that, and war was to be carried on until 'the only worship be that of God,' that is, until the Meccans embraced Islam. The true faith was to be established by the sword. No other forms of religion were to be tolerated at all. Still the people were timid and the 'Hypocrites' were opposed to this war policy. Then a little later on Sura Muhammad (xlvii) was revealed which urges the faithful to fight and threatens the cowards and 'Hypocrites' with the terrors of hell. Thus:—

When ye encounter the infidels, strike off their heads, till ye have made a great slaughter amongst them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.
And afterwards let there be either free dismissals, or ransomings till the war hath laid down its arms.1
. . . Whoso fight 2 for the cause of God, their work He will not suffer to miscarry. 4-5.

1 Nöldeke places Sura Muhammad after the battle of Badr. This supports the views of those commentators who take the command to kill as a general injunction to last till the war is over, which will not be till the Second Advent of Jesus Christ and the return of the Imam Mahdi, according to the tradition, 'Jihad will remain till the day of Judgement.'
Others say that it is abrogated, or that it was revealed before the battle of Badr, and so has only a local and limited application. This seems to be the view of the Hanifites (Baidawi, vol. ii, . 321), whilst the Shi'ahs are said to favour the more general view. (Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. ii, p. 362 ; Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. iv, p. 213.) 'Abbas explains, 'Till the war hath laid down its arms'—
حَتّىَ تَضَعَ الْحَربُ أوزارها by. 'Till the infidels discard their polytheism'— حتى بترك لكفار أشراكها —but, as he refers the fourth verse to Badr, it is not clear whether he gives this fifth verse a local or a general application.
Zamakhshari says war is to go on 'till polytheists are slain or made prisoners and lay down their arms;' but whether this is of local or general application is not clear. In the Tafsir-i-ahmade the words are said to be abrogated.
The Maqbul Tarjuma records a saying of Imam Ja'far Sadiq that if they remain polytheists, the Imam may give orders to behead them or to cut off their hands and feet and let them bleed to death.
2 For fight (
قثتَلوِا ) there is another reading (قَاتلوا ) are fought or are killed. The Qaris 'Asim of Kufa and Abu 'Umar adopt the latter reading, all others reject it, so there is overwhelming authority for the first one—قاتلوا —kill or fight.

Fight then against them till all strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's—Sura Al-Anfal (viii) 40.1

The timid are referred to in the verse:—

The believers say, 'Oh, would that a Sura were sent down; but when a peremptory Sura is revealed, whose burden is war, thou mayest see the diseased of heart look toward thee, with a look of one on whom the shadows of death have fallen.
Be not faint-hearted then: and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand. Sura Muhammad (xlvii) 22, 37.

Thus was the ground prepared and the inhabitants of Madina stirred up to take their part for the first time in an aggressive war. The distress in Madina was very great at this time, and supplies had to be obtained from some source.2 The immediate cause of the battle of Badr (A.D. 624) was the desire of Muhammad to capture a rich caravan known to be on its way from Syria to Mecca.3 It was escorted

1قَاتِلُو حَتّى لا تَكُوْن فِتْنَةْ —'Fight them till all strife be at an end' that is, according to Husain till 'no polytheists remain of the pagans or Jews or Christians.' Tafasir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 239.
Baidawi says, 'Till no polytheism is found in them.' 'Abdu'llah ibn 'Abbas refers it to war against the Meccans, The Khalasu't-Tafasir:says, 'It gives an order for permanent jihad.'—
دوام جهاد كاحكم هى —but goes on to say that the order is fard-i-kifaya, i.e., not obligatory on every Muslim. It is further said that it is a muhkam verse and so cannot be abrogated.
This is a strong comment, showing that war with non-Muslims is imperative and is to be continuous and that the use of force is justified, until 'the religion be all of it God's'—
وَ يَكُوْنَ الْذِينَ كُلّهُ لِلهِ
2 For the original authorities on this point, see Margoliouth, Mohammed, pp. 234-8.
3 In order to show that hostilities against the Meccans were justified this revelation came:—

God doth not forbid you to deal with kindness and fairness toward those who have not made war upon you on account of your religion, or driven you forth from your home, Sura Al-Mumtahinah (lx) 8.