Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 81

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِيثَٰقَ ٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ لَمَآ ءَاتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَٰبٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِۦ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُۥ ۚ قَالَ ءَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِى ۖ قَالُوٓا۟ أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَٱشْهَدُوا۟ وَأَنَا۠ مَعَكُم مِّنَ ٱلشَّٰهِدِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And [recall, O People of the Book], when Allāh took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], "Whatever I give you of the Book and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him." [Allāh] said, "Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?" They said, "We have acknowledged it." He said, "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

This passage explains the link between all the messengers and messages. It is based on the covenant made with God which judges as a transgressor anyone who declines to follow the last of the Divine messages. It shows that such a person would be guilty of violating his covenant with God and of disobeying the law which applies to the whole universe. God, limitless He is in His glory, has made a binding and solemn covenant with every prophet He sent. He Himself witnessed this covenant as did His prophets. The covenant states that if a prophet is followed by a messenger who confirms his own message, he is required to declare his belief in this messenger, give him his support and follow his religion, no matter what he himself has been given of Scriptures and wisdom. God has made this binding agreement with every prophet and messenger He has sent.
 
The Qur’ānic presentation overlooks the time intervals which separated God’s messengers, but instead groups them all in one scene with God, in His majesty, addressing them all at the same time. He asks whether they acknowledge this covenant and accept the obligation it places on them: “Do you affirm this and accept the obligation I lay upon you in these terms?’ They answered: ‘We do affirm it.’” God, the Sublime, witnesses this covenant and asks them to witness it as well: “He said: ‘Then bear witness, and I am also a witness with you.’”
 

As we replay this majestic scene in our minds, we are overawed with the image of all messengers assembled in the presence of God.
 

United in their submission to the sublime directive, they uphold the single truth, which God has willed should serve as the foundation of human life and remain pure of deviation, contradiction and conflict. God selects one of His servants to establish this truth on earth, before he passes it over to his successor, to whom he pledges his support, as the latter takes over the task of conveying God’s message. No prophet has any personal interest in this matter, nor does he seek any personal glory. He is simply a servant of God, chosen by Him to convey His message. It is God Who determines how this message is carried forward from one generation to another, and it is He Who controls the movement of its followers as He pleases.
 
With this covenant, Divine religion is assured of being free from any narrow prejudice, be it the prejudice of the messenger to himself or to his people, or the prejudice of his followers to their own faith, interests, or to their own people. This single faith remains, in this way, pure, as God wishes it to be.

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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