Meaning of Quran

Al-Anfal | The Spoils of War

With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

[8:1] They ask you about the spoils. Say, the spoils are for Allah and the Messenger. So, fear Allah, and set your relations right, and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers.

[8:2] Certainly, the believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe when (the name of) Allah is mentioned; and when His verses are recited to them, it makes them more developed in faith; in their Lord, they place their trust.

[8:3] (They are) those who establish Salah, and give away from what We have given to them.

[8:4] Those are the believers in reality. For them, there are high ranks with their Lord, and forgiveness, and dignified provision.

[8:5] It is like when your Lord made you leave your home for the sake of truth, while a group from the believers were averse to it;

[8:6] they were disputing with you about the truth after it became clear as if they were being driven to death being seen by them.

[8:7] And recall when Allah was promising you that one of the two groups would become yours, and you were wishing that the one without strength should fall to you. And Allah wanted to establish the truth through His words and to cut off the very root of the disbelievers,

[8:8] So that He proves the truth to be true and the falsehood to be false, even though the sinners might dislike it.

[8:9]When you were calling your Lord for help, so He responded to you (saying): ‘I am going to support you with one thousand of the angels, one following the other’.

[8:10] And Allah has made it (the promise) merely to give you good news, and so that your hearts might be at rest thereby. And the help is from none but Allah. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise.

[8:11] When He covered you with drowsiness, as tranquillity (descending) from Him and sent down upon you water from the heavens, so that He might purify you with it, and remove from you the impurity of Satan, and so that He might strengthen your hearts and make (your) feet firm therewith.

[8:12] When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you. So, make firm the feet of those who believe. I shall cast awe into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So, strike at the necks, and strike at every finger-joint of theirs.

[8:13] That is because they were hostile to Allah and His Messenger; and whoever becomes hostile to Allah and His Messenger, then, Allah is severe at punishment.

[8:14] That is what you have to taste, and for the disbelievers is the (further) punishment of the Fire.

[8:15] O you who believe, when you face the disbelievers in a battle, do not turn your backs to them.

[8:16] Whoever turns his back to them on such a day, unless it is for a tactic in the battle, or to join a company, turns with wrath from Allah, and his abode is Jahannam (Hell), and it is an evil place to return.

[8:17] So, it is not you who killed them, but in fact Allah killed them. And you did not throw when you threw but Allah did throw so that He might bless the believers with good favor. Surely, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

[8:18] Apart from that, Allah is the One who frustrates the device of the disbelievers.

[8:19] (O unbelievers,) if you were looking for a decision, the decision has come upon you. And if you give up, it is better for you. And if you repeat, We shall repeat. And your people shall not suffice you at all, even though they are many in number; and Allah is with the believers.

[8:20] O you who believe, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from Him when you listen (to him).

[8:21] And do not be like those who say, We have listened. while they do not listen.

[8:22] Surely, the worst of all animals in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb who do not understand.

[8:23] Had Allah seen in them some good, He would have made them listen (as due). But if He makes them listen (now), they will turn away paying no heed.

[8:24] O you who believe, respond to Allah and the Messenger when He calls you to what gives you life, and be sure that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered.

[8:25] And beware of a scourge that shall not fall only on the wrongdoers from among you, and know well that Allah is severe at punishment

[8:26] Recall when you were few in number, oppressed on the earth, fearing that the people would snatch you away. Then, He gave you shelter and fortified you with His support, and provided you with good things, so that you may be grateful.

[8:27] O you who believe, do not betray the trust of Allah and the Messenger and do not betray your mutual trusts, while you know.

[8:28] Be aware that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that with Allah there is a great reward.

[8:29] O you who believe, if you fear Allah, He will provide you with a criterion (to distinguish between right and wrong) and will write off your evil deeds and will forgive you. Allah is the Lord of great bounty.

[8:30] And (recall) when the disbelievers were conspiring against you to hold you as a captive, or to kill you, or to expel you. They were planning, and Allah was planning, and Allah is the best planner.

[8:31] When Our verses are recited to them, they say, We have heard; if we wish, we can compose a discourse like this. It is nothing but the tales of the ancient people.

[8:32] And (recall) when they said, O Allah, if this is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then, rain down stones upon us from the heavens, or bring upon us a painful punishment.

[8:33] And Allah was not to send scourge upon them while you (O Prophet), were in their midst, nor would Allah send scourge upon them while they are seeking forgiveness.

[8:34] And what privilege do they have that Allah should not punish them, while they prevent (people) from Al-Masjid-ulHaram (the Sacred Mosque), even though they are not (competent to be) its custodians? Its (competent) custodians are none but the God-fearing, but most of them do not know.

[8:35] And their prayer near the House was not more than whistling and clapping. So, taste the punishment, because you used to disbelieve.

[8:36] Surely, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to prevent (people) from the way of Allah. So, they shall spend it, then it will become remorse for them, then they shall be overpowered, and those who disbelieve shall be gathered into Jahannam,

[8:37] so that Allah may separate the wicked from the good people, and join the wicked with each other, and heaps them altogether, and puts them into Jahannam. Those are the losers.

[8:38] Say to those who disbelieve that if they desist (from infidelity), they shall be forgiven for what has passed (of their sins), and if they repeat, then, the precedent of the earlier people is already established (that the infidels are punished).

[8:39] And fight them until there is no Fitnah (mischief), and total obedience becomes for Allah. So, if they desist, then, Allah is indeed watchful over what they do.

[8:40]And if they turn away, then, rest assured that Allah is your protector. So excellent a protector is He, and so excellent a supporter.

[8:41] And know that whatever spoils you receive, it’s one fifth is for Allah and for His Messenger, and for kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you do believe in Allah and in what We have sent down upon Our Servant on a decisive day, the day when the two forces encountered each other. And Allah is powerful over everything.

[8:42] (Remember) when you were on the nearest end of the valley, and they were on the farthest one, and the caravan was downwards from you. Had you made an appointment with each other, you would have disagreed about the appointment. But (it happened like this) so that Allah might accomplish what was destined to be done so that whoever is going to perish may perish knowingly, and whoever is going to live may live knowingly. Allah is indeed All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

[8:43] (Recall) when in your dream, Allah showed them to you few in number. And if He had shown them to you many in number, you would have been demoralized and would have disputed in the matter, but Allah saved (you). Surely, Allah is fully aware of what lies in the hearts.

[8:44] And when at the time you met each other, He showed them to you few in number in your eyes, and reduced your number in their eyes, so that Allah might accomplish what was destined to be done. And to Allah, all matters are returned.

[8:45] O you who believe, when you face a group (in battle), stand firm and remember Allah abundantly, so that you may be successful.

[8:46] Obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with each other, lest you should lose courage, and your prowess should evaporate, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with the patient.

[8:47] And do not be like those who set forth from their homes waxing proud and showing off to people, preventing (people) from the way of Allah. Allah is All-Encompassing of what they do.

[8:48] When Satan made their deeds look beautiful to their eyes, and said, None of the people can overpower you today, and I am a protector for you. But, when the two groups faced each other, he turned back on his heels and said, I am quit of you. I am seeing what you do not see. I am scared of Allah, and Allah is severe in punishment.

[8:49] When the hypocrites and those who have a malady in their hearts said. The belief of these people has deluded them. And whoever places his trust in Allah (becomes victorious, because) Allah is Mighty, Wise.

[8:50] Only if you were to see (them) when the angels take out the souls of those who disbelieve, beating their faces and their backs, and (saying) . Taste the punishment of the flaming Fire.

[8:51] That is due to what your hands sent ahead, and that Allah is not cruel to (His) servants.

[8:52] (Their way is) like the way of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. They rejected the signs of Allah; so Allah seized them for their sins. Surely, Allah is Strong, severe in punishment.

[8:53] All this is because Allah is not the one who may change a favor He has conferred on a people unless they change their own condition and that Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

[8:54] Their practice is like that of the people of Pharaoh and those before them. They rejected the signs of their Lord. So, We destroyed them for their sins and drowned the people of Pharaoh; and all of them were wrongdoers.

[8:55] Surely, the worst of all the moving creatures, in the sight of Allah, are those who reject Faith and do not believe

[8:56] Those with whom you have entered into a treaty, then they break their treaty each time, and they do not fear Allah.

[8:57] So, if you find them in war, deal with them in a way that those behind them have to disperse fearfully so that they take a lesson.

[8:58] And if you apprehend a breach from a people, then, throw (the treaty) towards them in straight-forward terms. Surely, Allah does not like those who breach the trust.

[8:59] The disbelievers should never think that they have surpassed (the divine punishment). Surely, they cannot frustrate (the Divine will).

[8:60] Prepare against them whatever force you can, and the trained horses whereby you frighten Allah‘s enemy and your own enemy and others besides them whom you do not know. Allah knows them. Whatever thing you spend in the way of Allah, it will be paid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.

[8:61] And if they tilt towards peace, you too should tilt towards it, and place your trust in Allah. Surely, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

[8:62] If they intend to deceive you, then, Allah is all-sufficient for you. He is the One who supported you with His help and with the believers,

[8:63] And united their hearts. Had you spent all that is on earth, you could not have united their hearts. But Allah did unite their hearts. Surely, He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

[8:64] O Prophet, Allah is sufficient for you, and the believers who followed you.

[8:65] O Prophet, rouse the believers to fighting. If there are twenty among you, who are patient, they will overcome two hundred; and if there are one hundred among you, they will overcome one thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.

[8:66] Now Allah has lightened your burden, and He knew that there is weakness in you. So, if there are one hundred among you, who are patient, they will overcome two hundred; and if there are one thousand among you, they will overcome two thousand by the will of Allah. Allah is with the patient.

[8:67] It is not befitting a prophet that he has captives with him unless he has subdued the enemy by shedding blood in the land. You intend to have the stuff of this world, while Allah intends the Hereafter (for you). And Allah is All-Mighty, AllWise.

[8:68] Had there not been a decree from Allah that came earlier, a great punishment would have overtaken you because of what you have taken.

[8:69] So, eat of the spoils you have got, lawful and pure, and fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.

[8:70] O Prophet, say to the prisoners in your hands, If Allah knows any goodness in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and will forgive you. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.

[8:71] And if they intend to commit treachery against you, then, they have already committed treachery against Allah, and in turn, Allah has given you full control over them. And Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.

[8:72] Surely those who believed and emigrated and carried out Jihad in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives, and those who gave refuge and help (to the emigrants), both are close friends to each other. And those who believed and did not emigrate, you have no friendship with them at all, unless they emigrate. However, if they seek your help in the matter of faith, then, you are bound to help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty. Allah is watchful over what you do.

[8:73] And those who disbelieve are friends to each other. If you do not do so, there shall be disorder on the earth and great corruption.

[8:74] Those who have believed and emigrated and carried out Jihad in the way of Allah, and those who gave refuge and help, both are the believers in truth. For them, there is forgiveness and a respectful provision.

[8:75] Those who believed later on and emigrated and carried out Jihad along with you, then, they are joined with you. As for the womb relatives, they are closer to one another according to the Book of Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of everything.


Overview of Surah Al-Anfal

  1. Title and Position: Surah Al-Anfal is the 8th chapter of the Quran. The title “Al-Anfal” translates to “The Spoils of War,” referring to a central theme discussed in the surah.
  2. Verses and Structure: This surah contains 75 verses. It is known for its focus on the rules and ethics of warfare, and the conduct of Muslims during and after battles.
  3. Themes and Messages: Major themes include guidelines for battle, the distribution of spoils of war, the importance of unity and obedience, and moral conduct in warfare.
  4. Significance in Islamic Thought: Surah Al-Anfal is significant for its guidance on the conduct of war and peace in Islam, emphasizing justice, discipline, and the moral responsibilities of combatants.

Detailed Explanation

  1. Guidelines for Battle: The surah provides instructions on the conduct of Muslims in battle, including when to engage in combat and the importance of strategic planning and steadfastness.
  2. Distribution of Spoils of War: It lays down principles for the fair distribution of spoils gained from warfare, ensuring equity and preventing disputes among Muslims.
  3. Moral Conduct in Warfare: Surah Al-Anfal emphasizes moral conduct during war, including the prohibition of transgression, protection of non-combatants, and the importance of seeking peace.
  4. Unity and Obedience: The surah highlights the importance of unity among Muslims, obedience to leadership, and collective responsibility in achieving success.
  5. Reflections on the Battle of Badr: The surah also reflects on the Battle of Badr, a significant event in early Islamic history, drawing lessons on faith, trust in God, and divine support.


  1. What is the significance of the title “Al-Anfal”?
    • The title “Al-Anfal,” meaning “The Spoils of War,” reflects the surah’s discussion on the ethical handling and distribution of spoils following a battle, a crucial aspect of Islamic jurisprudence in warfare.
  2. How does Surah Al-Anfal guide Muslims in warfare?
    • It provides comprehensive guidance on the ethics of war, including when to engage in battle, treatment of enemies, and the handling of war spoils.
  3. What are the key moral principles in Surah Al-Anfal regarding combat?
    • Key principles include avoiding transgression, ensuring justice and fairness, protecting non-combatants, and striving for peace whenever possible.
  4. How does Surah Al-Anfal relate to the Battle of Badr?
    • The surah includes reflections on the Battle of Badr, emphasizing the role of faith, divine assistance, and strategic planning in achieving victory against the odds.

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