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 7 (Verses 3:64–3:71): Controversy with Jews and Christians



قُلۡ یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ تَعَالَوۡا اِلٰی کَلِمَۃٍ سَوَآءٍۢ بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَکُمۡ اَلَّا نَعۡبُدَ اِلَّا اللّٰہَ وَ لَا نُشۡرِکَ بِہٖ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُنَا بَعۡضًا اَرۡبَابًا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقُوۡلُوا اشۡہَدُوۡا بِاَنَّا مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۴﴾

3:64 Say: O People of the Book, come to an equitable word between us and you, that we shall serve none but Allah and that we shall not set up any partner with Him, and that some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah. But if they turn away, then say: Bear witness, we are Muslims.1

یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لِمَ تُحَآجُّوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَتِ التَّوۡرٰىۃُ وَ الۡاِنۡجِیۡلُ اِلَّا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہٖ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۵﴾

3:65 O People of the Book, why do you dispute about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Do you not understand?

ہٰۤاَنۡتُمۡ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ حَاجَجۡتُمۡ فِیۡمَا لَکُمۡ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ فَلِمَ تُحَآجُّوۡنَ فِیۡمَا لَیۡسَ لَکُمۡ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۶﴾

3:66 Look! You are they who disputed about that of which you had knowledge; why then do you dispute about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows while you do not know.2

مَا کَانَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ یَہُوۡدِیًّا وَّ لَا نَصۡرَانِیًّا وَّ لٰکِنۡ کَانَ حَنِیۡفًا مُّسۡلِمًا ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾

3:67 Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian, but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim; and he was not of those who set up partners (with Allah).

اِنَّ اَوۡلَی النَّاسِ بِاِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَلَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡہُ وَ ہٰذَا النَّبِیُّ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ وَلِیُّ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۶۸﴾

3:68 The nearest of people to Abraham are surely those who follow him and this Prophet and those who believe. And Allah is the Friend of the believers.

وَدَّتۡ طَّآئِفَۃٌ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ لَوۡ یُضِلُّوۡنَکُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا یُضِلُّوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ مَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۶۹﴾

3:69 Some of the People of the Book desire that they should lead you astray; and they lead astray only themselves, but they do not perceive.

یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لِمَ تَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ تَشۡہَدُوۡنَ ﴿۷۰﴾

3:70 O People of the Book, why do you disbelieve in the messages of Allah while you witness (their truth)?

یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لِمَ تَلۡبِسُوۡنَ الۡحَقَّ بِالۡبَاطِلِ وَ تَکۡتُمُوۡنَ الۡحَقَّ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۷۱﴾

3:71 O People of the Book, why do you mix the truth with falsehood, and hide the truth while you know?



  1. In this verse the Jews and the Christians are called upon to accept the broad principles of the faith of Abraham, which were also the basic principles of the faith of Islam. The words some of us shall not take others for lords is to the practice prevailing then both among Jews and Christians, and at present among Muslims too, to treat religious leaders as if invested with Divine powers. The basic doctrines of Islam are the greatest common measure of the truth contained in different religions of the world. The doctrine of Unity as taught by Islam affords an illustration. All higher religions start on the basis of Divine Unity but then each religious system has its peculiarities unknown to all others. Islam alone is free from all these additions to the basic doctrine, and it preaches Unity in its simplest form. There are no idols, no gods, no incarnations of the Divine Being, no sons of God, and finally no priests or clerics to be followed blindly.
  2. The Jews invited people to a belief in the Torah and the Christians to a belief in the Gospel, but both these had lost the purity of the faith of Abraham which was pure monotheism, unmixed with either Jewish priesthood or Christian doctrine of sonship.