Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Habitation of deserters will be Hell

Lesson # 987 from Noble Quran

Habitation of deserters will be Hell

Surah ‘ANFAAL (SPOILS OF WAR) – Chapter – 8)

 Stage – 2, Verses – 15 & 16 of 75, Section – 2 of 10 (Part – 9)


In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

15.  O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them.


16.  And whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be Hell, a hapless journey’s end.            

15.  Yaaa-‘ayyu- hallaziina  ‘aa-manuuu  ‘izaa  laqiitu-mul-laziina  kafaruu  zahfan-  falaa  tuwalluu-humul-‘adbaar.


16.  Wa  many-yu-wallihim  yawma-‘izin-  duburahuuu  ‘illaa  muta-harrifal-liqitaalin  ‘aw  mutahay-yizan  ‘ilaa  fi-‘atin-  faqad  baaa-‘a  bi-gazabim-minAllaahi  wa  ma’-waahu  Jahannam.  Wa  bi’-sal-masiir.                


Zahfun – (in battle), zahaf means “to move forward for fighting”. Here it aims “to go ahead with the intent to fight”.


Muta-harrifan – (manoeuvre, stratagem, planned movement, adroit proceeding), origin of this word is taharraf, which has been derived from harf. Harf means “one side, aloof, a bank”. Taharraf means “moving to this or that side, that is to say; to go forward, back, right or left for changing the scheme. It is called “to make certain movement during fight”.


Fi-‘atun – (a company, section or battalion), here it aims “Army, camp etc. i.e. joining big group or army by a few people.


The people who believe, are being commanded here that when the battle is being fought, both fighter groups/ armies are advancing gradually towards each other for fighting, at that time; turning and running away to save own life with fear of death, is unmanly. They should not do so due to fear of death and enemies in the field of battle.


It is commanded that the believers should not turn their backs with fear when they are facing the enemy because while they have to fight; they should face it bravely. Turning backs to enemies on such occasion is a very big sin. However, there are two occasions only when it is lawful to turn backs:

  • Manoeuvring for the battle – if the aim is to change the trick of fighting, then they can move any side as they wish.


  • Intent to Join a big group or company – if they are less in numbers and the opposite party is a big group, whereas their big group is at some distance, then these people can take refuge by running back towards the big group. Otherwise, there is no other lawful form of turning backs from fighting. That individual or group who will turn back, incurs wrath from Allah Almighty, will live a life of humiliation and disgrace in the world, and on the Day of Resurrection, his abode will be the Fire of the Hell; which is too bad place.


Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazaar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English by Muhammad Sharif)