VERSES
200
PAGES
50-76

Name

This Surah takes its name from v.33. Al-i-Imran, like the names of many other surahs, is merely a name to distinguish it from other surahs and does not imply that the family of Imran has been discussed in it.

The Period of Revelation

This Surah consists of four discourses:

The first discourse (vv. 1-32) was probably revealed soon after the Battle of Badr.

The second discourse (vv. 33-63) was revealed in 9 A. H. on the occasion of the visit of the deputation from the Christians of Najran.

The third discourse (vv. 64-120) appears to have been revealed immediately after the first one.

The fourth discourse (vv. 121-200) was revealed after the Battle of Uhd.

Subject

Though these discourses were revealed at different periods and on different occasions, they are so inter-linked and so inter-connected with regard to their aim, object and central theme that they make together one continuous whole. This Surah has been especially addressed to two groups--the people of the Book (the Jews and the Christians) and the followers of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him).

The message has been extended to the Jews and the Christians in continuation of the invitation in Al-Baqarah, in which they have been admonished for their erroneous beliefs and evil morals and advised to accept, as a remedy, the Truth of the Quran. They have been told here that Muhammad (Allah's peace be, upon him) taught the same right way of life that had been preached by their own Prophets; that it alone was the Right Way, the way of Allah; hence any deviation from it will be wrong even according to their own Scriptures.

The second group, the Muslims, who had been declared to be the best Community in Al-Baqarah and appointed torch-bearers of the Truth and entrusted with the responsibility of reforming the world, have been given additional instructions in continuation of those given in the preceding Surah. The Muslims have been warned to learn a lesson from the religious and moral degeneration of the former communities and to refrain from treading in their footsteps. Instructions have also been given about the reformative work they had to perform. Besides this, they have been taught how to deal with the people of the Book and the hypocrites who were putting different kinds of hindrances in the way of Allah. Above all, they have been warned to guard against those weaknesses which had come to the surface in the Battle Uhd.

Background

The following is the background of the Surah:

  1. The Believers had met with all sorts of trials and hardships about which they had been forewarned in Al-Baqarah. Though they had come out victorious in the Battle of Badr, they were not out of danger yet. Their victory had aroused the enmity of all those powers in Arabia which were opposed to the Islamic Movement. Signs of threatening storms had begun to appear on all sides and the Muslims were in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. It looked as if the whole Arabian world around the tiny state of Al-Madinah - which was no more than a village state at that time -- was bent upon blotting out its very existence. This state of war was also adversely affecting its economy, which had already been badly disturbed by the influx of the Muslim refugees from Makkah.

  2. Then there was the disturbing problem of the Jewish clans who lived in the suburbs of Al-Madinah. They were discarding the treaties of alliance they had made with the Holy Prophet after his migration from Makkah. So much so that on the occasion of the Battle of Badr, these people of the Book sympathized with the evil aims of the idolaters, in spite of the fact that their fundamental articles of the Faith - Oneness of Allah, Prophethood, Life-after- death -- were the same as those of the Muslims. After the Battle of Badr, they openly began to incite the Quraish and other Arab clans to wreak their vengeance on the Muslims. Thus those Jewish clans set aside their centuries-old friendly and neighborly relations with the people of Al-Madinah. At last when their mischievous actions and breaches of treaties became unbearable, the Holy Prophet attacked the Bani-Qainu-qa'a, the most mischievous of all the other Jewish clans who had conspired with the hypocrites of Al-Madinah and the idolatrous Arab clans to encircle the Believers on all sides. The magnitude of the peril might be judged from the fact that even the life of the Holy Prophet himself was always in danger. Therefore his Companions slept in their armors during that period and kept watch at night to guard against any sudden attack, and whenever the Holy Prophet happened to be out of sight even for a short while, they would at once set out in search of him.

  3. This incitement by the Jews added fuel to the fire which was burning in the hearts of the Quraish and they began to make preparations to avenge the defeat they had suffered at Badr. A year after this an army of 3,000 strong marched out of Makkah to invade Al-Madinah and a battle took place at the foot of Mount Uhd. The Holy Prophet came out of Al-Madinah with one thousand men to meet the enemy. While they were marching to the battle-field, three hundred hypocrites deserted the army and returned to Al-Madinah, but there still remained a small band of hypocrites among the seven hundred who accompanied the Holy Prophet. They played their part and did their worst to create mischief and chaos in the ranks of the Believers during the Battle. This was the first clear indication of the fact that within the fold of the Muslim Community there was quite a large number of saboteurs who were always ready to conspire with the external enemies to harm their own brethren.

  4. Though the devices of the hypocrites had played a great part in the set-back at Uhd, the weaknesses of the Muslims themselves contributed no less to it. And it was but natural that the Muslims should show signs of moral weakness for they were a new community which had only recently been formed on a new ideology and had not as yet got a thorough moral training. Naturally in this second hard test of their physical and moral strength, some weaknesses came to the surface. That is why a detailed review of the Battle of Uhd was needed to warn the Muslims of their shortcomings and to issue instructions for their reform. It should also be noted that this review of the Battle is quite different from the reviews that are usually made by generals on similar occasions.

Subject: Guidance

This Surah is the sequel to Al-Baqarah and the invitation therein is continued to the people of the Book. In Al-Baqarah the Jews were pointedly invited to accept the Guidance and in this Surah the Christians have particularly been admonished to give up their erroneous beliefs and accept the Guidance of the Quran. At the same time, the Muslims have been instructed to nourish the virtues that may enable them to carry out their obligations and spread the Divine Guidance.

Topics and their Interconnection

In these introductory verses, the fundamental truths about Allah, Revelation and Life-after-death have been reiterated to serve as fitting preliminaries, leading to the main topics discussed in the Surah. 1 - 32

This discourse is particularly addressed to the Christians and invites them to accept Islam. It clears Jesus and his mother not only from the stigma maliciously set upon them by the Jews, but also refutes the erroneous Christian creed of the Divinity of Jesus which had been formulated because of his miraculous birth. For this purpose the instances of John the Baptist to a barren woman and an extremely aged man, and that of Adam without father or mother have been cited to show that there is nothing in the birth of Jesus without a father to entitle him to Divinity. 33 - 65

In these verses the people of the Book, the Jews, have been invited to give up their sinister ways and accept the divine Guidance. At the same time the Muslims have been warned to be on their guard against their malicious intentions, erroneous ways and absurd objections. 66 - 101

The Muslims have been instructed to learn lessons from the history of the people of the Book and also to guard themselves against their machinations, and to prepare and train themselves to establish virtue and eradicate evil. 102 - 120

In this portion, a review of the Battle of Uhd has been made to teach and reassure the Muslims that the machinations of their enemies could do them no harm, if they would practice restraint and fortitude and have fear of Allah. It has been pointed out that the set-back they had suffered was due to the lack of some moral qualities and the existence of some evils. As the main cause of the defeat was the greed of the archers guarding the pass, the taking of interest has been prohibited to eradicate part of this evil (greed). 121 - 175

The main theme of the verses 109 - 120 has been resumed to reassure and encourage the Muslims against the dangerous plots of their enemies. 175 - 189

This is the conclusion of the Surah and is not directly connected with the verses immediately preceding it but with the theme of the Surah as a whole. 190 - 200

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran

ﭑﭒﭓ

مِن قَبْلُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَنزَلَ الْفُرْقَانَ ۗ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انتِقَامٍ

Muhsin Khan

Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind, And He sent down the criterion [of judgement between right and wrong (this Quran)]. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, for them there is a severe torment; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.

Dr. Ghali

Earlier, as guidance to mankind, and He sent down the all-distinctive Criterion. Surely (the ones) who have disbelieved in the signs of Allah will have a strict torment, and Allah is Ever-Mighty, Owner of vengeance.

Sahih International

Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Qur'an. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the verses of Allah will have a severe punishment, and Allah is exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution.

Shakir

Surely they who disbelieve in the communications of Allah they shall have a severe chastisement; and Allah is Mighty, the Lord of retribution.

Yusuf Ali

Then those who reject Faith in the Signs of Allah will suffer the severest penalty, and Allah is Exalted in Might, Lord of Retribution.

Transliteration

Min qablu hudan linnasiwaanzala alfurqana inna allatheena kafaroo bi-ayatiAllahi lahum AAathabun shadeedun wallahuAAazeezun thoo intiqam

ﭿ

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَخْفَىٰ عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ

Sahih International

Indeed, from Allah nothing is hidden in the earth nor in the heaven.

Muhsin Khan

Truly, nothing is hidden from Allah, in the earth or in the heavens.

Transliteration

Inna Allaha la yakhfaAAalayhi shay-on fee al-ardi wala fee assama/-

Dr. Ghali

Surely for Allah nothing (whatever) in the earth or in the heaven is concealed.

Yusuf Ali

From Allah, verily nothing is hidden on earth or in the heavens.

Shakir

Allah-- surely nothing is hidden from Him in the earth or in the heaven.

هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ ۚ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

Sahih International

It is He who forms you in the wombs however He wills. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Shakir

He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He likes; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise

Muhsin Khan

He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

Yusuf Ali

He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Dr. Ghali

He is (The One) Who fashions you in the wombs as He decides (i.e. in the manner He decides) There is no god except He, The Ever-Mighty, The Ever-Wise.

Transliteration

Huwa allathee yusawwirukum feeal-arhami kayfa yashao la ilaha illahuwa alAAazeezu alhakeem

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Shakir

He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.

Transliteration

Huwa allathee anzala AAalayka alkitabaminhu ayatun muhkamatun hunna ommualkitabi waokharu mutashabihatun faammaallatheena fee quloobihim zayghun fayattabiAAoona matashabaha minhu ibtighaa alfitnati wabtighaata/weelihi wama yaAAlamu ta/weelahu illa Allahuwarrasikhoona fee alAAilmi yaqooloona amannabihi kullun min AAindi rabbina wama yaththakkaruilla oloo al-albab

Sahih International

It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.

Yusuf Ali

He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

Dr. Ghali

He is The (One) Who has sent down upon you the Book, whereof are clear signs (i.e. Éayah = verses) that are the Essence (Literally: the Mother) of the Book, and others cosimilar (Or: ambiguous). So, as for (the ones) in whose hearts is swerving, they ever follow whatever (parts) of it are cosimilar, (inequitably) seeking temptation (to sedition), and (inequitably) seeking its interpretation; and in no way does anyone know its interpretation except Allah. And the ones firmly established in knowledge say, "We have believed in it; all is from the Providence of our Lord." And in no way does anyone constantly remember except the ones endowed with intellects.

Muhsin Khan

It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad SAW) the Book (this Quran). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the Verses of Al-Ahkam (commandments, etc.), Al-Fara'id (obligatory duties) and Al-Hudud (legal laws for the punishment of thieves, adulterers, etc.)]; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials, etc.), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Tafsir At-Tabari).

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Dr. Ghali

Our Lord, make not our hearts to swerve after that You have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from very close to You. You, Ever You, are The One Who is The Superb Bestower.

Sahih International

[Who say], "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.

Transliteration

Rabbana la tuzigh quloobanabaAAda ith hadaytana wahab lana min ladunkarahmatan innaka anta alwahhab

Muhsin Khan

(They say): "Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower."

Shakir

Our Lord! make not our hearts to deviate after Thou hast guided us aright, and grant us from Thee mercy; surely Thou art the most liberal Giver.

Yusuf Ali

"Our Lord!" (they say), "Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure.

ﯿ

رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِيَوْمٍ لَّا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ

Shakir

Our Lord! surely Thou art the Gatherer of men on a day about which there is no doubt; surely Allah will not fail (His) promise.

Yusuf Ali

"Our Lord! Thou art He that will gather mankind Together against a day about which there is no doubt; for Allah never fails in His promise."

Sahih International

Our Lord, surely You will gather the people for a Day about which there is no doubt. Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise."

Transliteration

Rabbana innaka jamiAAu annasiliyawmin la rayba feehi inna Allaha layukhlifu almeeAAad

Dr. Ghali

Our Lord, surely You will be gathering mankind for a Day, (and) there is no suspicion about it; surely Allah will not fail the promised (Appointment).

Muhsin Khan

Our Lord! Verily, it is You Who will gather mankind together on the Day about which there is no doubt. Verily, Allah never breaks His Promise".

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَن تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمْ وَقُودُ النَّارِ

Dr. Ghali

Surely for the ones who have disbelieved, their riches will never avail them, neither their children, any thing with Allah; and those are they who will be fuel for the Fire.

Sahih International

Indeed, those who disbelieve - never will their wealth or their children avail them against Allah at all. And it is they who are fuel for the Fire.

Transliteration

Inna allatheena kafaroo lan tughniyaAAanhum amwaluhum wala awladuhum mina Allahishay-an waola-ika hum waqoodu annar

Yusuf Ali

Those who reject Faith,- neither their possessions nor their (numerous) progeny will avail them aught against Allah: They are themselves but fuel for the Fire.

Muhsin Khan

Verily, those who disbelieve, neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them whatsoever against Allah; and it is they who will be fuel of the Fire.

Shakir

(As for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah, and these it is who are the fuel of the fire.

كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Muhsin Khan

Like the behaviour of the people of Fir'aun (Pharaoh) and those before them; they belied Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), so Allah seized (destroyed) them for their sins. And Allah is Severe in punishment.

Yusuf Ali

(Their plight will be) no better than that of the people of Pharaoh, and their predecessors: They denied our Signs, and Allah called them to account for their sins. For Allah is strict in punishment.

Sahih International

[Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and those before them. They denied Our signs, so Allah seized them for their sins. And Allah is severe in penalty.

Dr. Ghali

As was the steadfast manner of the house of Firaawn, (Pharaoh) and the ones before them (who) cried lies to Our signs, so Allah took them away for their guilty deeds; and Allah is strict in punishment.

Shakir

Like the striving of the people of Firon and those before them; they rejected Our communications, so Allah destroyed them on account of their faults; and Allah is severe in requiting (evil).

Transliteration

Kada/bi ali firAAawna wallatheenamin qablihim kaththaboo bi-ayatinafaakhathahumu Allahu bithunoobihim wallahushadeedu alAAiqab

قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَتُغْلَبُونَ وَتُحْشَرُونَ إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ

Dr. Ghali

Say to the ones who have disbelieved, "You will be overcome and mustered to Hell, and miserable is the resting place!"

Transliteration

Qul lillatheena kafaroo satughlaboonawatuhsharoona ila jahannama wabi/sa almihad

Muhsin Khan

Say (O Muhammad SAW) to those who disbelieve: "You will be defeated and gathered together to Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest."

Yusuf Ali

Say to those who reject Faith: "Soon will ye be vanquished and gathered together to Hell,-an evil bed indeed (to lie on)!

Shakir

Say to those who disbelieve: You shall be vanquished, and driven together to hell; and evil is the resting-place.

Sahih International

Say to those who disbelieve, "You will be overcome and gathered together to Hell, and wretched is the resting place."

ﭿ

قَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ آيَةٌ فِي فِئَتَيْنِ الْتَقَتَا ۖ فِئَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَأُخْرَىٰ كَافِرَةٌ يَرَوْنَهُم مِّثْلَيْهِمْ رَأْيَ الْعَيْنِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُؤَيِّدُ بِنَصْرِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّأُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ

Shakir

Indeed there was a sign for you in the two hosts (which) met together in encounter; one party fighting in the way of Allah and the other unbelieving, whom they saw twice as many as themselves with the sight of the eye and Allah strengthens with His aid whom He pleases; most surely there is a lesson in this for those who have sight.

Sahih International

Already there has been for you a sign in the two armies which met - one fighting in the cause of Allah and another of disbelievers. They saw them [to be] twice their [own] number by [their] eyesight. But Allah supports with His victory whom He wills. Indeed in that is a lesson for those of vision.

Transliteration

Qad kana lakum ayatun feefi-atayni iltaqata fi-atun tuqatilu fee sabeeli Allahiwaokhra kafiratun yarawnahum mithlayhim ra/yaalAAayni wallahu yu-ayyidu binasrihi manyashao inna fee thalika laAAibratan li-olee al-absar

Dr. Ghali

There has already been a sign for you in the two communities that encountered, (The reference is to the Battle of Badr) one community fighting in the way of Allah and another disbelieving. They saw them twice the like of them, as the eye sees, (Literally: as the sight of the eye) and Allah aids with His victory whomever He decides. Surely in that is indeed a lesson for the ones endowed with beholdings. (Literally: eyesights).

Muhsin Khan

There has already been a sign for you (O Jews) in the two armies that met (in combat i.e. the battle of Badr): One was fighting in the Cause of Allah, and as for the other (they) were disbelievers. They (the believers) saw them (the disbelievers) with their own eyes twice their number (although they were thrice their number). And Allah supports with His Victory whom He pleases. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand. (See Verse 8:44). (Tafsir At-Tabari)

Yusuf Ali

"There has already been for you a Sign in the two armies that met (in combat): One was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah; these saw with their own eyes Twice their number. But Allah doth support with His aid whom He pleaseth. In this is a warning for such as have eyes to see."

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