English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 3: Āl Imran — The Family of Amran (Revealed at Madinah: 20 sections, 200 verses)



The name of this chapter is taken from the mention of ‘Imrān in v. 33, who is Amran of the Bible, the father of Moses and Aaron. It deals with the departure of prophethood from the Mosaic dispensation. It opens with a rule of interpretation for Divine books, which is that any allegorical statement must be interpreted so as not to contradict the clear principles laid down by Divine revelation. This is a preliminary to a discussion of Christian doctrines, which are based on wrong interpretations of certain allegorical statements. The chapter then deals with: the last Divine elect of the Israelites, including Jesus, after whom the spiritual kingdom was granted to the Muslims, religious controversy with the Jews and Christians, and their opposition to Islam, testimony to the truth of Islam in previous scriptures, the need for Muslim unity, the need for Muslims to show perseverance in suffering as in the battle of Uhud, and how they will triumph in the end after their struggles. Almost the entire chapter was revealed in 3 A.H.


List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. Rule of Interpretation (Verses 3:1–3:9)
  2. Unity of God as Basis of all Religions (Verses 3:10–3:20)
  3. Kingdom Granted to Another People (Verses 3:21–3:30)
  4. Last Members of a Chosen Race (Verses 3:31–3:41)
  5. Birth of Jesus and His Ministry (Verses 3:42–3:54)
  6. Jesus Cleared of False Charges (Verses 3:55–3:63)
  7. Controversy with Jews and Christians (Verses 3:64–3:71)
  8. Machinations to Discredit Islam (Verses 3:72–3:80)
  9. Covenant of the Prophets (Verses 3:81–3:91)
  10. Ever-living Testimony to the Truth of Islam (Verses 3:92–3:101)
  11. Muslims Exhorted to Remain United (Verses 3:102–3:109)
  12. Relations of Muslims with Jews (Verses 3:110–3:120)
  13. The Battle of Uhud (Verses 3:121–3:129)
  14. What Success Meant for Muslims (Verses 3:130–3:143)
  15. Sufferings to be met with Perseverance (Verses 3:144–3:148)
  16. Causes of Misfortune in Battle of Uhud (Verses 3:149–3:155)
  17. Battle of Uhud Afforded a Distinction (Verses 3:156–3:171)
  18. Uhud no Gain to the Enemy (Verses 3:172–3:180)
  19. Carpings of People of the Book (Verses 3:181–3:189)
  20. Ultimate Triumph of the Faithful (Verses 3:190–3:200)