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)

Section 1 (Verses 3:1–3:9): Rule of Interpretation



بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

الٓمَّٓ ۙ﴿۱﴾

3:1 I, Allah, am the Best Knower,1

اللّٰہُ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۙ الۡحَیُّ الۡقَیُّوۡمُ ؕ﴿۲﴾

3:2 Allah, (there is) no god but He, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting, by Whom all subsist.2

نَزَّلَ عَلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَیۡنَ یَدَیۡہِ وَ اَنۡزَلَ التَّوۡرٰىۃَ وَ الۡاِنۡجِیۡلَ ۙ﴿۳﴾

3:3 He has revealed to you the Book with truth,3 verifying what is (already) before it, and He revealed the Torah and the Gospel4

مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ہُدًی لِّلنَّاسِ وَ اَنۡزَلَ الۡفُرۡقَانَ ۬ؕ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ شَدِیۡدٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَزِیۡزٌ ذُو انۡتِقَامٍ ﴿۴﴾

3:4 before, a guidance for the people,5 and He sent the Criterion.6 Those who disbelieve in the messages of Allah — for them is a severe punishment. And Allah is Mighty, the Lord of retribution.7

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَخۡفٰی عَلَیۡہِ شَیۡءٌ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَا فِی السَّمَآءِ ؕ﴿۵﴾

3:5 Surely nothing in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah.

ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ یُصَوِّرُکُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡحَامِ کَیۡفَ یَشَآءُ ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۶﴾

3:6 He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. There is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise.

ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ عَلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ مِنۡہُ اٰیٰتٌ مُّحۡکَمٰتٌ ہُنَّ اُمُّ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ اُخَرُ مُتَشٰبِہٰتٌ ؕ فَاَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ زَیۡغٌ فَیَتَّبِعُوۡنَ مَا تَشَابَہَ مِنۡہُ ابۡتِغَآءَ الۡفِتۡنَۃِ وَ ابۡتِغَآءَ تَاۡوِیۡلِہٖ ۚ؃ وَ مَا یَعۡلَمُ تَاۡوِیۡلَہٗۤ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ۘؔ وَ الرّٰسِخُوۡنَ فِی الۡعِلۡمِ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اٰمَنَّا بِہٖ ۙ کُلٌّ مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ رَبِّنَا ۚ وَ مَا یَذَّکَّرُ اِلَّاۤ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿۷﴾

3:7 He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive — they are the basis of the Book — and others are allegorical.8 Then those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead, and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation.9 And none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those firmly rooted in knowledge. They say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord.10 And none are mindful except those who have understanding.

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوۡبَنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدَیۡتَنَا وَ ہَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ رَحۡمَۃً ۚ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡوَہَّابُ ﴿۸﴾

3:8 Our Lord, do not make our hearts to deviate after You have guided us and grant us mercy from Yourself; surely You are the most liberal Giver.

رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّکَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِیَوۡمٍ لَّا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُخۡلِفُ الۡمِیۡعَادَ ٪﴿۹﴾

3:9 Our Lord, surely You are the Gatherer of people on a day about which there is no doubt. Surely Allah will not fail in (His) promise.



  1. For explanation, see 2:1 footnote.
  2. As this chapter controverts Christian doctrines, it fittingly opens with two attributes of the Divine Being, the Ever-living and the Self-subsisting, which refute the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The statement that there is no god but He contains an ideal expression of the religion of Islam in four words.
  3. “With truth” signifies that the Quran was revealed suitably to the requirements of wisdom and justice, and to the exigencies of the case; in other words, it was revealed at a time when revelation was sorely needed by humanity.
  4. Taurāt is the name given to the books of Moses, or the Pentateuch, and hence its correct rendering is the Hebrew word Torah. The Taurāt does not signify the Old Testament, because the latter is the name of the whole collection of the books of the Israelite prophets. The word Injīl (Gospel) does not signify the New Testament but the revelation granted to Jesus.
  5. The Torah and the Gospel were undoubtedly a guidance before the Quran; but even as they now exist, they afford guidance in many respects with a mixture of error, and contain numerous prophecies fulfilled in the advent of Prophet Muhammad.
  6. See 2:53 and 2:185 footnote 3. The Quran is here mentioned by the name Furqān or that which distinguishes between truth and falsehood, and pro­vides a criterion, because it was sent to separate the truth in previous revela­tion from the falsehood which had found its way into it. As the Furqān, or the criterion of truth, in the case of the Holy Prophet was also provided by the battle of Badr, this event is referred to in v. 13 as a prelude to the actual controversy.
  7. The word used here for retribution conveys the idea of avenging but not of revenge.
  8. The Quran establishes certain principles in clear words which are to be taken as the basis, while there are statements made in allegorical words or sus­cep­tible to different meanings, the interpretation of which must be in conso­nance with the other parts and the spirit of the Book. When a certain prin­ciple is laid down in unmistakable words, any statement carrying a doubtful signi­fi­cance, or one which is apparently opposed to that principle, must be interpreted subject to the principle enunciated. The subject is appropria­tely dealt with here as a prelude to a controversy with the Christians, who attribute divinity to Jesus on the basis of certain ambiguous words or allegorical state­ments, with­out heeding the funda­mental principles established by the earlier prophets.
  9. These are people who do not care to seek the real interpretation which can only be found by referring to the principles laid down elsewhere but give an interpretation to an ambiguous verse alone, without considering it in con­junction with other similar verses or the principles laid down elsewhere.
  10. The words it is all from our Lord signify that there is no disagree­ment between the various portions of the Holy Book. Hence the rule of interpreta­tion which they follow is that they refer passages which are susceptible to various inter­pretations to those whose meaning is obvious or to similar passages, and sub­ject particular statements to general principles.