Surah Al-Anfal >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 42 (8:42)

Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 42 in Arabic Text

إِذْ أَنتُم بِٱلْعُدْوَةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَهُم بِٱلْعُدْوَةِ ٱلْقُصْوَىٰ وَٱلرَّكْبُ أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ تَوَاعَدتُّمْ لَٱخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِى ٱلْمِيعَـٰدِ ۙ وَلَـٰكِن لِّيَقْضِىَ ٱللَّهُ أَمْرًۭا كَانَ مَفْعُولًۭا لِّيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَنۢ بَيِّنَةٍۢ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَىَّ عَنۢ بَيِّنَةٍۢ ۗ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَسَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Iz antum bil’udwatid dunyaa wa hum bil’udwatil quswaa warrakbu asfala minkum; wa law tawaa’attum lakhtalaftum fil mee’aadi wa laakil liyaqdiyal laahu amran kaana maf’oolal liyahlika man halaka ‘am baiyinatinw wa yahyaa man haiya ‘am baiyinah; wa innal laaha la Samee’un ‘Aleem

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 42

Sahih International
[Remember] when you were on the near side of the valley, and they were on the farther side, and the caravan was lower [in position] than you. If you had made an appointment [to meet], you would have missed the appointment. But [it was] so that Allah might accomplish a matter already destined – that those who perished [through disbelief] would perish upon evidence and those who lived [in faith] would live upon evidence; and indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

Yusuf Ali
Remember ye were on the hither side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on lower ground than ye. Even if ye had made a mutual appointment to meet, ye would certainly have failed in the appointment: But (thus ye met), that Allah might accomplish a matter already enacted; that those who died might die after a clear Sign (had been given), and those who lived might live after a Clear Sign (had been given). And verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).

Abul Ala Maududi
And recall when you were encamped at the nearer end of the valley (of Badr) and they were at the farther end and the caravan below you (along the seaside). Had you made a mutual appointment to meet in encounter, you would have declined. But encounter was brought about so that Allah might accomplish what He had decreed, and that he who was to perish should perish through a clear proof, and who was to survive might survive through a clear proof. Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Muhsin Khan
(And remember) when you (the Muslim army) were on the near side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on the ground lower than you. Even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet, you would certainly have failed in the appointment, but (you met) that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained (in His Knowledge); so that those who were to be destroyed (for their rejecting the Faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live (i.e. believers) might live after a clear evidence. And surely, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

Pickthall
When ye were on the near bank (of the valley) and they were on the yonder bank, and the caravan was below you (on the coast plain). And had ye trysted to meet one another ye surely would have failed to keep the tryst, but (it happened, as it did, without the forethought of either of you) that Allah might conclude a thing that must be done; that he who perished (on that day) might perish by a clear proof (of His Sovereignty) and he who survived might survive by a clear proof (of His Sovereignty). Lo! Allah in truth is Hearer, Knower.

Dr. Ghali
As you were on the closer embankment, and they were on the remotest embankment, and the cavalcade (of riders) was below you; and if you had made a mutual appointment, you would indeed have differed about the promised appointment, but that Allah might decree a Command that was to be performed, that whoever perished might perish by a supreme evidence, and whoever lived might live by a supreme evidence; and surely Allah is indeed Ever-Hearing, Ever-Knowing.

Abdel Haleem
Remember when you were on the near side of the valley, and they were on the far side and the caravan was below you. If you had made an appointment to fight, you would have failed to keep it [but the battle took place] so that God might bring about something already ordained, so that those who were to die might die after seeing a clear proof, and so that those who were to live might live after seeing a clear proof- God is all hearing and all seeing.

Quran 8 Verse 42 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Anfal ayat 42, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(8:42) And recall when you were encamped at the nearer end of the valley (of Badr) and they were at the farther end and the caravan below you (along the seaside). Had you made a mutual appointment to meet in encounter, you would have declined. But encounter was brought about so that Allah might accomplish what He had decreed, and that he who was to perish should perish through a clear proof, and who was to survive might survive through a clear proof.[34] Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.[35]


34. The living and the dead spoken of in the above verse do not signify the individuals who survived the battle or those killed during it. The reference here is to the ideological entities of Islam and Jahiliyah.

35. God is neither blind nor deaf nor ignorant. On the contrary, He is All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Wise. Hence, we find reflection of God’s knowledge, wisdom and justice in history.

Ibn-Kathir

42. (And remember) when you (the Muslim army) were on the near side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on the ground lower than you. Even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet, you would certainly have failed in the appointment, but (you met) that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained (in His knowledge), so that those who were to be destroyed (for rejecting the faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live (believers) might live after a clear evidence. And surely, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.


Some Details of the Battle of Badr

Allah describes Yawm Al-Furqan, (i.e. the day of Badr),

﴿إِذْ أَنتُم بِالْعُدْوَةِ الدُّنْيَا﴾

((And remember) when you (the Muslim army) were on the near side of the valley,) camping in the closest entrance of the valley towards Al-Madinah,

﴿وَهُمْ﴾

(and they), the idolators, who were camped,

﴿بِالْعُدْوَةِ الْقُصْوَى﴾

(on the farther side), from Al-Madinah, towards Makkah.

﴿وَالرَّكْبُ﴾

(and the caravan), that was under the command of Abu Sufyan, with the wealth that it contained,

﴿أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ﴾

(on the ground lower than you), closer to the sea,

﴿وَلَوْ تَوَاعَدتُّمْ﴾

(even if you had made a mutual appointment to meet,) you and the idolators,

﴿لاَخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِي الْمِيعَـدِ﴾

(you would certainly have failed in the appointment)

Muhammad bin Ishaq said, “Yahya bin `Abbad bin `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated to me from his father about this Ayah “Had there been an appointed meeting set between you and them and you came to know of their superior numbers and your few forces, you would not have met them,

﴿وَلَـكِن لِّيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْراً كَانَ مَفْعُولاً﴾

(but (you met) that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained,) Allah had decreed that He would bring glory to Islam and its people, while disgracing Shirk and its people. You ﴿the companions﴾ had no knowledge this would happen, but it was out of Allah’s compassion that He did that.” In a Hadith, Ka`b bin Malik said, “The Messenger of Allah and the Muslims marched to intercept the Quraysh caravan, but Allah made them meet their (armed) enemy without appointment.” Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Yazid bin Ruwman narrated to him that `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, “Upon approaching Badr, the Messenger of Allah sent `Ali bin Abi Talib, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, Az-Zubayr bin Al-`Awwam and several other Companions to spy the pagans. They captured two boys, a servant of Bani Sa`id bin Al-`As and a servant of Bani Al-Hajjaj, while they were bringing water for Quraysh. So they brought them to the Messenger of Allah , but found him praying. The Companions started interrogating the boys, asking them to whom they belonged. Both of them said that they were employees bringing water for Quraysh (army). The Componions were upset with that answer, since they thought that the boys belonged to Abu Sufyan (who was commanding the caravan). So they beat the two boys vehemently, who said finally that they belonged to Abu Sufyan. Thereupon companions left them alone. When the Prophet ended the prayer, he said,

«إَذَا صَدَّقَاكُمْ ضَرَبْتُمُوهُمَا، وَإِذَا كَذَّبَاكُمْ تَرَكْتُمُوهُمَا، صَدَقَا وَاللهِ إِنَّهُمَا لِقُرَيْشٍ ، أَخْبِرَانِي عَنْ قُرَيْش»

(When they tell you the truth you beat them, but when they lie you let them go They have said the truth, by Allah! They belong to the Quraysh. (addressing to the boys He said) Tell me the news about Quraysh.)

The two boys said, `They are behind this hill that you see, on the far side of the valley.’ The Messenger of Allah asked,

«كَمِ الْقَوْمُ؟»

(How many are they)

They said, `They are many.’ He asked,

«مَاعُدّتُهُمْ؟»

(How many) They said, `We do not know the precise number.’ He asked,

«كَمْ يَنْحَرُونَ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ؟»

(How many camels do they slaughter every day)

They said, `Nine or ten a day.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«الْقَوْمُ مَا بَيْنَ التِّسْعمِائَةِ إِلَى الْأَلْف»

(They are between nine-hundred and a thousand.) He asked again,

«فَمَنْ فِيهِمْ مِنْ أَشْرَافِ قُرَيْشٍ؟»

(Which chiefs of Quraysh are accompanying the army) They said, `Utbah bin Rabi`ah, Shaybah bin Rabi`ah, Abu Al-Bakhtari bin Hisham, Hakim bin Hizam, Nawfal bin Khuwaylid, Al-Harith bin `Amir bin Nawfal, Tu`aymah bin Adi bin Nawfal, An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, Zam`ah bin Al-Aswad, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Umayyah bin Khalaf, Nabih and Munabbih sons of Al-Hajjaj, Suhayl bin `Amr and `Amr bin `Abd Wadd.’ The Messenger of Allah said to the people,

«هَذِهِ مَكَّةُ قَدْ أَلْقَتْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَفَلَاذَ كَبِدِهَا»

(This is Makkah! She has brought you her most precious sons (its chiefs)!)”

Allah said,

﴿لِّيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَى مَنْ حَىَّ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ﴾

(So that those who were to be destroyed might be destroyed after a clear evidence.) ﴿8:42﴾

Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, “So that those who disbelieve do so after witnessing clear evidence, proof and lessons, and those who believe do so after witnessing the same.” This is a sound explanation. Allah says, He made you meet your enemy in one area without appointment, so that He gives you victory over them.’ This way, `He will raise the word of truth above falsehood, so that the matter is made clear, the proof unequivocal and the evidence plain. Then there will be no more plea or doubt for anyone. Then, those destined to destruction by persisting in disbelief do so with evidence, aware that they are misguided and that proof has been established against them,

﴿وَيَحْيَى مَنْ حَىَّ﴾

(and those who were to live might live), those who wish to believe do so,

﴿عَن بَيِّنَةٍ﴾

(after a clear evidence), and proof. Verily, faith is the life of the heart, as Allah said,

﴿أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَـهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِى النَّاسِ كَمَن﴾

(Is he who was dead (without faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and faith) and set for him a light (of belief) whereby he can walk among men …) ﴿6:122﴾.

Allah said next,

﴿وَإِنَّ اللّهَ لَسَمِيعٌ﴾

(And surely, Allah is All-Hearer), of your invocation, humility and requests for His help,

﴿عَلِيمٌ﴾

(All-Knower) meaning; about you, and you deserve victory over your rebellious, disbelieving enemies.

Quick navigation links

Surah Al-Anfal
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 . 21 . 22 . 23 . 24 . 25 . 26 . 27 . 28 . 29 . 30 . 31 . 32 . 33 . 34 . 35 . 36 . 37 . 38 . 39 . 40 . 41 . 42 . 43 . 44 . 45 . 46 . 47 . 48 . 49 . 50 . 51 . 52 . 53 . 54 . 55 . 56 . 57 . 58 . 59 . 60 . 61 . 62 . 63 . 64 . 65 . 66 . 67 . 68 . 69 . 70 . 71 . 72 . 73 . 74 . 75