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 8 contains Āyāt / Parts 7
  • Siparah/ Volume 15


يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ فَمَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَقْرَؤُونَ كِتَابَهُمْ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً

Yawma nadAAoo kulla onasin biimamihim faman ootiya kitabahu biyameenihi faolaika yaqraoona kitabahum wala yuthlamoona fateela(n)

Remember the Day when We-SWT shall call all mankind with their record; then whoever will be given the book in his right hand-those will read their book, and they shall not be wronged a whit.


وَمَن كَانَ فِي هَـذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً

Waman kana fee hathihi aAAma fahuwa fee alakhirati aAAma waadallu sabeela(n)

And whoever has been blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter and far astray from the path.


وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَفْتِنُونَكَ عَنِ الَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ لِتفْتَرِيَ عَلَيْنَا غَيْرَهُ وَإِذًا لاَّتَّخَذُوكَ خَلِيلاً

Wain kadoo layaftinoonaka AAani allathee awhayna ilayka litaftariya AAalaynaghayrahu waithan laittakhathooka khaleela(n)

And surely they had nearly tempted you-SW away from what We-SWT have Revealed to you-SW, that you-SW should fabricate regarding Us-SWT something else, and then surely they would have taken you-SW as a friend!


وَلَوْلاَ أَن ثَبَّتْنَاكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئًا قَلِيلاً

Walawla an thabbatnaka laqad kidta tarkanu ilayhim shayan qaleela(n)

And were it not that We-SWT had confirmed you-SW had almost leaned towards them a little.


إِذاً لَّأَذَقْنَاكَ ضِعْفَ الْحَيَاةِ وَضِعْفَ الْمَمَاتِ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ لَكَ عَلَيْنَا نَصِيرًا

Ithan laathaqnaka diAAfa alhayati wadiAAfa almamati thumma la tajidu laka AAalayna naseera(n)

In that case, We-SWT would have surely made you-SW taste the double of the torment of life and the double of the torment of death and then you-SW would not find a helper against Us-SWT .


وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الأَرْضِ لِيُخْرِجوكَ مِنْهَا وَإِذًا لاَّ يَلْبَثُونَ خِلافَكَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

Wain kadoo layastafizzoonaka mina alardi liyukhrijooka minha waithan layalbathoona khilafaka illa qaleela(n)

And surely they had almost unsettled you-SW from the land that they might drive you-SW forth from hence. And in that case they would not have stayed after you-SW but a little while.


سُنَّةَ مَن قَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَا وَلاَ تَجِدُ لِسُنَّتِنَا تَحْوِيلاً

Sunnata man qad arsalna qablaka min rusulina wala tajidu lisunnatina tahweela(n)

This was Our-SWT dispensation with those whom We-SWT sent before you-SW of Our-SWT Messengers-AS and you-SW will not find a change in this Our-SWT dispensation.


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

Now if someone opts for evil or follows Satan, he must know that eventually every human being will be gathered on the Day with his Conduct Sheet.



Imam means the Conduct Sheet as explained in Hadith. It also refers to a leader or a guide, like the followers of the Prophets-AS or of their deputies, scholars and saints, and even those following Satan. In this sense, everyone will be raised with the group or the clan he had been following in his life in actions and conduct, because Imam simply means a leader. A leader could be pious or wicked, believer or non believer, as Imamat (leadership) is not an office like Prophethood. In Quran itself the term A'ima-tul-Kufr has been used for leaders of disbelief. So on the Day when the Conduct Sheet will be handed out, a believer will receive it in his right hand. Regardless of whether he had been pious or a sinner, he will at least be spared from disbelief and the eternal doom. So he will be delighted to read it, and no one will be wronged a whit. Whereas the non believers will be given their Conduct Sheets in their left hands, which will make them lose all hope of salvation.


A person who chose to be blind in this life and failed to find the path of guidance cannot expect to find it in the Akhirah. He will be blinded there too, and just as he had strayed far away from the right path in the world, he will also lose the way to salvation there.


Association with Infidels and Polytheists

These accursed souls have not only strayed themselves but also delude their associates. They tried to instigate the Holy Prophet-SW against the Divine Injunctions and exerted to talk him-SW into it, promising him-SW their support.


Withdrawing Support to Muslims and Friendship with non Believers

The chieftains among the polytheists of Makkah called on the Holy Prophet-SW with the plea that he-SW had been raised as a Prophet-SW for mankind, so they should also be given a chance to avail his-SW audience. They said that they could not possibly sit with the insolvents of Makkah, a fact well known. So he-SW may tell the poor Muslims to leave the audience when they arrived. This Ayah was revealed to forewarn the Holy Prophet-SW that the infidels wanted him-SW to act against the Divine Command. To cultivate friendship with them by ignoring the Muslims will be a blatant violation of Divine Injunction. Had he-SW done so, it would connote that Allaah-SWT had Commanded it, because a Prophet-AS can never go against Allah-SWT's Will. So to develop friendship at such a cost with an infidel, which indeed is always enmity, is not conceivable.


Had Allah-SWT by His-SWT Grace and the endowment of Prophetic Innocence not kept him-SW steadfast, it was possible that he-SW could have inclined to agree to their proposal. This is the grace of Prophethood that its Innocence eliminates any possibility of acting against His-SWT Command. Apart from this, even by virtue of creation a Prophet-AS personality is so sacred and his-SW nature so pious that he-SW cannot tolerate His-SWT disobedience. The probability of this inclination was, therefore, only hypothetical.


Punishment for Winning Infidels Friendship at the cost of Believers

The Holy Prophet-SW could never have done so; nor could it have been expected of him-SW, yet by addressing the Holy Prophet-SW the purpose is to emphasize the fact that anyone guilty of this crime would in no way escape His-SWT Punishment. Allaah-SWT promises such wrongdoers a twofold punishment in this world, to be doubled in Barzakh and in the Akhirah. And they will not find any helper against Him-SWT . In the light of this Injunction, we must evaluate the Muslim countries and the rulers who act indifferently towards Muslims only to maintain friendly terms with the non believers of the USA and Europe. It is indeed outrageous. May Allaah-SWT guide everyone! O’ Prophet-SW! These very non believers were bent upon driving you-SW out of the city, so how could any goodwill be expected of them. Their inner motive, even in the worldly sense, was to isolate you-SW from your-SW Companions-RAU and compel you-SW to leave. But it is a Divine Law that people who expel Allah-SWT's Messengers-AS from their land cannot live in peace either. Had they expelled you-SW, they too would have met the same fate. All the preceding nations who expelled their Prophets-AS were annihilated under this law, being the Divine Way. And you-SW will certainly never find any disparity in Allah-SWT's Ways. So the Makkans also committed the same crime. They forced the Holy Prophet-SW to emigrate, but could not find any moment of peace after he-SW had gone. They got routed in wars, were struck by famine and ultimately lost Makkah, which fell to the believers in the 8 year A.H. Similar is the fate of all those who divorce themselves and their actions from the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet-SW. They are destined to be doomed in this world as well as in the Akhirah. Therefore, for global peace and honour, it is imperative that nations and cities conform to the Prophetic teachings. And it is this obedience to the Prophethood upon which individual respect and dignity are based.