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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Surat Al-Anfal = The Spoils 8 – Medinian – Ayats 75 Section Four – Ayats 59-75

And let not the Unbelievers think that they can outstrip (the believers) and escape from the punishment, and get the better of the goodly. Verily, they will never frustrate and cause failure (to God), or escape (the God’s punishment). (59)

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَبَقُوا إِنَّهُمْ لَا يُعْجِزُونَ (59)

And prepare and make ready –against them- your strength to the utmost of your power; including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts) of the enemies of God, and your enemies; and others besides them, whom you may not know, but God whom God do know. And whatever you shall spend in the Cause of God, shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly. (60)  

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآَخَرِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ (60)

But if the enemy incline towards peace, you do (also) incline towards peace, and (put your) trust in God. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (61)

وَإِنْ جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ (61)

And if they intend to deceive you; verily, God suffices, and He is All-Sufficient for you. He it is that has strengthened and supported you with His aid and help; and with (the company of) the Believers. (62)   

وَإِنْ يُرِيدُوا أَنْ يَخْدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللَّهُ هُوَ الَّذِي أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ (62)

And (moreover) He has put affection between them and united their hearts: if you had spent all that in the earth, you could not have- produced that affection- and united their hearts; but God has united them. Certainly He is Exalted-All-Mighty, All-Wise. (63)

وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنْفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ (63)

O’ Apostle[Muhammad PPBUH]! Sufficient for you is God; and for those who follow you among the Believers. (64) 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَسْبُكَ اللَّهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (64)

O’ Apostle [Muhammad PPBUH]! Urge and rouse the Believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast amongst you –patient and persevering- they will vanquish two hundred; and if there a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers, for these (Unbelievers) are people without understanding. (65) 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ إِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ وَإِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ مِئَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ (65)

Now –for the present- God has lightened your (task), for He Knows that there is a weak spot in you. But (even so), if there are a hundred of you steadfast, patient and preserving, they will vanquish two hundred, and if they are a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand with the leave of God: for God is with those who patiently persevere.  (66)

الْآَنَ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَنْكُمْ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ ضَعْفًا فَإِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ مِئَةٌ صَابِرَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ وَإِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أَلْفٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفَيْنِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ (66)

It is not fitting for an Apostle that he should have prisoners of war, until he has thoroughly subdued the land. You look for the temporal goods of this world; but God looks for the Hereafter. And God is Exalted-All-Mighty, All-Wise. (67) 

مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الْآَخِرَةَ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ (67)

Had it not been for a previous ordainment from God, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that you took. (68)

لَوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (68)

So (now) enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good; but be pious and fear God. Certainly, God Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. (69)

فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (69)

O’ Apostle [Muhammad PPBUH]! Say to those who are captives in your hands:”If God finds any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. (70)

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِمَنْ فِي أَيْدِيكُمْ مِنَ الْأَسْرَى إِنْ يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ خَيْرًا يُؤْتِكُمْ خَيْرًا مِمَّا أُخِذَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (70)

But if they intend to betray you –have treacherous designs against you- [O’ Muhammad PPBUH], they already have been in treason against God, and so He has given –you- power over them. And God is All-Knower, All-Wise. (71)

وَإِنْ يُرِيدُوا خِيَانَتَكَ فَقَدْ خَانُوا اللَّهَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَأَمْكَنَ مِنْهُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (71)

Verily, those who believed, and adopted exile/ migrated, strove hard and fought for the Faith, with their property and their lives in the Cause of God, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid;- these are (all friend and protectors) allies to one another. But as to those who believed but did not came into exile/emigrated (to you O’ Muhammad PPBUH); you owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile/ emigrate; but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against people with whom you a treaty of mutual alliance. And (remember) God is the All-Seer to all that you Do. (72) 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آَوَوْا وَنَصَرُوا أُولَئِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَلَمْ يُهَاجِرُوا مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ وَلَايَتِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُوا وَإِنِ اسْتَنْصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ إِلَّا عَلَى قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ (72)

And the Unbelievers are allies and protectors of one another. And you (Muslims) unless you do this (protect each other) there would be tumult and oppression, and great mischief. (73)

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ (73)

And those who believed and adopt exile/emigrate and fought for the Faith in the Cause of God, as well as those who give (them) asylum and aid,- these are (all) in very truth are the Believers: for them is forgiveness of sins, and a provision most generous. (74) 

وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آَوَوْا وَنَصَرُوا أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ (74)

And those who accepted Faith and believed subsequently , and adopt exile/emigrate, and strove hard and fought for the Faith –in your company- they are of you. But kindred by blood have prior rights and nearer to one another (regarding inheritance) in decree ordained by God. Verily, God is All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things. (75)   

وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا مَعَكُمْ فَأُولَئِكَ مِنْكُمْ وَأُولُو الْأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَى بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ (75)

(Verses 59-60)- A/The immediate occasion of this injunction was the weakness of cavalry and appointments of war in the early fight of Islam. But the general meaning follows. In every fight, physical, moral, or spiritual, arm yourself with the best weapons and the best arms against your enemy, so as to instill wholesome respect into him for you and the Cause you stand for. B/There are always lurking enemies whom you may not know, but whom God knows. It is your duty to be ready against all, for the sacred Cause under whose banner you are fighting. C/Be always ready, and put all your resources into your Cause. You do not do so in vain. God’s reward will come in various forms. He Knows all, and His reward will always be more generous than you can possibly deserve.
(Verse 61)- While we must always be ready for the good fight lest it be forced on us, even in the midst of the fight we must always be ready for peace if there is any inclination towards peace on the other side. There is no merit merely in a fight by itself. It should be a joyful duty not for itself, but to establish the reign of peace and righteousness and God’s Law. 
(Verse 62)- In working for peace there may be certain risk of treachery on the other side. We must take that risk; because the man of God has God’s aid to count upon and the strength of all united body of the righteous.
(Verse 63)- On the immediate occasion, the greatest miracle and most wonderful working of God’s grace was the union of hearts produced among the jarring –war-like- excitable elements of Arabia under the gentle, firm, and wise guidance Muhammad Al-Mustapha [PPBUH], the Apostle of God. At all times we must pray to God for this gift above all,- union, understanding, and pure and sincere affection among those who take God’s name. with it there is strength and success. Without it there is humiliation, slavery, and moral degradation. There may be many causes of differences and dispute. The reconciliation can only come from the glory and wisdom of God.
(Verse 64)- The Believers: mere lip-profession of belief, or even the kind of belief that does not result in action, is enough. To those whose belief is so sincere that it results in complete trust in God and in fearless action in His service, the consequences on this earth do not matter. God’s good pleasure is enough for them.
(Illustration: verses 65-75: No man of heart, spirit, or constancy can ever be cowed down by odds against him. We fight not for spoils or for captives, but for the glory of God, and for truth and faith. We must be kind to all, but specially regard the needs of our comrades, linked to us by ties of duty and affection. Our highest reward will be forgiveness and grace from the Giver of all).  
(Verse 65)- In a fight, odds of ten to one against any one are appalling. But they do not daunt the men of faith. Whether they personally win or die, their Cause prevails. They are sure to win, because: (1) they have divine aid, and (2) even humanly speaking; those who take up arms against truth and righteousness are fools, and their seeming power is but a broken reed.
(Verse 66)- Given equal conditions, Muslims on account of their faith could win against odds of ten to one. But where their organization and equipment are weak –as the case about the time of Badr- they were set a lighter task, and asked to tackle no more than odds of two to one against them. As a matter of fact at Badr they won through against odds of more than three to one.
(Verse 67)- An ordinary war may be for territory or trade, revenge or military glory;- all are “Temporal goods of this world”. Such a war is condemned. But a Jihad {fight a war against the infidel} is fought under strict conditions under a righteous Imam, purely for the defense of faith and God’s Law. All baser motives –therefore- are strictly excluded. The greed of gain in the shape of ransom from captives has no place in such warfare. At the same time, if there has been heavy loss of life already, captives may be taken, and it would be for the Imam to exercise his discretion as to the time when it was safe to release them, and whether the release should be for free or on parole or on fine by way of punishment. Destruction and slaughter –however repugnant to a gentle soul like that of Muhammad [PPBUH]- were inevitable where evil tried to suppress the good. Even Jesus –whose Mission was more limited- had to say: ”Don’t think that I have come to bring peace to earth. I did not come to bring peace. I came to bring a sword. Matt. X-34). Seventy captives were taken at Badr, and it was decided to take a ransom for them. While the general principle of fighting for the purpose of taking captives in order to get their ransom is condemned, the particular action in this case was approved in verse 71.
(Verse 68)- Though any motive of worldly gain, which may have been in the minds of some among the victorious Muslim army, is condemned as worthy of severe penalty, what actually happened is ascribed to the Plan of God, which was pre-ordained. Among the prisoners taken were the Prophet’s [PPBUH] uncle Al-‘Abbas, and Ali’s Brother ‘Aqil, who afterwards became Muslims. Al-‘Abbas was an ancestor of the founder of the celebrated Al-‘Abbasy Dynasty which played such a notable part in Islamic history. In his case the promise made in verse 70 was amply fulfilled. In the case of all prisoners –if there was any good in their hearts- their very fight against Islam and their capture led to their being blessed with Islam. Thus does God’s Plan work in marvelous way, and evolve good out of seeming evil.
(Verse 69)- Enjoy: literally- eat. See Surat Al-A’raf 7 verse 19, and Surat Al-Maida 5 verse 69.
(Verse 70)- This is a consolation to the prisoners of war. In spite of their previous hostility, God will forgive them in His Mercy if there was any good in their hearts, and confer upon them a far higher gift than anything have ever lost. This gift in its highest sense would be the blessing of Islam, but even in a material sense, there was great good fortune awaiting them, e.g. in the case of Al-‘Abbas. Note how comprehensive is God’s care. He encourages and strengthens the Muslims, at the same time condemning any baser motives that may have entered their minds. He consoles the prisoners of war and promises them better things if there is any good in them at all. And He offers comfort to those who have left their homes in His Cause, and knits them into closer fellowship with those who have helped them and sympathized with them.
(Verse 71)- If the kindness shown to them is abused by the prisoners of war when they are released, it is not a matter for discouragement to those who showed the kindness. Such persons have in their treachery shown already their treason to God, in that they took up arms against God’s Apostle [PPBUH], and sought to blot out the pure worship of God. The punishment of defeat –which opened the eyes of some of their comrades- evidently did not open their eyes. but God knows all, and in His wisdom will order all things for the best. The Believers have done their duty in showing such clemency as they could in the circumstances of war. For them: “God is Sufficient” v 62. 
(Verse 72)- A/The reference is to the Muhajirin=adopted exile/Emigrants and the Ansar=Helpers, the Emigrants and the Helpers, the people who forsook their homes and adopted voluntary exile from Mecca in company with their beloved Leader, and their good friends in Al-Medina, who gave them asylum and every kind of assistance, moral and material. Under the magnetic personality of the Holy Apostle [PPBUH] there are two groups became like blood brothers, and they were so treated in matters of inheritance during the period when they were cut off from their kith and kin. B/The Believers (Muslims) were entitled to all assistance in matters of religion. But if they were not strong enough to suffer voluntary exile on behalf of the Cause and make the personal sacrifices which their more ardent brethren in faith made, they could not reasonably ask for political or military assistance or protection. C/If a community suffers voluntary exile on account of persecution and oppression, and some of its weaker brethren stay behind, holding fast to faith but not prepared for the higher sacrifices, the exiles have still a duty to help their weaker brethren in matters of religion. The exiles –being at open war against the State which oppressed them- would be free to fight against such State. But if the weaker  brethren are in a State in mutual alliance with the Community, the Community cannot in honor interfere with that State, whether it is Muslim or not. Presumably the alliance implies that the grievances of the weaker brethren will be redressed by the State itself. But it is not honorable to embarrass your own ally.
(Verse 73)- Evil consorts with evil. The good have all the more reason for drawing together and not only living in mutual harmony, but being ready at all times to protect each other. Otherwise the world will be given over to aggressions by unscrupulous people, and the good will fail in their duty to establish God’s Peace and to strengthen all the forces of truth and righteousness.
(Verse 74)- Believers who make al sacrifices in the Cause of God have given the best possible proof of their Faith by their actions. They have loved God much, and much will be forgiven for them. What they sacrificed was –perhaps- judged by universal standards, of small value, but its value will be estimated by the precious love behind it, and its reward will be of no ordinary kind. It will not be  a reward in the ordinary sense at all, for a reward is given once for all. It will be a provision which lasts forever, and is on the most generous scale.
(Verse 75)- A/Those who come into the fold last are none the less brethren in the fullest acceptation of the term. But any special provisions made in the special circumstances of the first martyrs for the Cause will not –of course- apply to them as the special circumstances which made them necessary have ceased to exist. B/The Book of God: the Universal Plan, the Eternal Decree, the Preserved Tablet (Surat Al-Buruj-Zodiacal Signs 85- verse 22). Blood-relationship and its rights and duties do not depend on special circumstances of temporary nature. Any temporary rights of mutual inheritance established between the early Emigrants and Helpers would not apply to later recruits, who would come under entirely different circumstances.