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 9 (Verses 3:81–3:91): Covenant of the Prophets



وَ اِذۡ اَخَذَ اللّٰہُ مِیۡثَاقَ النَّبِیّٖنَ لَمَاۤ اٰتَیۡتُکُمۡ مِّنۡ کِتٰبٍ وَّ حِکۡمَۃٍ ثُمَّ جَآءَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَکُمۡ لَتُؤۡمِنُنَّ بِہٖ وَ لَتَنۡصُرُنَّہٗ ؕ قَالَ ءَاَقۡرَرۡتُمۡ وَ اَخَذۡتُمۡ عَلٰی ذٰلِکُمۡ اِصۡرِیۡ ؕ قَالُوۡۤا اَقۡرَرۡنَا ؕ قَالَ فَاشۡہَدُوۡا وَ اَنَا مَعَکُمۡ مِّنَ الشّٰہِدِیۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾

3:81 And when Allah made a covenant through the prophets: Certainly what I have given you of Book and Wisdom — then a Messenger comes to you verifying what is (already) with you, you shall believe in him, and you shall aid him. He said: Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? They said: We do affirm. He said: Then bear witness, and I (too) am a bearer of witness with you.1

فَمَنۡ تَوَلّٰی بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ ﴿۸۲﴾

3:82 Whoever then turns back after this, these are the transgressors.

اَفَغَیۡرَ دِیۡنِ اللّٰہِ یَبۡغُوۡنَ وَ لَہٗۤ اَسۡلَمَ مَنۡ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ طَوۡعًا وَّ کَرۡہًا وَّ اِلَیۡہِ یُرۡجَعُوۡنَ ﴿۸۳﴾

3:83 Do they then seek other than Allah’s religion? And to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned.2

قُلۡ اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡنَا وَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلٰۤی اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ وَ اِسۡحٰقَ وَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ وَ الۡاَسۡبَاطِ وَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِیَ مُوۡسٰی وَ عِیۡسٰی وَ النَّبِیُّوۡنَ مِنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ ۪ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَیۡنَ اَحَدٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ ۫ وَ نَحۡنُ لَہٗ مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۸۴﴾

3:84 Say: We believe in Allah and (in) what is revealed to us, and (in) what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and (in) what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit.

وَ مَنۡ یَّبۡتَغِ غَیۡرَ الۡاِسۡلَامِ دِیۡنًا فَلَنۡ یُّقۡبَلَ مِنۡہُ ۚ وَ ہُوَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۸۵﴾

3:85 And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.3

کَیۡفَ یَہۡدِی اللّٰہُ قَوۡمًا کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِہِمۡ وَ شَہِدُوۡۤا اَنَّ الرَّسُوۡلَ حَقٌّ وَّ جَآءَہُمُ الۡبَیِّنٰتُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۸۶﴾

3:86 How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing, and (after) they had borne witness that the Messenger was true, and clear arguments had come to them? And Allah does not guide the unjust people.4

اُولٰٓئِکَ جَزَآؤُہُمۡ اَنَّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لَعۡنَۃَ اللّٰہِ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ وَ النَّاسِ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۷﴾

3:87 As for these, their reward is that on them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of people, all together —

خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا ۚ لَا یُخَفَّفُ عَنۡہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یُنۡظَرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۸﴾

3:88 abiding in it. Their punishment shall not be lightened, nor shall they be given respite —

اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ تَابُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ ذٰلِکَ وَ اَصۡلَحُوۡا ۟ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۸۹﴾

3:89 except those who repent after that and amend, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِہِمۡ ثُمَّ ازۡدَادُوۡا کُفۡرًا لَّنۡ تُقۡبَلَ تَوۡبَتُہُمۡ ۚ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الضَّآلُّوۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾

3:90 Those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in disbelief, their repentance is not accepted, and these are they that go astray.

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ مَاتُوۡا وَ ہُمۡ کُفَّارٌ فَلَنۡ یُّقۡبَلَ مِنۡ اَحَدِہِمۡ مِّلۡءُ الۡاَرۡضِ ذَہَبًا وَّلَوِ افۡتَدٰی بِہٖ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ وَّ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ نّٰصِرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۹۱﴾

3:91 Those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, the earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them, though he should offer it as ransom. These it is for whom is a painful punishment, and they shall have no helpers.



  1. The covenant was made through the prophets with their people. Both Moses and Jesus specially laid an obligation on their people to accept the prophet about whom they prophesied (see, for instance, Deuteronomy 18:18 and John 16:13). In fact, all the prophets of the world foretold the advent of the Prophet Muhammad. The cove­nant was made through each prophet separately as he appeared in the world. And just as all the prophets foretold the advent of the Prophet Muhammad and laid an obligation upon their people to accept him, so the Prophet Muhammad also taught his followers to believe in all the prophets that had appeared among different people in different ages, and this is stated in v. 84.
  2. Compare 13:15, 22:18, etc., where it is said that all those who are in the heavens and the earth make submission to Allah. The verse, in fact, shows that Islam, or the rule of submission to Divine law, is a law which is seen working throughout nature, and this is an argument of the truth of the religion of Islam.
  3. The cosmopolitan nature of the religion of Islam having been clearly set forth in the previous verse, it is now stated that anyone who refused to accept such principles would unfailingly lose in the end. A Muslim accepts the whole truth, the truth as revealed to any prophet anywhere in the world, the truth as revealed to all mankind.
  4. The persons meant are those who believed in the former prophets and disbelieved in the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Having clear signs of the Prophet’s truth with them, and professing a belief in the prophets who had foretold the advent of the last of the prophets, they still disbelieved in him.