Tadabbur Surah Al Imran

Ilustration (photo: Getty Images)

By Bahron Ansori, MINA Journalist

Surah Al Imran is the only letter in the Quran that has a family theme, namely Imran’s family. Imran is the father of the holy and noble woman Maryam, the mother of Prophet Isa.

Imran is not a prophet or apostle. But amazingly, he and his family really deserve to be role models for generations to come. Allah Ta’ala immortalized his name as one of the letters in the Quran.

In general, the content of Surah Ali Imran can be mapped into three parts. The first part, namely verses 1-22, describes the attributes of God. The second part, namely verses 23-99, tells of the Prophet Muhammad’s dialogue with the scribes about Prophet Isa and others. The third part, namely verses 100-200, explains the purpose of strengthening the faith of believers (Bitaqah al-Ta’rif bi Suwar al-Mushaf al-Sharif, p. 28).

Meanwhile, according to Izzah Darwazah, the three main themes of this surah are the dialogue between the Prophet Muhammad and the Najran Christians, the character and deceit of the Jews, and the war between Muslims and polytheists in the early days of Islam (al-Tafsir al-Hadith, 7/105 ).

Some of the contents of Surah Ali Imran are related to the contents of Surah Al Baqarah. Surah Ali Imran describes details of things that are only explained in outline in  Al Baqarah, such as the decline of the Quran and the retribution of the martyrs. The discussion in the two letters also complement each other, such as the discussion on usury and pilgrimage. Moreover, there is a close continuity between the end of Surah Al Imran and the beginning of Surah Albaqarah (Bitaqah al-Ta’rif, p. 26).

The priority of the surah Al Imran

There are several narrations that explain the other virtues of this sura, including,

من قرأ سورة آل عمران يوم الجمعة، صلَّت عليه الملائكةُ إلى الليل

“Who reads Surah Ali Imran on Friday, the angels will pray (pray and ask for forgiveness) for him until the evening.” (Narrated by al-Darimi, no. 3263).

In another statement it says,

من قرأ آخرَ سورةِ آلِ عمرانَ في ليلةٍ ، كُتِبَ له قيامُ ليلةٍ

“Who reads the end of Surah Ali Imran at night, will be written for him the reward of night worship.” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi, 4/2).

In another statement it was stated,

O Allah, the Most High, the Most High, the Most High The great name of Allah, which if used to pray, will be answered by his prayer, is in three surahs; surah Albaqarah, Al Imran, and Taha.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah, no. 3856).

Ibn Katsir explained, the great name of Allah in surah Al Imran is in the first two verses. The Quran and everything in it contains many virtues, one of which is contained in Ali Imran’s letter.

Quraish Shihab said surah Al Imran tells the story of Imran’s family, namely Prophet Isa, Yahya, Maryam and his mother. Imran is the father of Maryam, the mother of Prophet Isa. So, what virtues can be learned besides the wisdom of Imran’s family story?

First, surah Al Imran is a protector on the Day of Judgment. In a hadith narrated from Abu Hurairah it is said,

قَالَ الْبَزَار: حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مَنْصُوْر عَنْ أَبِيْ هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: اقْرَءُوْا الزَّهْرَوَيْنِ اقْرَءُوْا الْبَقَرَةَ وَ آل عِمْرَان فَإِنَّهُمَا تَأْ تِيَانَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كَأَنَّهُمَا غَمَامَتَانِ الحديث

“Al-Bazari said: tell us Ahmad bin Mansur… from Abî Hurairah said: Rasulullah SAW said: read al-zahrawayni, (namely) read surah al-Baqarah and sura Ali Imran because in fact these two surahs will protect you on the Day of Judgment like two clouds overshadowing…al-hadith.” (Narrated from Abu Hurairah, hadith Number 52).

Second, get used to reading this letter, including among the rich. It was narrated from Abdullah bin Mas’ud’s friend, he said,

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُوْ نُعَيْمٍ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْرَائيْلُ عَنْ أَبِيْ إِسْحَاق عن سَلِيْمُ بْنُ حَنْظَلَة الْبَكْرِيِّ قَالَ: قَالَ عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ مَسْعُوْدٍ مَنْ قَرَأَ آل عِمْرَانَ فَهُوَ غَنِيُّ وَالنِّسَاءُ مُحَبِّرَةٌ: قَالَ أَبُوْ مُحَمَّدٌ مُحَبِّرَةٌ مُزَيِّنَةٌ.

“Told us Abu Nu’aim, told us Isra’il, from Abi Ishaq, from Salim bin Hanzalah al-Bakri, said: said Abdullah bin Mas’ud ‘whoever reads Surah Ali Imran, then he is a rich man , and if a woman, she is an ornate person: Abu Muhammad said ‘Muhabbiran means an ornate woman.’ (Narrated by Ad-Darimi, No. 3261)

Third, practice for the poor as savings in the afterlife. This letter can be read during the evening prayer. As in the hadith,

حَدَّثَنَا الْقَاسِم بْنُ السَّلَامِ أَبُوْ عُبَيْدٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِيْ عُبَيْدِ اللهِ الْأَ شْجعي حَدَّثَنِيْ مسعر حَدَّثَنِيْ جَابِر قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقَعَ فِيْمَا وَقَعَ فِيْهِ عَنْ الشُعْبَى قَالَ: قَالَ عَبْدُ الله نعم كَنْزُ الصُّعْلُوْكِ سُوْرَةُ آل عِمْرَانَ يَقُوْمُ بِهَا فِيْ آخِرِ اللَّيْلِ

“Tell us Qasim bin Salăm, Abu ‘Ubaid said, told us Abdullah as-Syuja’i, told us Mus’ari, told us Jabir before it happened to him, from Syu’ba said: said Abdullah ‘as good as “The good practice of the poor is the Surah Ali Imran which he recites when he is about to pray at the end of the night.” (HR. ad-Darimi Number 3264)

Third, surah al imran contains ismul a’dzam which can grant prayers. In surah Ali Imran there is ismul a’dzam (Names of the Most Great Allah) which if we pray by saying that name, then the prayer we pray will be answered. As the Prophet Muhammad explained in the following hadith,

قَالَ الفَرْيابِيْ : حَدَّثَنَا هِشَام بْنُ عُمَارحَدَّثَنَا الوَلِيْد بْنُ مُسْلِم أَنَّا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ العلَاءِ بْنُ زَبِرأَنَّهُ سَمِعُ الْقَاسِم أَبَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمنِ يُحْدَثُ عَنْ أَبِيْ أُمَامَةَ يَرْفَعُهُ قَالَ : اِسْمُ اللهِ الأَعْظَمِ الَّذِيْ إِذَا دَعَي بِهِ أَجَابَ فِيْ سُوَرِ ثَّلَاثَةِ فِيْ الْبَقَرَةِ وَ الْعِمْرَانِ وَ طه – يَعْنِيْ الْحي الْقَيُّوْمُ –

“Faryabi said: tell us Hisham bin ‘Umar, tell us Walid bin Muslim, actually ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ula’ bin Zabir heard al-Qasim Aba ‘Abdurrahman narrate, from Abi ‘Umamah convey: The great names of Allah, which when praying with him will be granted, contained in three surahs; in surah al-Baqarah, and sura al-Imran, and Surah Taha-ie al-hayy al-qayyum.” (Takhrij by Faryabi, Number 185)

Fourth, the letter ali imran can be a prayer to pay off debts. For anyone who wants to pay off their debt, they can read certain verses from Surah Ali Imran regularly as explained by the Prophet in a hadith, “O Mu’adz! would you like me to teach you a prayer, that if you have a debt as big as Mount Uhud, then you pray with that prayer, surely Allah will pay your debt? Read (QS. Ali Imran: 26-27), then say, “O Most Gracious in this world and in the hereafter, Most Merciful in this world and in the hereafter, You are the one who has the right and power to give both of them to whoever You want and You also have the right and power to prevent both of them from whoever You want. Oh God, pour out Your love for me, so that I don’t need love from other than You.” (Narrated by Thabrani).

Fifth, the verse of surah al Imran was often read by the Prophet during the dawn prayer. When you want to perform the two cycles of prayer before dawn as described in the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad.

قَالَ عَبْدٌ بْنُ حَمِيْدٍ: ثَنَا أَبُوْ نُعَيْم عَنْ اِبْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: أًنَّهُ كَثِيْرًا مَا كَانَ يَقْرَأُ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ (فِيْ رَكْعَتِيْ الْفَجْرِ) وَفِيْ الرَّكْعَةِ الْآخِرَةِ (مِنْهُمَا) امنا باالله واشهد بأنا مسلمون

“Abd bin Hamid said: told us Abu Nu’aim from Ibn Abbas: in fact he found Rasulullah SAW reading a lot (in the dawn prayer cycle) and in the last cycle (ămanna billăhi wa syhad bi anna muslimun.” (QS. Al -Imran: 52) (Narrated from Ibn Abbas, Hadith Number 59).

From the explanation above, we can conclude that several verses from Surah Ali Imran can be read regularly as a prayer, and there are also selected verses that the Prophet Muhammad often read when he was about to perform sunnah dawn prayers. Such is the virtue of surah Ali Imran, wallahua’lam. (T/ri/RE1)

(Source: The Book of Awwal Marrah Atadabbur Al-Qur’an, Work: Shaykh Adil Muhammad Khalil)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)