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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 7 (Verses 64 to 71)



Section/Ruku 7 [Verses 64 to 71]: Controversy with Jews and Christians:
Chapter 3: (Al-‘Imran: The Family of Amran)
(Revealed at Madinah: 20 sections; 200 verses)

1. Translation:

64 Say: O People of the Book, come to an equitable word between us and you, that we shall serve none but Allah and that we shall not associate aught with Him, and that some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah. But if they turn away, then say: Bear witness, we are Muslims.

65 O People of the Book, why do you dispute about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Do you not understand?

66 Behold! You are they who disputed about that of which you had knowledge; why then do you dispute about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows while you know not.a

67 Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian, but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim; and he was not one of the polytheists.

68 The nearest of people to Abraham are surely those who follow him and this Prophet and those who believe. And Allah is the Friend of the believers.

69 A party of the People of the Book desire that they should lead you astray; and they lead not astray but themselves, and they perceive not.a

70 O People of the Book, why do you disbelieve in the messages of Allah while you witness (their truth)?

71 O People of the Book, why do you confound the truth with falsehood, and hide the truth while you know?

2. Commentary:

64a. These are the very words occurring in a letter which the Prophet wrote to Heraclius in the year 6 A.H. (B. 1:1). Similar letters were written to several other potentates among whom was Muqauqis, the king of Egypt, and the discovery of the letter written to him furnishes proof of the reliability of the reports relating to the Prophet in general, for the manuscript letter contains the very words given in the Hadith. In this verse the Jews and the Christians are called upon to accept the broad principles of the faith of Abraham, which were also the basic principles of the faith of Islam. The reference in the sentence some of us shall not take others for lords is to the practice prevailing then both among Jews and Christians, and at present among Muslims too, to take religious leaders as invested with Divine powers, which is more clearly enunciated in 9:31: “They take their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah” (9:31). The verse under discussion lays down the basis of the study of comparative religion. Anyone who studies religious literature on a wide scale will find that the basic doctrines of Islam are the greatest common measure of the truth contained in different religions of the world. The doctrine of Unity as taught by Islam affords an illustration. All higher religions start on the basis of Divine Unity which is thus common to all, but then each religious system has its peculiarities unknown to all others. Islam alone is free from all these additions to the basic doctrine, and it preaches Unity in its simplest form and rejects all additions which are here classified as three: 1. Worshipping others than God and addressing prayers to them. 2. Associating anything with Him which consists in ascribing Divine attributes to others. 3. Taking others as Lords besides God which consists in rendering to others the perfect obedience which is due to God alone. There are no idols, no gods, no incarnations of the Divine Being, no sons of God, and finally no pirs and priests to be followed blindly. [Back to verse 64]

66a. The Christians held a controversy with the Prophet regarding Jesus Christ, of whom they had some knowledge, but about Abraham they had no detailed knowledge. The Jews invited people to a belief in the Torah and the Christians to a belief in the Gospel, but both these had lost the purity of the faith of Abraham which was pure monotheism, unmixed with either Jewish priesthood or Christian doctrine of sonship. This is made clear in the next verse. [Back to verse 66]

69a. Their machinations are described in the last verse of this section and the opening verses of the next section. [Back to verse 69]


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Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

Chapter 4: Al-Nisa’ (The Women)

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 7 (Verses 64 to 71)

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