This is the first section of Surah ‘A1-` Imran, the third Surah of the Holy Qur’an. It will be recalled that at the end of the Surah Al-Fatihah a prayer for guidance to the straight path was made. After that, by be-ginning the Surah Al-Baqarah with الم ﴿١﴾ ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ (This Book which has no doubt in it), it was pointed out that the prayer made in Su-rah Al-Fatihah for guidance to the straight path has been accepted and Al¬lah Almighty has sent down this Qur’an which provides guidance to the straight path.
Then came many injunctions of the Islamic law tak¬en up briefly or in details. As a corollary to this, frequent mention was made of the hostility of the disbelievers and the need to confront them. Towards the end, this sequence was concluded with (Help us, then, against disbelieving people) – in the mode of prayer. Since the prayer was made in order that Muslims could confront and prevail over the disbelievers, it was in consonance with that prayer that, in the following Surah ‘Al-` Imran, the text deals with the modal¬ities of dealing with disbelievers, as well as, with the need to carry out Jihad against them, verbally and physically. This is, so to speak, an elaboration and extension of فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ (Help us, then, against disbelieving people).
A Summary of Meanings
These first five verses of Surah ‘Al-` Imran explain the doctrine of توحید tauhid, the Oneness of Allah, which is the basic point of difference between Islam and other religions and between a disbeliever and a true Muslim. Those who believe in the Oneness of Allah (and in all His prophets (عليهم السلام) are Muslims and those who do not so believe are known as disbelievers or non-Muslims.
Tauhid توحيد a consistent belief preached by all prophets (عليهم السلام)
Verse 2 gives a reported proof in some detail. The agreement of a large number of people on a certain principle from the very beginning of humanity may be taken as a natural proof of its reality, if they belong to different times and places, having no means of communicating with each other.
Keeping this in view, we see that Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) was the first prophet who presented the message of توحید tauhid before human be¬ings. That the message would remain effective after him through his progeny is not difficult to conceive. But, after a passage of time when the ways of the progeny of Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) shifted away from the original message, there comes Sayyidna Nuh (Noah) (عليه السلام) who calls people towards the same principle. After a long passage of time, Sayyidna Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq and Yaqub (عليهم السلام) born in Iraq and Syria rise with the same call. Then follow Sayyidna Musa, Harun and other prophets (عليهم السلام) in that order who all subscribe to the same principle of توحید tauhid and invite people to the same. Then, after another long passage of time, Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) rises with the same call. In the end, it is Sayyidna Muhammad al-Mustafa (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who graces the world with the common call of all prophets.
This is the golden chain of prophets from Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) to the Last of the Prophets (عليهم السلام) upto whose time some one hundred and twenty four thousand blessed prophets were born in different peri¬ods, speaking different languages, living in different countries. A11 of them told and taught the same truth. Most of them did not even have the chance to meet each other. They were in an age when, communica¬tion through writing was not in vogue, which could make it possible for one prophet to have access to the books and writings of another and might help him to pick up the call of the earlier prophets as his own. Instead, what happened is that everyone from among them ap¬peared centuries apart from each other, and had no source of informa¬tion about other prophets, except the revelation received by him from Allah Almighty. The consensus of such a large group of persons con¬sisting of not less than one hundred and twenty four thousand men of different times and places may be enough for establishing the princi¬ple, even regardless of their intrinsic trustworthiness. But when one looks at the personal qualities of the noble prophets, and at the high¬est possible standards of truth and justice set by them, one has to be¬lieve that their message is true and their call authentic.
It is narrated in some ahadith that some Christians came to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and engaged him in a conversation about religion. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، by the will of Allah, present¬ed these two verses as arguments confirming the Oneness of Allah. The Christians had no answer to refute them.
Lastly, while referring to the absolute power and wisdom of Allah Almighty, verse 6 invites one’s attention to the fact that Allah shapes all men and women in the wombs of their mothers according to His su¬preme wisdom which has created billions of men and women with clear distinguishable features establishing the identity of each individ¬ual distinct from all others. He is, therefore, the only One who should be worshipped.
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