Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 64

قُلْ يَٰٓأَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ تَعَالَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَآءٍۭ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِۦ شَيْـًٔا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا۟ فَقُولُوا۟ ٱشْهَدُوا۟ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Say, "O People of the Book, come to a word that is common between us and you – that we will not worship except Allāh and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allāh." Then if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Hence, the warning in this sūrah is followed by an address to the people of earlier revelations to come to an equitable agreement stipulating that worship is to be addressed to God alone and that no partners may be associated with Him, and that people do not take one another for lords beside God. If they reject this offer, then there can be no agreement or argument with them: “Say: ‘People of earlier revelations. Let us come to an agreement which is equitable between you and us: that we shall worship none but God, that we shall associate no partners with Him, and that we shall not take one another for lords beside God.’ And if they turn away, then say: ‘Bear witness that we have surrendered ourselves to God.’” 
 
It is indeed an equitable agreement proposed by the Prophet. It does not seek to win any favours for the Prophet himself or for the Muslim community. It only aims to establish a clear agreement which applies to all at the same level, so that none is elevated above another, and none enslaves another. It is the fairest of offers which cannot be rejected except by those corrupters who have determined not to abide by the truth. According to this agreement, all will submit to God as His servants. None is His partner. He has chosen them to convey His message to mankind, not to share with Him His Divinity and Lordship.
 
“If they turn away, then say: ‘Bear witness that we have surrendered ourselves to God.’” If they decline to worship God alone without partners and to submit themselves to Him alone, when worship and submission are the two clear aspects which determine people’s attitudes towards God, then the Muslims have to declare their own attitude of surrendering themselves to God. The contrast shown here is between the Muslims and those who take one another for lords beside God, and it demonstrates decisively who the true Muslims are.
 
They are indeed those who worship God alone, submit to Him and do not enslave one another. These are the characteristics which distinguish them from the followers of all other religions. These characteristics single out the Islamic way of life as unique among all the alternatives known to man. When these characteristics apply to a certain community, it is a Muslim community. When these characteristics do not exist in a community it cannot be described as Muslim, even though people may emphatically profess that they are Muslims. Islam is the total liberation of man from enslavement by others. The Islamic system is the only one which makes that liberation a reality.
 
In all man-made systems, people enslave one another, and take one another for lords beside God. This happens in the most advanced democracies as well as in the worst types of dictatorship. Under all human systems, the authority to legislate and set values and standards is claimed by a group of people, in one form or another, who have the final authority. This group, which requires others to submit to its legislation, are the lords. They are acknowledged by the others as such since they allow them to claim for themselves the essential characteristics of Godhead. When people do acknowledge this authority for such a group, they are in effect worshipping them although they may not bow or prostrate before them.
 
It is only under Islam that man is free from such subjugation. He is free because he receives his values, standards, morality, systems, laws and legislation from God alone like everyone else who does the same. All people under the Islamic system stand at one level, looking up to one Lord Who is the Master of them all. None claims lordship over others. Submission to God, in this sense, is the Divine faith preached by every messenger God sent to man. When God sent His messengers to preach this faith, their task was to help people free themselves from subjugation to others, so that worship of God alone could be established. They were to help liberate people from the injustice inflicted by human beings so that they could enjoy God’s absolute justice. Those who reject the message of the Prophets are not Muslims, no matter how deceptively and persuasively they may try to describe themselves as such. For, “In the sight of God, the true faith is [man’s] self-surrender to Him.” That is indeed the meaning of Islam.

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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