The Quran

Commentaries for 8.4

Al Anfal (Spoils of war) - الأنفال

8.4 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Those are they who are in truth believers) they are truly and certainly believers. (For them are grades (of honour)) ranks of merit (with their Lord) in the Hereafter, (and pardon) for the sins they committed in the life of this world, (and a bountiful provision) a fair reward in Paradise.
8.3-4 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
Those who perform the prayer and expend from what We have provided them, it is they who are the faithful in truth. They have degrees with their Lord and forgiveness and a generous provision.
In the previous verse, He counted out some of the inward deeds, such as godwariness, fear, and truth. Then, in this verse, He joins them with the outward deeds, such as prayer and alms tax. The former are marks of the Haqiqah, and the latter stipulations of the Shariah. Thus you know that these two are joined together. Without the Shariah the Haqiqah is of no use, and without the Haqiqah the Shariah is not correct. When the two are combined, then it is they who are the faithful in truth. The faithful in reality are they, for they are sound in both the Shariah and the Haqiqah. They have undertaken the Shariah, so they have degrees in the Garden and forgiveness; and they have truthfulness in the Haqiqah, so they have a generous provision. This is the provision of the secret cores through the unveilings and joinings which belong to them alone.
It has also been said that the traits counted out in this verse are the realities of servanthood in the encounters [with God] and the unveilings of the Haqiqah in the finding [of Him]. These are reverence for remembrance, quaking at the time of listening, being overcome by increase at the time of recitation, the reality of trust in God, and undertaking the stipulations of servanthood in full loyalty. When these descriptions are perfected, they become realizers through faith. Hence it is said, “It is they who are the faithful in truth.” In other words, in reality the most beautiful has
already gone forth to them from God, so for them it has become blessedness, nearness, and the most beautiful with their Lord.
8.4 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Those, described in the way mentioned, are the true, the real, believers, without doubt. For them are ranks, stations in Paradise, with their Lord, and forgiveness, and generous provision, in Paradise.
8.4 Kashani - Kashani
Those, are the true believers, [believing] with true faith. For them are degrees with their Lord, in the way of the levels of the attributes and the meadows of the Gardens of the heart, and forgiveness, from the sins of the acts, and generous provision, in the way of the self-disclosures of the attributes and knowledge of these.
8.2-4 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Qualities of the Faithful and Truthful Believers
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts)
"None of Allah's remembrance enters the hearts of the hypocrites upon performing what He has ordained. They neither believe in any of Allah's Ayat nor trust (in Allah) nor pray if they are alone nor pay the Zakah due on their wealth. Allah stated that they are not believers. He then described the believers by saying,
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts) and they perform what He has ordained,
وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً
(and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith) and conviction,
وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
(and they put their trust in their Lord), having hope in none except Him. '' Mujahid commented on,
وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
(their hearts Wajilat), "Their hearts become afraid and fearful.'' Similar was said by As-Suddi and several others. The quality of a true believer is that when Allah is mentioned, he feels a fear in his heart, and thus implements His orders and abstains from His prohibitions. Allah said in a similar Ayah,
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (immoral sin) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; -- and none can forgive sins but Allah -- and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know) 3:135, and,
وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَى - فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِىَ الْمَأْوَى
(But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from vain desires. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.) 79:40-41
Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that As-Suddi commented,
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts)
"A man might be thinking of committing injustice or a sin. But he abstains when he is told, `Have Taqwa of Allah', and his heart becomes fearful.'''
Faith increases when the Qur'an is recited
Allah's statement,
وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً
(And when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith;) is similar to His statement,
وَإِذَا مَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَـذِهِ إِيمَـناً فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
(And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them (hypocrites) say: "Which of you has had his faith increased by it'' As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice) 9:124.
Al-Bukhari and other scholars relied on this Ayah (8:2) and those similar, as evidence that faith increases and varies in strength from heart to heart. This is also the view of the majority of the scholars of Islam, prompting some scholars, such as Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Abu `Ubayd to declare that this is the consensus of the Ummah, as we mentioned in the beginning of the explanation of Sahih Al-Bukhari. All the thanks and praises are due to Allah.
The Reality of Tawakkul
Allah said,
وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
(And they put their trust in their Lord.)
Therefore, the believers hope in none except Allah, direct their dedication to Him alone, seek refuge with Him alone, invoke Him alone for their various needs and supplicate to Him alone. They know that whatever He wills, occurs and that whatever He does not will never occurs, that He alone is the One Who has the decision in His kingdom, without partners; none can avert the decision of Allah and He is swift in reckoning. Hence the statement of Sa`id bin Jubayr, "Tawakkul of Allah is the essence of faith.
Deeds of Faithful Believers
Allah said next,
الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَوةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
(Who perform the Salah and spend out of what We have provided them.)
Allah describes the actions of the believers after He mentioned their faith. The acts mentioned here include all types of righteous acts, such as establishing prayer, which is Allah's right. Qatadah said, "Establishing the prayer requires preserving its times, making ablution for it, bowing down and prostrating.'' Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "Establishing the prayer means to preserve its times, perform perfect purity for it, perform perfect bowings and prostrations, recite the Qur'an during it, sitting for Tashahhud and reciting the Salah (invoking Allah's blessings) for the benefit of the Prophet.''
Spending from what Allah has granted includes giving the Zakah and the rest of the what is due from the servant, either what is obligatory or recommended. All of the servants are Allah's dependents, and the most beloved among them to Him are the most beneficial to His creation.
The Reality of Faith
Allah's statement,
أُوْلـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقّاً
(It is they who are the believers in truth.) means, those who have these qualities are the believers with true faith.
The Fruits of Perfect Faith
Allah said,
لَّهُمْ دَرَجَـتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ
(For them are grades of dignity with their Lord) meaning, they have different grades, ranks and status in Paradise,
هُمْ دَرَجَـتٌ عِندَ اللَّهِ واللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ
(They are in varying grades with Allah, and Allah is All-Seer of what they do.)3:163
Next, Allah said,
وَمَغْفِرَةٌ
(and forgiveness), therefore, Allah will forgive them their sins and reward them for their good deeds. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ لَيَرَاهُمْ مَنْ أَسْفَلَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الْغَابِرَ فِي أُفُقٍ مِنْ آفَاقِ السَّمَاء»
(The residents of `Illiyyin (in Paradise) are seen from those below them, just as you see the distant planet in the horizon of the sky.)
They said, "O Allah's Messenger! They are the grades of the Prophets that none except them would attain.'' The Prophet said,
«بَلَى وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لِرِجَالٌ آمَنُوا بِاللهِ وَصَدَّقُوا الْمُرْسَلِين»
(Rather, by He in Whose Hand is my soul! They are for men who have faith in Allah and believed in the Messengers.)
In a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan, Abu `Atiyyah said that Ibn Abu Sa`id said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ لَيَتَرَاءَونَ أَهْلَ الدَّرَجَاتِ الْعُلَى كَمَا تَرَاءَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الْغَابِرَ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاءِ وَإِنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَأَنْعَمَا»
(Residents of Paradise see the residents of the highest grades just as you see the distant planet in the horizon of the sky. Verily, Abu Bakr and `Umar are among them (in the highest grades), and how excellent they are.)
8.4-6 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The promise, that the shortcomings of the believers shall be forgiven, gives great solace to them, for everyone, however great and good he may be, is liable to commit offenses and it is not at all possible that a human being will always do such deeds as conform in every case to the highest standard and are absolutely free from defect, deficiency and fault. Allah, however, shows one of His greatest blessings to those who perform obligatory duties, and forgives their shortcomings by His grace, and rewards His servants with a far greater recompense than the one they deserve. Otherwise, if His rule had been to reward and punish each and every virtue and vice separately, then even the most righteous people could not have escaped punishment.
The verse may mean either of the two things: as translated it means at that time the Truth required that they should go to the fight but they were afraid of this; and now the Truth required that they should not argue concerning the spoils of war and wait for the Command, but they did not seem to submit to this for the sake of the Truth. The second meaning will be this: "In the Battle of Badr, you have seen with your own eyes the good results of following the Truth. Although you were afraid of going to the fight as if you were being driven towards death, yet by obeying Allah and His Messenger, you won a great victory: likewise, if you now abide by the Truth in regard to the division of the spoils and submit to the Command of Allah and obey the decision of the Holy Prophet instead of yielding to the desires of your hearts, you will see good results with your own eyes".
Incidentally, verses 5-6 refute all those traditions about the Battle of Badr that are related in the books on the life of the Holy Prophet and his wars. They say that the real plan of the Holy Prophet and his followers was to plunder the caravan and accordingly they had marched out of AI-Madinah for the same purpose. But when they had traveled some distance, they learned that an army of the Quraish was corning for the protection of the caravan, and they held a council to decide whether to attack the caravan or the army. The Qur'an, however, contradicts this. It says that Allah brought forth the Holy Prophet from his home with the Truth at the very beginning and he had this Truth before him that they should meet the army of the Quraish in a decisive battle. For these consultations were held before they had started from AI-Madinah and not after. It was then that some Muslims were arguing with the Holy Prophet concerning the Truth that they should go to meet the army of the Quraish, though it had become quite evident to them. That was why these people felt as though they were being driven towards death, when they were commanded to march out of Al-Madinah at the very start of the expedition.