THE MESSAGE IN SURAH AL ANFAL:
Though Surah Al Anfal is overtly about the Battle of Badr, which changed the balance of power in favor of the Muslims at the time of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, it holds in it the secrets of Success in Life.
This Surah details the battle of Badr, also called the Youm (Day) of Furqaan.
The etiquettes of peace negotiations and the preparation of battle are outlined. It is clearly demarcated that all events leading to success are dependant on the personal behavior and ethics of the players, even if it may be one sided (i.e. only the Muslims have the ethics and the other party does not)
1. All success is from Allah
2. He only gives success to those who obey Him and follow his guidelines
3. How to get along with each other. Unity and cooperation with each other. This is pivotal for success
4. Love each other. Examples of the behavior of the Muhajirs and Ansars (Immigrants and citizens) is given
5. Love and obey Allah and His Rasool (PBUH) and thus prevent divisiveness based on Self or Ego based dissatisfaction.
6. The definition of Khianat and how to avoid it. Khianat is forbidden not only with friends but also with foes. Cleaning the inside of our hearts.
7. Attention to detail to prepare for battle and adversity
8. Sabr/Patience and Dhikr to build strength and stillness in the heart.
9. Release yourself from the love of dunya and material goods.
10. Purify your self from greed for the booty of this world in war and peace. Strive in peace and war only to please Allah in word, action and thought.
What I learned from this surah:
One must train oneself in everyday life like the soldiers of Badr were instructed to train themselves. For life is a war on the Nafs or the selfish part within us that prevents us from submitting to Allah.
The training of the soldiers was as follows:
1. To know that all success and failure comes from Allah
2. To understand and accept the fact that all battles whether of war or personal battles are not to be fought for personal gain or the booty at the end of it. All struggles must be only for the glorification of Allah, and not to hide a personal reason behind a façade of fighting in the name of Allah or to glorify the name of Allah
3. To learn the etiquette of the moment when one is faced with adversity
4. To stand by the covenants that one has forged with another or if the other party has
broken the covenant to announce publicly that we are no longer bound by it, as it has already been broken.
5. To look and prepare for each detail in war and in a project or struggle that we are about to undertake even if the odds are against us.
6. To bring our hearts together as Muslims to feel each other’s pain and joy and be happy for our brothers and want for them what we want for ourselves.
7. To unite, cooperate and stand steadfast in the struggle for Islam
8. To migrate from all disobediences of Allah. To leave them behind just as we may leave behind one land that disallows the practice of Islam for one that allows it.
9. The ties of the Muslim Ummah are more significant than blood ties, even though respect and consideration is recommended for blood ties.
10. A trust placed with a Muslim is impregnable and a covenant made with a Muslim is unbreakable and untamperable.
Dua: May Allah Subhananawataala give us the strength to build these characteristics within us.