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“Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-‘Âlamîn (mankind and jinn).”

 (Surat Al-’Imran (The Family of Imran): 96)

 

By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar

 

 

This Holy ayah comes in the middle of Surat Al-Imran; which is a Madinan Surah and one of the longest Surahs in Holy Qur'an as it consists of two hundred ayahs after the “Basmallah”. This Surah is named Al-Imran as it contains a reference to the family of Maryam (Mary) the daughter of Imran, and the mother of Jesus (peace be upon him and our Prophet Muhammad). On this subject Allah says *“Allah chose Adam, Nűh (Noah), the family of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and the family of ‘Imran above the 'Âlamîn (mankind and jinn) (of their times).Offspring, one of the other, and Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”*

(Al-'Imran (The Family of Imran): 33-34).

 

This Surah relates the story of Imran's wife, and their daughter Maryam the mother of Jesus (peace be upon them). The Surah also relates the story of the miraculous birth of Jesus without having a father, and sheds light on the miracles bestowed on him by Almighty Allah.  The Surah further contains references to Prophet Zakariah (Zacharia) and his son Yahia (John the Baptist), whom Allah blessed him with when he was very old.  The Surah also contains a detailed description of the battle of Uhud.

 

The main theme of this Surah is its dialogue with the People of the Scripture (those who believe in the Gospel and the Torah). This dialogue highlights and defines a number of tenets of the Islamic Faith.

 

Tenets of faith in Surat Al-Imran:

 

The Tenets of Faith mentioned in Surat Al-Imran can be summarized in the following points:

 

First:

 

Belief in Allah as the sole God, worshipping Him only, with no partners, peers or rivals; refraining from using any description for Him (glory be to our Lord) that does not befit His Excellence and Majesty (such as claiming that Allah may have a wife or a son, which is a quality of creatures of Allah and does not befit His Majesty).

 

Belief that Almighty Allah is the Ever-Living, the One who sustains and protects all that exists, the One who knows everything in heavens and earth. Belief that Glorious Allah is the One who shapes fetuses in the wombs of their mothers as He wills. That He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise, that Allah is All-Seer of the (His) worshippers; and that Allah is the Possessor of the dominion, giving power to whom He wills, and taking power from whom He wills. That Allah endows with honor those whom He wills, and He humiliates whom He wills, and that He is the source of goodness. Belief that Allah is Able to do all things; that He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; that victory only comes with His guidance; and that He supports whom He wills with victory. Belief that right guidance is the Guidance of Allah; that all bounties are from Allah, and that Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Aware. He selects for His Mercy (Islam and the Qur'an with Prophethood) whom He wills and Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty. Allah is full of kindness to (His) worshippers, and at the same time He is, All-Able of Retribution, and that He never breaks (His) Promise.

 

Second:

 

Belief in Divine Revelation revealed by Almighty Allah to His Messengers, in order to guide people; and that He compiled, finished and preserved it in His final ultimate Message (The Holy Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah), and that this final Message confirms what came before it of Divine revelation and is dominant over them all. In this respect, belief in the Messengers of Allah is an essential part in the belief in Divine Revelation.

 

Third:

 

Belief that the Holy Qur'an contains ayahs that are explicit (the foundations of the Book), and others that are vague (Allah being the only One that knows their true interpretation).

 

Fourth:

 

Belief that every person will die one day, and that Almighty Allah will definitely gather all people in a day that is beyond any doubt. In other words, the belief in the truth of the Afterlife and Day of Judgment, and in major incidents they include; such as resurrection and judgment, Heaven and Hell, that Heaven is the final abode of the pious and that Hell is the final abode of the sinners; that the faces of the pious will be bright on the Day of Judgment while the faces of those who disbelieved after being believers and rejected faith after accepting it will be dark.

 

Fifth:

 

Belief that the sole religion of Allah is Islam (Submission to Allah), and that those who were given the Scripture (Gospel and Torah) did not disagree except, out of mutual envy, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah then surely, Allah is Swift in calling to account.

 

Sixth:

 

The belief in the importance of obeying Allah and His final Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), following his Sunnah, and holding fast, all Muslims together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur'an), and belief in the importance of not being divided amongst themselves.

 

Seventh:

 

Belief that true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah form the best community ever raised up for mankind; because they enjoin Al-Ma‘rűf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and they believe in Allah. However, if they do not do this, they will lose that honor. (I fear that supremacy might be misunderstood as a Muslim belief that they are better then everyone else. I chose honor instead)

 

Eighth:

 

Belief in fate and destiny, and that affliction is an essential part of one’s life that should be faced with contentment, patience and acceptance of Allah's destiny.

 

Signs of creation in Surat Al-Imran:

 

(1) That Glorious Allah is the One who shapes fetuses in the wombs of their mothers as He wills.

(2) A reference to the theory that Earth revolves daily around its axis by mentioning that night enters into day, and that day enters into night according to Allah's Will.

(3) A reference to the cycle of life, death and resurrection by mentioning bringing the living out of the dead, and bringing the dead out of the living.

(4) A reference to the creation of Adam from clay or earth.

(5) An assertion of the fact that the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessings.

(6) An assertion that Allah owns whatever exists on Earth or in the heavens, and to Him only all matters return (for decision).

(7) An assertion that everyone shall experience death and that no person can ever die except by Allah's will and at an appointed term.

(8) A reference to the human tendency to react to grief by remembering other sad situations, this is a psychological issue discovered by recently.

(9) A reference to the fact that in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for people of understanding; and that contemplating upon them is a means of knowing the Creator (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners), and some of His glorious attributes and excellent abilities that have no barriers in excellence in the art of creation.

 

Each one of these issues needs a separate discussion, which is what I will do God willing, in the following articles. But I will focus here on the fifth point which deals with the fact that first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah). However, before I begin, I’ll go over the interpretation of this ayah by some scholars.

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