Surah 8. Al-Anfal (Spoils Of War, Booty)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. They ask thee concerning (things taken as) spoils of war. Say: “(such) spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the Messenger. So fear Allah, and keep straight the relations between yourselves: Obey Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe.”
2. For, Believers are those who, when Allah 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: 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! Allah promised you one of the two (enemy) parties, that it should be yours: Ye wished that the one unarmed should be yours, but Allah 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.
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. Allah made it but a message of hope, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from Allah. and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
Umar ibn al-Khattab said: On the day of Badr, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) looked at the Mushrikun, who were one thousand strong, and his companions numbered three hundred and nineteen. Then the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) turned to face the Qiblah, then he stretched forth his hands and started to cry out to his Lord: “O Allah, grant me what You have promised me, O Allah, give me what You have promised me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims perishes, You will not be worshipped on earth.” He kept on crying out to his Lord, stretching forth his hands, facing towards the Qiblah, until his cloak fell from his shoulders. [Muslim]
This sūrah, al-Anfāl, or The Spoils of War, was revealed after Sūrah 2, The Cow, shortly after the Battle of Badr which took place in Ramađān, in the second year of the Islamic calendar, approximately 19 months after the Prophet’s migration to Madinah.
This sūrah takes up the Battle of Badr as its subject matter. This battle, its circumstances, results and effects on human history constitute a major landmark in the progress of the Islamic movement.
1. Have true conviction (Yakin) in the Help of Allah
Before arrival to the battle, Allah sent down the rain to soften the ground over which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his army traveled, making them and the animals more sure-footed, whilst the Meccans had parts of their trail washed away and in mud making it difficult for them. Remember that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) always opens a pathway for success when we place our full conviction and have firm faith in Him (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la).
2. Reliance (Tawakkul) in Allah: Make No Excuses
This battle is where the early Muslims learned the lesson of the power of total reliance on Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). And it is the place where Allah guides the new Muslim community – teaching them the way of reliance on Him. Allah sent the angels from the unseen world to give firmness to the believers and fulfill His Command. This was a fulfillment of Allah’s promise to send tranquility upon those who have firm faith: “When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him.” (8:11)
3. Success is from Allah
Amongst the signs of tawakkul in Allah from the companions, was their complete trust that they could conquer the large army despite the ratio difference. It is from the grounds of the battlefield we often find many verses revealed in the Qur’an of the spiritual and physical strength that was required.
The success of the Muslims is only by Allah, so we should remember we are not productive because of our own efforts. Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la) revealed after the battle: “It is not you who defeated them; it was Allah. When you threw (a handful of dust), it was not your act, but Allah’s, in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself; for Allah is He Who Hears and Knows (all things)” [8:17]
Similarly, the fight of the soul to develop itself is enduring this month so that you may reap many rewards, yet you must seek success from Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la).
4. You are never alone
The Prophet (peace be upon him) knew that he and his Companions (May Allah be pleased with them) were not alone in this battle. The Qur’an revealed that Angels joined the battlefield to help the Muslims. Let’s ask ourselves, how can we practically bring such aid from Allah in our day to day life? This is where the inner jihad that takes place in serving Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la) comes into play. We are taught that internally we must open our soul with firm faith in Allah and guide our body and actions to good deeds in order to receive assistance from Allah and to turn away from the distractions of Shaytan.
5. United as brothers
Today, Muslims worldwide are divided yet the battle of badr affirmed the fruits of being united as a brotherhood. They solidified their lines, and became like an immovable wall. The Quraysh were inwardly full of fear and all the confidence which had been there as they set out from Mecca was washed out of them as they met the well-disciplined Muslim army. Even Shaytan fled the scene in the overwhelming spiritual presence and Help of Allah that descended on the united Muslims.
Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la) said: “And when Satan made their deeds seem fair to them and said: ‘No-one of mankind can conquer you this day, for I am your protector’. But when the armies came in sight of one another, he took flight, saying: ‘Lo! I am guiltless of you. Lo! I see that which ye see not. Lo! I fear Allah.’ And Allah is severe in punishment.” (8:48)
6. Don’t be defeated
One of the biggest lessons of Badr, is that that we shouldn’t feel defeated this Ramadan. We shouldn’t feel defeated internally; by giving up to laziness, or making excuses, or failing to perform our utmost to serve Allah. And we shouldn’t feel defeated collectively, as an Ummah, regardless of our circumstances, for truly the victory of Allah is near.