Surah al-Anfal: Chapter 8 (line 50-60) the Spoils

50. If only you could see, as the angels take away those who disbelieve, striking their faces and their backs: “Taste the agony of the Burning.”

51. “That is because of what your hands have committed, and because God is not unjust to the servants.”

52. Like the behavior of the people of Pharaoh, and those before them. They rejected the signs of God, so God seized them for their sins. God is Powerful, Severe in punishment.

53. That is because God would never change a blessing He has bestowed on a people unless they change what is within themselves, and because God is Hearing and Knowing.

54. Such was the case with the people of Pharaoh, and those before them. They denied the signs of their Lord, so We annihilated them for their wrongs, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh-they were all evildoers.

55. The worst of creatures in God’s view are those who disbelieve. They have no faith.

56. Those of them with whom you made a treaty, but they violate their agreement every time. They are not righteous.

57. If you confront them in battle, make of them a fearsome example for those who follow them, that they may take heed.

58. If you fear treachery on the part of a people, break off with them in a like manner. God does not like the treacherous.

59. Let not the disbelievers assume that they are ahead. They will not escape.

60. And prepare against them all the power you can muster, and all the cavalry you can mobilize, to terrify thereby God’s enemies and your enemies, and others besides them whom you do not know, but God knows them. Whatever you spend in God’s way will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is telling Muhammad that although we have a loving creator, this creator’s love will not reach those who are closed off to it, being those who take other gods and haven’t listened to the Signs or messages from the Christians or Jews that there is ONE God in Heaven. The angels will become the punishers of those who disbelieved in the messages sent down and they will suffer just as the pagan Ancient Egyptians did for not believing in God’s warnings.

The Ancient Egyptians were blessed from God, but they became proud and followed Satan’s lies to worship things other than God and devote themselves to an excessive lifestyle. The Pharaohs made slaves out of their brothers and sisters under the same creator, and they have and will be punished for what they have done in this life and the next. God drowned them to destroy their reign physically, but they are being punished by the angels in Hell, spiritually.

Line 55 is where many atheists feel Islam is against them personally. I would say that at this time in history when the Quran revelations came down, the disbelievers were fighting the believers to promote their ideology. They were not peaceful atheists or pagans as we have today, that a muslim could be friendly with. They were back stabbing and trying to force their beliefs on others. They were treacherous and malicious with their intent to prove the messengers wrong and they the right ones. Much pride was involved that closed off their hearts and ears, and this is why God did not and could not love them back. It’s called cause and effect.

You must love God to experience the love from God in a multitude of ways. When you are a believer you have moments of pure euphoria of feeling our one creator’s love in a beautiful sunset, a laughing baby, a dying tree, a yawning lion, and a fierce thunderstorm while you are safe inside. Love is a two way street, and God is trying to guide humans to understand that, through sending His angelic messenger, Gabriel, to Muhammad to help guide the Arabians and rest of humanity.

It often times can sound harsh through out the Quran when God says He does not love the disbelievers, but You CAN NOT expect to receive God’s love if you don’t even stop to think about it. The human mind does not accept things that are not realized mentally, first. We were created to discover His Love, and if you remain closed off to it, then of course you will not discover it or feel the blessings. It is simple. God is not malicious. There is a reason for everything He decides and has spelled out in the Quran.

There is evidence in line 56 that treaties have been made between the disbelievers of Mecca and the Muslims, but they have been violated and so Gabriel tells Muhammad that if there is battle between them again, battle to the end to stop their persecution. If there are people amongst his followers he feels are spies for the Mecca leaders, he needs to break ties with them so they do not scheme against him.

When the disbelieving Mecca people feel they are ahead since they are a much larger and wealthier civilization, Muhammad is told to forge ahead with all the power and passion he can muster with the Muslims and God will be on his side rewarding those who are fighting to defend God’s messages on earth.

To experience God’s LOVE, you must be FIRST open to receiving the messages that have been given to us.