English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 8: Al-Anfal — Voluntary Gifts (Revealed at Madinah: 10 sections, 75 verses)


This chapter deals with the battle of Badr, the first battle which the Muslims had to fight, and it goes under the name of Anfāl, literally voluntary gifts, because the Muslim State had at the time no treasury, nor any arsenal, nor an army and voluntary gifts were therefore called for. It was not only this battle but all the succeeding battles which Muslims had to fight were carried on only by voluntary gifts. Success in this battle, against all odds, provided proof of the truth of the Holy Prophet’s mission and thus this chapter occurs after a discussion of prophethood in the last chapter. Most of this chapter was revealed in 2 A.H., while the concluding verses of sections 7 and 8 were revealed around the time of the conquest of Makkah in 8 A.H.

List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. The Battle of Badr — Muslims go Forth (Verses 8:1–8:10)
  2. The Battle of Badr — Fighting (Verses 8:11–8:19)
  3. The Way to Success (Verses 8:20–8:28)
  4. Muslims to be Guardians of the Sacred Mosque (Verses 8:29–8:37)
  5. Badr as Sign of the Prophet’s Truth (Verses 8:38–8:44)
  6. Success does not Depend on Numbers (Verses 8:45–8:48)
  7. Enemy’s Strength Weakened (Verses 8:49–8:58)
  8. Peace to be Secured by Strength (Verses 8:59–8:64)
  9. Muslims to meet Overwhelming Numbers (Verses 8:65–8:69)
  10. Relations of Muslim State with Others (Verses 8:70–8:75)