(1. They ask you about Al-Anfal (the spoils of war). Say: "Al-Anfal are for Allah and the Messenger.'' So have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of difference among you, and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers.)
MEANING OF ANFAL
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Anfal are the spoils of war.'' Al-Bukhari also recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "I said to Ibn `Abbas, `Surat Al-Anfal' He said, `It was revealed concerning (the battle of) Badr.''' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas without a chain of narration, that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Anfal are the spoils of war; they were for the Messenger of Allah, and none had a share in them.'' Similar was said by Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others. It was also said that the Nafl (singular for Anfal) refers to the portion of the spoils of war that the commander gives to some of the fighters after dividing the bulk of the spoils. It was also said that Anfal refers to the Khumus; one-fifth of the captured goods after four-fifths are divided (between the fighters). It was also said that the Anfal refers to the Fay', the possessions taken from the disbelievers without fighting, and the animals, servants or whatever other possessions escape from the disbelievers to Muslims.
Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ali bin Salih bin Hay said: "It has reached me that,
﴿ يَسۡـَٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلۡأَنفَالِۖ ﴾
(They ask you about Al-Anfal) is about the divisions. This refer to what the Imam gives to some squads in addition to what is divided among the rest of the soldiers.''
THE REASON BEHIND REVEALING AYAH 8:1
Imam Ahmad recorded that Sa`d bin Malik said, "I said, `O Allah's Messenger, Allah has brought comfort to me today over the idolators, so grant me this sword.' He said,
(This sword is neither yours nor mine; put it down.) So I put it down, but said to myself, `The Prophet might give this sword to another man who did not fight as fiercely as I did.' I heard a man calling me from behind and I said, `Has Allah revealed something in my case' The Prophet said,
(They ask you about Al-Anfal. Say: "Al-Anfal are for Allah and the Messenger'').
Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i collected this Hadith, At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''.
ANOTHER REASON BEHIND REVEALING THE AYAH 8:1
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said, "I asked `Ubadah about Al-Anfal and he said, `It was revealed about us, those who participated in (the battle of) Badr, when we disputed about An-Nafl and our dispute was not appealing. So Allah took Al-Anfal from us and gave it to the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger divided it equally among Muslims.'''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said, "We went with the Messenger of Allah to the battle of Badr. When the two armies met, Allah defeated the enemy and some of us pursued them inflicting utter defeat and casualties. Another group of us came to the battlefield collecting the spoils of war. Another group surrounded the Messenger of Allah, so that the enemy could not attack him suddenly. When it was night and the various army groups went back to our camp, some of those who collected the spoils said, `We collected it, so none else will have a share in it.' Those who went in pursuit of the enemy said, `No, you have no more right to it than us. We kept the enemy away from the war spoils and defeated them.' Those who surrounded the Messenger of Allah to protect him said, `You have no more right to it than us, we surrounded the Messenger of Allah for fear that the enemy might conduct a surprise attack against him, so we were busy.' The Ayah,
(They ask you about Al-Anfal (the spoils of war). Say: "Al-Anfal are for Allah and the Messenger.'' So fear Allah and settle all matters of difference among you.) was revealed and the Messenger of Allah divided the Anfal equally between Muslims.'''
« وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلّم إِذَا أَغَارَ فِي أَرْضِ الْعَدُوِّ نَفَلَ الرُّبُعَ، فَإِذَا أَقْبَلَ وَكُلّ النَّاسِ رَاجِعًا نَفَلَ الثُّلُث »
(And Allah's Messenger would give a fourth for Anfal when there was a surprise attack in the land of the enemy, and when there was a confrontation then a third to the people who returned).
The Prophet used to dislike the Anfal and encouraged strong fighters to give some of their share to weak Muslim fighters. At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected a similar narration for this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan''.
(So have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of difference among you,)
The Ayah commands, have Taqwa of Allah in all your affairs, settle matters of differences between you, do not wrong each other, do not dispute, and do not differ. Certainly, the guidance and knowledge that Allah has granted you is better than what you are disputing about (such as Al-Anfal),
﴿ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥۤ ﴾
(and obey Allah and His Messenger,) in the division that the Messenger makes according to Allah's order. The Prophet only divided according to what Allah ordained, which is perfectly just and fair. Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, "This is a command from Allah and His Messenger to the believers, that they should have Taqwa of Allah and settle all matters of differences between them.'' A similar statement was reported from Mujahid. As-Suddi also commented on Allah's statement,
(2. The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord;) (3. Who perform the Salah and spend out of what We have provided them.) (4. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).)
QUALITIES OF THE FAITHFUL AND TRUTHFUL BELIEVERS
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,
(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts)
"None of Allah's remembrance enters the hearts of the hypocrites upon performing what He has ordained. They neither believe in any of Allah's Ayat nor trust (in Allah) nor pray if they are alone nor pay the Zakah due on their wealth. Allah stated that they are not believers. He then described the believers by saying,
(and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith) and conviction,
﴿ وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ﴾
(and they put their trust in their Lord), having hope in none except Him. '' Mujahid commented on,
﴿ وَجِلَتۡ قُلُوبُهُمۡ ﴾
(their hearts Wajilat), "Their hearts become afraid and fearful.'' Similar was said by As-Suddi and several others. The quality of a true believer is that when Allah is mentioned, he feels a fear in his heart, and thus implements His orders and abstains from His prohibitions. Allah said in a similar Ayah,
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (immoral sin) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; -- and none can forgive sins but Allah -- and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know) (3:135), and,
(And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them (hypocrites) say: "Which of you has had his faith increased by it'' As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice) (9:124).
Al-Bukhari and other scholars relied on this Ayah (8:2) and those similar, as evidence that faith increases and varies in strength from heart to heart. This is also the view of the majority of the scholars of Islam, prompting some scholars, such as Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Abu `Ubayd to declare that this is the consensus of the Ummah, as we mentioned in the beginning of the explanation of Sahih Al-Bukhari. All the thanks and praises are due to Allah.
THE REALITY OF TAWAKKUL
﴿ وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ﴾
(And they put their trust in their Lord.)
Therefore, the believers hope in none except Allah, direct their dedication to Him alone, seek refuge with Him alone, invoke Him alone for their various needs and supplicate to Him alone. They know that whatever He wills, occurs and that whatever He does not will never occurs, that He alone is the One Who has the decision in His kingdom, without partners; none can avert the decision of Allah and He is swift in reckoning. Hence the statement of Sa`id bin Jubayr, "Tawakkul of Allah is the essence of faith.
(Who perform the Salah and spend out of what We have provided them.)
Allah describes the actions of the believers after He mentioned their faith. The acts mentioned here include all types of righteous acts, such as establishing prayer, which is Allah's right. Qatadah said, "Establishing the prayer requires preserving its times, making ablution for it, bowing down and prostrating.'' Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "Establishing the prayer means to preserve its times, perform perfect purity for it, perform perfect bowings and prostrations, recite the Qur'an during it, sitting for Tashahhud and reciting the Salah (invoking Allah's blessings) for the benefit of the Prophet.''
Spending from what Allah has granted includes giving the Zakah and the rest of the what is due from the servant, either what is obligatory or recommended. All of the servants are Allah's dependents, and the most beloved among them to Him are the most beneficial to His creation.
THE REALITY OF FAITH
﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ حَقًّ۬اۚ ﴾
(It is they who are the believers in truth.) means, those who have these qualities are the believers with true faith.
THE FRUITS OF PERFECT FAITH
﴿ لَّهُمۡ دَرَجَـٰتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ ﴾
(For them are grades of dignity with their Lord) meaning, they have different grades, ranks and status in Paradise,
(Residents of Paradise see the residents of the highest grades just as you see the distant planet in the horizon of the sky. Verily, Abu Bakr and `Umar are among them (in the highest grades), and how excellent they are.)
(5. As your Lord caused you to go out from your home with the truth; and verily, a party among the believers disliked it.) (6. Disputing with you concerning the truth after it was made manifest, as if they were being driven to death, while they were looking (at it).) (7. And (remember) when Allah promised you (Muslims) one of the two parties, that it should be yours; you wished that the one not armed should be yours, but Allah willed to justify the truth by His Words and to cut off the roots of the disbelievers.) (8. That He might cause the truth to triumph and bring falsehood to nothing, even though the criminals hate it.)
(1. Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) to those of the Mushrikin (idolaters), with whom you made a treaty.) (2. So travel freely (O Mushrikin) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the punishment of) Allah; and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.)
WHY THERE IS NO BASMALAH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS SURAH
This honorable Surah (chapter 9) was one of the last Surahs to be revealed to the Messenger of Allah . Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "The last Ayah to be revealed was,
(They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: "Allah directs (thus) about Al-Kalalah.'') (4:176), while the last Surah to be revealed was Bara'ah.'' The Basmalah was not mentioned in the beginning of this Surah because the Companions did not write it in the complete copy of the Qur'an (Mushaf) they collected, following the Commander of the faithful, `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him. The first part of this honorable Surah was revealed to the Messenger of Allah when he returned from the battle of Tabuk, during the Hajj season, which the Prophet thought about attending. But he remembered that the idolators would still attend that Hajj, as was usual in past years, and that they perform Tawaf around the House while naked. He disliked to associate with them and sent Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, to lead Hajj that year and show the people their rituals, commanding him to inform the idolators that they would not be allowed to participate in Hajj after that season. He commanded him to proclaim,
﴿ بَرَآءَةٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦۤ ﴾
(Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger...), to the people. When Abu Bakr had left, the Messenger sent `Ali bin Abu Talib to be the one to deliver this news to the idolators on behalf of the Messenger , for he was the Messenger's cousin. We will mention this story later.
PUBLICIZING THE DISAVOWAL OF THE IDOLATORS
﴿ بَرَآءَةٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦۤ ﴾
(Freedom from obligations from Allah and His Messenger), is a declaration of freedom from all obligations from Allah and His Messenger,
(to those of the Mushrikin, with whom you made a treaty. So travel freely (Mushrikin) for four months (as you will) throughout the land) (9:1-2). This Ayah refers to idolators who had indefinite treaties and those, whose treaties with Muslims ended in less than four months. The terms of these treaties were restricted to four months only. As for those whose term of peace ended at a specific date later (than the four months), then their treaties would end when their terms ended, no matter how long afterwards, for Allah said,
(So fulfill their treaty for them until the end of their term) (9:4). So whoever had a covenant with Allah's Messenger then it would last until its period expired, this was reported from Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and others. We will also mention a Hadith on this matter. Abu Ma`shar Al-Madani said that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and several others said, "The Messenger of Allah sent Abu Bakr to lead the Hajj rituals on the ninth year (of Hijrah). He also sent `Ali bin Abi Talib with thirty or forty Ayat from Bara'ah (At-Tawbah), and he recited them to the people, giving the idolators four months during which they freely move about in the land. He recited these Ayat on the day of `Arafah (ninth of Dhul-Hijjah). The idolators were given twenty more days (till the end) of Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, Safar, Rabi` Al-Awwal and ten days from Rabi` Ath-Thani. He proclaimed to them in their camping areas, `No Mushrik will be allowed to perform Hajj after this year, nor a naked person to perform Tawaf around the House.''' So Allah said,
(3. And a declaration from Allah and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day of Hajj that Allah is free from obligations to the Mushrikin and so is His Messenger. So if you repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape Allah. And give tidings of a painful torment for those who disbelieve.)
ALLAH SAYS, THIS IS A DECLARATION,
﴿ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦۤ ﴾
(from Allah and His Messenger), and a preface warning to the people,
﴿ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡحَجِّ ٱلۡأَڪۡبَرِ ﴾
(on the greatest day of Hajj), the day of Sacrifice, the best and most apparent day of the Hajj rituals, during which the largest gathering confers.
(And give tidings of a painful torment for those who disbelieve) earning them disgrace and affliction in this life and the torment of chains and barbed iron bars in the Hereafter. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "Abu Bakr sent me during that Hajj with those dispatched on the day of Sacrifice to declare in Mina that no Mushrik will be allowed to attend Hajj after that year, nor will a naked person be allowed to perform Tawaf.'' Humayd said, "The Prophet then sent `Ali bin Abi Talib and commanded him to announce Bara'ah.'' Abu Hurayrah said, "Ali publicized Bara'ah with us to the gathering in Mina on the day of Sacrifice, declaring that no Mushrik shall perform Hajj after that year, nor shall a naked person perform Tawaf around the House.'' Al-Bukhari also collected this Hadith the this narration of which, Abu Hurayrah said, "On the day of Nahr, Abu Bakr sent me along with other announcers to Mina to make a public announcement that `No pagan is allowed to perform Hajj after this year, and no naked person is allowed to perform the Tawaf around the Ka`bah.' Abu Bakr was leading the people in that Hajj season, and in the year of `The Farewell Hajj' when the Prophet performed Hajj, no Mushrik performed Hajj.''' This is the narration that Al-Bukhari recorded in the Book on Jihad. Muhammad bin Ishaq reported a narration from Abu Ja`far Muhammad bin `Ali bin Al-Husayn who said, "When Bara'ah was revealed to Allah's Messenger , and he had sent Abu Bakr to oversee the Hajj rites for the people, he was asked, `O Messenger of Allah! Why not send this (message) to Abu Bakr' So he said,
(Take this section from the beginning of Bara'ah and proclaim to the people on the day of the Sacrifice while they are gathered at Mina that no disbeliever will enter Paradise, no idolator will be permitted to perform Hajj after the year, there will be no Tawaf while naked, and whoever has a covenant with Allah's Messenger, then it shall be valid until the time of its expiration.) `Ali rode the camel of Allah's Messenger named Al-`Adba' until he caught up with Abu Bakr in route. When Abu Bakr saw him he said, `Are you here as a commander or a follower.' `Ali replied, `A follower.' They continued on. Abu Bakr lead the people in Hajj while the Arabs were camping in their normal locations from Jahiliyyah. On the day of Sacrifice, `Ali bin Abi Talib stood and proclaimed, `O people! No disbeliever will be admitted into Paradise, no idolator will be permitted to perform Hajj next year, there shall be no Tawaf while naked, and whoever has a covenant with Allah's Messenger , then it shall be valid until its time of expiration.' So no idolator performed Hajj after that year, Tawaf around the House while naked ceased. Then they returned to Allah's Messenger . So this was the declaration of innocence, whoever among the idolators had no treaty, then he had a treaty of peace for one year, if he had a particular treaty, then it was valid until its date of expiration.''
(4. Except those of the Mushrikin with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty for them until the end of their term. Surely, Allah loves those who have Taqwa.)
EXISTING PEACE TREATIES REMAINED VALID UNTIL THE END OF THEIR TERM
This is an exception regulating the longest extent of time for those who have a general treaty - with out time mentioned - to four months. They would have four months to travel the lands in search of sanctuary for themselves wherever they wish. Those whose treaty mentioned a specific limited term, then the longest it would extend was to the point of its agreed upon termination date. Hadiths in this regard preceded. So anyone who had a treaty with Allah's Messenger , it lasted until its specific termination date. However, those in this category were required to refrain from breaking the terms of the agreement with Muslims and from helping non-Muslims against Muslims. This is the type whose peace agreement with Muslims was carried out to its end. Allah encouraged honoring such peace treaties, saying,
﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ ﴾
(Surely, Allah loves those who have Taqwa) (9:4), who keep their promises.
(5. So when the Sacred Months have passed, then fight the Mushrikin wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give the Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
THIS IS THE AYAH OF THE SWORD
Mujahid, `Amr bin Shu`ayb, Muhammad bin Ishaq, Qatadah, As-Suddi and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that the four months mentioned in this Ayah are the four-month grace period mentioned in the earlier Ayah,
﴿ فَسِيحُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَرۡبَعَةَ أَشۡہُرٍ۬ ﴾
(So travel freely for four months throughout the land.) Allah said next,
﴿ فَإِذَا ٱنسَلَخَ ٱلۡأَشۡہُرُ ٱلۡحُرُمُ ﴾
(So when the Sacred Months have passed...), meaning, `Upon the end of the four months during which We prohibited you from fighting the idolators, and which is the grace period We gave them, then fight and kill the idolators wherever you may find them.' Allah's statement next,
(and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush), do not wait until you find them. Rather, seek and besiege them in their areas and forts, gather intelligence about them in the various roads and fairways so that what is made wide looks ever smaller to them. This way, they will have no choice, but to die or embrace Islam,
(But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give the Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) Abu Bakr As-Siddiq used this and other honorable Ayat as proof for fighting those who refrained from paying the Zakah. These Ayat allowed fighting people unless, and until, they embrace Islam and implement its rulings and obligations. Allah mentioned the most important aspects of Islam here, including what is less important. Surely, the highest elements of Islam after the Two Testimonials, are the prayer, which is the right of Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, then the Zakah, which benefits the poor and needy. These are the most honorable acts that creatures perform, and this is why Allah often mentions the prayer and Zakah together. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayer and pay the Zakah.) This honorable Ayah (9:5) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, every treaty, and every term.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented: "No idolator had any more treaty or promise of safety ever since Surah Bara'ah was revealed. The four months, in addition to, all peace treaties conducted before Bara'ah was revealed and announced had ended by the tenth of the month of Rabi` Al-Akhir.''
(6. And if anyone of the Mushrikin seeks your protection then grant him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an) and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not.)