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Surah 'Al-Anfal' - Verse 8:67. The expression: "slaughter in the land"


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Author Topic: Surah 'Al-Anfal' - Verse 8:67. The expression: "slaughter in the land"  (Read 2991 times)
Zeynab
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« on: October 28, 2006, 02:47:16 am »

 
BismEm
 salamem

I'd like to throw some light on the following verse for clarification as I've come across people not well read misinterpreting it every so often.

"It is not for any prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. You desire the lure of this world and Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise." Al-Anfal 8:67

'Al-Anfal' would mean 'spoils of war.'  The above verse does not at all mean to slaughter in a literal sense.  But it's simply a phrase, meaning 'war' or 'fighting.'  The original Arabic Quranic words are "hatta yuth-khina" which means "until he has battled strenuously." Pickthall hasn't come up with the most accurate translation for this expression.  In this particular verse, "slaughter" would refer to 'an officially declared war.'  It should also be kept in mind that quite many wars or 'ghazwas' that were fought in the Prophet's (pbuh) lifetime involved very little or totally no bloodshed.  Even such 'wars' might be referred to as 'slaughter' because the term conforms with the word 'war.'  Thus, in other words, Allah is simply putting a rule before the people that there can be no prisoners unless a war has officially taken place.  And Allah knows best.

If you read through verses 8:67 to 8:69 quoted as follows:

"It is not for any prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. You desire the lure of this world and Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.  8:67
Had it not been for an ordinance of Allah which had gone before, an awful doom had come upon you on account of what ye took.  8:68
Now enjoy what ye have won, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah. Indeed! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."  8:69
   

These verses refer to the captives taken in the Battle of Badr.  In verses 8:67-68 Allah states that according to His ordinance, no Prophet in the past was ever allowed to take captives or prisoners unless they participated in a complete and official warfare on the battlefield.  I repeat, "made slaughter in the land" is not the most accurate translation, however it refers to the act of combat in the battlefield.  Verse 8:69 confirms that the event of taking prisoners taken by the Muslims after the victory at Badr was lawful because of the ordinance of Allah which He had already established. 


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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 06:41:20 am »

Thanks sister, for this very concise, precise and rational explanation.  Makes perfect sense.
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 06:52:25 am »

Yeah, JazekAllah khair.  very well put.  In the non-Muslim circles this verse is often misunderstood.  The clarification here is thoroughly realistic and true.
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 03:01:41 am »



Thanks in plenty sister Zeynab.  If you read the tafsirs of Maududi and also G.A. Pervez, they have made quite a mess out of their explanations by beating around the bush .. going on and on .... whereas actually this is a very simple verse.  

Allah (Subhana Wa'Tala) confirms that taking prisoners is allowed only when war is legally declared, fought and won .. not otherwise.  There were some Muslims in Medinah who would take prisoners at the smallest of pretexts apparently without fighting a full-fledged war and would use these prisoners as helpers, servants or slaves.  Allah is not pleased with such behavior when people are keen to grab prisoners only for earthly benefits without fighting a real war.  That's why Allah says in the following verse 8:68 "Had it not been for an ordinance of Allah which had gone before, an awful doom had come upon you on account of what ye took."  And again in the verse No.8:69 which follows the previous one, Allah says "Now enjoy what you have won, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah. Indeed! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."   If I recall correctly, this refers to Battle of Badr which was an officially declared, full-fledged battle in which the Muslim army of Medinah was victorious.  Therefore, Allah tells the Muslims that now whoever they have taken as prisoners among the enemies is lawful.

 
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 04:02:24 am »

Right sister Heba.  I also observed that most tafsir writers with references to traditional hadith stories claim that these verses refer to executing prisoners and the since the Prophet (SAW) spared the lives of prisoners taken at battle of Badr has been disapproved by Allah.  Again, these verses say nothing at all to presume any such ideas.
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 03:23:39 am »



Yes .. I've also observed this in several tafsirs.  I too don't find any such references.  I have no doubt it's taken from Hadith stories. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 05:21:27 am »

As I happened to come across this Verse 8:67 again last evening during my daily Quranic readings, I have further elaborated the explanation in my original post by modifying it a bit.   
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2021, 01:02:57 pm »



Original Arabic in the Noble Quran on V.8:67 ..

يُثْخِنَ  (yuth'khina)  = "he has battled strenuously" as in Verse 8:67.

Similar expression  having the same root, in Verse 47:4

أَثْخَنْتُمُوهُمْ (ath-khan-tumūhum)   =  "you have subdued them"


In regard to V.8:67, the only correct translation nearest to the original is that of Shakir quote "It is not fit for a prophet that he should take captives unless he has fought and triumphed in the land;"    I'm surprised, even the international sahih which should be strictly focused on the interpretation of each word literally in the translation is borrowing its interpretation from extra-Quranic sources and translating yuth'khina as "massacre" which is a thoroughly inaccurate translation.

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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2021, 01:11:05 pm »



That makes it clearer. 

Actually the sahih international has shown through many of its inaccurate translations that it's focused on extra-Quranic sources for its interpretation.

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