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)

Section 4 (Verses 8:29–8:37): Muslims to be Guardians of the Sacred Mosque


یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنۡ تَتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّکُمۡ فُرۡقَانًا وَّ یُکَفِّرۡ عَنۡکُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِکُمۡ وَ یَغۡفِرۡ لَکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۲۹﴾

8:29 O you who believe, if you keep your duty to Allah, He will grant you a distinction and do away with your evils and protect you. And Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.

وَ اِذۡ یَمۡکُرُ بِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لِیُثۡبِتُوۡکَ اَوۡ یَقۡتُلُوۡکَ اَوۡ یُخۡرِجُوۡکَ ؕ وَ یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ وَ یَمۡکُرُ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ خَیۡرُ الۡمٰکِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾

8:30 And when those who disbelieved devised plans against you that they might confine you or kill you or drive you away — and they devised plans and Allah, too, had arranged a plan; and Allah is the Best of planners.1

وَ اِذَا تُتۡلٰی عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتُنَا قَالُوۡا قَدۡ سَمِعۡنَا لَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَقُلۡنَا مِثۡلَ ہٰذَاۤ ۙ اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّاۤ اَسَاطِیۡرُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾

8:31 And when Our messages are recited to them, they say: We have heard. If we wished, we could say the like of it; this is nothing but the stories of the ancients.2

وَ اِذۡ قَالُوا اللّٰہُمَّ اِنۡ کَانَ ہٰذَا ہُوَ الۡحَقَّ مِنۡ عِنۡدِکَ فَاَمۡطِرۡ عَلَیۡنَا حِجَارَۃً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ اَوِ ائۡتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۳۲﴾

8:32 And when they said: O Allah, if this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down on us stones from heaven or inflict on us a painful punishment.

وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیُعَذِّبَہُمۡ وَ اَنۡتَ فِیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ مُعَذِّبَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ یَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾

8:33 And Allah would not punish them while you were among them; nor would Allah punish them while they seek forgiveness.3

وَ مَا لَہُمۡ اَلَّا یُعَذِّبَہُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ ہُمۡ یَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَرَامِ وَ مَا کَانُوۡۤا اَوۡلِیَآءَہٗ ؕ اِنۡ اَوۡلِیَآؤُہٗۤ اِلَّا الۡمُتَّقُوۡنَ وَ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾

8:34 And what excuse have they that Allah should not punish them while they hinder (people) from the Sacred Mosque and they are not its (true) guardians? Its guardians are only those who keep their duty, but most of them do not know.4

وَ مَا کَانَ صَلَاتُہُمۡ عِنۡدَ الۡبَیۡتِ اِلَّا مُکَآءً وَّ تَصۡدِیَۃً ؕ فَذُوۡقُوا الۡعَذَابَ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَکۡفُرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾

8:35 And their prayer at the House is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands.5 Taste, then, the punishment, because you disbelieved.

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ لِیَصُدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ فَسَیُنۡفِقُوۡنَہَا ثُمَّ تَکُوۡنُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ حَسۡرَۃً ثُمَّ یُغۡلَبُوۡنَ ۬ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِلٰی جَہَنَّمَ یُحۡشَرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۶﴾

8:36 Surely those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (people) from the way of Allah. So they will go on spending it, then it will be to them a regret, then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered together to hell,

لِیَمِیۡزَ اللّٰہُ الۡخَبِیۡثَ مِنَ الطَّیِّبِ وَ یَجۡعَلَ الۡخَبِیۡثَ بَعۡضَہٗ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ فَیَرۡکُمَہٗ جَمِیۡعًا فَیَجۡعَلَہٗ فِیۡ جَہَنَّمَ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۳۷﴾

8:37 that Allah may separate the wicked from the good, and put the wicked upon one another, then heap them together, then cast them into hell. These indeed are the losers.


  1. The reference is to the final plans of the Quraish when, the Com­panions having emigrated to Madinah, the Prophet was left alone at Makkah. The Divine plan was that the disbelievers should see the downfall of their power at the hands of the Prophet.
  2. That this was an empty boast is confirmed by the fact that, although the Quran repeatedly challenged them to produce anything like it, they could not produce even the like of its shortest chapter.
  3. The punishment was to overtake them when the Holy Prophet was no more among them, i.e. after his flight from Makkah. But even then the punish­ment might be averted if they asked for forgiveness.
  4. The words contain a prophecy not only as to the deprivation of the disbelieving Quraish of the guardianship of the Ka‘bah, but also as to the passing of the guardianship into the hands of the Muslims.
  5. In fact the House was not used by them for offering prayers to God but for sacrilegious talk and gossiping.