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Surah al-Anfal 41 is absolutely objectionable

Reader comment on item: Israel Has a War to Win
in response to reader comment: Our dear Matthew al-Tablighee and India and Kashmir in the Qur'an?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jan 27, 2022 at 03:07

Dear Dr Pipes, When Quran legitimizes looting of other people's wealth, it needs to be opposed. After reading DNM's message above, I researched Surah al-Anfal 41. I read at least 5 translations of this verse and two associated tafsirs. The original verse recommends that 20% of the loot must go to Muhammad. It further recommends that the remaining 80% is to be distributed among the soldiers of the war. What is worse is that no tafsir of the verse questions the morality of looting. Islamic scholarship is the master of frivolity. One tafsir essentially tried to explain that the soldiers should not complain about getting only 80% of the loot. According to it all of the loot belonged to Muhammad and the God. One Tafsir even said that after Muhammad's death the loot should go to his discendent family members.

Thus, Quran unequivocally recommends looting of the loser's wealth in a war. And, Islamic scholars seem to be immune to non-Muslim's pain or their humanity. I would invite Muslim readers here to provide explation and justification of this verse. I think Muslims should distance themselves from this verse.

On a lighter note, I think Israel should have applied this verse after its 6-day war victory. And, if India had used this Quranic advice in 1971, 20% of today's Bangladesh would have gone to Hindu gods and 80% to the Indian army. Islam never ceases to surprise me!!


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