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. (41)
۞ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَا غَنِمۡتُم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ ۥ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَـٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَـٰكِينِ وَٱبۡنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ إِن كُنتُمۡ ءَامَنتُم بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنزَلۡنَا عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِنَا يَوۡمَ ٱلۡفُرۡقَانِ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡتَقَى ٱلۡجَمۡعَانِۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ ڪُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ (٤١)
This Surah is about the Battle of Badr. The muslims were outnumbered heavily and yet they won.
Allah SWT in this surah delineates many of the etiquettes pertaining to war and Allah’s help in its outcome.
This ayah describes what is war booty (Maal e Ghanimat) and how is it to be distributed.
Tafseer by Farhat Hashmi:
LITERAL MEANING OF THE WORD:
Ghanam: Getting something without earning it, Free Booty, or Maal e Ghanimaat.
NOT THE AIM OF JIHAD
Allah SWT qualifies that Maal e Ghanimaat (War booty) is not the aim of Jihad; one does not fight for war booty.
In pre Islamic times the war booty was handled in a certain manner, which was not equitable for the society they lived in.
THE QUESTION IN THE SOLDIERS MIND:
The Muslim Arabs did not know how to handle the war booty in Badr, and this was a question in the minds of all.
HOW TO DIVIDE THE WAR BOOTY?
In this ayah Allah SWT says:
“what ever you gain in war/battle, bring it and put it in one place. Do not take it for personal use or use it before placing it in one general place. After all the war booty is collected in one place, it is to be divided into five parts:
I. Four out of five parts will be given to the soldiers as follows: those who came on foot to fight get one part and those who brought their personal horses into battle get three, or a ratio of 1: 3 depending on if one came on foot to fight or brought their horse with them.
II. One out of five parts belongs to Allah and He gives it as follows:
One part: For RasoolAllah (PBUH), his expenses, expenses for his wives and children and to buy more horses armor etc.
One part: For the elatives of RasoolAllah (PBUH), especially Banu Hashim and Banu Mutallib
The rest of the three parts (one each): to orphans, poor/needy and travelers.”
A JUST DIVISION BENEFITING NOT ONLY THOSE WHO FOUGHT BUT ALSO THE SOCIETY AT LARGE
This division is just. The war booty is not only being used by the soldiers as had been done in the past, but for improving society by helping the downtrodden and a smaller than usual part for the leader.
Previously the Arabs were allowed to loot every thing and the leader kept one fourth and the rest went to the soldiers.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RULES OF DISTRIBUTION OF WHAT IS GAINED IN WAR
Allah SWT attaches these commandment to emaan, thus the fair distribution of war booty becomes a part of the Muslim belief and emaan.
A REMINDER TO THOSE IN THE “HIGH” OF VICTORY
Allah SWT also underlines that ALL victory is because of Allah’s help.
THE DAY OF FURQAN
Allah SWT sent help to His messenger (Prophet Muhammad PBUH) in a battle (Badr) that demonstrated the criteria of the believers and differentiated it from the non-believers.
A BLESSING WHEN YOU GIVE……
Rasool Allah (PBUH) while giving any portion of war booty would say “this is what Allah SWT gives you in this dunya, but he has something much better waiting for you in the Hereafter”
This reminder decreases the greed in people as it reminds them that the best is yet to come.
THE ETIQUETTE OF WAR
There is etiquette for everything in the Quran even the use of what has been won in war.
THE CORE MESSAGE
The basic tenet of this ayah is that all wins and losses come from Allah SWT. We cannot win without his help and thus everything that we gain as a result of that win must be distributed according to what he has set down in the Quran.
Even if Muslims have won and feel they deserve all the spoils of war Allah SWT wants to teach us:
1. We cannot win by ourselves without His help
2. The concept of sharing with its inherent though overtly unapparent advantages
” If we share the war booty with the less fortunate, the poor, the orphans and the needy then society becomes more equitable and a better place to live for ALL.