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The Holy Quran, tr. by Yusuf Ali, [1934], at

p. 415

Sūra VIII.

Anfāl, or the Spoils of War.

In the name of God, Most Gracious,
Most Merciful.

1. They ask thee concerning
(Things taken as) spoils of war.
Say: "(Such) spoils are
At the disposal of God
And the Apostle: so fear
God, and keep straight
The relations between yourselves:
Obey God and His Apostle,
If ye do believe."

2. For, Believers are those
Who, when God is mentioned,
Feel a tremor in their hearts,
And when they hear
His Signs rehearsed, find
Their faith strengthened,
And put (all) their trust
In their Lord;

3. Who establish regular prayers
And spend (freely) out of
The gifts We have given
Them for sustenance:

4. Such in truth are the Believers:
They have grades of dignity
With their Lord, and forgiveness,
And generous sustenance:

p. 416

5. Just as thy Lord ordered thee
Out of thy house in truth,
Even though a party among
The Believers disliked it,

6. Disputing with thee concerning
The truth after it was made
Manifest, as if they were
Being driven to death
And they (actually) saw it.

7. Behold! God promised you
One of the two (enemy) parties,
That it should be yours:
Ye wished that the one
Unarmed should be yours,
But God willed
To justify the Truth
According to His words,
And to cut off the roots
Of the Unbelievers;—

8. That He might justify Truth
And prove Falsehood false,
Distasteful though it be
To those in guilt.

p. 417

9. Remember ye implored
The assistance of your Lord,
And He answered you:
"I will assist you
With a thousand of the angels,
Ranks on ranks."

10. God made it but a message
Of hope, and an assurance
To your hearts: (in any case)
There is no help.
Except from God:
And God is Exalted in Power,


11. Remember He covered you
With a sort of drowsiness,
To give you calm as from
Himself, and he caused
Rain to descend on you
From heaven, to clean you
Therewith, to remove from you
The stain of Satan,
To strengthen your hearts,
And to plant your feet
Firmly therewith.

12. Remember thy Lord inspired
The angels (with the message):
"I am with you: give
Firmness to the Believers:

p. 418

I will instil terror
Into the hearts of the Unbelievers:
Smite ye above their necks
And smite all their
Finger-tips off them.

13. This because they contended
Against God and His Apostle:
If any contend against God
And His Apostle, God
Is strict in punishment.

14. Thus (will it be said): "Taste ye
Then of the (punishment):
For those who resist God,
Is the penalty of the Fire."

15. O ye who believe!
When ye meet
The Unbelievers
In hostile array,
Never turn your backs
To them.

16. If any do turn his back
To them on such a day—
Unless it be in a stratagem
Of war, or to retreat
To a troop (of his own)—
He draws on himself
The wrath of God,
And his abode is Hell,—
An evil refuge (indeed)!

17. It is not ye who
Slew them; it was God:

p. 419

When thou threwest (a handful
Of dust), it was not
Thy act, but God's:
In order that He might
Test the Believers
By a gracious trial
From Himself: for God
Is He Who heareth
And knoweth (all things).

18. That, and also because
God is He Who makes feeble
The plans and stratagems
Of the Unbelievers.

19. (O Unbelievers!) if ye prayed
For victory and judgment,
Now hath the judgment
Come to you: if ye desist
(From wrong), it will be
Best for you: if ye return
(To the attack), so shall We.
Not the least good
Will your forces be to you
Even if they were multiplied:
For verily God
Is with those who believe!

p. 420


20. O ye who believe!
Obey God and His Apostle,
And turn not away from him
When ye hear (him speak).

21. Nor be like those who say,
"We hear," but listen not:

22. For the worst of beasts
In the sight of God
Are the deaf and the dumb,—
Those who understand not.

23. If God had found in them
Any good, He would indeed
Have made them listen:
(As it is), if He had made them
Listen, they would but have
Turned back and declined (faith).

24. O ye who believe!
Give your response to God
And His Apostle, when He
Calleth you to that which
Will give you life;
And know that God
Cometh in between a man
And his heart, and that
It is He to Whom
Ye shall (all) be gathered.

p. 421

25. And fear tumult or oppression,
Which affecteth not in particular
(Only) those of you who do wrong:
And know that God
Is strict in punishment.

26. Call to mind when ye
Were a small (band),
Despised through the land,
And afraid that men might
Despoil and kidnap you;
But He provided a safe asylum
For you, strengthened you
With His aid, and gave you
Good things for sustenance:
That ye might be grateful.

27. O ye that believe!
Betray not the trust
Of God and the Apostle,
Nor misappropriate knowingly
Things entrusted to you.

28. And know ye
That your possessions

p. 422

And your progeny
Are but a trial;
And that it is God
With whom lies
Your highest reward.


29. O ye who believe!
If ye fear God,
He will grant you a Criterion
(To judge between right and wrong),
Remove from you (all) evil
(That may afflict) you,
And forgive you:
For God is the Lord
Of grace unbounded.

30. Remember how the Unbelievers
Plotted against thee, to keep
Thee in bonds, or slay thee,
Or get thee out (of thy home).
They plot and plan,
And God too plans,
But the best of planners
Is God.

31. When Our Signs are rehearsed
To them, they say: "We
Have heard this (before):
If we wished, we could
Say (words) like these:
These are nothing
But tales of the ancients."

p. 423

32. Remember how they said:
"O God! if this is indeed
The Truth from Thee,
Rain down on as a shower
Of stones from the sky,
Or send us a grievous Penalty.

33. But God was not going
To send them a Penalty
Whilst thou wast amongst them;
Nor was He going to send it
Whilst they could ask for pardon

34. But what plea have they
That God should not punish
Them, when they keep out
(Men) from the Sacred Mosque—
And they are not its guardians?
No men can be its guardians
Except the righteous; but most
Of them do not understand.

35. Their prayer at the House
(Of God) is nothing but
Whistling and clapping of hands:
(Its only answer can be),
"Taste ye the Penalty
Because ye blasphemed."

36. The Unbelievers spend their wealth
To hinder (men) from the path
Of God, and so will they
Continue to spend; but
In the end they will have
(Only) regrets and sighs;

p. 424

At length they will be overcome:
And the Unbelievers will be
Gathered together to Hell;—

37. In order that God may separate
The impure from the pure,
Put the impure, one on another,
Heap them together, and cast them
Into Hell. They will be
The ones to have lost.


38. Say to the Unbelievers,
If (now) they desist (from Unbelief),
Their past would be forgiven them;
But if they persist, the punishment
Of those before them is already
(A matter of warning for them).

39. And fight them on
Until there is no more
Tumult or oppression,
And there prevail
Justice and faith in God
Altogether and everywhere;
But if they cease, verily God
Doth see all that they do.

40. If they refuse, be sure
That God is your Protector—
The Best to protect
And the Best to help.

p. 425

41. And know that out of
All the booty that ye
May acquire (in war),
A fifth share is assigned
To God,—and to the Apostle,
And to near relatives,
Orphans, the needy,
And the wayfarer,
If ye do believe in God
And in the revelation
We sent down to Our Servant
On the Day of Testing,—
The Day of the meeting
Of the two forces.
For God hath power
Over all things.

42. Remember ye were
On the hither side
Of the valley, and they
On the farther side,
And the caravan
On lower ground than ye.
Even if ye had made
A mutual appointment
To meet, ye would certainly:
Have failed in the appointment:

p. 426

But (thus ye met),
That God might accomplish
A matter already enacted;
That those who died might
Die after a clear Sign
(Had been given), and those who lived
Might live after a Clear Sign
(Had been given). And verily
God is He who heareth
And knoweth (all things).

43. Remember in thy dream
God showed them to thee
As few: if He had shown
Them to thee as many,
Ye would surely have been
Discouraged, and ye would
Surely have disputed
In (your) decision: but God
Saved (you): for He knoweth
Well the (secrets) of (all) hearts.

44. And remember when ye met,
He showed them to you
As few in your eyes,
And He made you appear
As contemptible in their eyes:
That God might accomplish
A matter already enacted.
For to God do all questions
Go back (for decision).


45. O ye who believe!
When ye meet a force,
Be firm, and call God
In remembrance much (and often);
That ye may prosper:

46. And obey God and His Apostle;
And fall into no disputes,

p. 427

Lest ye lose heart
And your power depart;
And be patient and persevering:
For God is with those
Who patiently persevere:

47. And be not like those
Who started from their homes
Insolently and to be seen of men,
And to hinder (men)
From the path of God:
For God compasseth round about
All that they do.

48. Remember Satan made
Their (sinful) acts seem
Alluring to them, and said:
"No one among men
Can overcome you this day,
While I am near to you":
But when the two forces
Came in sight of each other,
He turned on his heels,
And said: "Lo! I am clear
Of you; to! I see
What ye see not;
Lo! I fear God; for God
Is strict in punishment.


49. Lo! the Hypocrites say, and those
In whose hearts is a disease:
"These people,—their religion
Has misled them." But
If any trust in God, behold!
God is Exalted in might, Wise.

p. 428

50. If thou couldst see,
When the angels take the souls
Of the Unbelievers (at death),
(How) they smite their faces
And their backs, (saying):
"Taste the Penalty of the blazing Fire—

51. "Because of (the deeds) which
Your (own) hands sent forth:
For God is never unjust
To His servants:

52. "(Deeds) after the manner
Of the People of Pharaoh
And of those before them:
They rejected the Signs of God,
And God punished them
For their crimes: for God
Is Strong, and Strict in punishment:

53. "Because God will never change
The Grace which He hath bestowed
On a people until they change
What is in their (own) souls:
And verily God is He
Who heareth and knoweth (all things)."

54. "(Deeds) after the manner
Of the People of Pharaoh
And those before them":
They treated as false the Signs
Of their Lord: so We

p. 429

Destroyed them for their crimes,
And We drowned the People
Of Pharaoh: for they were all
Oppressors and wrong-doers.

55. For the worst of beasts
In the sight of God
Are those who reject Him:
They will not believe.

56. They are those with whom
Thou didst make a covenant,
But they break their covenant
Every time, and they have not
The fear (of God).

57. If ye gain the mastery
Over them in war,
Disperse, with them, those
Who follow them,
That they may remember.

58. If thou fearest treachery
From any group, throw back
(Their Covenant) to them, (so as
To be) on equal terms:
For God loveth not the treacherous.


59. Let not the Unbelievers
Think that they can
Get the better (of the godly):
They will never frustrate (them).

p. 430

60. Against them make ready
Your strength to the utmost
Of your power, including
Steeds of war, to strike terror
Into (the hearts of) the enemies,
Of God and your enemies,
And others besides, whom
Ye may not know, but whom
God doth know. Whatever
Ye shall spend in the Cause
Of God, shall be repaid
Unto you, and ye shall not
Be treated unjustly.

61. But if the enemy
Incline towards peace,
Do thou (also) incline
Towards peace, and trust
In God: for He is the One
That heareth and knoweth
(All things).

62. Should they intend
To deceive thee,—verily God
Sufficeth thee: He it is
That hath strengthened thee
With his aid and
With (the company of)
The Believers;

63. And (moreover) He hath put
Affection between their hearts:

p. 431

Not if thou hadst spent
All that is in the earth,
Couldst thou have produced
That affection, but God
Hath done it: for He
Is Exalted in might, Wise.

64. O Apostle! Sufficient
Unto thee is God,—
(Unto thee) and unto those
Who follow thee
Among the Believers.


65. O Apostle! rouse the Believers
To the fight. If there are
Twenty amongst you, patient
And persevering, they will
Vanquish two hundred: if a hundred,
They will vanquish a thousand
Of the Unbelievers: for these
Are a people without understanding.

p. 432

66. For the present, God
Hath lightened your (task),
For He knoweth that there is
A weak spot in you:
But (even so), if there are
A hundred of you, patient
And persevering, they will
Vanquish two hundred, and if
A thousand, they will vanquish
Two thousand, with the leave
Of God: for God is with those
Who patiently persevere.

67. It is not fitting
For an Apostle
That he should have
Prisoners of war until
He hath thoroughly subdued
The land. Ye look
For the temporal goods
Of this world; but God
Looketh to the Hereafter:
And God is Exalted in might, Wise.

68. Had it not been for
A previous ordainment

p. 433

From God, a severe penalty
Would have reached you
For the (ransom) that ye took.

69. But (now) enjoy what ye took
In war, lawful and good:
But fear God: for God
Is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.


70, O Apostle! say to those
Who are captives in your hands:
"If God findeth any good
In your hearts, He will
Give you something better
Than what has been taken
From you, and He will
Forgive you: for God
Is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."

71. But if they have
Treacherous designs against thee,
(O Apostle!), they have already
Been in treason against God,
And so hath He given
(Thee) power over them.
And God is He who hath
(Full) knowledge and wisdom.

72. Those who believed,
And adopted exile,

p. 434

And fought for the Faith,
With their property
And their persons,
In the cause of God,
As well as those
Who gave (them) asylum
And aid,—these are (all)
Friends and protectors,
One of another.
As to those who believed
But came not into exile,
Ye owe no duty
Of protection to them
Until they come into exile;
But if they seek
Your aid in religion,
It is your duty
To help them,
Except against a people
With whom ye have
A treaty of mutual alliance.
And (remember) God
Seeth all that ye do.

73. The Unbelievers are
Protectors, one of another:
Unless ye do this,
(Protect each other),
There would be
Tumult and oppression
On earth, and great mischief.

p. 435

74. Those who believe,
And adopt exile,
And tight for the Faith,
In the cause of God,
As well as those
Who give (them) asylum
And aid,—these are (all)
In very truth the Believers:
For them is the forgiveness
Of sins and a provision
Most generous.

75. And those who
Accept Faith subsequently,
And adopt exile,
And fight for the Faith
In your company,
They are of you.
But kindred by blood
Have prior rights
Against each other
In the Book of God.
Verily God is well-acquainted
With all things.

Next: Sūra IX. Tauba (Repentance) or Barāat (Immunity)