سورة الأنفال   

Surah Name: Al-Anfaal Meaning: The Booty

  • Revealed at Madinah
  • • This is a Madni Surah. It is the sequel to Surah Al-A'raf, which highlighted the aftermath of infidelity and polytheism vis-à-vis faith and piety. Al-Anfal reveals the practical demonstration of these consequences. It portrays the way their pride and hostility of the infidels was reduced to ashes in the encounter with piety and faithfulness of the Companions-RAU, of the Holy Prophet-SW at Badr. Outwardly it was a struggle by a few hundred men, but in terms of its results the battle of Badr proved to be a turning point in the history of mankind. It altered the pace and changed the course of events. The Muslims seized booty after the victory at Badr and the question arose how should it be handled, because for all preceding nations booty was prohibited. They would pile it up in the field and a fire from the heavens would consume it as a sign of Divine Approval. If at times the booty was left intact, no one would touch it considering it to be inauspicious. It is amongst the blessings of the holy Prophet-SW that booty was made lawful. Anfal is the plural of Nafl which means bonus and that is why Salat or charity which is not obligatory is called Nafl. The booty seized in Jihad is also called Anfal because it is not the motive behind the struggle. The motive is to uphold the truth and the booty is only bonus for the participants and revenue for the State.

    This booty is of two categories: Faiy and Anfal. The former consists of what the enemy leaves behind when he surrenders voluntarily without fight, while the latter is won after fighting a battle. Since the Battle of Badr was the very first clash between the Muslims and the infidels and it was also the first to be determined who gets what. The Commentators explain that when the infidels deserted the battlefield at Badar, the Companions-RAU were regrouped into three contingents. One followed the fleeing; the second collected the booty while the third gathered around the Holy Prophet-SW for protection against an unexpected attack and also to act as an operational reserve for any emergency. All the three forces were important in their own way, so the matter of division of the booty amongst them was placed before the Holy Prophet-SW.

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 10
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 75
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 8
  • Rukū / Section 8 contains Āyāt / Parts 6
  • Siparah/ Volume 9 & 10


وَلاَ يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ سَبَقُواْ إِنَّهُمْ لاَ يُعْجِزُونَ

Wala yahsabanna allatheena kafaroo sabaqoo innahum la yuAAjizoon(a)

Let not those who disbelieve deem that they have escaped Me-SWT; assuredly they cannot frustrate Allah-SWT's Purpose.


وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدْوَّ اللّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تُظْلَمُونَ

WaaAAiddoo lahum ma istataAAtum min quwwatin wamin ribati alkhayli turhiboona bihi AAaduwwa Allahi waAAaduwwakum waakhareena min doonihim la taAAlamoonahumu Allahu yaAAlamuhum wama tunfiqoo min shayin fee sabeeli Allahi yuwaffa ilaykum waantum la tuthlamoon(a)

And get ready against them whatever you-SW can of force and well-fed horses with which you-SW may overpower Allah-SWT's enemy and your-SW enemy and others besides them whom you-SW do not know; Allaah-SWT Knows them. And whatever you-SW spend in the way of Allaah-SWT shall be repaid to you-SW in full, and you-SW shall not be wronged.


وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

Wain janahoo li(l)ssalmi fa(i)jnah laha watawakkal AAala Allahi innahu huwa a(l)ssameeAAu alAAaleem(u)

And if they incline to peace, then do you-SW incline to it; and rely you-SW  on Allaah-SWT . Verily He-SWT ! He-SWT is Hearing; Knowing.



وَإِن يُرِيدُواْ أَن يَخْدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللّهُ هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Wain yureedoo an yakhdaAAooka fainna hasbaka Allahu huwa allathee ayyadaka binasrihi wabi(a)lmumineen(a)

And if they seek to deceive you-SW, then Allaah-SWT is sufficient for them. He-SWT it is Who-SWT has confirmed you-SW with His-SWT help and with the believers.


وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً مَّا أَلَّفَتْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Waallafa bayna quloobihim law anfaqta ma fee alardi jameeAAan ma allafta bayna quloobihim walakinna Allaha allafa baynahum innahu AAazeezun hakeem(un)

And He-SWT united their hearts. Had you spent all that is on the earth you could not have united their hearts. But Allaah-SWT united them; Verily He-SWT is Mighty, Wise.


يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَسْبُكَ اللّهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Ya ayyuha a(l)nnabiyyu hasbuka Allahu wamani ittabaAAaka mina almumineen(a)

O’ Prophet-AW! Sufficient for you-SW is Allaah-SWT and those who follow you-SW of the believers.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

The infidels who escaped death at Badr should not assume that they have been spared the Divine Reprobation. They too, will bear the consequences of their wickedness in this life as well as in the Hereafter. Inspite of modern inventions and discoveries the infidels of today can be seen suffering from all sorts of mysterious afflictions. The Western society, much coveted by our ignorant folk, is plagued by various forms of Divine Punishments.


The lack of morality and values is the hallmark of their culture and they suffer from the most humiliating diseases. Tornadoes, earthquakes and natural calamities often add to their misery. So is the case of the Far Eastern non believing nations whose food itself is a form of punishment. Is it not a curse to eat dogs, snakes, monkeys, rats and frogs? Their moral degradation and the natural calamities that hit them every now and then only add to their humiliation. Thus there is only one safe haven against the turmoils of both the worlds, and that is the sincere allegiance to the Prophet-SW of Islam. Otherwise no one can escape His-SWT Wrath while in a state of disbelief.


Jihad Alert

The Muslims are being directed to be prepared for Jihad as a deterrent against aggression as far as possible. The term "Ma Astat'atum" means "as much as can be possibly done or is within one's power." This also means that the resources beyond the reach of the believers need not be bothered about. Therefore, the Muslims States need not enter into arm deals with the non believers under terms and conditions, which are mean and harmful to their broader interests. However, they must fully explore whatever is available, placing their trust in Allah-SWT, for He-SWT is the Sovereign Himself-SWT . The era of the Holy Prophet-SW was the most blessed time in the history of mankind. It was the focus of unlimited Divine Succour. Even today the ill-equipped Afghan Mujahidin have crippled a superpower of the non believers, proving beyond an iota of doubt that there can be no weapon better than faith while fighting in the Cause of Allaah-SWT .


Allah-SWT Commands the Muslims to acquire the Best possible military hardware, symbolized here by well-bred horses. In those days, the best possession in a battle was the horse. Remember that the means and methods continue to change, but never the aims and objectives that Allah-SWT has laid down. Today, tanks and armoured personnel carriers have replaced horses, and the sword, the shield, the bow and the arrows have become obsolete. Nevertheless, all the modem equipment serves the purpose of this Commandment.


Not only should the Muslims be well equipped in terms of weaponry but must also carry out military exercises, so that the armies of Islam are always prepared to fulfil the obligation of Jihad. According to a saying of the Holy Prophet-SW any preparations for Jihad, be it archery or other military exercises, or the maintenance of weaponry, is the highest form of worship. This will not only ensure prompt retaliation when needed but will also demoralize the enemy and impose caution on him.


All these directions are being given to the Holy Prophet-SW because the believers had yet to face many unseen and unfamiliar enemies, known only to Allah-SWT . The era of the Righteous Caliphs-RAU bears testimony that the Muslims had to encounter many nations of the world, from Rome and Persia to Spain, Africa and China. And the believers emerged victorious on every front by His-SWT Help. Moreover, anything spent in Allah-SWT's Cause, be it money, effort, hard work or time, never goes waste. Jihad for the establishment of truth is an act of excellence and whatever is spent on it shall be duly returned. Allaah-SWT does not remain indebted to anyone.


Islam and War

If the non believers offer to make peace, the believers may also opt for a truce at reasonable conditions. Islam is not a religion of war. However, the circumstances must be carefully evaluated and no compromise ought to be made on anything wrong. If the non believers give up mischief and hostility, a truce may be made; otherwise the believers must not try to make peace, as this will amount to weakness and would encourage the infidels to mischief. The Muslims need not fear any furtive intentions or treachery. They must place their trust in Allah-SWT, because He-SWT is well Aware of all that the infidels conspire and all that is within their hearts. Odds need not scare a believer. If the infidels plan to deceive the Holy Prophet-SW, Allah-SWT suffices for him-SW; He-SWT helped him-SW earlier with angels and succour and blessed him-SW with sincere Companions-RAU


The Status of the Companions-RAU

The chivalrous Companions-RAU were so devoted in their service to the Holy Prophet-SW that Allaah-SWT has listed them amongst the many favours He-SWT conferred upon the Prophet-SW. Praise be to Him-SWT !


One of the Barakah of Prophethood-SW

Above all, Allah-SWT inculcated love in the hearts of the believers. This was one of the greatest Barakah of the Holy Prophet-SW that hatred and malice in the bosoms got replaced by love and mutual affection. Whereas it was a society obsessed by hostility and it was an impossible task to transform the centuries old bloodshed and enmity into love and friendship, even if the riches of the whole world were spent in this cause. But Allaah-SWT did it by making the very presence of Holy Prophet-SW so auspicious that all those around him-SW automatically developed love for Allah-SWT, for His-SWT Prophet-SW, for Islam and all the fellow Muslims as well for the life of the Hereafter. Treasures of love were let loose upon mankind and love began to suffuse the hearts.


The Eras of the First Two Caliphs-RAU

The same blessings of love and affection continued during the rule of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU and 'Umar Faruq-RAU. This is why scholars have termed their tenure as "Al Minhaj un Nabuwah" (the Path of Prophethood) because in this period the Barakah of the Holy Prophet-SW persisted in full swing. Differences arose later. And this love and mutual affection continues to be the criterion of truth even today. If association with a Shaikh generates this firmness and devotion in a seeker, it is a worthwhile endeavour; otherwise it will only lead to sectarianism which is certainly not a symbol of excellence.


And “O’ My-SWT Beloved-SW! Allah-SWT suffices you-SW, though apparently the group of loyal Companions-RAU is there to stand by you-SW. Indeed it is Allah-SWT Whose-SWT Support is enough. Therefore, the shortfall of supplies and manpower need not be paid any heed. And this becomes a rule for the believers for all times to come to sincerely love Allaah-SWT and the Holy Prophet-SW so that they may be blessed with mutual love and affection. If they stand united against the disbelievers, the Islamic States of today shall constitute the greatest military power. And a consensus can never be arrived over personal opinions but only over the Divine Commandments and the teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW This unity, mutual love, and devotion to Allaah-SWT and the Holy Prophet-SW, is sufficient to counter all the evil designs of the non believers.