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)
لَوۡ لَا کِتٰبٌ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّکُمۡ فِیۡمَاۤ اَخَذۡتُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۹﴾
لَّوۡلَا كِتَٰبٞ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمۡ فِيمَآ أَخَذۡتُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٞ
1145. The words refer to the Divine promise of help (8:8-10). (close)
1145A. Ransoming of captives was already in vogue. What is emphasized here is that prisoners could only be taken in regular fighting in the course of war. (close)
In the previous verse it was said that Muslims should not be hasty in taking captives from among the enemy. The verse under comment hints that kindness should be shown to prisoners and that they should be treated with mercy. The verse says that it is only through the assistance of God, which He had ordained for Muslims, that they have gained an easy victory and obtained much booty, and that if it had not been for the help which God had promised them beforehand, they would not have obtained the booty without being severely handled by the enemy and suffering great loss at his hands. The words, a decree from Allah which had gone before, obviously refer to the Word of God which had already conveyed the promise of help to the Holy Prophet (see 8:6 above). The words "great distress" thus signify distress caused by the enemy and not affliction from God. The verse purports to say that when by the help of God the Muslims have gained so easy a victory, they should feel grateful for it and should show kindness to the prisoners who have fallen into their hands. (close)
فَکُلُوۡا مِمَّا غَنِمۡتُمۡ حَلٰلًا طَیِّبًا ۫ۖ وَّ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿٪۷۰﴾
فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمۡتُمۡ حَلَٰلٗا طَيِّبٗاۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
a. 8:42. (close)
The conjunction "so", placed in the beginning of the verse, indicates that the commandment, that follows it, is connected with, and is the result of, what has been said in the previous verses. As the booty taken was obtained after regular fighting and the victory came as a result of God’s help, so the booty taken in the battle and the ransom-money realized from the enemy-prisoners are both "lawful and good". God has been here spoken of as "Forgiving" because He covered up the weaknesses of Muslims and made them appear strong in the sight of the enemy; and He has been spoken of as "Merciful" because He granted Muslims a decisive victory against overwhelming odds. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ قُلۡ لِّمَنۡ فِیۡۤ اَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَسۡرٰۤی ۙ اِنۡ یَّعۡلَمِ اللّٰہُ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِکُمۡ خَیۡرًا یُّؤۡتِکُمۡ خَیۡرًا مِّمَّاۤ اُخِذَ مِنۡکُمۡ وَ یَغۡفِرۡ لَکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۷۱﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِيُّ قُل لِّمَن فِيٓ أَيۡدِيكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَسۡرَىٰٓ إِن يَعۡلَمِ ٱللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمۡ خَيۡرٗا يُؤۡتِكُمۡ خَيۡرٗا مِّمَّآ أُخِذَ مِنكُمۡ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
1146. ‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle was taken prisoner at Badr. When subsequently he embraced Islam and came over to the Holy Prophet, he requested, on the authority of the verse under comment, that as God had promised to give the prisoners more than was taken from them as ransom, the promise may be fulfilled in his case. The Holy Prophet granted his request (Jarir, x. 31). (close)
The words of this verse, addressed to the Meccan prisoners in the hands of the Muslims, are meant by way of consolation. If they have been made to pay ransom for their release, they should not grieve, for if God sees some good in their hearts, He will not only forgive them their past errors but will also amply repay them for their financial loss. One of the prisoners taken at Badr was ‘Abbas, an uncle of the Holy Prophet. Some Muslims recommended him to the Holy Prophet for a free release in consideration of his near relationship to the Prophet and of his being a believer at heart, but the Holy Prophet refused to make any exception in his favour and declared that like other prisoners, he too should pay ransom for his release. When, however, he subsequently embraced Islam openly and came over to the Holy Prophet, he requested, on the basis of the verse under comment, that as God had promised to give the prisoners more than was taken from them as ransom, the promise may be fulfilled in his case, and the Holy Prophet granted his request (Jarir, x. 31). (close)
وَ اِنۡ یُّرِیۡدُوۡا خِیَانَتَکَ فَقَدۡ خَانُوا اللّٰہَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ فَاَمۡکَنَ مِنۡہُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۷۲﴾
وَإِن يُرِيدُواْ خِيَانَتَكَ فَقَدۡ خَانُواْ ٱللَّهَ مِن قَبۡلُ فَأَمۡكَنَ مِنۡهُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
The treacherous dealing mentioned here is that disbelievers should do evil in return for the kindness shown to them. As was the custom in Arabia, pre-Islamic Arabs used to slay their powerful enemies, whenever they fell into their hands. The verse, therefore, signifies that if the enemies of Islam proved treacherous, God would give Muslims power over them again; so it is not necessary for Muslims to put their prisoners to death as pre-Islamic Arabs used to do.
God knew that the time was soon coming when the disbelievers would embrace Islam, hence the injunction to spare their lives and to treat them with kindness, for was not God "All-Knowing, Wise"? (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ ہَاجَرُوۡا وَ جٰہَدُوۡا بِاَمۡوَالِہِمۡ وَ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰوَوۡا وَّ نَصَرُوۡۤا اُولٰٓئِکَ بَعۡضُہُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءُ بَعۡضٍ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ لَمۡ یُہَاجِرُوۡا مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ وَّلَایَتِہِمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ حَتّٰی یُہَاجِرُوۡا ۚ وَ اِنِ اسۡتَنۡصَرُوۡکُمۡ فِی الدِّیۡنِ فَعَلَیۡکُمُ النَّصۡرُ اِلَّا عَلٰی قَوۡمٍۭ بَیۡنَکُمۡ وَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ مِّیۡثَاقٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۷۳﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٰلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاوَواْ وَّنَصَرُوٓاْ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ بَعۡضُهُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ بَعۡضٖۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَمۡ يُهَاجِرُواْ مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَٰيَتِهِم مِّن شَيۡءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُواْۚ وَإِنِ ٱسۡتَنصَرُوكُمۡ فِي ٱلدِّينِ فَعَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلنَّصۡرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُم مِّيثَٰقٞۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ
b. 2:219; 9:20; 61:12. (close)
1147. The verse lays down the principle that those Muslims who live in the same country and under the same administration, whether as immigrants or as original citizens, are bound to help one another in the hour of each other’s need. But those Muslims who do not emigrate to a Muslim country have no claim on the help of the former in worldly matters. But if they are persecuted for the sake of their religion, then they must be helped. If, however, they are living under a non-Muslim government, with whom Muslims have entered into a treaty of peace, then no help should be rendered them even in matters of religion; and in this case the only way open to Muslims is to emigrate from the non-Muslim country. (close)
a. 2:219; 9:20; 61:12. (close)
1160. Important Words:
آووا (gave shelter) is derived from اوی. They say اوی الیه i.e. he betook himself to it; or he repaired to it for lodging, covert or refuge; or simply he betook himself to it or repaired to it; or he returned to it. اواه means, he gave or afforded him lodging, covert, refuge or asylum; or he sheltered, protected or harboured him. اوی له means, he felt compassion or pity for him. آواه means, he gave or afforded him lodging, covert, refuge or asylum; or he sheltered or harboured him (Lane).
The verse enunciates a great principle which should govern the social relations of Muslims. It lays down that those Muslims who live in the same country and under the same administrations, whether as immigrants or as original citizens, are bound to help one another in the hour of need. If one of them is wronged, the others must come to his help. But as regards those Muslims who have not migrated to a Muslim country and prefer to live apart, they have no claim on the assistance of these Muslims in worldly matters. But if they seek their help in the matter of religion, e.g. when they are persecuted for the sake of their religion, then they must be helped. If, however, they are living under a non-Muslim government, with whom Muslims have entered into a treaty of peace, then no help should be rendered them even in matters of religion; and in this case, the only way open to them is to migrate from the non-Muslim country. The reader should note what high regard for compacts and treaties the Quran inculcates in its followers. It is to warn Muslims against a violation of compacts that the verse fittingly ends with the words, And Allah sees what you do. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡضُہُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءُ بَعۡضٍ ؕ اِلَّا تَفۡعَلُوۡہُ تَکُنۡ فِتۡنَۃٌ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ فَسَادٌ کَبِیۡرٌ ﴿ؕ۷۴﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعۡضُهُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ بَعۡضٍۚ إِلَّا تَفۡعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتۡنَةٞ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَفَسَادٞ كَبِيرٞ
1148. If this principle is not observed by Muslims, there will be oppression, tyranny and disturbance in the land. (close)
The pronoun "it" in تفعلوه (if you do it not) refers to what has been said in the previous verse, i.e. helping oppressed Muslims as well as fulfilling compacts with non-Muslims. The verse purports to say that if this teaching is not observed by Muslims, the result will be oppression and disturbance in the earth. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ ہَاجَرُوۡا وَ جٰہَدُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰوَوۡا وَّ نَصَرُوۡۤا اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ حَقًّا ؕ لَہُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃٌ وَّ رِزۡقٌ کَرِیۡمٌ ﴿۷۵﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَٰهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاوَواْ وَّنَصَرُوٓاْ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ حَقّٗاۚ لَّهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٞ وَرِزۡقٞ كَرِيمٞ
Two classes of believers have been commended here: firstly, those who, being persecuted, flee from a country where they are not free to follow their faith; secondly, those who give shelter to and help the immigrants. The Muslims of the former class are called Muhajirin (Refugees), while those of the second class are known as Ansar (Helpers). Both these classes have been called true believers, for both are active believers and make sacrifices for the cause of religion; and the verse promises them forgiveness and honourable provision. This also shows that those, who do not migrate from their homes where they do not enjoy religious freedom, and set worldly good above religion, do not have an "honourable provision," i.e. their worldly gains are not honourable in the sight of God. Similarly, the verse hints that those who help and give shelter to the immigrants will, in spite of freely spending on their needy brethren, find their possessions ever increasing, and God will continue to grant them honourable provision. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدُ وَ ہَاجَرُوۡا وَ جٰہَدُوۡا مَعَکُمۡ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ مِنۡکُمۡ ؕ وَ اُولُوا الۡاَرۡحَامِ بَعۡضُہُمۡ اَوۡلٰی بِبَعۡضٍ فِیۡ کِتٰبِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿٪۷۶﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدُ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَٰهَدُواْ مَعَكُمۡ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ مِنكُمۡۚ وَأُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ بَعۡضُهُمۡ أَوۡلَىٰ بِبَعۡضٖ فِي كِتَٰبِ ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيۡءٍ عَلِيمُۢ
a. 33:7. (close)
1149. As all Muslims are declared to be brothers, one to another, in verse 73 and the Holy Prophet had established at Medina a sort of brotherhood between the Refugees and the Helpers, the misunderstanding might have arisen that they could inherit one another’s property; so it is enjoined here that blood relations alone are entitled to inheritance and other Muslims are only brothers in Faith and not heirs. (close)
1163. Important Words:
اولی (nearer) means more entitled or having a better right or more deserving or more worthy. It also means, more regardful or more considerate. See 4:136.
The verse purports to say that the promise of "forgiveness and honourable provision" given to migrants (see preceding verse) is not confined to the early migrants only. It extends to the later migrants also and is meant to continue while persecution or, for that matter, sincerity of faith continues.
The verse also gives another injunction. As all Muslims were declared to be brothers one to another (8:73), some persons might have been led to think that they might also inherit one another’s property; so the verse fittingly declares that only blood relations are entitled to inheritance and that other Muslims are only brothers in faith, but not heirs. (close)