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Surah Al-Anfal - Verse 8:41 (This refers to booty, not Zakah)


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Author Topic: Surah Al-Anfal - Verse 8:41 (This refers to booty, not Zakah)  (Read 598 times)
Zeynab
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« on: November 08, 2006, 06:20:17 am »

 BismEm


"And know that whatever ye take as spoils of war, lo! a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger and for the kinsman (who hath need) and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if ye believe in Allah and that which We revealed unto Our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the day when the two armies met. And Allah is Able to do all things."  Al-Anfal 8:41

The above is the translation of Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall.  Certain inexperienced translators with scant knowledge of Arabic and English have translated this verse in a very obscure way, leading people to think wrongly that the topic of discussion is about Zakah.  Please be clear that this verse does not refer to Zakah at all, instead it refers to the spoils of war.  "... a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger .." means for the State to be used by the common weal, as explained by Pickthall.  For most part, this Surah discusses about the Battle of Badr.

I thought of putting this clarification because sometime ago someone argued with me endlessly, thinking that this verse lays the rules of Zakah tax and that one-fifth of one's income should be given as Zakah.  This is totally wrong.  The Quraan does not anywhere mention the amount of Zakah .. apparently because everyone is expected to give whatever they can afford according to their means.  The Zakah rate of 2.5% has been derived from Hadeeth, not the Quraan. 

Division of war booty is a very different aspect from Zakah.  Accoridng to the rules of those times, whatever valuables were acquired from a conquered land became the property of the victorious party.  And one-fifth of these valuables (not Zakah) were to be divided amongst the poor.

And Allah knows best
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2006, 06:25:52 am »

 salamem  and hi zeynab


This verse is most clearly about spoils of war.  How can anyone confuse it with anything else?  unless someone comes along with a very inaccurate translation.

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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2006, 06:32:22 am »

 wsalam  and hello rose ..


Yes .. all such problems arise out of inaccurate translations.  Unfortunately, good English translators of the Quraan are just a few.  Since the last 20 years, any number of people have come up with their own Englsh translations of the Quraan.  Mostly their inaccuracy is amazing, resulting in a misinterpretation of the simplest of verses. 
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