Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 17

ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ وَٱلصَّٰدِقِينَ وَٱلْقَٰنِتِينَ وَٱلْمُنفِقِينَ وَٱلْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِٱلْأَسْحَارِ


 Muhsin Khan
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allāh], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Every one of their qualities is of great value in human life and in the life of the Muslim community. Their patience in adversity suggests that they endure pain without complaint. They remain steadfast, happy to fulfil the duties of their faith, submitting themselves to God and accepting whatever happens to them as part of God’s will and design. Being truthful shows that they hold the truth, which is the mainstay of human life, dear to their hearts. They find lying contemptible, for lying is indicative of a state of weakness which prevents one from telling the truth, in order to realise some benefit or to avoid some harm.
Their devotion is a fulfilment of the duty of the servant towards his Lord. Moreover, it elevates man because he addresses his devotion to the only God in the universe, not to anyone else. Spending in the cause of God liberates man from the captivity of the material world, and from the greed for wealth. It also places the reality of human brotherhood above the desire for personal comfort. It achieves social security on a mutual basis which is worthy of human life.
To pray at dawn for forgiveness adds to all this connotations of purity and compassion. Indeed, the mere mentioning of dawn reminds us of the lovely feelings of this particular part of the night, shortly before the break of day. At that time, everything is beautiful, pure and still. Man’s thoughts are at their purest. The inner motives of uncorrupted human nature are at work. When we add to all this the condition of praying to God for forgiveness, then the atmosphere is one of total purity in both the inner soul of man and the inner soul of the universe. Both are truly submissive to God, the Creator of both man and the universe.
The God-fearing, who are characterised by these essential qualities, will have “God’s good pleasure.” They deserve it, and with it all that is associated with God’s compassion and grace. It is certainly superior to any worldly comfort and to any of man’s desires.
We note how the Qur’ān deals with the human soul. Its approach begins with man on earth. Gradually but steadily it elevates the human soul to higher horizons until it brings it into the highest society with ease and compassion. It never forgets man’s weakness, nor his motives and nature. However, it directs man’s abilities and aspirations gently, without the suppression of any motive and without the use of force. It is also mindful that human life should continue and progress. This is the nature of God’s method: “God is mindful of His servants.”

  • تخصيص الأسحار بالاستغفار لأن الدعاء فيها أقرب إلى الإجابة، إذ العبادة حينئذ أشق، والنفس أصفى، والروع أجمع. الألوسي:3/102 [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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  • Bukhari and Muslim along with the Musnad of Ahmad and Sunan collections recorded through several Companions that the Messenger of Allah said,

    يَنْزِلُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالى فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلى سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْآخِرُ، فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَأُعْطِيَهُ؟ هَلْ مِنْ دَاعٍ فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ؟ هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ؟

    "Every night, when the last third of it remains, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends to the lowest heaven saying, "Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him''"

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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