وَ اِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِنۡ قَوۡمٍ خِیَانَۃً فَانۡۢبِذۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡ عَلٰی سَوَآءٍ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡخَآئِنِیۡنَ ﴿٪۵۹﴾
وَإِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِن قَوۡمٍ خِيَانَةٗ فَٱنۢبِذۡ إِلَيۡهِمۡ عَلَىٰ سَوَآءٍۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلۡخَآئِنِينَ
a. 4:108. (close)
1136. If a people with whom Muslims have entered into a covenant dishonour it, they should be plainly told that the covenant has come to an end and Muslims, if attacked, would fight back with all the force at their command. But under no circumstances are Muslims permitted to make a surprise attack, without giving a prior notice. ‘Ala Sawa’in means, on terms of equality, i.e. in such a manner that each party should know that it is free of its obligations. (close)
a. 4:108. (close)
If a people with whom Muslims have entered into a covenant begin to commit acts of hostility towards them and it is feared that they are going to play false, then it should be openly and plainly declared to them that the covenant between them and the Muslims had come to an end. Then if, after such a declaration, they should fight the Muslims, the latter should also fight them. Thus Muslims are not allowed to make a surprise attack on any people without due notice. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said لا تفرط ولا تفجأ i.e. "Do not exceed the bounds in fighting, nor make a surprise attack on the enemy." Even in war, Islam enjoins strict justice and mercy. (close)
وَ لَا یَحۡسَبَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا سَبَقُوۡا ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ لَا یُعۡجِزُوۡنَ ﴿۶۰﴾
وَلَا يَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ سَبَقُوٓاْۚ إِنَّهُمۡ لَا يُعۡجِزُونَ
b. 3:179. (close)
b. 3:179. (close)
This verse contains the great prophecy that the enemies of Islam who had waged war against the Muslims would never prevail. Such a prophecy could not be made by a human being in the circumstances in which it was made; for it is an established historical fact that at the time when this prophecy was made the Muslims were extremely weak both in number and equipment and no mortal could predict that such a weak and ill-equipped community could vanquish their numerous and powerful enemies. Only God, Who is Almighty and Omniscient, could predict victory for the Muslims in such circumstances; and the promised victory did actually come to pass. (close)
وَ اَعِدُّوۡا لَہُمۡ مَّا اسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ قُوَّۃٍ وَّ مِنۡ رِّبَاطِ الۡخَیۡلِ تُرۡہِبُوۡنَ بِہٖ عَدُوَّ اللّٰہِ وَ عَدُوَّکُمۡ وَ اٰخَرِیۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہِمۡ ۚ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَہُمۡ ۚ اَللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُہُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا تُنۡفِقُوۡا مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ یُوَفَّ اِلَیۡکُمۡ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۱﴾
وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُم مِّن قُوَّةٖ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ ٱلۡخَيۡلِ تُرۡهِبُونَ بِهِۦ عَدُوَّ ٱللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمۡ وَءَاخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُهُمۡۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيۡءٖ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ
c. 3:201. (close)
1137. Quwwah signifies all the forces at the command of Muslims, including all sorts of implements of war, etc. (close)
1138. For Ribat see 554, 555. (close)
1139. The verse tells Muslims that efficient preparation is the best means of preventing war and enjoins them that they should not only keep sufficient force inside the country but should also station adequate troops on the frontiers and should conduct themselves with such wisdom, faith and energy that the enemy in areas far away from the site of fighting should be so impressed as to give up all idea of fighting them. The verse also points to the necessity of spending freely in war. It seems to contain also a warning and a prophecy for believers. The prophecy is that the pagan Arabs are not their only enemies. There are other people who would attack them in the near future. The prophecy referred to the Byzantine and the Persian Empires with whom Muslims had to fight soon after the death of the Holy Prophet. (close)
a. 2:273; 9:121; 64:18; 65:8. (close)
a. 3:201. (close)
b. 2:273; 9:121; 64:18; 65:8. (close)
1148. Important Words:
رباط الخیل (mounted pickets at the frontier). For رباط see 3:201. خیل is derived from خال i.e. he thought or fancied. اختال means, he was proud and haughty. خیل means, horses collectively, so called because of the pride and conceit in their gait; also horsemen (Lane).
This verse teaches Muslims that efficient preparation is the best means of preventing war. It teaches them that they should not only keep a sufficient fighting force in the country but also an adequate number of troops on the frontier so that the enemy might refrain from attack, thus enabling the Faithful to live in peace. The verse also points to the necessity of spending freely in war.
It is worthy of note that the verse does not simply say "your enemy" but the enemy of Allah and your enemy, thus hinting that disbelievers had become hostile to Muslims for the sole reason that the latter had accepted Islam, the religion of God. These words throw interesting light on the causes of early Islamic wars.
The verse further informs Muslims that the pagan Arabs were not the only enemies of Islam. There were other nations also which would attack Muslims in the future, as the Arabs had already done. So Muslims were told to keep their frontiers strong and well-protected and to spend freely in the cause of Allah. This prophecy referred to the Greeks and the Persians with whom Muslims came in contact soon after the death of the Holy Prophet. (close)
وَ اِنۡ جَنَحُوۡا لِلسَّلۡمِ فَاجۡنَحۡ لَہَا وَ تَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ﴿۶۲﴾
۞وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلۡمِ فَٱجۡنَحۡ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ
1140. The verse, besides embodying an important principle about making of peace-treaties, throws interesting light on the character of the wars undertaken by Islam. Muslims did not resort to war to force men to embrace Islam but to establish and maintain peace. If any people after having made war upon Muslims sued for peace the latter were enjoined not to reject the offer, even if the enemy might be suing for peace only to deceive them and gain time. This shows to what lengths Islam goes to establish peace among nations. (close)
This verse, besides embodying an important principle about the formation of peace-treaties, throws interesting light on the character of the wars undertaken by Islam. Muslims did not resort to war to force men to embrace Islam, but simply to maintain peace. Hence, if any people after making war against Muslims sued for peace, the latter were enjoined to desist from war and make peace with them, in spite of their being disbelievers. Even the consideration that the enemy might be suing for peace simply to deceive the Muslims and to gain time was not to deter them from making peace. This shows that what the Muslims desired was nothing but peace, and they were bidden to welcome it at all hazards. See also the verse that follows. (close)
وَ اِنۡ یُّرِیۡدُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّخۡدَعُوۡکَ فَاِنَّ حَسۡبَکَ اللّٰہُ ؕ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَیَّدَکَ بِنَصۡرِہٖ وَ بِالۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۶۳﴾
وَإِن يُرِيدُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسۡبَكَ ٱللَّهُۚ هُوَ ٱلَّذِيٓ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصۡرِهِۦ وَبِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
b. 8:65. (close)
a. 8:65. (close)
An offer of peace by the enemy must be accepted, even if there is the risk of his playing false. See note on the preceding verse. (close)
وَ اَلَّفَ بَیۡنَ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ ؕ لَوۡ اَنۡفَقۡتَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ جَمِیۡعًا مَّاۤ اَلَّفۡتَ بَیۡنَ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ وَ لٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ اَلَّفَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ عَزِیۡزٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۴﴾
وَأَلَّفَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِهِمۡۚ لَوۡ أَنفَقۡتَ مَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعٗا مَّآ أَلَّفۡتَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِهِمۡ وَلَٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيۡنَهُمۡۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٞ
c. 3:104 (close)
b. 3:104. (close)
The verse is intended to meet any possible demur on the part of believers in the matter of accepting a peace offer made by the enemy. It is no favour of the believers upon God or His Messenger, if they have helped the Prophet; on the other hand, it is God’s favour upon them that He has put affection "between their hearts," for, before their acceptance of Islam they too were enemies of one another. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ حَسۡبُکَ اللّٰہُ وَ مَنِ اتَّبَعَکَ مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿٪۶۵﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِيُّ حَسۡبُكَ ٱللَّهُ وَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
a. 8:63. (close)
c. 8:63. (close)
The words من اتبعك (those who follow thee) are grammatically in apposition to the pronoun (thee) in حسبك (sufficient for thee). It is thus wrong to translate the verse as "Allah is sufficient for thee and so are those who follow thee." The sufficing of God relates both to the Prophet and his followers. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ حَرِّضِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ عَلَی الۡقِتَالِ ؕ اِنۡ یَّکُنۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ عِشۡرُوۡنَ صٰبِرُوۡنَ یَغۡلِبُوۡا مِائَتَیۡنِ ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّکُنۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ مِّائَۃٌ یَّغۡلِبُوۡۤا اَلۡفًا مِّنَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِاَنَّہُمۡ قَوۡمٌ لَّا یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ ﴿۶۶﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِيُّ حَرِّضِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡقِتَالِۚ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمۡ عِشۡرُونَ صَٰبِرُونَ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّاْئَةٞ يَغۡلِبُوٓاْ أَلۡفٗا مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِأَنَّهُمۡ قَوۡمٞ لَّا يَفۡقَهُونَ
b. 4:85. (close)
1141. The verse seems to give 20 as the minimum number that makes a fighting party. (close)
1142. Because they are mercenaries, and do not realize the righteousness of the cause they fight for, they feel no real interest for it. Or the meaning may be that they have no higher ideals which they seek to pursue and serve. (close)
a. 4:85. (close)
As disbelievers were not going to desist from fighting, as they were invited to do (8:23 & 8:39 above), but were determined to carry on war of aggression against Islam, therefore the Holy Prophet has been asked in this verse to urge Muslims also to fight in self-defence.
The verse promises victory to Muslims over an enemy ten times their number because they are a people who do not understand. Fighters should understand the purpose of their fighting. They should look upon the war, they are engaged in, as their own. They should know the advantage which will accrue to their community if they win, and they should also know the losses which they will have to suffer if they are defeated. Mere hirelings, or men, who are blindly led to war by their leaders but who do not understand its object and feel no personal interest in it, cannot win. The forces that fought against Islam were mostly composed of men, who took part in the war merely because they were called upon to do so by their mischievous leaders-the wicked and avowed enemies of Islam. They felt no personal interest in the war against the new religion.
Religiously speaking also, they were a people who did not "understand", whereas Muslims did understand what faith meant. They were moved by love for their God, their Prophet and their religion. Disbelievers, on the other hand, were not as devoted to their idols as the Faithful were to their God in Whom they had a living faith.
The verse gives the number twenty as the minimum number for Muslims to win sure victory over their enemy because that was the least number that made a regular fighting party. If the number of men was less than twenty, it was not to be regarded as a fighting force and the laws relating to war did not apply to them.
Thus, a party of twenty persons, the minimum comprising a fighting unit, was bound to fight if they met an enemy as many as ten times their strength, and they were forbidden to flee. The question of retiring before the enemy is not to be decided by the men but by their officers, who may act as they may think best in the interest of war. See also 8:16. (close)
اَلۡـٰٔنَ خَفَّفَ اللّٰہُ عَنۡکُمۡ وَ عَلِمَ اَنَّ فِیۡکُمۡ ضَعۡفًا ؕ فَاِنۡ یَّکُنۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ مِّائَۃٌ صَابِرَۃٌ یَّغۡلِبُوۡا مِائَتَیۡنِ ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّکُنۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ اَلۡفٌ یَّغۡلِبُوۡۤا اَلۡفَیۡنِ بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ مَعَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾
ٱلۡـَٰٔنَ خَفَّفَ ٱللَّهُ عَنكُمۡ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمۡ ضَعۡفٗاۚ فَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّاْئَةٞ صَابِرَةٞ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُمۡ أَلۡفٞ يَغۡلِبُوٓاْ أَلۡفَيۡنِ بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِۗ وَٱللَّهُ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
1143. The verse should not be understood to abrogate the preceding one. The two verses refer to two different states of the Muslim Community. In the beginning they were weak, ill-equipped and ill-trained in the art of war. In that state of weakness they could successfully fight against only their double number. But as with the passage of time their all-round condition, fighting experience and military resources had very much improved they could defeat an enemy ten times their number. In the battles of Badr, Uhud and of the Trench, the disparity between the number of forces of both sides progressively increased, yet the Muslims quite successfully held their own, till at the Battle of Yarmuk, mere 60,000 Muslims defeated an army of more than a million strong. (close)
This verse does not abrogate the previous verse, but only temporarily relieves Muslims in view of the then existing condition of their faith. Their faith, though sincere and true, was "weak" as compared with its future condition when it was to grow stronger by their witnessing more and more heavenly signs and by their becoming more and more organized.
The words, For the present Allah has lightened your burden, show that the previous verse contains not a prophecy, but a commandment. It does not announce by way of prophecy that Muslims will prevail over an enemy ten times their number; it simply gives the injunction that if twenty believers have to face 200 disbelievers, they must fight them, and that if they turn their backs, they will be sinners. In the present verse, however, in view of the then weak condition of Muslims, the limit of disparity has been reduced to twice the number of the believers.
History tells us that in later times, Muslims had sometimes to fight an enemy even more than ten times their number and still they were victorious. Thus, at the Battle of Yarmuk the Muslim army numbered 30,000, according to the lowest calculation, while the enemy numbered at least 600,000 (the highest figures being respectively 60,000 and 1,000,000) and the battle ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims. (close)
مَا کَانَ لِنَبِیٍّ اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنَ لَہٗۤ اَسۡرٰی حَتّٰی یُثۡخِنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ تُرِیۡدُوۡنَ عَرَضَ الدُّنۡیَا ٭ۖ وَ اللّٰہُ یُرِیۡدُ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَزِیۡزٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۸﴾
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُۥٓ أَسۡرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثۡخِنَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةَۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٞ
a. 47:5. (close)
1144. The verse lays down the general rule that captives should not be taken unless there is regular fighting and the enemy is completely overpowered. It cuts at the root of slavery. Only those, who take part in war in order to destroy Islam and are defeated, can be made prisoner. See also 2739. (close)
b. 4:95. (close)
a. 47:5. (close)
1155. Important Words:
اسری (captives) is the plural of اسیر (a captive) which is derived from اسر. They say اسره i.e. he bound or tied him, or he made him a captive or took him a prisoner. اسیر means, one shackled or imprisoned; a captive (Lane).
یثخن (he engages in a regular fighting) is derived from ثخن (thakhuna) or ثخن (thakhana) which means, it was thick or coarse or hard. اثخنه means, he rendered it thick; or he rendered him heavy or languid or enervated; or he overcame him and inflicted many wounds on him. اثخن فی العدو means, he made a great slaughter or a great wounding among the enemy. اثخن فی الارض means, he made much slaughter in the earth or the land; or he fought vehemently in the earth (Lane). The expression حتی یثخن فی الارض would thus mean, till he (the Prophet) has had a regular fighting in the land, inflicting wounds on the enemy.
It was a practice among pre-Islamic Arabs (and it is regrettable that the practice still continues in some parts of the world) to take men captives even if there was no war and no fighting, and then to make them slaves. The verse abolishes this evil custom and lays down in clear words that it is only in war and after regular fighting that enemy combatants can be taken prisoner and that it is not lawful to take any person captive when there is no war and there has been no fighting.
The verse has been very wrongly interpreted. It is said that when the Muslims took some men of the Meccan army captives at Badr, the Holy Prophet took counsel with his Companions as to what should be done with them. ‘Umar suggested that they should be put to death, while Abu Bakr proposed that they should be released after accepting ransom from them. The Holy
Prophet accepted the suggestion of Abu Bakr and the prisoners were released for ransom. But it is alleged that by revealing this verse, God expressed His disapproval of the Holy Prophet’s action, declaring that the captives ought to have been put to death and no ransom should have been taken for them. This interpretation, however, is obviously wrong; firstly, because God had so far sent down no commandment forbidding the release of prisoners for ransom, and, therefore, He could not reprove the Holy Prophet for accepting ransom; secondly, because the Holy Prophet had already accepted ransom for two persons taken captive at Nakhlah prior to the Battle of Badr, and God had not disapproved of this action of his; thirdly, because only two verses later God permits Muslims to eat of that which you have won in war as lawful and good (8:70). It is simply inconceivable that God should have reproved the Holy Prophet for having accepted ransom and then at the same time declared the money so taken to be lawful and good. This interpretation is, therefore, obviously wrong and the verse is only intended to lay down a general rule that captives should not be taken until there has been regular fighting and the enemy has been overpowered by the infliction of wounds. (close)