Surah al-Anfal: Chapter 8 (line 1-10) the Spoils

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

1. They ask you about the bounties. Say, “The bounties are for God and the Messenger.” So be mindful of God, and settle your differences, and obey God and His Messenger, if you are believers.

2. The believers are those whose hearts tremble when God is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, they strengthen them in faith, and upon their Lord they rely.

3. Those who perform the prayer; and from Our provisions to them, they spend.

4. These are the true believers. They have high standing with their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.

5. Even as your Lord brought you out of your home with the truth, some believers were reluctant.

6. Arguing with you about the truth after it was made clear, as if they were being driven to death as they looked on.

7. God has promised you one of the two groups-that it would be yours-but you wanted the unarmed group to be yours. God intends to prove the truth with His words, and to uproot the disbelievers.

8. In order to confirm the truth and nullify falsehood, even though the guilty dislike it.

9. When you appealed to your Lord for help, He answered you, “I am reinforcing you with one thousand angels in succession.”

10. God only made it a message of hope, and to set your hearts at rest. Victory comes only from God. God is Mighty and Wise.

My interpretation: 

At this point in time Muhammad had already begun to defend himself from the attacks of Mecca armies that have not wanted to believe in the messenger’s words and have killed and tortured his followers who stopped  believing in polytheism. Gabriel says that Muhammad’s followers will ask about the money received from the war triumphs (bounties) and what to do with it. Muhammad is to tell them that the money is for God and the Messenger.

As we know, Islam gives people a concern about the poor and deserted so I can imagine this is why. God wanted the money to be used in a righteous way only. The bounties will be divided up to poor of the community and used to help others, and possibly to help establish Islam in the Middle East.

Gabriel is saying that the believers are people that fear saying “no” to God’s orders and hold fast to faith. The only thing on earth to fear is for your soul and the wrath of God. If everyone lived with this fear, I bet there would be less choices made to do violence, and other immoral things. Muhammad is being told that those with respect for God in their hearts will fight in the way they need to in order to preserve the good.

Muhammad is told that he had two groups to choose to be part of: the armed group of Mecca, and the unharmed group of Medinah. Muhammad chose the unarmed group to belong to full of faithful believers who followed the revelations of the Quran. Because they did so they have been reinforced by 1,000 angels even though the men could not see, they were supported by Heaven.

Something very important to tell Muhammad so that he may pass this knowledge onto to others, is that good always triumphs over evil. Gabriel tells Muhammad that since God knows best, and knows which side of a war will bring more benefit to the world, then that is the side that will be victorious. Since the pagans have established rituals that consist of burying their baby daughters alive in the sand (more on that later). This will set Muhammad and the people’s minds at rest as they look towards a future full of war and hardship to help spread Islam across the land.

The good people can be oppressed, silenced, and even killed by the Mecca leaders, but they can’t lose in the end. This is why Islam is a world religion today and there is no polytheism in Arabia any longer.