This page contains all verses of surah Aal-i-Imraan in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah آل عمران ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
This is the first section of Surah 'A1-` Imran, the third Surah of the Holy Qur'an. It will be recalled that at the end of the Surah Al-Fatihah a prayer for guidance to the straight path was made. After that, by be-ginning the Surah Al-Baqarah with الم ﴿1﴾ ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ (This Book which has no doubt in it), it was pointed out that the prayer made in Su-rah Al-Fatihah for guidance to the straight path has been accepted and Allah Almighty has sent down this Qur'an which provides guidance to the straight path. Then came many injunctions of the Islamic law taken up briefly or in details. As a corollary to this, frequent mention was made of the hostility of the disbelievers and the need to confront them. Towards the end, this sequence was concluded with (Help us, then, against disbelieving people) - in the mode of prayer. Since the prayer was made in order that Muslims could confront and prevail over the disbelievers, it was in consonance with that prayer that, in the following Surah 'Al-` Imran, the text deals with the modalities of dealing with disbelievers, as well as, with the need to carry out Jihad against them, verbally and physically. This is, so to speak, an elaboration and extension of فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ (Help us, then, against disbelieving people).
A Summary of Meanings
These first five verses of Surah 'Al-` Imran explain the doctrine of توحید tauhid, the Oneness of Allah, which is the basic point of difference between Islam and other religions and between a disbeliever and a true Muslim. Those who believe in the Oneness of Allah (and in all His prophets (علیہم السلام) are Muslims and those who do not so believe are known as disbelievers or non-Muslims.
Tauhid توحید a consistent belief preached by all prophets (علیہم السلام)
Verse 2 gives a reported proof in some detail. The agreement of a large number of people on a certain principle from the very beginning of humanity may be taken as a natural proof of its reality, if they belong to different times and places, having no means of communicating with each other.
Keeping this in view, we see that Sayyidna Adam (علیہ السلام) was the first prophet who presented the message of توحید tauhid before human beings. That the message would remain effective after him through his progeny is not difficult to conceive. But, after a passage of time when the ways of the progeny of Sayyidna Adam (علیہ السلام) shifted away from the original message, there comes Sayyidna Nuh (Noah) (علیہ السلام) who calls people towards the same principle. After a long passage of time, Sayyidna Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq and Yaqub (علیہم السلام) born in Iraq and Syria rise with the same call. Then follow Sayyidna Musa, Harun and other prophets (علیہم السلام) in that order who all subscribe to the same principle of توحید tauhid and invite people to the same. Then, after another long passage of time, Sayyidna ` Isa (علیہ السلام) rises with the same call. In the end, it is Sayyidna Muhammad al-Mustafa ﷺ who graces the world with the common call of all prophets.
This is the golden chain of prophets from Sayyidna Adam (علیہ السلام) to the Last of the Prophets (علیہم السلام) upto whose time some one hundred and twenty four thousand blessed prophets were born in different periods, speaking different languages, living in different countries. A11 of them told and taught the same truth. Most of them did not even have the chance to meet each other. They were in an age when, communication through writing was not in vogue, which could make it possible for one prophet to have access to the books and writings of another and might help him to pick up the call of the earlier prophets as his own. Instead, what happened is that everyone from among them appeared centuries apart from each other, and had no source of information about other prophets, except the revelation received by him from Allah Almighty. The consensus of such a large group of persons consisting of not less than one hundred and twenty four thousand men of different times and places may be enough for establishing the principle, even regardless of their intrinsic trustworthiness. But when one looks at the personal qualities of the noble prophets, and at the highest possible standards of truth and justice set by them, one has to believe that their message is true and their call authentic.
It is narrated in some ahadith that some Christians came to the Holy Prophet ﷺ and engaged him in a conversation about religion. The Holy Prophet ﷺ ، by the will of Allah, presented these two verses as arguments confirming the Oneness of Allah. The Christians had no answer to refute them.
Lastly, while referring to the absolute power and wisdom of Allah Almighty, verse 6 invites one's attention to the fact that Allah shapes all men and women in the wombs of their mothers according to His supreme wisdom which has created billions of men and women with clear distinguishable features establishing the identity of each individual distinct from all others. He is, therefore, the only One who should be worshipped.
The first verse of this section presents a rational proof of the Oneness of Allah; the second verse, the reported proof 1, followed by an answer to some doubts nursed by disbelievers towards the later part.
1. In the terminology of Islamic theology, a proof based on rational argument is called rational proof while a proof based on a verse of divine book or on a declaration made by an authority or a report narrated by a trustworthy person is called a reported proof.
The first word, Alif Lam Mim (الم ) at the head of the first verse be-longs to the special set of words used by the Qur'an which are words of hidden meaning and are known as Mutashabihat متشبھات ، the real meaning of which is a secret between Allah and His Messenger ﷺ ، and the details of which appear a little later in the section. In the words لا إله إلا ھو (Allah: there is no god but He) which follow immediately, the doctrine of the Oneness of Allah has been put forth as a categorical declaration. It means that there is absolutely nothing worthy of worship other than Allah.
Then come the words الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ (the Alive, the All-Sustaining) which lay out a rational proof of the Oneness of Allah. The essence of the argument is that worship means to present oneself before somebody in utter submission and humility. It, therefore, requires that the one who is being worshipped must occupy the highest point of honour and power and who has to be most perfect from all angles. From this it is obvious that anything which cannot sustain its own being, rather is dependent upon somebody else for its very existence, could hardly claim to have any honour or power in its own right. Therefore, it is crystal clear that all things in this world which have no power to come into being by themselves, nor can they sustain it - be they idols carved in stone, or water, or trees, or angels and apostles - none of them is worthy of worship. The only Being worthy of worship is the One who has always been Alive and Present and shall always live and sustain. Such a Being is none but Allah; there is none worthy of worship but Him.
Verse 3 which follows carries the reported proof of the Oneness of Allah. Briefly stated, it means that the principle of توحید tauhid as de-scribed in the Holy Qur'an is not something peculiar to the Qur'an or the Prophet of Islam. On the contrary, Allah Almighty has sent Scrip-tures such as the Torah and the Injil, and His prophets, in earlier times. And this was they all professed and this was they all brought as the message. When the Qur'an came, it simply confirmed their truth. It did not present any new claim which could pose problems for people in its understanding or acceptance.
The last two verses further fortify the doctrine of توحید tauhid on the ground that the attributes of encompassing knowledge and unlimited power are strong proofs of His being the One who possesses the eternal, and all-encompassing knowledge and whose power controls every-thing, and that He is the only One who rightly deserves to be wor-shipped. Anyone having imperfect knowledge and limited power can-not be entrusted with this exalted station.
(1.) Whenever the Holy Qur'an speaks of the 'Torah and the Injil' it refers to the original books revealed to the prophets Moses and Jesus (علیہ السلام) . This should not, therefore, be confused. With the present Old and New testaments.
Moving from the affirmation of the principle of Allah's Oneness, the text now answers some doubts raised against it. As stated briefly a little earlier, this verse was revealed in a specific background. Once a group of Christians came to the Holy Prophet ﷺ and started talking about religion. The Holy Prophet ﷺ ، refuted their doctrine of Trinity in details and proved the Oneness of Allah with reference to the eternal existence, the perfect power, the all encompassing knowledge; and the most unique creativity of Allah Almighty who had to be One and indivisible. The Christians had to accept these premises and once توحید tauhid was proved, the converse, that is, the belief in Trinity was also proved untenable. The Christians then expressed their doubts about some words of the Holy Qur'an in which Sayyidna 'Isa (علیہ السلام) i.e. Jesus Christ has been called 'Ruhullah روحُ اللہ ' (the Spirit of Allah) or 'Kalimatullah کلیمُ اللہ ' (the Word of Allah), which according to them led to prove that Sayyidna ` Isa ؓ had a share in the divinity of Allah.
Through this verse, Allah Almighty has put an end to these doubts by saying that such expressions are in the category of Mutashabihat where the outward meaning is not intended; they are, rather, a secret between Allah and His Messenger, the reality of which cannot become manifest to others for whom it is not even appropriate to go about determining the possible meanings of these words. One has to have faith in them by believing that whatever Allah Almighty has elected to mean through them is the truth. It is not permissible to dig deeper and mount further researches in this direction.
Meaning of Muhkamat and Mutashabih متشبھات
Allah Almighty has, by Mentioning Muhkamat محکمات and : Mutashabihat متشبھات right there in the beginning, pointed out towards a general principle which, if understood, could eradicate many doubts and disputes. The principle is that the Holy Qur'an has two kinds of verses; one is known as the Muhkamat محکمات (of established meaning) and the other as the Mutashabihat متشبھات (whose definite meanings are unknown).
Muhkamat محکمات is the name of verses the meaning of which is open and clear to one who knows the rules of Arabic grammar fairly well. But when the meanings and explanations of particular verses are not clear to such' a person, then, such verses are called the Mutashabihat متشبھات . (Mazhari, v2)
Allah Almighty has called the first kind of verses, that is, the Muhkamat محکمات ` Umm al-Kitab اُمُ الکتاب ' (which has been translated literally as 'mother verses' ) meaning thereby that such verses are the very root and essence of all teachings, and the meanings and explanations of which are free of doubt or ambiguity.
Since the exact intention of the second kind of verses, that is, the Mutashabihat متشبھات remains ambiguous and uncertain, therefore, the correct method of their interpretation would be to harmonize them with the first kind, that is, the Muhkamat محکمات . Then, the rule is that any interpretation of the Mutashabihat متشبھات which goes against the first kind should be rejected absolutely and only that interpretation should be given credence which is not against the verses of established meaning (Muhkamat محکمات). For example, the Holy Qur'an has clarified the position of Sayyidna Isa (علیہ السلام) (Jesus Christ) by saying إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ (he is nothing but a servant upon whom We have bestowed Our blessing 43:59), or as elsewhere in the Qur'an, by إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ اللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ (the example of ` Isa before Allah is like that of Adam whom He created from clay - 3:59).
These and several other verses like them show it clearly that Sayyidn ` Isa Masih, (علیہ السلام) is a chosen servant of Allah created by Him. Therefore, the claim of Christians investing him with godhood and son ship is not correct.
Now, if someone closes his eyes towards all these verses which have an established meaning and unnecessarily coils with the expressions, كَلِمَۃ اللَّـهِ (the Word of Allah) and رُوحٌ مِّنْهُ (a spirit from Him) and their likes from the category of Mutashabihat متشبھات (verses whose definite meanings cannot be ascertained) and starts deducing from them meanings which are against the Muhkamat محکمات of Qur'an and other consistent statements, then, that would be a simple case of going astray and being ob-stinate.
The real meanings of Mutashabihat متشبھات are known to Allah alone. It is He who, in His mercy and favour, informs anyone He chooses of what-ever part of the unknown He wills. Therefore, it is not correct to try and impose a certain meaning based on one's personal opinion.
The purpose of the statement, فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ'now those who have crookedness in their hearts...' is that people who are gentle in nature do not go about investigating much about Mutashabihat متشبھات . Instead, they accept these verses and simply believe in them taking these as the true Word of Allah. They realise that He, due to some wise consideration of His, did not reveal to us their meaning. This approach is, indeed, the safest and the most cautious. But, quite contrary to this, there still are people with crookedness in their hearts. They, with eyes closed, go on investigating and deliberating on Mutashabihat متشبھات to justify meanings that suit their fancies so that they can lead people astray. For such people, stern warnings have appeared in the Qur'an and Hadith.
Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ says that the Messenger of Allah said: When you see people busy investigating into the Mutashabihat متشبھات ، stay away from them because these are the same people Allah has talked about (in the Qur'an). (Bukhari)
In another hadith, he said: I have three apprehensions about my people (ummah): (1) That they become wealthy and start to envy each other resulting in rifts and bloodshed; (2) that the Book of Allah is trifled with (that is, even the uninitiated and ignorant claim its perfect understanding through translations) and that which is not supposed to be understood (Mutashabihat متشبھات) becomes the very object of deliberations and investigations although Allah alone is the One who knows their meaning; (3) that they allow their knowledge, once it has increased, go to waste by forsaking efforts to increase it further. (Ibn Kathir with reference to Tabarani)
Who are the ones 'well grounded' in knowledge as identified towards the end of the verse وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ ? Muslims scholars have offered different explanations in this connection. The weightier position is that the reference here is to ahl al-sunnah wa al jama’ ah اہل السنۃ والجماعت ، the main body of Muslims who give credence only to that interpretation and explanation of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah which has been authentically reported from the blessed Companions ؓ ، the righteous generations following them and upon which there is the consensus of the Muslim community, and who believe that the Muhhamat (verses of established meaning) of Qur'an are its axis and centre, and who, humbly confessing their limitations of knowledge and insight, leave to Allah the real meanings of Mutashabihat متشبھات which are beyond their compre-hension and conceptualization. They are never proud of their knowledge, howsoever perfect it may be, nor of the strength of their faith. In-stead of that, they constantly pray to Allah seeking steadfastness from Him, and His grace and mercy. They do not have mischief-prone temperaments which would instigate them to follow Mutashabihat متشبھات alone as the object of their intellectual pursuit. They take both, the Muhkamat محکمات and the Mutashabihat متشبھات ، to be the truth because they firmly believe that both kinds of verses have emanated from one single source. But, the need to find out the meanings of the Muhkamat محکمات was, of course, useful and essential for us. This Allah Almighty has not kept secret. The meanings of such verses have been made very open and clear. Since Allah Almighty has elected not to disclose the meanings of Mutashabihat متشبھات to us due to some wise consideration of His, it is simply not necessary for us to find it out. That we believe in them as they are is quite sufficient. (Abridged from Mazhari)
The previous verse mentioned 'those well-grounded in knowledge' who, in spite of their excellent knowledge, were not proud of their excellence. Instead of that, they elected to have faith in what comes from their Lord. The present verse mentions yet another excellence of theirs - that they pray for steadfastness on the right path, not for any worldly gains, but for salvation in the life-to-come.
The first verse (8) shows us that guidance and straying are from Allah alone. When Allah intends to guide someone, He makes his heart tilt towards what is good and right; and when He decides to let someone go astray, He turns his heart away from the straight path.
This is just as it was said in a hadith of the Holy Prophet ﷺ There is no heart which is not there in between the two of Allah's fingers - He makes it firm on the truth as long as He wills, and turns it away from the truth when He wills.
He is Allah, absolute in power. He does what He wills. Therefore, those who are concerned about how to remain firm in their faith, they go to the source - requesting and praying Allah for steadfastness. The Holy Prophet ﷺ always used to pray for it as it appears in a hadith: یامقلب القلوب ثبت قلوبنا علی دینک ( O reverser of hearts, make our hearts firm on the faith chosen by You). (Mazhari)