Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 92

لَن تَنَالُوا۟ ٱلْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا۟ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا۟ مِن شَىْءٍ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ


 Muhsin Khan
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allāh] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allāh is Knowing of it.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Since spending for causes other than that of God is mentioned as well as the offering of a ransom when none may be accepted, God explains the sort of spending which earns His pleasure: “You will never attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you dearly cherish. God has full knowledge of what you spend.” The Muslims at the time understood this Divine directive perfectly well. They were keen to achieve that standard of true piety, which means the culmination of everything that is good, by offering what they cherished most dearly. They came forward with such offerings in the hope of receiving a much greater reward in the hereafter.

Imām Ahmad relates on the authority of Anas ibn Mālik: “Abū Ţalhah was one of the richest people among the Anşār in Madinah. His property, which he cherished most dearly, was a plot of land called Ĥā’. It was opposite to the Prophet’s mosque. The Prophet used to go there and drink of its fine spring. Anas says that when God revealed the Qur’ānic verse: “You will never attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you dearly cherish,’ Abū Ţalĥah said: ‘Messenger of God, God says: “You will never attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you dearly cherish.” My property, which I cherish most dearly, is this piece of land. I am offering it as a charity dedicated for God’s sake. I do this in the hope that I will be rewarded for it by God. You, Messenger of God, may dispense with it in any way you please.’ The Prophet said: ‘Good. Good. That is an investment with high return. I have heard what you said. I think the best course is for you to divide it among your relatives.’ Abū Ţalĥah said: ‘I will do that, Messenger of God.’ He divided it among his relatives and cousins.” (Related by Bukhārī and Muslim.)
Al-Bukhārī and Muslim also relate that `Umar said: “Messenger of God, I have never acquired any property which is more valuable than my share in Khaybar. How do you advise me to dispense with it?” The Prophet said: “Make the land a permanent endowment and its produce free for all.”
Many of them have followed this line in fulfilment of God’s instruction, Who has outlined for us the way to true piety when He has guided us to Islam. In this way, we attain our freedom from being enslaved by wealth and self-aggrandisement. We can aspire to attain a more sublime level, free of all shackles, undeterred by any impediments.

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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  •  لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا ۖ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ ۗ أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ 

    "Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous." (2:177)

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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  • وعن النواس بن سمعان رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن البر والإثم فقال‏:‏ “البر حسن الخلق، والإثم‏:‏ ما حاك في نفسك وكرهت أن يطلع عليه الناس” ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏

    Nawwas bin Sam'an (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I asked Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about virtue and sin, and he said, "Virtue is noble behaviour, and sin is that which creates doubt and you do not like people to know about it." [Sahih Muslim]

  • عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ "‏إن أبر البر أن يصل الرجل ود أبيه‏"‏‏.‏

    'Abdullah bin 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The finest act of goodness is that a person should treat kindly the loved ones of his father". [Riyadh as-Salihin]

  • حَدَّثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ‏:‏ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ، قَالَ‏:‏ أَخْبَرَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ أَيُّوبَ، قَالَ‏:‏ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو زُرْعَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَتَى رَجُلٌ نَبِيَّ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ‏:‏ مَا تَأْمُرُنِي‏؟‏ فَقَالَ‏:‏ بِرَّ أُمَّكَ، ثُمَّ عَادَ، فَقَالَ‏:‏ بِرَّ أُمَّكَ، ثُمَّ عَادَ، فَقَالَ‏:‏ بِرَّ أُمَّكَ، ثُمَّ عَادَ الرَّابِعَةَ، فَقَالَ‏:‏ بِرَّ أَبَاكَ

    Abu Hurayra reported: "A man came to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, 'What do you command me to do?' He replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' Then he asked him the same question again and he replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' He repeated it yet again and the Prophet replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' Then he put the question a fourth time and the Prophet said, 'Be dutiful towards your father.'" [Adab al-Mufrad by Bukhari]

  • فالأول عن ابن مسعود رضي الله عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ "‏إن الصدق يهدي إلى البر وإن البر يهدي إلى الجنة، وإن الرجل ليصدق حتى يكتب عند الله صديقاً، وإن الكذب يهدي إلى الفجور، وإن الفجور يهدي إلى النار، وإن الرجل ليكذب حتى يكتب عند الله كذاباً‏"‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏

    Abdullah bin Mas'ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Truth leads to piety and piety leads to Jannah. A man persists in speaking the truth till he is enrolled with Allah as a truthful. Falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the Fire (Hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled as a liar".' [Agreed upon]

10. Wiki Forum

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11. Tafsir Zone


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