This Surah consists of 111 verses, 533 sentences, 3,460 letters and 12 Ruku's.
It takes its name (Bani Israil) from v. 4. But this name is merely a distinctive appellation like the names of many other surahs and not a descriptive title, and does not mean that "Bani Isra'il" is the theme of this Surah.
The very first verse indicates that this Surah was revealed on the occasion of Miraj (Ascension). According to the Traditions and books on the life of the Holy Prophet, this event happened one year before Hijrah. Thus, this Surah is one of those which were revealed in the last stage of Prophethood at Makkah.
The Holy Prophet had been propagating Tauhid for the previous twelve years and his opponents had been doing all they could to make his Mission a failure, but in spite of all their opposition, Islam had spread to every corner of Arabia and there was hardly any clan which had not been influenced by his invitation. In Makkah itself the true Believers had formed themselves into a small community and were ready and willing to face every danger to make Islam a success. Besides them, a very large number of the people of Aus and Khazraj (two influential clans of Al- Madinah) had accepted Islam. Thus the time had come for the Holy Prophet to emigrate from Makkah to Al-Madinah and there gather together the scattered Muslims and establish a state based on the principles of Islam. These were the conditions when Mi'raj took place and on his return the Holy Prophet brought down the Message contained in this Surah.
This Surah is a wonderful combination of warning, admonition and instruction, which have been blended together in a balanced proportion. The disbelievers of Makkah had been admonished to take a lesson from the miserable end of the Israelites and other communities and mend their ways within the period of respite given by Allah, which was about to expire. They should, therefore, accept the invitation that was being extended by Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) and the Quran; otherwise they shall be annihilated and replaced by other people. Incidentally, the Israelites, with whom Islam was going to come in direct contact in the near future at Al-Madinah have also been warned that they should learn a lesson from the chastisements that have already been inflicted on them. They were warned, "Take advantage of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) because that is the last opportunity which is being given to you. If even now you behave as you have been behaving, you shall meet with a painful torment."
As regards the education of mankind, it has been impressed that human success or failure, gain or loss, depends upon the right understanding of Tauhid life-after-death and Prophethood. Accordingly, convincing arguments have been put forward to prove that the Quran is the Book of Allah and its teachings are true and genuine, the doubts of the disbelievers about these basic realities have been removed and on suitable occasions they have been admonished and rebuked in regard to their ways of ignorance.
In this connection, those fundamental principles of morality and civilization on which the Islamic System of life is meant to be established have been put forward. Thus this was a sort of the Manifesto of the intended Islamic state which had been proclaimed a year before its actual establishment. It has been explicitly stated that that was the sketch of the system on which Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) intended to build human life first in his own country and then in the outside world.
Besides these, the Holy Prophet has been instructed to stick firmly to his stand without minding the opposition and difficulties which he was encountering and should never think of making a compromise with unbelief. The Muslims who sometimes showed signs of impatience, when they met with persecution, calumny, and crooked arguments, have also been instructed to face adverse circumstances with patience and fortitude and keep full control over their feelings and passions. Moreover, salat was prescribed in order to reform and purify their souls, as if to say, "This is the thing which will produce in you those high qualities of character which are essential for everyone who intends to struggle in the righteous way." Incidentally, we learn from Traditions that Mi'raj was the first occasion on which the five daily Prayers were prescribed to be offered at fixed times.
IMPORTANT: Please note that the Digest is based upon these outstanding translations and they have been reproduced here for the benefit of serious readers of the Quraan; the copyrights of these works are held by their respective authors/publishers from whom they can be purchased by anyone interested in acquiring them and we ardently hope that no offence will be taken by their inclusion.
THE HOLY QUR'AAN
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
17 : 1
1. Subhana allathee asra biAAabdihi laylan mina almasjidi alharami ila almasjidi al-aqsa allathee barakna hawlahu linuriyahu min ayatina innahu huwa alssameeAAu albaseeru
Glory be to Him Who carried His bondsman from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque by night, the surroundings of which We have blessed so that We might show him the portents of Our Divinity! Verily He is the One who hears and sees!
(The reference here is to the 'Night Journey' undertaken by the Last Prophet of Allah at the behest of his Lord, riding a Celestial Steed and escorted by the Archangel, to be shown the Portents of His Divinity, in flesh and blood and not just in 'spirit, which happens to be a unique accolade conferred upon him alone by Allah.
Apart from its confirmation by Allah Himself in this verse, not to mention other references made in the future, there are several Ahadith which contain in fine detail how this night journey was conducted on Lailatul Me'raajun Nabi which is celebrated by all Muslims across the world by offering worship to Allah throughout this auspicious night as well as chanting praises to the Prophet. We gather from these sources that, in the twelfth year of his Prophethood, on the 27th of Rajjab (although opinions differ about this), in the early hours of the morning, the Archangel brought with him a Celestial Steed and took the Prophet to Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a considerable distance by any standards, where he led an exclusive mass held for the souls of previous messengers of Allah, from where they proceeded to visit the seven heavens, detailing how the doors of each heaven were opened for him at the behest of the Archangel; how he was welcomed and felicitated on each heaven by various Prophets of Allah who resided in them; how he witnessed the portents of Divinity; how the Archangel excused himself at the 'Sadrah' beyond which even he was not permitted to go, and how the encounter took place between his Lord and him on the seventh heaven.
As Muslims, we are required to believe in the veracity of the Me'raaj and we whole heartedly believe in it without questioning, for if there is no such thing as faith, then there is no such thing as religion, or Allah, or the Hour, or heaven and hell and reward and punishment. But the amazing events of that soul stirring and epoch making night as described by the Prophet culminating in his Ascension was not without its share of critics and doubters, mostly amongst the Jews and the Christians who slandered that it was all a ploy invented by the Prophet to win over his opponents and impress his followers).
17 : 2
2. Waatayna moosa alkitaba wajaAAalnahu hudan libanee isra-eela alla tattakhithoo min doonee wakeelan
And We gave Moses the Scripture and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel saying : 'Do not accept as your protector anyone but Me!'
17 : 3
3. Thurriyyata man hamalna maAAa noohin innahu kana AAabdan shakooran
They were the seed of those whom We boarded on the ark with Noah. Verily he was the most beholden of our slaves!
(Although Noah himself was loyal and sincere to his Lord, not all those who boarded his ark to escape the notorious deluge were like him, grateful for being delivered and keen to express their gratitude in terms of worship and sanctity; many of them later on lapsed into apostasy from whose seed were born the Children of Israel. They followed in the footsteps of their heretic ancestors and earned for themselves the wrath of Allah by selling their souls to the devil).
17 : 4
4. Waqadayna ila banee isra-eela fee alkitabi latufsidunna fee al-ardi marratayni walataAAlunna AAuluwwan kabeeran
And We gave a fair warning to the Children of Israel in their Scripture : 'Verily you will cause strife in the land twice and you will degenerate into infamous oppressors!
17 : 5
5. Fa-itha jaa waAAdu oolahuma baAAathna AAalaykum AAibadan lana olee ba/sin shadeedin fajasoo khilala alddiyari wakana waAAdan mafAAoolan
the time arrived for the first of these to be realized, We sent against you the
most gruesome of Our slaves who plundered your country, - and it was but a
(Generally accepted by most commentators to be the Giant Goliath and the notorious race of almost super-human warriors whom he led, subsequently slain by David during the reign of King Saul while he served as a soldier in the Royal army.
In 586 BC, shortly after the Children of Israel slew two of Allah's Prophets, they were routed and pillaged, their Tabernacle was decimated, the Torah was burnt and 70,0000 of their rabbis captured overnight and massacred, - a Divine retaliation for their crimes).
17 : 6
6. Thumma radadna lakumu alkarrata AAalayhim waamdadnakum bi-amwalin wabaneena wajaAAalnakum akthara nafeeran
Then We turned around your fortunes for a short while and bestowed upon you wealth and progeny and increased you in numbers -
17 : 7
7. In ahsantum ahsantum li-anfusikum wa-in asa/tum falaha fa-itha jaa waAAdu al-akhirati liyasoo-oo wujoohakum waliyadkhuloo almasjida kama dakhaloohu awwala marratin waliyutabbiroo ma AAalaw tatbeeran
(Saying) : 'If you perform seemly deeds, it would be for the good of your own souls; but should you perpetrate evil deeds, it would be to your own detriment!' And when time for the second of Our warnings arrived, We raised against you an even more ferocious adversaries to pillage you and to desecrate the tabernacles once again as they had done before and to decimate everything which came within their grasp!
17 : 8
8. AAasa rabbukum an yarhamakum wa-in AAudtum AAudna wajaAAalna jahannama lilkafireena haseeran
Yet it may
be that your Lord would have mercy upon you; but if you resort to malice again,
We too will revert to mortification, for We have converted hell into a prison
for the disbelievers!
(It took the Children of Israel well over half a century to recover from the ravages of war after which a brief period of renaissance ensued for them when they emerged from captivity, rebuilt their lives, restored their tabernacle and attained spiritual resurgence under the guidance of their Oracle Uzair, who tried to recreate the lost Torah and give them a new religious identity.
But this too did not last for long. They persisted with their atrocities, colluded with the Romans against Jesus and later on slew two more Prophets Zachariah and Yahya as a result of which Allah set upon them the Persians and the Romans who turned out to be mightier than even Goliath and his ferocious warriors. In 70 AD, their Tabernacle was permanently destroyed by Titus and they were dispersed hither and thither across the world without a homeland they could call their own. Thus the warning given to them by Allah was fulfilled to the hilt and they were aptly punished for their heinous sins).
17 : 9
9. Inna hatha alqur-ana yahdee lillatee hiya aqwamu wayubashshiru almu/mineena allatheena yaAAmaloona alssalihati anna lahum ajran kabeeran
Assuredly the Qur'aan leads you on to the path that is the straightest of all and it gives good tidings to the believers who perform good deeds that there is a great reward in store for them -
17 : 10
10. Waanna allatheena la yu/minoona bial-akhirati aAAtadna lahum AAathaban aleeman
And warns those who do not believe in the Hereafter that for them is kept in store a most opprobrious castigation. (R)
(And yet the Jews were given one more opportunity of spiritual resurgence through the Qur'aan, which affirmed everything revealed in the Torah and more, and showed them the righteous path, with an unconditional promise that if they followed that path, they would be entitled to the same reward of forgiveness and enunciation as other believers who believed in Allah and in the Last Day and in His messengers and His Scriptures. But they failed once again, except a few who saw the light and pulled off the blindfold which had plunged them into the voids of darkness).
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
1. Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allāh) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] [Tafsir Qurtubī, Vol. 10, Page 204] Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Harām (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayāt (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
2. And We gave Mūsa (Moses) the Scripture and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel (saying): "Take not other than Me as (your) Wakīl (Protector, Lord, or Disposer of your affairs, etc).
3. "O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nūh (Noah)! Verily, he was a grateful slave."
4. And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed you would do mischief on the earth twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant!
5. So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled.
6. Then We gave you once again, a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in man power.
7. (And We said): "If you do good, you do good for your ownselves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves." Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands.
8. [And We said in the Taurāt (Torah)]: "It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers.
9. Verily, this Qur'ān guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allāh and His Messenger, Muhammad SAW, etc.). who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise).
10. And that those who believe not in the Hereafter (i.e. they disbelieve that they will be recompensed for what they did in this world, good or bad, etc.), for them We have prepared a painful torment (Hell).
YUSUFALI: Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).
PICKTHAL: Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.
SHAKIR: Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
YUSUFALI: We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): "Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs."
PICKTHAL: We gave unto Moses the Scripture, and We appointed it a guidance for the children of Israel, saying: Choose no guardian beside Me.
SHAKIR: And We gave Musa the Book and made it a guidance to the children of Israel, saying: Do not take a protector besides Me;
YUSUFALI: O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful.
PICKTHAL: (They were) the seed of those whom We carried (in the ship) along with Noah. Lo! he was a grateful slave.
SHAKIR: The offspring of those whom We bore with Nuh; surely he was a grateful servant.
YUSUFALI: And We gave (Clear) Warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!
PICKTHAL: And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture: Ye verily will work corruption in the earth twice, and ye will become great tyrants.
SHAKIR: And We had made known to the children of Israel in the Book: Most certainly you will make mischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.
YUSUFALI: When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare: They entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled.
PICKTHAL: So when the time for the first of the two came, We roused against you slaves of Ours of great might who ravaged (your) country, and it was a threat performed.
SHAKIR: So when the promise for the first of the two came, We sent over you Our servants, of mighty prowess, so they went to and fro among the houses, and it was a promise to be accomplished.
YUSUFALI: Then did We grant you the Return as against them: We gave you increase in resources and sons, and made you the more numerous in man-power.
PICKTHAL: Then we gave you once again your turn against them, and We aided you with wealth and children and made you more in soldiery.
SHAKIR: Then We gave you back the turn to prevail against them, and aided you with wealth and children and made you a numerous band.
YUSUFALI: If ye did well, ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil, (ye did it) against yourselves. So when the second of the warnings came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they had entered it before, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power.
PICKTHAL: (Saying): If ye do good, ye do good for your own souls, and if ye do evil, it is for them (in like manner). So, when the time for the second (of the judgments) came (We roused against you others of Our slaves) to ravage you, and to enter the Temple even as they entered it the first time, and to lay waste all that they conquered with an utter wasting.
SHAKIR: If you do good, you will do good for your own souls, and if you do evil, it shall be for them. So when the second promise came (We raised another people) that they may bring you to grief and that they may enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and that they might destroy whatever they gained ascendancy over with utter destruction.
YUSUFALI: It may be that your Lord may (yet) show Mercy unto you; but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments): And we have made Hell a prison for those who reject (all Faith).
PICKTHAL: It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you, but if ye repeat (the crime) We shall repeat (the punishment), and We have appointed hell a dungeon for the disbelievers.
SHAKIR: It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you, and if you again return (to disobedience) We too will return (to punishment), and We have made hell a prison for the unbelievers.
YUSUFALI: Verily this Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the Glad Tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward;
PICKTHAL: Lo! this Qur'an guideth unto that which is straightest, and giveth tidings unto the believers who do good works that theirs will be a great reward.
SHAKIR: Surely this Quran guides to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward.
YUSUFALI: And to those who believe not in the Hereafter, (it announceth) that We have prepared for them a Penalty Grievous (indeed).
PICKTHAL: And that those who believe not in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful doom.
SHAKIR: And that (as for) those who do not believe in the hereafter, We have prepared for them a painful chastisement.
17 : 11
11. WayadAAu al-insanu bialshsharri duAAaahu bialkhayri wakana al-insanu AAajoolan
Yet man prays for evil as ardently as he prays for good; verily man has always been a petulant creature!
often do we not experience moments of frustration when the best of our friends
seem like the worst of enemies; our children seem like impediments; our spouses
like our adversaries; our work mates like tyrants and our neighbours like our
captors? And just to get the steam off our chest, how often do we not curse
them, or wish they were dead, or had vanished into thin air - without meaning
to? How often do we not grind our teeth at them, roll our eyes, wave our fists,
and hurl unbecoming words? If Allah took these curses at face value and granted
them at once, where would we be in our lives and in the contests of our lives?)
17 : 12
12. WajaAAalna allayla waalnnahara ayatayni famahawna ayata allayli wajaAAalna ayata alnnahari mubsiratan litabtaghoo fadlan min rabbikum walitaAAlamoo AAadada alssineena waalhisaba wakulla shay-in fassalnahu tafseelan
We have given the night and the day two different semblances : the semblance of
the night is covert and the semblance of the day conspicuous so that you might
set out in pursuit of your Lord's benefactions as well as keep count of the
years and make your calculations; and We have elucidated every aspect of these
in the finest detail.
(These semblances do not apply only to nights as opposed to days, but also to darkness as opposed to light; repose as opposed to exertions; covert as opposed to conspicuous; secret as opposed to public; visible as opposed to invisible; cover as opposed to exposure, - the two aspects of our very existence reflected in these two semblances, - of the Night and of the Day!).
17 : 13
13. Wakulla insanin alzamnahu ta-irahu fee AAunuqihi wanukhriju lahu yawma alqiyamati kitaban yalqahu manshooran
To each man have We pre-ordained a Destiny which he wears around his neck; and for him shall We bring forth on the Day of Resurrection a Book which he shall find wide open -
17 : 14
14. Iqra/ kitabaka kafa binafsika alyawma AAalayka haseeban
(And it will be said to him) : 'Read the disquisition of your deeds! On this Day your own soul will be sufficient to render accounts on your behalf!'
17 : 15
15. Mani ihtada fa-innama yahtadee linafsihi waman dalla fa-innama yadillu AAalayha wala taziru waziratun wizra okhra wama kunna muAAaththibeena hatta nabAAatha rasoolan
He who walks on the right path walks on it for his own good; and he who goes astray does so to his own detriment - no soul will share the burden of another - and never do We punish anyone who has not been forewarned by a messenger.
(Yet another oft repeated exhortation that there is no such thing in the preaching of Qur'aan as vicarious atonement in the sense that the harvest we reap is the harvest we sow; the bed we sleep in is the bed we made; our rewards and punishments are the outcome of our deeds; the place we are given either in the Garden or in the Inferno is the place we reserved for ourselves and the deposition on the strength of which we are adjudicated is a deposition which our own hands had prepared. We bear witness against our own selves, we intercede on our own behalf - if intercession is conceded; we speak in our own defence - if we are allowed to open our mouths and speak. There are no lawyers in Allah's Court; there are no other laws to rely on except Divine Law and there are no higher courts than His to appeal against His decisions!)
17 : 16
16. Wa-itha aradna an nuhlika qaryatan amarna mutrafeeha fafasaqoo feeha fahaqqa AAalayha alqawlu fadammarnaha tadmeeran
Whenever We decide to destroy a township, We send Our warning to the wealthiest of its dwellers (beforehand) - and yet if they persist with their solecism, Our word is foreclosed on them and We destroy and annihilate it!
17 : 17
17. Wakam ahlakna mina alqurooni min baAAdi noohin wakafa birabbika bithunoobi AAibadihi khabeeran baseeran
How many generations have We destroyed since the days of Noah! And your Lord suffices as a witness for the sins of His slaves and as their invigilator!
clear reflection of Divine justice is that Allah never destroys any nation
without a warning given to those amongst them who are enlightened; who have the
perspicacity to glean from the signs and the ability to convey what they gleaned
to those whom they lead and who rely on them for guidance. This has always been
the case so that no one is struck down whilst they are in a state of ignorance
because, as opposed to the laws we promulgate and peruse here on earth, -
according to which the dictum is : 'ignorantia legis neminem excusat' or
ignorance of the law excuses no one, - the Laws which Allah prefers for us is
not to punish us for anything about which we were in the dark, or were kept in
the dark for lack of adequate enlightenment. We are made aware of His Law
through incontrovertible sources before we are punished for disobeying it).
17 : 18
18. Man kana yureedu alAAajilata AAajjalna lahu feeha ma nashao liman nureedu thumma jaAAalna lahu jahannama yaslaha mathmooman madhooran
Those who seek that which ends quickly, We shall give it to them quickly, - whatever We will and to whom We will - but thereafter We give them hell in which they shall enter, reviled and abashed!
17 : 19
19. Waman arada al-akhirata wasaAAa laha saAAyaha wahuwa mu/minun faola-ika kana saAAyuhum mashkooran
But those who seek the Hereafter and strive for it with due efforts and are believers, their efforts will surely bear fruit for them!
17 : 20
20. Kullan numiddu haola-i wahaola-i min AAata-i rabbika wama kana AAatao rabbika mahthooran
We sustain them both, these as well as those, from the bounty of your Lord, and the bounty of your Lord is infinite!
17 : 21
21. Onthur kayfa faddalna baAAdahum AAala baAAdin walal-akhiratu akbaru darajatin waakbaru tafdeelan
See how We give to each of them a station above the other! But verily the Hereafter is uppermost in stations and utmost in benefactions!
17 : 22
22. La tajAAal maAAa Allahi ilahan akhara fataqAAuda mathmooman makhthoolan
Set up no other God alongside Allah lest you are left behind, abashed and helpless! (R)
(This does not mean that those who cherish the comforts of this life get whatever they seek in this world; they may be denied everything; they may get some and not all; they may get something else instead of what they had sought; it rests with Allah who gets what and who gets nothing; only, if a disbeliever is rewarded with everything he sought, he gets nothing else in the Hereafter; if he gets nothing at all in this world, he still gets nothing in the Hereafter; if he gets a part of what he sought, he gets to sulk for what he did not get and still gets nothing in the Hereafter; in the case of a believer, however, even if he gets nothing in the life of this world, he gets everything he worked for in the Hereafter; and since he does not covet the material, the spiritual is guaranteed to him by Allah!)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
11. And man invokes (Allāh) for evil as he invokes (Allāh) for good and man is ever hasty [i.e., if he is angry with somebody, he invokes (saying): "O Allāh! Curse him, etc." and that one should not do, but one should be patient].
12. And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayāt (signs etc.). Then, We have made dark the sign of the night while We have made the sign of day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.
13. And We have fastened every man's deeds to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a book which he will find wide open.
14. (It will be said to him): "Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day."
15. Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).
16. And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allāh and be righteous) to those among them [or We (first) increase in number those of its population] who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.
17. And how many generations have We destroyed after Nūh (Noah)! And Sufficient is your Lord as an All-Knower and All-Beholder of the sins of His slaves.
18. Whoever wishes for the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, ( far away from Allāh's Mercy).
19. And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allāh's Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allāh Islāmic Monotheism), then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked and rewarded (by Allāh).
20. To each these as well as those We bestow from the Bounties of your Lord. And the Bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.
21. See how We prefer one above another (in this world) and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preference.
22. Set not up with Allāh any other ilāh (god), (O man)! (This verse is addressed to Prophet Muhammad SAW , but its implication is general to all mankind), or you will sit down reproved, forsaken (in the Hell-fire).
YUSUFALI: The prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds).
PICKTHAL: Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man was ever hasty.
SHAKIR: And man prays for evil as he ought to pray for good, and man is ever hasty.
YUSUFALI: We have made the Night and the Day as two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We obscured, while the Sign of the Day We have made to enlighten you; that ye may seek bounty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail.
PICKTHAL: And We appoint the night and the day two portents. Then We make dark the portent of the night, and We make the portent of the day sight-giving, that ye may seek bounty from your Lord, and that ye may know the computation of the years, and the reckoning; and everything have We expounded with a clear expounding.
SHAKIR: And We have made the night and the day two signs, then We have made the sign of the night to pass away and We have made the sign of the day manifest, so that you may seek grace from your Lord, and that you might know the numbering of years and the reckoning; and We have explained everything with distinctness.
YUSUFALI: Every man's fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.
PICKTHAL: And every man's augury have We fastened to his own neck, and We shall bring forth for him on the Day of Resurrection a book which he will find wide open.
SHAKIR: And We have made every man's actions to cling to his neck, and We will bring forth to him on the resurrection day a book which he will find wide open:
YUSUFALI: (It will be said to him:) "Read thine (own) record: Sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee."
PICKTHAL: (And it will be said unto him): Read thy Book. Thy soul sufficeth as reckoner against thee this day.
SHAKIR: Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day.
YUSUFALI: Who receiveth guidance, receiveth it for his own benefit: who goeth astray doth so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent an messenger (to give warning).
PICKTHAL: Whosoever goeth right, it is only for (the good of) his own soul that he goeth right, and whosoever erreth, erreth only to its hurt. No laden soul can bear another's load, We never punish until we have sent a messenger.
SHAKIR: Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray: nor can the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another, nor do We chastise until We raise a messenger.
YUSUFALI: When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true against them: then (it is) We destroy them utterly.
PICKTHAL: And when We would destroy a township We send commandment to its folk who live at ease, and afterward they commit abomination therein, and so the Word (of doom) hath effect for it, and we annihilate it with complete annihilation.
SHAKIR: And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.
YUSUFALI: How many generations have We destroyed after Noah? and enough is thy Lord to note and see the sins of His servants.
PICKTHAL: How many generations have We destroyed since Noah! And Allah sufficeth as Knower and Beholder of the sins of His slaves.
SHAKIR: And how many of the generations did We destroy after Nuh! and your Lord is sufficient as Knowing and Seeing with regard to His servants' faults.
YUSUFALI: If any do wish for the transitory things (of this life), We readily grant them - such things as We will, to such person as We will: in the end have We provided Hell for them: they will burn therein, disgraced and rejected.
PICKTHAL: Whoso desireth that (life) which hasteneth away, We hasten for him therein what We will for whom We please. And afterward We have appointed for him hell; he will endure the heat thereof, condemned, rejected.
SHAKIR: Whoever desires this present life, We hasten to him therein what We please for whomsoever We desire, then We assign to him the hell; he shall enter it despised, driven away.
YUSUFALI: Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive therefor with all due striving, and have Faith,- they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah).
PICKTHAL: And whoso desireth the Hereafter and striveth for it with the effort necessary, being a believer; for such, their effort findeth favour (with their Lord).
SHAKIR: And whoever desires the hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; (as for) these, their striving shall surely be accepted.
YUSUFALI: Of the bounties of thy Lord We bestow freely on all- These as well as those: The bounties of thy Lord are not closed (to anyone).
PICKTHAL: Each do We supply, both these and those, from the bounty of thy Lord. And the bounty of thy Lord can never be walled up.
SHAKIR: All do We aid-- these as well as those-- out of the bounty of your Lord, and the bounty of your Lord is not confined.
YUSUFALI: See how We have bestowed more on some than on others; but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence.
PICKTHAL: See how We prefer one of them above another, and verily the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.
SHAKIR: See how We have made some of them to excel others, and certainly the hereafter is much superior in respect of excellence.
YUSUFALI: Take not with Allah another object of worship; or thou (O man!) wilt sit in disgrace and destitution.
PICKTHAL: Set not up with Allah any other god (O man) lest thou sit down reproved, forsaken.
SHAKIR: Do not associate with Allah any other god, lest you sit down despised, neglected.
17 : 23
23. Waqada rabbuka alla taAAbudoo illa iyyahu wabialwalidayni ihsanan imma yablughanna AAindaka alkibara ahaduhuma aw kilahuma fala taqul lahuma offin wala tanharhuma waqul lahuma qawlan kareeman
Your Lord has commanded you not to worship anyone except Him and to be courteous to your parents; if one or both of them reach ripe years in course of your own lifetime, do not be rude to them nor be abhorrent, but always have for them a gentle word!
17 : 24
24. Waikhfid lahuma janaha alththulli mina alrrahmati waqul rabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayanee sagheeran
And extend to them your lap of compassion with humility and pray for them saying : 'My Lord! Be merciful to them as they were to me when I was at their mercy.'
17 : 25
25. Rabbukum aAAlamu bima fee nufoosikum in takoonoo saliheena fa-innahu kana lil-awwabeena ghafooran
Your Lord is well aware of what lies in your hearts. If you are repentant, then verily He does forgive those who repent.
17 : 26
26. Waati tha alqurba haqqahu waalmiskeena waibna alssabeeli wala tubaththir tabtheeran
And give your kinsmen their due, and the destitute and the wayfarer; and squander not your wealth in profligacy.
17 : 27
27. Inna almubaththireena kanoo ikhwana alshshayateeni wakana alshshaytanu lirabbihi kafooran
The profligate are the siblings of the devil and the devil has always been ungrateful to his Lord!
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed with reference to some of the Prophet's close associates who used to seek financial help from him from time to time and he used to oblige them whenever possible. But on those occasions when he could not, he used to resort to silence in the hope that Allah will find for him the resources to help them with rather than turn them down with his spoken word!
17 : 28
28. Wa-imma tuAAridanna AAanhumu ibtighaa rahmatin min rabbika tarjooha faqul lahum qawlan maysooran
If you have to turn your face away from them in anticipation of your Lord's mercy of which you are hopeful, then (at least) share with them your hope in words!
(An admonition to the Prophet that silence is never a substitute for speech and that, if he was unable to give financial help to those who sought it of him, it is better to put it in words rather than resort to silence).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following admonishment was revealed when a believing woman who had taken a bet with a Jew that her Prophet was more generous than his Prophet, sent her little girl to him seeking in charity the shirt which he was wearing. Charitable as he was to the utmost extent, he obliged her at once, but was constrained to miss the congregation because it happened to be his only shirt and he had no more shirts to wear.
17 : 29
29. Wala tajAAal yadaka maghloolatan ila AAunuqika wala tabsutha kulla albasti fataqAAuda malooman mahsooran
Do not keep your hand tied down to your neck nor stretch it too far lest you are left stranded, - embarrassed and stripped!
17 : 30
30. Inna rabbaka yabsutu alrrizqa liman yashao wayaqdiru innahu kana biAAibadihi khabeeran baseeran
Your Lord increases the provision for whom He will and decreases it for whom He will! Verily He is cognizant of His creatures and is constantly perusing all your deeds (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
23. And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.
24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small."
25. Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance.
26. And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskīn (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift . [Tafsir. At-Tabarī, Vol. 10, Page 158 (Verse 9: 60)].
27. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatīn (devils), and the Shaitān (Devil Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
28. And if you (O Muhammad SAW) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e. Allāh will give me and I shall give you).
29. And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
30. Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.
YUSUFALI: Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
PICKTHAL: Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, say not "Fie" unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word.
SHAKIR: And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) "Ugh" nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word.
YUSUFALI: And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."
PICKTHAL: And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little.
SHAKIR: And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.
YUSUFALI: Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts: If ye do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence).
PICKTHAL: Your Lord is Best Aware of what is in your minds. If ye are righteous, then lo! He was ever Forgiving unto those who turn (unto Him).
SHAKIR: Your Lord knows best what is in your minds; if you are good, then He is surely Forgiving to those who turn (to Him) frequently.
YUSUFALI: And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
PICKTHAL: Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness.
SHAKIR: And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully.
YUSUFALI: Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.
PICKTHAL: Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord.
SHAKIR: Surely the squanderers are the fellows of the Shaitans and the Shaitan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
YUSUFALI: And even if thou hast to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness.
PICKTHAL: But if thou turn away from them, seeking mercy from thy Lord, for which thou hopest, then speak unto them a reasonable word.
SHAKIR: And if you turn away from them to seek mercy from your Lord, which you hope for, speak to them a gentle word.
YUSUFALI: Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard's) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.
PICKTHAL: And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded.
SHAKIR: And do not make your hand to be shackled to your neck nor stretch it forth to the utmost (limit) of its stretching forth, lest you should (afterwards) sit down blamed, stripped off.
YUSUFALI: Verily thy Lord doth provide sustenance in abundance for whom He pleaseth, and He provideth in a just measure. For He doth know and regard all His servants.
PICKTHAL: Lo! thy Lord enlargeth the provision for whom He will, and straiteneth (it for whom He will). Lo, He was ever Knower, Seer of His slaves.
SHAKIR: Surely your Lord makes plentiful the means of subsistence for whom He pleases and He straitens (them); surely He is ever Aware of, Seeing, His servants.
17 : 31
31. Wala taqtuloo awladakum khashyata imlaqin nahnu narzuquhum wa-iyyakum inna qatlahum kana khit-an kabeeran
Do not slay your children from fear of penury. We it is who provide for them as well as for you! Verily the slaying of infants is a serious imprecation.
17 : 32
32. Wala taqraboo alzzina innahu kana fahishatan wasaa sabeelan
Do not go near adultery for verily it is a deplorable anathema and a sinful path!
17 : 33
33. Wala taqtuloo alnnafsa allatee harrama Allahu illa bialhaqqi waman qutila mathlooman faqad jaAAalna liwaliyyihi sultanan fala yusrif fee alqatli innahu kana mansooran
Do not take life which Allah has held in deference, except for a justifiable cause; and if it has been taken without a justifiable reason, then verily We authorize his next of kin to retaliate, but not disproportionately, - and he will surely be helped!
17 : 34
34. Wala taqraboo mala alyateemi illa biallatee hiya ahsanu hatta yablugha ashuddahu waawfoo bialAAahdi inna alAAahda kana mas-oolan
And go not near the property of orphans except with the best of intentions until they reach the age of puberty. And keep your pledges, for pledges result in accountability.
17 : 35
35. Waawfoo alkayla itha kiltum wazinoo bialqistasi almustaqeemi thalika khayrun waahsanu ta/weelan
And measure with honesty when you measure and weigh with an accurate balance, for it is better and it yields a propitious outcome.
17 : 36
36. Wala taqfu ma laysa laka bihi AAilmun inna alssamAAa waalbasara waalfu-ada kullu ola-ika kana AAanhu mas-oolan
Do not pursue that about which you have no knowledge, for verily your ear and eye and heart will also be questioned!
17 : 37
37. Wala tamshi fee al-ardi marahan innaka lan takhriqa al-arda walan tablugha aljibala toolan
Nor walk on earth with conceit, for verily you can neither touch its bottom nor scale the height of its mountains.
17 : 38
38. Kullu thalika kana sayyi-ohu AAinda rabbika makroohan
The outcome of all such misdemeanours is abhorrent to your Lord!
17 : 39
39. Thalika mimma awha ilayka rabbuka mina alhikmati wala tajAAal maAAa Allahi ilahan akhara fatulqa fee jahannama malooman madhooran
And these ordinances form a part of the words of wisdom your Lord has inspired in you (O Mohammed), so let no one set up other Gods besides Allah lest they are cast in hell - reviled and forsaken!
(It should be noted that verses 22 to 39 contain a series of admonitions which were at the core of the Ten Commandments given to Moses inscribed upon the famous Tablets, fully expounded in the Qur'aan for all mankind rather than a cross-section of a group of people such as the Children of Israel, beginning with the Oneness of Allah and ending with the proscription of idols and the inevitable exhortation to refrain from ascribing partners to Him.
By placing the issue of our duties and responsibilities to our parents at the top, Allah has accentuated how important it is for the redemption of our souls that we treated them with respect, with compassion, with honesty, with generosity and with affection, never once forgetting the debt of gratitude we owe them for the troubles they had taken for us and sacrifices they made, matching them ourselves as well as praying to Allah to reward them for their labours.
Next comes the turn of our wider families and consanguines, followed by the needy and the wayfarer, but at the same time with a strong emphasis that charity should not be at the expense of our responsibilities to our own families whom we had brought into being in the same way as Allah brought us into being, and we must therefore provide for them in the same manner as He provides for us, each according to our means, striking a sensible balance between parsimony and profligacy, neither of which are good for us.
The sins of infanticide, adultery, murder, purloining the property of orphans and fraud in weights and measures are dealt with one after the other, the do nots as opposed to the dos, which have already been covered in previous Surahs).
17 : 40
40. Afaasfakum rabbukum bialbaneena waittakhatha mina almala-ikati inathan innakum lataqooloona qawlan AAatheeman
Has then your Lord given you distinction by allotting to you sons while choosing for Himself daughters from among the angels? Verily boastful are the words which you utter! (R)
(The question is asked of the idolaters that, if Allah's preferred gender was daughters and not sons, why should they boast of having sons, - a gender excluded by God from His 'preferred' offspring?)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
31. And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.
32. And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fāhishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allāh forgives him).
33. And do not kill anyone which Allāh has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed (intentionally with hostility and oppression and not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority [(to demand Qisās, Law of Equality in punishment or to forgive, or to take Diya (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e he should not kill except the killer only). Verily, he is helped (by the Islāmic law).
34. And come not near to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfil (every) covenant. Verily! the covenant, will be questioned about.
35. And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end.
36. And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one's saying: "I have seen," while in fact he has not seen, or "I have heard," while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allāh).
37. And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.
38. All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.
39. This is (part) of Al-Hikmah (wisdom, good manners and high character, etc.) which your Lord has inspired to you (O Muhammad SAW ). And set not up with Allāh any other ilāh (god) lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected, (from Allāh's Mercy).
40. Has then your Lord (O pagans of Makkah) preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters. Verily! You utter an awful saying, indeed.
YUSUFALI: Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
PICKTHAL: Slay not your children, fearing a fall to poverty, We shall provide for them and for you. Lo! the slaying of them is great sin.
SHAKIR: And do not kill your children for fear of poverty; We give them sustenance and yourselves (too); surely to kill them is a great wrong.
YUSUFALI: Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
PICKTHAL: And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.
SHAKIR: And go not nigh to fornication; surely it is an indecency and an evil way.
YUSUFALI: Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).
PICKTHAL: And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, We have given power unto his heir, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! he will be helped.
SHAKIR: And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause, and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided.
YUSUFALI: Come not nigh to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
PICKTHAL: Come not near the wealth of the orphan save with that which is better till he come to strength; and keep the covenant. Lo! of the covenant it will be asked.
SHAKIR: And draw not near to the property of the orphan except in a goodly way till he attains his maturity and fulfill the promise; surely (every) promise shall be questioned about.
YUSUFALI: Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.
PICKTHAL: Fill the measure when ye measure, and weigh with a right balance; that is meet, and better in the end.
SHAKIR: And give full measure when you measure out, and weigh with a true balance; this is fair and better in the end.
YUSUFALI: And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
PICKTHAL: (O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these it will be asked.
SHAKIR: And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that.
YUSUFALI: Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height.
PICKTHAL: And walk not in the earth exultant. Lo! thou canst not rend the earth, nor canst thou stretch to the height of the hills.
SHAKIR: And do not go about in the land exultingly, for you cannot cut through the earth nor reach the mountains in height.
YUSUFALI: Of all such things the evil is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.
PICKTHAL: The evil of all that is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.
SHAKIR: All this-- the evil of it-- is hateful in the sight of your Lord.
YUSUFALI: These are among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee. Take not, with Allah, another object of worship, lest thou shouldst be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.
PICKTHAL: This is (part) of that wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allah any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned.
SHAKIR: This is of what your Lord has revealed to you of wisdom, and do not associate any other god with Allah lest you should be thrown into hell, blamed, cast away.
YUSUFALI: Has then your Lord (O Pagans!) preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself daughters among the angels? Truly ye utter a most dreadful saying!
PICKTHAL: Hath your Lord then distinguished you (O men of Makka) by giving you sons, and hath chosen for Himself females from among the angels? Lo! verily ye speak an awful word!
SHAKIR: What! has then your Lord preferred to give you sons, and (for Himself) taken daughters from among the angels? Most surely you utter a grievous saying.
17 : 41
41. Walaqad sarrafna fee hatha alqur-ani liyaththakkaroo wama yazeeduhum illa nufooran
We have expounded in the Qur'aan many a detail so that they comprehend; but it exacerbates nothing else in them except apathy!
17 : 42
42. Qul law kana maAAahu alihatun kama yaqooloona ithan laibtaghaw ila thee alAAarshi sabeelan
Say to the disbelievers (O Mohammed) : 'If there were other false gods besides Him, as they say, they would surely have found a way of challenging the true Lord of the Throne!
(Yet another question asked of the idolaters is, if there were other gods in existence as they claim, would they not have found their way to heaven in order to take their place next to their Partner and established themselves as share-holders in His domain, or at least staked their claim?)
17 : 43
43. Subhanahu wataAAala AAamma yaqooloona AAuluwwan kabeeran
May He be Glorified! May He transcend above the blasphemy which they dare impute against Him - high above!
17 : 44
44. Tusabbihu lahu alssamawatu alssabAAu waal-ardu waman feehinna wa-in min shay-in illa yusabbihu bihamdihi walakin la tafqahoona tasbeehahum innahu kana haleeman ghafooran
The seven heavens and the earth and all that which is in them hymn His praises; and there is not a thing in the universe but hymns His Glory! And it is only you who fail to grasp their tributes. Verily He is kind and Relenting!
(Audibly as well as inaudibly, their very existence a confirmation of His existence and in their silence a silent tribute to His Glory!
There are many commentators who say that while every living being constantly hymns His glory in a voice we may or may not understand, every inanimate object also does the same in a voice we may or may not hear. For instance, the sound the door makes when its opened or shut; the rustle of the leaves; the gust of the wind; the flux of the clouds; the journey of the moon; the rising and sinking of the sun; the ripples in the brook; the flutter of wings; the splashing of waves; the rumble of thunder; the pelting of raindrops; the unfurling of corollas; the tossing of flowers; the descent of dew-drops; the courtship of butterflies; the infusion of fragrance and even the trickle of our tears, - everything is paying tribute to Him and always hymning His Glory!
According to several accredited Ahadith of the Prophet, one of the few miracles given to him by Allah was the gift of hearing the objects when they spoke. He is known to have said on one occasion that he could hear the pebbles pay tribute to Allah; and on another occasion, soon after a new pulpit was constructed in the mosque from where he was able to deliver his sermons, he said he could hear the wooden pole upon which he used to lean prior to its construction weep, so he ran his palm over it with affection and consoled it)
* * *
Context of Revelation: The following verse was revealed when the arrogant wife of the Prophet's staunch opponent came to his house with a stone in her hand, threatening to crush his head with it but went away without accomplishing her mission because she could not spot him though he was right there in front of her eyes, reciting the Qur'aan to those who had come to hear him.
17 : 45
45. Wa-itha qara/ta alqur-ana jaAAalna baynaka wabayna allatheena la yu/minoona bial-akhirati hijaban mastooran
When you are reciting the Qur'aan, We erect an invisible barrier between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter!
* * *
17 : 46
46. WajaAAalna AAala quloobihim akinnatan an yafqahoohu wafee athanihim waqran wa-itha thakarta rabbaka fee alqur-ani wahdahu wallaw AAala adbarihim nufooran
And We have drawn a veil over their hearts and plugged their ears! So when you mention the name of your One Lord, they turn their backs upon you with revulsion!
17 : 47
47. Nahnu aAAlamu bima yastamiAAoona bihi ith yastamiAAoona ilayka wa-ith hum najwa ith yaqoolu alththalimoona in tattabiAAoona illa rajulan mashooran
We are well aware of what their sinister motives are when they feign attention and lend you their ears, or whenever they confer amongst themselves, saying : 'You follow none but a man possessed!'
17 : 48
48. Onthur kayfa daraboo laka al-amthala fadalloo fala yastateeAAoona sabeelan
sort of unseemly examples they quote when they are referring to you! They have
lost their way and are no longer able to find it back.
17 : 49
49. Waqaloo a-itha kunna AAithaman warufatan a-inna lamabAAoothoona khalqan jadeedan
And they say : 'What! Once our bones have turned into dust, are we to be raised all over again as a new creation?'
17 : 50
50. Qul koonoo hijaratan aw hadeedan
Say to them : 'Even if you have turned into rocks or into metal -
17 : 51
51. Aw khalqan mimma yakburu fee sudoorikum fasayaqooloona man yuAAeeduna quli allathee fatarakum awwala marratin fasayunghidoona ilayka ruoosahum wayaqooloona mata huwa qul AAasa an yakoona qareeban
'Or into any other substance which you deem too obdurate (to yield life)!' Then they will say : 'Who will re-incarnate us?' Say : 'He who created you at the outset!' Then they will scornfully shake their heads at you and say : 'When will this happen?' Say to them : 'Perhaps quite soon -
17 : 52
52. Yawma yadAAookum fatastajeeboona bihamdihi watathunnoona in labithtum illa qaleelan
'On a Day when He shall summon you and you will respond to Him with His praises and you will think that you have tarried for only a short while! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
41. And surely, We have explained [Our Promises, Warnings and (set forth many) examples] in this Qur'ān that they (the disbelievers) may take heed, but it increases them in naught save aversion.
42. Say (O Muhammad SAW to these polytheists, pagans, etc.): "If there had been other āliha (gods) along with Him as they assert, then they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne (seeking His Pleasures and to be near to Him).
43. Glorified and High be He! From 'Uluwan Kabīra (the great falsehood) that they say! (i.e.forged statements that there are other gods along with Allāh, but He is Allāh, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, whom all creatures need. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable or coequal unto Him).
44. The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.
45. And when you (Muhammad SAW) recite the Qur'ān, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil (or screen their hearts, so they hear or understand it not).
46. And We have put coverings over their hearts lest, they should understand it (the Qur'ān), and in their ears deafness. And when you make mention of your Lord Alone [Lā ilāha ill-Allāh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allāh) Islāmic Monotheism (<><>)] in the Qur'ān, they turn on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislikeness.
47. We know best of what they listen to, when they listen to you. And when they take secret counsel, behold, the Zālimūn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) say: "You follow none but a bewitched man."
48. See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.
49. And they say: "When we are bones and fragments (destroyed), should we really be resurrected (to be) a new creation?"
50. Say (O Muhammad SAW) "Be you stones or iron,"
51. "Or some created thing that is yet greater (or harder) in your breasts (thoughts to be resurrected, even then you shall be resurrected)" Then, they will say: "Who shall bring us back (to life)?" Say: "He Who created you first!" Then, they will shake their heads at you and say: "When will that be ?" Say: "Perhaps it is near!"
52. On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer (His Call) with (words of) His Praise and Obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while!
YUSUFALI: We have explained (things) in various (ways) in this Qur'an, in order that they may receive admonition, but it only increases their flight (from the Truth)!
PICKTHAL: We verily have displayed (Our warnings) in this Qur'an that they may take heed, but it increaseth them in naught save aversion.
SHAKIR: And certainly We have repeated (warnings) in this Quran that they may be mindful, but it does not add save to their aversion.
YUSUFALI: Say: If there had been (other) gods with Him, as they say,- behold, they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne!
PICKTHAL: Say (O Muhammad, to the disbelievers): If there were other gods along with Him, as they say, then had they sought a way against the Lord of the Throne.
SHAKIR: Say: If there were with Him gods as they say, then certainly they would have been able to seek a way to the Lord of power.
YUSUFALI: Glory to Him! He is high above all that they say!- Exalted and Great (beyond measure)!
PICKTHAL: Glorified is He, and High Exalted above what they say!
SHAKIR: Glory be to Him and exalted be He in high exaltation above what they say.
YUSUFALI: The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!
PICKTHAL: The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their praise. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving.
SHAKIR: The seven heavens declare His glory and the earth (too), and those who are in them; and there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification; surely He is Forbearing, Forgiving.
YUSUFALI: When thou dost recite the Qur'an, We put, between thee and those who believe not in the Hereafter, a veil invisible:
PICKTHAL: And when thou recitest the Qur'an we place between thee and those who believe not in the Hereafter a hidden barrier;
SHAKIR: And when you recite the Quran, We place between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter a hidden barrier;
YUSUFALI: And We put coverings over their hearts (and minds) lest they should understand the Qur'an, and deafness into their ears: when thou dost commemorate thy Lord and Him alone in the Qur'an, they turn on their backs, fleeing (from the Truth).
PICKTHAL: And We place upon their hearts veils lest they should understand it, and in their ears a deafness; and when thou makest mention of thy Lord alone in the Qur'an, they turn their backs in aversion.
SHAKIR: And We have placed coverings on their hearts and a heaviness in their ears lest they understand it, and when you mention your Lord alone in the Quran they turn their backs in aversion.
YUSUFALI: We know best why it is they listen, when they listen to thee; and when they meet in private conference, behold, the wicked say, "Ye follow none other than a man bewitched!"
PICKTHAL: We are Best Aware of what they wish to hear when they give ear to thee and when they take secret counsel, when the evil-doers say: Ye follow but a man bewitched.
SHAKIR: We know best what they listen to when they listen to you, and when they take counsel secretly, when the unjust say: You follow only a man deprived of reason.
YUSUFALI: See what similes they strike for thee: but they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.
PICKTHAL: See what similitudes they coin for thee, and thus are all astray, and cannot find a road!
SHAKIR: See what they liken you to! So they have gone astray and cannot find the way.
YUSUFALI: They say: "What! when we are reduced to bones and dust, should we really be raised up (to be) a new creation?"
PICKTHAL: And they say: When we are bones and fragments, shall we forsooth, be raised up as a new creation?
SHAKIR: And they say: What! when we shall have become bones and decayed particles, shall we then certainly be raised up, being a new creation?
YUSUFALI: Say: "(Nay!) be ye stones or iron,
PICKTHAL: Say: Be ye stones or iron
SHAKIR: Say: Become stones or iron,
YUSUFALI: "Or created matter which, in your minds, is hardest (to be raised up),- (Yet shall ye be raised up)!" then will they say: "Who will cause us to return?" Say: "He who created you first!" Then will they wag their heads towards thee, and say, "When will that be?" Say, "May be it will be quite soon!
PICKTHAL: Or some created thing that is yet greater in your thoughts! Then they will say: Who shall bring us back (to life). Say: He Who created you at the first. Then will they shake their heads at thee, and say: When will it be? Say: It will perhaps be soon;
SHAKIR: Or some other creature of those which are too hard (to receive life) in your minds! But they will say: Who will return us? Say: Who created you at first. Still they will shake their heads at you and say: When will it be? Say: Maybe it has drawn nigh.
YUSUFALI: "It will be on a Day when He will call you, and ye will answer (His call) with (words of) His praise, and ye will think that ye tarried but a little while!"
PICKTHAL: A day when He will call you and ye will answer with His praise, and ye will think that ye have tarried but a little while.
SHAKIR: On the day when He will call you forth, then shall you obey Him, giving Him praise, and you will think that you tarried but a little (while).
Context of Revelation
: The following verse was revealed when Muslims brought to the attention of the
Prophet how insensitively they were being humiliated by their adversaries and
sought his advice on how to respond to them.
17 : 53
53. Waqul liAAibadee yaqooloo allatee hiya ahsanu inna alshshaytana yanzaghu baynahum inna alshshaytana kana lil-insani AAaduwwan mubeenan
And tell my creatures to respond with only that which is seemly. The devil sows the seeds of strife between them and verily the devil is an open enemy of man!
(This admonition given to the believers to respond to the affronts and innuendoes of the idolaters with tolerance and forbearance by extending courtesy in return for scorn was subsequently over-ridden when slaying the opponents of Allah without mercy or extenuation was ordained.
According to commentators, this verse was revealed when Hadrath Omar, well known for his inflexibility and implacability, was rudely insulted by an idolater, but advised to nip the matter in the bud and refrain from retaliation for the sake of peace).
* * *
17 : 54
54. Rabbukum aAAlamu bikum in yasha/ yarhamkum aw in yasha/ yuAAaththibkum wama arsalnaka AAalayhim wakeelan
Your Lord is fully aware of you! If He will, He will be merciful towards you; if He will, He will be punitive towards you. And We have not sent you (Mohammed) to be a guardian over them.
17 : 55
55. Warabbuka aAAlamu biman fee alssamawati waal-ardi walaqad faddalna baAAda alnnabiyyeena AAala baAAdin waatayna dawooda zabooran
And your Lord is best aware of those who are in the heavens and on the earth; and We did give preference to some Prophets over the others; and to David We gave the Psalms!
(The Scripture bestowed upon David comprised 150 Psalms, predominantly dealing with Glorification of Allah and paying Him unrestrained tributes from start to finish without any injunctions on what is right and what is wrong; nor what is lawful and what is unlawful.
According to most commentators, there are several reasons why David and the Psalms are mentioned in this verse, foremost of them being the assertion once again that Allah prefers certain prophets over the others; for instance, in the case of David, unlike most other Prophets, he was granted both Prophethood as well as the kingdom; however, by mentioning only the Psalms without making reference to the Crown, it is emphasized that wisdom is what matters to Allah and not kingdom; secondly, the Psalms also contain the prediction about the coming of the Last Prophet whose followers would be the 'last readers of the last Divine Revelation' which contradicts all the claims made by the Jews that no other Prophet would follow Moses and that no other Scripture would be revealed after the Torah).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Meccan idolaters were caught up in the grip of a severe famine and, having made futile bids to summon the help of the saints and the angels and the Jinn whom they worshipped, they finally approached the Prophet and urged him to pray to Allah for deliverance.
17 : 56
56. Quli odAAu allatheena zaAAamtum min doonihi fala yamlikoona kashfa alddurri AAankum wala tahweelan
Say to them : 'Beseech those with whom you have replaced Allah; they neither have the power to rescind your adversity nor to turn it round;
17 : 57
57. Ola-ika allatheena yadAAoona yabtaghoona ila rabbihimu alwaseelata ayyuhum aqrabu wayarjoona rahmatahu wayakhafoona AAathabahu inna AAathaba rabbika kana mahthooran
Those to whom they turn for help themselves seek a medium from among their own midst who is nearest to Allah so that through them they might attain nearness to their Lord; they cherish His mercy and they fear His wrath; and verily the wrath of your Lord is hard to reckon with!
(The reference is to Jesus whom Christians worship as their god, or to Uzair whom Jews apotheosised or to angels whom idolaters had elevated to the ranks of gods and asks them how could they be their gods if they cherish Allah's mercy and fear His wrath like everybody else?
According to some commentators, the verse was revealed with reference to a particular Arabian tribe who continued to worship a party of Jinn even after the Jinn had embraced Islam without their knowledge.
We can glean from this verse that, in order to attain propinquity of Allah, regardless of who we are and how close we already are to Him, seeking a medium even closer than us is not only desirable but can also sometimes be more effective).
* * *
17 : 58
58. Wa-in min qaryatin illa nahnu muhlikooha qabla yawmi alqiyamati aw muAAaththibooha AAathaban shadeedan kana thalika fee alkitabi mastooran
There is no nation but that We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection
or visit upon it an acerbic castigation! Thus it is written in the Book of
(It is a matter of Divine Provision and an ir-retractable entry in the Book of Decrees that when a nation exceeds its limits and becomes impervious to retribution or ignores warnings, it is a clear sign that time is fast approaching for it to be either destroyed completely or punished severely. These warnings are quite often manifest in such afflictions as AIDS or Foot-and-mouth disease currently sweeping the Western Hemisphere and threatening to become 'global'; not to mention natural disasters rampant in most parts of the world such as unprecedented floods, earthquakes, forest fires beyond the scope of control and mud-slides beyond the range of anticipation. Whenever we see them happening around us, the politicians, the clergy, the community leaders, the intellectuals and the thinkers, the torch bearers and the pathfinders should ask themselves the question: why are these things happening? Is it because we are turning into an excessively permissive society? Is it because we are encouraging our youths to become promiscuous by saying to them: it is all right to be promiscuous if you are avoiding its consequences by resorting to contraception or 'morning after pill?' Is it because we are encouraging lesbians and homosexuals to contract matrimonial partnerships and to adopt innocent children to subsidize their innocuous alliances? Is it because we are throwing open the doors of our churches and tabernacles too easily to gay priests and priestesses, surrendering to the concept of equality without counting its costs? Is it because we are sending out wrong signals to our next generation about our moral values and ethical standards? What exactly is it that we are doing which is converting our towns and cities into Sodoms and Gomorras without the benefit of the watchful eyes of a Lot available to us?)
17 : 59
59. Wama manaAAana an nursila bial-ayati illa an kaththaba biha al-awwaloona waatayna thamooda alnnaqata mubsiratan fathalamoo biha wama nursilu bial-ayati illa takhweefan
Nothing restricts Us from sending Our portents save that they were repudiated by others before them : to the Tribe of Thamud We sent the she camel as a definitive portent but they hamstrung her! And We never send Our portents except as warnings.
(When people demand miracles of their Prophets and they are granted in answer to their prayers, there is always a provision made that if they still persisted with their solecism, they would either be annihilated or severely punished, as it happened in the case with the Tribe of Thamud and the 'portent of the she camel'.
reference here is to the idolaters of Mecca who insisted upon the Prophet that
he either converted the mountains surrounding their city into mounds of gold or
cleared their soil of boulders and rocks and made it fertile, in proof of his
Prophethood. If the Prophet had prayed and his prayers were answered, Mecca too
would have disappeared from the face of the earth in the same way as other
townships had in the past, - a terse reminder to them!)
17 : 60
60. Wa-ith qulna laka inna rabbaka ahata bialnnasi wama jaAAalna alrru/ya allatee araynaka illa fitnatan lilnnasi waalshshajarata almalAAoonata fee alqur-ani wanukhawwifuhum fama yazeeduhum illa tughyanan kabeeran
When We told you : 'Your Lord does encompass mankind from all sides', it was a warning; and the Vision which We showed you, it was not as an ostentation but as an ordeal to test mankind; and so is the Accursed Tree mentioned in the Qur'aan. We warn them in so many different ways but it exacerbates nothing in them except belligerence! (R)
(The Vision is a reference to the Ascension of the Prophet during the Night Journey mentioned at the start of this Surah when he was escorted by the Archangel to behold the hidden mysteries of the Seven Heavens.
When the Prophet informed the Meccans about his Ascension, some refused to believe him, some made fun of him, and some sceptics even quizzed him about the lay-out of the Temple in Jerusalem in order to verify his claim. When he gave them an accurate description of it, they decided to dub him the wizard who could visualize the unseen rather than give him credence.
The verse confirms the Prophet's Ascension to the Seven Heavens as a fact and not a figment of his imagination and reminds the doubters that 'believing without seeing the Unseen' being the plinth upon which faith is built, it is incumbent upon those who believe to accept it as a test, in the same way as the existence of the accursed Tree of Zaqquum in hell is to be accepted without seeing, because it does not grow on earth).
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
53. And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islāmic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best. (Because) Shaitān (Satan) verily, sows disagreements among them. Surely, Shaitān (Satan) is to man a plain enemy.
54. Your Lord knows you best, if He will, He will have mercy on you, or if He will, He will punish you. And We have not sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a guardian over them.
55. And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawūd (David) We gave the Zabūr (Psalms).
56. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Call unto those besides Him whom you pretend [to be gods like angels, Iesā (Jesus), 'Uzair (Ezra), etc.]. They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another person."
57. Those whom they call upon [like 'Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzair (Ezra), angel, etc.] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allāh), as to which of them should be the nearest and they ['Iesa (Jesus), 'Uzair (Ezra), angels, etc.] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is something to be afraid of!
58. And there is not a town (population) but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe torment. That is written in the Book (of our Decrees)
59. And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayāt (proofs, evidences, signs) but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamūd as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction).
60. And (remember) when We told you: "Verily! Your Lord has encompassed mankind (i.e. they are in His Grip)." And We made not the vision which we showed you (O Muhammad as an actual eye-witness and not as a dream on the night of Al-Isrā') but a trial for mankind, and likewise the accursed tree (Zaqqūm, mentioned) in the Qur'ān. We warn and make them afraid but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allāh.
YUSUFALI: Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy.
PICKTHAL: Tell My bondmen to speak that which is kindlier. Lo! the devil soweth discord among them. Lo! the devil is for man an open foe.
SHAKIR: And say to My servants (that) they speak that which is best; surely the Shaitan sows dissensions among them; surely the Shaitan is an open enemy to man.
YUSUFALI: It is your Lord that knoweth you best: If He please, He granteth you mercy, or if He please, punishment: We have not sent thee to be a disposer of their affairs for them.
PICKTHAL: Your Lord is Best Aware of you. If He will, He will have mercy on you, or if He will, He will punish you. We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) as a warden over them.
SHAKIR: Your Lord knows you best; He will have mercy on you if He pleases, or He will chastise you if He pleases; and We have not sent you as being in charge of them.
YUSUFALI: And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms.
PICKTHAL: And thy Lord is Best Aware of all who are in the heavens and the earth. And we preferred some of the prophets above others, and unto David We gave the Psalms.
SHAKIR: And your Lord best knows those who are in the heavens and the earth; and certainly We have made some of the prophets to excel others, and to Dawood We gave a scripture.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Call on those - besides Him - whom ye fancy: they have neither the power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them."
PICKTHAL: Say: Cry unto those (saints and angels) whom ye assume (to be gods) beside Him, yet they have no power to rid you of misfortune nor to change.
SHAKIR: Say: Call on those whom you assert besides Him, so they shall not control the removal of distress from you nor (its) transference.
YUSUFALI: Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of.
PICKTHAL: Those unto whom they cry seek the way of approach to their Lord, which of them shall be the nearest; they hope for His mercy and they fear His doom. Lo! the doom of thy Lord is to be shunned.
SHAKIR: Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord-- whoever of them is nearest-- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement; surely the chastisement of your Lord is a thing to be cautious of.
YUSUFALI: There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record.
PICKTHAL: There is not a township but We shall destroy it ere the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with dire punishment. That is set forth in the Book (of Our decrees).
SHAKIR: And there is not a town but We will destroy it before the day of resurrection or chastise it with a severe chastisement; this is written in the Divine ordinance.
YUSUFALI: And We refrain from sending the signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror (and warning from evil).
PICKTHAL: Naught hindereth Us from sending portents save that the folk of old denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel - a clear portent save to warn.
SHAKIR: And nothing could have hindered Us that We should send signs except that the ancients rejected them; and We gave to Samood the she-camel-- a manifest sign-- but on her account they did injustice, and We do not send signs but to make (men) fear.
YUSUFALI: Behold! We told thee that thy Lord doth encompass mankind round about: We granted the vision which We showed thee, but as a trial for men,- as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur'an: We put terror (and warning) into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!
PICKTHAL: And (it was a warning) when we told thee: Lo! thy Lord encompasseth mankind, and We appointed the sight which We showed thee as an ordeal for mankind, and (likewise) the Accursed Tree in the Qur'an. We warn them, but it increaseth them in naught save gross impiety.
SHAKIR: And when We said to you: Surely your Lord encompasses men; and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Quran as well; and We cause them to fear, but it only adds to their great inordinacy.
17 : 61
61. Wa-ith qulna lilmala-ikati osjudoo li-adama fasajadoo illa ibleesa qala aasjudu liman khalaqta teenan
When We said to the angels : 'Fall down prostrate before Adam!' they all prostrated except Iblis who said : 'Am I to prostrate before him whom You created out of dust?'
17 : 62
62. Qala araaytaka hatha allathee karramta AAalayya la-in akhkhartani ila yawmi alqiyamati laahtanikanna thurriyyatahu illa qaleelan
He said : 'Do You see this bagatelle whom You preferred to exalt above me? If You reprieve me till the Day of Resurrection, I will surely entice all his descendants into sin - except a few!'
17 : 63
63. Qala ithhab faman tabiAAaka minhum fa-inna jahannama jazaokum jazaan mawfooran
He said : 'Begone! And whoever among them follow you, verily their requital shall be hell - an apt requital -
17 : 64
64. Waistafziz mani istataAAta minhum bisawtika waajlib AAalayhim bikhaylika warajlika washarik-hum fee al-amwali waal-awladi waAAidhum wama yaAAiduhumu alshshaytanu illa ghurooran
'And entice whoever you can with your (seductive) voice and set your sycophants against them whether on horse-back or on foot and be a partner in their wealth and their children and make them all sorts of promises!' And Satan makes no promise to you except with guile!
(The hand of the devil can be clearly seen in matters pertaining to wealth and progeny; when a fortune is made by unfair means, his hand is behind it; whenever a lottery is won, a bribe is accepted, a robbery is carried out, a fraud is perpetrated, an orphan is cheated, a woman is duped, a traveller is deceived, his hand is behind them all! And in matters of progeny, which presupposes a sexual involvement of some sort, often of an illicit nature, either a wife cheating her husband or a husband being unfaithful to his wife; an unwed woman expecting a child or a promiscuous man facing paternity law-suit, - behind these affairs too there is the hand of the devil!)
17 : 65
65. Inna AAibadee laysa laka AAalayhim sultanun wakafa birabbika wakeelan
Verily those of My creatures who are loyal to Me, you shall have no sway over them, and to them their Lord suffices as their stalwart!
17 : 66
66. Rabbukumu allathee yuzjee lakumu alfulka fee albahri litabtaghoo min fadlihi innahu kana bikum raheeman
(O mankind!) Your Lord is He who enables your ships to sail on the high seas so that you may go in pursuit of His benefactions! Verily He is favourably disposed towards you!
17 : 67
67. Wa-itha massakumu alddurru fee albahri dalla man tadAAoona illa iyyahu falamma najjakum ila albarri aAAradtum wakana al-insanu kafooran
When danger threatens you at sea, all those whom you worship in the place of Allah forsake you, save Him! Yet as soon as He safely delivers you on land, you turn your faces away! How extremely thankless a creature man is!
17 : 68
68. Afaamintum an yakhsifa bikum janiba albarri aw yursila AAalaykum hasiban thumma la tajidoo lakum wakeelan
Do you feel complacent towards Him because you think there is no longer any danger of His ramming you aground or sending upon you a hail of pebbles once you have reached the shore, - and then you discover that there is no one around to protect you?
17 : 69
69. Am amintum an yuAAeedakum feehi taratan okhra fayursila AAalaykum qasifan mina alrreehi fayughriqakum bima kafartum thumma la tajidoo lakum AAalayna bihi tabeeAAan
Or feel you complacent towards Him because you think there is no longer any danger of His taking you back to the ocean and plunging you into a storm strong enough to wreck your ship and drown you because of your ingratitude, - and then you discover that there is no one to seek vengeance against Us on your behalf?
(After challenging the devil that, no matter how hard he tried and how many tricks he pulled, he would never be able to corrupt those who are His true believers, such as the Prophets, the Oracles, the steadfast, the resolute, the priests and the scholars, the next few verses are addressed to mankind reminding them of how many ways in which Allah helps them and yet, even after grabbing His benefactions with both hands, how men turn their backs on Him and stake their faith in those who are least worthy of it!
Even if the ships in which we sail are built by us, the wood we use is not of our creation nor is the wind that propels them nor is the buoyancy that keeps them afloat! And yet, whenever our ships get caught up in the awesome storms that besiege the mighty seas, the only name that comes on our lips in the moment of peril is Allah's. But as soon as the danger passes away, we revert to ingratitude! Is it because we think we would never be taken back to the sea? Is it because we think that, once on land, Allah has no power over us? He would not be able to make the earth swallow us as He could cause the sea to swallow us? He would not be able to cause a hail of pebbles to shower on us instead of the rain?)
17 : 70
70. Walaqad karramna banee adama wahamalnahum fee albarri waalbahri warazaqnahum mina alttayyibati wafaddalnahum AAala katheerin mimman khalaqna tafdeelan
And verily We did bestow on the seed of Adam distinction by enabling them to travel on land and on the sea and by giving them a salubrious provision and exalting them over much of Our creation! (R)
(This takes us back to genesis as discussed at length in Surah 2, reiterating why Allah said to the Angels that He was going to create man out of a fistful of dust and make him His regent on earth. By giving this regent winsome features; proportionate bodies; the ability to use his limbs more effectively than any of Allah's other creatures; a pair of hands more versatile than the most versatile of tools; his eyes more telescopic than the most powerful of telescopes; his speech more varied than the communication skills of the entire animal kingdom put together; by making him able to fly like the birds and swim like the fish; use his brain constructively as well as destructively; build dams that harness life-giving water and irrigate life-giving crops as well as build the bombs that could destroy every vestige of life on the earth, Allah did bestow on the seed of Adam the talent he needs to be His regent upon earth! And with his uncanny ability to search his conscience with one hand while his other hand is smeared with the gore of innocent blood; willing to lend one shoulder to the responsibilities the Qur'aan places upon him while his other shoulder is straddled with the burden of his sins; capable of committing the most gruesome murders as well as gallant enough to lay down his life to protect another life; the sinner and the saint at the same time; the 'owner' of the Fire and the inheritor of the Garden in the same breath, man too certainly lived up to the expectations of his Maker!
Besides, unlike other living creatures, man is civilized; he wears clothes and keeps his organs of modesty concealed, - their exposure an exception rather than the rule; he grows his own food and cooks it to his taste; he keeps himself clean by taking regular baths or showers; he grooms himself and takes care of his appearance; he marries and mates with his partner in a variety of ways in order to enhance his pleasure; he builds homes for his family and provides for them to the best of his ability; he uses his voice not just for speaking but also for other aesthetic pursuits such as singing; he uses his limbs not merely for finding his nourishment but also for dancing, competing in sports, waging battles, for innovating and pioneering; in short, the seed of Adam in every sense is the marvel that Allah intended him to be and remains unique in His Creation!
According to an accredited Hadith of the blessed Prophet, man takes precedence over the angels in the eyes of Allah because, unlike the angels who merely obey whatever is commanded of them, he exercises the right to explore the command, seeks the freedom to choose between his options and submits to the obligation of being held accountable for his choices).
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
61. And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate unto Adam." They prostrated except Iblīs (Satan). He said: "Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?"
62. [Iblīs (Satan)] said: "See? This one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!"
63. (Allāh) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely! Hell will be the recompense of you (all) an ample recompense.
64. "And Istafziz [literally means: befool them gradually] those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allāh's disobedience), make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, mutually share with them wealth and children (by tempting them to earn money by illegal ways usury, etc., or by committing illegal sexual intercourse, etc.), and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.
65. "Verily! My slaves (i.e the true believers of Islāmic Monotheism), you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian."
66. Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His Bounty. Truly! He is Ever Most Merciful towards you.
67. And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him (Allāh Alone). But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful.
68. Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a violent sand-storm? Then, you shall find no Wakīl (guardian one to guard you from the torment).
69. Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you because of your disbelief, then you will not find any avenger therein against Us?
70. And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Taiyibāt (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preference.
YUSUFALI: Behold! We said to the angels: "Bow down unto Adam": They bowed down except Iblis: He said, "Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay?"
PICKTHAL: And when We said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay?
SHAKIR: And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam; they made obeisance, but Iblis (did it not). He said: Shall I make obeisance to him whom Thou hast created of dust?
YUSUFALI: He said: "Seest Thou? this is the one whom Thou hast honoured above me! If Thou wilt but respite me to the Day of Judgment, I will surely bring his descendants under my sway - all but a few!"
PICKTHAL: He said: Seest Thou this (creature) whom Thou hast honoured above me, if Thou give me grace until the Day of Resurrection I verily will seize his seed, save but a few.
SHAKIR: He said: Tell me, is this he whom Thou hast honored above me? If Thou shouldst respite me to the day of resurrection, I will most certainly cause his progeny to perish except a few.
YUSUFALI: (Allah) said: "Go thy way; if any of them follow thee, verily Hell will be the recompense of you (all)- an ample recompense.
PICKTHAL: He said: Go, and whosoever of them followeth thee - lo! hell will be your payment, ample payment.
SHAKIR: He said: Be gone! for whoever of them will follow you, then surely hell is your recompense, a full recompense:
YUSUFALI: "Lead to destruction those whom thou canst among them, with thy (seductive) voice; make assaults on them with thy cavalry and thy infantry; mutually share with them wealth and children; and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.
PICKTHAL: And excite any of them whom thou canst with thy voice, and urge thy horse and foot against them, and be a partner in their wealth and children, and promise them. Satan promiseth them only to deceive.
SHAKIR: And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your voice, and collect against them your forces riding and on foot, and share with them in wealth and children, and hold out promises to them; and the Shaitan makes not promises to them but to deceive:
YUSUFALI: "As for My servants, no authority shalt thou have over them:" Enough is thy Lord for a Disposer of affairs.
PICKTHAL: Lo! My (faithful) bondmen - over them thou hast no power, and thy Lord sufficeth as (their) guardian.
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) My servants, you have no authority over them; and your Lord is sufficient as a Protector.
YUSUFALI: Your Lord is He That maketh the Ship go smoothly for you through the sea, in order that ye may seek of his Bounty. For he is unto you most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: (O mankind), your Lord is He Who driveth for you the ship upon the sea that ye may seek of His bounty. Lo! He was ever Merciful toward you.
SHAKIR: Your Lord is He Who speeds the ships for you in the sea that you may seek of His grace; surely He is ever Merciful to you.
YUSUFALI: When distress seizes you at sea, those that ye call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, ye turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man!
PICKTHAL: And when harm toucheth you upon the sea, all unto whom ye cry (for succour) fail save Him (alone), but when He bringeth you safe to land, ye turn away, for man was ever thankless.
SHAKIR: And when distress afflicts you in the sea, away go those whom you call on except He; but when He brings you safe to the land, you turn aside; and man is ever ungrateful.
YUSUFALI: Do ye then feel secure that He will not cause you to be swallowed up beneath the earth when ye are on land, or that He will not send against you a violent tornado (with showers of stones) so that ye shall find no one to carry out your affairs for you?
PICKTHAL: Feel ye then secure that He will not cause a slope of the land to engulf you, or send a sand-storm upon you, and then ye will find that ye have no protector?
SHAKIR: What! Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a tract of land to engulf you or send on you a tornado? Then you shall not find a protector for yourselves.
YUSUFALI: Or do ye feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea and send against you a heavy gale to drown you because of your ingratitude, so that ye find no helper. Therein against Us?
PICKTHAL: Or feel ye secure that He will not return you to that (plight) a second time, and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you for your thanklessness, and then ye will not find therein that ye have any avenger against Us?
SHAKIR: Or, do you feel secure that He will (not) take you back into it another time, then send on you a fierce gale and thus drown you on account of your ungratefulness? Then you shall not find any aider against Us in the matter.
YUSUFALI: We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.
PICKTHAL: Verily we have honoured the Children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.
SHAKIR: And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created.
17 : 71
71. Yawma nadAAoo kulla onasin bi-imamihim faman ootiya kitabahu biyameenihi faola-ika yaqraoona kitabahum wala yuthlamoona fateelan
On the Day when We will summon all mankind and their cardinals to Our presence, those who are given their records to be held in their right hands will read them out and they will not be wronged to the slightest extent!
17 : 72
72. Waman kana fee hathihi aAAma fahuwa fee al-akhirati aAAma waadallu sabeelan
But he who was blind in this world would be blind in the Hereafter too, gone astray farther than ever before!
(The cardinals mentioned above does not necessarily refer to Prophets or Messengers of Allah but all those who lead others and are followed by them, whether in spiritual matters or earthly affairs; whether on the path of virtue or error, which places a heavy burden of responsibility upon the shoulders of our politicians, our priests, our community leaders, our rulers, our teachers, even our parents and peers, who were in a position to draw up the ground rules and see to it that they were obeyed.
Each time a senate passes legislation for lowering the age of consent for homosexual partnerships, it is answerable for the consequences accruing from it for our young men and women not mature enough to understand its implications in later parts of their lives; each time a school adopts sex education policies which encourage our teenagers to lead a promiscuous life because its consequences can be counter-acted by drugs or devices, it is answerable for the moral depredation they cause; every time we vote a politician into power whose views go against the very fibre of our moral values, we are answerable for the havoc our choice reeks on our brethren, our community and our society.
As has been pointed out on several prior occasions, those who led a life of virtue in this world and strove to walk on the right path would be given the deposition of their deeds in their right hands to read aloud for all of mankind to hear, and they will read them with great relish as they have nothing to fear nor to be embarrassed about; but on the other hand, those who wasted away their lives in pursuit of solecism and mendacity would be given theirs in their left hands, which they would have difficulty in reading because of the dark voids engulfing their vision, all summarized in the words : he who was blind in this world would remain blind in the other too, and he who strayed away in this world would stray away in the other as well).
* * *
Context of revelation : The following verses were revealed when the Meccan idolaters came to the Prophet with a proposal which contained three spurious conditions and offered to embrace Islam if he was prepared to accept them and then lie to his fellow believers that he did so because Allah had commanded him to do it!
17 : 73
73. Wa-in kadoo layaftinoonaka AAani allathee awhayna ilayka litaftariya AAalayna ghayrahu wa-ithan laittakhathooka khaleelan
And they tried their utmost to deflect you from that which We have inspired in you so that you assign to Us something other than what We revealed to you, and if you had, they would have made you their bosom friend!
17 : 74
74. Walawla an thabbatnaka laqad kidta tarkanu ilayhim shay-an qaleelan
And if We had not made you absolutely resolute, you had almost capitulated to them to some extent!
17 : 75
75. Ithan laathaqnaka diAAfa alhayati wadiAAfa almamati thumma la tajidu laka AAalayna naseeran
In which case, We would surely have made you taste twice the punishment of life and twice the punishment of death and you would not have found anyone to help you against Us!
(The proposition offered to the Prophet was : (i) they would not bow or prostrate before Allah in their 'Salaat'; (ii) they would not destroy their idols with their own hands; and (iii) they would stop worshipping their chief idol only after the rich offerings 'he' was about to receive from his devotees for that season were paid and collected. Though the Prophet rejected the first and the third stipulation outright, he was inclined to concede the second when these verses were revealed, warning him not to make the concession).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when Jews and Hypocrites got together and hatched a plot to have the Prophet expelled not only from Mecca but from the whole of Arabia, - a plot which nearly succeeded, were it not for the will of Allah.
17 : 76
76. Wa-in kadoo layastafizzoonaka mina al-ardi liyukhrijooka minha wa-ithan la yalbathoona khilafaka illa qaleelan
And verily they also did their utmost to provoke you and have you expelled from the country! But then, they too would not have lasted in the land save for a brief while, -
17 : 77
77. Sunnata man qad arsalna qablaka min rusulina wala tajidu lisunnatina tahweelan
A course of action to which We adhered in the case of all the previous Messengers whom We had sent, - and you will not find our course of action vary from one to the other! (R)
(It has always been, since times immemorial, an irretractable, an unalterable and an implacable matter of 'Divine protocol', - if one might define it as such, - that whenever a people drove their messenger out of their nation, small or large, Divine castigation landed upon them without any delay and without warning, resulting in their total decimation. The verse warns the Meccan agnostics that, if they were entertaining any such vicious thoughts about their Prophet, they should do well to abandon them because it could land them in deeper trouble than they had bargained for; they could get wiped out of existence in the same way as the others were, their proud city of Mecca razed to the ground, their dwellings incarcerated and every vestige of their existence turned into a lesson for generations beyond!)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
71. (And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imām [their Prophets, or their records of good and bad deeds, or their Holy Books like the Qur'ān, the Taurāt (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), etc.]. So whosoever is given his record in his right hand, such will read their records, and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.
72. And whoever is blind in this world (i.e., does not see Allāh's Signs and believes not in Him), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more astray from the Path.
73. Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We have revealed (the Qur'ān) unto you (O Muhammad SAW), to fabricate something other than it against Us, and then they would certainly have taken you a friend!
74. And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little.
75. In that case, We would have made you taste a double portion (of punishment) in this life and a double portion (of punishment) after death. And then you would have found none to help you against Us.
76. And Verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land. But in that case they would not have stayed (therein) after you, expcept for a little while.
77. (This was Our) Sunnah (rule or way) with the Messengers We sent before you (O Muhammad SAW), and you will not find any alteration in Our Sunnah (rule or way, etc.).
YUSUFALI: One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.
PICKTHAL: On the day when We shall summon all men with their record, whoso is given his book in his right hand - such will read their book and they will not be wronged a shred.
SHAKIR: (Remember) the day when We will call every people with their Imam; then whoever is given his book in his right hand, these shall read their book; and they shall not be dealt with a whit unjustly.
YUSUFALI: But those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the hereafter, and most astray from the Path.
PICKTHAL: Whoso is blind here will be blind in the Hereafter, and yet further from the road.
SHAKIR: And whoever is blind in this, he shall (also) be blind in the hereafter; and more erring from the way.
YUSUFALI: And their purpose was to tempt thee away from that which We had revealed unto thee, to substitute in our name something quite different; (in that case), behold! they would certainly have made thee (their) friend!
PICKTHAL: And they indeed strove hard to beguile thee (Muhammad) away from that wherewith We have inspired thee, that thou shouldst invent other than it against Us; and then would they have accepted thee as a friend.
SHAKIR: And surely they had purposed to turn you away from that which We have revealed to you, that you should forge against Us other than that, and then they would certainly have taken you for a friend.
YUSUFALI: And had We not given thee strength, thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little.
PICKTHAL: And if We had not made thee wholly firm thou mightest almost have inclined unto them a little.
SHAKIR: And had it not been that We had already established you, you would certainly have been near to incline to them a little;
YUSUFALI: In that case We should have made thee taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life, and an equal portion in death: and moreover thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us!
PICKTHAL: Then had we made thee taste a double (punishment) of living and a double (punishment) of dying, then hadst thou found no helper against Us.
SHAKIR: In that case We would certainly have made you to taste a double (punishment) in this life and a double (punishment) after death, then you would not have found any helper against Us.
YUSUFALI: Their purpose was to scare thee off the land, in order to expel thee; but in that case they would not have stayed (therein) after thee, except for a little while.
PICKTHAL: And they indeed wished to scare thee from the land that they might drive thee forth from thence, and then they would have stayed (there) but a little after thee.
SHAKIR: And surely they purposed to unsettle you from the land that they might expel you from it, and in that case they will not tarry behind you but a little.
YUSUFALI: (This was Our) way with the messengers We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways.
PICKTHAL: (Such was Our) method in the case of those whom We sent before thee (to mankind), and thou wilt not find for Our method aught of power to change.
SHAKIR: (This is Our) course with regard to those of Our messengers whom We sent before you, and you shall not find a change in Our course.
17 : 78
78. Aqimi alssalata lidulooki alshshamsi ila ghasaqi allayli waqur-ana alfajri inna qur-ana alfajri kana mashhoodan
Offer worship from the setting of the sun until the darkness of the night and recite the Qur'aan at dawn; verily the recital of the Qur'aan at dawn is always witnessed.
(Although it is ordained for all Muslims that they should perform Salaat five times a day, preferably in a congregation where possible, certain timings are given a degree of prominence over the others for one reason or another. For instance, Salaat offered at day-break is more important than the others because it coincides with the launching of a new day; it is offered at the most tranquil time of day; it tests our resolve to give up the comfort of sleep and bed in preference to presenting ourselves before our Lord; and what is more, we have the word of Allah that it is thronged by angels who work at night as well as during the day. After concluding the Salaat, as we face heavenwards and raise our hands towards Him to seek whatever we wish to seek, and the angels add their voice to it, our prayers stand the best chance of being heard and granted!).
17 : 79
79. Wamina allayli fatahajjad bihi nafilatan laka AAasa an yabAAathaka rabbuka maqaman mahmoodan
And devote the small watches of the night for worship which is especially auspicious for you; it may be that your Lord will elevate you to a praiseworthy station thereby!
(The reference is to Tahajjud, which is offered during the night in addition to the five canonical prayers, made compulsory for the Prophet but optional to the rest of Muslims, though very popular with the very dedicated.
Since 'Tahajjud' is to be offered at the expense of sleep, it is necessary that those who intend to offer it should have slept for a while after the Salaat at night, woken up from sleep and then offer it. There are no stipulations as to how long this 'nap' should last and hence people decide for themselves how long to sleep before waking up. For those who wish to spend two thirds of the night in sleep and one third of the night in worship, it is advisable to divide the night in three parts and offer it during the middle part; but if one wishes to spend half the night in sleep and the other half in worship, it is more auspicious to offer it during the second half.
The praiseworthy station conferred upon our beloved Prophet by Allah is that he would lead the entire mankind on the Day of Resurrection - not just the Muslims - and would receive adulation from all alike, regardless of who they are or to which Messenger they belonged).
17 : 80
80. Waqul rabbi adkhilnee mudkhala sidqin waakhrijnee mukhraja sidqin waijAAal lee min ladunka sultanan naseeran
And say : 'My Lord! Enable me to enter with the Truth and enable me to exit with the Truth and grant me a lasting cogency from Your presence!
(There are several interpretations to the connotation of 'enter' and 'exit', some commentators opining that it simply means entering a house or coming out of it; or entering an assembly or emerging from it; or entering a task or concluding it; some opining that it means 'enter me in my grave by Your leave, cleansed of impurities and bring me out of my grave by Your leave with due dignity and pride'; or 'let me enter the perimeters of Your command with truthfulness and let me come out of it with merit'; or 'let me enter the obligations of my Prophethood with honesty and let me be discharged from them with distinction!'
The 'lasting cogency' means the power to overcome His enemies, the proof to convince His opponents and the strength to consolidate His supporters, a prayer that was heard and answered by Allah who did bestow on him the power to overwhelm his enemy and portents to silence his opponents and the resourcefulness to support his brethren!)
17 : 81
81. Waqul jaa alhaqqu wazahaqa albatilu inna albatila kana zahooqan
And say : 'Truth has arrived and falsehood has disappeared, for verily falsehood is destined to disappear!'
(Truth refers to Islam and falsehood to repudiation; or Truth refers to the Qur'aan and falsehood to the forces of the devil; or truth refers to light and falsehood to the evils of darkness.
It is said that, after Mecca fell to the Muslim army and the Prophet entered the city, he found the holy Ka'ba to be surrounded by 360 idols, all reinforced with molten iron in order to protect them from pillage. So he picked up a stick and smacked them with it, repeating the above verse, which caused the idols to crumble into dust).
17 : 82
82. Wanunazzilu mina alqur-ani ma huwa shifaon warahmatun lilmu/mineena wala yazeedu alththalimeena illa khasaran
We have inculcated in the Qur'aan that which proffers resurgence and mercy to the believers and that which augments the toll of apostasy for the apostates!
(Such is the magnificent content of the Qur'aan with which our Lord blessed us that it heals our physical as well as spiritual lacerations; it enlivens our souls and elevates them to unprecedented levels; it tears up the folds of darkness and floods it with the glare of effulgence; it pulls down the fences of ignorance and expands the frontiers of knowledge; it wards off evil by overlapping on it the awning of righteousness; it enables our inner selves to surface and conquer our outer intortions; it drags us out of the doldrums of sin and sets us afloat towards the shores of emancipation!
But at the same time, it has quite the opposite effect upon those who vituperate Allah and repudiate His revelations; it puts the fear of hell in their hearts and throws them into a panic; it takes away from them the stave of apostasy on which they lean for support and sends them staggering on their feet; it consecrates their physical lacerations and pours poison on their spiritual wounds; it wraps a blindfold upon their eyes and plunges their vision into chasms of obscurity; it takes away their speech and stuffs their throats with incomprehensible gibberish; it brings them out of light and sends them astray in the labyrinth of darkness; it takes everything away from them and gives them nothing in return!).
17 : 83
83. Wa-itha anAAamna AAala al-insani aAArada wanaa bijanibihi wa-itha massahu alshsharru kana yaoosan
When We bestow on man a favour, he turns away and recedes into distance; but when adversity afflicts him, he relinquishes all his hopes!
17 : 84
84. Qul kullun yaAAmalu AAala shakilatihi farabbukum aAAlamu biman huwa ahda sabeelan
Say : 'Each man follows his own code of ethics; but your Lord is best aware of who follows the right course!' (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
78. Perform AsSalāt (Iqamāt-as-Salāt) from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, 'Asr, Maghrib, and 'Ishā' prayers), and recite the Qur'ān in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur'ān in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).
79. And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salāt (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur'an in the prayer), as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawāfil) for you (O Muhammad SAW). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqāman Mahmūda (a station of praise and glory, i.e. the highest degree in Paradise!).
80. And say (O Muhammad SAW): My Lord! Let my entry (to the city of Al-Madinah) be good, and likewise my exit (from the city of Makkah) be good. And grant me from You an authority to help me (or a firm sign or a proof).
81. And say: "Truth (i.e. Islāmic Monotheism or this Qur'ān or Jihād against polytheists) has come and Bātil (falsehood, i.e. Satan or polytheism, etc.) has vanished. Surely! Bātil is ever bound to vanish."
82. And We send down from the Qur'ān that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islāmic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zālimūn (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss.
83. And when We bestow Our Grace on man (the disbeliever), he turns away and becomes arrogant, far away from the Right Path. And when evil touches him he is in great despair.
84. Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): "Each one does according to Shakilatihi (i.e. his way or his religion or his intentions, etc.), and your Lord knows best of him whose path (religion, etc.) is right."
YUSUFALI: Establish regular prayers - at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.
PICKTHAL: Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of night, and (the recital of) the Qur'an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur'an at dawn is ever witnessed.
SHAKIR: Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed.
YUSUFALI: And pray in the small watches of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a Station of Praise and Glory!
PICKTHAL: And some part of the night awake for it, a largess for thee. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate.
SHAKIR: And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.
YUSUFALI: Say: "O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)."
PICKTHAL: And say: My Lord! Cause me to come in with a firm incoming and to go out with a firm outgoing. And give me from Thy presence a sustaining Power.
SHAKIR: And say: My Lord! make me to enter a goodly entering, and cause me to go forth a goodly going forth, and grant me from near Thee power to assist (me).
YUSUFALI: And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish."
PICKTHAL: And say: Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish.
SHAKIR: And say: The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished; surely falsehood is a vanishing (thing).
YUSUFALI: We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.
PICKTHAL: And We reveal of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increase the evil-doers in naught save ruin.
SHAKIR: And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers, and it adds only to the perdition of the unjust.
YUSUFALI: Yet when We bestow Our favours on man, he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us), and when evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair!
PICKTHAL: And when We make life pleasant unto man, he turneth away and is averse; and when ill toucheth him he is in despair.
SHAKIR: And when We bestow favor on man, he turns aside and behaves proudly, and when evil afflicts him, he is despairing.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Everyone acts according to his own disposition: But your Lord knows best who it is that is best guided on the Way."
PICKTHAL: Say: Each one doth according to his rule of conduct, and thy Lord is Best Aware of him whose way is right.
SHAKIR: Say: Every one acts according to his manner; but your Lord best knows who is best guided in the path.
17 : 85
85. Wayas-aloonaka AAani alrroohi quli alrroohu min amri rabbee wama ooteetum mina alAAilmi illa qaleelan
you about the Spirit. Say to them : 'The Spirit responds to the command of my
Lord; and in respect of knowledge about it, you have been given but very little!
(When the Prophet claimed he was the chosen messenger of Allah, entrusted with the task of delivering His message containing good news and warnings, the idolaters were caught up in a fix. They had never known him to lie, to cheat, to mislead, to purloin or to boast; in fact, they had detected no flaws of any kind in his character; he was forthright; he was wise; he was peace loving; he was soft-spoken and he was fair. So what could they do to assassinate his character, smear his reputation and prevaricate his claim?
In search of a plausible solution, they approached certain Jewish pedagogues who were also under threat from him and equally eager to halt his progress. Their advice to them was to ask him three questions; if he failed to answer any of them, it could be taken to mean that he was an impostor staking a bogus claim; if he answered all three of their questions, that too would mean the same; but if he answered two out of the three and failed to answer one, it would mean he was speaking the truth and was being guided by Allah.
Their first question was to tell them about The Sleepers of the Cave', to which he gave a satisfactory answer which is the subject matter of the following Surah; their second question was to tell them about Dhu'l-Qarnayn, which was also answered by him to their satisfaction and is included in the same Surah; and their third question was to tell them about the Spirit, which he could not answer other than saying that it was something inside man which is known to and responds to and is controlled by Allah alone. Thus the idolaters, - and through them the others, - came to realize that the man they were dealing with was indeed genuine and was to be taken seriously).
17 : 86
86. Wala-in shi/na lanathhabanna biallathee awhayna ilayka thumma la tajidu laka bihi AAalayna wakeelan
If We so willed, We could erase that which We have revealed to you, in which case you would never find anyone to plead before Us on your behalf -
17 : 87
87. Illa rahmatan min rabbika inna fadlahu kana AAalayka kabeeran
that, the mercy of your Lord is on you! Verily His generosity towards you is
(If Allah should decide that the Qur'aan is erased from minds of people and is wiped out from all tractates, mankind would be left with nothing to plead before Him on their behalf on the Day of Judgement. But it is a lasting mercy of Allah towards the Prophet that, not only did He bestow on Him the Qur'aan, but also protected it from being tampered with by selfish hands; made him a Prophet for mankind rather than just the Muslims, the Jews and the Christians and conferred on him the distinction of a Praiseworthy Station, never conferred on any other Prophet in the past.)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when it was claimed by the disbelievers that, if they wanted to, they could come up with a document similar to the Qur'aan without any hitch.
17 : 88
88. Qul la-ini ijtamaAAati al-insu waaljinnu AAala an ya/too bimithli hatha alqur-ani la ya/toona bimithlihi walaw kana baAAduhum libaAAdin thaheeran
Say: 'Verily even if man and Jinn combined together to produce a document similar to Qur'aan, they would not be able to produce the like of it, no matter how much help each of them gave to the other!
17 : 89
89. Walaqad sarrafna lilnnasi fee hatha alqur-ani min kulli mathalin faaba aktharu alnnasi illa kufooran
We have elucidated for mankind in this Qur'aan many a similitude in a variety of ways, but most of mankind do not accept it, except grudgingly!
* * *
Context of Revelations: The following verses were revealed when the idolaters, in a bid to discredit the Prophet somehow, called upon him to come up with the improbable in support of his prophethood!
17 : 90
90. Waqaloo lan nu/mina laka hatta tafjura lana mina al-ardi yanbooAAan
They say: 'We will never believe you until you cause a fountain to gush forth from this parched land for us!
17 : 91
91. Aw takoona laka jannatun min nakheelin waAAinabin fatufajjira al-anhara khilalaha tafjeeran
'Or until you possess a garden of date palms and grapes and cause an abundance of running streams to flow in it!
17 : 92
92. Aw tusqita alssamaa kama zaAAamta AAalayna kisafan aw ta/tiya biAllahi waalmala-ikati qabeelan
'Or cause the heaven to break up and come down on us as you threaten it would! Or bring Allah and His angels to vouch for you!
17 : 93
93. Aw yakoona laka baytun min zukhrufin aw tarqa fee alssama-i walan nu/mina liruqiyyika hatta tunazzila AAalayna kitaban naqraohu qul subhana rabbee hal kuntu illa basharan rasoolan
'Or until you possess a mansion of gold; or you are able to ascend into the heavens! And even if you do, we will still not believe you until you bring for us a book that we can read!' Say to them (O Mohammed) : 'Praise be to my Lord! Am I anything but a mortal and a mere messenger? (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
85. And they ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning the Rūh (the Spirit); Say: "The Rūh (the Spirit): it is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little."
86. And if We willed We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you by inspiration (i.e. this Qur'ān). Then you would find no protector for you against Us in that respect.
87. Except as a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! His Grace unto you (O Muhammad SAW) is ever great.
88. Say: "If the mankind and the jinns were together to produce the like of this Qur'ān, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another."
89. And indeed We have fully explained to mankind, in this Qur'ān, every kind of similitude, but most mankind refuse (the truth and accept nothing) but disbelief.
90. And they say: "We shall not believe in you (O Muhammad SAW), until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us;
91. "Or you have a garden of date-palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst abundantly;
92. "Or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you have pretended, or you bring Allāh and the angels before (us) face to face;
93. "Or you have a house of adornable materials (like silver and pure gold, etc.), or you ascend up into the sky, and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read." Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Glorified (and Exalted) be my Lord (Allāh) above all that evil they (polytheists) associate with Him! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger?"
YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)"
PICKTHAL: They are asking thee concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord, and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little.
SHAKIR: And they ask you about the soul. Say: The soul is one of the commands of my Lord, and you are not given aught of knowledge but a little.
YUSUFALI: If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration:then wouldst thou find none to plead thy affair in that matter as against Us,-
PICKTHAL: And if We willed We could withdraw that which We have revealed unto thee, then wouldst thou find no guardian for thee against Us in respect thereof.
SHAKIR: And if We please, We should certainly take away that which We have revealed to you, then you would not find for it any protector against Us.
YUSUFALI: Except for Mercy from thy Lord: for his bounty is to thee (indeed) great.
PICKTHAL: (It is naught) save mercy from thy Lord. Lo! His kindness unto thee was ever great.
SHAKIR: But on account of mercy from your Lord-- surely His grace to you is abundant.
YUSUFALI: Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.
PICKTHAL: Say: Verily, though mankind and the jinn should assemble to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof though they were helpers one of another.
SHAKIR: Say: If men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Quran, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aiders of others.
YUSUFALI: And We have explained to man, in this Qur'an, every kind of similitude: yet the greater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude!
PICKTHAL: And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Qur'an all kind of similitudes, but most of mankind refuse aught save disbelief.
SHAKIR: And certainly We have explained for men in this Quran every kind of similitude, but most men do not consent to aught but denying.
YUSUFALI: They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,
PICKTHAL: And they say: We will not put faith in thee till thou cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us;
SHAKIR: And they say: We will by no means believe in you until you cause a fountain to gush forth from the earth for us.
YUSUFALI: "Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water;
PICKTHAL: Or thou have a garden of date-palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth therein abundantly;
SHAKIR: Or you should have a garden of palms and grapes in the midst of which you should cause rivers to flow forth, gushing out.
YUSUFALI: "Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face:
PICKTHAL: Or thou cause the heaven to fall upon us piecemeal, as thou hast pretended, or bring Allah and the angels as a warrant;
SHAKIR: Or you should cause the heaven to come down upon us in pieces as you think, or bring Allah and the angels face to face (with us).
YUSUFALI: "Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?"
PICKTHAL: Or thou have a house of gold; or thou ascend up into heaven, and even then we will put no faith in thine ascension till thou bring down for us a book that we can read. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord be Glorified! Am I aught save a mortal messenger?
SHAKIR: Or you should have a house of gold, or you should ascend into heaven, and we will not believe in your ascending until you bring down to us a book which we may read. Say: Glory be to my Lord; am I aught but a mortal messenger?
17 : 94
94. Wama manaAAa alnnasa an yu/minoo ith jaahumu alhuda illa an qaloo abaAAatha Allahu basharan rasoolan
Nothing prevented mankind from believing when guidance came to them except that they said : 'Has Allah chosen a mortal to act as His messenger?'
17 : 95
95. Qul law kana fee al-ardi mala-ikatun yamshoona mutma-inneena lanazzalna AAalayhim mina alssama-i malakan rasoolan
Say to them : 'If there were angels walking on the earth in peace, We would have sent down for them an angel from the heaven as a messenger!'
17 : 96
96. Qul kafa biAllahi shaheedan baynee wabaynakum innahu kana biAAibadihi khabeeran baseeran
Say : 'Allah suffices as a witness between me and you! Verily He is aware of His creatures and He watches over them!
17 : 97
97. Waman yahdi Allahu fahuwa almuhtadi waman yudlil falan tajida lahum awliyaa min doonihi wanahshuruhum yawma alqiyamati AAala wujoohihim AAumyan wabukman wasumman ma/wahum jahannamu kullama khabat zidnahum saAAeeran
He whom Allah guides, he is rightly guided; and as for those whom He sends astray, there are no stalwarts for them save Him; We will raise them face downwards on the Day of Resurrection - blind, dumb and deaf! Hell shall be their lasting abode and whenever its flames show signs of receding, We shall rejuvenate them all over again!
17 : 98
98. Thalika jazaohum bi-annahum kafaroo bi-ayatina waqaloo a-itha kunna AAithaman warufatan a-inna lamabAAoothoona khalqan jadeedan
Such shall be their requital for refuting Our revelations and for saying : 'When our bodies turn into bones and dust, are we really going to be renewed and resurrected?
17 : 99
99. Awa lam yaraw anna Allaha allathee khalaqa alssamawati waal-arda qadirun AAala an yakhluqa mithlahum wajaAAala lahum ajalan la rayba feehi faaba alththalimoona illa kufooran
Do they not realize that Allah who created the heavens and the earth is able to create the likes of them and that He has ordained for them a short term which would expire without any doubt? But the iniquitous never accept it, except grudgingly!
17 : 100
100. Qul law antum tamlikoona khaza-ina rahmati rabbee ithan laamsaktum khashyata al-infaqi wakana al-insanu qatooran
Say : 'Had you been the keepers of the treasures of my Lord's mercy, you would still hold them back fearing that they would soon be drained!' And man is so niggardly! (R)
(Verses 90 to 100 contain a series of arguments and counter arguments which took place between the idolaters of Mecca led by the Tribe of Quraish and the Prophet at the behest of Allah.
As the magnetism imbibed in the Qur'aan drove the people of Arabia to the folds of Islam and tribe after tribe abandoned idolatry and surrendered to the will of Allah, the Quraish sought a confrontation with the Prophet in the precincts of the Ka'ba and told him without mincing their words that no one ever dared to denigrate them as he had done; he brought their forefathers into disrepute; he cast aspersions upon their faith; he made their leaders whom they followed seem like fools; he insulted the gods they worshipped and left no stones unturned in causing divisions amongst them; if it was wealth he cherished, they said they would make him the richest man in the country; if it was fame he sought, they would accept him as their hero; if it was kingdom he was after, they would put a crown on his head and make him their king; and if it was some sort of a mental illness he was afflicted with, they would bring him the best help their money could buy!
But when the Prophet declined everything they offered and told them in equally clear terms that he was chosen by Allah to deliver his message with good tidings for those who accepted it and warnings for those who vituperated it, and that, apart from doing His bidding, he had no interests of his own to serve, they became exasperated and began to make all sorts of demands on him in support of his claim, such as cause fountains to gush forth from sand; change the mountains into mounds of gold; clear their farms of stones and rocks; erect a stairway to heaven; even to cause the sky to split apart and hurtle upon their heads as he had warned them it would.
The Prophet, however, had only one answer to give them : he was only doing his duty, and none of which they were asking him to do was within his means!).
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
94. And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allāh sent a man as (His) Messenger?"
95. Say: "If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security, We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger."
96. Say: "Sufficient is Allāh for a witness between me and you. Verily! He is the All-Knower, the All-Seer of His slaves."
97. And he whom Allāh guides, he is led aright; but he whom He sends astray for such you will find no Auliyā' (helpers and protectors, etc.), besides Him, and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf, their abode will be Hell; whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.
98. That is their recompense, because they denied Our Ayāt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and said: "When we are bones and fragments, shall we really be raised up as a new creation?"
99. See they not that Allāh, Who created the heavens and the earth, is Able to create the like of them. And He has decreed for them an appointed term, whereof there is not doubt. But the Zālimūn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) refuse (the truth the Message of Islāmic Monotheism, and accept nothing) but disbelief.
100. Say (to the disbelievers): "If you possessed the treasure of the Mercy of my Lord (wealth, money, provision, etc.), then you would surely hold back (from spending) for fear of (being exhausted), and man is ever miserly!"
YUSUFALI: What kept men back from belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has Allah sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger?"
PICKTHAL: And naught prevented mankind from believing when the guidance came unto them save that they said: Hath Allah sent a mortal as (His) messenger?
SHAKIR: And nothing prevented people from believing when the guidance came to them except that they said: What! has Allah raised up a mortal to be a messenger?
YUSUFALI: Say, "If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger."
PICKTHAL: Say: If there were in the earth angels walking secure, We had sent down for them from heaven an angel as messenger.
SHAKIR: Say: Had there been in the earth angels walking about as settlers, We would certainly have sent down to them from the heaven an angel as a messenger.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all things).
PICKTHAL: Say: Allah sufficeth for a witness between me and you. Lo! He is Knower, Seer of His slaves.
SHAKIR: Say: Allah suffices as a witness between me and you; surely He is Aware of His servants, Seeing.
YUSUFALI: It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray - for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgment We shall gather, them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, We shall increase from them the fierceness of the Fire.
PICKTHAL: And he whom Allah guideth, he is led aright; while, as for him whom He sendeth astray, for them thou wilt find no protecting friends beside Him, and We shall assemble them on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their habitation will be hell; whenever it abateth, We increase the flame for them.
SHAKIR: And whomsoever Allah guides, he is the follower of the right way, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him guardians besides Him; and We will gather them together on the day of resurrection on their faces, blind and dumb and deaf; their abode is hell; whenever it becomes allayed We will add to their burning.
YUSUFALI: That is their recompense, because they rejected Our signs, and said, "When we are reduced to bones and broken dust, should we really be raised up (to be) a new Creation?"
PICKTHAL: That is their reward because they disbelieved Our revelations and said: When we are bones and fragments shall we, forsooth, be raised up as a new creation?
SHAKIR: This is their retribution because they disbelieved in Our communications and said What! when we shall have become bones and decayed particles, shall we then indeed be raised up into a new creation?
YUSUFALI: See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, has power to create the like of them (anew)? Only He has decreed a term appointed, of which there is no doubt. But the unjust refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude.
PICKTHAL: Have they not seen that Allah Who created the heavens and the earth is Able to create the like of them, and hath appointed for them an end whereof there is no doubt? But the wrong-doers refuse aught save disbelief.
SHAKIR: Do they not consider that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, is able to create their like, and He has appointed for them a doom about which there is no doubt? But the unjust do not consent to aught but denying.
YUSUFALI: Say: "If ye had control of the Treasures of the Mercy of my Lord, behold, ye would keep them back, for fear of spending them: for man is (every) niggardly!"
PICKTHAL: Say (unto them): If ye possessed the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, ye would surely hold them back for fear of spending, for man was ever grudging.
SHAKIR: Say: If you control the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, then you would withhold (them) from fear of spending, and man is niggardly.
17 : 101
101. Walaqad atayna moosa tisAAa ayatin bayyinatin fais-al banee isra-eela ith jaahum faqala lahu firAAawnu innee laathunnuka ya moosa mashooran
And verily We gave Moses nine radiant emblems, so ask the Children of Israel how, when he came to Pharaoh with them, he said to him : 'I deem you to be bewitched, O Moses!'
(The nine portents given to Moses were : (i) the stave; (ii) the radiant hand; (iii) the unfurling of the knot in his tongue; (iv) the parting of the ocean; (v) the apocalyptic storm that gripped Egypt: (vi) the bane of the locusts; (vii) the bane of the ticks; (viii) the bane of the frogs; (ix) the bane of the blood. The last five have been discussed at length in Surah 7, verse 133)
17 : 102
102. Qala laqad AAalimta ma anzala haola-i illa rabbu alssamawati waal-ardi basa-ira wa-innee laathunnuka ya firAAawnu mathbooran
He said : 'Nay, but you know quite well that none sent down these emblems save the Lord of the heavens and the earth as Divine Credentials! As far as I am concerned, I deem you to be lost, O Pharaoh!
17 : 103
103. Faarada an yastafizzahum mina al-ardi faaghraqnahu waman maAAahu jameeAAan
So he became determined to drive them out of the land but We drowned him along with all his warlords, - every one of them!
17 : 104
104. Waqulna min baAAdihi libanee isra-eela oskunoo al-arda fa-itha jaa waAAdu al-akhirati ji/na bikum lafeefan
And We said to the children of Israel thereafter : 'Dwell in this land. Then, when the warning of the Hereafter is fulfilled, We shall gather you as a unified group, drawn from various nations.'
17 : 105
105. Wabialhaqqi anzalnahu wabialhaqqi nazala wama arsalnaka illa mubashshiran wanatheeran
With the truth have We revealed this and for the truth has it been revealed and We have sent you as none but a bearer of good tidings and as a warner!
17 : 106
106. Waqur-anan faraqnahu litaqraahu AAala alnnasi AAala mukthin wanazzalnahu tanzeelan
We have divided the Qur'aan in parts so that you may recite it to mankind in parts; and We did reveal it stage by stage!
(The Qur'aan was revealed over a period of 33 years, its individual verses revealed in response to specific incidents which took place around the Prophet, although they are grouped together in a series of Surahs in accordance with their themes rather than the chronological order of revelation).
17 : 107
107. Qul aminoo bihi aw la tu/minoo inna allatheena ootoo alAAilma min qablihi itha yutla AAalayhim yakhirroona lil-athqani sujjadan
Say to them : 'Whether you believe in it or you do not believe in it; those who were blessed with knowledge before it fall prostrate on their chins whenever it is recited to them, from adoration!'
17 : 108
108. Wayaqooloona subhana rabbina in kana waAAdu rabbina lamafAAoolan
And say : 'Glory be to our Lord! Verily the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled!'
17 : 109
109. Wayakhirroona lil-athqani yabkoona wayazeeduhum khushooAAan
And they fall prostrate on their chins, tears of approbation streaming down their eyes, because it exacerbates humility in their hearts!
(The promise of Allah mentioned in the verse refers to the Prophet whose arrival in the world to bring the Last Divine Scripture of Allah was foretold in all the previous Scriptures and did come to pass; and the people blest with knowledge before it refers to true believers from among the Peoples of the Scriptures who had read about the prediction of the Last Prophet contained in the Torah and the Gospel and were eagerly awaiting his arrival. These men of wisdom and faith never doubted the claim made by the Prophet nor hesitated in accepting him as the Last Prophet of Allah prophesied in their Scriptures.
It is laid down in several accredited Ahadith that those who shed tears of approbation upon hearing the Qur'aan being recited would never be cast in hell!)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed in response to the mistaken belief of the heretics that, when the Prophet addressed Allah sometimes as Allah and sometimes as Beneficent, he was preaching them to worship one God but himself worshipping two gods : 'one Allah' and the other 'Beneficent One'!
17 : 110
110. Quli odAAoo Allaha awi odAAoo alrrahmana ayyan ma tadAAoo falahu al-asmao alhusna wala tajhar bisalatika wala tukhafit biha waibtaghi bayna thalika sabeelan
Say : 'Whether you address Him as Allah or you address Him as the Beneficent One, - whatever be the address you choose, - to Him belong the most beautiful names! And you (O Mohammed) do not be too loud in your worship nor too muffled but seek a pitch in between!
17 : 111
111. Waquli alhamdu lillahi allathee lam yattakhith waladan walam yakun lahu shareekun fee almulki walam yakun lahu waliyyun mina alththulli wakabbirhu takbeeran
And say : 'Praise be to Allah Who has never taken for Himself a son and Who has no partners in His Sovereignty nor does He depend on a cohort out of weakness! And glorify His magnificence in one voice!' (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
101. And indeed We gave to Mūsa (Moses) nine clear signs. Ask then the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Fir'aun (Pharaoh) said to him: "O Mūsa (Moses)! I think you are indeed bewitched."
102. [Mūsa (Moses)] said: "Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidences i.e. proofs of Allāh's Oneness and His Omnipotence, etc.). And I think you are, indeed, O Fir'aun (Pharaoh) doomed to destruction (away from all good)!"
103. So he resolved to turn them out of the land (of Egypt). But We drowned him and all who were with him.
104. And We said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near [i.e. the Day of Resurrection or the descent of Christ ['Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) <><> <> on the earth]. We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd (gathered out of various nations).[Tafsir Al-Qurtubī, Vol. 10, Page 338]
105. And with truth We have sent it down (i.e. the Qur'ān), and with truth it has descended. And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings (of Paradise, for those who follow your Message of Islāmic Monotheism), and a warner (of Hell-fire for those who refuse to follow your Message of Islāmic Monotheism).
106. And (it is) a Qur'ān which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages. (in 23 years).
107. Say (O Muhammad SAW to them): "Believe in it (the Qur'ān) or do not believe (in it). Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it (the Jews and the Christians like 'Abdullāh bin Salām and Salmān Al-Farisī), when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration."
108. And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the Promise of our Lord must be fulfilled."
109. And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility.
110. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Invoke Allāh or invoke the Most Beneficent (Allāh), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salāt (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.
111. And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allāh, Who has not begotten a son (nor an offspring), and Who has no partner in (His) Dominion, nor He is low to have a Walī (helper, protector or supporter). And magnify Him with all the magnificence, [Allāhu-Akbar (Allāh is the Most Great)]."
YUSUFALI: To Moses We did give Nine Clear Signs: As the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him: "O Moses! I consider thee, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery!
PICKTHAL: And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses.
SHAKIR: And certainly We gave Musa nine clear signs; so ask the children of Israel. When he came to them, Firon said to him: Most surely I deem you, O Musa, to be a man deprived of reason.
YUSUFALI: Moses said, "Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!"
PICKTHAL: He said: In truth thou knowest that none sent down these (portents) save the Lord of the heavens and the earth as proofs, and lo! (for my part) I deem thee lost, O Pharaoh.
SHAKIR: He said: Truly you know that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has sent down these as clear proof and most surely I believe you, O Firon, to be given over to perdition.
YUSUFALI: So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him.
PICKTHAL: And he wished to scare them from the land, but We drowned him and those with him, all together.
SHAKIR: So he desired to destroy them out of the earth, but We drowned him and those with him all together;
YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land (of promise)": but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
YUSUFALI: We sent down the (Qur'an) in Truth, and in Truth has it descended: and We sent thee but to give Glad Tidings and to warn (sinners).
PICKTHAL: With truth have We sent it down, and with truth hath it descended. And We have sent thee as naught else save a bearer of good tidings and a warner.
SHAKIR: And with truth have We revealed it, and with truth did it come; and We have not sent you but as the giver of good news and as a warner.
YUSUFALI: (It is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts from time to time), in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have revealed it by stages.
PICKTHAL: And (it is) a Qur'an that We have divided, that thou mayst recite it unto mankind at intervals, and We have revealed it by (successive) revelation.
SHAKIR: And it is a Quran which We have revealed in portions so that you may read it to the people by slow degrees, and We have revealed it, revealing in portions.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Whether ye believe in it or not, it is true that those who were given knowledge beforehand, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration,
PICKTHAL: Say: Believe therein or believe not, lo! those who were given knowledge before it, when it is read unto them, fall down prostrate on their faces, adoring,
SHAKIR: Say: Believe in it or believe not; surely those who are given the knowledge before it fall down on their faces, making obeisance when it is recited to them.
YUSUFALI: "And they say: 'Glory to our Lord! Truly has the promise of our Lord been fulfilled!'"
PICKTHAL: Saying: Glory to our Lord! Verily the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.
SHAKIR: And they say: Glory be to our Lord! most surely the promise of our Lord was to be fulfilled.
YUSUFALI: They fall down on their faces in tears, and it increases their (earnest) humility.
PICKTHAL: They fall down on their faces, weeping, and it increaseth humility in them.
SHAKIR: And they fall down on their faces weeping, and it adds to their humility.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."
PICKTHAL: Say (unto mankind): Cry unto Allah, or cry unto the Beneficent, unto whichsoever ye cry (it is the same). His are the most beautiful names. And thou (Muhammad), be not loud-voiced in thy worship nor yet silent therein, but follow a way between.
SHAKIR: Say: Call upon Allah or call upon, the Beneficent Allah; whichever you call upon, He has the best names; and do not utter your prayer with a very raised voice nor be silent with regard to it, and seek a way between these.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!"
PICKTHAL: And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence.
SHAKIR: And say: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who has not taken a son and Who has not a partner in the kingdom, and Who has not a helper to save Him from disgrace; and proclaim His greatness magnifying (Him).