3 - Al Imran (The family of Imran)

6 Tafsir(s) related to verse 3.101


How can you disbelieve (this is an interrogative of amazement and rebuke) while you have God’s verses recited to you, and His Messenger is in your midst? Whoever holds fast to, clings to, God, he is guided to a straight path.


How can you disbelieve while you have God's verses recited to you and His Messenger is in your midstḍ Whoever holds fast to God he is guided to a straight path. It is not right that the shade of disbelief should pass over one whose heart [has seen] the rising suns of deeper knowledge ʿirfān. For surely when day comes night slips away. Whoever holds fast to God: The one who holds fast to God has [in truth] only found the holding fast from God. How could those who have not been guided by God hold fast to Godḍ The guidance from Him in the beginning bidāya causes you [to] hold fast in the end nihāya. Your holding fast does not cause the guidance hidāya. The true state of affairs of holding fast is sincerity taking oneself to Him persevering in the flight to Him and continuing to appeal for His help. Whoever has the covering of separation removed from his innermost self realizes that there is not an atom that belongs to or comes from anything other than God. The people who hold fast to Him are those who are held fast by Him. The leader of those who come first and those who come last ﷺ said “I seek refuge in You from You.” Whoever holds fast to Him through himself -without being effaced from his own strength and power in his holding-his homeland is idolatry shirk but he is unaware.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(How can ye disbelieve….) [3:101]. Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Hiri informed us> Muhammad ibn Ya'qub> al-'Abbas al-Duri> Abu Nu'aym al-Fadl ibn Dukayn> Qays ibn al-Rabi'> al-Agharr> Khalifah ibn Husayn> Abu Nasr> Ibn 'Abbas who said: “The Aws and the Khazraj had a feud in the pre-Islamic period. One day, they mentioned to each other what had happened in that period and this led them to brandish their swords at each others. Upon being informed of what was happening, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went to them and this verse was revealed (How can ye disbelieve, when it is ye unto whom Allah's revelations are recited, and His messenger is in your midst?) up to His saying (And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate) [3:103]”. Al-Sharif Isma'il ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Naqib informed us> his grandfather Muhammad ibn al-Husayn> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Hafiz> Hatim ibn Yunus al-Jurjani> Ibrahim ibn Abi al-Layth> al-Ashja'i> Sufyan> Khalifah ibn Husayn> Abu Nasr> Ibn 'Abbas who said: “The Aws and the Khazraj were one day talking and became angry with each other to the extent that war nearly broke out between them. They had taken arms and marched toward each other. Then the verse (How can ye disbelieve, when it is ye unto whom Allah's revelations are recited) up to His saying (He did save you from it…)”.

Ibn Al Kathir

Warning Muslims Against Imitating People of the Scriptures

Allah warns His believing servants against obeying the People of the Book, who envy the believers for the favor that Allah gave them by sending His Messenger. Similarly, Allah said,

وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِن بَعْدِ إِيمَـنِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ

(Many of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of their own envy) 2:109.

In this Ayah 3:100, Allah said,

إِن تُطِيعُواْ فَرِيقاً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعْدَ إِيمَـنِكُمْ كَـفِرِينَ

(If you obey a group of those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would (indeed) render you disbelievers after you have believed!), then said,

وَكَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ وَأَنْتُمْ تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتُ اللَّهِ وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ

(And how would you disbelieve, while unto you are recited the verses of Allah, and among you is His Messenger), meaning, disbelief is far from touching you, since the Ayat of Allah are being sent down on His Messenger day and night, and he recites and conveys them to you. Similarly, Allah said,

وَمَا لَكُمْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِتُؤْمِنُواْ بِرَبِّكُمْ وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِيثَـقَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِينَ

(And what is the matter with you that you believe not in Allah! While the Messenger invites you to believe in your Lord; and He has indeed taken your covenant, if you are real believers) 57:8. A Hadith states that one day, the Prophet said to his Companions,

«أَيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعْجَبُ إِلَيْكُمْ إِيمَانًا؟»

قالوا: الملائكة. قال:

«وَكَيْفَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ وَهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِم»

؟ وذكروا الأنبياء، قال:

«وَكَيْفَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْوَحْيُ يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِمْ؟»

قالوا: فنحن. قال:

«وَكَيْفَ لَا تُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَنَا بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِكُمْ؟»

قالوا: فأي الناس أعجب إيمانًا؟ قال:

«قَوْمٌ يَجِيئُونَ مِنْ بَعْدِكُمْ يَجِدُونَ صُحُفًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا فِيهَا»

("Who among the faithful believers do you consider has the most amazing faith'' They said, "The angels.'' He said, "Why would they not believe, since they are with their Lord'' They mentioned the Prophets, and the Prophet said, "Why would they not believe while the revelation is sent down to them'' They said, "Then, we are.'' He said, "Why would not you believe when I am among you'' They asked, "Who has the most amazing faith'' The Prophet said, "A people who will come after you and who will find only books that they will believe in.'')

Allah said next,

وَمَن يَعْتَصِم بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِىَ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مّسْتَقِيمٍ

(And whoever depends upon Allah, then he is indeed guided to the right path) 3:101 for trusting and relying on Allah are the basis of achieving the right guidance and staying away from the path of wickedness. They also represent the tool to acquiring guidance and truth and achieving the righteous aims.


Whoever holds fast to God, by severing himself from all that is other than Him and [by] holding on to true affirmation of Oneness, he is guided to a straight path. For the straight path is the way of the Truth, exalted be He, as He has said: Surely my Lord is on a straight path [Q. 11:56]. Thus whoever severs himself in devotion solely to Him through annihilation in the Unity, his path becomes the path of God.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(How can ye disbelieve) in Allah. This is mentioned by way of amazement, (when it is ye unto whom Allah's revelations) the Qur'an containing commands and prohibitions (are recited, and His messenger) Muhammad (is in your midst?) with you. (He who holdeth fast to Allah) he who adheres to Allah's Religion and His Book, (he indeed is guided unto a right path) he is directed along a clear, solid way, which is Islam; it is also said this means: he has become firm on this way. This verse was revealed about Mu'adh [Ibn Jabal] and his companions.