Meaning of Anfal
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

Meaning of Anfal

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Anfal are the spoils of war.'' Al-Bukhari also recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "I said to Ibn `Abbas, `Surat Al-Anfal' He said, `It was revealed concerning (the battle of) Badr.''' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas without a chain of narration, that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Anfal are the spoils of war; they were for the Messenger of Allah , and none had a share in them.'' Similar was said by Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others. It was also said that the Nafl (singular for Anfal) refers to the portion of the spoils of war that the commander gives to some of the fighters after dividing the bulk of the spoils. It was also said that Anfal refers to the Khumus; one-fifth of the captured goods after four-fifths are divided [between the fighters]. It was also said that the Anfal refers to the Fay', the possessions taken from the disbelievers without fighting, and the animals, servants or whatever other possessions escape from the disbelievers to Muslims.

Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ali bin Salih bin Hay said: "It has reached me that,

[يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَنفَالِ]
(They ask you about Al-Anfal) is about the divisions. This refer to what the Imam gives to some squads in addition to what is divided among the rest of the soldiers.''

Meaning of Anfal

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Anfal are the spoils of war.'' Al-Bukhari also recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "I said to Ibn `Abbas, `Surat Al-Anfal' He said, `It was revealed concerning (the battle of) Badr.''' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas without a chain of narration, that Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Anfal are the spoils of war; they were for the Messenger of Allah , and none had a share in them.'' Similar was said by Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others. It was also said that the Nafl (singular for Anfal) refers to the portion of the spoils of war that the commander gives to some of the fighters after dividing the bulk of the spoils. It was also said that Anfal refers to the Khumus; one-fifth of the captured goods after four-fifths are divided [between the fighters]. It was also said that the Anfal refers to the Fay', the possessions taken from the disbelievers without fighting, and the animals, servants or whatever other possessions escape from the disbelievers to Muslims.

Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ali bin Salih bin Hay said: "It has reached me that,

[يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَنفَالِ]
(They ask you about Al-Anfal) is about the divisions. This refer to what the Imam gives to some squads in addition to what is divided among the rest of the soldiers.''