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 4 contains Āyāt / Parts 10
  • Siparah/ Volume 15


وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلاقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُم إنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْءًا كَبِيرًا

Wala taqtuloo awladakum khashyata imlaqin nahnu narzuquhum waiyyakum inna qatlahum kana khitan kabeera(n)

Kill not your offspring for fear of want: We-SWT provide for them and for yourselves; their killing is a great crime.


وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاء سَبِيلاً

Wala taqraboo a(l)zzina innahu kana fahishatan wasaa sabeela(n)

And do not approach adultery; it is ever an abomination and vile as a pathway.


وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلاَ يُسْرِف فِّي الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُورًا

Wala taqtuloo a(l)nnafsa allatee harrama Allahu illa bi(a)lhaqqi waman qutila mathlooman faqad jaAAalna liwaliyyihi sultanan fala yusrif fee alqatli innahu kana mansoora(n)

And do not kill anyone whom Allaah-SWT has forbidden except by right, and whoever is killed wrongfully, We-SWT have surely given his next of kin authority; so let him not exceed in killing; verily he is ever succoured.


وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُواْ بِالْعَهْدِ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْؤُولاً

Wala taqraboo mala alyateemi illa bi(a)llatee hiya ahsanu hatta yablugha ashuddahu waawfoo bi(a)lAAahdi inna alAAahda kana masoola(n)

And do not approach the substance of an orphan save with what is best, until he reaches the age of strength. And fulfill the covenant; verily the covenant shall be questioned about.


وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُواْ بِالقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً

Waawfoo alkayla itha kiltum wazinoo bi(a)lqistasi almustaqeemi thalika khayrun waahsanu taweela(n)

And give full measures when you measure, and weigh with an even balance, that is good, and the best interpretation.


وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً

Wala taqfu ma laysa laka bihi AAilmun inna a(l)ssamAAa wa(a)lbasara wa(a)lfuada kullu olaika kana AAanhu masoola(n)

And do not you go after that of which you have no knowledge verily the hearing and the sight and the hearts, each of them shall be questioned about.


وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِي الأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الأَرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً

Wala tamshi fee alardi marahan innaka lan takhriqa alarda walan tablugha aljibalatoola(n)

And do not you walk on the earth struttingly; verily you will not by any means rend the earth, nor can you attain the mountains in stature.


كُلُّ ذَلِكَ كَانَ سَيٍّئُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا

Kullu thalika kana sayyiohu AAinda rabbika makrooha(n)

Each of these! The vice thereof is to your Rabb-SWT ever detestable.


ذَلِكَ مِمَّا أَوْحَى إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ الْحِكْمَةِ وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ فَتُلْقَى فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُومًا مَّدْحُورًا

Thalika mimma awha ilayka rabbuka mina alhikmati wala tajAAal maAAa Allahi ilahan akhara fatulqa fee jahannama malooman madhoora(n)

That is part of that wisdom which your-SW Rabb-SWT has revealed to you-SW, and set not up you along with Allaah-SWT another god, lest you be cast into Hell reproved, damned.


أَفَأَصْفَاكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِالْبَنِينَ وَاتَّخَذَ مِنَ الْمَلآئِكَةِ إِنَاثًا إِنَّكُمْ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوْلاً عَظِيمًا

Afaasfakum rabbukum bi(a)lbaneena waittakhatha mina almalaikati inathan innakum lataqooloona qawlan AAatheema(n)

Has then your Rabb-SWT distinguished yourselves with sons and taken for Himself-SWT the females from amongst the angels? Verily you say a saying mighty.


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

The next Injunction relates to dealings with children. In pre Islamic days people used to kill their offspring, especially daughters and took great pride in it. Allaah-SWT announces that He-SWT is the Provider and the Sustainer for everyone, Who-SWT not only blesses with issues but also provides for their sustenance just as He-SWT provides for the parents. It is, therefore, a grave crime to kill them.


Family Planning

These days contraception is being promoted in the name of family planning to control population growth. This indeed is a grave sin even though it may not fall under infanticide. The reason given in its favour is that population pressure leads to economic crisis and unbearable burden on national resources. Of course, if the abortion is done after the foetus becomes viable in 120 days of conception, it shall fall under the category of murder. Aborting before this period, though not a murder, yet is a grave sin. In another situation if the health of the mother is at stake or there is threat to her life, aborting before viability of the foetus is permissible. A temporary contraceptive treatment is also allowed. A permanent solution such as an operation for sterilization is not permissible as it is forbidden to alter the Divine creation, except for a very cogent reason.


The next Injunction is about adultery, which is a curse. It is not only an act of immense vulgarity but also a path to destruction. It often leads to enmity and killings and creates unrest amongst individuals as well as nations, sometimes even sparkles killings amongst them. The child born of adultery is an outcast in the society. Anyone without familial roots reacts negatively to avenge his misfortune from the entire society by stirring evil in it to the best of his ability. That is why it is enjoined not even to go near adultery, which means to avoid all means which may lead to it. Why adultery finds a mention contiguous to the Injunction on killing of children is because an adulterer, in a way, exterminates his progeny and cannot be called a father of the child so begotten. Because of this, Islam imposes a severe punishment for adultery that is, stoning to death.


The next Injunction pertains to killing others, because they are also somebody's children given life by their Rabb-SWT . To deprive them of this Divine Blessing is certainly a grave crime, except for the situation when the verdict is Divine as in Qisas, or when an opponent is killed in Jihad. And if someone is murdered wrongfully, Allaah-SWT has given his heirs the right to demand Qisas from the murderer. In cases where there may be no heirs, the State is to play the role of the heir and take Qisas through its own procedure. There must be a proof; only then the heirs have the right to demand Qisas or settle the matter through blood money. It is the right of the heirs; but they must remember not to transgress by over-demanding. Allaah-SWT supports the heir because of being wronged. If the heir turns into an aggressor, obviously the Divine support will shift to the oppressed. Anybody who has been wronged deserves Qisas within the framework of justice. Once evil is retaliated with evil it spreads all over the society, whereas Qisas and justice aim at eradicating transgression and establishing justice.


The next Injunction concerns the wealth of orphans from which the guardians must stay away. In other words, they must not usurp the property of the orphans by manipulation. They must, however, spend properly for the betterment of the orphans, until they grow up to take charge of their own affairs. And it is not permissible to snatch away anyone's possessions. In case an adult is so wronged, he can at least demand his rights but an orphan is a child who can neither protect property, nor demand rights.



Any promise made must be honoured. The foremost is the one that was made with Rabb-SWT for His obedience in the 'Alam-e-Amr. On reciting the Kalimah-e-Tayyebah, a believer renews this Pledge, which demands total obedience to Allaah-SWT through His-SWT Prophet-SW. Besides, many contracts have to be made in all spheres of practical life, the fulfillment whereof is imperative. And without a legal excuse these cannot be absolved so long as they are in accordance with Shari'ah. If a promise has been made and later turns out to be against Shari'ah, it will not be honoured. Rather, it will be cancelled after intimation to the other party. And take note that just as all other obligations will have to be accounted for, Allaah-SWT will also question people about their pledges. In other words, the importance of a pledge is no less than other obligations.


Weights and Measures

And when it comes to measuring or weighing, it must be done accurately with a perfect balance. It is best to adhere to this Command as the result it yields is extremely desirable. It plays an important role in creating harmony in relationships amongst people. Fair dealing is also a source of progress in business and affluence. According to scholars, a paid employee and a labourer must work honestly, as it also falls under weighing and measuring.


And vague issues must not be pursued without proper verification. This is a golden rule, which guarantees success and peace in all spheres of life. A major cause of conflicts and disruption of peace in the society is the reaction of people to rumours. (A friend of mine, judge by profession, once asked me to prescribe some auspicious words for him to recite in order to remain calm. I advised him not to lend an ear to anything which did not concern him or for which he had no responsibility, both at home and outside. For recitation, which he must do to seek Allah-SWT's Pleasure, he may choose any words from a wide range recommended by the Holy Prophet-SW. On a subsequent meeting he disclosed that most of his worries were over.) Most of the mischief and wickedness is generated by idle gossip and rumours. So it is imperative to ignore such information. Besides, the faculties of hearing and sight are not so cheap as to be put to such worthless use. These are valuable gifts by the Almighty, the use whereof will be reckoned.


Fawad or Heart is a Precious Faculty

The human heart or Fawad is the inner part or state of the heart from where desires originate. It is only blessed to the human beings so that the desire to seek Allaah-SWT may develop in them, and the love and passion for Allaah-SWT may progress. But unfortunately, man destroys it by listening to absurdities, and idle gossip and by looking at undesirable scenes. It is a fact that all that is heard and seen affects the heart. Therefore, to see and hear the pious and attend their gatherings is imperative, for this faculty will also be reckoned with.


And do not walk on Allah-SWT's earth stiff necked. Your gait must not display conceit, for neither can one cleave the earth nor be as tall as the mountains. So not only in actions but also in speech, attire and gait, the spirit of being a humble servant of Allah-SWT, thoroughly mindful of His-SWT Magnificence must be displayed. A human being is afterall dependant on Him-SWT while Magnificence and Glory only befits Him-SWT . All the foregoing Injunctions namely, the Unity of Allaah-SWT and His-SWT worship, kind treatment to parents, relatives, wayfarers and the needy, denouncing adultery and lewdness, avoiding rumours, honest weighing and measuring, abstinence from even an arrogant gait, are so clearly defined and important that violating them not only creates mischief but is also despised by Allaah-SWT . Praise be to Him-SWT ! What a beautiful way of life Islam is, and how perfect are the morals it teaches!


Allah-SWT reminds the Holy Prophet-SW of His-SWT Great Favour in the form of Revelation, through which such pearls of wisdom have been handed down to mankind. And the world witnessed that he-SW not only conveyed His-SWT Message but also practically executed all the Injunctions. On these very foundations he-SW raised a society and established a State. So no partners must ever be ascribed to such a Munificent Rabb-SWT , lest it leads to humiliation and Hell. Allaah-SWT also reminds the human beings to ponder over their attitude in response to His-SWT Favours. They themselves prefer to have sons and if a daughter is born, they hasten to kill her. At the same time they acknowledge that children are endowed by Allaah-SWT . Does it make sense then, that the One Who-SWT gives sons to them has preferred girls for Himself-SWT , for they call the angels as His-SWT daughters? On one hand the polytheists object to the teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW and on the other they believe in such absurdities, undesirable even by their own standards. Therefore, what they utter is preposterous, and a momentous crime. The precepts generally held by them are not only wrong but also unacceptable to the human intellect.