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 7 (Verses 8:49–8:58): Enemy’s Strength Weakened


اِذۡ یَقُوۡلُ الۡمُنٰفِقُوۡنَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ مَّرَضٌ غَرَّہٰۤؤُ لَآءِ دِیۡنُہُمۡ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّتَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَزِیۡزٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۹﴾

8:49 And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease said: Their religion has deluded them. And whoever trusts in Allah, then surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.

وَ لَوۡ تَرٰۤی اِذۡ یَتَوَفَّی الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا ۙ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ یَضۡرِبُوۡنَ وُجُوۡہَہُمۡ وَ اَدۡبَارَہُمۡ ۚ وَ ذُوۡقُوۡا عَذَابَ الۡحَرِیۡقِ ﴿۵۰﴾

8:50 And if you could see when the angels cause to die those who disbelieve, striking their faces and their backs, and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning.

ذٰلِکَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتۡ اَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ لَیۡسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلۡعَبِیۡدِ ﴿ۙ۵۱﴾

8:51 This is for what your hands have sent ahead, and because Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants —

کَدَاۡبِ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ۙ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ؕ کَفَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ فَاَخَذَہُمُ اللّٰہُ بِذُنُوۡبِہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ قَوِیٌّ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ ﴿۵۲﴾

8:52 in the manner of the people of Pharaoh and those before them, they disbelieved in Allah’s messages, so Allah punished them for their sins. Surely Allah is Strong, Severe in retribution.

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّ اللّٰہَ لَمۡ یَکُ مُغَیِّرًا نِّعۡمَۃً اَنۡعَمَہَا عَلٰی قَوۡمٍ حَتّٰی یُغَیِّرُوۡا مَا بِاَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ۙ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ سَمِیۡعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۵۳﴾

8:53 This is because Allah never changes a favour which He has conferred upon a people until they change their own condition — and because Allah is Hearing, Knowing —

کَدَاۡبِ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ۙ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ؕ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ فَاَہۡلَکۡنٰہُمۡ بِذُنُوۡبِہِمۡ وَ اَغۡرَقۡنَاۤ اٰلَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ۚ وَ کُلٌّ کَانُوۡا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۵۴﴾

8:54 in the manner of the people of Pharaoh, and those before them. They rejected the messages of their Lord, so We destroyed them for their sins. And We drowned Pharaoh’s people and they were all wrongdoers.

اِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَآبِّ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا فَہُمۡ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿ۖۚ۵۵﴾

8:55 Surely the vilest of beasts in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe —

اَلَّذِیۡنَ عٰہَدۡتَّ مِنۡہُمۡ ثُمَّ یَنۡقُضُوۡنَ عَہۡدَہُمۡ فِیۡ کُلِّ مَرَّۃٍ وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۵۶﴾

8:56 those with whom you make an agreement, then they break their agreement every time, and they do not keep their duty.1

فَاِمَّا تَثۡقَفَنَّہُمۡ فِی الۡحَرۡبِ فَشَرِّدۡ بِہِمۡ مَّنۡ خَلۡفَہُمۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَذَّکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾

8:57 So if you overtake them in war, scatter by them those who are behind them, that they may be mindful.2

وَ اِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِنۡ قَوۡمٍ خِیَانَۃً فَانۡۢبِذۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡ عَلٰی سَوَآءٍ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡخَآئِنِیۡنَ ﴿٪۵۸﴾

8:58 And if you fear treachery on the part of a people, throw back to them (their treaty) on terms of equality. Surely Allah does not love the treacherous.3


  1. It shows how the opponents of Islam disregarded their responsibility and violated their agreements. The use of the words every time shows clearly that the Muslims never hesitated in making a new agreement when one was violated, but the disbelievers did not even then respect their agreements; hence, as a last resort, Muslims were allowed to repudiate unrespected agreements (v. 58).
  2. That is, an exemplary punishment should be inflicted on them, so that a stop might be put to further fighting and bloodshed.
  3. If the other party does not remain faithful to the agreement of peace, Muslims may also repudiate it. The word fear does not indicate that a mere appre­hension, unsupported by any action on the other side’s part, is sufficient for repudiation. Read it along with v. 62, and the meaning is clear.