Aal-Imran · Juz 3 · Qur'an Tafseer

Introduction – Surah Aal-Imran

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Order of Revelation: 89

Revealed in: Madinah

The words Aal-Imran mean the family of ‘Imran (Aal = family). ‘Imran was the maternal grandfather of Prophet ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam. The Surah is named so because from ayah 23 onward there is the mention of the story of Mariam [Lady Mary] ‘alayhi salaam and her son ‘Eesa [Jesus]. Therefore, the family of Aal ‘Imran.

The first eighty three ayaat of this Surah relate to a delegation from Najran that arrived in Madinah in the ninth year of Hijrah. The main purpose of this delegation was to ascertain if Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was truly the messenger of Allah. They asked him some questions that he answered correctly.

At the end of Surah Al-Fatihah, believers make a prayer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to guide them to the straight path and protect them from the path of those who angered Him and those who lost their way. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala opens the next Surah (Al-Baqarah) with the words, “That is a Book in which there is no doubt.” The prayer that the believers made in Al-Fatihah was accepted and in answer to that supplication Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala presented this Book to us. It carries many commands of the Islamic law such as prayer, fasting, charity, Hajj, relationships, marital life, divorce, annulment, retribution, qisas, loans and borrowing, usury and financial transactions. Whoever holds on to the Qur’an and adheres to its commands will be of those who are guided to the straight path. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of them, ameen.

Similarity between Surah Al-Baqarah and Surah Aal-Imran

Sural Al-Baqarah and Surah Aal-Imran are known as the twin sisters because of their similarities.

  • Virtues mentioned in ahadeeth: “Learn Surah Al-Baqarah and Aal Imran because they are two lights and they shade their people on the Day of Resurrection just as two clouds, two spaces of shade or two lines of (flying) birds.”
  • Length: They are both lengthy Surahs over one Juz
  • Both begin with Alif-Laam-Meem
  • Both the Surahs begin with the mention of revelation of the Qur’an. For example, in Surah Al-Baqarah it appears: “That is a Book in which there is no doubt.” Surah Aal-Imran states: “It is He Who has sent the Book to you with truth.”
  • Surah Al-Baqarah begins with the mention of three groups of the people: the believers, disbelievers and the hypocrites. Surah Aal-Imran, on the other hand, begins with the mention of two groups of the people: Rasikhoona fil ‘ilm [those firmly grounded in knowledge] and those who deviate.
  • In the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, we read the story of the creation of Prophet Adam ‘alayhi salaam. Surah Aal-Imran, begins with the story of the birth of ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam.
  • The first part of Surah Al-Baqarah, almost the entire Juz 1, addresses the Children of Israel [Jews], one of the People of the Book. Surah Aal-Imran, addresses the other group of the People of the Book – the Christians.
  • Not only is the beginning similar but their ending too is comparable. Both the Surahs end with supplications.
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم                
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]

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