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 10 (Verses 3:92–3:101): Ever-living Testimony to the Truth of Islam

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Translation:

Part 4

3:92 You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend (on good works) out of what you love.1 And what you spend, Allah surely knows it.
3:93 All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, before the Torah was revealed, except what Israel forbade himself. Say: Bring the Torah and read it, if you are truthful.2
3:94 So whoever forges a lie against Allah after this, these are the wrongdoers.
3:95 Say: Allah speaks the truth; so follow the religion of Abraham, the upright one. And he was not one of those who set up partners (with Allah).
3:96 Certainly the first house appointed for mankind is the one at Bakkah,3 blessed and a guidance for the nations.4
3:97 In it are clear signs: (It is) the Place of Abraham; and whoever enters it is safe; and pilgrimage to the House is a duty which people owe to Allah — whoever can find a way to it.5 And whoever disbelieves, surely Allah is above need of the worlds.
3:98 Say: O People of the Book, why do you disbelieve in the messages of Allah? And Allah is a witness of what you do.
3:99 Say: O People of the Book, why do you hinder those who believe from the way of Allah, seeking (to make) it crooked, while you are witnesses? And Allah is not heedless of what you do.
3:100 O you who believe, if you obey some of those who have been given the Book, they will turn you back as disbelievers after your belief.
3:101 And how can you disbelieve while to you are recited the mess-ages of Allah, and among you is His Messenger? And whoever holds fast to Allah, he indeed is guided to a right path.

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Commentary:

  1. The connection with the last verse is clear. No wealth will buy redemption for a person if he has wasted his opportunity here, and to make the best of that opportunity a person must spend here what he loves most.
  2. The Jews objected to the Muslims making use of certain foods which the law of Moses did not allow. An answer is given here that such foods were lawful for Abraham and his descendants, and Islam agreed in principle with the religion of Abraham. By all food is meant all food made lawful for Muslims.
  3. Bakkah is the same as Makkah (Mecca). The Temple at Jerusalem was erected long after Abraham, while the Holy House at Makkah was there even before Abraham, and was, in fact, the first House on earth for the worship of the Divine Being.
  4. The word mubārak, rendered as blessed, signifies the continuance forever of the blessings which a thing possesses. Thus Makkah is not only the first spiritual centre for mankind but also the ultimate spiritual centre for the whole of humanity.
  5. There are three signs or prophecies here with regard to the future of Makkah. The first sign is that it is the Place of Abraham and hence the first prophecy is that the doctrine of the Unity of God will be proclaimed to the whole world from this centre. The second sign is that Makkah will always be secure, i.e., it shall not fall into the hands of an enemy who should destroy it. Thus its security is assured both physically and spiritually. The third prophecy is that a pilgrimage to the Sacred House shall continue to be made forever, and no power in the world shall ever be able to put a stop to it. The most striking fact about these prophecies is that they were all announced at a time when the Prophet and his followers had apparently been driven away forever from the Sacred Place, when that place was in the exclusive possession of an enemy who did not allow the Muslims to visit it, and when the small Muslim community was in danger of being utterly destroyed by that powerful enemy at any moment.

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