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Surah Bani Israel (Surah 17: Revelation Order 50)

Journey of Muhammad to the farthest place of prostration

  • Glory to One who had taken of His servant (Muhammad) by night from the Sacred Masjid (of Mecca) to the farthest sacred place, which we had blessed surrounding of it to show him of our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearer, the Seer (17:1).
    Note: Not Muhammad as a person but his soul was taken to the ultimate point to inspire the Quran all at once into his soul by God Himself, which has been confirmed in (53:10) and also he saw the great sign of his Lord, which has been confirmed in (53:18).

Punishment of Children of Israel for their misbehavior

  • And we had given Moses the scripture and had made it guidance for Children of Israel that you do not take any advocate other than Me (17:2). They are descendants of whoever we had carried with Noah; indeed, he had been a grateful servant (17:3). And we had decreed on the Children of Israel in the scripture; surely, you will make corruption twice in the earth, and surely, you will reach high of exceptional misbehavior (17:4). So, when there had come a first promise of the two, we had raised against you servants of ours having great might, even they entered inside of the homes, and it has been a promise which had been fulfilled (17:5). Then we had given back to you the victory over them, and we had strengthened you with wealth and children, and we had made you more powerful (17:6). If you had done good, you have done good for your souls, and if you had done evil, so is for them (your souls). Then when there had come the second promise to sadden your faces, and to enter the Masjid as that they had done the first time, and to destroy destroying of what they (you) had raised up (17:7). It may have been that your Lord will have mercy on you, but if you have returned, we have returned as well, and we have made Hell a gathering place for the disbelievers (17:8).

Quran guides the believers to that which is exact straight

  • Indeed this, the Quran guides to that which is exact straight and gives good news to the believers who do the righteous deeds that for them there is a great reward (17:9). And that those who do not believe in the Hereafter, we have prepared for them a painful retribution (17:10). And the human being calls for the evil at his call for the good, as the human being has been very hasty (17:11). And we have made the night and the day two signs. When we have removed a sign of the night and we have made a sign of the day brightened that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know a number of the years and the calculation. And everything we have explained it in detail (17:12).

Record is tied to everyone’s neck

  • And for every person we have fastened to him his fate to his neck, and we will bring forth for him on a day of the resurrection a record which he will find wide open (17:13). Read your record! It has sufficed with yourself today as a reckoner for you (17:14).

Destruction of a community when it deserves it

  • Whoever has guided, then he only guides for his soul; and whoever has gone astray, then he only goes astray against it. And a bearer of burden will not bear a burden of another, and we have not been punishers until we send a messenger (17:15). And when we have intended that we will destroy a town, we have allowed its leaders that they have disobeyed therein, so has proved true the punishment against it, then we have destroyed it complete destruction (17:16). And how many of the generations have we destroyed after Noah? And there has sufficed of your Lord with sins of His servants as Cognizant, Seer (17:17).

The life of world for the disbelievers while the Hereafter for the believers

  • Whoever has been the immediate desire, we have hastened for him in it whatever we will for whom we intend, thereafter, we have made for him Hell; he will burn there as a disgraced, a rejected (17:18). And whoever has desired the Hereafter and has exerted its effort for it, while he is a believer, then those have made their effort will be the appreciated ones (17:19). Each we extend to these and to these is gift from your Lord and your Lord’s gift has been not restricted (17:20). See how we have preferred some of them over others; and certainly, the Hereafter is greater in ranks as well as greater in excellence (17:21).

God has warned us not to worship other than Him and to regard our parents

  • Do not make with God another god you may remain being a disgraced, an abandoned (17:22). And your Lord has decreed that you do not worship except Him alone, and with the parents is goodness whether one or both of them reach the old age with you, then you do not say to them a word of disrespect nor do you avoid them, but speak to them an honorable word (17:23). And you shall lower for them a wing of the humility out of the mercy, and shall pray: “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they have brought me up from infancy (17:24).” Your Lord is Knower of what is in your hearts. If you are righteous, then indeed, He has been forgiving for those who often turn (to Him) (17:25).

Giving poor’s due without being stingy or extravagant

  • And you shall give his due to the near relative, and the needy, and the wayfarer; while you do not spend in squandering (17:26). Indeed, the squanderers have been brothers of the devils, and the Satan has been ungrateful to his Lord (17:27). And if you turn away from them seeking mercy from your Lord which you desire, then say to them a gentle word (17:28). While you do not make your hand stingy by holding it to your neck, nor do you extend it so open that you become blameworthy, insolvent (17:29). Indeed, your Lord extends the provision for whomever He wills and He straitens (it). Indeed, He has been Cognizant, Seer of His servants (17:30).

God has commanded us to avoid gross sins and evil behavior

  • And you do not kill your children (unborn) for fear of poverty; we provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing has been a gross sin (17:31). And you do not come near the adultery. Indeed, it has been an immorality and an evil path (17:32). And you do not kill the life, which God has forbidden, except in the course of justice. And whoever has been killed being unjust, then certainly, we have given authority for his heir, while he should not exceed in the killing. Indeed, he has been to be helped (17:33). And you do not come near the orphan’s wealth except for that which is best, until he reaches his maturity, and you shall fulfill the covenant. Indeed, the covenant has made accountable (17:34). And you shall give full of the measure when have been measured and shall weigh the straight with the balance. That is good and better in the end (17:35). And do not follow that which has not for you any knowledge of it. Indeed, the hearing, and the vision, and the understanding – each of those has made accountable (to prevent) from it (17:36). And do not walk in the land in arrogance. Indeed, you will never penetrate the earth, nor will you reach the mountains in height (17:37). All that evil has been hateful to your Lord (17:38). That is of what your Lord has revealed to you of the wisdom. And do not make with God another god, then you would be cast into Hell being a blameworthy, an abandoned (17:39). Has then your Lord chosen for you sons, while He has taken daughters from the angles? Indeed, you are saying a grievous word (17:40)!

Quran has been revealed for worshiping God without associating partners with Him

  • And certainly, we have explained in this – the Quran that they may take heed, but it does not increase them except for aversion (17:41)! Say: “If there had been gods with Him as what they say, then surely, they would have sought a way towards Owner of the Throne (17:42). Glory is His, and He has exalted so high that what they say to a great height.” (17:43). Glorifies for Him the seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them, and there is not a thing except to glorify of His praise, but you do not comprehend their glorification. Indeed, He has been Compassionate, Forgiving (17:44).

Those who had disregarded the Quran have gone astray

  • And when you have read the Quran, we have placed an invisible barrier between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter (17:45). And we have placed coverings over their hearts lest they understand it, and deafness in their ears. And when you have mentioned your Lord in the Quran alone, they have turned on their backs in aversion (17:46). We are knower of what they listen to it, when they are listening to you (Muhammad), and when they are in private conversation, then the wrongdoers say: “You do not follow but a bewitched man (17:47)!” See how they have set forth the examples for you (Muhammad), while they have gone astray; so they cannot find a way (17:48).

Those who have gone astray are not certain about the resurrection

  • And they said: “Is it when we have been bones and particles, will we surely be resurrected as a new creation (17:49)?” Say: “Become stones or iron (17:50), or a great creation is in your chests.” Then they will say: “Who will recreate us?” Say: “The One who has created you the first time.” Then they will shake their heads to you and say: “When is it?” Say: “It may have been that it is near (17:51).” The day He will call you and you will respond with His praise and will think you had not stayed except for a little while (17:52).

Warning for avoiding misguidance of Satan and its allies

  • And say to My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, the Satan triggers hostility between themselves. Indeed, the Satan has been a great enemy for mankind (17:53). Your Lord is Knower of you; if He wills, He will have mercy on you or if He wills, He will punish you, and we have not sent you (Muhammad) a guardian over them (17:54). And your Lord is Knower of whoever is in the heavens and the earth. And we have preferred some of the prophets over other, and we had given Psalms to David (17:55). Say: “Call on those you have claimed other than Him that they have no power for removing of the misfortune from you nor of transferring (17:56).” Those whom they call to seek to their Lord the means, which of them is nearest, and expect His mercy, and fear His retribution. Indeed, your Lord retribution has to be feared (17:57)!

    No town has been destroyed or punished without being written in the scripture

    • And there is not a town before a day of the Resurrection except we are its destroyers or its punishers with a severe punishment, has done that to be written in the scripture (17:58).
    • Note: The message in the verse 17:15 has direct connection with the message in the verse 17:58 to ensure that God has not destroyed or punished any nation without sending a messenger to it as well as being written in the scripture.

    No visible sign (miracle) with message from the time of Muhammad

    • And it has not stopped us that we send of the signs (miracles) except that the previous people had denied in them. And we had given Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, while they had wronged to her. And we do not send of the signs except for a warning (17:59).

    Satan’s promise is nothing but a deception

    • And when we said to you (Muhammad): “Indeed, your Lord has encompassed of the people.” And we have not made the vision, which we have showed you except a test for the people, and the accursed tree in the Quran. And we threaten them, while it does not increase except a great transgression (17:60). And we said to the angels: “Prostrate to Adam.” So, they had prostrated except for Iblis, he said: “Shall I prostrate to whom You have created from clay!” (17:61). He said: “Have You seen this (Adam) whom You have preferred over me? If You have given me a respite until a day of the Resurrection, I will seize his progeny except for a few.” (17:62). He said: “Go, then whoever has followed you (Iblis) from them, then indeed, Hell is your recompense – an appropriate recompense (17:63). And you shall incite whoever you have been able from them with your voice, and shall assault on them with your cavalry and infantry, and shall be a partner in the wealth and the children, and shall promise them.” And the Satan cannot not promise them except a deception (17:64). Indeed, My servants – it has not been any authority for you over them and has sufficed with your Lord as a Guardian” (17:65).

    Fearing God is our means of success

    • Your Lord is the One who drives the ships for you in the sea that you may seek of His bounty. Indeed, He has mercy to you (17:66). And when the hardship touches you in the sea, has lost who you call except Him alone. But when He delivers you to the shore, you turn away. And mankind is ungrateful (17:67). Do you then feel secure that He will not cause to swallow this side of the land with you, or that He would not send a violent storm against you? Then you will not find a guardian for you (17:68). Or do you feel secure that He would not send you back into it another time, then He would not send against you a violent wind is to drown you because you have disbelieved? Then you will not find a vindicator for you therein against us (17:69).

    Final Judgment based on our records

    • And we have honored the Children of Adam and have supported them in the land and the sea, and we have provided for them of the good things, and we have preferred them over many of those whom we have created with preference (17:70). A day we will call all human beings with their records. Then, whoever has been given his record in his right hand, then those will read their records, and they will not be wronged like a thin covering on a date seed (17:71). And whoever has been blind in this (world), then he will be blind in the Hereafter and far astray of the (right) path (17:72).

    Warning for the prophet not to fabricate anything about God

    • And indeed, they had almost done to tempt you (Muhammad) from that which we have revealed to you that you fabricate about us other than it (Quran), and then surely, they would have taken you as a friend! (17:73)! And if not that we had strengthened you (Muhammad), certainly, you would have done to lean towards them a little in something (17:74). Then certainly, we would have made you taste (retribution) double in the life and double in the death. Then you cannot not find for you any helper against us (17:75).

    There is no change in God’s system

    • And if they had done to scare you (Muhammad) from the land that they would drive you out from it, and then they would not stay after of you except a little (17:76). A system for whomever certainly of our messengers, we had sent before yourself (Muhammad), and you will not find any change in our system (17:77).

    Duties and opportunities for prophet to raise his status with God

    • You (Muhammad) shall establish the salat prayer at declining of the sun towards darkness of the night and shall recite Quran at the dawn, indeed, the reciting of Quran at the dawn has been a witnessed (17:78). And of the night that you shall meditate with it (Quran) being extra for you (Muhammad), it may have been that your Lord may raise you to a position be praised (17:79). And say: “My Lord, admit me an honorable admittance, and let me depart an honorable departure, and grant me from You a powerful support. (17:80).” And say: “The truth has come and the falsehood has perished. Indeed, the falsehood has been to perish (17:81).”

    Quran is a healing and a mercy for the believers

    • And we send down from the Quran that it is a healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase except loss to the wicked (17:82). And when we have bestowed favor upon mankind, he has turned away and has become on his side. But when the adversity has touched him, he has been in despair (17:83)! Say: “Everyone works in accordance with his manner, while Your Lord is Knower of whoever is guided to a path (of your Lord) (17:84).”

    Quran given to Muhammad has been a great blessing on him

    • And they ask you (Muhammad) about the Spirit (Gabriel). Say: “The Spirit (Gabriel) comes down with command of my Lord, and you have not been given of the knowledge except a little (17:85).” And if we had willed, we would have taken away of that which we have revealed to you. Then you would not find any advocate for you of this against us (17:86). Except for a mercy from your Lord. Indeed, His blessing upon you has been great (17:87).

    The disbelievers insist on going to astray

    • Say: “Surely, if the human and the Jinn had gathered on that they would bring of like this – the Quran, they could not bring of like this, even if they would have been helpers of one another (17:88).” And certainly, we have explained for the people in this – the Quran of every example, while most of the people has refused except for disbelief (17:89)! And they said: “We will never believe for you until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth (17:90).” “Or you have for you a garden of date-palms and grapes, and you cause to gush forth the rivers within it (17:91). Or you cause to fall pieces of the sky as you have claimed upon us, or you bring of God and the angels before (us) (17:92). Or there might be a luxurious house for you, or you may ascend into the sky. And we will not believe to your ascension until you bring down to us a scripture we could read it.” Say: “Glory to my Lord, have I been except a human messenger?” (17:93). And what has prevented the people to believe when there has come to them the guidance, except that they have said: “Has God sent a human messenger (17:94)?” Say: “If it had been angels waking secure in the earth; surely, we would have sent down to them an angel messenger from the heaven (17:95).” Say: “It has sufficed with God as a Witness between me and you. Indeed, He has been Cognizant, Seer of His servants (17:96).” And whomever God guides, then he is the guided one and whomever He lets go astray, you will not find for them any protectors other than Him. And we will gather them on a day of the Resurrection on their faces blind, and dumb, and deaf. Their abode is Hell, every time it has subsided, we will increase for them the fire (17:97). That is their recompense because they have disbelieved in our revelations, and they said: “When we are bones and particles, will we be resurrected as a new creation (17:98)?” Do they not see that God, the One who has created the heavens and the earth is able to create like themselves? And He has made a term for them, there is no doubt in it, while has refused the wicked except for disbelief (17:99). Say: “If you possess my Lord’s treasures of mercy, then you have surely, withheld for fear of spending. And the human being has been stingy (17:100)!”

    Moses was given nine miracles to save the Children of Israel

    • And certainly, we had given Moses nine clear signs. So you shall ask Children of Israel, when he had come to them, then Pharaoh said to him: “Indeed, I surely think that you Moses is a bewitched (17:101)!” He said: “Certainly, you have known that none has sent down these except Lord of the heavens and the earth as evidences, and I think that you Pharaoh are destroyed (17:102)!” So he wanted that he will drive them out of the land while we had drowned him and all whoever with him (17:103). And we had said to the Children of Israel after him (Pharaoh): “Dwell in the land, then when there has come a promise of the Hereafter, we have brought a mixed crowd with you (17:104).”

    What has the Quran except the truth

    • And with the truth we have sent down it and with the truth it has descended; and we have not sent you (Muhammad) except a bearer of good news and a warner (17:105). And a Quran we have divided it that you (Muhammad) can read it to the people over the period of time; and we have sent down it a gradual sending down (17:106). Say: “Believe in it or do not believe. Those who have been given the knowledge of its before, when it is recited to them, they fall in prostration to their faces.” (17:107). And they say: “Glory to our Lord. Indeed, our Lord’s promise has surely been fulfilled.” (17:108). And they fall crying to their faces, and it increases them in humility (17:109).

    Moderate tone in the Salat prayers while all praise and glory to God

    • Say (Muhammad): “Call on God or call on the Gracious. Whatever you call on, then to Him belongs the beautiful names. And do (Muhammad) not be loud in your salat prayer, nor do you be silent in it, and you shall use a path between that (17:110).” And say: “All praise to God Who does not take a son, nor would there be a partner for Him in the sovereignty, nor would there be a protector for Him out of the weakness. And you shall glorify Him having all glorification” (17:111).

    Conclusion

    Surah consists of 111 verses and most of the verses are short. Even there is opportunity for those who have limited knowledge in Arabic may interpret the message in each verse of the surah. However, the message in each Arabic verse has been translated to English reflecting to the Arabic text as well as basic Arabic grammar making sincere effort to avoid any traces of personality cult as well.

    Review indicates that there are many crucial commands and information that we can reflect to find right way to observe our God given religious duties. In the surah there is warning for the disbelievers and the people of Israel about the severe punishment, and also for the prophet through whom we received the Quran so that we can avoid those who are doing business with the religion leaving us in the darkness. God has given us the Quran as the straight path, bearer of good news and warner having the truth to worship Him without associating partners with Him to see our success with Him. While those who have disregarded the Quran have gone astray and they are not certain about the resurrection.
    Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
    Tafazzal (8/16/2019).