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Sura 3
Aya 1

Chapter 3

The Family of Imran
Āl ʿImrān ( آل عمران )

200 verses • revealed at Medinan

»The surah that mentions that God has chosen The Family of Imran to inherit prophethood above the people of all the world (Imran was a common ancestor of Moses and Jesus). It takes its name from the expression “the House of ʿImrān” (āl-i ʿImrān) mentioned in verse 33. It begins by emphasizing that the Quran confirms the earlier scriptures and goes on to say later that the central tenet of faith is devotion to God (verse 19 ff.). The story of Zachariah, Mary, and Jesus is given in verse 35 ff. and the fact that Jesus was unfathered, just as Adam was created without a father, is accentuated. Aspects of the battles of Badr (year 2/624) and Uḥud (year 3/625) are described, especially the latter, where most of the early Muslims disobeyed the Prophet Muḥammad and were defeated. The surah first introduce the tension that arose between the Muslims and certain of the Jews and Christians (verse 65 ff. and verse 98 ff.), then closes by emphasizing the unity of faith and conduct between the Muslims and some of these People of the Book, explaining that these will have their reward from God (verse 199).«

The surah is also known as: The Family of Imraan, The House of Imran, The Imrans.

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

J. M. Rodwell: In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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الم

J. M. Rodwell

Verses 1-87 probably belong to the period between the battle of Bedr and Hej. 6.--Muhammad supposed Imran or Amran to be the father of the Virgin Mary (Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12)--Mary and Elizabeth to be sisters; who, with Jesus, John, and Zacharias, make up the family of Imran. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Muhammad is guilty of the anachronism of confounding Miriam with the Virgin Mary. On the other hand is the difficulty of conceiving that as the sequence of time and fact is observed with tolerable accuracy in regard to the main features of Jewish and Christian History, he should have fallen into so serious an error, or have so inadvertently adopted, as Mr. Muir supposes, the phraseology of his Jewish informants (amongst whom the only well-known Mary (Miriam) was the daughter of Imran and the sister of Moses) as to have overlooked the discrepancy in their respective dates. But it is possible that Muhammad believed, as some Muslim writers assert, that Miriam's soul and body were miraculously preserved till the time of Jesus in order to become Mary his mother. Certainly the Talmudists fabled that the Angel of Death and the worm of corruption had no power over Miriam. Comp. Babha Bathra, 17. Jos. Ant. iv. 4, 6.
ELIF. LAM. MIM.