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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 11 (Verses 102 to 109)



Section/Ruku 11 [Verses 102 to 109]: Muslims exhorted to remain united:
Chapter 3: (Al-‘Imran: The Family of Amran)
(Revealed at Madinah: 20 sections; 200 verses)

1. Translation:

102 O you who believe, keep your duty to Allah, as it ought to be kept, and die not unless you are Muslims.

103 And hold fast by the covenant of Allaha all together and be not disunited. And remember Allah’s favour to you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it.b Thus Allah makes clear to you His messages that you may be guided.

104 And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And these are they who are successful.a

105 And be not like those who became divided and disagreed after clear arguments had come to them. And for them is a grievous chastisement.

106 On the day when (some) faces turn white and (some) faces turn black. Then as to those whose faces are black: Did you disbelieve after your belief? So taste the chastisement because you disbelieved.a

107 And as to those whose faces are white, they shall be in Allah’s mercy. Therein they shall abide.

108 These are the messages of Allah which We recite to thee with truth. And Allah desires no injustice to (His) creatures.

109 And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And to Allah are all affairs returned.

2. Commentary:

102a. The controversy with the People of the Book having come to an end, and the truth of Islam having been established, the Muslims are now exhorted, first to be individually conscious of the duty they owe to God (v. 102), and then to remain united in carrying the message of Islam to the whole world (v. 103). Every Muslim must live a life of true submission to God, so that when death comes to him it should find him a Muslim. As v. 104 shows, the Muslim’s great duty to which attention is called here is the carrying of the message of Islam to others. [Back to verse 102]

103a. The Arabic word for covenant is habl, which means primarily a rope or a cord, and hence a bond, a cause of union, a bond of love or friendship, a covenant or a compact by which one becomes responsible for the safety of a person or a thing (LL). By habl-Allah, or the covenant of Allah, is meant the Qur’an, a significance supported by two sayings of the Prophet, according to one of which the Book of Allah is the covenant (or rope) of Allah, and according to the other the Qur’an is the firm covenant (or rope) of Allah (AH). All Muslims, we are here told, should be united in holding fast to the Qur’an and carrying its message to other people. [Back to verse 103]

103b. Before the advent of the Holy Prophet, the Arabs were in a state of continual internecine warfare which threatened to devastate the whole country. As a modern writer says: “A more disunited people it would be hard to find, till suddenly, the miracle took place! A man arose who by his personality and by his claim to direct Divine guidance, actually brought about the impossible — namely, the union of all these warring factions” (Ins and Outs of Mespot, p. 99).

It should be noted that in Arabic literature and in the Qur’an, nar, or fire, is often a symbol of war. The Arabs used to kindle a .re as a sign that war was contemplated, so that the tribes should assemble. Hence the use of the word as implying war. In the Qur’an itself we read, “whenever they kindle a .re for war, Allah puts it out” (5:64). [Back to verse 103]

104a. The heated imagination of a Christian annotator sees a flash of “the sword” in these words. Compare 9:122: “And the believers should not go forth all together. Why, then, does not a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious?” Both verses, in fact, direct the Muslims to have always among them a missionary party, whose only object should be the propagation of Islam and rightly directing their own people. This is the most neglected injunction of the Qur’an in our day. Muslims have arrangements for all things but have no arrangements for inviting people to the great truth revealed in the Holy Qur’an. The word khair means good, and the Qur’an is called khair in 2:105. [Back to verse 104]

106a. By faces turning white is meant their being expressive of joy, and by their turning black, their being expressive of sorrow (R, LL). Az says you say a man is abyad (white) when you mean that he is free from dross and defects (T). [Back to verse 106]


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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 11 (Verses 102 to 109)

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