Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 41 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 41
And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our Servant on the day of criterion – the day when the two armies met. And Allah, over all things, is competent.
And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath power over all things.
Know that one fifth of the spoils that you obtain belongs to Allah, to the Messenger, to the near of kin, to the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer. This you must observe if you truly believe In Allah and in what We sent down on Our servant on the day when the true was distinguished from the false, the day on which the two armies met in battle. Allah has power over all things.
And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain, verily one-fifth (1/5th) of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives [of the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)], (and also) the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarer, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our slave (Muhammad SAW) on the Day of criterion (between right and wrong), the Day when the two forces met (the battle of Badr) – And Allah is Able to do all things.
And know that whatever ye take as spoils of war, lo! a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger and for the kinsman (who hath need) and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if ye believe in Allah and that which We revealed unto Our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the day when the two armies met. And Allah is Able to do all things.
And know that whatever thing you take as booty, then for Allah is the fifth of it and for the Messenger, and for a near kinsman, and the orphans, and the indigent, and the wayfarer, in case you believe in Allah and what We sent down upon Our Bondman on the day of the all-distinctive Criterion, the day the two gatherings encountered, and Allah is Ever-Determiner over everything.
Know that one-fifth of your battle gains belongs to God and the Messenger, to close relatives and orphans, to the needy and travellers, if you believe in God and the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the day of the decision, the day when the two forces met in battle. God has power over all things.
Quran 8 Verse 41 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Anfal ayat 41, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(8:41) Know that one fifth of the spoils that you obtain belongs to Allah, to the Messenger, to the near of kin, to the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer. This you must observe if you truly believe In Allah and in what We sent down on Our servant on the day when the true was distinguished from the false, the day on which the two armies met in battle. Allah has power over all things.
32. This verse lay’s down the law for distributing the spoils of war. Spoils of war, as mentioned earlier, essentially belong to God and His Messenger. They alone have the right to dispose of them. As for the soldiers who fight, they are not the rightful owners of the spoils; whatever they do receive should be considered an extra reward from God rather than their legitimate right.
Here it is stated how God and His Messenger decided to dispose of the spoils. The prescribed rule is that the soldiers should depbsit all the spoils with the ruler or the commander without making any effort to conceal anything. One-fifth of the spoils thus deposited would be assigned for the purposes mentioned in the present verse and four-fifths would be distributed among the soldiers who had taken part in the fighting. In keeping with the directive contained in the present verse, after every battle the Prophet (peace be on him) used to proclaim: These are your spoils. My own share in them is no more than one-fifth and even that fifth is spent on you. Bring everything, even if it be a piece of thread or a needle, or anything bigger or smaller, and take nothing by stealth (gulal), for taking by stealth is a shameful deed, and would lead to Hell.’ (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 316 – Ed.)
It is pertinent to remember that the share of God and His Messenger (peace be on him) in the spoils signifies that a part of the spoils should be earmarked for the struggle to exalt the Word of God and to establish Islam as an operational system of life..
As to the word ‘kinsmen’ in the verse, during the Prophet’s lifetime, it stood for his relatives. Since the Prophet (peace be on him) devoted all his time to the cause of Islam, he was not in a position to earn his own living. Hence, some arrangement had to be made for the maintenance of the Prophet (peace be on him) as well as for his family, and the relatives dependent upon him for financial support. Hence a part of khums (one-fifth of the spoils of war) was specified for that purpose. There is, however, some disagreement among jurists as to whom this share should go to after the Prophet’s death. Some jurists are of the view that after the Prophet’s death the rule stands repealed. According to other jurists, this part should go to relatives of those who succeeded him to Caliphate. Other jurists are of the view that this share should be distributed among the poor members of the Prophet’s family. To the best of my knowledge, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs followed the last practice. (See the comments of Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir and Jassas on the verse. See also Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid, vol. 1, pp. 377-8 – Ed. )
33. This refers to the support and help from God which brought about victory for the Muslims.
41. And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives (of the Messenger), the orphans, the poor, and the wayfarer, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Criterion, the Day when the two forces met; and Allah is able to do all things.
Allah explains the spoils of war in detail, as He has specifically allowed it for this honorable Ummah over all others. We should mention that the `Ghanimah’ refers to war spoils captured from the disbelievers, using armies and instruments of war. As for `Fai’, it refers to the property of the disbelievers that they forfeit in return for peace, what they leave behind when they die and have no one to inherit from them, and the Jizyah (tribute tax) and Khiraj (property tax). Allah said,
(And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah) indicating that the one-fifth should be reserved and paid in full ﴿to Muslim leaders﴾ whether it was little or substantial, even a yarn and needle.
(And whosoever deceives (his companions over the booty), he shall bring forth on the Day of Resurrection that which he took (illegally). Then every person shall be paid in full what he has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.) ﴿3:161﴾
(verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger, ) was explained by Ibn `Abbas, as Ad-Dahhak reported from him, “Whenever the Messenger of Allah sent an army, he used to divide the war booty they collected into five shares, reserving one-fifth and divided it into five shares.” Then he recited;
(And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger,)
Ibn Abbas said, “Allah’s statement,
(verily, one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah) is inclusive ﴿of the Messenger’s share﴾, just as the following Ayah is inclusive ﴿of Allah owning whatever is on the earth also﴾,
(To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth)﴿2:284﴾.” So He addressed the share of Allah and the share of His Messenger in the same statement.
Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Al-Hanifiyyah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ash-Sha`bi, `Ata’ bin Abi Rabah, `Abdullah bin Buraydah, Qatadah, Mughirah and several others, all said that the share designated for Allah and the Messenger is one and the same. Supporting this is what Imam Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi recorded, with a Sahih chain of narrators, that `Abdullah bin Shaqiq said that a man from Bilqin said, “I came to the Prophet when he was in Wadi Al-Qura inspecting a horse. I asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! What about the Ghanimah’ He said,
(Allah’s share is one fifth and four-fifths are for the army.)
I asked, `None of them has more right to it than anyone else’ He said,
(No. Even if you remove an arrow that pierced your flank, you have no more right to it than your Muslim brother.)”
Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dikarib Al-Kindi sat with `Ubadah bin As-Samit, Abu Ad-Darda’ and Al-Harith bin Mu`awiyah Al-Kindi, may Allah be pleased with them, reminding each other of the statements of the Messenger of Allah . Abu Ad-Darda’ said to `Ubadah, “O `Ubadah! What about the words of the Messenger of Allah during such and such battle, about the fifth (of the war booty)” `Ubadah said, “The Messenger of Allah led them in prayer, facing a camel from the war booty. When he finished the prayer, he stood up, held pelt of a camel between his fingers and said,
(This is also a part of the war booty you earned. Verily, I have no share in it, except my own share, the fifth designated to me. Even that fifth will be given to you (indicating the Prophet’s generosity). Therefore, surrender even the needle and the thread, and whatever is bigger or smaller than that (from the war spoils). Do not cheat with any of it, for stealing from the war booty before its distribution is Fire and a shame on its people in this life and the Hereafter. Perform Jihad against the people in Allah’s cause, whether they are near or far, and do not fear the blame of the blamers, as long as you are in Allah’s cause. Establish Allah’s rules while in your area and while traveling. Perform Jihad in Allah’s cause, for Jihad is a tremendous door leading to Paradise. Through it, Allah saves (one) from sadness and grief.)”
This is a tremendous Hadith, but I did not find it in any of the six collections of Hadith through this chain of narration. However, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i recorded a Hadith from `Amr bin Shu`ayb, from his father, from his grandfather `Abdullah bin `Amr, from the Messenger of Allah , and this narration is similar to the one above, and a version from `Amr bin `Anbasah was recorded by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i. The Prophet used to choose some types of the war booty for himself; a servant, a horse, or a sword, according to the reports from Muhammad bin Sirin, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi and many scholars. For instance, Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi — who graded it Hasan — recorded from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah chose a sword called `Dhul-Fiqar’ on the day of Badr. `A’ishah narrated that Safiyyah was among the captured women, and the Prophet chose ﴿and married﴾ her (upon his own choice and before distribution of war booty), as Abu Dawud narrated in the Sunan. As for the share of the Prophet’s relatives, it is paid to Bani Hashim and Bani Al-Muttalib, because the children of Al-Muttalib supported Bani Hashim in Jahiliyyah after Islam. They also went to the mountain pass of Abu Talib in support of the Messenger of Allah and to protect him (when the Quraysh boycotted Muslims for three years). Those who were Muslims (from Bani Al-Muttalib) did all this in obedience to Allah and His Messenger , while the disbelievers among them did so in support of their tribe and in obedience to Abu Talib, the Messenger’s uncle.
Allah said next,
(the orphans), in reference to Muslim orphans,
(and the wayfarer), the traveler and those who intend to travel for a distance during which shortening the prayer is legislated, but do not have resources to spend from. We will explain this subject in Surah Bara’h ﴿9:60﴾, Allah willing, and our reliance and trust is in Him alone.
(If you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our servant)
Allah says, `Adhere to what We legislated for you, such as the ruling about one-fifth of the war spoils, if you truly believe in Allah, the Last Day and what We have revealed to Our Messenger .’ In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Abdullah bin `Abbas said, – while narrating the lengthy Hadith about the delegation of Bani Abdul Qays – that the Messenger of Allah said to them, s
I command you with four and forbid four from you. I command you to believe in Allah. Do you know what it means to believe in Allah Testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, giving Zakah and honestly surrendering one-fifth of the war spoils.)
Therefore, the Messenger listed surrendering one-fifth of the war booty as part of faith. This is why Al-Bukhari wrote a chapter in his Sahih entitled, “Chapter: Paying the Khumus (one-fifth) is Part of Faith.” He then narrated the above Hadith from Ibn `Abbas. Allah said next,
(on the Day of Criterion, the Day when the two forces met; and Allah is Able to do all things.) Allah is making His favors and compassion towards His creation known, when He distinguished between truth and falsehood in the battle of Badr. That day was called, `Al-Furqan’, because Allah raised the word of faith above the word of falsehood, He made His religion apparent and supported His Prophet and his group. `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “Badr is YawmAl-Furqan; during it, Allah separated between truth and falsehood.” Al-Hakim collected this statement. Similar statements were reported from Mujahid, Miqsam, `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and several others.
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