Importance of the Last Ayahs of Surah al-Imran

In a hadith recorded by Ibn Marduwyah,

“I, Ibn Umar and Ubayd bin Umayr went to Aishah and entered her room, and there was a screen between us and her. She said, ‘O Ubayd, What prevents you from visiting us’ He said, `What the poet said, Visit every once in a while, and you will be loved more. Ibn Umar said, Tell us about the most unusual thing you witnessed from the Messenger of Allah.”

Upon hearing this question about the most unusual thing witnessed from the Prophet (saw), Aisha (ra) started crying and said, “All his matters were amazing. One night he came close to me until his skin touched my skin and said, ‘Let me worship my Lord. I said, By Allah I love your being close to me. I also love that you worship your Lord.'” He used the water and performed wudu, but did not use too much water. He then stood up in prayer and cried until his beard became wet. He prostrated and cried until he made the ground wet. He then laid down on his side and cried. When Bilal (ra) came to alert the Prophet (saw) for Fajr prayer, he said, O Messenger of Allah, What makes you cry, while Allah (swt) has forgiven you your previous and latter sins’. The Prophet (saw) said:

O Bilal, What prevents me from crying, when this night, this ayah was revealed to me and the Prophet (saw) read:

 “Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for people of understanding.”

-Surah al-Imran, Ayah 190

He then said:

“Woe to the one who recites it but does not contemplate it’s (meaning).”

From this statement of our beloved Messenger (saw), the person who reads the Qur’an but does not contemplate or ponder on its meaning is unfortunate. It’s important to ponder over the meaning of the words of the greatest book ever, the Qur’an.

About the term “ulul al-baab” (people of understanding) in the ayah, it refers to the intelligent and sound minds that contemplate and ponder about the true reality of things, unlike the deaf and mute who do not have sound understanding. Allah (swt) said about the latter type in the Qur’an,

And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth they pass by, while they are averse there from.

-Surah Yusuf, Ayah 105

Allah (swt) then describes those who have sound minds in the ayah that follows in Surah Al-Imran,

“Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): Our Rabb You have not created this without purpose, glory be to You Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.”

 In a related authentic report that was narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih al-Muslim from Ibn Abbas (ra), that the Prophet (saw) stayed one night with Maymoonah, the Mother of the Believers, who was his aunt also. He said:

The Messenger of Allah (saw) slept until halfway through the night, or just before or after that. The Messenger of Allah (saw) then woke up and started wiping the sleep from his face with his hand. Then he recited the last ten verses of Surah Al-Imran, then he got up and went to a water skin that was hanging there, and did wudu from it and did it well, then he stood and prayed.

Imam An-Nawawi said: “This indicates that it is mustahabb (desirable) to recite these (10) verses when getting up from sleep.”

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