Sura Al’-Imran
سورة آل عمران

Asbab Nuzul:
Sura Al Imran – آل عمران – The Family of Imram
Tafsir and Asbab Al-Nuzul
003| Sura Al Imran – آل عمران

Decorative Lines

Al’ Imran – سورة آل عمران
The Family of Imram

Sura Al Imran (Arabic: آل عمران‎, Sūratu Āl ‘Imrān,”The Family of Imran”) is the 3rd chapter of the Qur’an with two hundred verses.

Āl Imrān – The Family of Imran

  • Classification: Medinan
  • Position: Juz’ 3–4

Structure:

  • Rukurs: 20
  • Verses: 200
  • Words: 3 503
  • Letters 14 605
  • Opening muqatta’āt: Alif Lam Mim

Overview

Imran in Islam is regarded as the father of Mary. This chapter is named after the family Imran (Amram), which includes Imran, Saint Anne, Mary, and Jesus. The chapter is believed to have been revealed in Medina and is either the second or third of the Medinan suras. Almost all of it also belongs to the third year of the Hijra with the possible exception of verse 61, which mentions Mubāhalah and therefore might have been revealed during the visit of the Najrān Christian deputation which was occurred in the 10th year of the Hijrah.

This chapter primarily focuses on the departure of prophethood from the Mosaic dispensation. Another speculation[by whom?] is that since the event of Mobahela is the highlight of this surah, Al Imran could very well refer to the progeny of Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, whose real name was Imran.

Ayah 7 exegesis

The Quran, chapter 3 (Aale Imran), verse 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; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.— translated by M. H. Shakir

Transliteration

Huwa allathee anzala alayka alkitaba minhu ayatun muhkamatun hunna ommu alkitabi waokharu mutashabihatun faamma allatheena fee quloobihim zayghun fayattabioona ma tashabaha minhu ibtighaa alfitnati waibtighaa ta/weelihi wama yalamu ta/weelahu illa Allahu waalrrasikhoona fee al ilmi yaqooloona amanna bihi kullun min indi rabbina wama yaththakkaru illa oloo al-albabi

Arabic:

 هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ في قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاء الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاء تَأْوِيلِهِ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألْبَ

Verse 7 is notable for several reasons. It states that:

  1. Some Qur’anic verses are to be understood by others
  2. Some verses are allegorical
  3. It includes a disclaimer against misrepresenting the allegorical verses as factual.
  4. It states that a set of people are to be consulted, those firmly rooted in knowledge.

Shi’a understand those firmly rooted in knowledge to be Muhammad’s household (Arabic: Ahl al-Bayt‎). Sunni understand them to the Muslim jurists (Arabic: ulema‎).

Translation

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الْأَلْبَابِ

3:7 He is the One Who has since sent to you, the Messenger (peace be upon him) the Book. Unitary verbal passages, who have the adjectival specification of “permanently erected fixtures” containing commands and injunctions of firm, established and universal application, are a subset of him/the Book. These are the Mother/Essence/ Main Purpose/Pivot of the Book. In addition, the other subset is such verbal passages that perform the act of mirroring invisible realities and facts through metaphorical presentations.

Thereby/making it a pretext, as regards that type of people some atilt/deflection has since made home in whose hearts, thereby they keep pursuing that, which in itself was individually perceived as causing state of confusion, from him/the Book. They do so with the objective of self-distancing from people and self-pursuit of finding the physical manifestation and outcome of him/Book.

Allah is the only, none else, Who fully knows the physical elucidation and manifestation and actual outcome of it/the Book; and [contrary to the people of tilted hearts/psyche] as for holders of in depth knowledge-true believers are concerned they keep saying, “We have consciously believed in that, the Book. This is all/entirely is from our Sustainer Lord”. [True believers know/have knowledge of conviction that it is a fact from their Sustainer Lord-2:26]

مُّحْكَمَاتٌ is Passive Participle, feminine, plural, nominative; [Form-IV]- -اِحْكَامٌ Verbal Noun.

As against that مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ is Active Participle, feminine, plural, nominative; [Form-VI]- -تَشَابُهٌ Verbal noun.

الْكِتَابَ referring to Qur’aan is masculine.The pronouns are also masculine, referring to Book and not to آيَاتٌ which are feminine.

[For detailed study see 01. Surat Fateh “Word by Word Analysis”]

3:169 Take note that you should not consider in respect of those people who get murdered/slain in the way of Allah that they are dead bodies. They are not dead bodies, the fact of the matter is that they are alive. They people are continuously getting sustenance from their Sustainer Lord. [3:169, read with 2:154]

Verses 64-68: Warning to the Christans and the Jews

“Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].

O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?

Here you are – those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you know not.

Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.

Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah ] and this prophet, and it was also an important surah to every those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.”

Verse 85: Warning to other religions other than the Islam

“And whoever desires other than submission (Islam) as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.”

Asbāb al-Nuzūl

By: Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wāhidī

3:12.| Say (O Muhammad) unto those who disbelieve: Ye shall be overcome and gathered unto Hell…

[3:12]. Al-Kalbi reported from Abu Salih that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “When Allah defeated the idolaters on the day of Badr, the Jews of Medina said: ‘By Allah, this is the unlettered Prophet who was announced to us by Moses and whose attribute and description we find in our Scriptures and about whom it is also mentioned that his banner will not be defeated’.

They wanted to believe in and follow him. But then some of them said: ‘Do not be hasty; let us wait until another of his encounters’. When the Battle of Uhud took place and the Companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, were defeated, they became sceptical.

They said: ‘No, by Allah, this is not him’. Their wretchedness overwhelmed them and they did not embrace Islam. Meanwhile, they had a treaty with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, which was supposed to last up to a certain period. They dissolved that treaty and Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf set off, along with sixty riders, to meet the people of Mecca, Abu Sufyan and his companions. They struck a deal and resolved to achieve the same goal.

They said: ‘Our word shall be one!’ When they went back to Medina, Allah, exalted is He, revealed the above verse about them”. Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar, said: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, defeated the Quraysh at Badr and then went back to Medina, he gathered the Jews and said: ‘O congregation of Jews! Beware lest Allah inflicts on you the like of that which he has inflicted on Quraysh on the day of Badr; embrace Islam before that which has befallen them befalls you. You know well that I was sent as a prophet.

This you find it mentioned in your Scripture as well as in Allah’s covenant with you’. They said: ‘O Muhammad! Be not deluded because you have defeated inexperienced people who have no knowledge of warfare. By Allah, if we were to fight, you will realize that we are the real thing’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (Say (O Muhammad) unto those who disbelieve) i.e. the Jews (Ye shall be overcome) you shall be defeated (and gathered unto Hell) in the Afterlife”; this is the narration of ‘Ikrimah and Sa’id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas.

3:18.| Allah (Himself) is Witness that there is no Allah save Him…

[3:18]. Said al-Kalbi: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, appeared in Medina, two rabbis from Syria, came to see him. When they saw Medina, one of them said to his companion: ‘How similar is this city to the city from which will emerge the Prophet of the end of times’. When they entered in on the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, they recognized him by his attributes and description. They asked: ‘Are you Muhammad?’ ‘Yes!’

He answered. ‘And you are also Ahmad?’ He said: ‘I am!’ They said: ‘We will ask you about witnessing; we shall believe in you if you do inform us about it’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Do ask me!’ They said: ‘Tell us about the greatest witness in Allah’s Scripture’. Allah, exalted is He, revealed to His Prophet (Allah (Himself) is Witness that there is no Allah save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness)…). The two men embraced Islam and believed in the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace”.

3:23.| Hast thou not seen how those who have received a portion of the Scripture…

[3:23]. There is a difference of opinion about this verse’s occasion of revelation. Al-Suddi said: “When the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, called the Jews to embrace Islam, al-Nu‘man ibn Awfa said to him: ‘Come, O Muhammad, and let the rabbis judge between us’. He said: ‘Let the Scripture of Allah be judge between us’.

They said: ‘No! Let the rabbis judge’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. On the other hand, Sa‘id ibn Jubayr and ‘Ikrimah reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, entered in on a group of Jews in a Jewish place of study and called them to Allah.

Nu‘aym ibn ‘Amr and al-Harith ibn Zayd said to him: ‘O Muhammad, which religion are you on?’ He said: ‘The religion of Abraham’. They said: ‘But Abraham was a Jew’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘In that case, let us go to the Torah and let it judge between us’. They refused. And Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Said al-Kalbi: “This was revealed about those who committed fornication in Khaybar and the Jews who asked the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, about the legal punishment of fornication”. The elaboration on this will come in Surah al-Ma’idah, Allah, exalted is He, willing”.

3:26.| Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!)

[3:26] Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas ibn Malik said: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, conquered Mecca and promised his nation the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium, the hypocrites and Jews said: ‘How far fetched! How far fetched! How on earth can Muhammad conquer the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium? They are too mighty and strong for that.

Are Mecca and Medina not enough for Muhammad that he covets the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium?’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Marwazi informed in his epistle> Abu’l-Fadl Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Haddadi> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> Rawh ibn ‘Ubadah> Sa’id> Qatadah who said: “It was mentioned to us that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, requested Allah to grant his nation the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!)”.

The master Abu Ishaq al-Tha’alibi informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid al-Wazzan> Muhammad ibn Ja’far al-Matiri> Hammad ibn al-Hasan> Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn ‘Athmah> Kathir ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf> his father> his father who said: “On the day of the Confederates, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, drew lines indicating where the Ditch was to be dug and he assigned ten men for every forty cubits.

‘Amd ibn ‘Awf said: ‘Myself, Salman [al-Farisi], Hudhayfah [ibn al-Yaman] al-Nu’man ibn Muqarrin al-Muzani and six men of the Helpers were assigned to dig forty cubits. We dug until we reached beneath Dhu Nab whereupon we came upon a rock of flint which broke our steel and proved extremely hard to break. And so we told Salman to go up and inform the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, about this rock and to consult him about either to go round it or command us something else about it, for we did not like going beyond the line he drew.

So Salman went up to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, who had on him a Turkish collar. He said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! We came across a white rock of flint inside the ditch which has broken our steel and proved very hard to break, for we did everything we could to break it but in vain.

Please tell us what to do, for we do not like going beyond the line you drew’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went down to the ditch along with Salman while the remaining nine people remained at the verge of it. He took the axe from Salman and struck the rock with one mighty blow which split it into two, and a light shone from its two sides, such that it was like lighting a lamp in a dark room.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, pronounced the Takbir which is usually pronounced after a conquest and the Muslims did the same. Then he struck it again with a blow and a light shone from its two sides, such that it was like lighting a lamp in a dark room. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, pronounced the Takbir which is usually pronounced after a conquest and the Muslims did the same. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, struck it a third time upon which the rock broke into pieces and a light shone, such that it was like lighting a lamp in a dark room.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, pronounced the Takbir which is usually pronounced after a conquest and the Muslims did the same. He then held the hand of Salman and climbed up. Salman said: ‘May my mother and father be your ransom, O Messenger of Allah, I saw something which I had never seen before’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, turned to the people present and said: ‘Did you see that which Salman is talking about?’ They said: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah!’

He said: ‘I struck the first time and the light which you saw shone and through it I could see the palaces of al-Hirah and the cities of Chosroes resembling the teeth of dogs. Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed me then that my nation will conquer them. Then I struck a second time and in that light I could see the red palaces of the land of Byzantium resembling the teeth of dogs. Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed me then that my nation will conquer them.

Then I struck the rock with my third blow and the light which you saw shone and I saw the palaces of San’a’ resembling the teeth of dogs. Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed me then that my nation will conquer them. So receive the good news’. The Muslims were happy to hear the good news. They said: ‘Praise be to Allah, it is a true promise; he has promised us victory after digging the Trench’. But the hypocrites said: ‘Are you not amazed that he is raising your hope for nothing and is promising you something which is clearly untrue.

He informs you that he can see from Yathrib the palaces of al-Hira and the cities of Chosroes and that you will conquer them. All this while you are digging this ditch because of fear and are unable to show yourselves’. Allah then revealed in the Qur’an (And when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, were saying: Allah and His messenger promised us naught but delusion) [33:12], and Allah, exalted is He, revealed about this incident: (Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!)”.

3:28.| Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers…

[3:28]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “A group of Jews including al-Hajjaj ibn ‘Amr, Kahmas ibn Abi al-Huqayq and Qays ibn Zayd used to keep close company with a group of Helpers to try to make them renounce their religion. And so a group of people comprising Rifa’ah ibn al-Mundhir, ‘Abd Allah ibn Jubayr and Sa’id ibn Khaythamah said to this group of Helpers: ‘Stay away from these Jews and beware of keeping their company lest they drive you away from your religion’.

The group of Helpers refused to stop seeing them or keep their company, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. And al-Kalbi said: “This verse was revealed about the hypocrites: ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and his companions. They allied themselves with the Jews and the idolaters, supplying them with information, hoping that they would have the upper hand over the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse, warning the believers against acting like them”.

Juwaybir reported from al-Dahhak that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “This verse was revealed about ‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit who was among those who took part in Badr and a trusted man. He had allies from among the Jews. And when the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, marched to the Battle of the Confederates, ‘Ubadah said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! I have with me five hundred men from the Jews, and I am of the opinion to take them with me to impress the enemy. Because of this, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers)’ ”.

3:31.| Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah…

[3:31]. Said al-Hasan ibn Jurayj: “Some people had claimed at the time of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, that they loved Allah. They said: ‘O Muhammad! Verily, we love our Lord’, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Juwaybir also reported that al-Dahhak related that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, saw the Quraysh in the Sacred Mosque prostrating to their idols which they erected therein, with eggs of ostriches hanging from them and earrings dangling from their ears.

And so he said to them: ‘O Quraysh! You have contravened the religion of your fathers Abraham and Ishmael, both of whom were Muslims’. They responded: ‘O Muhammad! We worship them out of love for Allah and so that they bring us closer to Him’. Upon which Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah) and you worship your idols to bring you closer to Him, as you claim, then (follow me; Allah will love you…) for I am His Messenger to you, His proof against you, and I am more worthy of reverence than your idols”.

Al-Kalbi also related from Abu Salih that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “When the Jews said: ‘We are the children of Allah and His beloved’, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, read it to the Jews but they refused to accept it”. Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that Muhammad ibn Ja’far ibn al-Zubayr said: “This was revealed about the Christians of Najran, for they had said: ‘We venerate and worship Christ out of love and veneration for Allah’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse as a response”.

3:59.| Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam…

[3:59]. The commentators of the Qur’an said: “The delegation of Najran said to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace: ‘Why do you insult Jesus?’ He said: ‘What did I say about him?’ They said: ‘You say that he is a servant’. He said: ‘Indeed, he is the servant and messenger of Allah, as well as His word which He cast into the Virgin Mary’.

They became angry and said: ‘Have you ever seen a human being who was born without a father? If you are truthful, show us such a person’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Harithi informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Ja’far> Sahl Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman> Yahya> Waki’> Mubarak> al-Hasan who said: “Two monks from Najran came to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and he invited them to surrender to Allah.

One of them said: ‘We have surrendered to Allah before you’. He said: ‘You lie! Three things prevent you from surrendering to Allah: your worship of the cross, eating pork and your claim that Allah has a son’. They said: ‘Then who is the father of Jesus?’ The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was not in the habit of giving hasty answers but waited for Allah’s answer instead. Then Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam…)”.

3:61.| … say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons…

[3:61]. Abu Sa‘d informed us> ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad al-Zimjari> Ahmad ibn Ja‘far ibn Malik> ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal> his father> Husayn> Hammad ibn Salamah> Yunus> al-Hasan who said: “The two monks of Najran came to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and he invited them to surrender to Allah. One of them said: ‘We have surrendered to Allah before you’. He said: ‘You lie! Three things prevent you from surrendering to Allah: your prostration before the cross, your claim that Allah has a son and your consumption of wine’.

They said: ‘What do you say about Jesus?’ The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, did not answer. But then this verse was revealed (This (which) We recite unto thee is a revelation and a wise reminder… Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam) up to Allah’s saying (… say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons…). Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, challenged them to summon Allah’s curse upon the one who is lying amongst them (Mula‘anah).

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went and brought al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Fatimah and all his family and children, peace be upon them. When the two Christians left, one of them said to the other: ‘Consent to pay the Jizyah and do not agree to summon Allah’s curse on the liar’. They went back and said: ‘We agree to pay the Jizyah and abstain from summoning Allah’s curse on the liar’ ”.

‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hasan al-Hafiz informed us among that which he gave us permission to narrate from him> Abu Hafs ‘Umar ibn Ahmad al-Wa‘iz> ‘Abd Allah ibn Sulayman ibn al-Ash‘ath> Yahya ibn Hatim al-‘Askari> Bishr ibn Mihran> Muhammad ibn Dinar> Dawud ibn Abi Hind> al-Sha‘bi> Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah who said: “The delegation of the people of Najran came to see the prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. The deputy chief and the master spoke with the Prophet and he invited them to surrender to Allah.

They said: ‘We have surrendered to Him before you’. He said: ‘You lie! And if you wish I will inform you about that which prevents you from surrendering to Allah’. They said: ‘Do inform us!’ He said: ‘It is the love of the cross, the consumption of wine and pork’. Then he challenged them to summon Allah’s curse upon the liar amongst them. They promised to come and see him in the evening. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went and brought Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn whose hands he held, then he sent for the two men.

But they refused to come and see him and agreed to pay a levied tax. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said then: ‘By Him Who has sent me with the truth, had they agreed to summon Allah’s curse on the liar, fire would have rained on the valley [where the delegation of Najran had camped]’. Then the following verse was revealed about them ((unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons…)”. Al-Sha‘bi said: “our sons refer to al-Hasan and al-Husayn and our women refers to Fatimah, while ourselves refers to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be well pleased with one and all”.

3:68.| Lo! those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet…

[3:68]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “The leaders of the Jews said: ‘By Allah, O Muhammad, you know that we have the better claim to Abraham’s religion than you or anybody else; and you know that he was a Jew. You are only resentfully envious!’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.

Al-Kalbi also related from Abu Salih that Ibn ‘Abbas said – and the same is reported by ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ghanm from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and this was also mentioned by Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar, such that the wordings of their narrations are mixed up with each other-:

“When Ja’far ibn Abi Talib and his fellow companions migrated to Abyssinia and settled there and the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, migrated to Medina which was followed by the Battle of Badr, the Quraysh called for a meeting in Dar al-Nadwah and said:

‘We have to exact revenge for those of us who were killed at Badr from the Companions of Muhammad who are with the Negus. Collect, therefore, some money and gift it to the Negus and he will give you in exchange your people who are staying with him. For this mission, select two of your men who are known for their good judgement’. And so they sent ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and ‘Umarah ibn Abi Mu’ayt with gifts, tanned skins and other things.

They sailed across the sea to Abyssinia. When they entered in on the Negus, they prostrated themselves and greeted him. They said: ‘Our people are grateful to you and want to give you sincere advice for they wish you good. They have sent us to you to warn you about the people who came to you because they represent a liar who has emerged amongst us, claiming he is Allah’s Messenger. None of us, except fools, followed him.

We had made it very hard on them and drove them away to the canyons of our land. No one was allowed to go to them, and none of them was allowed to leave; they were destroyed by hunger and thirst. When things got tough, he sent you his cousin to corrupt your religion, kingdom and subjects. So beware of them and hand them over to us to suffice you their matter’.

They also said to him:

‘The proof for what we say is that they will not prostrate to you or greet you with the greeting with which people greet you, out of repulsion from your religion and way of life’. The Negus summoned them, and when they came, Ja’far shouted at the door: ‘The party of Allah asks your permission to enter’. Upon hearing them, the Negus said:

‘Order the crier to repeat what he said’. When Ja’far repeated what he said, the Negus said: ‘Indeed, let them enter with Allah’s assurance and safety’. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As looked at his companion and said: ‘Do you not see how they refer unintelligently to the party of Allah?’ They did not like at all what they had heard. The Companions entered but did not prostrate themselves to the Negus. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As said: ‘Do you not see how too proud they are to prostrate themselves before you?’

The Negus asked them:

‘What prevents you from prostrating yourselves before me and greeting me with the greeting with which I am greeted by people from all over the world?’ They said: ‘We only prostrate ourselves to Allah Who created and made you king. What you mentioned was our salutation when we used to worship idols. Allah then sent among us a true Prophet who commanded us to greet by means of a greeting which is pleasing to Allah, the greeting of peace, the greeting of the inhabitants of Paradise’.

The Negus knew that what he said was the truth and that it was mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel. He said: ‘Who is the caller who was seeking permission for the party of Allah to enter?’ Ja’far identified himself and then spoke. He said: ‘You are a king among the kings of the people of this earth, as you are of the people of the Book. Abundant talk and injustice will not do with you, and I would like to answer you on behalf of my companions. Command one of these men to speak and let the other one listen so that you can hear our dialogue’.

‘Amr said to Ja’far: ‘You speak!’

Ja’far said to the Negus:

‘Ask this man: are we slaves or freemen? If we are runaway slaves, then by all means do return us to our masters’.

The Negus asked: ‘Are they slaves or freemen?’

He said: ‘They are respected freemen!’

The Negus said: ‘They have escaped from slavery’.

Ja’far said: ‘Ask them: have we shed any blood without any legitimate right for retaliation to be exacted from us?’

‘Amr said: ‘They have not shed even a single drop of blood’.

Ja’far added: ‘Ask them: have we wrongfully taken the property of any people which we are now asked to give back?’

The Negus said: ‘O ‘Amr! I will pay it back even if it is a kantar’.

‘Amr said: ‘They have not taken even one kerat’.

The Negus said: ‘In that case, what do you want from them?’

‘Amr said: ‘We were all following one religion, the religion of our forefathers, but they left that and followed a different religion while we continue to follow it. Their people have therefore sent us so that you hand them over to us’.

The Negus asked: ‘What is the religion which you had previously followed and the one you are following now? Tell me the truth!’

Ja’far said: ‘The religion which we used to follow and which we have now abandoned is the religion and matter of Satan; we used to disbelieve in Allah, glorious and majestic is He, and worship stones. As for the religion to which we have reverted, it is Allah’s religion, Islam, which was brought to us by a Messenger from Allah who also brought a Scripture like the Scripture brought by Jesus; in fact both Scriptures agree with one another’.

The Negus said: ‘O Ja’far! You have mentioned a very serious matter; be deliberate!’ The Negus then ordered that the bells be rang by which he summoned all his priests and monks. When they all gathered, he said: ‘I implore you by Allah Who revealed the Gospel to Jesus: is there any mention of a prophet sent by Allah in the interval between the advent of Jesus and the Day of Judgement?’

They said: ‘Yes, by Allah! Jesus has given the good news of his advent.

He said: whoever believes in this prophet believes in him and whoever disbelieves in this prophet disbelieves in him’. The Negus turned to Ja’far and said:

‘What does this man say, command and forbid you?’

Ja’far said: ‘He recites unto us the Book of Allah, enjoins good, forbids evil, commands good treatment of one’s neighbours, keeping ties with one’s kin, showing goodness toward orphans and he also commands us to worship Allah alone without any associate’.

The Negus said: ‘Recite to us some of what he used to recite to you’.

Ja’far recited to Him Surah the Spider and Surah the Byzantines.

The eyes of the Negus and those with him [among his subjects] overflowed with tears.

They said: ‘O Ja’far, give us more of this wholesome speech’.

Ja’far read Surah the Cave.

At this point, ‘Amr wanted to provoke the Negus. He said: ‘They slander Jesus and his mother!’

The Negus asked: ‘What do they say about Jesus and his mother?’

Ja’far read to them Surah Mary and when he recited the section which mentions Jesus and his mother.

The Negus picked up a fragment from a tooth pick (Siwak) – so small that it could get into one’s eye-and said: ‘By Allah! Jesus did not add to what you have said more than this [i.e. the fragment that he picked]’. He then turned toward Ja’far and his companions and said:

‘Go wherever you want in my land. You are safe. Whoever insults or harms you will face a penalty. Receive the good news and do not be afraid. Today, no harm shall ever befall the party of Abraham’.

‘Amr asked: ‘And who are the party of Abraham?’

He said: ‘They are these people and the leader who sent them here as well as all those who follow them’. The idolaters denied this and claimed that it was them who were following the religion of Abraham. The Negus returned the money that ‘Amr and his companion had gifted him, saying:

‘Your gift is a bribe, so take it back. Allah has appointed me as a king and did not take a bribe from me’.

Ja’far said: ‘And we left. We lived in a good land with honourable neighbours’. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed to the Messenger of Allah, (Allah bless him and give him peace), in Medina about their dispute regarding Abraham (Lo! those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him) i.e. those who follow his religion and way, (and this Prophet) i.e. Muhammad, (Allah bless him and give him peace), (and those who believe (with him) and Allah is the Protecting Guardian of the believers)”.

Abu Hamid Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Warraq informed us> Abu Ahmad Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Jazari> ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Hatim> Abu Sa’id al-Ashajj> Waki’> Sufyan ibn Sa’id> his father> Abu’l-Duha> ‘Abd Allah who reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give peace, said: “Every prophet has supporters from among other prophets, and my support is my forefather and my Lord’s intimate friend Abraham”. He then recited: (Lo! those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet).

3:69.| A party of the People of the Scripture long to make you go astray…

[3:69]. This was revealed about Mu‘adh ibn Jabal and Hudhayfah [ibn al-Yaman] and ‘Ammar ibn Yasir when the Jews called them to embrace their religion. This story has already been mentioned in Surah the Cow.

3:72.| And a party of the People of the Scripture say: Believe in that which hath been revealed unto those who believe…

[3:72]. Al-Hasan and al-Suddi said: “Twelve rabbis from the Jews of Khaybar and the town of ‘Uraynah conspired with each other, saying: ‘Pretend to join the religion of Muhammad at the beginning of the day and declare your disbelief in it at the end of the day. Say: ‘We have looked in our Scriptures and consulted our scholars and found that Muhammad is not genuine; it is clear to us now that he is lying and that his religion is false’. If you do this, his Companions will doubt their religion.

They will say: these are people of the Book and they are more knowledgeable than us. They will then abandon their religion and embrace yours’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse, thus informing His Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the rest of the believers”. Mujahid, Muqatil and al-Kalbi said: “This was revealed regarding the qiblah when it was changed toward the Ka‘bah.

The Jews found it hard to accept that they were opposed, and so Ka‘b ibn al-Ashraf and his companions said: ‘Believe in that which was revealed to Muhammad regarding the matter of the Ka‘bah, pray toward it at the beginning of the day and then disbelieve in the Ka‘bah and return toward your qiblah at the end of the day. They might then say: these are people of the Book and they know better than us. They might then return to our qiblah’. Allah, exalted is He, warned His Prophet from the scheming of these people and informed him about what they were conspiring; He revealed (And a party of the People of the Scripture say…)”..

3:77.| Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths…

[3:77]. Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Qadi informed us> Hajib ibn Ahmad> Muhammad ibn Hammad> Abu Mu‘awiyah> al-A‘mash> Shaqiq> ‘Abd Allah who reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Whoever makes an oath knowing well that he is lying in order to usurp the property of another Muslim, Allah will be angry with him when he meets Him”. Then al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays said: “By Allah, this was revealed about me.

There was a land between me and a Jew, but he denied that I was its owner. And so I took him to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, who asked me: ‘Do you have a proof?’ I said: ‘no!’ He then asked the Jew: ‘Will you swear [that the land is yours]?’ I said: O Messenger of Allah! If he swears that the land is his, I will lose my property. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths…)”.

This was narrated by Bukhari from ‘Abdan from Abu Hamzah from al-A‘mash. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Mihrajani informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Zahid> Abu’l-Qasim al-Baghawi> Muhammad ibn Sulayman> Salih ibn ‘Umar> al-A‘mash> Shaqiq> ‘Abd Allah who reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Whoever lies in his oath in order to usurp a property, Allah will be angry with him when he will meet Him”.

“Then Allah, exalted is He, revealed: (Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths…) up to the end of the verse. Al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays came and asked: ‘What is it that Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman is relating to you?’ We said: ‘Such-and-such’. He said: ‘This verse was revealed about me. I reported to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, a dispute that I had with another man and so he asked me: ‘do you have a proof’. I said: ‘No!’ He said: ‘Then the man should swear’. I said: ‘So let him swear’.

The Messenger, peace be upon him, said: ‘Whoever lies in his oath in order to usurp a property, Allah will be angry with him when he will meet Him’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths)’ ”. This was narrated by Bukhari from Hajjaj ibn Minhal from Abu ‘Awanah; and it was also narrated by Muslim from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah from Waki‘ and also from Ibn Numayr from Abu Mu‘awiyah; and all these narrators reported from al-A‘mash.

Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shadhyakhi informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Zakariyya> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Faqih> Muhammad ibn Yahya> ‘Abd al-Razzaq> Sufyan> Mansur and al-A‘mash> Abu Wa’il> ‘Abd Allah who reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

“No man makes a false oath to seize a property which does not belong to him except that Allah will be angry with him when he meets Him. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths…)”.

He said: “Then al-Ash‘ath came while ‘Abd Allah was in the process of relating to them the narration, and said: ‘This was revealed about me and another man with whom I had a dispute regarding a well. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked me: ‘Do you have proof [that this well is yours]?’ I replied that I did not. He said: ‘Then let the man swear for you’.

I said: ‘Let him swear’. And then the verse (Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths) was revealed’ ”. ‘Amr ibn Abu ‘Amr al-Muzakki informed us> Muhammad ibn al-Makki> Muhammad ibn Yusuf> Muhammad ibn Isma‘il Bukhari>

‘Ali ibn ‘Abd Allah> Hushaym> al-‘Awwam ibn Hawshab> Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman> ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Awfa who reported that a man was selling a merchandise in the market place and swore that he was selling it for a price lower than the price with which he bought it, just to make one Muslim man buy it from him. As a result of which, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Lo! those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths…).

Said al-Kalbi: “Due to scarcity of foodstuff, some poor Jewish scholars went to seek help from Ka‘b ibn al-Ashraf in Medina. Ka‘b asked them: Is there anything in your Scripture which indicates that this man is Allah’s Messenger?’ They said: ‘Yes! Do you not find the same?’ He said: ‘No, I don’t!’ They said: ‘Well, we bear witness that he is Allah’s servant and Messenger’. Ka‘b said: ‘Allah has deprived you of much good, you came to me and I really wanted to be good to you and to clothe your dependents.

But Allah has deprived you and deprived your dependents’. They said: ‘We only thought that he is the man. Give us some respite until we meet him’. They went and wrote down a description which was different than that of the Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace, as was in their Scripture]. After which they met the Prophet of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, spoke with him and asked him some questions. They went back to Ka‘b and said: ‘We had thought that he was Allah’s Messenger but when we met him we realised that he does not fit the description that we had and found that  his description is different’. They got out the new description which they wrote down and showed it to Ka‘b. Ka‘b was very happy with them.

He fed them and spent on them. Because of this Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Said ‘Ikrimah: “This verse was revealed about Rafi‘ and Kinanah ibn Abu’l-Huqayq as well as Huyayy ibn Akhtab, and other Jewish chiefs. They had concealed Allah’s covenant with them in the Torah regarding Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, which they had changed with their own hands and wrote instead something different in order not to miss the gains and earning they procured from their followers”.

3:79.| It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture…

[3:79]. Al-Dahhak and Muqatil said: “This was revealed about the Christians of Najran due to their worship of Jesus. His saying (…for any human being…) refers to Jesus and (…had given the Scripture…) refers to the Gospel”. And according to the narration of al-Kalbi and ‘Ata’, Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Abu Rafi‘ the Jew and the head of the Christians of Najran said: ‘O Muhammad! Do you want us to worship you and take you as our Lord?’

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Allah forbid that other than Allah Himself be worshipped or that we be commanded to worship other than Allah. This is not what Allah has sent me for nor did He command me with this’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Said al-Hasan: “I heard that a man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! [Is it enough that] we greet you as we greet each other? Should we not prostrate to you?’ He said: ‘One ought not to prostrate to anyone besides Allah. Rather, do honour your Prophet, and give people their due’.

Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”.

3:83.| Seek they other than the religion of Allah…

[3:83]. Said ibn ‘Abbas: “The people of the two Scriptures [the Jews and the Christians] went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to settle a dispute regarding Abraham’s religion, for one of these parties claimed that they had the best claim to his religion. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘None of the parties has anything to do with the religion of Abraham’. But this statement angered both parties.

They said: ‘By Allah, we do not accept your judgement nor are we going to follow your religion!’ Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (Seek they other than the religion of Allah…)”.

3:86.| How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief…

[3:86]. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu Muhammad ibn Hayyan> Abu Yahya ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman> ‘Ali ibn ‘Asim> Khalid and Dawud> ‘Ikrimah> Ibn ‘Abbas who reported that a man from the Helpers renounced his religion and joined the idolaters, and Allah, exalted is He, revealed (shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief) up to His saying (Save those who afterward repent…) (3:89).

His people sent him these verses and when they were read to him, he said: “By Allah, my people are not telling a lie about the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, nor is the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, telling a lie about Allah. By Allah, I will believe all three”, and he went back repentant. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, accepted his repentance and let him be. Abu Bakr informed us> Abu Muhammad> Abu Yahya> Sahl> Yahya ibn Abi Za’idah> Dawud ibn Abi Hind> ‘Ikrimah> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “A certain man from the Helpers renounced Islam and joined idolatry.

He later regretted this and sent to his people to ask the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, whether his repentance would be accepted since he regrets his apostasy. Allah, exalted is He, revealed (How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief) until His saying (Save those who afterward repent). When the man’s people sent him these verses, he came back and became Muslim”. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abu Hamid informed us> Abu Bakr ibn Zakariyya> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Faqih> Ahmad ibn Sayyar> Musaddid ibn Musarhad> Ja’far ibn Sulayman> Hamid al-A’raj> Mujahid who said: “Al-Harith ibn Suwayd was a Muslim.

He was with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. But he later renounced Islam and joined his own people. Then Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief) up to His saying (Save those who afterward repent). A man from amongst his people took these verses and read them to him. Al-Harith said: ‘By Allah, I know that you are truthful, and I know that the Messenger of Allah, Allah, bless him and give him peace, is more truthful than you, and Allah, exalted is He, is more truthful than all’. He went back, declared his Islam and became a good Muslim”.

3:90.| Lo! those who disbelieve after their (profession of) belief…

[3:90]. Said al-Hasan, Qatadah and ‘Ata’ al-Khurasani: “This was revealed about the Jews who disbelieved in Jesus and the Gospel and added to their disbelief by disbelieving in Muhammad and the Qur’an”. And Abu’l-‘Aliyah said: “This was revealed about the Jews and Christians who disbelieved in Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, after they had believed in his attributes and description, and then added to their disbelief by remaining disbelievers”.

3:93.| All food was lawful unto the Children of Israel…

[3:93]. Said Abu Rawq and al-Kalbi: “This was revealed when the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘We follow the religion of Abraham’. The Jews responded to this by saying: ‘How can this be so when you eat the meat of camels and drink their milk’. He said: ‘That was lawful for Abraham and so we make it lawful too’. The Jews said: ‘Everything that we take for unlawful today was unlawful to Noah and Abraham and so on and so forth until our time’. To refute them, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (All food was lawful unto the Children of Israel…)”.

3:96.| Lo! the first Sanctuary appointed for mankind…

[3:96]. Said Mujahid: “The Muslims and the Jews boasted to each other; the Jews said: ‘Jerusalem is better and greater than the Ka‘bah because it was the land to which the Prophets had migrated and it is also sacred’; while the Muslims said: ‘No, the Ka‘bah is better’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.

3:100.| O ye who believe! If ye obey a party of those who have received the Scripture…

[3:100]. Abu ‘Amr al-Qantari informed me, among other things he gave me authorisation to relate from him> Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Haddadi> Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Khalid> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> al-Mu’ammil ibn Isma‘il> Hammad ibn Yazid> Ayyub> ‘Ikrimah who said: “The two tribes of the Aws and Khazraj had fought each other in the pre-Islamic period and upon the advent of Islam, Allah, exalted is He, united their hearts and had peace with each other.

One day, a Jew sat in an assembly of mixed people which belonged to the Aws and Khazraj. He recited some poetry which was composed by one of the tribes during their war against each other. Something stirred within the people of the other tribe, and so they said: ‘Our poet has said this and that about such-and-such a battle’. The others replied by saying: ‘And our poet has said this and that about such-and-such a battle’. Suddenly some of them said: ‘Let us start war all over again!’ Those who belonged to the tribe of Aws cried: ‘O people of Aws!’ and those who belonged to the tribe of Khazraj cried: ‘O people of Khazraj!’ They all gathered up, took up arms and aligned themselves ready for to engage in battle. At this point, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, went and stood between the two armies, read this verse and raised his voice in the process. When they heard his voice, they stopped talking and listened to him. When he finished his recitation, they all dropped their weapons and embraced one another, crying”. Said Zayd ibn Aslam: “Shas ibn Qays, the Jew, was an old man who grew up in the pre-Islamic period. He was a great disbeliever. His hate for the Muslims was extreme and his resentful envy toward them was intense.

One day, he passed by a group of Companions of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, from the Aws and the Khazraj who were gathered in an assembly and talking, and was infuriated to see their unity, friendliness and reconciliation when they were enemies in the pre-Islamic period. He said: ‘The people of Banu Qaylah have united in this land. By Allah, we have no abode with them if they are united’. And so he instructed a youth who was with him, saying: ‘Go and sit with them and then remind them of the event of Bu‘ath and what happened before it and recite to them some of the poetry which they used to compose against each other’.

Bu‘ath was the day when the Aws fought against the Khazraj and the former emerged triumphant against the latter. The young man did as he was told which caused people to dispute with and boast to each other to the extent that two men from the two tribes — Aws ibn Qaydhi of the Banu Harithah clan of Aws and Jabbar ibn Sakhr of the Banu Salamah clan of the Khazraj — exchanged words and one of them said to the other: ‘If you wish, by Allah, we will do it all over again’. Both camps got very angry and said: ‘It’s done! War is declared, and let us meet at al-Zahirah’, a volcanic area toward which they headed.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, heard of this and went straight to them accompanied by a group of Emigrants who were with him. When he got there, he said: ‘O Muslims! You fight because of the call of pagan ignorance, even though I am still in your midst, and Allah has honoured you with Islam by means of which he severed from you the whole matter of pagan ignorance and united your hearts.

Will you then revert to that which you used to do when you were disbelievers? Allah! Allah!’ People realised straightaway that what they were about to do was of Satan’s incitement and of the plotting of their enemies. They dropped their weapons, wept and embraced each other, and then left the scene with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, submissive and compliant. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, then revealed (O ye who believe!) meaning the Aws and the Khazraj (If ye obey a party of those who have received the Scripture) i.e.

Shas and his followers (they will make you disbelievers after your belief)”. Said Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah: “No one who had ever shown himself to us was more disliked than the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. He gestured to us with his hand and we stopped and Allah, exalted is He, reconciled us. Then no one was more beloved to us than the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. Never have I seen a day whose start was so ugly and monstrous and whose end was as good as that particular day”.

3:101.| How can ye disbelieve….

[3:101]. Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Hiri informed us> Muhammad ibn Ya’qub> al-‘Abbas al-Duri> Abu Nu’aym al-Fadl ibn Dukayn> Qays ibn al-Rabi’> al-Agharr> Khalifah ibn Husayn> Abu Nasr> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “The Aws and the Khazraj had a feud in the pre-Islamic period. One day, they mentioned to each other what had happened in that period and this led them to brandish their swords at each others.

Upon being informed of what was happening, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went to them and this verse was revealed (How can ye disbelieve, when it is ye unto whom Allah’s revelations are recited, and His messenger is in your midst?) up to His saying (And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate) [3:103]”.

Al-Sharif Isma’il ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Naqib informed us> his grandfather Muhammad ibn al-Husayn> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Hafiz> Hatim ibn Yunus al-Jurjani> Ibrahim ibn Abi al-Layth> al-Ashja’i> Sufyan> Khalifah ibn Husayn> Abu Nasr>

Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “The Aws and the Khazraj were one day talking and became angry with each other to the extent that war nearly broke out between them. They had taken arms and marched toward each other. Then the verse (How can ye disbelieve, when it is ye unto whom Allah’s revelations are recited) up to His saying (He did save you from it…)”.

3:110.| Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind…

[3:110]. ‘Ikrimah and Muqatil said: “This was revealed about [‘Abd Allah] Ibn Mas‘ud, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b, Mu‘adh ibn Jabal and Salim, the client of Abu Hudhayfah. Malik ibn al-Dayf and Wahb ibn Yahudha, both of them Jews, had said to them: ‘Our religion is better than that to which you call us; and we are also more virtuous and better than you’. And Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse as a response to them”.

3:111.| They will not harm you save a trifling hurt…

[3:111]. Said Muqatil: “The Jewish chieftains Ka‘b, Bahra, al- Nu‘man, Abu Rafi‘, Abu Yasir and Ibn Surya went to ‘Abd Allah ibn Salam and his followers, who had believed, and hurt them because of their acceptance of Islam and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.

3:113.| They are not all alike…

[3:113]. Ibn ‘Abbas and Muqatil said: “When ‘Abd Allah ibn Salam, Tha‘labah ibn Sa‘yah, Usayd ibn Sa‘yah, Asad ibn ‘Ubayd and other Jews embraced Islam, the Jewish rabbis said: ‘Only the evil amongst us believed in Muhammad, for had they been among our best they would not have abandoned the religion of their forefathers’. They also said to them: ‘You incurred a great loss when you have exchanged the religion of your forefathers with another religion’.

Allah then revealed this verse (They are not all alike)”. Said Ibn Mas‘ud: “This was revealed regarding the nightfall prayer which is performed by the Muslims but not by the people of the Book”. Abu Sa‘id Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Ghazi informed us> Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Hiri> Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Muthanna> Abu Khaythamah> Hashim ibn al-Qasim> Shayban> ‘Asim> Zirri>

Ibn Mas‘ud who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, delayed the time of the nightfall prayer. When he came out to lead the prayer, he found people waiting for the prayer. He said: ‘There is no one among the adherents of other religions who is remembering Allah, exalted is He, at this hour except you’. And Allah, exalted is He, revealed these verses (They are not all alike.

Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season…) up to His saying (Allah is Aware of those who ward off (evil)) [3:115]”. Sa‘id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Nuh informed us> Abu ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Faqih> Muhammad ibn al-Musayyab> Yunus ibn ‘Abd al-A‘la> ‘Abd Allah ibn Wahb> Yahya ibn Ayyub> Ibn Zahr> Sulayman> Zirr ibn Hubaysh> ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud who said: “One night, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did not come out.

He was at one of his relatives or wives. He did not come to us to lead the night prayer until one third of the night had elapsed. When he came and found some of us lying down and some praying, he gave us the good news, saying: ‘None of the people of the book perform this prayer’. And the verse (They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him)) was revealed”.

3:118.| ‘O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk…

[3:118]. Ibn ‘Abbas and Mujahid said: “This was revealed about a group of believers who took some hypocrites as intimate friends and had ties with some Jewish men due to bonds of kinship, friendship, alliance, neighbourhood and milk relations which they had with them. Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse warning them against taking them as intimates for fear lest they turn them away from their religion”.

3:121.| And when thou settedst forth at daybreak from thy housefolk…

[3:121]. This was revealed about the Battle of Uhud. Sa’id ibn Muhammad al-Zahid informed us> Abu ‘Ali al-Faqih> Abu’l-Qasim al-Baghawi> Yahya ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Hammani> ‘Abd Allah ibn Ja’far al-Makhrami> Ibn ‘Awn> al-Miswar ibn Makhramah who said: “I said to ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf: ‘Uncle, tell me about what happened to you at Uhud?’ He said: ‘Read the first one hundred and twenty verses of Al ‘Imran you will find your answer: (And when thou settedst forth at daybreak from thy housefolk) up to His saying (Then, after grief, He sent down security for you…) [3:154]’ ”.

3:128.| It is no concern at all of thee…

[3:128]. Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tamimi informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Ja’far> ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad al-Razi> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman al-‘Askari> ‘Abidah ibn Humayd> Humayd al-Tawil> Anas ibn Malik who said: “On the day of Uhud, one of the molar teeth of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was broken and his face bled.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said while blood was running down his face: ‘How can a people ever succeed when they stain the face of their Prophet with blood while he is calling them to their Lord?’ And Allah, exalted is He, revealed (It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad) whether He relent toward them or punish them; for they are evil-doers)”.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Ghazi informed us> Abu ‘Amr ibn Hamdan> Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Muthanna> Ishaq ibn Abi Isra’il> ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad> Ma’mar> al-Zuhri> Salim> his father who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, cursed so and so from amongst the hypocrites at the dawn prayer.

But Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed (It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad) whether He relent toward them or punish them; for they are evil-doers)”. Narrated by Bukhari from Hayyan from Ibn al-Mubarak from Ma’mar; and also by Muslim from Thabit from Anas. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Farisi informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Isa ibn ‘Amrawayh> Ibrahim ibn Muhammad> Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj> al-Qa’nabi> Hammad ibn Salamah> Thabit> Anas who reported that at the Battle of Uhud the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, had a molar broken and head bashed in such that his blood was spilt.

When this happened, he said: “How can a people ever succeed who break his molar and bash in his head when he is calling them to their Lord?” And so Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed (It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad)). Abu Ishaq al-Tha’alibi informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid al-Wazzan> Abu Hamid ibn al-Sharqi> Muhammad ibn Yahya> ‘Abd al-Razzaq> Ma’mar> al-Zuhri> Salim> his father who heard the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, say at the dawn prayer upon raising his head from bowing:

“O Allah! Praise be to You; O Allah! Curse so and so”, he prayed against the hypocrites. And so Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed (It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad)). This was narrated by Bukhari through the channel of al-Zuhri from Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab, and the full report is better than this. The judge Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn al-Hasan informed us> Abu’l-‘Abbas Muhammad ibn Ya’qub> Bahr ibn Nasr> Ibn Wahb> Yunus ibn Yazid> Ibn Shihab> Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab and Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman> Abu Hurayrah who said:

“After finishing his recitation, bowing and then standing upright, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to say: ‘Allah hears whoever praises Him and our Lord all praise belongs to You’, then he would say while still standing in prayer: ‘O Allah! Save al-Walid ibn al-Walid, Salamah ibn Hisham, ‘Ayyash ibn Abi Rabi’ah and the downtrodden believers. O Allah! Tighten Your grip on Mudar, and make their years like the years of Joseph.

‘O Allah! Curse Lihyan, Ri’l and Dhakwan as well as ‘Usayyah, they disobeyed Allah and His Messenger’. But then we heard that he stopped making this supplication when this verse was revealed (It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad) whether He relent toward them or punish them; for they are evil-doers)”. This was narrated by Bukhari from Musa ibn Isma’il from Ibrahim ibn Sa’d from al-Zuhri.

3:135.|And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah.

[3:135]. ‘Ata’ reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “This was revealed about Nabhan, the seller of dates. A beautiful woman came to buy dates from him. He hugged and kissed her but then he regretted his action. He went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and mentioned what he did.

This verse was then revealed”. And he said, according to the narration of al-Kalbi: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, tied two men, one from the Helpers and one from Thaqif, with the bond of brotherhood and they were inseparable. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went out one day to one of his military expeditions and the man from Thaqif accompanied him, leaving his wife and business under the care of the Helper who used to look after the family of the man from Thaqif.

One day he saw the wife of his friend who had just finished having a bath, with her hair spread, and he fell for her. He entered in on her without asking permission and leaned to kiss her but she put her hand on her face such that he kissed the outside of her hand. But then he regretted what he had done, felt the shame of his action and retreated. Upon his retreat, his friend’s wife exclaimed: ‘Glory be to Allah! You have betrayed your trust, disobeyed your Lord and failed to get what you desired!’ Regretting his action, the man went wandering in the mountains, to repent to Allah, exalted is He, from his action.

When the man from Thaqif returned to his family, she informed him of what had happened. He went out looking for his friend until somebody told him where to find him. He found him in prostration, saying: ‘My Lord, my sin! My sin! I have betrayed my brother!’ His friend said: ‘O so-andso come let us go to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and ask him about your sin, haply Allah will ease your situation and relent on you’. And so he went back with him until they reached Medina one day, at the time of ‘Asr prayer and Gabriel, peace be upon him, brought down the news of the acceptance of his repentance.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, recited to him (And those who, when they do an evil thing) up to His saying (a bountiful reward for workers!). When he finished ‘Umar [ibn al-Khattab] asked: ”O Messenger of Allah! This applies specifically to him or is it to all people?’ The Messenger said: ‘No, it applies to all’ ”.

Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Marwazi informed me> Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Haddadi> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> Rawh> Muhammad> his father> ‘Ata’ who reported that the Muslims asked the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace: “Are the Children of Israel more honoured in the sight of Allah than us? When one of them committed a sin, he found the following morning, written on his door step, what he should do to expiate his sin, ‘cut off your nose’, ‘cut off your ear’, ‘do this or do that’.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, did not respond. But then this verse was revealed (And those who, when they do an evil thing) upon which the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Shall I not inform you of that which is better than all of that’, and he recited this verse”.

3:139.| Faint not nor grieve…

[3:139]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Companions of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, were defeated at the Battle of Uhud. As they were in this situation, Khalid ibn al-Walid came forward leading a group of horsemen from the idolaters intending to climb over the hill to gain position of height over the Muslims.

When he saw what was happening, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘O Allah! Make that they are not above us. O Allah! We have no strength or might except through You. O Allah! No one worships You in this land except this group’. Allah then revealed these verses. A group of Muslim marksmen took the initiative, climbed the hill and targeted the horses of the idolaters until they defeated them, hence His saying (for ye will overcome them…)”.

3:140.| If ye have received a blow, the (disbelieving) people have received a blow the like thereof.

[3:140]. Said Rashid ibn Sa’d: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, returned from Uhud, sad and dejected, women whose husbands and sons were killed went to him crying and slapping their faces. Seeing this, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, exclaimed: ‘Is this how Your Messenger is treated?’ And Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (If ye have received a blow, the (disbelieving) people have received a blow the like thereof)”.

3:144.| Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him.

[3:144]. Said ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi: “In the Battle of Uhud, people ran away and some of them said: ‘Muhammad has been killed, why not surrender to them, they are your brothers after all?’ But some said: ‘If Muhammad is killed, why do you not continue what your Prophet was doing until you join him?’

Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him) up to His saying (And with how many a prophet have there been a number of devoted men who fought (beside him). They quailed not for aught that befell them in the way of Allah, nor did they weaken… So Allah gave them the reward of the world…)”.

3:151.| We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.

[3:151]. Said al-Suddi: “After Uhud, Abu Sufyan and the idolaters headed toward Mecca. But after they traversed a certain distance, they felt regret, saying: ‘Evil is that which we have done! We massacred them such that none of them remained except those who fled from the battlefield and then we left them alone. Go back and exterminate them’. But when they decided to do so, Allah, exalted is He, cast terror in their hearts which made them decide against what they had resolved to do. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”.

3:152.| Allah verily made good His promise unto you…

[3:152]. Said Muhammad ibn Ka‘b al-Qurazi: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, returned to Medina after that with which they were afflicted at Uhud, some of his Companions said: ‘From whence did this come to us when Allah has promised us victory?’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (Allah verily made good His promise unto you) up to His saying (Some of you desired the world…), i.e. the marksmen who did what they did at Uhud”.

3:161.| It is not for any prophet to embezzle (an yaghilla)…

[3:161]. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Mutawwa’i informed us> Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Hiri> Abu Ya’la> Abu ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar ibn Aban> Ibn al-Mubarak> Sharik> Khusayf> ‘Ikrimah> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “Some red velvet acquired as booty from the idolaters at the Battle of Badr was unaccounted for, and some people said: ‘Perhaps it is the Prophet, Allah, bless him and give him peace, who took it’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (It is not for any prophet to embezzle (an yaghulla)).

Khusayf asked Sa’id ibn Jubayr: ‘Is it (It is not for any prophet to be embezzled (an yughalla))?’ He answered: ‘No, he can be embezzled and even killed’ ”. Abu’l-Hasan Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Najjar> Abu’l-Qasim Sulayman ibn Ayyub al-Tabarani> Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Yazid al-Narsi> Abu ‘Amr Hafs ibn ‘Umar al-Duri> Abu Muhammad al-Yazidi> Abu ‘Amr ibn al-‘Ala’> Mujahid> Ibn ‘Abbas who used to object against anyone who read (It is not for any prophet to be embezzled (an yughalla)) and used to say:

“How could he not be embezzled when he used to be killed? Allah, exalted is He, says (… and slew the Prophets wrongfully…) [3:112]. Rather the hypocrites accused the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, of taking to himself some of the booty, and Allah, exalted is He, revealed (It is not for any prophet to embezzle (an yaghulla))”. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Asfahani informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Asfahani> Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman> Waki’> Salamah> al-Dahhak who said:

“The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, sent some men in a reconnaissance patrol and he acquired some booty which he distributed on people while denying those who went in that reconnaissance patrol. When the latter came they said: ‘He has distributed the booty without apportioning anything for us’, as a result of which this verse was revealed (It is not for any prophet to embezzle (an yaghulla)) which was read by al-Dahhak as an yaghalla”.

Said Ibn ‘Abbas according to the narration of al-Dahhak: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, got possession of the booties of Hawazin at the Battle of Hunayn, one man cheated him by holding back a needle, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. And Qatadah said: “It was revealed when groups from amongst his Companions cheated”. Said al-Kalbi and Muqatil: “It was revealed when the marksmen left their positions on the day of Uhud because of the booty.

They said: ‘We fear that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, would say: whoever takes anything it belongs to him; and does not divide the booty as he did after the Battle of Badr’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Did you think that we would cheat you and not apportion for you’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. It was also reported from Ibn ‘Abbas that noble people called upon the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to apportion for them something from the booty, and so this verse was revealed.

3:165.| And was it so, when a disaster smote you…

[3:165]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “’Umar ibn al-Khattab related to me, saying: ‘The following year at the Battle of Uhud, they were punished for taking ransom in exchange for releasing the prisoners of the disbelievers. Seventy among them were killed, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, fled from fighting and his molar was broken and his skull smashed to the extent that blood flowed over his face. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (And was it so, when a disaster smote you) up to His saying (It is from yourselves…). He said: Because of the ransom you took’

3:169.| Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead…

[3:169]. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya> Abu Sa’id Isma’il ibn Ahmad al-Khilali> ‘Abd Allah ibn Zaydan ibn Yazid al-Bajli> Abu Kurayb> ‘Abd Allah ibn Idris> Muhammad ibn Ishaq> Isma’il ibn Abi Umayyah> Abu’l-Zubayr> Sa’id ibn Jubayr> Ibn ‘Abbas who reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “When your brothers were killed at Uhud, Allah placed their spirits inside green birds which go to the rivers of Paradise and eat of its fruits and reach to lamps hanging in the shade of the Throne.

When they tasted the wholesomeness of their food, drink and abode, they said: ‘Who would inform our brothers, on our behalf, that we are being provided in Paradise, so that they do not shy away from Jihad or shirk away from war?’ Allah, glorious and majestic is He, said: ‘I will inform them on your behalf’, and so He revealed (Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision)”. This was related by al-Hakim in his Sahih from ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Ghazi informed us> Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hamdan> Hamid ibn Muhammad ibn Shu’ayb al-Balkhi> ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah> ‘Abd Allah ibn Idris and he related the narration. This was narrated by al-Hakim> ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa al-Hiri> Musaddid> ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu’l-Shaykh al-Hafiz> Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Hadhdha’> ‘Ali ibn al-Madini> Musa ibn Ibrahim ibn Bashir ibn al-Fakih al-Ansari> Talhah ibn Khirash> Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah who said:

“The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, once looked at me and said: ‘I see that you are worried, what is wrong?’ I said: ‘My father was killed and left behind dependents and debts’. He said: ‘Shall I inform you: Allah has never spoken to anyone except from behind a veil but has spoken to your father face to face, without a veil or messenger in between, and He said to him: ‘My slave, ask and you shall be given’. He said: ‘I ask you to take me back to the life of the world so that I get killed again for Your sake’. Allah said to him: ‘It has already been decreed that they shall not go back to it’.

He said: ‘Then inform those whom I have left behind’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead)”. Abu ‘Amr al-Qantari informed me among what he narrated to me in writing> Muhammad ibn al-Husayn> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> Waki’> Sufyan> Salim al-Aftas> Sa’id ibn Jubayr who said regarding the verse (Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living):

“When Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr were killed at the Battle of Uhud and saw the good with which they were provided, they said: ‘If only our brothers knew what we were given of good so that that their desire for Jihad increases’. And so Allah, exalted is He, said: ‘I will inform them on your behalf’, and He revealed (Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living) up to His saying (… and that Allah wasteth not the wage of the believers) [3:171]”. Said Abu’l-Duha:

“This verse was revealed specifically about those who were killed at the Battle of Uhud”. And a group of Qur’anic commentators mentioned that this verse was revealed about the martyrs of the Battle of Bi’r Ma’unah whose story is well known; it was mentioned by Ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar in his book al-Maghazi. Others have mentioned that whenever the families of the martyrs tasted a blessing or sensed happiness, they felt some sorrow, saying: ‘We are enjoying blessings and happiness while our fathers, sons and brothers are in the graves’, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse to ease their sorrow and to inform about the state of their killed ones.

3:172.| As for those who heard the call of Allah and His messenger…

[3:172]. Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Muqri’ informed us> Shu’ayb ibn Muhammad> Makki ibn ‘Abdan> Abu’l-Azhar> Rawh> Abu Yunus al-Qushayri> ‘Amr ibn Dinar who reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, made a general call to arms after the Battle of Uhud, when the idolaters had departed, and seventy men answered his call and he went after the retreating army of the idolaters.

On his way back to Mecca, Abu Sufyan met a caravan from Khuza’ah and he said to them: “If you see Muhammad coming after me, tell him that we are in great numbers”. When the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, met them and asked them about Abu Sufyan, they said to him: “We saw him with a huge army whereas yours is very small; you will not be safe with him”. But the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, refused to listen to them and went after him.

But Abu Sufyan went ahead of him and entered Mecca. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (As for those who heard the call of Allah and His messenger) up to His saying (Fear them not; fear Me, if ye are true believers) [3:175]. ‘Amr ibn Abi ‘Amr informed us> Muhammad ibn Makki> Muhammad ibn Yusuf> Muhammad ibn Isma’il> Muhammad> Abu Mu’awiyah> Hisham ibn ‘Urwah> his father> ‘A’ishah who said to ‘Urwah [ibn al-Zubayr] regarding Allah’s saying (As for those who heard the call of Allah and His messenger):

“O my nephew! Your father, al-Zubayr, and grandfather, Abu Bakr, were among them. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, suffered that which he suffered at the Battle of Uhud, and after the idolaters had left, he feared their return, and so he said: ‘Who will go after them?’ He selected seventy men from amongst them, among whom were Abu Bakr and al-Zubayr”.

3:173.| Those unto whom men said: Lo! the people have gathered against you, therefor fear them…

[3:173]. Abu Ishaq al-Tha’alibi informed us> Abu Salih Shu’ayb ibn Muhammad> Abu Hatim al-Tamimi> Ahmad ibn al-Azhar> Rawh ibn ‘Ubadah> Sa’id> Qatadah who said: “This refers to the day of Uhud, following the deaths and wounds that the Muslims had suffered and after the idolaters, Abu Sufyan and his company, had left.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to his Companions: ‘Would a group gather for war for Allah’s sake and seek their enemy, for this is more prone to cause damage to the enemy and more likely to drive them away for a distance?’ A group set off, despite of what Allah knew of their extreme exhaustion.

When they reached Dhu’l-Hulayfah, the Bedouins and other people came to them, saying: ‘Abu Sufyan is going to attack you’, but they only said: ‘Allah is Sufficient for us! Most Excellent is He in Whom we trust!’ And so Allah, exalted is He revealed about them (Those unto whom men said: Lo! the people have gathered against you, therefor fear them) [3:173] up to His saying (… and Allah is of Infinite Bounty) [3:174]”.

3:179.| It is not (the purpose) of Allah to leave you in your present state…

[3:179]. Al-Suddi reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “The members of my community were shown to me in their forms, as they were shown to Adam, and I was informed about who would believe in me and who would disbelieve”. When the hypocrites heard this, they mocked him, saying: “Muhammad claims that he knows who would believe in him and who would not.

Yet, we are in his midst and he does not know us”, and so Allah revealed this verse. Said al-Kalbi: “The people of Quraysh said: ‘O Muhammad! You claim that whoever opposes you will go to hellfire and Allah would be angry with him whereas whoever believes in you will go to the Garden and Allah will be pleased with him. In that case, inform us about who would believe in you and who would not?’ And as a response, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. And Abu’l-‘Aliyah said: “The believers had asked about a sign by means of which they would differentiate between the believers and the hypocrites and so Allah. Exalted is He, revealed this verse”.

3:180.| And let not those who hoard up that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty think…

[3:180]. Most Qur’anic commentators are unanimous that this verse was revealed about those who refused to pay the poor-due (Zakat). ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi also related that Ibn ‘Abbas mentioned that this verse was revealed about the Jewish rabbis who concealed the description and prophethood of Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace. ‘Hoard up’ here means the concealment of knowledge which Allah, exalted is He, had bestowed upon them.

3:181.| Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said…

[3:181]. ‘Ikrimah, al-Suddi and Muqatil ibn Ishaq related that, one day, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq entered a Jewish place of study and found a group of Jewish people gathered around one of them called Finhas ibn ‘Azura, who was one of their doctors. Abu Bakr said to Finhas: “Fear Allah and embrace Islam, for by Allah you know well that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah who has brought the truth to you from Allah.

He is mentioned in your Torah; so believe and accept the truth and grant Allah a goodly offering and He will make you enter the Garden and multiply your reward”. Finhas responded: “O Abu Bakr, you claim that our Lord is asking us to lend Him our wealth. Yet, it is only the poor who borrow from the rich. And if what you say is true, it follows that Allah is poor and we are rich, for if He were rich He would not ask us to lend Him our wealth”. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, may Allah be well pleased with him, became very angry and struck the face of Finhas with a mighty blow.

He then said to him: “By Him in whose Hand is my soul, if it were not for the treaty between us, O enemy of Allah, I would have killed you”. Finhas went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: “O Muhammad! Look at what your companion has done to me”. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked Abu Bakr:

“What has driven you to do what you have done?” He said: “O Messenger of Allah, this enemy of Allah has said something very serious. He claimed that Allah is poor and they are rich. I therefore got angry for the sake of Allah and hit his face”. But Finhas denied that he ever uttered those words, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said…) to give the lie to Finhas and to confirm that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq said the truth.

‘Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir informed us> Abu ‘Amr ibn Matar> Ja‘far ibn al-Layth al-Ziyadi> Hudhayfah Musa ibn Mas‘ud> Shibl> Ibn Abi Najih> Mujahid who said: “This verse was revealed about the Jews; Abu Bakr, may Allah be well pleased with him, had struck the face of one of their men who said ‘Allah is poor and we are rich’ ”. Shibl commented: “I was informed that this man was Finhas the Jew, and it is also this man who said: (Allah’s hand is fettered) [5:64]”.

3:183.| (The same are) those who say: Lo! Allah hath charged us…

[3:183]. Said al-Kalbi: “This was revealed about Ka‘b al-Ashraf, Malik ibn al-Dayf, Wahb ibn Yahudha, Zayd ibn Tabuh, Finhas ibn ‘Azura and Huyayy ibn Akhtab who went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘You claim that Allah has sent you to us as a messenger and that He revealed a Scripture to you. Well, Allah has charged us in the Torah that we do not believe in any messenger who claims to have been sent by Allah until he brings us an offering which is devoured by fire. If you do that, we will believe in you’. And so Allah, exalted is He revealed this verse”.

3:186.| … and ye will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters…

[3:186]. Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Farisi informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamdun> Abu Hamid Ahmad ibn al-Hasan> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Abu’l-Yaman> Shu’ayb> al-

Zuhri> ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Ka’b ibn Malik> his father (one of three men whose repentance was accepted) who reported that Ka’b al-Ashraf, the Jew, was a poet who used his poetry to satirize the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and incite the disbelievers of Quraysh against him.

When the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, went to Medina, he wanted to be in good terms with all its people who were a mixture of Muslims, idolaters and Jews. The Jews and idolaters, however, used to harm him, and his Companions, a great deal. Allah, exalted is He, commanded his Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, to endure their harm, and it is about them that He, exalted is He, revealed (and ye will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters…).

‘Amr ibn Abi ‘Amr al-Muzakki informed us> Muhammad ibn Makki> Muhammad ibn Yusuf> Muhammad ibn Isma’il Bukhari> Abu’l-Yaman> Shu’ayb> al-Zuhri> ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr> Usamah ibn Zayd who informed him that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, mounted a donkey once, using a Fadakian piece of velvet as a saddlecloth, and had Usamah ibn Zayd follow behind him.

He was going to visit Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah who was ill, at the Banu’l-Harith ibn al-Khazraj. This was before the Battle of Badr. He passed by an assembly which included, among others, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. This was before the latter had accepted Islam.

This assembly included a mixture of Muslims, Jews and idolaters, the worshippers of idols. ‘Abd Allah ibn Rawahah was also in this assembly. When the cloud of dust, stirred by the movement of the beast, reached the assembly, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy covered his nose with his cloak and said: “Do not cover us with dust”. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, greeted them with the greeting of peace, stopped and climbed down his mount. He called them to Allah and recited to them some of the Qur’an.

Then ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy said: “O man, there is nothing more beautiful than what you had just said. And if it is true, we ask you not to annoy us in these assemblies of ours. Go back to your camp, and if somebody comes to you, then relate it to him”. ‘Abd Allah ibn Rawahah then said: “No, indeed, come and tell us about it in our own assemblies for we love it”. The Muslims, idolaters and Jews then started to throw insults at each others until they were on the verge of assaulting one another.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, kept calming them until they stopped. He then mounted his beast and headed toward Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah. When he entered in on him, he said: “O Sa’d, did you not hear what Abu Hubab (he meant ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy) said. He said this and that”. Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah said: “O Messenger of Allah, forgive him. For by Him Who has revealed the Scripture, Allah has brought the truth which he revealed to you, and the people of this city had reconciled and come together to support it as one solid bloc.

And so when Allah has driven away the enmity which existed between people by means of the truth which He bestowed upon you, his authority waned and this is why he said what he said”. Upon hearing this, The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, forgave him. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (and ye will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters…).

3:188.| Think not that those who exult in what they have given…

[3:188]. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ja’far informed us> Abu’l-Haytham al-Marwazi> Muhammad ibn Yusuf> Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari> Sa’id ibn Abi Maryam> Muhammad ibn Ja’far> Zayd ibn Aslam> ‘Ata’ ibn Yasar> Abu Sa’id al-Khudri who related that a group of hypocrites were in the habit of failing to join the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, whenever he set off for a military expedition.  But then they would come and apologize to him the moment he came back, swearing to him [about their sincerity] and wishing to be praised for that which they had not done. And so this verse (Think not that those who exult in what they have given…).

This was narrated by Muslim> al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Halwani> Ibn Abi Maryam. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shadhyani informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Zakariyya> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Daghuli> Muhammad ibn Jahm> Ja’far ibn ‘Awf> Hisham ibn Sa’id> Zayd ibn Aslam who related that Marwan ibn al-Hakam was one day, whilst he was the governor of Medina, with Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, Zayd ibn Thabit and Rafi’ ibn Khudayj. He asked: “O Abu Sa’id, regarding the saying of Allah, exalted is He, (Think not that those who exult in what they have given) and, by Allah, we do exult in what we give and like to be praised for what we have not done!”

Abu Sa’id replied: “This was not revealed about that. Rather, a group of people at the time of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, were in the habit of failing to join him and his Companions in military expeditions. Whenever a setback or something disliked befell the Muslims, they exulted in their failure to join them; but when something good happened to the Muslims, they liked to be praised for what they had not done”. Sa’id ibn Muhammad al-Zahid informed us> Abu Sa’id ibn Hamdun> Abu Hamid al-Sharqi> Abu’l-Azhar> ‘Abd al-Razzaq> Ibn Jurayj> Ibn Abi Malikah> ‘Alqamah ibn Waqqas who informed him that Marwan said to his chamberlain, Rafi’:

“Go to Ibn ‘Abbas and say to him: ‘If everyone who exults in what he does and likes to be praised for what he has not done will be chastised, then we will all be chastised’. Ibn ‘Abbas replied: ‘From whence did you get such an understanding? The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, summoned the Jews in one occasion and asked them about something which they concealed and informed him about something different.

They expected him to praise them for informing him about that which he asked them and exulted in their act of concealing that matter’. Ibn ‘Abbas then recited (And (remember) when Allah laid a charge on those who had received the Scripture (He said) Ye are to expound it to mankind…) [Al ‘Imran, 3:187]”. This was narrated by Bukhari> Ibrahim ibn Musa> Hisham and also by Muslim> Zuhayr ibn Harb> Hajjaj; both Hajjaj and Hisham narrated it from Ibn Jurayj.

Said al-Dahhak: “The Jews of Medina wrote to the Jews of Iraq and Yemen as well as to all the Jews of the earth whom they could contact: ‘Muhammad is not Allah’s Prophet, therefore hold fast to your religion and be unanimous about this’. Hence, they were unanimous in their disbelief in Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the Qur’an and they exulted in this fact.

They said: ”Praise be to Allah Who has united us and made it so we did not differ or leave our religion’. They also said: ‘We are the people of fasting and prayer as well as the friends of Allah’. This is why Allah, exalted is He, said (who exult in what they have given) i.e. in what they did (and love to be praised for what they have not done) i.e. for that which they had mentioned of fasting, prayer and worship”.

3:190.| Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth…

[3:190]. Abu Ishaq al-Muqri’ informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al-‘Anbari> Ahmad ibn Najdah> Yahya ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Humani> Ya‘qub al-Qummi Ja‘far ibn Abi al-Mughirah> Sa‘id ibn Jubayr> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “The people of Quraysh went to the Jews and said: ‘What are the signs that Moses brought to you?’ They replied: ‘His staff and white hand for people to see’.

Then they went to the Christians and said: ‘How was Jesus in your midst?’ They said: ‘He restored eyesight to the blind, healed the leper and brought the dead back to life’. The people of Quraysh then went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘Ask your Lord to turn the hill of al-Safa into gold’. As a consequence, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and (in) the difference of night and day are tokens (of His Sovereignty) for men of understanding)”.

3:195.| And their Lord hath heard them…

[3:195]. Isma’il ibn Ibrahim al-Nasrabadhi informed us> Abu ‘Amr Isma’il ibn Najid> Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Suwar> Qutaybah ibn Sa’id> Sufyan> ‘Amr ibn Dinar> Salamah ibn ‘Umar ibn Abi Salamah (a man from the Banu Salamah) who said: “Umm Salamah said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Allah has not mentioned women with regard to migration at all’, and Allah, exalted is He, revealed (And their Lord hath heard them (and He saith): Lo! I suffer not the work of any worker, male or female, to be lost. Ye proceed one from another)”. This was narrated by al-Hakim Abu ‘Abd Allah in his Sahih from Abu ‘Awn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Mahan> Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Yazid> Ya’qub ibn Humayd> Sufyan.

3:196.| Let not the vicissitude (of the success) of those who disbelieve, in the land, deceive thee…

[3:196]. This was revealed about the idolaters of Mecca. This is because they were living in comfort and ease, trading and enjoying themselves which led one believer to comment: “The enemies of Allah are enjoying that which we see of goodly life while we are dying of hunger and toil”, and as a result this verse was revealed.

3:199.| And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah…

[3:199]. Said Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah, Anas, Ibn ‘Abbas and Qatadah: “This was revealed about the Negus. When the latter died, Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, about his death on the same day he died. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to his Companions: ‘Go out and perform the prayer of the dead on one of your brothers who died in a different land’.

They asked him: ‘Who is he?’ And he told them it was the Negus. Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went out to the Baqi‘ and all that was between Medina and the land of Abyssinia was revealed to him such that he saw the bed of the Negus. He performed the prayer of the dead, uttering the expression Allahu akbar [Allah is the greatest] four times, and requested forgiveness for him. He then told his Companions: ‘Request forgiveness for him!’

The hypocrites commented: ‘Look at this one, performing the prayer of the dead on a foreign Christian Abyssinian whom he has never seen and who does not even follow his religion’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. Abu’l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf informed us> Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn Ja‘far ibn Matar (by dictation)> Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Sinan al-Wasiti> Abu Hani’ Muhammad ibn Bakkar al-Bahili> al-Mu‘tamir ibn Sulayman> Humayd> Anas who reported that the Prophet of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to his Companions:

“Get up and perform the prayer of the dead on your brother the Negus”. Some of them said to others: “He is asking us to pray on a non-believer from Abyssinia!” And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah…). Mujahid, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Zayd stated that this was revealed about all the believers of the people of the Book.

3:200.| ‘O ye who believe! Endure, outdo all others in endurance…

[3:200]. Sa‘id ibn Abi ‘Amr al-Hafiz informed us> Abu ‘Ali al-Faqih> Muhammad ibn Mu‘adh al-Malini> al-Husayn ibn al-Hasan ibn Harb al-Maruzi> Ibn al-Mubarak> Mus‘ab ibn Thabit ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr> Dawud ibn Salih who reported that Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman said: “O my nephew, do you know the occasion of this verse (O ye who believe! Endure, outdo all others in endurance…)”.

“No!” He answered. He said: “At the time of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, there were no ongoing military conquests in which one could engage. We only had to wait for the next prayer after performing the present one”. Narrated by al-Hakim Abu ‘Abd Allah in his Sahih from Abu Muhammad al-Muzani> Ahmad ibn Najdah> Sa‘id ibn Mansur> Ibn al-Mubarak.