Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 53

رَبَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا بِمَآ أَنزَلْتَ وَٱتَّبَعْنَا ٱلرَّسُولَ فَٱكْتُبْنَا مَعَ ٱلشَّٰهِدِينَ


 Muhsin Khan
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger [i.e., Jesus], so register us among the witnesses [to truth]."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

They then turn to God, their Lord, addressing Him directly in this very essential matter: “Our Lord, we believe in what You have bestowed from on high, and we follow the messenger, so write us down among those who bear witness [to the truth].” The fact that they address their pledges specifically to God is very significant. A believer makes his covenant directly with his Lord. When the messenger conveys God’s message, the messenger has discharged his, task in as far as faith is concerned. The pledge is made between the believer and God and it remains binding on the believer after the messenger has passed away. The disciples’ statement also includes a pledge to God to obey His Messenger. This is again significant because it shows that the matter is not simply a question of simple beliefs to be accepted. It is also a commitment to a certain way of life which is received through the messenger. This is a basic factor of this sūrah which is repeatedly emphasised in different moods and styles.
The disciples’ statement also includes another point which merits special consideration: “Write us down among those who bear witness.” What testimony? And what witnesses?
A person who surrenders himself to God and believes in the Divine faith is required to make a testimony in favour of this faith which stresses its right to be the religion to follow. It also points out very clearly the countless benefits this religion gives to mankind. No one can make such a testimony unless he makes of himself a practical example of this religion in his lifestyle, manners and morality. People will find, in such a practical example, something superior to everything else, something which confirms the right of this religion to continue to exist and which endorses its superiority to all other systems, regimes and methods known to man.
Again, no one can make such a testimony unless he makes this religion the basis of his life, and the foundation of his society and the law both he and his community follow. Thus, a new social order is brought about which conducts all its affairs according to this straightforward Divine way of life. When a believer struggles to make such a society a reality and to establish this method as the way of life followed by that society, and when he prefers to die rather than live under any system which does not implement a Divine constitution, he in effect gives his testimony that this religion is more important than life itself, the most valuable possession of the living. It is for this reason that he is called “a witness”.
Those disciples prayed to God to write them down among those who bear witness to His religion. That is, they pray that God will guide and help them make of themselves a practical example of this religion. That He will direct them to struggle for the cause of implementing it in human life and in a society which mirrors its way of life, even if they will have to sacrifice their lives in order to be chosen as “witnesses” for this religion.
It is a prayer worthy of careful study by everyone who claims to surrender himself to God. This is indeed the meaning of Islam as understood by the disciples and as understood by true Muslims, who actually surrender themselves to God. Anyone who suppresses his testimony and is reluctant to give it in favour of his religion is a sinner at heart. If he claims to be a Muslim but chooses a lifestyle other than that of Islam, or tries to live according to Islam within his own private life but not in the generality of this social life, or does not strive to establish a Divine method in the life of his society either to evade hardship or to spare his own life at the cost of his faith, then he is one who does not give full testimony to this religion, or, indeed, he gives a testimony against it. In so doing, he makes a testimony which deters others from accepting this faith. Can we contemplate the fate of a person who deters others from accepting the Divine faith through his own claim that he is a believer when actually he is not?

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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