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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 9 (Verses 81 to 91)


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Section/Ruku 9 [Verses 81 to 91]: Covenant of the Prophets:
Chapter 3: (Al-‘Imran: The Family of Amran)
(Revealed at Madinah: 20 sections; 200 verses)

1. Translation:

81 And when Allah made a covenant through the prophets: Certainly what I have given you of Book and Wisdom — then a Messenger comes to you verifying that which is with you, you shall believe in him, and you shall aid him. He said: Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? They said: We do affirm. He said: Then bear witness, and I (too) am of the bearers of witness with you.
a

82 Whoever then turns back after this, these are the transgressors.

83 Seek they then other than Allah’s religion? And to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned.a

84 Say: We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit.

85 And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.a

86 How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing, and (after) they had borne witness that the Messenger was true, and clear arguments had come to them? And Allah guides not the unjust people.a

87 As for these, their reward is that on them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men, all together —

88 Abiding therein. Their chastisement shall not be lightened, nor shall they be respiteda

89 Except those who repent after that and amend, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

90 Those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in disbelief, their repentance is not accepted, and these are they that go astray.a

91 Those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, the earth full of gold will not be accepted from one of them, though he should offer it as ransom. These it is for whom is a painful chastisement, and they shall have no helpers.

2. Commentary:

81a. Mtthaq al-nabiyyin means literally the covenant of the prophets, and may therefore signify either the covenant of the prophets with Allah or the covenant of the prophets with their people. As the words that follow are plainly addressed to the people, the Jews and the Christians being particularly addressed in the last two verses, I adopt the latter interpretation, and therefore translate the words as meaning a covenant through the prophets. According to Kf: When Allah made the covenant which the prophets confirmed with their peoples. Both Moses and Jesus specially laid an obligation on their people to accept the prophet about whom they prophesied. Thus, through Moses, Almighty God had warned the Israelites, after promising them “a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee”, that “Whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require of him” (Deut. 18:19). And Jesus was equally emphatic when, prophesying the advent of the Comforter, he added: “He will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak” (John 16:13). As a matter of fact the Prophet had his advent foretold by all the prophets of the world. The New Testament bears testimony to this: “Whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you” (Acts 3:21, 22). The covenant referred to was made through each prophet separately as he appeared in the world. And just as all the prophets foretold the advent of the Prophet Muhammad and laid an obligation upon their people to accept him, so the Prophet Muhammad also taught his followers to believe in all the prophets that had appeared among different people in different ages, and this is stated in what follows. The truth of the first statement that all prophets foretold the advent of the Prophet Muhammad is borne out by the second statement that that Prophet would bear testimony to the truth of all the prophets of the world. [Back to verse 81]

83a. Compare 13:15, 22:18, etc., where it is said that all those who are in the heavens and the earth make submission to Allah. The verse, in fact, shows that Islam, or the rule of submission to Divine law, is a law which is seen working throughout nature, and this is an argument of the truth of the religion of Islam. [Back to verse 83]

85a. The cosmopolitan nature of the religion of Islam having been clearly set forth in the previous verse, it is now stated that anyone who refused to accept such a religion would unfailingly lose in the end. A Muslim accepts the whole truth; the truth as revealed to any prophet anywhere in the world; the followers of other religions accept only partial truth, the truth as revealed to them only, not truth as revealed to all mankind. [Back to verse 85]

86a. The persons meant are those who believed in the former prophets and disbelieved in the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Having clear signs of the Prophet’s truth with them, and professing a belief in the prophets who had foretold the advent of the last of the prophets, they still disbelieved in him. How should Allah guide a people who thus rejected guidance? [Back to verse 86]

88a. Instead of hell here it is the curse — remoteness from God — in which the guilty shall abide, and thus a light is thrown upon the nature of hell. [Back to verse 88]

90a. The persons spoken of here are the same as those spoken of in v. 86. They believed in the previous prophets but rejected the Prophet Muhammad. Their repentance is not accepted, because they show no signs of real repentance. They continued to oppose, and tried to annihilate, the Truth. [Back to verse 90]

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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 9 (Verses 81 to 91)


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