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 7 contains Āyāt / Parts 10
  • Siparah/ Volume 15


وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إَلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ قَالَ أَأَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا

Waith qulna lilmalaikati osjudoo liadama fasajadoo illa ibleesa qala aasjudu liman khalaqta teena(n)

And recall when We-SWT said to the angels: bow down before Aadam-AS. So they bowed, but Iblis did not; he said: shall I bow to one whom You-SWT have created of clay?


قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِي كَرَّمْتَ عَلَيَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً

Qala araaytaka hatha allathee karramta AAalayya lain akhkhartani ila yawmi alqiyamati laahtanikanna thurriyyatahu illa qaleela(n)

Iblis said: bethink You-SWT : this one whom You-SWT have honoured above me? If You-SWT defer, me till the Day of Judgement, I will surely seize his progeny save a few.


قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاء مَّوْفُورًا

Qala ithhab faman tabiAAaka minhum fainna jahannama jazaokum jazaan mawfoora(n)

Allah-SWT said: be you gone; whoever of them follows you, Hell is your requital, an ample requital.


وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُمْ بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِي الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَوْلادِ وَعِدْهُمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا

Wa(i)stafziz mani istataAAta minhum bisawtika waajlib AAalayhim bikhaylika warajlika washarikhum fee alamwali wa(a)lawladi waAAidhum wamayaAAiduhumu a(l)shshaytanu illa ghuroora(n)

And unsettle them whoever of them you can with your voice, and summon against them your horse and your foot, share with them riches and children and make promise to them, and Satan promises not but to delude.


إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً

Inna AAibadee laysa laka AAalayhim sultanun wakafa birabbika wakeela(n)

Over My-SWT bondsmen you have no authority, and your-SW Rabb-SWT suffices as a Guardian.


رَّبُّكُمُ الَّذِي يُزْجِي لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ فِي الْبَحْرِ لِتَبْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

Rabbukumu allathee yuzjee lakumu alfulka fee albahri litabtaghoo min fadlihi innahu kana bikum raheema(n)

Your Rabb-SWT is He-SWT Who-SWT speeds for you the ship in the sea that you may seek His-SWT Grace; verily He-SWT is to you ever Merciful.


وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الْضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَانُ كَفُورًا

Waitha massakumu a(l)ddurru fee albahri dalla man tadAAoona illa iyyahu falammanajjakum ila albarri aAAradtum wakana alinsanu kafoora(n)

And when there touches you a distress on the sea, those you call upon fall away except He-SWT Alone, then when He-SWT delivers you on the land you turn away, and man is ever ungrateful.


أَفَأَمِنتُمْ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمْ جَانِبَ الْبَرِّ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُواْ لَكُمْ وَكِيلاً

Afaamintum an yakhsifa bikum janiba albarri aw yursila AAalaykum hasiban thumma la tajidoo lakum wakeela(n)

Are you then secure that He-SWT will not cause a side of land to swallow you up, or send over you a sand storm, and then you will not find for yourselves a protector?


أَمْ أَمِنتُمْ أَن يُعِيدَكُمْ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخْرَى فَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ قَاصِفا مِّنَ الرِّيحِ فَيُغْرِقَكُم بِمَا كَفَرْتُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُواْ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا بِهِ تَبِيعًا

Am amintum an yuAAeedakum feehi taratan okhra fayursila AAalaykum qasifan mina a(l)rreehi fayughriqakum bima kafartum thumma la tajidoo lakum AAalaynabihi tabeeAAa(n)

Or, are you secure that He-SWT will not send you back therein another time and send upon you a gale of wind and drown you for your having disbelieved, so that you will not find for yourselves an avenger against Us-SWT ?


وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلاً

Walaqad karramna banee adama wahamalnahum fee albarri wa(a)lbahri warazaqnahum mina a(l)ttayyibati wafaddalnahum AAala katheerin mimman khalaqna tafdeela(n)

And assuredly We-SWT have honoured the Children of Adam, and have borne them on the land and the sea, and We-SWT have provided them with clean things, and We-SWT have preferred them with a preferment over many of them whom We-SWT have created.


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

The conceit displayed by these non believers today is like Satan had once displayed and was thrown astray consequently. They have also succumbed to his influence. When Allaah-SWT Commanded all the angels to prostrate before Prophet Aadam-AS, all of them complied except Iblis. He had been ordered because he was also present amongst the angels. He argued: "OAllaah-SWT ! How can I bow before him whom You-SWT have created from clay?" In other words, he considered himself superior to Prophet Aadam-AS and out of this conceit refused to obey even Allah-SWT's Command. Instead, he expressed the malice in his heart saying: "You-SWT have honoured him over me; how can it be justified when he has just been created while I have worshipped You-SWT for so long?" Indeed he was objecting to Allah-SWT's Decision, just as these non believers object over the Prophethood assigned to the Holy Prophet-SW.


Satan begged Allaah-SWT to give him life and respite until the Day of Judgement, so that he may contend the progeny of Prophet Aadam-AS and lead them astray. He claimed that he would make the majority to renounce Allaah-SWT and be subservient to him, save probably a few. Allaah-SWT granted his wish and gave him the liberty to do as he wanted, warning that all those who would step down from the honour of being human by obeying him will be condemned to Hell along with him, and will be thoroughly requited for taking an evil decision. Giving him a fair chance, Allaah-SWT permitted Satan to launch all his forces against mankind, seducing them by his voice, becoming partner in their wealth and children, and alluring them through false promises. Indeed the promises he makes to his followers are nothing but lies.


What are Satan's Voice and his Forces?

The author of Tafsir Qartabi quotes Hadhrat Ibn 'Abbas-RAU that songs and musical instruments like flute etc. are the voice of Satan and are, therefore, forbidden. Although the modern civilization declares music to be the nourishment for Ruh, but in fact it is a deadly poison for it. All the advocates of this theory know absolutely nothing about Ruh. Rather the musical notes and melody serve to arouse the animal instincts in a human soul. These modern intellectuals mistake this soul for Ruh and declare music as its nourishment. Whereas if Ruh is nourished, a person does not succumb to baser instincts. Rather, he acquires the capability to overpower them. May Allaah-SWT forgive those ignorants who have given music religious sanctity by labelling musical concerts as "Qawwali Sharif'(Holy Songs). Indeed, it is an awful transgression. And the term "forces of Satan" refers to his followers, including his own progeny and his obedient Jinn and humans. The Western nations today can be rightfully termed as his forces because for paltry gains they push countries into the inferno of war.


Satan's Partnership in Wealth and Children

Wealth amassed through unfair means is shared by Iblis, as it is earned by following his advices. Similarly, when it is spent contrary to Shari'ah, again his partnership is established beyond doubt. In the same way, Iblis becomes a partner in children, if illegal methods are employed for having them, or un-Islamic rituals are observed, or if they are borne out of marriage. And how can it be appropriate to resort to illegal means or polytheistic rituals when all the powers rest with Allaah-SWT ? He-SWT Who-SWT has made it easy for you to sail across the seas to explore and discover means of livelihood. He-SWT is extremely Generous and Kind to you as He-SWT has blessed you with the sense and the power to make and execute your plans. Of course, even your own experiences at the ocean provide evidence to His-SWT Unity. Whenever fierce storms engulf you threatening destruction, you simply forget all your self appointed deities and cry out to Him-SWT for help. This is exactly what the Arabs used to do, for they believed that their idols had sway only on land. And when Allaah-SWT safely takes you ashore, once again you resort to disobedience. How thankless you are O' humans! Don't you realize that Allaah-SWT is Omnipotent and has the same control over you when you walk on land? You are by no means beyond His-SWT Grip. He-SWT may cause you to sink in earth or strike you with a violent wind to decimate you; for sure you will find no helpers against Him-SWT . You even become fearless of the fact that He-SWT may take you again to the seas and perish you; that is, He-SWT may create such circumstances whereby you are forced to undertake a voyage. And there a violent storm may perish you because of your disbelief, making it impossible for any one to utter a word in your favour in His-SWT Exalted Court. Do recollect how generous He-SWT has been in blessing the Children of Prophet Aadam-AS  with honour and superiority over other creations by giving them power over the seas and land, and blessing them with the very best of foods.


The Karamah of Bani Adam-AS

The greatest of all honours conferred upon mankind is the light of Prophethood, which has not been endowed to any other creation. This light illuminates the hearts and renders people capable of beholding the Divine Splendour according to the individual capacity of each heart, and consequently instills in them the passion and desire to seek Him-SWT . And in physical and material terms, man outclasses all other creations. The human body is a marvel in terms of its outer features and beauty as well as the functioning of its inner organs. Also with reference to intelligence and perception, creativity and invention of numerous means of comfort and delight, man surpasses all other living beings. And finally, in spiritual terms, man excels every creation.