Badr (year 2/624), the first fought between the Muslims and their Meccan opponents. The Muslims, some of whom were at first reluctant to fight, won in spite of being vastly outnumbered, and began to question the distribution of the gains (spoils of war). The surah reminds them that it was God who brought about the victory. verse 41 shows how the gains were to be distributed. It advises Muslims and comments on the role of the hypocrites and on those who always break their treaties (verse 56), ending with a statement about loyalties and alliances.«

The surah is also known as: Battle Gains, Booty, The Spoils of War.

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Yusuf Ali: In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1
يَسأَلونَكَ عَنِ الأَنفالِ ۖ قُلِ الأَنفالُ لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسولِ ۖ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَصلِحوا ذاتَ بَينِكُم ۖ وَأَطيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسولَهُ إِن كُنتُم مُؤمِنينَ

Yusuf Ali

They ask thee1 concerning (things taken as) spoils of war. Say: “(such) spoils are at the disposal of God2 and the Messenger. So fear God, and keep straight the relations between yourselves: Obey God and His Messenger, if ye do believe.”
  • The occasion was the question of the division of the booty after the battle of Badr. See Introduction to this Sūra.
  • Booty taken in a lawful and just war does not belong to any individual. If he fought for such accessory rewards, he fought from wrong motives. It belongs to the Cause, in this case the Cause of God, as administered by His Messenger. Any portion given out to individuals are accessory gifts, windfalls from the bounty of the Commander. The chief thing is to remain staunch to the Cause of God, and have no differences among those who stand for the Cause. Our internal relations must be kept straight: they must not be disturbed by cupidity or worldly considerations of gain, for any windfalls of this kind should be outside our calculations.