Al Imran is the third Surah or chapter of the Holy Quran. Having 200 verses, the Surah is in the 3rd and 4th Juz of the Quran. It has been named Al Imran because of the existence of the word “Imran” in two of its verses; verse 33 refers to the Al Imran family and verse 35 points to Imran, father of Hazrat Maryam (SA). Another name of the Surah is Tayyibah, meaning clear of any allegation or impurity, which refers to the purity of Hazrat Maryam (SA).
As far as the sequence of Surahs’ revelation is concerned, Al Imran is the 89th revealed chapter to the Prophet (PBUH). It includes the story of the birth of three prominent figures: Hazrat Yahya ibn Zakariya (AS), Hazrat Maryam (SA), and Hazrat Issa (AS).
The verses have been revealed in Medina and some interpreters believe that they have come down between the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud, falling on 2 and 3 Hijri (624 -625 CE); this is one of the most sensitive periods in the lives of Muslims in early Islam.
Some interpreters believe that each Surah refers to a specific issue and various topics are also discussed on the path of the main issue. Surah Al Imran points to various events such as victories and defeats of Muslims, different moods of Muslims, and Muslims’ relations with other tribes and religions. According to Tafsir al-Mizan, the main purpose of the Surah is to invite the believers to exercise unity, patience, and resistance in the face of enemies.
Most important topics of this surah are:
An important part of this Surah talks about monotheism, God’s characteristics, Maad (resurrection), and Islamic knowledge.
Another section of Surah Al Imran refers to Jihad and its important instructions, the enteral lives of martyrs, and lessons that one can learn from the battles of Uhud and Badr.
The Surah points to various Islamic laws including the necessity of Muslims’ unity, Hajj, enjoining good and forbidding wrong, Tawalli and Tabarri, Amanah, charity, abandoning lies, exercising patience in face of problems and divine tests, and remembering God in all conditions.
Part of this Surah point to the unity of Muslims and their resistance against enemies. Considering the wars that erupted between Muslims and the infidels, Al Imran Surah talks about the issue of Jihad and unity among Muslims.
Another part of this Surah refers to the history of some prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Issa, and Maryam and also plots that were devised against these figures.