Anfal in Islam
Can you explain the concept of “Anfal” in Islam? There is a sura in the Quran dedicated to Anfal. Please define this word.
Anfal means spoils of war غنایم. For thousands of years, primitive tribes, raided and plundered each other. The more savage societies also looted the wives and children of the vanquished. Women were often raped and children were enslaved and sold.
Arabs were a bunch of savages. Raiding and looting was for them a way of life. Four months during the year they abstained from fighting, when war was regarded a sacrilege. These were called sacred months, الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ. You can find a mention of them in the Quran 9:5. Outside these months they were free to raid and loot one another. There was no central power to punish the aggressors.
When the prophet of Islam migrated to Medina, his followers who migrated with him were mostly slaves and disaffected youths. They were destitute. Muhammad continued the tradition of Arabs and told them to steal for their sustenance. The morality of Arabs was so low that no one objected to a prophet of God engaging in thuggery. On the contrary, they attributed his successes to divine assistance.
Primitive people think might is right. You can often find this kind of primitive thinking in children. I was about 10 when our teacher in one of the small towns in Iran said he would take us for swimming. We were excited and looked forward to it. When the promised day came, we had brought our shorts and towels and were getting ready for to a day of fun. There were a couple of students in our class who were Baha’i or Jew. Our teacher said they cannot come. He said they are najis and hence they can’t go in the same pool with Muslims. I can’t forget the disappointment and sadness of those kids. That was a clear injustice, but as a ten years old child I was unable to see this as such. I felt sad but I thought it is the kid’s fault for not being Muslim. My sense of morality had not been evolved enough to see things clearly. I blamed the victims. In a society where everyone thinks like you, you get validation from others and your distorted thinking is confirmed. Our thoughts must be challenged in order to evolve. This is how evolution takes place. The weak dies and the fittest, survives. Where organisms are not challenged, they don’t evolve. There are species on earth that have not evolved for hundreds of millions of years. It is because they have never been challenged. There was no need for them to evolve. When an idea is not challenged, it will not evolve. This is the sad saga of Islam.
When Muhammad raided the caravans and the villages of the Arabs, massacred unarmed populations and plundered their belonging, enslaved their women and children, not only his followers, but also other Arabs did not see this as something utterly evil. The more he succeeded in his raids or ghazwa as he called them, the more popular he became. His foes joined him because he was becoming powerful. Tabari says Khalid ibn Walid and Amro ibn Aas were enemies of Islam and fought against Muslims. They converted when they saw Muhammad is becoming victorious. Arabs saw that those who converted to Islam had been enriched. All their earning came from robbery. But it was a robbery sanctioned by God. In the Arab’s primitive way of thinking that was an indication that God was behind Muhammad.
Muslims’ sense of morality has not evolved since the time of Muhammad. This primitive way of thinking of Arabs that believes might is right has spread to all Muslim countries, including to Iran and to Muslims of the Indian sub-continent who were much more evolved than the Arabs. Now we have become like them – a bunch of savages. Our sense of justice has evaporated and our thinking has become as primitive as those of Arabs who thanks to Islam have never come out of their savagery.
The great Persian historian Mohammad ibn Jarir Tabari narrates Muhammad’s crimes in detail, describing his treacheries, robberies, rapes, assassinations and murders to the extent that the reader feels nauseated. Yet this highly learned man is unable to see that the founder of that much evil cannot be a prophet of God.
One of the greatest geniuses that ever lived was Jalaleddin Rumi. Despite all his talent, he too is incapable of seeing the man he calls his prophet was a thug. He even believed in Muhammad’s nonsense that God transformed the Jews into pigs and monkeys when they broke the law of Sabbath.
This is what religion does to people. Smart people abdicate their intelligence when they believe. And as Voltaire says, when people believe in absurdities they can commit atrocities.
Any sane person can understand that raiding someone’s home, killing him and robbing his belonging is wrong. It does not require a lot of intelligence to understand this much. Yet amazingly, 1.5 billion Muslims, among them many educated people, are unable to see that.
Muhammad has even a sura in the Quran describing how the stolen property should be divided. Sura Anfal was written after the battle of Badr. It starts by saying, يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنْ الْأَنْفَالِ قُلْ الْأَنْفَالُ لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ “They ask you (O Muhammad) about the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war belong to Allah and the messenger.” Here Muhammad makes the maker of the universe a partner in his crime when anyone with a brain the size of that of a cat knows that God has no use for the stolen belongings of a bunch of Arabs. All that spoil went to Muhammad. So why defile the name of God? The real translation of this verse is, the stollen property belongs to me and myself. Muhammad did not believe in God. He used him as a tool to fool people. If he really believed in God he would not have dared to attribute so many lies to him.
An article titled, “Jihad: The Forgotten Obligation” that can be found with a Google search on several Islamic sites says: “Provision, Under the Shade of the Spear: Narrated Ibn Umar (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said, “My livelihood is under the shade of my spear, and he who disobeys my orders will be humiliated.” (Bukhari, p.408, vol.1) The virtue of the spear has been mentioned in this hadith and we have been informed that the livelihood and provision of the Prophet (saw) lies in the spear (jihaad). This is why the muhaditheen have stated that the best earning is that of war booty and it is clearly proven by this hadith that booty has been made permissible for this Ummah. Note: the term “humiliation for the kuffar” in the hadith, means paying jizya (a small tax levied for the non-Muslim citizens – dhimmis – of the Islamic state). (Fath ul Bari, p.116, vol.2)”
The above sums up the morality of Muslims. The hadiths say Muhammad earned his livelihood through robbery. As the result Muslim scholars and muhaditheens (collectors of hadith) have concluded that booty is permissible and the best earning is the one that comes from robbery. Today, Muslims lament that the obligation of jihad has been forgotten and that they should earn their livelihood by plundering and forcing the non-Muslims to pay jizyah.
This is how Mafia operates. In fact the Mafia owes its existence to Islam. Muslims conquered Sicily and Malta in 902 and ruled the Islands until 1061, when they were evicted following the Norman Conquest, the local gangsters moved in to fill their gap. Extorting money, in exchange for “protection,” is want Muslims practiced in south Italy. It is by understanding this connection that we can understand how the Mafia can reconcile their crime with their religiosity.
The irony is that in Islam theft is prohibited and the punishment of the thief is chopping his hand for the first offence and then amputation of other limbs for subsequent offenses. But that is when the thief steals from a Muslim. When the victim is a non-Muslim there is no punishment. Such thefts are regulated and encouraged.
In the raid at Wadi al Qura, right after the raid of Kheibar, a stray arrow killed a slave of Muhammad. Muslims gathered around him and congratulated him for attaining the paradise. Muhammad said, “Certainly not! His cloak is even now burning on him in hell. He had stolen the cloak he is wearing from the spoil of the Muslims.” Another Muslim hearing this came forth and said “Apostle of Allah, I had no shoes and took this pair of sandal thongs from the man I killed.” Muhammad told him “Two thongs of fire will be cut for you like that.” He then explains that whatever is taken as spoil must be put in a pool and divided as Allah has ordained. One fifth belongs to Allah and his messenger ( me and myself) and the rest shall be divided among the raiders. The one with a horse gets three shares, the one on foot gets one share. Women who had come to attend the wounded get no share, but they get gifts like a stolen necklace or a stolen dress.
Do you see the irony? These two Muslims will go to hell because they stole a cloak and a pair of sandals from the spoils, but the spoil itself is lawful and the best earning. The same sura Anfal says, فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَلًا طَيِّبًا “Enjoy what you took in war, lawful and pure.”(Q. 8:69) This verse indicates that maybe some of the Muslims had a cognitive dissonance and their conscience was bothering them. Muhammad revealed this verse so they can placate their conscience. How can one argue with God? If God says killing and stealing from non-Muslims is lawful, who can question it?
This is how Muslims put their conscience aside. Once a matter is decided by God, the believer will not bring his conscience into equation. He will ignore his conscience. God knows best and it is not up to humans to question the wisdom of God. Fortunately, most religions don’t have too many evil teachings in regards to non-believers. But Islam has plenty of them and consequently Muslims are reduced into thugs and criminals. They are the most immoral and the most treacherous people in the world. When it comes to doing evil, no one can match a Muslim. No one can do as much evil as a Muslim without any pang of conscience. All people do evil, but often they are troubled by it and ask their god for forgiveness. Muslims do evil and stand in prayer thanking their god for enabling them to do it. They expect to be rewarded for it. The Basiji thugs in Iran who raped young girls before killing them were convinced that they will be rewarded by God for their despicable crimes. Islam reduces humans into monsters.
Islam is the religion of thieves. Not just thieves, but also pedophiles, rapists, assassins, murderers and tyrants can find justification for their evilness in Islam. The only prohibition is that you cannot steal from your gang. Any gangster organization has the same rule. If you are a member of Mafia and steal from your godfather you will be dealt with more severely than by any law. This does not mean that criminals are against stealing. They do it for living. But if you are a member of a criminal organization you must not steal from the gang.
Even though Muhammad prohibited Muslims stealing from the spoils before he got his lion’s share, he openly stole from his followers. Right after Kheibar was conquered Muhammad set his eyes on Fadak, which was the most fertile land of Arabia. The population of Fadak, assessing their prospect decided to surrender. They sent a delegation to Muhammad while he was still in Kheibar telling him that they will abandon their town in exchange for their lives. Muhammad agreed. He then offered them to stay as serf and give 50% of what they produce to him. He declared that Fadak is his personal property because Muslims did not fight there. The reason these Jews surrendered was obviously because of Muhammad’s army. Without that army, would they have surrendered to one man? He took 20% of every plunder, without ever fighting personally or putting his life in danger. But he kept the entire wealth of Fadak and Bani Nadir to himself, because the populations of these towns surrendered without a fight. It is not that his followers were as dumb as not to notice, but they were afraid to question him. He did as he pleased and no one dared to argue with him, because arguing with him was as arguing with God. That is what prevents Muslims from questioning Islam today.
Every Iranian must learn about Fadak. This little town has played a crucial role in the destiny of our country. After the death of Muhammad, Fatima, his only surviving daughter, claimed that Fadak should be her inheritance because it was the private property of her father. Abu Bakr, who had become the caliph elected by everyone including Ali, Fatima’s husband, said that the Prophet did not have private properties and whatever he owned should go to baitul mal (public treasury). Muhammad also had several wives, including Aisha and Hafsa, daughters of Abu Bakr and Omar, and a grandson by his other daughter Zeinab, who should have been included as inheritors, in case the property were to be given to his kin. Hence, even if Fadak were Muhammad’s private estate, the claim of Fatima was unfounded. That is where the fight between Ali and other caliphs began – over a stolen property. This is the origin of the Sunni-Shiite divide. And we Iranians are still fighting it to this day.