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 5 contains Āyāt / Parts 12
  • Siparah/ Volume 15


وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِي هَـذَا الْقُرْآنِ لِيَذَّكَّرُواْ وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلاَّ نُفُورًا

Walaqad sarrafna fee hatha alqurani liyaththakkaroo wama yazeeduhum illanufoora(n)

Assuredly We-SWT have propounded it variously in this Quran so that they might be admonished; but it adds only to their aversion.


قُل لَّوْ كَانَ مَعَهُ آلِهَةٌ كَمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذًا لاَّبْتَغَوْاْ إِلَى ذِي الْعَرْشِ سَبِيلاً

Qul law kana maAAahu alihatun kama yaqooloona ithan la(i)btaghaw ila thee alAAarshi sabeela(n)

Say you-SW  : were there along with Him-SWT other gods, as they assert, then they would have brought a way to the Owner of the Throne.


سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا

Subhanahu wataAAala AAamma yaqooloona AAuluwwan kabeera(n)

Hallowed be He-SWT , and exalted be He-SWT above what they say-a great height!


تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا

Tusabbihu lahu a(l)ssamawatu a(l)ssabAAu wa(a)lardu waman feehinna wain min shayin illa yusabbihu bihamdihi walakin la tafqahoona tasbeehahum innahu kanahaleeman ghafoora(n)

There hallow Him-SWT the seven heavens and the earth and whoever is therein. And nothing there is but hallows His-SWT Praise, but you do not understand their hallowing. Verily He-SWT is ever Forbearing, Forgiving.


وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرآنَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا

Waitha qarata alqurana jaAAalna baynaka wabayna allatheena la yuminoona bi(a)lakhirati hijaban mastoora(n)

And when you-SW  recite the Quran, We-SWT set up between you-SW  and those who do not believe in the Hereafter a curtain drawn down.


وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ وَلَّوْاْ عَلَى أَدْبَارِهِمْ نُفُورًا

WajaAAalna AAala quloobihim akinnatan an yafqahoohu wafee athanihim waqran waitha thakarta rabbaka fee alqurani wahdahu wallaw AAala adbarihim nufoora(n)

And We-SWT set up veils over their hearts lest they understand it, and in their ears heaviness; and when you-SW mention your-SW Rabb-SWT . Alone in reciting the Quran, they turn back as averter.


نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَسْتَمِعُونَ بِهِ إِذْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِذْ هُمْ نَجْوَى إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ رَجُلاً مَّسْحُورًا

Nahnu aAAlamu bima yastamiAAoona bihi ith yastamiAAoona ilayka waith hum najwa ith yaqoolu a(l)ththalimoona in tattabiAAoona illa rajulan mashoora(n)

We-SWT are the Best Knower of that motive with which they listen to you and whenever they counsel together in secret, when the wrongdoers say, you-SW  but follow a man enchanted.


انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً

Onthur kayfa daraboo laka alamthala fadalloo fala yastateeAAoona sabeela(n)

See! How they propound similutudes for you-SW  . They have strayed away and cannot find a way.


وَقَالُواْ أَئِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا

Waqaloo aitha kunna AAithaman warufatan ainna lamabAAoothoona khalqan jadeeda(n)

And they say: when we shall have become bones and fragments, shall we in truth be raised as new creation?


قُل كُونُواْ حِجَارَةً أَوْ حَدِيدًا

Qul koonoo hijaratan aw hadeeda(n)

Say you-SW  : become you stone or iron.


أَوْ خَلْقًا مِّمَّا يَكْبُرُ فِي صُدُورِكُمْ فَسَيَقُولُونَ مَن يُعِيدُنَا قُلِ الَّذِي فَطَرَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ فَسَيُنْغِضُونَ إِلَيْكَ رُؤُوسَهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هُوَ قُلْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَرِيبًا

Aw khalqan mimma yakburu fee sudoorikum fasayaqooloona man yuAAeedunaquli allathee fatarakum awwala marratin fasayunghidoona ilayka ruoosahum wayaqooloona mata huwa qul AAasa an yakoona qareeba(n)

Or anything created of the things more remote in your breasts Then they will say: who will restore us? Say you: He-SWT Who-SWT created you the first time. Then they will wag their heads at you and say: when will it be? Say you-SW  : perhaps it is near.


يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ فَتَسْتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمْدِهِ وَتَظُنُّونَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

Yawma yadAAookum fatastajeeboona bihamdihi watathunnoona in labithtum illaqaleela(n)

The Day whereon He-SWT will call you, and you will answer with His-SWT Praise, and you will imagine that you had stayed but little.


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

Allah-SWT has explained in the Quran, in different ways, every aspect of life for the people to understand. But disbelief is an ailment which intensifies with nutriment. Same is the case with these infidels, and the hatred in their hearts increases further.


The Holy Prophet-SW must reason with them that had there been any other partner in His-SWT Divinity or equal in Attributes, wouldn't it have forced its way upto the 'Arsh and the whole system of the universe would have crumbled by now. This system is running smoothly without any problem only because of its subservience to only One Sovereign, Who-SWT in His-SWT Being-SWT and in His-SWT Attributes is far exalted and pure of any partners. His-SWT Magnificence is far too sublime for their idle gossip.


Everything Practises Allah-SWT's Zikr

Not only that every particle of the universe is His-SWT creation, but also the seven heavens, the earth and everything therein constantly glorifies and remembers Him-SWT , though human beings with their physical senses cannot hear and understand this glorification. No doubt He-SWT is extremely Forbearing and Forgiving to respite the negligent amongst the Jinn and humans, until a time preordained. This is the Grace of His-SWT Clemency. And once the offenders repent, He-SWT accepts it. The very life of the heavens and the earth depends on His-SWT Zikr, and anything guilty of neglect passes into extinction. If it is a river, it dries up; the plantation withers away; an animal dies or falls prey to a predator; and if a mountain neglects His-SWT Zikr, it falls apart or erupts. Except for the infidels among the mankind and Jinn, everything is destroyed on neglecting His-SWT Zikr. The reason why these two creations survive is that while they have been ordered to practise Shari'ah, they have also been given the option to choose. Now if they do not become believers it is due to His-SWT Clemency that respite to live until a preordained time is given to them. But if they die on disbelief, the Hell will be their permanent abode.


Moreover, everything in the world is perpetually engaged in Allah-SWT's Zikr. This Ayah cannot be interpreted to mean that everything remembers Allaah-SWT by virtue of its existence, as is sometimes said these days. This is because human senses can perceive the existence of things. Here it refers to Zikr in its real sense which is generally beyond human understanding. However, if Allaah-SWT blesses the Qalb with the capacity to hear, one may hear the Zikr that all things do. For instance, the Holy Prophet-SW heard it as reported in number of Ahadith. According to one, he-SW heard the mountain glorifying Allaah-SWT . On one occasion, he said that he recognized a rock which used to greet him. Similarly, Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas'ud-RAU reports that the Companions-RAU would hear the food laid before them praising Allaah-SWT . The famous incident when the by slanders heard the pebbles praising Allaah-SWT in the palm of the Holy Prophet-SW is well known. ' Allamah Jalal ud din SayutiRUA comments that the Zikr by the pebbles was not the Holy Prophet-SW's miracle but a routine practice of the pebbles. However, his-SW miracle was far more superior, whereby the normal human faculty of hearing was made to hear it. Not only the Companions-RAU but even the non believers heard it, while the former could often hear it due to their enlightened Qulub, The Quran also states how the mountains and animals would join in Zikr with.Prophet Daud-AS. The incident of a pillar of the Holy Prophet-AS's  Masjid named Hananah is a link in the same chain of events. On being separated from him-SW it started wailing like human beings. The Holy Prophet-SW came down from the new pulpit to hug and caress it and only then it calmed down. Many such events can be quoted from his-SW noble life. So this Ayah does not refer to a Zikr by disposition, but indeed everything does His-SWT Zikr in reality. Whoever from the sentient beings, that is human or Jinn, neglects Zikr loses his status and faces destruction, for there can be nothing more destructive than admission into Hell.


Infidels listened to the Holy Prophet-SW with Hearts devoid of Kaifiyat

Not only do the infidels fail to hear the Zikr by everything but they have also been deprived of the captivating charm of the Holy Prophet-SW's recitation due to their disbelief and evil conduct. Quran is the Word of Allah-SWT , and words carry the feelings of the speaker. And when the Divine Word is recited by the Holy Prophet-SW, it also becomes adorned by a reflection of his-SW splendour. It is simply unbelievable that people may deny or not to fall in love with it. The reason is that their disbelief and misconduct have rendered them incapable of acquiring spiritual feelings. So when the Holy Prophet-SW recites the Quran, a curtain is drawn between him-SW and the non believers. In other words, their Qulub are incapacitated to feel the ecstasy it produces, and their minds and intellect are deprived of its wisdom. Rather their hearts are veiled by Allaah-SWT and ears encumbered in a way that they are unable to hear the truth. And when he-SW speaks of Allah-SWT's Unity, they simply walk away as they cannot bear to hear the truth.


Deprivation from Qalbi Kaifiyat and Faidh

It proves that to be without Kaifiyat-e-Qalbi is indeed a big punishment, awarded on disbelief and wickedness. The light of faith generates Kaifiyat in the Qalb which amplify because of the Holy Prophet-SW's Barakah. Likewise one can benefit from those who have acquired these Kaifiyat from any of the accomplished precursors. It is this attainment of Kaifiyat that can rightfully be termed as derivation of Faidh from an accomplished saint. Otherwise receiving mundane benefit is not Faidh.


Though the infidels hear the words of the Quran in the Holy Prophet-SW's voice yet they are deprived of Kaifiyat. Whenever they eavesdrop on his-SW recitation and hear something they tell each other that to accept his-SW teachings would be like following a person under spell who does not even know what is good or bad for him. In their heretic opinion, idols are their sole providers, whereas the Holy Prophet-SW strongly repudiates this idea. This they take as insanity and expect such denial only from a person under some magical spell. Today this attitude is on the increase among the Western orientated ignorants who term Islamic Injunctions as brutal, insane and inapplicable. Obviously such opinions can only be held by those who, like the polytheists of Arabia, are deprived of even the lowest level of Kaifiyat-e-Qalbi.


Magic and its Effects on Prophets-AS

Magic is a reality that has its effects. It is possible that the noble people, even the Prophets-AS may be affected, as they too are human beings. Just as a Prophet-AS can be wounded or fall sick, so can he be affected by magic. However, the effects can never be the same as on an ordinary person, as the more purified a being is the lesser it can be affected, and the quicker these affects clear off. So O’ My-SWT Beloved-SW! Just see how devastated their Qulub are that they suggest such absurdities for you-SW. Their condition indicates that they have fallen into ignorance to an irrecoverable depth. Therefore, they can never be guided.


One who Derides a Prophet-AS can never Attain Guidance

It is evident that one who does not believe in a Prophet-AS can recover at some stage, but the one who offends him and blasphemes is deprived of the very capacity to repent. These ignorant disbelievers consider the requickening impossible, and say that once dead they will be reduced to bones and decomposed. So how will they be raised? The Holy Prophet-SW may tell them that the bones or fragments or the dust, which had once been a component of their physical living body would surely be brought back to life and even if they transformed themselves into iron or stone or something still harder, they would still be quickened. They further ask as to who will requicken them? They must be told that it is the One Who-SWT created them the first time, Who-SWT created the entire body from a drop of fluid, and fashioned flesh, skeleton, the sensory organs, the vital organs and limbs. He-SWT , Who-SWT gave these organs the ability to perform respective functions, will certainly requicken them from the remains of their putrid bodies. Overawed, they will inquire as to when would this happen, as none to the best of their knowledge had come back from the dead. So let them know that it may not be too far away. On that Day, they will not be able to deny Allah-SWT's Magnificence; rather, they will rise glorifying Him-SWT and they will feel that not much time had passed between their death and resurrection. The glorifying by the infidels means that once requickened they will be flabbergasted by the Magnificence of Allah-SWT and would admit that He-SWT is the Most Magnificent and Omnipotent. They will confess it out aloud but it will not be accepted because the place of endeavour, that is, the world would have gone past. Now the Akhirah would be unveiled, leaving no room for denial.