Surah Al `Imran was revealed in Al-Madinah, as evident by the fact that the first eighty-three Ayat in it relate to the delegation from Najran that arrived in Al-Madinah on the ninth year of Hijrah (632 CE). We will elaborate on this subject when we explain the Ayah about the Mubahalah (3:61) in this Surah, Allah willing. We should also state that we mentioned the virtues of Surah Al `Imran along with the virtues of Surat Al-Baqarah in the beginning of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah.
(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) (1. Alif-Lam-Mim.) (2. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists.) (3. It is He Who has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Tawrah and the Injil,) (4. Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind. And He sent down the criterion. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah, for them there is a severe torment; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.)
We mentioned the Hadith in the Tafsir of Ayat Al-Kurs (2:255) that mentions that Allah's Greatest Name is contained in these two Ayat,
(Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa, Al-Hayyul-Qayyum) in the Tafsir of Ayat Al-Kursi. Allah's statement,
﴿ نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ ﴾
(It is He Who has sent down the Book to you with truth, ) means, revealed the Qur'an to you, O Muhammad, in truth, meaning there is no doubt or suspicion that it is revealed from Allah. Verily, Allah revealed the Qur'an with His knowledge, and the angels testify to this fact, Allah is sufficient as a Witness. Allah's statement,
﴿ مُصَدِّقً۬ا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ ﴾
(Confirming what came before it) means, from the previous divinely revealed Books, sent to the servants and Prophets of Allah. These Books testify to the truth of the Qur'an, and the Qur'an also testifies to the truth these Books contained, including the news and glad tidings of Muhammad's prophethood and the revelation of the Glorious Qur'an.
﴿ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةَ ﴾
(And He sent down the Tawrah) to Musa (Musa) son of `Imran,
﴿ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ ﴾
(And the Injil), to `Isa, son of Mary,
﴿ مِن قَبۡلُ ﴾
(Aforetime) meaning, before the Qur'an was revealed,
﴿ هُدً۬ى لِّلنَّاسِ ﴾
(As a guidance to mankind) in their time.
﴿ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلۡفُرۡقَانَۗ ﴾
(And He sent down the criterion) which is the distinction between misguidance, falsehood and deviation on one hand, and guidance, truth and piety on the other hand. This is because of the indications, signs, plain evidences and clear proofs that it contains, and because of its explanations, clarifications, etc.
(La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Almighty, the All-Wise.) meaning, He is the Creator and thus is the only deity worthy of worship, without partners, and His is the perfect might, wisdom and decision. This Ayah refers to the fact that `Isa, son of Mary, is a created servant, just as Allah created the rest of mankind. Allah created `Isa in the womb (of his mother) and shaped him as He willed. Therefore, how could `Isa be divine, as the Christians, may Allah's curses descend on them, claim `Isa was created in the womb and his creation changed from stage to stage, just as Allah said,
(7. It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow (only) that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah, and seeking its Ta'wil, but none knows its Ta'wil except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; all of it is from our Lord.'' And none receive admonition except men of understanding.) (8. (They say): "Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.'') (9. "Our Lord! Verily, it is You Who will gather mankind together on the Day about which there is no doubt. Verily, Allah never breaks His Promise.'')