The Meaning of the Name Aal-'Imraan
Fatwa No: 439780

Question

Assalaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatuLLAHI,What is the meaning of the name Al-'Imran apartthe from being the father of Maryam the mother of 'Eesa (AS).Secondly, Can the Imaam choose another person instead of his naaib that is also versed with the qur'aan.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Aal (in Arabic) is used to refer to a man's kin, supporters, or allies. The Book Ittifaaq Al-Mabaani waf-tiraaq Al-Ma’aani authored by Sulaymaan ibn Khalaf Al-Masri reads:

The man's Aal are his relatives, such as in the supplication that reads "O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the Aal of Muhammad; i.e., his descendants, and the man's Aal are his supporters and his family, and the Saying of Allah, {And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment.} [Quran 40:46]; and Allah did not mean his kinship without his followers (his people) [i.e. He meant both], and the man's Aal is his children.” [End of quote]

Ar-Raaghib Al-Asfahaani said in Ghareeb Mufradaat al-Qur'aan, when speaking about the word Aal:

This term is used to refer to what is personally specific to the person, either his close kinship, or because of the fact of being an ally; Allah Says (what means): {…and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over the worlds.} [Quran 3:33] [the term used in Arabic that is translated in the verse by family is Aal]

Therefore, Aal ‘Imraan means his relatives and the like to whom the term Aal refers.

‘Imraan that is mentioned in the verse, is the father of Mary, the daughter of Imraan, may Allaah exalt her mention.

Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer:

Aal ‘Imraan: what is meant by ‘Imraan here: is the father of Maryam bint Imraan, the mother of ‘Eesa (Jesus) son of Mary, may Allah exalt their mention.” [End of quote]

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Allah knows best.

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