سورة الإسراء   

Surah Name: Al-Isra Meaning: The Night Journey

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • This Sūrah is also known as Bani Isra'il, meaning the Children of Isra'il.

    After explaining the importance of inviting mankind to Allah-SWT , it begins with a mention of the greatness and the high status of the inviter, that is, the Holy Prophet-SW. It then discusses the different eras of Bani Israil, they being the most appropriate nation to be cited as an example from recent past. It dilates on the outcome of their attitudes, when they accepted the invitation to Allah-SWT , and when they turned away from it.

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 12
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 111
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 17
  • Rukū / Section 12 contains Āyāt / Parts 11
  • Siparah/ Volume 15


وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى تِسْعَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ فَاسْأَلْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِذْ جَاءهُمْ فَقَالَ لَهُ فِرْعَونُ إِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا مُوسَى مَسْحُورًا

Walaqad atayna moosa tisAAa ayatin bayyinatin fa(i)sal banee israeela ith jaahum faqala lahu firAAawnu innee laathunnuka ya moosa mashoora(n)

And assuredly We-SWT gave Musa-AS nine manifest Signs-ask you the Children of Israil-so when he came to them, the Pharaoh said to him: I imagine you to be spell bound, O’ Musa-AS!


قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاء إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا فِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا

Qala laqad AAalimta ma anzala haolai illa rabbu a(l)ssamawati wa(a)lardi basaira wainnee laathunnuka ya firAAawnu mathboora(n)

Musa-AS said: assuredly you know that none has sent down these things save the Rabb-SWT of the heavens and the earth as an enlightenment, and verily I imagine you doomed, O’ Pharaoh.


فَأَرَادَ أَن يَسْتَفِزَّهُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُ وَمَن مَّعَهُ جَمِيعًا

Faarada an yastafizzahum mina alardi faaghraqnahu waman maAAahu jameeAAa(n)

Then he sought to scan them out of the land; therefore We-SWT drowned him and those with him, all together.


وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الأَرْضَ فَإِذَا جَاء وَعْدُ الآخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا

Waqulna min baAAdihi libanee israeela oskunoo alarda faitha jaa waAAdu alakhirati jina bikum lafeefa(n)

And after him, We-SWT said to the Children of Israil : dwell on the earth; then when comes the promise of the Akhirah, We-SWT shall assemble you all together.


وَبِالْحَقِّ أَنزَلْنَاهُ وَبِالْحَقِّ نَزَلَ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا

Wabi(a)lhaqqi anzalnahu wabi(a)lhaqqi nazala wama arsalnaka illa mubashshiran wanatheera(n)

And with truth We-SWT have sent down the Quran, and with truth it has come down, and We-SWT have not sent you-SW but as a bringer of glad tidings and a warner.


وَقُرْآناً فَرَقْنَاهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ عَلَى مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَاهُ تَنزِيلاً

Waquranan faraqnahu litaqraahu AAala a(l)nnasi AAala mukthin wanazzalnahu tanzeela(n)

And this is a Recitation which We-SWT have made distinct that you-SW may recite it to mankind with slow deliberation and We-SWT have revealed it at intervals.


قُلْ آمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا

Qul aminoo bihi aw la tuminoo inna allatheena ootoo alAAilma min qablihi ithayutla AAalayhim yakhirroona lilathqani sujjada(n)

Say you-SW: whether you believe it or believe it not, verily those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their chins, prostrating.


وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً

Wayaqooloona subhana rabbina in kana waAAdu rabbina lamafAAoola(n)

And they say: Hallowed be our Rabb-SWT ! The Promise of our Rabb-SWT was ever to have been fulfilled.


وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا

Wayakhirroona lilathqani yabkoona wayazeeduhum khushooAAa(n)

And they fall down on their chins weeping, and it adds to their humility.


قُلِ ادْعُواْ اللّهَ أَوِ ادْعُواْ الرَّحْمَـنَ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاَتِكَ وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً

Quli odAAoo Allaha awi odAAoo a(l)rrahmana ayyan ma tadAAoo falahu alasmao alhusna wala tajhar bisalatika wala tukhafit biha wa(i)btaghi bayna thalika sabeela(n)

Say you-SW: call upon Allaah-SWT or call upon Rahman, by whichsoever name you call, His-SWT are the Excellent Names. And shout not your prayer, nor speak it low, but seek a midway.


وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَم يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلَّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا

Waquli alhamdu lillahi allathee lam yattakhith waladan walam yakun lahu shareekun fee almulki walam yakun lahu waliyyun mina a(l)ththulli wakabbirhu takbeera(n)

And say you-SW: all praise is to Allah-SWT Who-SWT has not taken a son, and Whose-SWT is no associate in the dominion, nor has He-SWT a protector through weakness, and magnify Him-SWT with all magnificence.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

It was this arrogance and vanity that had led the Pharaoh and his people to destruction. We-SWT had sent Prophet Musa-AS unto them with clear Signs. This included nine remarkable miracles, comprising: (1) the Staff (2) the Illuminous Hand, (3) Cure from Stammering (4) the Cleaving of the Sea (5) the Locust Swarms (6) the Infestation of Frogs (7) and of Lice, (8) the Storm, and (9) the Transformation of Water into Blood. These were the nine clear miracles witnessed by every commoner of average intelligence. Some Commentators have also observed that the nine Divine Commandments are referred to as nine Signs of Allaah-SWT . The Holy Prophet-SW is being advised to ask the already knowing Bani Israil how had the Pharaoh responded to these miracles? Despite these clear miracles he had said: "Musa-AS! I see you under the influence of magic, for you talk such drivel when you declare someone other than me worthy of being worshipped and the Rabb-SWT of all creation." This was a statement of sheer arrogance and vanity, the same vice which is preventing these infidels from believing in the Holy Prophet-SW. So Prophet Musa-AS told him that his statement was just to beguile the masses while he knew that these Signs had been sent by the Sustainer of the universe so that he may take heed and be guided. Had he been the sustainer himself he would have altered these Signs and would not have asked him to pray for deliverance every time. This attitude was suggestive of his destruction, which did not seem far off. But instead of accepting the truth, the Pharaoh began to think of ways of eliminating the Bani Israil lest they pose a threat to his rule. However, Allah-SWT's Grip is very firm, and He-SWT not only drowned the Pharaoh but also his entire Army with him. He-SWT entrusted the whole country to Bani Israil with the instructions to live comfortably on Allah-SWT's land, and to remember that at the promised Hour they will all be gathered before Him. So they must never neglect Akhirah by indulging in wickedness. And this is nothing unusual O’ Prophet-SW that you-SW have also been appointed by Us-SWT unto these people with truth. We-SWT have blessed you-SW with the Book, revealed in absolute purity with no possibility of any corruption or distortion in the process whatsoever.


It is Wrong to Believe that Quran has been Tampered with

When the Quran enjoys absolute Divine Protection in its transfer from Allaah-SWT to the Holy Prophet-SW, there is no probability of any alteration. Once conveyed by him-SW and scribed and saved in the hearts of thousands who committed it to memory, how could it have been changed later? It is astounding to believe that the Four Righteous Caliphs had altered the original Quran, while their compilation could not be altered by anyone so far. Hence to believe that the Quran had been altered in any way or can be altered is totally absurd.


Allah-SWT has appointed the Holy Prophet-SW as His-SWT Messenger, and this office demands that he-SW must convey glad tidings to the obedient and inform mankind well in time of the dire consequences of His-SWT disobedience. Now whether people accept the Message or not is not his-SW responsibility. In fact, this Quran is a grand miracle amongst the myriad of miracles associated with the Holy Prophet-SW. To facilitate its easy understanding, he-SW must recite it with pauses and clarity. Just as Allaah-SWT has not revealed it all at once, that people had to delve into it in search of the answers to their queries. Rather, He-SWT revealed solutions to problems as they arose, to facilitate understanding. The Holy Prophet-SW must let the people know that whether they believe in His-SWT Message or not is a matter between them and Allaah-SWT . As for the authenticity of this Book, it is even recognized by the honest scholars of the preceding Divine Books. And when it is recited before them they fall into Sajdah and declare: Praise be to Allah-SWT, His-SWT Promise is bound to be fulfilled. Their Books had prophecies of raising of the Holy Prophet-SW and the Revelation of the Quran, which are coming true. Similarly the prediction about the Day of Judgment is also true, and will certainly take place. When they listen to the Quran, tears roll down their eyes and they fall in Sajdah. Because of this they are further blessed with His-SWT Awe and Kaifiyat-e-Qalbi. The author of Tafsir-e-Mazhari asserts that crying while reciting the Quran is Mustahab (meritorious) but the fact is that this is a state of the heart emanating from the strength of one's faith. If one is blessed with tears while reciting, it is a proof of his salvation.


The Makkans objected to the Holy Prophet-SW using the word Rahman, while previously he-SW used to call out to Allaah-SWT . He-SW may tell them that Allaah-SWT is the Only Being-SWT without any partners. And it is He-SWT Who-SWT has many beautiful Attributive Names. So calling by any of these is indeed calling Him-SWT . The Holy Prophet-SW should recite the Quran during Salat in a medium voice, not so loudly that the non believers mock at it, nor so low that even the those following him-SW is Salat fail to hear. Rather, he-SW must recite in the most balanced manner, pausing frequently. And declare that all Praise is for Allaah-SWT Alone, the like of Whom-SWT does not exist! He-SWT neither has a son, nor any partner in His-SWT Sovereignty. He-SWT is the One pure of any imperfection or weakness, and there is no one whose assistance He-SWT may ever require. He-SWT must be glorified as intensely as He-SWT rightfully deserves.