The Quran

Commentaries for 3.49

Al Imran (The family of Imran) - آل عمران

3.49 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And will make him a messenger) after the age of thirty (unto the Children of Israel), and when he went to them he said: (Lo! I come unto you with a sign) a token (from your Lord) for my prophethood. They said: what is this sign? He replied: (Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it) like the breathing of a sleeping person (and it is a bird) flying in the air, (by Allah's leave) by Allah's command. Then he fashioned for them a bat and when it became alive, they said: this is sorcery; do you have another sign? He said: yes, (I heal him who was born blind, and the leper) also, (and I raise the dead, by Allah's leave) by Allah's greatest Name: O Alive, the Eternal. And when he did this, they said: this is sorcery, do you have any other sign? He said: yes, (And I announce unto you what you eat) in the morning and at night (and what you store up in your houses) what you save from your lunch to dinner and from your dinner to the next day's lunch. (Lo! Herein) in that which I have told you (verily is a portent) a sign (for you, if ye are believers) who have faith.
3.49 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And He will make him, to be a messenger to the Children of Israel, during his tender years, or after puberty. Gabriel breathed into the opening of her garment and she became pregnant. What happened to her after this is mentioned later in sūrat Maryam [Q. 19:21]. Thus, when God sent him to the Children of Israel, he said to them, ‘I am God’s Messenger to you’, and, ‘I have come to you with a sign, an indication of my truthfulness, from your Lord, and it is that, I will create (a variant reading for [the particle introducing the relative clause] annī, ‘that I’, has innī, ‘truly I’, indicating a new [independent] sentence) [that] I will fashion, for you out of clay like the shape of a bird (ka-hay’at, ‘something like the shape of’: the kāf is the subject of a passive participle) then I will breathe into it (fīhi, the [suffixed] pronoun [-hi] refers to the [preceding] kāf), and it will be a bird (tayran, is also read tā’iran) by the leave, the will, of God. So he created for them a bat, being the most perfectly-created of birds, and they would watch it flying, but when it went out of sight, it would fall dead — so that the work of a creature [sc. Jesus] may be distinguished from the work of the Creator, namely, God, exalted be He, and that he might know that perfection belongs to God [alone]. I will also heal the blind (akmah is one that is blind from birth) and the leper; these two are singled out for mention because with both afflictions the person is completely helpless. He [Jesus] was sent in an age of [characterised by] medicinal science, and he cured, through supplication, fifty thousand in one day on the condition that each person would become a believer; and I bring to life the dead, by the leave of God — He repeats this to preclude any false attributions of divinity to him — he brought back to life his friend ‘Āzar, the son of an old woman, and the daughter of the tithe-collector, all of whom lived on and produced offspring, and [he also brought back to life] Shem, son of Noah, but he died [again] immediately. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up, store, in your houses, and what I have never seen, and he would inform people what they had eaten and what they would eat. Surely in that, mentioned, is a sign for you, if you are believers.
3.49 Kashani - Kashani
To be a messenger, to the spiritual ones who are prepared from among the children of Jacob the spirit: 'I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that proves that I have come from His part; I will create for you, through [my] nurture and acts of purification and practical wisdom, out of the clay of the souls of the deficiently prepared ones, like the shape of a bird, the one that flies off to the Holy Side by the intensity of its yearning; then I will breathe into it, of the breath of divine knowledge and an infusion of the true life by the effects of [divine] company and nurture, and it will be a bird, that is, a living soul, flying away with the wings of yearning and aspiration towards the Side of the Truth. I will also heal the blind, the one veiled from the light of the Truth whose insight has never opened up [to the truth] and the sun of whose face has never seen the Truth or His light and has never known His folk adorned as they are by the light of guidance; and [heal] the leper, whose soul is disfigured by the sickness of vices and corrupt beliefs and the love of this world and the pollutants of lusts, with the medicine of the souls; and I bring to life, the dead of ignorance by means of the life of knowledge, by the leave of God. And I will inform you too of what things you eat, [of what things] you partake in your pursuit of lusts and pleasures, and what you treasure up in your houses, that is, in the houses of your unseens in the way of motives and intentions. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.
3.48-51 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Description of `Isa and the Miracles He Performed
Allah states that the good news brought to Maryam about `Isa was even better because Allah would teach him,
الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ
(the Book and Al-Hikmah). It appears that the `Book' the Ayah mentioned here refers to writing. We explained the meaning of Al-Hikmah in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah.
التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ
(the Tawrah and the Injil). The Tawrah is the Book that Allah sent down to Musa, son of `Imran, while the Injil is what Allah sent down to `Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon them, and `Isa memorized both Books. Allah's statement,
وَرَسُولاً إِلَى بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ
(And will make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel) means, that Allah will send `Isa as a Messenger to the Children of Israel, proclaiming to them,
أَنِّى قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ أَنِى أَخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ
(I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave). These are the miracles that `Isa performed; he used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow into it, and it became a bird by Allah's leave. Allah made this a miracle for `Isa to testify that He had sent him.
وَأُبْرِىءُ الاٌّكْمَهَ
(And I heal him who is Akmah) meaning, `a person who was born blind,' which perfects this miracle and makes the challenge more daring.
وَالاٌّبْرَصَ
(And the leper) which is a known disease,
وَأُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ
(And I bring the dead to life by Allah's leave).
Many scholars stated that Allah sent every Prophet with a miracle suitable to his time. For instance, in the time of Musa, magic was the trade of the time, and magicians held a high position. So Allah sent Musa with a miracle that captured the eyes and bewildered every magician. When the magicians realized that Musa's miracle came from the Almighty, Most Great, they embraced Islam and became pious believers. As for `Isa, he was sent during a time when medicine and knowledge in physics were advancing. `Isa brought them the types of miracles that could not be performed, except by one sent by Allah. How can any physician bring life to clay, cure blindness and leprosy and bring back to life those entrapped in the grave Muhammad was sent during the time of eloquent people and proficient poets. He brought them a Book from Allah; if mankind and the Jinn tried to imitate ten chapters, or even one chapter of it, they will utterly fail in this task, even if they tried to do it by collective cooperation. This is because the Qur'an is the Word of Allah and is nothing like that of the creatures.
`Isa's statement,
وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِى بُيُوتِكُمْ
(And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses) means, I tell you about what one of you has just eaten and what he is keeping in his house for tomorrow.
إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ
(Surely, therein), all these miracles,
لأَيَةً لَّكُمْ
(is a sign for you) testifying to the truth of what I was sent to you with,
إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَوَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ
(If you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawrah,) affirming the Tawrah and upholding it,
وَلاٌّحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ
(and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you.)
This part of the Ayah indicates that `Isa abrogated some of the Laws of the Tawrah and informed the Jews of the truth regarding some issues that they used to dispute about. In another Ayah;
وَلأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِى تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ
(And in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ) 43:63.
`Isa said next,
وَجِئْتُكُمْ بِأَيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ
(And I have come to you with a proof from your Lord.) "Containing affirmation and evidence to the truth of what I am conveying to you.''
فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ
(So have Taqwa of Allah and obey me. Truly, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone).) for I and you are equal in our servitude, submission and humbleness to Him,
هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
(This is the straight path.)
3.45-49 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "Although no man has touched you, yet a son shall be born to you." It should be noted that the same word "kazalika, "meaning "so shall it be," had been used in response to Zacharias' prayer. It, therefore, carries the same sense here. Moreover, the whole context here corroborates the story that Mary was given the glad tidings of the birth of a son without any sexual intercourse, and the birth of Christ, in actual fact, took place in that unusual way. If a son was to be born to her in the normal known way, and if the event of the birth of Jesus had taker. place in a natural way, then the whole discourse starting from verse 33 and ending with verse 63 would become absolutely pointless. Not only that but all other references to the unusual birth of Jesus in the Qur'an would lose their significance and meaning. The Christians had made Jesus the Son of God and worthy of worship simply because of his unusual birth without a father and the Jews had accused Mary because they had witnessed that she had given birth to a child, though she was not married. Had it been otherwise, then the two groups could have been told plainly that the girl was married to such and such a man and that Jesus was from his seed. In that case, one fails to see the reason why such a long introduction and a series of arguments should have been necessary to remove all doubts about his miraculous birth. Then Jesus could have been called the son of a particular man, instead of being called "the son of Mary". The position of those people who, on the one hand, profess to believe the Holy Qur'an to be the Word of Allah and on the other hand try to prove that Jesus was born after the natural coming together of a husband and wife, really try to show that Allah is not able to express Himself as clearly as these people. (May God protect us from blasphemy!)
3.48-49 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And He will teach him the Book wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. To be a messenger to the children of Israel “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord I will create for you out of clay [something] like the shape of a bird then I will breathe into it and it will be a bird by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper; and I bring the dead to life by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you if you are believers.” These were His outward signs and dazzling overpowering proofs: bringing life to the dead healing the blind and the leper telling [them] what they did secretly and other miracles. [God] stated that [Jesus] confirmed what came before him in laws but was chosen to abrogate part of what came before and to establish another part for them according to the details articulated in the QurÌān.