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āl ʿimrān (Arabic: آل عمران‎, "The Family of Imran")[1] is the third chapter (sūrah) of the Quran with two hundred verses (āyāt).

Sura 3 of the Quran
آل عمران
Āli Imrān
The Family of Imran
PositionJuzʼ 3–4
No. of Rukus20
No. of verses200
No. of words3503
No. of letters14605
Opening muqaṭṭaʻātAlif Lam Mim
Tiling of Sura of Imran, 193

According to the Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions, Joachim is the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The chapter takes its name from the family of Imran mentioned in verse (āyah) 33.[2]



Imran in Islam is regarded as the father of Mary. This chapter is named after the family Imran, which includes Imran, Saint Anne, Mary, and Jesus. The chapter is believed to have been either the second or third of the Medinan surahs, as it references both the events of Badr and the Uhud. Almost all of it also belongs to the third year of the Hijra, though a minority of its verses might have been revealed during the visit of the Najrān Christian deputation and the Mubahala, which occurred around the 10th year of the Hijrah.[3] This chapter primarily focuses on the departure of prophethood from the Mosaic dispensation.


Verses 1–6Edit

The first 7 verses are notable for the way in which the creation of humankind is given a feminine origin "It is He who forms your shape in the wombs of the mothers as He pleases." The Quran itself is given a feminine heavenly source in "the mother of the Book" in verse 7. This awakens the listener to the surprise births about to be revealed in later events of the surah. Firstly the unexpected female birth of Mary and in turn to the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus. It is noticeable that all the miracles of Jesus presented here, breathing life into clay birds, healing the sick are nurturing, caring and feminine in character.

Verse 7Edit

Verse 7 is notable for several reasons. It states that[4]

  1. Some Qur'anic verses are to be understood by others
  2. Some verses are allegorical
  3. It includes a disclaimer against misrepresenting the allegorical verses as factual.
  4. It states that a set of people are to be consulted, those firmly rooted in knowledge.

Shia exegesisEdit

Some Shia Muslim scholars interpret the event of Mubāhalah as the highlight of this surah. Because Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib is also named Imran in some Shia sources,[5] some believe that the title of the surah also refers to the descendants of Abu Talib, including Ali. The reference to "those firmly rooted in knowledge" is commonly interpreted by Shia scholars as a reference to the (Arabic: Ahl al-Bayt), while Sunni scholars typically understand them to be ulema, or Islamic jurists.

The Kitab al-Kafi states that Ja'far al-Sadiq wrote a detailed letter to his companions containing advice and wisdom for them to adhere to, which included the verse 3:135 "And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and do not persist in what they have done while they know."(3:135). He explained that the meaning of this is that in the past, when people transgressed their covenant with God, they would come to this realization and repent, avoiding that sin so as not to repeat it.[6]


  1. ^ Sūratu Āli 'Imrān
  2. ^ M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (2005). The Qur'an. Oxford University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-19-157407-8 – via Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
  3. ^ Maududi, Abdul Alaa. Tafhim-ul-Quran.
  4. ^ "Quran: Surah 3 Verse 7".
  5. ^ Nadvi, Abulhasan Ali (1991). The life of Caliph ʻAli. Academy of Islamic Research & Publications. p. 16.
  6. ^ al-Kulayni, Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb (2015). Al-Kafi (Volume 8 ed.). NY: Islamic Seminary Incorporated. ISBN 9780991430864. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

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