Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 103

وَٱعْتَصِمُوا۟ بِحَبْلِ ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا۟ ۚ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ نِعْمَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَآءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِۦٓ إِخْوَٰنًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ ٱلنَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ ءَايَٰتِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And hold firmly to the rope of Allāh all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allāh upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allāh make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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The Effects on the Muslim Ummah for not knowing the Qur’an properly - Umar ibn al-Khattab [ra] was contemplating as to how the Muslims will eventually splinter into so many groups whilst their Prophet was one and their Qiblah is one. He asked Ibn Abbas his opinion about this issue. Ibn Abbas said, ‘O Leader of the Believers, the Qur’an has been revealed to us and we recite it and we know about what it has been revealed. After us there will be a people who will recite the Qur’an but not know the context in which it has been revealed. Therefore, they will use their opinions [to interpret the Qur’an] and when they resort to their opinion, they shall differ and fight each other.”

Explanatory Note

This is the first pillar upon which the structure of the Muslim community is built. Without it, no human grouping can be described as Islamic. No Divine method of life can come into operation in any community without it. In its absence, there are only ignorant methods and ignorant leadership.

The other pillar is the bond of brotherhood, based on the love of God and implementation of His method: “Hold fast, all of you together, to the bond with God and do not be disunited. And remember the blessings God has bestowed on you: how, when you were enemies [to one another] He united your hearts and, by His grace, you have become brothers.” It is a brotherhood which has its roots in the fear of God and in surrendering to Him. In other words, it is derived from the first pillar. Its cornerstone is to hold fast to the bond with God, that is, the fulfilment of His commands and the implementation of His law. It cannot have any other basis, concept, goal or bond.
 
“Hold fast, all of you together, to the bond with God and do not be disunited.” This brotherhood which holds fast to a strong bond with God is a blessing with which God has favoured the first Muslim community. It is a blessing which God always grants to those of His servants whom He loves. He reminds the first Muslim community here of this blessing, recalling how enmity was rife among them in their pre- Islamic days. No enmity was fiercer than that which existed between the Aws and the Khazraj, the two Arab tribes in Yathrib, the city which came to be called Madinah. Alongside them lived the Jews who were always trying to perpetuate this hostility in order to weaken both tribes and destroy all ties between them. It was in such an atmosphere of hatred that the Jews worked and flourished. God, however, united the hearts of both Arab tribes with the tie of Islam. It is only through Islam that such mutually hostile hearts could be united. It was only through the bond of God, to which all can hold fast, that they could become, by God’s grace, brothers. Historical grudges, vengeance killings, personal
ambitions and racial ties are reduced to nothing when compared with the bond of brotherhood which unites all under the banner of God, the Almighty: “And remember the blessings God has bestowed on you: how, when you were enemies [to one another] He united your hearts and, by His grace, you have become brothers.” 

He also reminds them of His grace in the form of saving them from the fire after they were about to fall in it. He saved them when He guided them to hold fast to His bond, the first pillar, and when He united their hearts so that they became brothers, the second pillar: “When you were on the brink of an abyss of fire, He saved you from it.” We note here that the Qur’ān refers to man’s heart, which is the centre of his feelings and bonds. It does not say: “He united you.” Rather, it refers to man’s own deeply-seated feelings: “He united your hearts.” Men’s hearts are thus described as a solid group, united by God on the basis of His covenant. We also have here a vivid description of the Muslims’ earlier situation which touches their hearts: “... You were on the brink of an abyss of fire.” At the very moment when their fall into the abyss is expected, those hearts feel God’s hand as it reaches out and saves them. They feel God’s bond stretched out to them in order to protect them. We find them saved after exposure to a great danger. It is a very vivid, heart-touching scene which is raised before our eyes despite the lapse of many centuries.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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“This Surah consists of four discourses:

  • The first discourse (v. 1-32) was probably revealed soon after the Battle of Badr.
  • The second discourse (v. 33-63) was revealed in 9 A.H. (After Hijrah - migration from Makkah to Madinah) on the occasion of the visit of the deputation from the Christians of Najran.
  • The third discourse (v. 64-120) appears to have been revealed immediately after the first one.
  • The fourth discourse (v. 121-200) was revealed after the Battle of Uhud.” [Mawdudi]

8. Reasons for Revelation

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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 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 Madinah. They were discarding the treaties of alliance they had made with the 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 Faith - Monotheism, Prophethood and Life-after-death - were the same as those of the Muslims. After the Battle of Badr they openly began to incite the Quraysh and other Arab clans to wreak their vengeance on the Muslims. Thus those Jewish clans set aside their centuries-old friendly and neighbourly relations with the people of Madinah. At last when their mischievous actions and breaches of treaties became unbearable the Prophet attacked the Bani-Qaynuqah, the most mischievous of all the other Jewish clans who had conspired with the hypocrites of 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 Prophet himself was always in danger. Therefore his Companions slept in their armours during that period and kept watch at night to guard against any sudden attack and whenever the 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 Quraysh and they began to make preparations to avenge the defeat they had suffered at Badr. A year after this an army of 3000 strong marched out of Makkah to invade Madinah and a battle took place at the foot of Mount Uhud. The Prophet came out of Madinah with one thousand men to meet the enemy. While they were marching to the battlefield three hundred hypocrites deserted the army and returned to Madinah but there still remained a small band of hypocrites among the seven hundred who accompanied the Prophet. They played their part and did their utmost 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 Uhud, 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 Uhud 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.

9. Relevant Hadith

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  • The Prophet Muhammad [saw]  said,
    إنَّ هذا القرآنَ سببٌ طرفُه بيدِ اللهِ ، و طرفُه بأيديكم ، فتمسَّكوا به ؛ فإنكم لن تضِلُّوا ولن تهلِكوا بعده أبدًا
    “Indeed this Qur’ān is a rope – one end of it is in the Hand of Allah and the other end is in your hands. So hold firmly to it [the result would be] that you would never go astray and never be destroyed [no matter what the circumstance].” [Ibn Hibban no. 122 -  صحيح [Sahih]

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12. External Links

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