Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 33

۞ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصْطَفَىٰٓ ءَادَمَ وَنُوحًا وَءَالَ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَءَالَ عِمْرَٰنَ عَلَى ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Indeed, Allāh chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of ‘Imrān over the worlds –

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The narration begins with mentioning God’s chosen servants whom He has selected for the task of conveying the one message of the single faith preached from the beginning of creation. They are the leaders of the procession of believers in all its phases and throughout history. We are told that these people form a continuous chain or a lineage. However, this does not necessarily mean a family lineage, even though they have all descended from Adam and Noah. Rather the tie which groups them together is that they have been chosen by God and that they belong to the same faith: “God raised Adam and Noah, and the House of Abraham and the House of `Imrān above all mankind.” 

This verse mentions two individuals, Adam and Noah, and two families, the House of Abraham and the House of `Imrān. It is, thus, made clear that Adam and Noah have been exalted as individuals, while Abraham and `Imrān were favoured along with their descendants, on that basis which was firmly established in the preceding sūrah al-Baqarah, with regard to Abraham’s seed. This confirms that the inheritance of prophethood and blessings is not determined by the relationship of blood, but by that of faith: “When his Lord tested Abraham with certain commandments and he fulfilled them, He said: I have appointed you a leader of mankind.’ Abraham asked: And what of my descendants?’ God said: ‘My covenant does not apply to the wrong doers.’” (2: 124)
 
Some reports suggest that `Imrān belonged to the House of Abraham. He is, then, mentioned here by name for a particular purpose which pertains to the stories of Mary and Jesus. We also note that this sūrah makes no mention of Moses or Jacob, who also belonged to the House of Abraham because the occasion does not require such a reference to answer the arguments raised about Jesus, son of Mary, or about Abraham.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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ما الفرق بين اصطفى واختار؟ الإختيار هو أن تختار من غير متشابهات كأن أختار قلماً من بين ورقة وكتاب وقلم (وربك يخلق ما يشاء ويختار). أما الإصطفاء فهو أن أختار من بين أشياء متناظرة متشابهة (إن الله اصطفى آدم) اصطفاه من متناظرين.   [Be the first to translate...Ref: Dr. Faadil as-Samara'ee]
 



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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