Reading the Koran. 89

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 11 JIHAD, WAR AGAINST ALL (continued)

Now it was time to take the property from the dead who could no longer claim what had been theirs. It was now the spoils of jihad and the profit of Islam. Mohammed divided it equally among all who were there. He took one fifth for himself.

When they ask you about the spoils of war say: The spoils belong to Allah and His messenger. [This sura was written after the Battle of Badr.] Therefore, fear Allah and settle your arguments. Obey Allah and His messenger if you are truly believers.

Off they set for Medina with the spoils of war and the prisoners to be ransomed. Except for one prisoner, who had spoken against Mohammed. He was brought in front of the Prophet to be killed and before the sword struck, he asked, “Who will care for my family?” The Prophet replied, “Hell!” After he fell dead, Mohammed said, “Unbeliever in Allah and his Prophet and his Book! I give thanks to Allah who has killed you and made my eyes satisfied.”

After the battle of Badr there came about an entire sura of the Koran. The eighth chapter is called War Treasure or Booty and also the Spoils of War. The idea of the battle of Badr was Mohammed’s. Many of the Muslims had no desire to go to war. The armed Muslims wanted to attack the caravan, not the army.

The Muslims were not alone. No, Allah sent a thousand angels to help kill those who worshiped in the ancient ways and rituals. To resist Mohammed was a death sentence from Allah. When a Muslim meets a non-Muslim in war, they should never turn their backs, except as a tactical maneuver. A Muslim fighting in Allah’s cause must face the enemy. To not do so brings on the wrath of Allah and the judgment of Hell.

8:2 The true believers are the ones whose hearts tremble with fear at the mention of Allah and whose faith grows stronger when His revelations are revealed to them and in Him they put their trust. True believers are dedicated to their prayers and give generously from that which We have given them. These are truly the believers. They will be raised up and receive forgiveness from their Lord, and they will receive generous provisions.

8:5 Remember how your Lord commanded you to leave your homes to fight for the truth, but some of the believers were opposed to it? They disputed the truth after you had revealed it, as if they were being led to certain death before their eyes.

8:7 And when Allah promised that you would defeat one of the two groups of enemies, you wished to attack the group that was defenseless. [Mohammed had started out to attack a large, unarmed Meccan caravan. But a thousand-man army from Mecca arrived to protect the caravan.] But Allah wished to justify the truth of His words and to cut the unbelievers down so that the truth would triumph and the lies would be shown false, much to the opposition of the guilty.

8:9 Remember when you begged your Lord for help and He said, “I will send the ranks of a thousand angels to your aid?” Allah gave this as a message of good news to bring them hope, for victory only comes from Allah. Allah is mighty and wise.

8:11 Remember when sleep overcame you, a sign of His reassurance? He sent down rain from the heavens to make you clean and to rid you of the grime of Satan, to strengthen your hearts and steady your feet. [The rain before the battle muddied the ground and hindered the Meccan cavalry.]

8:12 Then your Lord spoke to His angels and said, “I will be with you. Give strength to the believers. I will send terror into the unbelievers’ hearts, cut off their heads and even the tips of their fingers!” This was because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Ones who oppose Allah and His messenger will be severely punished by Allah. We said, “This is for you! Taste it and know that the unbelievers will receive the torment of the Fire.”

8:15 Believers! When you meet the unbelievers marching into battle, do not turn your back to them to retreat. Anyone who turns his back on them, unless it is for a tactical advantage or to join another company, will incur Allah’s wrath and Hell will be his home, truly a tortuous end. It was not you, but Allah, that killed them. It was not you whose blows destroyed them, but Allah destroyed them so that He might give the believers a gift from Himself. Allah is all-hearing and all-knowing. Therefore, Allah will certainly thwart the plans of the unbelievers.

8:19 Meccans! If you sought a judgment, it has now come to you. If you cease in your persecution of the believers, it will be better for you, but if you continue in your war against the faithful, so will We continue to help them. Your vast forces will be no match for Us for Allah stands with the faithful.

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