Quran – 8:59-60: Is Not A Violent Verse

Quran 8:59-60 – “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

The above passage, is a historical verse which gave Muslims permission to fight the enemy, which was hostile to the Muslim community. Their goal was to exterminate, kill all Muslims. All one needs to do is read the verse that proceeds. The next verse (Quran 8:61),

Allah orders Muslims that if the enemy were to ‘incline to peace’, then Muslims have incline to peace as-well. But, if the enemy does not want peace, then Allah gives Muslims to engage the enemy until there is no more persecution against Muslims. Let’s Read 8:61,

8:61 And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.

Commentary on 8:61

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi

“45 That is, Your relations with other nations should be based on your trust in God for `He is sufficient for you’. Therefore you should boldly face the enemy both in war and in peace. When the enemy desires to have a talk with you for peace, you should be willing and ready to negotiate with the other party without any hesitation.

Do not reject the offer on the pica that the other party is not sincere and has treacherous intentions. for no one can have correct knowledge of the intentions of others:

If the other party is sincere in its offer, then it will be wrong to reject it and continue the bloodshed. And if the enemy has treacherous intentions, then Allah will protect you from them because of your courage and moral superiority. In that case, fight bravely with the treacherous enemy so as to teach them such a lesson as may prove a deterrent.” [1]

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

“(And if they incline to peace) if the Banu Qurayzah incline to and desire peace, (incline you also to it) and desire it, (and trust in Allah) in relation to their breaking or honouring of treaties. (Lo! He is the Hearer) of what they say, (the Knower) of their breaking and honouring of treaties.” [2]

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

“The Command to Facilitate Peace when the Enemy seeks a Peaceful Resolution
Allah says, if you fear betrayal from a clan of people, then sever the peace treaty with them, so that you both are on equal terms. If they continue being hostile and opposing you, then fight them,

(But if they incline), and seek, (to peace), if they resort to reconciliation, and seek a treaty of non-hostility, (you also incline to it), and accept offers of peace from them. This is why when the pagans inclined to peace in the year of Hudaybiyah and sought cessation of hostilities for nine years, between them and the Messenger of Allah he accepted this from them, as well as, accepting other terms of peace they brought forth.

`Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib said that the Messenger of Allah said, (There will be disputes after me, so if you have a way to end them in peace, then do so.) Allah said next,
(and trust in Allah. ) Allah says, conduct a peace treaty with those who incline to peace, and trust in Allah. Verily, Allah will suffice for you and aid you even if they resort to peace as a trick, so that they gather and reorganize their forces…” [3]

Muhammad Asad

“67 The implication is that ‘even if they offer peace only with a view to deceiving thee, this [offer of] peace must be accepted, since all judgement [of their intentions] must be based on outward evidence alone’ (Razi): in other words, mere suspicion cannot be rejecting an offer of peace.” [4]

Malik Ghulam Farid

“1140. The verse, besides embodying an important principle about making peace-treaties, throws interesting light on the character of the wars undertaken by Islam. Muslims did not resort to war to force men to embrace Islam but to establish and maintain peace. If any people after having made war upon Muslims sued for peace the latter were enjoined not to reject the offer, even if the enemy might be suing for peace only to deceive them and gain time. This shows to what lengths Islam goes to establish peace among nations.” [5]


[1] Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/8/index.html#sdfootnote45sym
[2] Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs –  http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=8&tAyahNo=61&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2
[3] Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1381&Itemid=63
[4] The Message of The Quran Translated And explained by Muhammad Asad
[5] The Holy Qur’an Arabic Text With English Translation & Short Commentary By Malik Ghulam Farid page 371 – 372