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Making Preparations for War to strike Fear in the Hearts of the Enemies of Allah

Allah says to His Prophet , in this Ayah,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ سَبَقُوٓاْ‌ۚ

(those who disbelieve think that they can outstrip), Do not think that such disbelievers have escaped Us or that We are unable to grasp them. Rather, they are under the power of Our ability and in the grasp of Our will; they will never escape Us.' Allah also said,

﴿ أَمۡ حَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ أَن يَسۡبِقُونَا‌ۚ سَآءَ مَا يَحۡكُمُونَ

(Or think those who do evil deeds that they can outstrip Us (escape Our punishment) Evil is that which they judge!) (29:4),

﴿ لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مُعۡجِزِينَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ وَمَأۡوَٮٰهُمُ ٱلنَّارُ‌ۖ وَلَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(Consider not that the disbelievers can escape in the land. Their abode shall be the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination.) (24:57), and,

﴿ لَا يَغُرَّنَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ مَتَـٰعٌ۬ قَلِيلٌ۬ ثُمَّ مَأۡوَٮٰهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ‌ۚ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمِهَادُ

(Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.) (3:196-197)

Allah commands Muslims to prepare for war against disbelievers, as much as possible, according to affordability and availability. Allah said,

﴿ وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُم

(And make ready against them all you can) whatever you can muster,

﴿ مِّن قُوَّةٍ۬ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ ٱلۡخَيۡلِ

(of power, including steeds of war). Imam Ahmad recorded that `Uqbah bin `Amir said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, while standing on the Minbar;

﴿ وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ۬

(And make ready against them all you can of power,)

« أَلَا إِنَّ الْقُوَّةَ الرَّمْيُ أَلَا إِنَّ الْقُوَّةَ الرَّمْي »

(Verily, Power is shooting! Power is shooting.)

Muslim collected this Hadith.

Imam Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said,

« الْخَيْلُ لِثَلَاثَةٍ، لِرَجُلٍ أَجْرٌ، وَلِرَجُلٍ سِتْرٌ، وَعَلَى رَجُلٍ وِزْرٌ، فَأَمَّا الَّذِي لَهُ أَجْرٌ، فَرَجُلٌ رَبَطَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ فَأَطَالَ لَهَا فِي مَرْجٍ أَوْ رَوْضَةٍ، فَمَا أَصَابَتْ فِي طِيَلِهَا ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْمَرْجِ أَوِ الرَّوْضَةِ، كَانَتْ لَهُ حَسَنَاتٍ وَلَوْ أَنَّهَا قَطَعَتْ طِيَلَهَا، فَاسْتَنَّتْ شَرَفًا أَوْ شَرَفَيْنِ كَانَتْ آثَارُهَا وَأرْوَاثُهَا حَسَنَاتٍ لَهُ، وَلَوْ أَنَّهَا مَرَّتْ بِنَهَرٍ فَشَرِبَتْ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يَسْقِيَ بِهِ، كَانَ ذَلِكَ حَسَنَاتٍ لَهُ، فَهِيَ لِذَلِكَ الرَّجُلِ أَجْرٌ، وَرَجُلٌ رَبَطَهَا تَغَنِّيًا وَتَعَفُّفًا، وَلَمْ يَنْسَ حَقَّ اللهِ فِي رِقَابِهَا وَلَا ظُهُورِهَا فَهِيَ لَهُ سِتْرٌ، وَرَجُلٌ رَبَطَهَا فَخْرًا وَرِيَاءً وَنِوَاءً، فَهِيَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ وِزْر »

(Horses are kept for one of three purposes; for some people they are a source of reward, for some others they are a means of shelter, and for some others they are a source of sin. The one for whom they are a source of reward, is he who keeps a horse for Allah's cause (Jihad) tying it with a long tether on a meadow or in a garden. The result is that whatever it eats from the area of the meadow or the garden where it is tied, will be counted as good deeds for his benefit; and if it should break its rope and jump over one or two hillocks then all its dung and its footmarks will be written as good deeds for him. If it passes by a river and drinks water from it, even though he had no intention of watering it, then he will get the reward for its drinking. Therefore, this type of horse is a source of good deeds for him. As for the man who tied his horse maintaining self - sufficiency and abstinence from begging, all the while not forgetting Allah's right concerning the neck and back of his horse, then it is a means of shelter for him. And a man who tied a horse for the sake of pride, pretense and showing enmity for Muslims, then this type of horse is a source of sins.)

When Allah's Messenger was asked about donkeys, he replied,

« مَا أَنْزَلَ اللهُ عَلَيَّ فِيهَا شَيْئًا إِلَّا هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ الْجَامِعَةَ الْفَاذَّة »

(Nothing has been revealed to me from Allah about them except these unique, comprehensive Ayat:

﴿ فَمَن يَعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيۡرً۬ا يَرَهُ ۥ وَمَن يَعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ۬ شَرًّ۬ا يَرَهُ ۥ

(Then anyone who does an atom's weight of good, shall see it. And anyone who does an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.)) (99:7-8)''

Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith, this is the wording of Al-Bukhari. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

« الْخَيْلُ ثَلَاثَةٌ: فَفَرَسٌ لِلرَّحْمَنِ، وَفَرَسٌ لِلشَّيْطَانِ، وَفَرَسٌ لِلْإِنْسَانِ، فَأَمَّا فَرَسُ الرَّحْمَنِ فَالَّذِي يُرْبَطُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، فَعَلَفُهُ وَرَوْثُهُ وَبَوْلُهُ وَذَكَرَ مَا شَاءَ اللهُ وَأَمَّا فَرَسُ الشَّيْطَانِ، فَالَّذِي يُقَامَرُ أَوُ يُرَاهَنُ عَلَيْهَا، وَأَمَّا فَرَسُ الْإِنْسَانِ، فَالْفَرَسُ يَرْبِطُهَا الْإِنْسَانُ يَلْتَمِسُ بَطْنَهَا، فَهِيَ لَهُ سِتْرٌ مِنَ الْفَقْر »

(There are three reasons why horses are kept: A horse that is kept for Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent), a horse kept for Shaytan and a horse kept for the man. As for the horse kept for Ar-Rahman, it is the horse that is being kept for the cause of Allah (for Jihad), and as such, its food, dung and urine, etc., (he made mention of many things). As for the horse that is for Shaytan, it is one that is being used for gambling. As for the horse that is for man, it is the horse that one tethers, seeking its benefit. For him, this horse will be a shield against poverty.) Al-Bukhari recorded that `Urwah bin Abi Al-Ja`d Al-Bariqi said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« الْخَيْلُ مَعْقُودٌ فِي نَوَاصِيهَا الْخَيْرُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، الْأَجْرُ وَالْمَغْنَم »

(Good will remain in the forelocks of horses until the Day of Resurrection, (that is) reward, and the spoils of war.)

Allah said next,

﴿ تُرۡهِبُونَ

(to threaten), or to strike fear,

﴿ بِهِۦ عَدُوَّ ٱللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّڪُمۡ

(the enemy of Allah and your enemy), the disbelievers,

﴿ وَءَاخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمۡ

(and others besides them), such as Bani Qurayzah, according to Mujahid, or Persians, according to As-Suddi.

Muqatil bin Hayyan and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that this Ayah refers to hypocrites, as supported by Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمِمَّنۡ حَوۡلَكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابِ مُنَـٰفِقُونَ‌ۖ وَمِنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡمَدِينَةِ‌ۖ مَرَدُواْ عَلَى ٱلنِّفَاقِ لَا تَعۡلَمُهُمۡ‌ۖ نَحۡنُ نَعۡلَمُهُمۡ‌ۚ

(And among the bedouins around you, some are hypocrites, and so are some among the people of Al-Madinah who persist in hypocrisy; you know them not, We know them.) (9:101).

Allah said next,

﴿ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ

(And whatever you shall spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.)

Allah says, whatever you spend on Jihad will be repaid to you in full.

We also mentioned Allah's statement,

﴿ مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٲلَهُمۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتۡ سَبۡعَ سَنَابِلَ فِى كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٍ۬ مِّاْئَةُ حَبَّةٍ۬‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُضَـٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ وَٲسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is that of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.) (2:261)

﴿ وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلۡمِ فَٱجۡنَحۡ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ وَإِن يُرِيدُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسۡبَكَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصۡرِهِۦ وَبِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَأَلَّفَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِہِمۡ‌ۚ لَوۡ أَنفَقۡتَ مَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا مَّآ أَلَّفۡتَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِهِمۡ وَلَـٰڪِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ۬

(61. But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.) (62. And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers.) (63. And He has united their (believers') hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.)

The Command to Facilitate Peace when the Enemy seeks a Peaceful Resolution

Allah says, if you fear betrayal from a clan of people, then sever the peace treaty with them, so that you both are on equal terms. If they continue being hostile and opposing you, then fight them,

﴿ وَإِن جَنَحُواْ

(But if they incline), and seek,

﴿ لِلسَّلۡمِ

(to peace), if they resort to reconciliation, and seek a treaty of non-hostility,

﴿ فَٱجۡنَحۡ لَهَا

(you also incline to it), and accept offers of peace from them. This is why when the pagans inclined to peace in the year of Hudaybiyah and sought cessation of hostilities for nine years, between them and the Messenger of Allah he accepted this from them, as well as, accepting other terms of peace they brought forth. `Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّهُ سَيَكُونُ بَعْدِي اخْتِلَافٌ أَوْ أَمْرٌ فَإِنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ أَنْ يَكُونَ السِّلْمَ فَافْعَل »

(There will be disputes after me, so if you have a way to end them in peace, then do so.)

Allah said next,

﴿ وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(and trust in Allah. ) Allah says, conduct a peace treaty with those who incline to peace, and trust in Allah. Verily, Allah will suffice for you and aid you even if they resort to peace as a trick, so that they gather and reorganize their forces,

﴿ فَإِنَّ حَسۡبَكَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ

(then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you).

Reminding the Believers of Allah's Favor of uniting Them

Allah mentioned His favor on the Prophet , in that He aided him with believers, the Muhajirin and the Ansar,

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصۡرِهِۦ وَبِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَأَلَّفَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِہِمۡ‌ۚ

(He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers. And He has united their hearts.)

The Ayah says, `it is Allah who gathered the believers' hearts, believing, obeying, aiding and supporting you -- O Muhammad,'

﴿ لَوۡ أَنفَقۡتَ مَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا مَّآ أَلَّفۡتَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِهِمۡ

(If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts.) because of the enmity and hatred that existed between them. Before Islam, there were many wars between the Ansar tribes of Aws and Khazraj, and there were many causes to stir unrest between them. However, Allah ended all that evil with the light of faith,

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرُواْ نِعۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِذۡ كُنتُمۡ أَعۡدَآءً۬ فَأَلَّفَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِكُمۡ فَأَصۡبَحۡتُم بِنِعۡمَتِهِۦۤ إِخۡوَٲنً۬ا وَكُنتُمۡ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفۡرَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنۡہَا‌ۗ كَذَٲلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَہۡتَدُونَ

(And remember Allah's favor on you, for you were enemies one to another, but He united your hearts, so that, by His grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided.) (3:103)

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that when the Messenger of Allah gave a speech to the Ansar about the division of war booty collected in the battle of Hunayn, he said to them,

« يَا مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْصَارِ أَلَمْ أَجِدْكُمْ ضُلَّالًا فَهَدَاكُمُ اللهُ بِي، وَعَالَةً فَأَغْنَاكُمُ اللهُ بِي، وَكُنْتُمْ مُتَفَرِّقِينَ فَأَلَّفَكُمُ اللهُ بِي »

(O Ansar! Did I not find you misguided and Allah guided you by me, poor and Allah enriched you by me, and divided and Allah united you by me) Every question the Prophet asked them, they said, "Truly, the favor is from Allah and His Messenger.'' Allah said,

﴿ وَلَـٰڪِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ۬

(But Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.)

He is the Most Formidable, and the hopes of those who have trust in Him, never end unanswered; Allah is All-Wise in all of His decisions and actions.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ حَسۡبُكَ ٱللَّهُ وَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ حَرِّضِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡقِتَالِ‌ۚ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمۡ عِشۡرُونَ صَـٰبِرُونَ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِ‌ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنڪُم مِّاْئَةٌ۬ يَغۡلِبُوٓاْ أَلۡفً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِأَنَّهُمۡ قَوۡمٌ۬ لَّا يَفۡقَهُونَ ٱلۡـَٔـٰنَ خَفَّفَ ٱللَّهُ عَنكُمۡ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمۡ ضَعۡفً۬ا‌ۚ فَإِن يَكُن مِّنڪُم مِّاْئَةٌ۬ صَابِرَةٌ۬ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِ‌ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُمۡ أَلۡفٌ۬ يَغۡلِبُوٓاْ أَلۡفَيۡنِ بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

(64. O Prophet! Allah is sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you.) (65. O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.) (66. Now Allah has lightened your (task), for He knows that there is weakness in you. So if there are of you a hundred steadfast persons, they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a thousand of you, they shall overcome two thousand by the leave of Allah. And Allah is with the patient.)

Encouraging Believers to fight in Jihad; the Good News that a Few Muslims can overcome a Superior Enemy Force

Allah encourages His Prophet and the believers to fight and struggle against the enemy, and wage war against their forces. Allah affirms that He will suffice, aid, support, and help the believers against their enemies, even if their enemies are numerous and have sufficient supplies, while the believers are few. Allah said,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ حَرِّضِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡقِتَالِ‌ۚ

(O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight), encouraged and called them to fight. The Messenger of Allah used to encourage the Companions to fight when they faced the enemy. On the day of Badr when the idolators came with their forces and supplies, he said to his Companions,

« قُومُوا إِلَى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَوَاتُ وَالْأَرْض »

(Get ready and march forth towards a Paradise as wide as the heavens and earth.)

`Umayr bin Al-Humam said, "As wide as the heavens and earth'' The Messenger said,

« نَعَم »

(Yes) `Umayr said, "Excellent! Excellent!'' The Messenger asked him,

« مَا يَحْمِلُكَ عَلَى قَوْلِكَ: بَخٍ بَخ »

(What makes you say, `Excellent! Excellent!') He said, "The hope that I might be one of its dwellers.'' The Prophet said,

« فَإِنَّكَ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا »

(You are one of its people.) Umayr went ahead, broke the scabbard of his sword, took some dates and started eating from them. He then threw the dates from his hand, saying, "Verily, if I lived until I finished eating these dates, then it is indeed a long life.'' He went ahead, fought and was killed, may Allah be pleased with him.

Allah said next, commanding the believers and conveying good news to them,

﴿ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمۡ عِشۡرُونَ صَـٰبِرُونَ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِ‌ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنڪُم مِّاْئَةٌ۬ يَغۡلِبُوٓاْ أَلۡفً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ

(If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve.)

The Ayah says, one Muslim should endure ten disbelievers. Allah abrogated this part later on, but the good news remained. `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said that Jarir bin Hazim narrated to them that, Az-Zubayr bin Al-Khirrit narrated to him, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, "When this verse was revealed,

﴿ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمۡ عِشۡرُونَ صَـٰبِرُونَ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِ‌ۚ

(If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred...) it became difficult for the Muslims, when Allah commanded that one Muslim is required to endure ten idolators. Soon after, this matter was made easy,

﴿ ٱلۡـَٔـٰنَ خَفَّفَ ٱللَّهُ عَنكُمۡ

(Now Allah has lightened your (task)), until,

﴿ يَغۡلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيۡنِ‌ۚ

(they shall overcome two hundred. ..)

Allah lowered the number ﴿of adversaries that Muslims are required to endure, and thus, made the required patience less, compatible to the decrease in numbers.'' Al-Bukhari recorded a similar narration from Ibn Al-Mubarak. Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "When this Ayah was revealed, it was difficult for the Muslims, for they thought it was burdensome since twenty should fight two hundred, and a hundred against a thousand. Allah made this ruling easy for them and abrogated this Ayah with another Ayah,

﴿ ٱلۡـَٔـٰنَ خَفَّفَ ٱللَّهُ عَنكُمۡ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمۡ ضَعۡفً۬ا‌ۚ

(Now Allah has lightened your (task), for He knows that there is weakness in you...)

Thereafter, if Muslims were half as many as their enemy, they were not allowed to run away from them. If the Muslims were fewer than that, they were not obligated to fight the disbelievers and thus allowed to avoid hostilities.''

﴿ مَا كَانَ لِنَبِىٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ ۥۤ أَسۡرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثۡخِنَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ۬ لَّوۡلَا كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمۡ فِيمَآ أَخَذۡتُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمۡتُمۡ حَلَـٰلاً۬ طَيِّبً۬ا‌ۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(67. It is not (fitting) for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has fought (his enemies thoroughly) in the land. You desire the goods of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) (68. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.) (69. So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good, and have Taqwa of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said, "The Prophet asked the people for their opinion about the prisoners of war of Badr, saying,

« إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَمْكَنَكُمْ مِنْهُم »

(Allah has made you prevail above them.) `Umar bin Al-Khattab stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Cut off their necks,' but the Prophet turned away from him. The Messenger of Allah again asked,

« يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَمْكَنَكُمْ مِنْهُمْ وَإِنَّمَا هُمْ إِخْوَانُكُمْ بِالْأَمْس »

(O people! Allah has made you prevail over them, and only yesterday, they were your brothers.) `Umar again stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Cut off their necks.' The Prophet ignored him and asked the same question again and he repeated the same answer. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! I think you should pardon them and set them free in return for ransom.' Thereupon the grief on the face of Allah's Messenger vanished. He pardoned them and accepted ransom for their release. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, revealed this verse,

﴿ لَّوۡلَا كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمۡ فِيمَآ أَخَذۡتُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ۬

(Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took).''

`Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,

﴿ لَّوۡلَا كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ سَبَقَ

(Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah...),

"In the Preserved Book, that war spoils and prisoners of war will be made allowed for you,

﴿ لَمَسَّكُمۡ فِيمَآ أَخَذۡتُمۡ

(would have touched you for what you took), because of the captives.

﴿ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ۬

(a severe torment.) Allah, the Exalted said next,

﴿ فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمۡتُمۡ حَلَـٰلاً۬ طَيِّبً۬ا‌ۚ

(So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good).'' Al-`Awfi also reported this statement from Ibn `Abbas. A similar statement was collected from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Mas`ud, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah and Al-A`mash. They all stated that,

﴿ لَّوۡلَا كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ سَبَقَ

(Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah. .) refers to allowing the spoils of war for this Ummah.

Supporting this view is what the Two Sahihs recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ قَبْلِي: نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا، وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَائِمُ وَلَمْ تُحَلَّ لِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي، وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ، وَكَان النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة »

(I have been given five things which were not given to any Prophet before me. (They are:) Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey. The earth has been made a place for praying and a purifier for me. The booty has been made lawful for me, yet it = was not lawful for anyone else before me. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). Every Prophet used to be sent to his people only, but I have been sent to all mankind.)

Al-A`mash narrated that Abu Salih said that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَمْ تَحِلَّ الْغَنَائِمُ لِسُودِ الرُّؤُوسِ غَيْرَنَا »

(War booty was never allowed for any among mankind except us.) (Abu Hurayrah said;) This is why Allah the Most High said,

﴿ فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمۡتُمۡ حَلَـٰلاً۬ طَيِّبً۬ا‌ۚ

(So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good.)

The Muslims then took the ransom for their captives. In his Sunan, Imam Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah fixed four hundred (Dirhams) in ransom from the people of Jahiliyyah in the aftermath of Badr. The majority of the scholars say that the matter of prisoners of war is up to the Imam. If he decides, he can have them killed, such as in the case of Bani Qurayzah. If he decides, he can accept a ransom for them, as in the case of the prisoners of Badr, or exchange them for Muslim prisoners. The Messenger exchanged a woman and her daughter who were captured by Salamah bin Al-Akwa`, for exchange of some Muslims who were captured by the idolators, or if he decides he can take the prisoner as a captives.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ قُل لِّمَن فِىٓ أَيۡدِيكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَسۡرَىٰٓ إِن يَعۡلَمِ ٱللَّهُ فِى قُلُوبِكُمۡ خَيۡرً۬ا يُؤۡتِكُمۡ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّمَّآ أُخِذَ مِنڪُمۡ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ وَإِن يُرِيدُواْ خِيَانَتَكَ فَقَدۡ خَانُواْ ٱللَّهَ مِن قَبۡلُ فَأَمۡكَنَ مِنۡہُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

(70. O Prophet! Say to the captives that are in your hands: "If Allah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') (71. But if they intend to betray you, they indeed betrayed Allah before. So He gave (you) power over them. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.)