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Towards Understanding the Quran
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 Surah Ali 'Imran 3:21-30 [3/20]
  
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
يَكْفُرُونَdisbelieve
بِـَٔـايَـٰتِin (the) Signs (of)
ٱللَّهِAllah
وَيَقْتُلُونَand they kill
ٱلنَّبِيِّــۧنَthe Prophets
بِغَيْرِwithout
حَقٍّright
وَيَقْتُلُونَand they kill
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
يَأْمُرُونَorder
بِٱلْقِسْطِ[with] justice
مِنَamong
ٱلنَّاسِthe people,
فَبَشِّرْهُمthen give them tidings
بِعَذَابٍof a punishment
أَلِيمٍpainful.
﴿٢١﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَThose
ٱلَّذِينَ(are) the ones who -
حَبِطَتْbecame worthless
أَعْمَـٰلُهُمْtheir deeds
فِىin
ٱلدُّنْيَاthe world
وَٱلْأَخِرَةِand (in) the Hereafter.
وَمَاAnd not
لَهُم(will be) for them
مِّنany
نَّـٰصِرِينَhelpers.
﴿٢٢﴾
أَلَمْ تَرَHave you not seen
إِلَى[to]
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
أُوتُواْwere given
نَصِيبًاa portion
مِّنَof
ٱلْكِتَـٰبِthe Scripture?
يُدْعَوْنَThey are invited
إِلَىٰto
كِتَـٰبِ(the) Book
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah
لِيَحْكُمَthat (it should) arbitrate
بَيْنَهُمْbetween them,
ثُمَّthen
يَتَوَلَّىٰturns away
فَرِيقٌa party
مِّنْهُمْof them
وَهُمand they (are)
مُّعْرِضُونَthose who are averse.
﴿٢٣﴾
ذَٲلِكَThat
بِأَنَّهُمْ(is) because they
قَالُواْsay,
لَن`Never
تَمَسَّنَاwill touch us
ٱلنَّارُthe Fire
إِلَّآexcept
أَيَّامًا(for) days
مَّعْدُودَٲتٍ‌ۖnumbered.`
وَغَرَّهُمْAnd deceived them
فِىin
دِينِهِمtheir religion
مَّاwhat
كَانُواْthey were
يَفْتَرُونَinventing.
﴿٢٤﴾
فَكَيْفَThen how (will it be)
إِذَاwhen
جَمَعْنَـٰهُمْWe will gather them
لِيَوْمٍon a Day -
لَّاno
رَيْبَdoubt
فِيهِin it.
وَوُفِّيَتْAnd will be paid in full
كُلُّevery
نَفْسٍsoul
مَّاwhat
كَسَبَتْit earned
وَهُمْand they
لَا(will) not
يُظْلَمُونَbe wronged.
﴿٢٥﴾
قُلِSay
ٱللَّهُمَّ`O Allah!
مَـٰلِكَOwner
ٱلْمُلْكِ(of) the Dominion,
تُؤْتِىYou give
ٱلْمُلْكَthe dominion
مَن(to) whom
تَشَآءُYou will
وَتَنزِعُand You take away
ٱلْمُلْكَthe dominion
مِمَّنfrom whom
تَشَآءُYou will,
وَتُعِزُّand You honor
مَنwhom
تَشَآءُYou will,
وَتُذِلُّand You humiliate
مَنwhom
تَشَآءُ‌ۖYou will.
بِيَدِكَIn Your hand
ٱلْخَيْرُ‌ۖ(is all) the good.
إِنَّكَIndeed, You
عَلَىٰ(are) on
كُلِّevery
شَىْءٍthing
قَدِيرٌAll-Powerful.
﴿٢٦﴾
تُولِجُYou cause to enter
ٱلَّيْلَthe night
فِىin
ٱلنَّهَارِthe day
وَتُولِجُand You cause to enter
ٱلنَّهَارَthe day
فِىin
ٱلَّيْلِ‌ۖthe night,
وَتُخْرِجُand You bring forth
ٱلْحَىَّthe living
مِنَfrom
ٱلْمَيِّتِthe dead,
وَتُخْرِجُand You bring forth
ٱلْمَيِّتَthe dead
مِنَfrom
ٱلْحَىِّ‌ۖthe living,
وَتَرْزُقُand You give provision
مَن(to) whom
تَشَآءُYou will
بِغَيْرِwithout
حِسَابٍmeasure.`
﴿٢٧﴾
لَّا(Let) not
يَتَّخِذِtake
ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَthe believers,
ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَthe disbelievers
أَوْلِيَآءَ(as) allies
مِن دُونِinstead of
ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ‌ۖthe believers.
وَمَنAnd whoever
يَفْعَلْdoes
ذَٲلِكَthat,
فَلَيْسَthen not he (has)
مِنَfrom
ٱللَّهِAllah
فِى[in]
شَىْءٍanything
إِلَّآexcept
أَنthat
تَتَّقُواْyou fear
مِنْهُمْfrom them,
تُقَـٰةً‌ۗ(as) a precaution.
وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ ٱللَّهُAnd Allah warns you
نَفْسَهُۥ‌ۗ(of) Himself,
وَإِلَىand to
ٱللَّهِAllah
ٱلْمَصِيرُ(is) the destination.
﴿٢٨﴾
قُلْSay,
إِن`Whether
تُخْفُواْyou conceal
مَاwhat
فِى(is) in
صُدُورِكُمْyour breasts
أَوْor
تُبْدُوهُyou disclose it -
يَعْلَمْهُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۗAllah knows it.
وَيَعْلَمُAnd He knows
مَاwhat
فِى(is) in
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِthe heavens
وَمَاand what
فِى(is) in
ٱلْأَرْضِ‌ۗthe earth.
وَٱللَّهُAnd Allah
عَلَىٰ(is) on
كُلِّevery
شَىْءٍthing
قَدِيرٌAll-Powerful.`
﴿٢٩﴾
يَوْمَ(On the) day
تَجِدُwill find
كُلُّevery
نَفْسٍsoul
مَّاwhat
عَمِلَتْit did
مِنْof
خَيْرٍgood -
مُّحْضَرًاpresented,
وَمَاand what
عَمِلَتْit did
مِنof
سُوٓءٍevil,
تَوَدُّit will wish
لَوْ[if]
أَنَّthat
بَيْنَهَاbetween itself
وَبَيْنَهُۥٓand between it (evil)
أَمَدَۢا بَعِيدًا‌ۗ(was) a great distance.
وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ ٱللَّهُAnd Allah warns you
نَفْسَهُۥ‌ۗ(against) Himself,
وَٱللَّهُand Allah
رَءُوفُۢ(is) Most Kind
بِٱلْعِبَادِto (His) [the] slaves.
﴿٣٠﴾


اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يَكۡفُرُوۡنَ بِاٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ وَيَقۡتُلُوۡنَ النَّبِيّٖنَ بِغَيۡرِ حَقٍّۙ وَّيَقۡتُلُوۡنَ الَّذِيۡنَ يَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ مِنَ النَّاسِۙ فَبَشِّرۡهُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَ لِيۡمٍ‏  اُولٰٓـئِكَ الَّذِيۡنَ حَبِطَتۡ اَعۡمَالُهُمۡ فِى الدُّنۡيَا وَالۡاٰخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُمۡ مِّنۡ نّٰصِرِيۡنَ‏  اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَى الَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوۡا نَصِيۡبًا مِّنَ الۡكِتٰبِ يُدۡعَوۡنَ اِلٰى كِتٰبِ اللّٰهِ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلّٰى فَرِيۡقٌ مِّنۡهُمۡ وَهُمۡ مُّعۡرِضُوۡنَ‏  ذٰ لِكَ بِاَنَّهُمۡ قَالُوۡا لَنۡ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ اِلَّاۤ اَيَّامًا مَّعۡدُوۡدٰتٍ​ وَغَرَّهُمۡ فِىۡ دِيۡنِهِمۡ مَّا كَانُوۡا يَفۡتَرُوۡنَ‏  فَكَيۡفَ اِذَا جَمَعۡنٰهُمۡ لِيَوۡمٍ لَّا رَيۡبَ فِيۡهِ وَوُفِّيَتۡ كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُوۡنَ‏  قُلِ اللّٰهُمَّ مٰلِكَ الۡمُلۡكِ تُؤۡتِى الۡمُلۡكَ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتَنۡزِعُ الۡمُلۡكَ مِمَّنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ​ ؕ بِيَدِكَ الۡخَيۡرُ​ؕ اِنَّكَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏  تُوۡلِجُ الَّيۡلَ فِى النَّهَارِ وَتُوۡلِجُ النَّهَارَ فِى الَّيۡلِ​ وَتُخۡرِجُ الۡحَـىَّ مِنَ الۡمَيِّتِ وَتُخۡرِجُ الۡمَيِّتَ مِنَ الۡحَـىِّ​ وَتَرۡزُقُ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ‏  لَا يَتَّخِذِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ اَوۡلِيَآءَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ​ۚ وَمَنۡ يَّفۡعَلۡ ذٰ لِكَ فَلَيۡسَ مِنَ اللّٰهِ فِىۡ شَىۡءٍ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَتَّقُوۡا مِنۡهُمۡ تُقٰٮةً  ؕ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسَهٗ​ ؕوَاِلَى اللّٰهِ الۡمَصِيۡرُ‏   قُلۡ اِنۡ تُخۡفُوۡا مَا فِىۡ صُدُوۡرِكُمۡ اَوۡ تُبۡدُوۡهُ يَعۡلَمۡهُ اللّٰهُ​ؕ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِؕ​ وَاللّٰهُ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏  يَوۡمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ مُّحۡضَرًا ۖۚ ۛ وَّمَا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءٍ ۚۛ  تَوَدُّ لَوۡ اَنَّ بَيۡنَهَا وَبَيۡنَهٗۤ اَمَدًاۢ بَعِيۡدًا ​ؕ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسَهٗ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ رَءُوۡفٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ ‏ 
(3:21) Give those who refuse to follow the directives of Allah, who slay the Prophets unjustly, and who slay those who enjoin justice, give them glad tidings of a grievous chastisement.19 (3:22) These are the people whose works have gone to waste in this world and in the World to Come.20 They have none to help them.21 (3:23) Have you not noticed those who have been given a portion of the Book? Whenever their learned men are summoned to the Book of Allah to judge the differences between them,22 a party of them turns away in aversion. (3:24) This is because they say: 'The fire of Hell shall not touch us except for a limited number of days.'23 The false beliefs which they have forged have deluded them in their faith. (3:25) How, then, will they fare when We shall gather them all together to witness the Day about (the coming of) which there is no doubt, and when every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has done, and none shall be wronged? (3:26) Say: 'O Allah, Lord of all dominion! You give dominion to whom You will, and take away dominion from whom You will, and You exalt whom You will, and abase whom You will. In Your Hand is all good. Surely You are All-Power-ful. (3:27) You cause the night to pass into the day and the day to pass into the night. You bring forth the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living, and You give sustenance to whom You will beyond all reckoning.'24 (3:28) The believers may not take the unbelievers for their allies in preference to those who believe. Whoever does this has nothing to do with Allah unless he does so in order to protect himself from their wrong-doing.25 Allah warns you to beware of Him for it is to Allah that you will return.26 (3:29) Say: 'Whether you conceal what is in your hearts or disclose it, Allah knows it. Allah knows what is in the heavens and in the earth and He has power over everything.' (3:30) The Day is approaching when every soul shall find itself confronted with whatever good it has done and whatever evil it has wrought. It will then wish there is a wide space between it and the Day! Allah warns you to beware of Him; He is most tender towards His servants.27

19. This is a sarcastic remark. Its purpose is to bring home to them that the misdeeds about which they are so jubilant, and which they regard as their proud achievements, will ultimately lead them to a painful end.

20. They have spent their efforts and energies in a manner leading to catastrophic results in this world and the Next.

21. No power can make these misdeeds either bear good fruit or prevent them bearing evil fruit. The powers upon which the wrong-doers rely for support in this world and in the World to Come will not be of any help to them.

22. They are asked to acknowledge the Book of God as the final arbiter in all matters, and to submit to its judgement, accepting as right whatever this Book holds to be right, and as wrong whatever it holds to be wrong. The Book of God referred to here is the Torah and the Injil, while the expression 'those who have been given a portion of the Book' refers to the Jewish and Christian religious scholars. (For the Quranic view of the Torah and the Injil see n. 2 above - Ed.)

23. These people considered themselves to be God's favourites and cherished the illusion that, regardless of what they did, they were bound to enter Paradise. They took the view that since they were believers, were descended from pious people, followed noble Prophets, and were disciples and admirers of holy men, Hell would not dare touch them. They also thought that even if they were thrown into Hell they would remain there for a few days only, to be purged of the impurity of the sins which had afflicted them, and would then be sent straight to Paradise. Such notions had made them so bold that even when they committed the most atrocious crimes and the most mortal of sins, and brazenly deviated from Truth and rectitude, their hearts remained utterly unmoved by the fear of God.

24. Those who disbelieved and disobeyed were seen to be prosperous, whereas the believers, with their devotion and loyalty to God, suffered all the deprivation, persecution and torment to which the Prophet and his followers were subjected around the year 3 A.H. The contrasting states of the two groups of men were the reverse of what would naturally be expected. This raised disturbing questions in people's minds about the underlying wisdom of this phenomenon. The verse conveys God's answer.

25. This means that it is lawful for a believer, helpless in the grip of the enemies of Islam and in imminent danger of severe wrong and persecution, to keep his faith concealed and to behave in such a manner as to create the impression that he is on the same side as his enemies. A person whose Muslim identity is discovered is permitted to adopt a friendly attitude owards the unbelievers in order to save his life. If he considers himself incapable of enduring the excesses to which he may be subjected, he may even state that he is not a believer.

26. One should not be overwhelmed by the fear of other human beings to the extent of losing the fear of God. Human beings can harm a man but the most they can do is to ruin his transient, earthly life. God, on the other hand, can subject him to everlasting torment. If one is constrained in extraordinary circumstances to resort to a prudent concealment of faith (taqiyah) in order to save one's life, this concealment should remain within reasonable limits. The most one is permitted to do is to protect one's life and property without jeopardizing either the interests of Islam or of the Muslim community as a whole, and without causing loss of life and property to other Muslims. One must never allow saving one's own life to lead to the propagation of unbelief at the expense of Islam and to the dominance of unbelievers over Muslims. Here the believers are warned that, no matter how dangerous the circumstances surrounding them, they cannot escape God's reproach if they give substantial aid to those rebelling against Him, and cause any harm to God's chosen religion, to the community of believers or to any individual believer. For, it is to God that one will ultimately return for reckoning.

27. It is out of sheer goodwill that God warns people against deeds likelyto have devastating consequences for them.