11 Lit. hath preceded.
12 Before Islam it had been the custom among the Arabians to assign a fourth part of the booty to the leader of an expedition. See Freyt. Einl. p. 266.
13 That is, on the day of the battle of Bedr. See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154.
14 The mission of Gabriel to Muhammad with the promise of victory.
15 Compare the different account in Sura [xcvii.] iii. II. The commentators, however, get over the discropancy by explaining the apparent diminution of the Muslims at the commencement only of the battle, which had the effect of drawing on the enemy in self-confidence.
16 The angels fighting for the Muslims.
17 By inducing them to attack so greatly superior a force.
18 Thus Beidh. Or, more simply, render them the like.
19 Comp. Lev. xxvi. 8; Josh. xxiii. 10.
20 Authorising the ransom of captives.
21 That is, a disposition to become Muslims.
22 That is, on account of their infidelity.
23 See Weil. Life of M. p. 84, n.
SURA1 XLVII.-MUHAMMAD [XCVI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Whoso believe not, and prevent others from the way of God-their works will He cause to miscarry;2
But whoso believe, and do things that are right, and believe in what hath been sent down to Muhammad-for it is the truth from their Lord-their sins will He cancel, and dispose their hearts aright.
This-because the infidels followed vanity, while those who believe, followed the truth from their Lord. Thus to men doth God set forth their likenesses.
When ye encounter the infidels,3 strike off their heads till ye have made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.
And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings, till the war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do. Were such the pleasure of God, he could himself take vengeance upon them: but He would rather prove the one of you by the other. And whoso fight for the cause of God, their works he will not suffer to miscarry;
He will vouchsafe them guidance, and dispose their hearts aright;
And he will bring them into the Paradise, of which he hath told them.
Believers! if ye help God, God will help you, and will set your feet firm:
But as for the infidels, let them perish: and their works shall God bring to nought:
This-because they were averse from the command which God sent down; Fruitless, therefore, shall their works become!
Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end of those who flourished before them? God brought destruction on them: and the like of this doth await the infidels.
This-because God is the protector of those who believe, and because the infidels have no protector.