Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 7

هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ مِنْهُ ءَايَٰتٌ مُّحْكَمَٰتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَٰبِهَٰتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَٰبَهَ مِنْهُ ٱبْتِغَآءَ ٱلْفِتْنَةِ وَٱبْتِغَآءَ تَأْوِيلِهِۦ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُۥٓ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ ۗ وَٱلرَّٰسِخُونَ فِى ٱلْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّآ أُو۟لُوا۟ ٱلْأَلْبَٰبِ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] definitive – they are the core of the Book – and others seem ambiguous. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they will follow that of it which seems ambiguous, seeking discord and seeking to misinterpret. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allāh. 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,

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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  • مُّحْكَمَاتٌ 'Muhkam' decisive, whose meanings are absolutely clear. All Ayat related to rulings and orders are all Muhkam. These are the fundamental pillars of the Book around which all other Ayat revolve around.
  • مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ  'Mutashabihat' the meanings are not obvious, not exactly clear, they resemble each other. Matters of al-Ghayb [the unseen] belong to this category. The people of Fitnah [discord] seek to twist the meanings of these Ayat towards fitting their own agendas.  

  • فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ  - Two types of people are engaged with the Mutashabihat Ayat. One type are seeking to spread Fitnah [twisting the meanings] and the other type are trying to get to the conclusive and decisive understanding of the Ayat. 

  • Ibn Katheer writes  “Allah states that in the Qur'an, there are Ayat that are Muhkamat, entirely clear and plain, and these are the foundations of the Book which are plain for everyone. And there are Ayat in the Qur'an that are Mutashabihat not entirely clear for many, or some people. So those who refer to the Muhkam Ayat to understand the Mutashabih Ayat, will have acquired the correct guidance, and vice versa.

  • Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar commented on, مِنْهُ آيَـتٌ مُّحْكَمَـتٌ "In it are verses that are entirely clear" as "Containing proof of the Lord, immunity for the servants and a refutation of opponents and of falsehood. They cannot be changed or altered from what they were meant for.'' He also said, "As for the unclear Ayat, they can (but must not) be altered and changed, and this is a test from Allah to the servants, just as He tested them with the allowed and prohibited things. So these Ayat must not be altered to imply a false meaning or be distorted from the truth.'' [Ibn Kathir]

  • إنما أنزل المتشابه لذلك؛ ليظهر فضل العلماء، ويزداد حرصهم على الاجتهاد فى تدبره، وتحصيل العلوم التى نيط بها استنباط ما أريد به من الأحكام الحقيقية؛ فينالوا بذلك وبإتعاب القرائح، واستخراج المقاصد الرائقة والمعاني اللايقة المدارج العالية. الألوسي: 3/83 [Be the first to translate this....]
  • بين سبحانه وتعالى أنه لا يضل بحرف المتشابه إلا ذوو الطبع العوج؛ الذين لم ترسخ أقدامهم في الدين، ولا استنارت معارفهم في العلم. البقاعي: 2/22 [Be the first to translate this....]

Practical Implication

  •  اعلم أن ترك الدليل الواضح والاستدلال بلفظ متشابه هو طريق أهل الزيغ، ﴿ۖ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَٰبَهَ مِنْهُ ٱبْتِغَآءَ ٱلْفِتْنَةِ وَٱبْتِغَآءَ تَأْوِيلِهِۦ ۗ  [Be the first to translate this....]

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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  • A'ishah [ra] said, "The Messenger of Allah recited, هُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ مِنْهُ آيَـتٌ مُّحْكَمَـتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَـبِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَـبِهَـت "It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear," until, أُوْلُواْ الأَلْبَـبِ "Men of understanding" and he said,  فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُ الَّذِين يُجَادِلُونَ فِيهِ، فَهُمُ الَّذِينَ عَنَى اللهُ، فَاحْذَرُوهُم " "When you see those who argue in it (using the Mutashabihat), then they are those whom Allah meant. Therefore, beware of them."' [Musnad Ahmad]

10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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