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 12 (Verses 3:110–3:120): Relations of Muslims with Jews



کُنۡتُمۡ خَیۡرَ اُمَّۃٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ تَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ ؕ وَ لَوۡ اٰمَنَ اَہۡلُ الۡکِتٰبِ لَکَانَ خَیۡرًا لَّہُمۡ ؕ مِنۡہُمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ وَ اَکۡثَرُہُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۰﴾

3:110 You are the best nation raised up for mankind: you enjoin good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah.1 And if the People of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are believers but most of them are transgressors.

لَنۡ یَّضُرُّوۡکُمۡ اِلَّاۤ اَذًی ؕ وَ اِنۡ یُّقَاتِلُوۡکُمۡ یُوَلُّوۡکُمُ الۡاَدۡبَارَ ۟ ثُمَّ لَا یُنۡصَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۱﴾

3:111 They will not harm you except a slight hurt. And if they fight you, they will turn (their) backs to you. Then they will not be helped.

ضُرِبَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الذِّلَّۃُ اَیۡنَ مَا ثُقِفُوۡۤا اِلَّا بِحَبۡلٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ حَبۡلٍ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَ بَآءُوۡ بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ ضُرِبَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡمَسۡکَنَۃُ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ وَ یَقۡتُلُوۡنَ الۡاَنۡۢبِیَآءَ بِغَیۡرِ حَقٍّ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِمَا عَصَوۡا وَّ کَانُوۡا یَعۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾٭

3:112 Degradation will be their lot wherever they are found, except under a covenant with Allah and a covenant with people,2 and they shall incur the wrath of Allah, and humiliation will be made to cling to them. This is because they disbelieved in the messages of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly. This is because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.

لَیۡسُوۡا سَوَآءً ؕ مِنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ اُمَّۃٌ قَآئِمَۃٌ یَّتۡلُوۡنَ اٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ اٰنَآءَ الَّیۡلِ وَ ہُمۡ یَسۡجُدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۳﴾

3:113 They are not all alike. Of the People of the Book some are upright — they recite Allah’s messages in the night-time and they adore (Him).

یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ یَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ یَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ یُسَارِعُوۡنَ فِی الۡخَیۡرٰتِ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۴﴾

3:114 They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin good and forbid evil and hasten in (doing) good deeds. And those are among the righteous.

وَ مَا یَفۡعَلُوۡا مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ فَلَنۡ یُّکۡفَرُوۡہُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِالۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۵﴾

3:115 And whatever good they do, they will not be denied it. And Allah knows those who keep their duty.3

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَنۡ تُغۡنِیَ عَنۡہُمۡ اَمۡوَالُہُمۡ وَ لَاۤ اَوۡلَادُہُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ شَیۡـًٔا ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ اَصۡحٰبُ النَّارِ ۚ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۶﴾

3:116 Those who disbelieve, neither their wealth nor their children will avail them at all against Allah. And these are the companions of the Fire; in it they abide.

مَثَلُ مَا یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ فِیۡ ہٰذِہِ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا کَمَثَلِ رِیۡحٍ فِیۡہَا صِرٌّ اَصَابَتۡ حَرۡثَ قَوۡمٍ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ فَاَہۡلَکَتۡہُ ؕ وَ مَا ظَلَمَہُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ لٰکِنۡ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۷﴾

3:117 The likeness of what they spend in the life of this world is as the likeness of wind in which is intense cold; it strikes the harvest of a people who are unjust to themselves and destroys it. And Allah did not wrong them but they wronged themselves.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡا بِطَانَۃً مِّنۡ دُوۡنِکُمۡ لَا یَاۡلُوۡنَکُمۡ خَبَالًا ؕ وَدُّوۡا مَا عَنِتُّمۡ ۚ قَدۡ بَدَتِ الۡبَغۡضَآءُ مِنۡ اَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ ۚۖ وَ مَا تُخۡفِیۡ صُدُوۡرُہُمۡ اَکۡبَرُ ؕ قَدۡ بَیَّنَّا لَکُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۸﴾

3:118 O you who believe, do not take for intimate friends others than your own people: they spare no pains to cause you loss.4 They love whatever distresses you. Vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their hearts conceal is greater still. Indeed We have made the messages clear to you, if you understand.

ہٰۤاَنۡتُمۡ اُولَآءِ تُحِبُّوۡنَہُمۡ وَ لَا یُحِبُّوۡنَکُمۡ وَ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡکِتٰبِ کُلِّہٖ ۚ وَ اِذَا لَقُوۡکُمۡ قَالُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا ۚ٭ۖ وَ اِذَا خَلَوۡا عَضُّوۡا عَلَیۡکُمُ الۡاَنَامِلَ مِنَ الۡغَیۡظِ ؕ قُلۡ مُوۡتُوۡا بِغَیۡظِکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۱۱۹﴾

3:119 Look! You are the ones who will love them while they do not love you,5 and you believe in the Book, (in) the whole of it. And when they meet you they say, We believe, and when they are alone, they bite (their) finger tips in rage against you. Say: Die in your rage. Surely Allah is Knower of what is in the hearts.

اِنۡ تَمۡسَسۡکُمۡ حَسَنَۃٌ تَسُؤۡہُمۡ ۫ وَ اِنۡ تُصِبۡکُمۡ سَیِّئَۃٌ یَّفۡرَحُوۡا بِہَا ؕ وَ اِنۡ تَصۡبِرُوۡا وَ تَتَّقُوۡا لَا یَضُرُّکُمۡ کَیۡدُہُمۡ شَیۡـًٔا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِمَا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ مُحِیۡطٌ ﴿۱۲۰﴾٪

3:120 If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if an evil afflicts you, they rejoice at it. And if you are patient and keep your duty, their struggle will not injure you in any way. Surely Allah encompasses what they do.



  1. The excellence of the Muslim people lies in their enjoining good and forbidding evil and in their great faith in Allah. If they lose these characteristics, they lose their excellence as well. Their excellence was no doubt due to the excellence of that Great Teacher who thoroughly purified them of the worst vices and made perfect the light within them.
  2. The Jews had already been subjected to disgrace before the appear­ance of the Prophet. But with the advent of Islam they could better their condition either by accepting the covenant of Allah, by which is meant the accept­ance of Islam, or by making a compact of security with such people as could give them protection. This remains true to this day.
  3. These verses speak of the good among the Jews and the Christians. The Quran does not deny that there is good in others, its own eminence lying in the fact that it makes man attain the highest degree of perfection in goodness. Thus the description of the upright among the followers of the Book concludes with the words: whatever good they do, they will not be denied it.
  4. As the context shows, these people made war on the Muslims and wished to cause them loss. Hence Muslims could not be friendly with them.
  5. This verse clearly indicates the difficulties which the Muslims had in establishing friendly and loving relations with non-Muslims. The Muslims would offer friendship, but the other party was always on the look-out for some oppor­tunity to inflict loss on them.