Surah al-Anfal: Chapter 8 (line 20-30) the Spoils

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

21. And be not like those who say, “We hear,” when they do not hear.

22. The worst of animals to God are the deaf and dumb-those who do not reason.

23. Had God recognized any good in them, He would have made them hear; and had He made them hear, they would have turned away defiantly.

24. O you who believe! Respond to God and to the Messenger when He calls you to what will revive you. And know that God stands between a man and his heart, and that to Him you will be gathered.

25. And beware of discord which does not afflict the wrongdoers among you exclusively; and know that God is severe in retribution.

26. And remember when you were few, oppressed in the land, fearing that people may capture you; but He sheltered you, and supported you with His victory, and provided you with good things-so that you may be thankful.

27. O you who believe! Do not betray God and the Messenger, nor betray your trusts, while you know.

28. And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that God possesses an immense reward.

29. O you who believe! If you remain conscious of God, He will give you a criterion, and will remit from you your sins, and will forgive you. God is possessor of infinite grace.

30. When the disbelievers plotted against you, to imprison you, or kill you, or expel you. They planned, and God planned, but God is the Best of planners

My interpretation:

Gabriel is coaching Muhammad on what to say to the people. He is not telling Muhammad directly what to say, more so than giving guidance to be in God’s good light. Muhammad then is to give this speech or teachings to the people.

The main point of this verse is to get the people to realize that the reason why they win against the oppressors is because of God and they should continue to show gratitude. God has recognized good in a certain people and He gives them blessings in abundance and children. BUT within these blessings are also trials and so we must never forget that.

The last line always makes me feel safe, and I remember as I first read the Quran, tears came to my eyes realizing that there may be plots by the evil people in the world who want what they do. But I am soothed to know that while they plan in their mansions and dark conference rooms the fate of people, God also plans too and His plans are MUCH bigger and more beautiful than we can ever imagine.