Surah al-Anfal: Chapter 8 (line 10-20) the Spoils

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.

11. He made drowsiness overcome you, as a security from Him. And He sent down upon you water from the sky, to cleanse you with it, and to rid you of Satan’s pollution, and to fortify your hearts, and to strengthen your foothold.

12. Your Lord inspired the angels: “I am with you, so support those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So strike above the necks, and strike off every fingertip of theirs.”

13. That is because they opposed God and His Messenger. Whoever opposes God and His Messenger-God is severe in retribution.

14. “Here it is; so taste it.” For the disbelievers there is the suffering of the Fire.

15. O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve on the march, never turn your backs on them.

16. Anyone who turns his back on them on that Day, except while maneuvering for battle, or to join another group, has incurred wrath from God, and his abode is Hell-what a miserable destination!

17. It was not you who killed them, but it was God who killed them. And it was not you who launched when you launched, but it was God who launched. That He may bestow upon the believers an excellent reward. God is Hearing and Knowing.

18. Such is the case. God will undermine the strategy of the disbelievers.

19. If you desire a verdict, the verdict has come to you. And if you desist, it would be best for you. And if you return, We will return; and your troops, however numerous, will not benefit you. God is with the believers.

20. O you who believe! Obey God and His Messenger, and do not turn away from him when you hear.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is telling Muhammad about what has happened recently and what is from God. Muhammad’s armies have been blessed: They have been given a safe place to sleep, drink, and bathe in the desert.

The Lord also inspired His angels to support Muhammad and the angels were told by God that He will strike terror in every one of their hearts that fight against Muhammad. God will do this by directing the angels  to strike at their necks and finger tips so they could not come after Muhammad’s army. This line, 12, is what many people misinterpret and take out of context. God is telling the angels to do this to the armies against Muhammad. It is not a command to the muslims, it is to the angels. Another example of why you shouldn’t mess with the angels. They are strong and loyal creatures with wings (we will learn later) and they are not to be mocked or fought against.

When Muhammad’s troops are marching towards Mecca they are told to never turn their backs on people otherwise they will die in their own ignorance and experience the wrath of God if they are trying to run away from the battles that need to happen in order for Islam to be established.

Gabriel tells Muhammad that even though his army are doing the fighting, God is working through them. So each attack, and each kill is coming from God to the disbelievers of Mecca who will not let go of their pagan traditions. This is their retribution for what they have done.

I have said this before in other blog posts, every human rights movement and war fought against oppressors have been God working through the people to preserve the goodness in the world. This to me makes perfect sense when you think about how God is the Protector and Preserver. Letting evil run loose in the world for too long will corrupt a whole world, so the good people are often times used to “check” the evil and keep them in their place, so that there is not an imbalance of evil.

I am against war, and feel there is always other ways to work out our differences IF we were all the same level consciously. But I must remember evil people will not stop fighting you, and so they must always be fought back-kill or be killed is the self defense of war. It is a sad reality of this world, but a needed one in order for the goodness to thrive and the innocent always protected.

Have you ever stopped to think where the idea of superheroes came from?


The Justice League