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Guidance. This Surah is the sequel to Surah 2: al-Baqarah (The Cow) and the invitation therein is continued to The People of the Book. In Al-Baqarah the Jews were pointedly invited to accept the Guidance and in this Surah, the Christians have particularly been admonished to give up their erroneous beliefs and accept the Guidance of the Qur'an. At the same time the Muslims have been instructed to nourish the virtues that may enable them to carry out their obligations and spread the Divine Guidance.
Oneness of God. From the very outset we have the words ‘God, there is no Ilah [diety] except He....’ (3:2). Correcting any false notions about the divinty of God and the relationships between the creation and their Creator.
Firmness upon the truth. From the opening of the Surah we have the dua, "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower." (3:8). Various facets of being firm upon Islam are mentioned throughtout the Surah, whether that be firmness ideologically (references to Christian beliefs) or militarily (references to the Battle of Uhud and reasons for defeat). Being firm upon Islam requires strong patience and the Surah ends, "O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful." (3:200).
Ways of staying steadfast: