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Lessons from History (8:12 – 8:16)

Lessons from History*

[8:12] Recall that your Lord inspired the angels: “I am with you; so support those who believed. I will throw terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved. You may strike them above the necks, and you may strike even every finger.”
*8:12-16 All wars are governed by the basic rule in 60:8-9.

[8:13] This is what they have justly incurred by fighting GOD and His messenger. For those who fight against GOD and His messenger, GOD’s retribution is severe.
[8:14] This is to punish the disbelievers; they have incurred the retribution of Hell.
[8:15] O you who believe, if you encounter the disbelievers who have mobilized against you, do not turn back and flee.
[8:16] Anyone who turns back on that day, except to carry out a battle plan, or to join his group, has incurred wrath from GOD, and his abode is Hell; what a miserable destiny!

Is God not always with the angles?

God’s physical being is not in this universe even thought His presence is everywhere.

[70:4] The angels, with their reports, climb to Him in a day that equals fifty thousand years. 

[2:215] To GOD belongs the east and the west; wherever you go there will be the presence of GOD. GOD is Omnipresent, Omniscient.

[47:4] If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste. 

God Controls Your Enemies

[3:151] We will throw terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, since they set up besides GOD powerless idols. Their destiny is Hell; what a miserable abode for the transgressors! 

[3:155] Surely, those among you who turned back the day the two armies clashed have been duped by the devil. This reflects some of the (evil) works they had committed. GOD has pardoned them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement. 

When is war justified?

Rules of War*

[2:190] You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors. [2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque (Masjid), unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. [2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors. 

[2:278] O you who believe, you shall observe GOD and refrain from all kinds of usury, if you are believers. [2:279] If you do not, then expect a war from GOD and His messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capitals, without inflicting injustice, or incurring injustice.

Victory Guaranteed for the Believers (8:10 – 8:11)

Victory Guaranteed for the Believers

[8:10] GOD gave you this good news to strengthen your hearts. Victory comes only from GOD. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.
[8:11] He caused peaceful slumber to overtake you and pacify you, and He sent down water from the sky to clean you therewith. He protected you from the devil’s curse, reassured your hearts and strengthened your foothold.

Believers: The Ultimate Victors [3:13] An example has been set for you by the two armies who clashed— one army was fighting in the cause of GOD, while the other was disbelieving. They saw with their own eyes that they were twice as many. GOD supports with His victory whomever He wills. This should provide an assurance for those who possess vision.

 

God’s Invisible Solders (8:9)

God’s Invisible Soldiers

[8:9] Thus, when you implored your Lord to come to the rescue, He responded to you: “I am supporting you with one thousand angels in succession.”

[83:29] The wicked used to laugh at those who believed. [83:30] When they passed by them, they used to poke fun. [83:31] When they got together with their people, they used to joke. [83:32] Whenever they saw them, they said, “These people are far astray! [83:33] “They have no such thing as (invisible) guards.”

The Weak Believers (8:5 – 8:8)

The Weak Believers

[8:5] When your Lord willed that you leave your home, to fulfill a specific plan, some believers became exposed as reluctant believers.
[8:6] They argued with you against the truth, even after everything was explained to them. They acted as if they were being driven to certain death.
[8:7] Recall that GOD promised you victory over a certain group, but you still wanted to face the weaker group. It was GOD’s plan to establish the truth with His words, and to defeat the disbelievers.
[8:8] For He has decreed that the truth shall prevail, and the falsehood shall vanish, in spite of the evildoers.

What does verse 8:7 mean when it says that some wanted to face the weaker group?

The believers were underestimating their abilities and ultimately God’s words. These people did not trust God. That if God tells the believers to do something He also supports them. Because they lacked faith they wanted to face the weaker group. The only way we improve is through pushing our abilities (deliberate practice)

Based on 8:8 we should see truth everywhere, but when we look around we see plenty of falsehood. So why is that if the truth prevails?

[10:108] Proclaim: “O people, the truth has come to you herein from your Lord. Whoever is guided is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray, goes astray to his own detriment. I am not a guardian over you.”

[110:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Footnote [110:1] When triumph comes from GOD, and victory. [110:2] You will see the people embracing GOD’s religion in throngs. [110:3] You shall glorify and praise your Lord, and implore Him for forgiveness. He is the Redeemer. 

[2:214] Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity, and were shaken up, until the messenger and those who believed with him said, “Where is GOD’s victory?” GOD’s victory is near.

The truth will prevail, but it happens when God wills it. Ultimately, God will make the truth prevail either in this world or in the Hereafter.

Part of God’s system is for falsehood to exist for the true believers to recognize the truth.

[21:16] We did not create the heavens and the earth, and everything between them just for amusement. [21:17] If we needed amusement, we could have initiated it without any of this, if that is what we wanted to do. [21:18] Instead, it is our plan to support the truth against falsehood, in order to defeat it. Woe to you for the utterances you utter.

How do we see the weak believers relating to us when we are not at war?

[4:66] Had we decreed for them: “You must offer your lives,” or “Give up your homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them. (Even if such a command was issued,) had they done what they were commanded to do, it would have been better for them, and would prove the strength of their faith.

God knows what we are capable of and would never put something in our path that we cannot solve. If you can’t solve a problem in front of you then you are probably trying to solve the wrong problem.

[33:13] A group of them said, “O people of Yathrib, you cannot attain victory; go back.” Others made up excuses to the prophet: “Our homes are vulnerable,” when they were not vulnerable. They just wanted to flee.

Exposing the Hypocrites

[47:20] Those who believed said: “When will a new sura be revealed?” But when a straightforward sura was revealed, wherein fighting was mentioned, you would see those who harbored doubts in their hearts looking at you, as if death had already come to them. They were thus exposed.

[9:13] Would you not fight people who violated their treaties, tried to banish the messenger, and they are the ones who started the war in the first place? Are you afraid of them? GOD is the One you are supposed to fear, if you are believers. 

[90:10] Did we not show him the two paths? [90:11] He should choose the difficult path. 

God Controls Everything and Plans for the Believers

[8:42] Recall that you were on this side of the valley, while they were on the other side. Then their caravan had to move to lower ground. Had you planned it this way, you could not have done it. But GOD was to carry out a predetermined matter, whereby those destined to be annihilated were annihilated for an obvious reason, and those destined to be saved were saved for an obvious reason. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient. 

Why Were We Created

[11:118] Had your Lord willed, all the people would have been one congregation (of believers). But they will always dispute (the truth). [11:119] Only those blessed with mercy from your Lord (will not dispute the truth). This is why He created them.* The judgment of your Lord has already been issued: “I will fill Hell with jinns and humans, all together.”**

The True Believers (8:2 – 8:4)

The True Believers

[8:2] The true believers are those whose hearts tremble when GOD is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, their faith is strengthened, and they trust in their Lord.
[8:3] They observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.
[8:4] Such are the true believers. They attain high ranks at their Lord, as well as forgiveness and a generous provision. 

How do we know that we are a true believer?

According to the next verse it consists of observing the Contact Prayer and giving charity. The true believers are reverent when God’s name is mentioned. The true believers have a deep emotional connection with God.

Are you better in Submission than you were before.

Is it possible to do the Contact Prayer and give to charity and not be a true believer?

This is only part of the condition, because what counts is sincerity. Someone can go through the movements and not believe it in their hearts.

Greatness of the Quran

[59:21] If we revealed this Quran to a mountain, you would see it trembling, crumbling, out of reverence for GOD. We cite these examples for the people, that they may reflect. 

[22:35] They are the ones whose hearts tremble upon mentioning GOD, they steadfastly persevere during adversity, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.

[13:28] They are the ones whose hearts rejoice in remembering GOD. Absolutely, by remembering GOD, the hearts rejoice.

[22:32] Indeed, those who reverence the rites decreed by GOD demonstrate the righteousness of their hearts. 

The Best Hadith

[39:23] GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD’s message. Such is GOD’s guidance; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.

Would we get more credit if we give to charity to a single person where we put in a lot of time and energy or giving to an organization that can help many, but with less emotional involvement and less time, but more impact?

Sura 8, The Spoils of War (Al-Anfãl)

[8:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

[8:1] They consult you about the spoils of war. Say, “The spoils of war belong to GOD and the messenger.” You shall observe GOD, exhort one another to be righteous, and obey GOD and His messenger, if you are believers.

How do we exhort one another of being righteous? 

Exhort: to try to persuade someone to do something more…

[88:21] You shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder.

In the spoils of war God is advocating to split the spoils righteously

The Spoils of War

[59:7] Whatever GOD restored to His messenger from the (defeated) communities shall go to GOD and His messenger (in the form of a charity). You shall give it to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. Thus, it will not remain monopolized by the strong among you. You may keep the spoils given to you by the messenger, but do not take what he enjoins you from taking. You shall reverence GOD. GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.

[9:58] Some of them criticize your distribution of the charities; if they are given therefrom, they become satisfied, but if they are not given therefrom, they become objectors. [9:59] They should be satisfied with what GOD and His messenger have given them. They should have said, “GOD suffices us. GOD will provide for us from His bounties, and so will His messenger. We are seeking only GOD. 

[8:41] You should know that if you gain any spoils in war, one-fifth shall go to GOD and the messenger, to be given to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. You will do this if you believe in GOD and in what we revealed to our servant on the day of decision, the day the two armies clashed. GOD is Omnipotent.

[3:161] Even the prophet cannot take more of the spoils of war than he is entitled to. Anyone who takes more than his rightful share will have to account for it on the Day of Resurrection. That is when each soul is paid for whatever it earned, without the least injustice. 

[2:44] Do you exhort the people to be righteous, while forgetting yourselves, though you read the scripture? Do you not understand?