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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 3 (Al-‘Imran - The Family of Amran) > Section 10 (Verses 92 to 101)



Section/Ruku 10 [Verses 92 to 101]: Ever-living testimony to the truth of Islam:
Chapter 3: (Al-‘Imran: The Family of Amran)
(Revealed at Madinah: 20 sections; 200 verses)

1. Translation:

You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend out of what you love. And what you spend, Allah surely knows it.a

93 All food was lawful to the Children of Israel,a before the Torahwas revealed, except that which Israel forbade himself. Say: Bring the Torah and read it, if you are truthful.b

94 So whoever forges a lie against Allah after this, these are the wrongdoers.

95 Say: Allah speaks the truth; so follow the religion of Abraham, the upright one. And he was not one of the polytheists.

96 Certainly the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakkah,a blessed and a guidance for the nations.b

97 In it are clear signs: (It is) the Place of Abraham; and whoever enters it is safe; and pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men owe to Allah — whoever can find a way to it.a And whoever disbelieves, surely Allah is above need of the worlds.

98 Say: O People of the Book, why do you disbelieve in the messages of Allah? And Allah is a witness of what you do.

99 Say: O People of the Book, why do you hinder those who believe from the way of Allah, seeking (to make) it crooked, while you are witnesses? And Allah is not heedless of what you do.a

100 O you who believe, if you obey a party from among those who have been given the Book, they will turn you back as disbelievers after your belief.

101 And how can you disbelieve while to you are recited the messages of Allah, and among you is His Messenger? And whoever holds fast to Allah, he indeed is guided to a right path.

2. Commentary:

92a. The connection with the last verse is clear. No wealth will buy redemption for a man if he has wasted his opportunity here, and to make the best of that opportunity a man must spend here what he loves most. Attention is thus called to the sacrifices which it was necessary for the Muslims to make. [Back to verse 92]

93a. The Jews objected to the Muslims making use of certain foods which the law of Moses did not allow. An answer is given here that such foods were lawful for Abraham and his descendants, and Islam agreed in principle with the religion of Abraham. By all food is meant all food made lawful for Muslims. [Back to verse 93]

93b. What was that which Israel forbade himself? The commentators say it was camel’s flesh. Camel’s flesh was, no doubt, forbidden to the Israelites (Lev.11: 4) as were several other things which were lawful for Muslims. Elsewhere, after mentioning the foods prohibited to the Israelites in particular, it is added: “This was a punishment We gave them on account of their rebellion” (6:146). So that which Israel forbade himself was, in fact, that which was made unlawful for the Israelites on account of their rebellious attitude towards Moses. Israel thus stands here for the Israelite nation. As regards their rebellious attitude, see 5:21–26, where it is explained that when they refused to follow Moses into the Holy Land they were made to wander about in the wilderness for forty years. The camel here was a necessity of life for them to carry them and their burdens from place to place. [Back to verse 93]

96a. Bakkah is the same as Makkah (R) from tabakk meaning the crowding together of men (Rz). Others say it is from a root meaning the breaking of the neck, and the name is given to it because whenever a tyrant forced his way to it, his neck was broken (Rz). Some think that Bakkah is the name of the mosque or the House itself that is in Makkah. The Jews and the Christians are told that the Temple at Jerusalem was erected long after Abraham, while the Holy House at Makkah was there even before Abraham, and was, in fact, the first House on earth for the worship of the Divine Being. The subject has been fully discussed in 2:125a. [Back to verse 96]

96b. If, on the one hand, Makkah is declared to be the first House raised on earth for the worship of the Divine Being, it is, on the other, announced to be mubarak, which word, though ordinarily rendered as blessed, signifies the continuance for ever of the blessings which a thing possesses, or that from which extensive good flows (LA).

Thus Makkah is the first spiritual centre that was appointed for men, and it is the ultimate spiritual centre for the whole of humanity. [Back to verse 96]

97a. The clear signs in Makkah as enumerated here, are three, and these, in fact, are three prophecies with regard to the future of Makkah. The first sign is that it is the Place of Abraham which has already been declared to be the Muslim centre (2:125b). Hence the first prophecy is that the doctrine of the Unity of the Diving Being will be proclaimed to the whole world from this centre. The second sign is that Makkah will always be secure, i.e., it shall not fall into the hands of an enemy who should destroy it. There is a saying of the Prophet to the effect that the Antichrist and the plague will not enter Makkah and Madinah (B. 29:9). Thus its security is assured both physically and spiritually. The third prophecy is that a pilgrimage to the Sacred House shall continue to be made for ever, and no power in the world shall ever be able to put a stop to it. The most striking fact about these prophecies is that they were all announced at a time when the Prophet and his followers had apparently been driven away for ever from the Sacred Place, when that place was in the exclusive possession of an enemy who did not allow the Muslims to visit the place even during the sacred months, and when the small Muslim community was in danger of being utterly destroyed by that powerful enemy at any moment. It may be added here that the pilgrimage to the Sacred House is not an unconditional obligation; it is incumbent only on those who are able to undertake a journey to it. [Back to verse 97]

99a. The Jews and the Christians had secretly joined hands with the idolaters of Arabia to crush Islam. [Back to verse 99]


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Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 3 (Al-‘Imran - The Family of Amran) > Section 10 (Verses 92 to 101)

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