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Section 8: Muslims Should be Prepared to Meet the Enemy in Any Number

Surah Al-Anfal – Verses 58-59

وَإِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِنْ قَوْمٍ خِيَانَةً فَانْبِذْ إِلَيْهِمْ عَلَىٰ سَوَاءٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْخَائِنِينَ

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَبَقُوا ۚ إِنَّهُمْ لَا يُعْجِزُونَ

58. “And if you fear treachery from a people, break off (the covenant) with them in like manner. Verily Allah does not like the treacherous.”
59. “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they have excelled (the Muslims): verily they shall not weaken (you).”

The Qur'anic term /’anbio/is derived from /nabaoa/ which means ‘to throw’, here it means: ‘then throw their covenant back to them’. That is, from before they should announce and cancel the covenant so that they would not be seized unawares and you, too, would not have acted cowardly.

The holy phrase /’ala sawa’ /either means ‘behaving correspondingly’, viz. in the same manner that they think of plotting and breaching promise, you may cancel the covenant, too. Or, it means the clear canceling of the -covenant, or having a just behaviour toward the enemy.1

The verse is about the situation where there are some evidences upon the enemy's plot for invasion. So, in order to avoid it, precedence in canceling the covenant should be performed.

The performance of canceling the covenant is just when behaving correspondingly. The verse says:

“And if you fear treachery from a people, break off (the covenant) with them in like manner. Verily Allah does not like the treacherous.”

And take the control of everything so vigorously that infidels do not think that they have preceded you. The verse; says:

“And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they, have excelled (the Muslims):...”

But, infidels cannot gain anything through treachery. The verse continues saying:

“...verily they shall not weaken (you).”

Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 60

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ

60. “And prepare against them whatever you can of (military) power and of war-horses, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah, and your enemy, and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them. And whatever things you spend in the way of Allah shall be repaid to you in full, and you will not be dealt with unjustly.”

Increase of War Power and Its Aim!

Adapting to the former instruction upon Islamic Struggle, in this verse the Qur'an points to an important principal which must be observed by Muslims in different ages. This principal is the necessity of enough war preparation against the enemy.

At first, it says:

“And prepare against them whatever you can of (military) power and of war-horses...”

That is, do not wait until the enemy attacks you and then make yourselves prepare to fight. You should be prepared enough from before to stand against the probable attacks of the enemy. The concept of the verse is so vast that it quitely adapts to any time and any place.

If this great Islamic instruction which says: “And prepare against them whatever you can of (military) power...” is preached as a common motto everywhere and all Muslims apply it in their own lives, whether they are young or old, educated or uneducated, writer, or speaker, soldier or officer, farmer or merchant, it will be enough to make amends their retardation.

Practical life of the Prophet of Allah (S) as well as the great leaders of Islam, also shows that they never neglected any opportunity of fighting against their enemies.

They would not disregard any matter, small and great, about supplying arms and personals, encouraging their soldiers, choosing a suitable camping-place, deciding on a proper time for attacking the enemy, and utilizing all kinds of military methods.

Next to the statement of this instruction, the Qur'an points to the logical and manly aim of this subject. It implies that the aim is not that you mow the nations of the world, and even the people of your own community, by kinds of distinctive arms.

You should not spoil the towns and lands, or take in possession the properties and lands of others, or expand the principals of slavery and colonialism in the world. But, the aim is that by these means you frighten the enemy of Allah (s.w.t) and those who are the enemy of yours. The verse continues saying:

“...to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah, and your enemy,...”

The reason of it is that usually most of the enemies of the truth do not pay attention to the logical statements and human principals. They do not understand anything but the logic of force.

Then, the Qur’an adds that in addition to these enemies, whom you know, you have some other enemies whom you do not know, but Allah knows them, and with the increase of the military preparation in yourselves they may fear and return back. The verse says:

“...and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them...”

This statement contains an instruction for the Muslims of today, too. It implies that Muslims should not lay emphasis only on their known enemies and confine their preparation to the limit of struggling before them. They should also consider their probable enemies who are in potency, and prepare the utmost power and necessary forces they can.

Finally, the Qur’an points to another important matter. It implies that preparing power, forces, enough military; instruments and different means of defense need a financial source. Therefore, it commands Muslims to supply this capital through a general cooperation.

They must know that whatever they spend in this way they have spent it in the way of Allah, and it will not be decreased. The verse says:

“...And whatever things you spend in the way of Allah shall be repaid to you in full...”

Equal to all that they give and, even more than that, will be repaid to them so that no injustice will be dealt with them. The verse ends as follows:

“...and you will not be dealt with unjustly.”

Explanations

This verse is an instruction upon the Muslims to be prepared before the enemy from all points of view. They are commanded to supply any kind of arms and possibilities, to utilize all means and methods of propagation, even mottoes and poems that may cause the fright of infidels from the military power of Muslims.

When the Prophet (S) was informed that a new weapon had been made in Yemen, he sent someone to Yemen to supply it.

It is narrated from the Prophet (S) that by means of an ‘arrow’ three persons will be sent into Paradise: its constructor, the one who prepares it, and the person who, throws (it toward the enemy of Allah).2

In Islam, financial winning and losing in the races of shooting, and horsemanship, have been counted permissible in order that military preparation might be supplied.

It is not such that everywhere logic and discussion are enough and effective, but sometimes enforcement and power should come in the scene, too.

That is why Muslims should always supply the most advanced military possibilities for the defense in such a manner that nothing may be neglected, whether they are of the kinds of political and material power, or the possibilities of propaganda and precautions.

In Islam, all people are soldiers and general mobilization is necessary. It is also necessary to cast terror into the hearts of; the enemies. A tradition indicates that even by tinging the beard do frighten the enemy, so that they do not say the Islamic troop is old.3

However, the war-horses are those horses which are kept ready and fed sufficiently in stables, not those which are left free.

Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 61

وَإِنْ جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

61. “And if they incline to peace, then you (too) incline to it and put your trust in Allah; verily He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

This verse discusses about peace with the enemy and it makes this fact more clear. It says:

“And if they incline to peace, then you (too) incline to it…”

And, since, at the time of signing the treaty of peace, men often involve with doubts and hesitations, it commands the Prophet (S) that he does not hesitate in accepting the suggestion of peace when its conditions are logical, wisely, and justly. He is ordered to trust in Allah, because He both hears their debates and is aware of their intentions.

The verse continues saying:

“...and put your trust in Allah; verily He is the All- Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 62

وَإِنْ يُرِيدُوا أَنْ يَخْدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللَّهُ ۚ هُوَ الَّذِي أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

62. “And if they intend to deceive you, Allah is indeed sufficient for you. It is He Who strengthened you with His help and with (the support of) the believers.”

If the leader of Muslims is certain of the enemy's trickery around the peace, the situation changes. But, in the case of the existence of probable of good intention, it should be vigilantly accepted.

Some Islamic traditions indicate that ‘the Prophet's support performed by the believers’ has been rendered into his support performed by Hadrat Ali (as)

Also Ibn-i- ‘Asakir narrates from ‘Abu-Hurayrah that, it is written on the ‘Arsh:

“There is no good but I, (and) there is no partner for Me. Muhammad (S) is My servant and My Messenger. I supported him by Ali”.

This is the same thing that Allah says in this verse.4

The verse says:

“And if they intend to deceive you, Allah is indeed sufficient for you. It is He who strengthened you with His help and with (the support of) the believers.”

It is understood from this verse that Muslims should accept the suggestion of peace in order that they would not be introduced as ‘the seekers of war’, but they must be vigilant not to be deceived.

If we do our duties accordingly, we must not be afraid of difficulties, since Allah solves the difficulties.

“...It is He Who strengthened you with His help and with (the support of) the believers.”

Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 63

وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ لَوْ أَنْفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

63. “And He caused affection between their hearts. Had you spent all that is in the earth, you could not have caused affection between their hearts, but Allah caused affection between them; verily He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

The verse, addressing the Prophet (S) implies that these sincere believers who have gathered around you, and refrain no sacrifice to offer you, formerly were some scattered people, enemy with each other.

Then Allah showered the light of guidance upon them and created love and affection between them so intensively that if you spent the whole wealth from over the earth you could not wipe out the grudges of the Age of Ignorance from their hearts.

But, through the way of good device and by Islam, Allah created love and affection between them. The deeds of Allah are all done wisely and for common good.

This very thing is one of the great miracles that the Prophet of Allah (S) was sent to a people that, before Islam, if one of them was given a slap in the face, for its sake the fire of some fights would be lit and so much blood would be shed.

But, through the way of Faith, all those enmities and deeds done contumaciously disappeared and love and understanding substituted them. They became so faithful that they would not refuse killing father, son and brother for the sake of their Faith. Allah announces that He has done this work Himself.

The holy verse says:

“And He caused affection between their hearts. Had you spent all that is in the earth, you could not have caused affection between their hearts, but Allah caused affection between them; verily He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 64

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَسْبُكَ اللَّهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

64. “O Prophet! Allah suffices you, and the believers who follow you.”

A group of the Jews of Bani-Qurayzah and Bani-Nadir falsely suggested to help the Prophet (S). The above holy verse was revealed saying that the believers were sufficient for him.

In ‘Fada'il-us-Sahabah’, a book written by Hafiz-‘Abu- Na’im, a famous Muslim scholar, it is cited that the objective meaning of ‘the believers’, mentioned in this verse, is Ali- ibn-Abl-Talib (as)5

Allah, the Prophet (S) and the believers are wholly the basis of the Islamic system. In an Islamic society, the leader is appointed with the Divine criterions. His law is originated from revelation, and people are obedient to the leader and the law.

Obedience accompanied with Faith is a value, while obeying the leader without having Faith, or having Faith without following the leader is useless. The verse says:

“O Prophet! Allah suffices you, and the believers who follow you.”
  • 1. Al-Mizan
  • 2. Tafsir-i-Furqan, narrated from Ad-Dur-ul-Manthur.
  • 3. At- Tafsir-ul-Furqan, narrated from Man-la- Yahduruhul-Faqih
  • 4. Tafsir-ul-Furqan, taken from Durr-ul-Manthur, vol. 3, p. 199
  • 5. Al-Qadir, vol. 3, p. 51

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