Surah Al-Anfal >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 17 (8:17)

Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 17 in Arabic Text

فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِىَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَآءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌۭ
Falam taqtuloohum wa laakinnal laaha qatalahum; wa maa ramaita iz ramaita wa laakinnal laaha ramaa; wa liyubliyal mu’mineena minhu balaaa’an hasanaa; innal laaha Samee’un Aleem

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 17

Sahih International
And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

Yusuf Ali
It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah’s: in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself: for Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).

Abul Ala Maududi
So the fact is that it was not you, but it was Allah Who killed them; and it was not you when you threw [sand at them], but it was Allah Who threw it, (and the believers were employed for the task) that He might cause the believers to successfully pass through this test. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Muhsin Khan
You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you (Muhammad SAW) threw not when you did throw but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

Pickthall
Ye (Muslims) slew them not, but Allah slew them. And thou (Muhammad) threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair test from Him. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower.

Dr. Ghali
So, you did not kill them, but Allah killed them; and in no way did you (i.e., the prophet) throw when you threw, but Allah threw, and that He might try the believers by a fair trial from Himself. Surely Allah is Ever-Hearing, Ever-Knowing.

Abdel Haleem
It was not you who killed them but God, and when you [Prophet] threw [sand at them] it was not your throw [that defeated them] but God’s, to do the believers a favour: God is all seeing and all knowing-

Quran 8 Verse 17 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Anfal ayat 17, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(8:17) So the fact is that it was not you, but it was Allah Who killed them; and it was not you when you threw [sand at them], but it was Allah Who threw it,[14] (and the believers were employed for the task) that He might cause the believers to successfully pass through this test. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.


14. This refers to the occasion wnen the armies of the Muslims and the unbelievers stood face to face in the Battle of Badr and were on the verge of actual fighting. At that moment, the Prophet (peace be on him) threw a handful of dust at the enemy saying: ‘May, their faces be scorched.’ So saying the Prophet (peace be on him) made a gesture and the Muslims started their charge. (See Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 368; Ibn Hisham, vol. 1, p. 668; Ibn Kathir, comments on the verse – Ed.)

Ibn-Kathir

17. You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. 18. This (is the fact) and surely Allah weakens the deceitful plots of the disbelievers.


Allah’s Signs displayed during Badr, And throwing Sand in the Eyes of the Disbelievers

Allah states that He creates the actions that the servants perform and that whatever good actions they take, it is He Who should be praised for them, for He directed and helped them perform these actions. Allah said,

﴿فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ﴾

(You killed them not, but Allah killed them.) meaning, it is not because of your power and strength that you killed the pagans, who were many while you were few. Rather, it is He Who gave you victory over them, just as He said in another Ayah,

﴿وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِبَدْرٍ وَأَنتُمْ أَذِلَّةٌ﴾

(And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force.) ﴿3:123﴾, and,

﴿لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْئاً وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُم مُّدْبِرِينَ ﴾

(Truly, Allah has given you victory on many battlefields, and on the day of Hunayn when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight.) ﴿9:25﴾

Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, states that victory does not depend on numbers or collecting weapons and shields. Rather, victory is from Him, Exalted He is.

﴿كَم مِّن فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةٍ كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّـبِرِينَ﴾

(How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave” And Allah is with the patient.) ﴿2:249﴾

Allah then mentioned the handful of sand that His Prophet threw at the disbelievers during the day of Badr, when he went out of his bunker. While in the bunker, the Prophet invoked Allah humbly and expressing his neediness before Allah. He then threw a handful of sand at the disbelievers and said,

«شَاهَتِ الْوُجُوه»

(Humiliated be their faces.) He then commanded his Companions to start fighting with sincerity and they did. Allah made this handful of sand enter the eyes of the idolators, each one of them were struck by some of it and it distracted them making each of them busy. Allah said,

﴿وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَى﴾

(And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw.)

Therefore, it is Allah Who made the sand reach their eyes and busied them with it, not you (O Muhammad) .

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Muhammad bin Ja`far bin Az-Zubayr narrated to him that `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said about Allah’s statement,

﴿وَلِيُبْلِىَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلاَءً حَسَنًا﴾

(that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. ) “So that the believers know Allah’s favor for them by giving them victory over their enemy, even though their enemy was numerous, while they were few. They should thus know His right and express gratitude for His favor on them.” Similar was said by Ibn Jarir. It is stated in a Hadith,

«وَكُلَّ بَلَاءٍ حَسَنٍ أَبْلَانَا»

(Every trail (from Allah) is a favor for us.)

Allah said next,

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ﴾

(Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.)

Allah hears the supplication and knows those who deserve help and triumph. Allah said,

﴿ذلِكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مُوهِنُ كَيْدِ الْكَـفِرِينَ ﴾

(This (is the fact) and surely Allah weakens the deceitful plots of the disbelievers.) This is more good news, aside from the victory that the believers gained. Allah informed them that He will weaken the plots of the disbelievers in the future, degrade them and make everything they have perish and be destroyed, all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

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