Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 111
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
17: Al-Isra - الاسراء

17:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).
[ Saheeh International ]
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
Tafseer Commentary

2166 The reference is to the Mi'raj for which see the Introduction to this Surah.

2167 Masjid is a place of prayer: here it refers to the Ka'bah at Makkah. It had not yet been cleared of its idols and rededicated exclusively to the One True God. It was symbolical of the new Message which was being given to mankind.

2168 The Farthest Mosque must refer to the site of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem on the hill of Moriah, at or near which stands the Dome of the Rock. This and the Mosque known as the Farthest Mosque (al Masjid al Aqsa) were completed by the Amir 'Abd al Malik in A.H. 68. Farthest, because it was the place of worship farthest west which was known to the Arabs in the time of the Prophet: it was a sacred place to both Jews and Christians, but the Christians then had the upper hand, as it was included in the Byzantine (Roman) Empire, which maintained a Patriarch at Jerusalem. The chief dates in connection with the Temple are: it was finished by Solomon about B.C. 1004; destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar about 586 B.C.; rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah about 515 B.C.; turned into a heathen idol-temple by one of Alexander's successors, Antiochus Epiphanes, 167 B.C.; restored by Herod, B.C. 17 to A.C. 29; and completely razed to the ground by the Emperor Titus in A.C.70. These ups and downs are among the greater Signs in religious history.

2169 Allah's knowledge comprehends all things, without any curtain of Time or any separation of Space. He can therefore see and hear all things, and the Mi'raj; was a reflection of this knowledge without Time or Space. In this and the subsequent verses, the reference to Allah is generally in the first person and plural. But in the first and the last clause of this verse it is in the third person singular: "Glory to Allah, Who did take His Servant. . .", "He is the One . .". In each of these two instances, the clause expresses the point of view of Allah's creatures, who glorify Him, and whose hearing and seeing are ordinarily so limited that they can do nothing but glorify Him when one of His creatures is raised up to hear and see the Mysteries. It is they who glorify Him. (R).


17:2
[ Original ]
وَآتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ هُدًى لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَلَّا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْ دُونِي وَكِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): "Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs."
[ Saheeh International ]
And We gave Moses the Scripture and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel that you not take other than Me as Disposer of affairs,
Tafseer Commentary

2170 The Book: the revelation that was given to Moses. It was there clearly laid down that those who followed Moses must consider Allah as all-in-all. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me; thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.. . ; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God . . . ;" etc. (Exod. 20:3-5). These are the words of the English Bible. As a matter of fact the spirit of Mosaic teaching went further. It referred all things to the Providence of Allah: Allah is the Disposer of all affairs, and we are to look to none but Him. This is Islam, and the Mi'raj showed that it was the teaching of Allah from the most ancient times, and yet it was violated by the very people who claimed to be its custodians.

2171 Note the transition from "We" in the first clause to "Me" in the second clause. The first clause refers to the majesty of Allah as the Heavenly King: the second clause refers to His personal interest in all our affairs.


17:3
[ Original ]
ذُرِّيَّةَ مَنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful.
[ Saheeh International ]
O descendants of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah. Indeed, he was a grateful servant.
Tafseer Commentary

2172 After the Deluge of the time of Noah the only descendants of Noah were those who were saved in the Ark with him. They had special reason to celebrate the praise of Allah. But they relapsed into idolatry, sin, and abomination. They are reminded of the true and sincere devotion of Noah himself, as contrasted with the unworthiness of Noah's descendants, especially the Children of Israel.


17:4
[ Original ]
وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We gave (Clear) Warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And We conveyed to the Children of Israel in the Scripture that, "You will surely cause corruption on the earth twice, and you will surely reach [a degree of] great haughtiness.
Tafseer Commentary

2173 The Book is the revelation given to the Children of Israel. Here it seems to refer to the burning words of Prophets like Isaiah. For example, see Isaiah, chap. 24 or Isaiah 5:20-30, or Isaiah 3:16-26.

2174 What are the two occasions referred to? It may be that "twice" is a figure of speech for "more than once", "often". Or it may be that the two occasions refer to (1) the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., when the Jews were carried off into captivity, and (2) the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.C. 70, after which the Temple was never rebuilt. See n. 2168 above. On both occasions it was a judgement of Allah for the sins of the Jews, their backslidings, and their arrogance.


17:5
[ Original ]
فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ أُولَاهُمَا بَعَثْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ عِبَادًا لَنَا أُولِي بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ فَجَاسُوا خِلَالَ الدِّيَارِ ۚ وَكَانَ وَعْدًا مَفْعُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare: They entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled.
[ Saheeh International ]
So when the [time of] promise came for the first of them, We sent against you servants of Ours - those of great military might, and they probed [even] into the homes, and it was a promise fulfilled.
Tafseer Commentary

2175 A good description of the warlike Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonians. They were servants of Allah in the sense that they were instruments through which the wrath of Allah was poured out on the Jews, for they penetrated through their lands, their Temple , and their homes, and carried away the Jews, men and women, into captivity. As regards "the daughters of Zion " see the scathing condemnation in Isaiah, 3:16-26.


17:6
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَمْدَدْنَاكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ أَكْثَرَ نَفِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then did We grant you the Return as against them: We gave you increase in resources and sons, and made you the more numerous in manpower.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then We gave back to you a return victory over them. And We reinforced you with wealth and sons and made you more numerous in manpower
Tafseer Commentary

2176 The return of the Jews from the Captivity was about 520 B.C. They started life afresh. They rebuilt the Temple . They carried out various reforms and built up a new Judaism in connection with Ezra. See Appendix II following S. 5. For a time they prospered. Meanwhile their old oppressors the Babylonians had been absorbed by Persia . Subsequently Persia was absorbed in Alexander's Empire. The whole of western Asia was Hellenized, and the new school of Jews was Hellenized also, and had a strong centre in Alexandria . But their footing in Palestine continued, and under the Asmonaean Dynasty (B.C. 167-63), they had a national revival, and the names of the Maccabees are remembered as those of heroes. Another dynasty, that of the Idumaeans, (B.C. 63 to B.C. 4), to which Herod belonged, also enjoyed some semi-independent power. The sceptre of Syria (including Palestine ) passed to the Romans in B.C. 65, and Jewish feudatory Kings held power under them. But the Jews again showed a stiff-necked resistance to Allah's Messenger in the time of Jesus, and the inevitable doom followed in the complete and final destruction of the Temple under Titus in 70 A.C.


17:7
[ Original ]
إِنْ أَحْسَنْتُمْ أَحْسَنْتُمْ لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا ۚ فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ الْآخِرَةِ لِيَسُوءُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَلِيَدْخُلُوا الْمَسْجِدَ كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَلِيُتَبِّرُوا مَا عَلَوْا تَتْبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If ye did well, ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil, (ye did it) against yourselves. So when the second of the warnings came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they had entered it before, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power.
[ Saheeh International ]
[And said], "If you do good, you do good for yourselves; and if you do evil, [you do it] to yourselves." Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies] to sadden your faces and to enter the temple in Jerusalem, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction.
Tafseer Commentary

2177 This is a parenthetical sentence. If anyone follows Allah's Law, the benefit goes to himself: he does not bestow a favour on anyone else. Similarly evil brings its own recompense on the doer of evil.

2178 The second doom was due to the rejection of the Message of Jesus. "To disfigure your faces" means to destroy any credit or power you may have got: the face shows the personality of the man.

2179 Titus's destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.C.. was complete. He was a son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian, and at the date of the destruction of Jerusalem , had the title of Caesar as heir to the throne. He ruled as Roman Emperor from 79 to 81 A.C..

2180 Merivale in his Ramans Under the Empire gives a graphic account of the siege and final destruction (ed. 1890, 7:221-255). The population of Jerusalem was then 200,000. According to the Latin historian Tacitus it was as much as 600,000. There was a famine and there were massacres. There was much fanaticism. The judgement of Merivale is: "They" (the Jews) "were judicially abandoned to their own passions and the punishment which naturally awaited them." (7:221).


17:8
[ Original ]
عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يَرْحَمَكُمْ ۚ وَإِنْ عُدْتُمْ عُدْنَا ۘ وَجَعَلْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ حَصِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It may be that your Lord may (yet) show Mercy unto you; but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments): And we have made Hell a prison for those who reject Faith.
[ Saheeh International ]
[Then Allah said], "It is expected, [if you repent], that your Lord will have mercy upon you. But if you return [to sin], We will return [to punishment]. And We have made Hell, for the disbelievers, a prison-bed."
Tafseer Commentary

2181 Now we come to the time of our Holy Prophet. In spite of all the past, the Jews could still have obtained Allah's forgiveness if they had not obstinately rejected the greatest of the Prophets also. If they were to continue in their sins, Allah's punishment would also continue to visit them.

2182 There is such a thing as disgrace in this life, but the final disgrace is in the Hereafter, and that will be irretrievable. Notice that the allegorical reference to Jewish history, when brought into relation with the true meaning of Mi'raj, refers to the constant struggle of the individual soul against evil. It has its setbacks and its punishments. But if it is true to itself and is true to the Faith in Allah, Allah will give it strength and make it successful in its fight against evil. For Allah's Mercy is unbounded and comes to suffering humanity again and again. (R).


17:9
[ Original ]
إِنَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily this Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the Glad Tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward;
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward.
Tafseer Commentary

2183 The instability and crookedness of the Jewish soul having been mentioned, the healing balm which should have cured it is now pointed out. The Message of the Qur'an is for all. Those who have Faith and show that Faith in their conduct must reap their spiritual reward. But those who reject Faith cannot escape punishment. Apart from what is past, apart from questions of national or racial history, there is a spiritual Hope-and a spiritual Danger-for every soul.


17:10
[ Original ]
وَأَنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And to those who believe not in the Hereafter, (it announceth) that We have prepared for them a Penalty Grievous (indeed).
[ Saheeh International ]
And that those who do not believe in the Hereafter - We have prepared for them a painful punishment.

17:11
[ Original ]
وَيَدْعُ الْإِنْسَانُ بِالشَّرِّ دُعَاءَهُ بِالْخَيْرِ ۖ وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ عَجُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds).
[ Saheeh International ]
And man supplicates for evil as he supplicates for good, and man is ever hasty.
Tafseer Commentary

2184 Man in his ignorance or haste mistakes evil for good, and desires what he should not have. The wise and instructed soul has patience and does not put its own desires above the wisdom of Allah. He receives with contentment the favours of Allah, and prays to be rightly guided in his desires and petitions.


17:12
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ آيَتَيْنِ ۖ فَمَحَوْنَا آيَةَ اللَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَا آيَةَ النَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً لِتَبْتَغُوا فَضْلًا مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ تَفْصِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We have made the Night and the Day two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We obscured, while the Sign of the Day We have made to enlighten you; that ye may seek bounty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have made the night and day two signs, and We erased the sign of the night and made the sign of the day visible that you may seek bounty from your Lord and may know the number of years and the account [of time]. And everything We have set out in detail.
Tafseer Commentary

2185 If we were to cry when it is night, we shall look foolish when it is day; for the night is but a preparation or the day: perhaps, as the last verse says, we pray for the day when we want rest for the night. Both are Signs from Allah. Darkness and light stand for ignorance and knowledge. "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." Darkness and light may also stand for shadow and sunshine, sorrow and joy: both may be necessary for our development.

2186 By the physical light we see physical facts. And this physical gift of Allah is good for us in two ways; (1) we can arrange for our livelihood, or we can attain knowledge of the physical sciences and gain some control over the physical forces of nature; and (2) the daily rising and setting of the sun gives us the computation of days and years, for the physical natural year is the solar year. But there is spiritual light even more precious: by it we can similarly attain two objects, viz. (1) our spiritual livelihood and knowledge, and (2) our computation of the stages we reach in our spiritual years. Let us be patient and seek everything as from Allah-in joy and in sorrow, in knowledge and in want of knowledge of those things which are above us. Let us rejoice in what Allah has given us, and not be impatient about those things which He in His wisdom has thought fit to withhold from us. But all things should be sought and striven for under the guidance of the All-Knowing Allah.


17:13
[ Original ]
وَكُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنْشُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Every man's fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.
[ Saheeh International ]
And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open.
Tafseer Commentary

2187 Fate: Ta'ir, literally a bird, hence an omen, an evil omen, fate. Cf. 36:19. The Arabs like the ancient Romans, sought to read the mysteries of human fate from the flight of birds. And many of us in our own day seek to read our future fortunes by similar superstitions. We read in the previous verse that there are Signs of Allah, but they are not meant to subserve the vulgar purpose of disclosing our future destiny in a worldly sense. They are meant for quite other purposes, as we have explained. Our real fate does not depend upon birds or omens or stars. It depends on our deeds, good or evil, and they hang round our necks, (see also n. 484). (R).

2188 These deeds, good or evil, will be embodied in a scroll which will be quite open to us in the light of the Day of Judgement, however much we may affect to be ignorant of it now or waste our energies in prying into mysteries that do not concern us.


17:14
[ Original ]
اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(It will be said to him:) "Read thine (own) record: Sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee."
[ Saheeh International ]
[It will be said], "Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant."
Tafseer Commentary

2189 Our true accusers are our own deeds. Why not look to them instead of vainly prying into something superstitious which we call a book of fortune or a book of omens? (Cf. 85:3).


17:15
[ Original ]
مَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا ۚ وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ ۗ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Who receiveth guidance, receiveth it for his own benefit: who goeth astray doth so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent a messenger (to give warning).
[ Saheeh International ]
Whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger.
Tafseer Commentary

2190 The doctrine of personal responsibility is insisted on, and the basis of ethics is shown to be our own good or evil as furthering or obstructing our highest development.

2191 The doctrine of vicarious atonement is condemned. Salvation for the wicked cannot be attained by the punishment of the innocent. One man cannot bear the burden of another; that would be unjust. Every man must bear his own personal responsibility. Cf. 6:164. But Allah never visits His wrath on anyone until due warning is conveyed to him through an accredited messenger.


17:16
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَنْ نُهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُوا فِيهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهَا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَاهَا تَدْمِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true against them: then (it is) We destroy them utterly.
[ Saheeh International ]
And when We intend to destroy a city, We command its affluent but they defiantly disobey therein; so the word comes into effect upon it, and We destroy it with [complete] destruction.
Tafseer Commentary

2192 Allah's Mercy gives every chance to the wicked to repent. When wickedness gets so rampant that punishment becomes inevitable, even then Allah's Mercy and Justice act together. Those who are highly gifted from Allah-it may be with wealth or position or it may be with talents and opportunities-are expected to understand and obey. They are given a definite order and warning. If they still transgress there is no further room for argument. They cannot plead that they were ignorant. The command of the Lord is proved against them, and its application is called for beyond doubt. Then it is that their punishment is completed.

2193 Qawl here has the sense of word, order, law, charge framed against one under a definite law ( Cf. 36:7).


17:17
[ Original ]
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِنْ بَعْدِ نُوحٍ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِرَبِّكَ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
How many generations have We destroyed after Noah? and enough is thy Lord to note and see the sins of His servants.
[ Saheeh International ]
And how many have We destroyed from the generations after Noah. And sufficient is your Lord, concerning the sins of His servants, as Acquainted and Seeing.
Tafseer Commentary

2194 Noah's Flood is taken as a new starting point in history. But even after that hundreds of empires, towns, and generations have perished for their wickedness.

2195 Let not the wicked think, because they are given a lease of life and luxury for a time, that their wickedness has escaped notice. Allah notes and sees all things, both open and secret. He knows the hidden motives and thoughts of men, and He has no need of any other evidence. His knowledge and sight are all-sufficient.


17:18
[ Original ]
مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاءُ لِمَنْ نُرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَدْحُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If any do wish for the transitory things (of this life), We readily grant them - such things as We will, to such person as We will: in the end have We provided Hell for them: they will burn therein, disgraced and rejected.
[ Saheeh International ]
Whoever should desire the immediate - We hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend. Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished.
Tafseer Commentary

2196 An explanation is now given of how it is that prosperity sometimes seems to attend the wicked. The explanation is threefold: (1) the transitory things of this life are worth little in the eternal scheme of things; (2) even they are provided, not just because their recipients wish for them, but according to a definite Plan of Allah; and (3) in the end there is for the wicked the eternal misery and deprivation of grace-trie Hell which is worse than destruction in the terms of this world.

2197 All the pride and insolence will then be brought low. The disgrace and the exclusion from the "sight of the Face of Allah" will by themselves be punishments of which the magnitude cannot be measured in the terms of our present material life.


17:19
[ Original ]
وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الْآخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُمْ مَشْكُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive therefor with all due striving, and have Faith,- they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah..
[ Saheeh International ]
But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer - it is those whose effort is ever appreciated [by Allah].
Tafseer Commentary

2198 This is in contrast to the last verse. Those who wish for mere earthly good sometimes get it and misuse it. Those whose eyes are fixed on the Hereafter, they too share in their Lord's bounty provided they fulfil the conditions explained in the next note; but their wishes and endeavours are more acceptable in the sight of Allah.

2199 A mere wish for moral and spiritual good is not enough. It must be backed up by hard endeavour and supported by a lively Faith. On those conditions the wishes are accepted by Allah.


17:20
[ Original ]
كُلًّا نُمِدُّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ وَهَٰؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Of the bounties of thy Lord We bestow freely on all- These as well as those: The bounties of thy Lord are not closed (to anyone).
[ Saheeh International ]
To each [category] We extend - to these and to those - from the gift of your Lord. And never has the gift of your Lord been restricted.
Tafseer Commentary

2200 Allah's favours are showered on all-the just and the unjust, the deserving and the undeserving. But there is a difference as explained in the last two verses.


17:21
[ Original ]
انْظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
See how We have bestowed more on some than on others; but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence.
[ Saheeh International ]
Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.
Tafseer Commentary

2201 Nor should man suppose that all gifts are of equal value. The spiritual ones rank far higher in dignity and real worth than the transitory ones. Therefore it is altogether wrong to compare the worldly prosperity of a wicked man with the apparent want of it to a man of spiritual worth. There is no comparison between them when measured by right standards.


17:22
[ Original ]
لَا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُومًا مَخْذُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Take not with Allah another object of worship; or thou (O man!) wilt sit in disgrace and destitution.
[ Saheeh International ]
Do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity and [thereby] become censured and forsaken.
Tafseer Commentary

2202 The seeming inequality of gifts to men might make short-sighted men impugn the impartiality of Allah. But the fault lies with such men's own want of knowledge and want of Faith. There is no excuse for them to seek other objects of worship than Allah. For there is none worthy of worship except Allah.

2203 If foolish men turn to false objects of worship, they will not only be disappointed, but they will lose the respect of their own fellow-men, and spiritually they will be reduced to destitution. All their talents and their words will be of no avail.


17:23
[ Original ]
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
[ Saheeh International ]
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.
Tafseer Commentary

2204 The spiritual and moral duties are now brought into juxtaposition. We are to worship none but Allah, because none but Allah is worthy of worship, not because "the Lord thy God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me". (Exod. 20:5). Note that the act of worship may be collective as well as individual; hence the plural ta'budu. The kindness to parents is an individual act of piety; hence the singular taqul, qul, etc.


17:24
[ Original ]
وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."
[ Saheeh International ]
And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small."
Tafseer Commentary

2205 Cf. 15:88 and n. 2011, and 26:215. The metaphor is that of a high-flying bird which lowers her wing out of tenderness to her offspring. There is a double aptness. (1) When the parent was strong and the child was helpless, parental affection was showered on the child: when the child grows up and is strong, and the parent is helpless, can he do less than bestow similar tender care on the parent? (2) But more: he must approach the matter with gentle humility; for does not parental love remind him of the love with which Allah cherished His creatures? There is something here more than simple human gratitude: it goes up into the highest spiritual region.

2206 Note that we are asked to honour our father and mother, not "that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exod. 20:12), but upon much higher and more universal grounds, such as befit a perfect revelation. In the first place, not merely respect, but cherishing kindness, and humility to parents, are commanded. In the second place this command is bracketed with the command to worship the One True God: Parental love should be to us a type of divine love: nothing that we can do can ever really compensate for that which we have received. In the third place (see next verse) our spiritual advancement is tested by this: we cannot expect Allah's forgiveness if we are rude or unkind to those who unselfishly brought us up.


17:25
[ Original ]
رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي نُفُوسِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ تَكُونُوا صَالِحِينَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلْأَوَّابِينَ غَفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts: If ye do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence).
[ Saheeh International ]
Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves. If you should be righteous [in intention] - then indeed He is ever, to the often returning [to Him], Forgiving.
Tafseer Commentary

2207 It is the heart, and its hidden and secret motives, by which we are judged: for Allah knows them all.


17:26
[ Original ]
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
[ Saheeh International ]
And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.
Tafseer Commentary

2208 In the Jewish Decalogue, which was given to a primitive and hard-hearted people, this refinement of kindness-to those in want and to wayfarers (i.e., total strangers whom you come across) finds no place. Nor was there much danger of their wasting their substance out of exuberance. Even the command "to honour thy father and mother" comes after the ceremonial observance of the Sabbath. With us, the worship of Allah is linked up with kindness-to parents, kindred, those in want, those who are far from their homes though they may be total strangers to us. It is not mere verbal kindness. They have certain rights which must be fulfilled.

2209 All charity, kindness, and help are conditioned by our own resources. There is no merit if we merely spend out of bravado or for idle show. How many families are ruined by extravagant expenses at wedding, funerals, etc., or (as they may call it) to "oblige friends or relatives", or to give to able-bodied beggars? To no one was this command more necessary than it is to Muslims of the present day.


17:27
[ Original ]
إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.
Tafseer Commentary

2210 Spendthrifts are not merely fools. They are of the same family as the Evil Ones. And the chief of the Evil Ones (notice the transition from the plural to the singular)- Satan himself-fell by his ingratitude to Allah. So those who misuse or squander Allah's gifts are also ungrateful to Allah.


17:28
[ Original ]
وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُلْ لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَيْسُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And even if thou hast to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.
Tafseer Commentary

2211 You may have to "turn away" from people for two reasons. (!) You may not have the wherewithal with which to entertain them and give them their rights; or (2) you may have to give them a wide berth because their thoughts are not as your thoughts. In either case there is no need to speak harshly to them. Your words should be those of "easy kindness", i.e., the sort of kindness (not merely frigid politeness) which flows from pity and understanding and smooths over unnecessary difficulties in human intercourse.


17:29
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَحْسُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard's) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent.
Tafseer Commentary

2212 Cf. the phrase for miserliness in 5:64. We are not to be so lavish as to make ourselves destitute and incur the just censure of wise men, nor is it becoming to keep back our resources from the just needs of those who have a right to our help. Even strangers have such a right, as we saw in 17:26 above. But we must keep a just measure between our capacity and other people's needs.


17:30
[ Original ]
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily thy Lord doth provide sustenance in abundance for whom He pleaseth, and He provideth in a just measure, for He doth know and regard all His servants.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.
Tafseer Commentary

2213 If a foolish spendthrift pretends that his generosity, even if it ruins himself, is good for other people, he is reminded that Allah will take care of all. He knows every one's true needs and cares for them. He gives in abundance to some, but in all cases He gives in just measure. Who are we to pretend to greater generosity! (R).


17:31
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.
Tafseer Commentary

2214 The Arabs were addicted to female infanticide. In a society perpetually at war a son was a source of strength whereas a daughter was a source of weakness. Even now infanticide is not unknown in other countries for economic reasons. This crime against children's lives is here characterised as one of the greatest of sins.


17:32
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.
Tafseer Commentary

2215 Literally, "it is evil as a road (or a way)." Adultery is not only shameful in itself and inconsistent with any self-respect or respect for others, but it opens the road to many evils. It destroys the basis of the family; it works against the interests of children born or to be born; it may cause murders and feuds and loss of reputation and property, and also loosens permanently the bonds of society. Not only should it be avoided as a sin, but any approach or temptation should be avoided.


17:33
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۗ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلَا يُسْرِفْ فِي الْقَتْلِ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand Qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly - We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law].
Tafseer Commentary

2216 On the subject of Qisas see 2:178 and the notes thereto. Under the strict limitations there laid down, a life may be taken for a life. The heir is given the right to demand the life; but he must not exceed due bounds, because he is helped by the Law. Some Commentators understand "he" in "he is helped (by the Law)" to refer to the heir of the person against whom Qisas is sought. He too will be helped by the Law, if the heir of the first slain exceeds the bounds of Law.


17:34
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۚ وَأَوْفُوا بِالْعَهْدِ ۖ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْئُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Come not nigh to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (Every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not approach the property of an orphan, except in the way that is best, until he reaches maturity. And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned.
Tafseer Commentary

2217 Cf. 6:152, and other passages relating to orphans, e.g., 2:220. If an orphan's property is touched at all, it should be to improve it, or to give him something better than he had before-never to take a personal advantage for the benefit of the guardian. A bargain that may be quite fair as between two independent persons would be, under this verse, unfair as between a guardian and his orphan ward until the latter attains the full age of understanding.

2218 Ashuddah means the age when the orphan reaches his full maturity of strength and understanding, say between the ages of 18 and 30. The age of legal majority may be 18 (as for certain purposes in India ) or 21 (as in England ). For certain purposes in Muslim law it may be less than 18. In the orphan's interest a much stricter standard is required in his case.

2219 The definite article al has here a generic meaning, and is best translated "every".

2220 From the context the engagements referred to would relate to beneficial contracts connected with the orphan's property or promises or undertakings given by the guardian or implied in the terms of his appointment. But the words are general and may be interpreted in the general sense. Note that this sentence does not occur in the similar passage in 6:152, where there was a discussion of social laws: it is appropriate here, where the discussion is about the guardian's personal and individual responsibility in a spiritual sense. Cf. 5:1).


17:35
[ Original ]
وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذَا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُوا بِالْقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.
[ Saheeh International ]
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even balance. That is the best [way] and best in result.
Tafseer Commentary

2221 Givingjust measure and weight is not only right in itself but is ultimately to the best spiritual and material advantage of the person who gives it.


17:36
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And pursue not that of which thou hasth no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.
Tafseer Commentary

2222 Idle curiosity may lead us to nose into evil, through our ignorance that it is evil. We must guard against every such danger. We must only hear the things that are known to us to be of good report, and see things that are good and instructive and entertain in our hearts feelings or in our minds ideas that we have reason to expect will be spiritually profitable to us. We shall be called to account for the exercise of every faculty that has been given to us. This goes a little farther than a famous sculpture on a Japanese temple in which three monkeys are shown as putting their hands to their ears, eyes, and mouths, respectively, to show that they were not prepared to hear any evil, see any evil, or speak any evil. Here idle curiosity is condemned. Futility is to be avoided even if it does not reach the degree of positive evil.


17:37
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّكَ لَنْ تَخْرِقَ الْأَرْضَ وَلَنْ تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.
Tafseer Commentary

2223 Insolence, or arrogance, or undue elation at our powers or capacities, is the first step to many evils. Besides, it is unjustified. All our gifts are from Allah.


17:38
[ Original ]
كُلُّ ذَٰلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Of all such things the evil is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.
[ Saheeh International ]
All that - its evil is ever, in the sight of your Lord, detested.

17:39
[ Original ]
ذَٰلِكَ مِمَّا أَوْحَىٰ إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ الْحِكْمَةِ ۗ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ فَتُلْقَىٰ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُومًا مَدْحُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
These are among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee. Take not, with Allah, another object of worship, lest thou shouldst be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.
[ Saheeh International ]
That is from what your Lord has revealed to you, [O Muhammad], of wisdom. And, [O mankind], do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity, lest you be thrown into Hell, blamed and banished.
Tafseer Commentary

2224 The moral law, as expounded in 17:23-39 is far in advance of the bare Decalogue in that it searches out motives, and draws pointed attention to the weak and helpless if we are to reach any spiritual understanding of Allah. It begins with a mention of the worship of Allah, the One True God and ends with a similar mention to close the argument, thus emphasizing the fact that the love of Allah embraces the love of man and practical help of our fellow-creatures. (R).

2225 "Blameworthy" carries us back by reminiscence to 17:29, between which and this verse there is mention of crimes committed out of covetousness and a selfish disregard of other people's rights. "Rejected" carries back our reminiscence to 17:18, from which to here we have a reference to crimes that lead to deprivation of Allah's grace. The latter is of course wider than the former. Note how subtly the two streams of thought are here conjoined.


17:40
[ Original ]
أَفَأَصْفَاكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ بِالْبَنِينَ وَاتَّخَذَ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنَاثًا ۚ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوْلًا عَظِيمًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Has then your Lord (O Pagans!) preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself daughters among the angels? Truly ye utter a most dreadful saying!
[ Saheeh International ]
Then, has your Lord chosen you for [having] sons and taken from among the angels daughters? Indeed, you say a grave saying.
Tafseer Commentary

2226 Cf. 16:57-59. Insistence on true worship means also exclusion of false worship or worship derogatory to Allah. In circles where daughters were despised and even their lives had to be protected by special legislation, what could have been more dreadful than ascribing daughters to Allah?


17:41
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لِيَذَّكَّرُوا وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلَّا نُفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We have explained (things) in various (ways) in this Qur'an, in order that they may receive admonition, but it only increases their flight (from the Truth)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have certainly diversified [the contents] in this Qur'an that mankind may be reminded, but it does not increase the disbelievers except in aversion.
Tafseer Commentary

2227 Things are explained in the Qur'an from all points of view, individual and national, by means of stories, parables, and figures of speech, and by way of categorical commands. But those who are evil, instead of profiting by such instruction, often go farther and farther away from the Truth.


17:42
[ Original ]
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ مَعَهُ آلِهَةٌ كَمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذًا لَابْتَغَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِي الْعَرْشِ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: If there had been (other) gods with Him, as they say,- behold, they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne!
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, [O Muhammad], "If there had been with Him [other] gods, as they say, then they [each] would have sought to the Owner of the Throne a way."
Tafseer Commentary

2228 There is only One True God. But if, as polytheists say, there had been subsidiary gods, they would yet have had to go to the Throne of the Supreme God, for they could have done nothing without Him. Thus the Islamic idea of the unity of the Godhead is quite different from the polytheistic ideas of a supreme god, as in the Greek Pantheon, where Jupiter was often defied by the minor deities! But such ideas are absurd, as stated in the next verse (Cf. 21:21-22 and 23- 91).


17:43
[ Original ]
سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Glory to Him! He is high above all that they say!- Exalted and Great (beyond measure)!
[ Saheeh International ]
Exalted is He and high above what they say by great sublimity.

17:44
[ Original ]
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!
[ Saheeh International ]
The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.
Tafseer Commentary

2229 Al1 Creation, animate and inanimate, sings Allah's praises and celebrates His glory-animate, with consciousness, and inanimate, in the evidence which it furnishes of the unity and glory of Allah. All Nature bears witness to His power, wisdom, and goodness. It is only "ye" i.e., those who reject the whole trend of your nature and deny Faith simply because ye have been given a limited amount of choice and free will-it is only such as "ye that understand not what every other creature understands and proclaims with joy and pride. What must be your degradation! And yet Allah bears with you and forgives you! Such is His goodness! (R).


17:45
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَسْتُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When thou dost recite the Qur'an, We put, between thee and those who believe not in the Hereafter, a veil invisible:
[ Saheeh International ]
And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter a concealed partition.
Tafseer Commentary

2230 Veil invisible. Some Commentators understand mastur here as equivalent to satir. a veil that makes invisible, a thick or dark veil. But I think that the meaning of mastur (in the passive voice) as "hidden or invisible" is more consonant with the whole passage. If all nature, external and within ourselves, declares Allah's glory, those unfortunates who cut themselves off from their better nature are isolated from the true servants of Allah and the revelation of Allah, because (1) they are unfit for being in their company, and (2) because the servants of Allah and the revelation of Allah must be protected from the pain which blasphemy or rebellion must cause to their unsullied nature. The veil is none the less real even though it is invisible. (R).


17:46
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَنْ يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا ۚ وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ وَلَّوْا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهِمْ نُفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We put coverings over their hearts (and minds) lest they should understand the Qur'an, and deafness into their ears: when thou dost commemorate thy Lord and Him alone in the Qur'an, they turn on their backs, fleeing (from the Truth).
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have placed over their hearts coverings, lest they understand it, and in their ears deafness. And when you mention your Lord alone in the Qur'an, they turn back in aversion.
Tafseer Commentary

2231 The invisible veil being put against the ungodly on account of their deliberate rejection of Truth. The result is that their minds are fogged so that they cannot understand and their ears are cloned so that they cannot hear. In other words, the effect of Evil become cumulative in shutting out Allah's grace.


17:47
[ Original ]
نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَسْتَمِعُونَ بِهِ إِذْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِذْ هُمْ نَجْوَىٰ إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِنْ تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا رَجُلًا مَسْحُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We know best why it is they listen, when they listen to thee; and when they meet in private conference, behold, the wicked say, "Ye follow none other than a man bewitched!"
[ Saheeh International ]
We are most knowing of how they listen to it when they listen to you and [of] when they are in private conversation, when the wrongdoers say, "You follow not but a man affected by magic."
Tafseer Commentary

2232 See last note. That being so, the only motive for the ungodly to listen to Allah's Truth is to scoff at it instead of to be instructed by it. They may make a show of listening, but when they meet together in private, they show themselves in their true colours. Cf. 2:14. They cannot help seeing that there is singular charm and attractiveness in Allah's Word, and that it consoles, helps, and elevates many people who receive it in the right spirit. So they pretend that they are superior to such people and laugh at them for listening to someone who is only under the influence of something which they call magic! (see also 25:8).


17:48
[ Original ]
انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الْأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّوا فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
See what similes they strike for thee: but they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.
[ Saheeh International ]
Look how they strike for you comparisons; but they have strayed, so they cannot [find] a way.
Tafseer Commentary

2233 Note that the word used is "Sabilan" "a way", not "the way". In going astray they have lost the way: but never can they find any means of getting back to that way, or of justifying themselves or making good their wicked similes.


17:49
[ Original ]
وَقَالُوا أَإِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They say: "What! when we are reduced to bones and dust, should we really be raised up (to be) a new creation?"
[ Saheeh International ]
And they say, "When we are bones and crumbled particles, will we [truly] be resurrected as a new creation?"
Tafseer Commentary

2234 They do not realise that Allah Who created them once out of nothing can create them again with memories of their past, in order to render to Him an account of how they used or misused the talents and opportunities which they were given. If it is to be a new Creation, what then? Bones and dust or ashes may yet retain something of the personality, which was enshrined in them. But even if they were reduced to stones or iron or anything, which their minds can conceive of as being most unlike them, yet there is nothing impossible to Allah! He has dearly sent a Message that we shall have to render an account of ourselves, and His Message is necessarily true .(Cf. 17:98 and 75:3).(R).


17:50
[ Original ]
قُلْ كُونُوا حِجَارَةً أَوْ حَدِيدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "(Nay!) be ye stones or iron,
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Be you stones or iron

17:51
[ Original ]
أَوْ خَلْقًا مِمَّا يَكْبُرُ فِي صُدُورِكُمْ ۚ فَسَيَقُولُونَ مَنْ يُعِيدُنَا ۖ قُلِ الَّذِي فَطَرَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۚ فَسَيُنْغِضُونَ إِلَيْكَ رُءُوسَهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هُوَ ۖ قُلْ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُونَ قَرِيبًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Or created matter which, in your minds, is hardest (to be raised up),- (Yet shall ye be raised up)!" then will they say: "Who will cause us to return?" Say: "He who created you first!" Then will they wag their heads towards thee, and say, "When will that be?" Say, "May be it will be quite soon!
[ Saheeh International ]
Or [any] creation of that which is great within your breasts." And they will say, "Who will restore us?" Say, "He who brought you forth the first time." Then they will nod their heads toward you and say, "When is that?" Say, "Perhaps it will be soon -
Tafseer Commentary

2235 The sceptic shifts his ground when he is cornered in argument. It is no longer tenable for him to say that it cannot happen or that there is no one who can bring him back to life and memory. He now gets shaky, and says, "Well, when is that going to happen?" The actual time no man can tell. Indeed that event will be on a plane in which there will be no Time. Our relative ideas of time and place will have been completely overthrown, and it will appear to us then, not that it has been postponed too long, but that it has come too soon! See the next verse and note.


17:52
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ فَتَسْتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمْدِهِ وَتَظُنُّونَ إِنْ لَبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"It will be on a Day when He will call you, and ye will answer (His call) with (words of) His praise, and ye will think that ye tarried but a little while!"
[ Saheeh International ]
On the Day He will call you and you will respond with praise of Him and think that you had not remained [in the world] except for a little."
Tafseer Commentary

2236 It may be that this verse should not be in the inverted commas governed by the verb "say" in the last clause of the last verse. In that case, the answer to the sceptic would be finished in the last verse, and this verse would be a general statement applying also to the righteous, who will rise up celebrating the praises of Allah. But on the whole, I think it is better to take this verse as part of the answer to the sceptic referred to in the last verse.

2237 Whatever may have been your spiritual blindness in this life, the "new creation" will have opened your eyes to the Truth. No one will any longer be in any delusion as regards the Reality of Allah, and will be forced by their new circumstances, to recognise the Truth and sing Allah's praises. And all will be surprised at the seemingly short flight of time since they had their little ephemeral life on this earth. They will now appraise its true worth.


17:53
[ Original ]
وَقُلْ لِعِبَادِي يَقُولُوا الَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنْزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُبِينًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy.
[ Saheeh International ]
And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.
Tafseer Commentary

2238 This command refers to two situations. (1) Even to your enemies and the enemies of Allah you should speak fair: who are you to judge others? Judgment belongs to Allah alone, for He knows you (i.e., all mankind) best, and your personal knowledge is at best imperfect. And Satan is always trying to divide mankind. (2) Amongst yourselves, also you should not entertain suspicions, but speak politely according to the best standards of human speech. A false or unkind word may destroy all your efforts at building up unity, because the forces of disruption are more numerous than the forces of unity.


17:54
[ Original ]
رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ ۖ إِنْ يَشَأْ يَرْحَمْكُمْ أَوْ إِنْ يَشَأْ يُعَذِّبْكُمْ ۚ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is your Lord that knoweth you best: If He please, He granteth you mercy, or if He please, punishment: We have not sent thee to be a disposer of their affairs for them.
[ Saheeh International ]
Your Lord is most knowing of you. If He wills, He will have mercy upon you; or if He wills, He will punish you. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], over them as a manager.
Tafseer Commentary

2239 Man should never for a single moment entertain a thought that would imply that he was wiser than Allah. Allah's knowledge is all-embracing. If He grants mercy to some that you consider wicked or punishment to some that you consider righteous, it is your knowledge or your deductions that are at fault, not Allah's righteous Plan. Even Prophets of Allah are not sent to arrange or dispose of men's affairs, but only to teach Allah's Message. How much less can ordinary men presume to judge other men? The Mashi'ah- Will and Plan of Allah-is above all human wisdom. (R).


17:55
[ Original ]
وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms.
[ Saheeh International ]
And your Lord is most knowing of whoever is in the heavens and the earth. And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways], and to David We gave the book [of Psalms].
Tafseer Commentary

2240 Not only are we not to judge other ordinary men and carp at them, we are not to set up false standards for judging the Prophets of Allah, If one was born of the unlearned Arab race, he yet was a mercy to all the worlds. If one spoke to Allah as Kalim Allah or another's life as Ruh Allah begun with a spiritual miracle; it does not imply superiority. It only means that Allah's wisdom is more profound than we can fathom. (R).

2241 The spiritual gifts with which the prophets came may themselves take different forms, according to the needs of the world and the times in which they lived, as judged by the wisdom of Allah. A striking example here given is the gift of song and music as given to David, but it implies no superiority of David over others. David was given the Zabur, the psalter or Psalms, intended to be sung for the worship of Allah and the celebration of Allah's praise. For the Book of Psalms, see the last part of n. 669 to 4:163, where exactly the same words are used about David.


17:56
[ Original ]
قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ فَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ كَشْفَ الضُّرِّ عَنْكُمْ وَلَا تَحْوِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Call on those - besides Him - whom ye fancy: they have neither the power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them."
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Invoke those you have claimed [as gods] besides Him, for they do not possess the [ability for] removal of adversity from you or [for its] transfer [to someone else]."
Tafseer Commentary

2242 Men's suspicions of each or of the prophets have been condemned in the previous verses. We now have the strongest condemnation of all, that of imagining any other being as being equal or in the same category with One True God. Allah has all power: they have no power. They cannot remove men's troubles. They cannot even mitigate or change them so as to afford the least relief. Why indulge in false worship?


17:57
[ Original ]
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ ۚ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of.
[ Saheeh International ]
Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, [striving as to] which of them would be nearest, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is ever feared.
Tafseer Commentary

2243 Where men or heroes, or prophets or angels are worshipped, the worship is futile: because (1) even if they are good and holy, and ever so near to Allah, yet the nearest of them have need to seek means of access to Allah, and they do seek such means, viz,: the hope of Allah's Grace: (2) though by their very nature it is impossible for us to suppose that they will incur the Wrath of Allah, yet they are but creatures and are subject to the law of personal responsibility.


17:58
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ مِنْ قَرْيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record.
[ Saheeh International ]
And there is no city but that We will destroy it before the Day of Resurrection or punish it with a severe punishment. That has ever been in the Register inscribed.
Tafseer Commentary

2244 These verses are a commentary on the last clause of the last verse. "The Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of." The godless thoughtlessly challenge Allah's Wrath, but do they realise its nature? Even the best of us must be moved with terror when we think of its consequences, were it not for His unbounded Mercy. Those who deny the Hereafter fail to realise its terrible Portents. They ask for Portents and Miracles now, but do they realise that their coming means destruction and misery to those who reject faith? They will come soon enough. The whole world will be convulsed before the Day of Judgment. The part of the wise is to prepare for it.


17:59
[ Original ]
وَمَا مَنَعَنَا أَنْ نُرْسِلَ بِالْآيَاتِ إِلَّا أَنْ كَذَّبَ بِهَا الْأَوَّلُونَ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُوا بِهَا ۚ وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالْآيَاتِ إِلَّا تَخْوِيفًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We refrain from sending the signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the She-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror (and warning from evil).
[ Saheeh International ]
And nothing has prevented Us from sending signs except that the former peoples denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, but they wronged her. And We send not the signs except as a warning.
Tafseer Commentary

2245 Past generations treated Signs and Portents with contempt or rebellion, and brought about their own undoing. It is only Allah's Mercy that gives them Grace for a time and prevents the coming of those Portents and Punishments which would overwhelm them if they were put to their trial at once.

2246 An example is cited from the story of Thamud. A wonderful she-camel was sent among them as a Portent and a Symbol. In their wickedness they hamstrung her. So instead of her reclaiming them she was a cause of their destruction, as their sin and rebellion were laid bare. For the story of the she-camel and the reference to the passages in which she is mentioned, see n. 1044 to 7:73.

2247 Signs, Miracles, and Portents are sent by Allah as a warning, to strike terror into the hearts of evildoers and reclaim them to the right path. I have discussed Fear as a motive for reclaiming certain kinds of hard hearts, in my note n. 82 to 2:74. But some hearts are so hard that even this motive does not work. As they have a limited free will given by Allah, they are to that extent free to choose. But when they actually choose evil, Allah in His infinite Mercy delays their punishment and removes the occasion for their immediate self-destruction by withholding the Signs which might make them transgress all the more and compass their total destruction.


17:60
[ Original ]
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لَكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ أَحَاطَ بِالنَّاسِ ۚ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَالشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ ۚ وَنُخَوِّفُهُمْ فَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلَّا طُغْيَانًا كَبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold! We told thee that thy Lord doth encompass mankind round about: We granted the vision which We showed thee, but as a trial for men,- as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur'an: We put terror (and warning) into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!
[ Saheeh International ]
And [remember, O Muhammad], when We told you, "Indeed, your Lord has encompassed the people." And We did not make the sight which We showed you except as a trial for the people, as was the accursed tree [mentioned] in the Qur'an. And We threaten them, but it increases them not except in great transgression.
Tafseer Commentary

2248 The reference may be to 72:28, probably an earlier Makkan revelation. But the argument is independent of time. This verse falls naturally into three divisions. Warnings and Portents and Signs are sent or not sent according to Allah's All- Wise Plan or Mercy and Justice: this is in no wise inconsistent with the apparent freedom given to the wicked: because (1) in any case Allah is all around all His creatures, and His delay as a Sign of Mercy in no way diminishes His power; (2) the Visions of Truth vouchsafed to Prophets of Allah are themselves Signs by which they can warn the ungodly; and (3) sometimes it is more merciful to give them time by not immediately bringing the matter to judgement. (R).

2249 Some Commentators take this as referring to the Mi'raj (17:1) and others to other spiritual visions. Such visions are miracles, and become a stumbling block to unbelievers. They are an encouragement to men of faith. Thus they are "a trial for men".

2250 The tree of Zaqqum, a bitter and pungent tree described as growing at the bottom of Hell, a type of all that is disagreeable. See 37:62-65; 44:43-46; and 56:52. All these are Surahs chronologically earlier than this Surah. The application of the name to a tree of the myrobalan kind in the region of Jericho is, I think, of post-Quranic date. It is a trial for wrongdoers. See 37:63 and n. 4073.


17:61
[ Original ]
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ قَالَ أَأَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold! We said to the angels: "Bow down unto Adam": They bowed down except Iblis: He said, "Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay?"
[ Saheeh International ]
And [mention] when We said to the angles, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He said, "Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?"
Tafseer Commentary

2251 Cf. 7:11-18, which deals, as is the case here, with the temptation of the individual human soul, while 2:30-38 deals with the collective race of man through Adam. Arrogance, jealousy, spite, and hatred are the ingredients of the story of Iblis.


17:62
[ Original ]
قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَكَ هَٰذَا الَّذِي كَرَّمْتَ عَلَيَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He said: "Seest Thou? this is the one whom Thou hast honoured above me! If Thou wilt but respite me to the Day of Judgment, I will surely bring his descendants under my sway - all but a few!"
[ Saheeh International ]
[Iblees] said, "Do You see this one whom You have honored above me? If You delay me until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely destroy his descendants, except for a few."
Tafseer Commentary

2252 The power of Evil over man is due to man's limited free will. In other words man hands himself to Evil. As to those who loyally worship and serve Allah, Evil has no power over them. This is expressly mentioned in verse 65 below, and in other places (Cf. 34:20).


17:63
[ Original ]
قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَنْ تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَاؤُكُمْ جَزَاءً مَوْفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
((Allah)) said: "Go thy way; if any of them follow thee, verily Hell will be the recompense of you (all)- an ample recompense.
[ Saheeh International ]
[Allah] said, "Go, for whoever of them follows you, indeed Hell will be the recompense of you - an ample recompense.
Tafseer Commentary

2253 The power of Evil is summarily dismissed, but not without a clear warning. "Do thy worst: if any of them misuse their limited free will and deliberately follow thee, they must take the consequences with thee: all of you must answer according to your personal responsibility."


17:64
[ Original ]
وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُمْ بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِمْ بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ وَعِدْهُمْ ۚ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Lead to destruction those whom thou canst among them, with thy (seductive) voice; make assaults on them with thy cavalry and thy infantry; mutually share with them wealth and children; and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.
[ Saheeh International ]
And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice and assault them with your horses and foot soldiers and become a partner in their wealth and their children and promise them." But Satan does not promise them except delusion.
Tafseer Commentary

2254 "Do thy worst; but ye are both warned that that path leads to destruction."

2255 Evil has many snares for mankind. The one that is put in the foreground is the voice-the seductive personal appeal, that "makes the worse appear the better part."

2256 The forcible assault of Evil is next mentioned under the metaphor of cavalry and infantry. It is when cajolery and tempting fair-seeming seem to fail that an attack is made in force with weapons of violence of all kinds, like the different arms in an organised army

2257 If the first assaults are resisted, Evil has other weapons in its armoury. Tangible fruits are dangled before the eyes, ill-gotten gains and children of sin, that follow from certain very alluring methods of indulgence in passion. Or it may be children dedicated to sin or worldly gains, etc. And then there are all kinds of promises for the future.

2258 This is a parenthetical clause inserted to show up what the promises of the Evil One are worth.


17:65
[ Original ]
إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"As for My servants, no authority shalt thou have over them:" Enough is thy Lord for a Disposer of affairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, over My [believing] servants there is for you no authority. And sufficient is your Lord as Disposer of affairs.
Tafseer Commentary

2259 This verse should be read along with the two preceding ones to complete their meaning. Evil has no power except over those who yield to its solicitations.

2260 As Evil has no authority over the sincere servants of Allah, they should put their trust completely in Him. For He is All-Sufficient to carry out their affairs, and by His grace, to save them from all harm and danger.


17:66
[ Original ]
رَبُّكُمُ الَّذِي يُزْجِي لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ فِي الْبَحْرِ لِتَبْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Your Lord is He That maketh the Ship go smoothly for you through the sea, in order that ye may seek of His Bounty. For he is unto you most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
It is your Lord who drives the ship for you through the sea that you may seek of His bounty. Indeed, He is ever, to you, Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

2261 This illustration of the sea, and the skill with which, by Allah's grace, men pass through it with ease in order to earn material gains by commerce, social gains by human intercourse, and spiritual gains by knowledge, is frequently used to enforce Allah's goodness to man. Cf. 2:164.


17:67
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَنْ تَدْعُونَ إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۖ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ كَفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When distress seizes you at sea, those that ye call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, ye turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man!
[ Saheeh International ]
And when adversity touches you at sea, lost are [all] those you invoke except for Him. But when He delivers you to the land, you turn away [from Him]. And ever is man ungrateful.
Tafseer Commentary

2262 Against Allah's gracious gifts and mercies is contrasted man's ingratitude. In danger he remembers Allah, the One True God, but relapses into his own fancies when the danger is past., Cf. also 10:22-23. (R).


17:68
[ Original ]
أَفَأَمِنْتُمْ أَنْ يَخْسِفَ بِكُمْ جَانِبَ الْبَرِّ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوا لَكُمْ وَكِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do ye then feel secure that He will not cause you to be swallowed up beneath the earth when ye are on land, or that He will not send against you a violent tornado (with showers of stones) so that ye shall find no one to carry out your affairs for you?
[ Saheeh International ]
Then do you feel secure that [instead] He will not cause a part of the land to swallow you or send against you a storm of stones? Then you would not find for yourselves an advocate.
Tafseer Commentary

2263 Man is safe neither on land nor at sea except by the grace and mercy of Allah. How forcibly this is brought home to us by the Quetta earthquake of 31st May 1935, when tens of thousands of men, women, and children, perished in a few moments, by night, buried in debris! The stories of violent destructive tornadoes in such areas as the southern United States are equally impressive. The destruction is so sudden that the victims have no time to arrange anything. They are simply wiped out.


17:69
[ Original ]
أَمْ أَمِنْتُمْ أَنْ يُعِيدَكُمْ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ فَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ قَاصِفًا مِنَ الرِّيحِ فَيُغْرِقَكُمْ بِمَا كَفَرْتُمْ ۙ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوا لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا بِهِ تَبِيعًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or do ye feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea and send against you a heavy gale to drown you because of your ingratitude, so that ye find no helper. Therein against Us?
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back into the sea another time and send upon you a hurricane of wind and drown you for what you denied? Then you would not find for yourselves against Us an avenger.
Tafseer Commentary

2264 If a man flees from the Wrath of Allah, there is no place secure for him. He may flee from sea to land, and back again from land to sea. But his life depends on the Disposer of all affairs. He may go again and again to sea, and perhaps finally end by being drowned.


17:70
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of Our Creation.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.
Tafseer Commentary

2265 The distinction and honour conferred by Allah on man are recounted in order to enforce the corresponding dudes and responsibilities of man. He is raised to a position of honour above the brute creation: he has been granted talents by which he can transport himself from place to place by land, sea, and now by air: all the means of the sustenance and growth of every part of his nature are provided by Allah, and his spiritual faculties (the greatest gift of Allah) raise him above the greater part of Allah's Creation. Should he not then realise his noble destiny and prepare for the real life in the Hereafter?


17:71
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ۖ فَمَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَقْرَءُونَ كِتَابَهُمْ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.
[ Saheeh International ]
[Mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will call forth every people with their record [of deeds]. Then whoever is given his record in his right hand - those will read their records, and injustice will not be done to them, [even] as much as a thread [inside the date seed].
Tafseer Commentary

2266 I have discussed various meanings of Imam in 2:124, n. 124. What is the meaning here? The Commentators are divided. Some understand the meaning to be that each People or Group will appear with its Leader, who will bear witness to its virtues or sins: Cf. 16:84. Another view is that the Imam is their revelation, their Book. A third is that the Imam is the record of deeds spoken of in the next clause. I prefer the first.

2267 Literally, by the value of a fatil. a small skin in the cleft of a date stone: this has no value.


17:72
[ Original ]
وَمَنْ كَانَ فِي هَٰذِهِ أَعْمَىٰ فَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ أَعْمَىٰ وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But those who were blind in this world, will be lind in the Hereafter, and most astray from the Path.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whoever is blind in this [life] will be blind in the Hereafter and more astray in way.
Tafseer Commentary

2268 On the Judgement Day the children of light will receive and peruse their record, and will render joyful thanks to Allah for His Mercies. What of the children of darkness? They had already been blind in this world's life, and they will not receive the light of Allah's Countenance then. On the contrary they will find that the longer the time they have travelled, the farther away they have gone from the Path. Notice the association of ideas-blindness, not seeing the light, going farther and farther away from the Path.


17:73
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ كَادُوا لَيَفْتِنُونَكَ عَنِ الَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ لِتَفْتَرِيَ عَلَيْنَا غَيْرَهُ ۖ وَإِذًا لَاتَّخَذُوكَ خَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And their purpose was to tempt thee away from that which We had revealed unto thee, to substitute in our name something quite different; (in that case), behold! they would certainly have made thee (their) friend!
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you in order to [make] you invent about Us something else; and then they would have taken you as a friend.
Tafseer Commentary

2269 It happens with men of Allah, and it happened with the Prophet, that they are tempted by the world with many things which appeal to the world generally, if they would make some small concession in their favour. The "small concession" may hold the key of the position, and neutralise the whole teaching sent by Allah. If the Prophet had accepted wealth and position among the Quraysh and "only respected" their idols! The Quraysh would have taken him into their inner circle! A dishonest liar like Musaylama would have jumped at the opportunity and been hailed as a friend and associate and made much of. But Prophets of Allah are made of sterner stuff. They are given special strength to resist all plausible deception. (R).


17:74
[ Original ]
وَلَوْلَا أَنْ ثَبَّتْنَاكَ لَقَدْ كِدْتَ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئًا قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And had We not given thee strength, thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little.
Tafseer Commentary

2270 From a purely human point of view it may seem policy to make a small "concession" to men's weakness in order to fulfil a divine mission. But the divine Messenger is given special strength to resist such temptations.


17:75
[ Original ]
إِذًا لَأَذَقْنَاكَ ضِعْفَ الْحَيَاةِ وَضِعْفَ الْمَمَاتِ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ عَلَيْنَا نَصِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
In that case We should have made thee taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life, and an equal portion in death: and moreover thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us!
[ Saheeh International ]
Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death. Then you would not find for yourself against Us a helper.
Tafseer Commentary

2271 If such a thing was possible for a true Messenger of Allah, viz.: a compromise with evil and a dereliction of his mission, he would be no exception to the law of personal responsibility. Indeed, as the power and the responsibility were greater, the punishment would have been greater too. It would have been double-an exposure in this life and the usual punishment in or after death for a desertion of the Truth.

2272 The motive held out by the world for a compromise with Truth is itself fallacious. The motive is that the compromise may bring influence, position, and opportunity, if not wealth and the other good things of life. But these in themselves (if attained) would not be of use or help if pitted against the command of Allah.


17:76
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ كَادُوا لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ لِيُخْرِجُوكَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَإِذًا لَا يَلْبَثُونَ خِلَافَكَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Their purpose was to scare thee off the land, in order to expel thee; but in that case they would not have stayed (therein) after thee, except for a little while.
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, they were about to drive you from the land to evict you therefrom. And then [when they do], they will not remain [there] after you, except for a little.
Tafseer Commentary

2273 As happened in the case of the Prophet, the enemies try to frighten the Prophet of Allah away from their midst, so that, once away, they could expel him and keep him out. But they are counting without the Plan of Allah. If they persecute the righteous, they dig their own graves! (R).


17:77
[ Original ]
سُنَّةَ مَنْ قَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنْ رُسُلِنَا ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ لِسُنَّتِنَا تَحْوِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(This was Our) way with the messengers We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways.
[ Saheeh International ]
[That is Our] established way for those We had sent before you of Our messengers; and you will not find in Our way any alteration.
Tafseer Commentary

2274 This was no new thing in history. Allah protects His own, and the ungodly cannot long enjoy the fruits of their unrighteousness even if their punishment be delayed a little while.


17:78
[ Original ]
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Establish regular prayers - at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.
[ Saheeh International ]
Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur'an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.
Tafseer Commentary

2275 The Commentators understand here the command for the five daily canonical prayers, viz.: the four from the declination of the sun from the zenith to the fullest darkness of the night, and the early morning prayers, Fajr, which is usually accompanied by a reading of the Holy Qur'an. The four afternoon prayers are: Zuhr, immediately after the sun begins to decline in the afternoon; 'Asr, in the late afternoon; Maghrib, immediately after sunset; and Isha, after the glow of sunset has disappeared and the full darkness of the night has set in. There is difference of opinion as to the meaning of particular words and phrases, but none as to the general effect of this passage. (Cf. n. 3521).

2276 The morning prayer is specially singled out for separate mention, because the morning is a "Holy hour" and special spiritual influences act on the soul awaking from the night's rest Special testimony is borne to the prayers of this hour by the angelic host.


17:79
[ Original ]
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَكَ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And pray in the small watches of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a Station of Praise and Glory!
[ Saheeh International ]
And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.
Tafseer Commentary

2277 This was held to be addressed specially to the Holy Prophet who usually prayed more than the five canonical prayers. The Tahajjud' was a prayer after midnight in the small watches of the morning.

2278 To the Prophet was to be assigned in the Hereafter the highest Post of Honour and Glory- the Maqam Mahmud implying his excellence above all other Prophets. The immediate reference may be to the hope that the Makkan persecution will soon be over and the glorious work in Madinah will begin. (R).


17:80
[ Original ]
وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ وَاجْعَلْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ سُلْطَانًا نَصِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)."
[ Saheeh International ]
And say, "My Lord, cause me to enter a sound entrance and to exit a sound exit and grant me from Yourself a supporting authority."
Tafseer Commentary

2279 The entry and exit here referred to may be interpreted in four senses: (1) entry into death and exit at the resurrection for the righteous, who have purified their souls by prayer (last verse) and spiritual teaching from the Qur'an (next verse), there is on each occasion a fuller and fuller realisation and enjoyment of truth and honour: for those who are estranged from Allah, the effect is the opposite: the truth becomes bitter ant there is ignominy and exposure instead of honour; (2) entry for the Holy Prophet into the new life at Madinah which was still in the womb of futurity, and exit from the life of persecution and the milieu of falsehood, which surrounded him in his native city of Makkah still given up to idolatry; (3) referring to the impending Hijrah again, the prayer may mean, "Let it be from pure motives of truth and spiritual honour, and not from motives of anger against the city of Makkah or its persecutors, or of ambition or worldly power from the city of Madinah, which was ready to lay everything at the Prophet's feet": (4) generally, entry and exit at every stage of life.

2280 All prayer must be for Allah's aid and authority. However much we may plan, our success must depend on His aid. However noble our motives, we have no right to imperil any lives unless there is authority in the Word of Allah. The Prophet only acts on Allah's commission and inspiration.


17:81
[ Original ]
وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish."
[ Saheeh International ]
And say, "Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart."
Tafseer Commentary

2281 From its nature falsehood must perish: for it is the opposite of Truth, and Truth must ever prevail (Cf. n. 3861).


17:82
[ Original ]
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.
Tafseer Commentary

2282 In Allah's revelation there is healing for our broken spirits, hope for our spiritual future, and joy in the forgiveness of our sins. All who work in faith will share in these privileges. It is only the rebels against Allah's Law who will suffer loss. The more they will oppose Truth, the deeper down will they go into the mire-the state of sin and Wrath, which is worse than destruction.


17:83
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ ۖ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ كَانَ يَئُوسًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Yet when We bestow Our favours on man, he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us), and when evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair!
[ Saheeh International ]
And when We bestow favor upon the disbeliever, he turns away and distances himself; and when evil touches him, he is ever despairing.
Tafseer Commentary

2283 Truth saves us from two extremes: when we are happy, we are saved from being puffed up, for we realise that everything comes from Allah; and when we suffer misfortunes, we are not in despair, for we know that Allah is our sure refuge and help (Cf. 41:51).


17:84
[ Original ]
قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَىٰ شَاكِلَتِهِ فَرَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَىٰ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Everyone acts according to his own disposition: But your Lord knows best who it is that is best guided on the Way."
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way."
Tafseer Commentary

2284 If the wicked go their own ways, there is nothing to discourage us. It is their nature. We must seek and hold fast to true guidance.


17:85
[ Original ]
وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُمْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)"
[ Saheeh International ]
And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little."
Tafseer Commentary

2285 What is the nature of inspiration? Who brings it? Can it ask its Bringer questions? Can we ask anything which we wish? These are the sort of questions always asked when inspiration is called in question. The answer is given here. Inspiration is one of those high spiritual mysteries which cannot be explained in the terms of everyday human experience. It is spiritual. The Spirit (Gabriel) does not come of his own will. He conies by the command of Allah, and reveals what Allah commands him to reveal. Of the sum total of true spiritual knowledge what a small part it is that ordinary mortals can understand! They can be only given that which they can understand, however dimly. We are not in a position to ask anything that we wish. If we did so, it would only make us look foolish, for the guidance comes from Allah's Wisdom, not from our worldly knowledge.


17:86
[ Original ]
وَلَئِنْ شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration: then wouldst thou find none to plead thy affair in that matter as against Us,-
[ Saheeh International ]
And if We willed, We could surely do away with that which We revealed to you. Then you would not find for yourself concerning it an advocate against Us.
Tafseer Commentary

2286 Even the spiritual knowledge that comes to us conies because of the favour and mercy of Allah. If He were to withhold it, who can call Him in question?


17:87
[ Original ]
إِلَّا رَحْمَةً مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۚ إِنَّ فَضْلَهُ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ كَبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except for Mercy from thy Lord: for his bounty is to thee (indeed) great.
[ Saheeh International ]
Except [We have left it with you] as a mercy from your Lord. Indeed, His favor upon you has ever been great.
Tafseer Commentary

2287 In that case the only one who can plead for us is the Mercy of Allah. We can interpret the phrase in its widest abstract sense, as well as in the concrete sense of the title which is applied to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Mercy of Allah. Thus we come from the abstract question to the concrete question of the Qur'an, which is referred to by name in the verses that follow.


17:88
[ Original ]
قُلْ لَئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنْسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَىٰ أَنْ يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants."
Tafseer Commentary

2288 For the meaning of "Jinns", see n. 929 to 6:100.

2289 The proof of the Qur'an is in its own beauty and nature, and the circumstances in which it was promulgated. The world is challenged to produce a Book like it and has not produced one. It is the only revealed Book whose text stands pure and uncorrupted today. Cf., for a similar challenge, 2:23, 10:38, and 11:13.


17:89
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَىٰ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We have explained to man, in this Qur'an, every kind of similitude: yet the greater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude!
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Qur'an from every [kind] of example, but most of the people refused [anything] except disbelief.
Tafseer Commentary

2290 In the Qur'an everything is explained in detail from various points of view, by commands, similitudes, examples, stories, parables, etc. It does not merely narrate stories or lay down vague abstract propositions. It gives very detailed help in outward and inner life.

2291 One form in which it can be received with ingratitude is to pay verbal tribute to it but not study it as it ought to be studied ( 2:121 haqqah tilawatihi ), or to disobey its precepts or standards.


17:90
[ Original ]
وَقَالُوا لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,
[ Saheeh International ]
And they say, "We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring.
Tafseer Commentary

2292 Cf. 2:60.


17:91
[ Original ]
أَوْ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِنْ نَخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الْأَنْهَارَ خِلَالَهَا تَفْجِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water;
[ Saheeh International ]
Or [until] you have a garden of palm tress and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance]
Tafseer Commentary

2293 This ill-assorted and crude jumble of the sort of miracles which the Unbelievers wanted is in very appropriate contrast to the sober and reasoned argument which is begun in the last sentence of verse 93 and continued in sections 11 and 12, which close this Surah. It is throughout reminiscent of the materialistic imagination of the Jewish sceptics, which was mainly responsible for the fall of the Jewish nation (see verse 104 below). For a thirsty people sojourning in a dry land, the finding of a spring of water as in the story of Moses or of the well of Zamzam is an appropriate miracle. But miracles are not for the faithless crowds to gape at. A beautiful well-watered Garden is a symbol of Felicity; but a sceptic cannot order Allah to produce it for his pleasure. The same may be said about a house adorned with gold, except that its symbolism is even more materialistic. The fall of the sky or producing Allah face to face or climbing to the skies by a ladder, or bringing down a book of parchment which men could handle, are all irreverent suggestions that make no distinction between spiritual and material things.


17:92
[ Original ]
أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَاءَ كَمَا زَعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفًا أَوْ تَأْتِيَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ قَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face;
[ Saheeh International ]
Or you make the heaven fall upon us in fragments as you have claimed or you bring Allah and the angels before [us]
Tafseer Commentary

2294 Contrast the sublime passages with 82:1, or that in 25:25, where the final breaking up of the firmaments as we know is referred to in the world's catastrophe, with the ridiculous demand that it should be done for the sport of the sceptics!

2295 Cf. 2:55 and 4:153 about the desire of the Israelites to see Allah face to face; and 6:8-9, about angels coming down to convince men.


17:93
[ Original ]
أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِنْ زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَىٰ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّىٰ تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَقْرَؤُهُ ۗ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي هَلْ كُنْتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَسُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we can read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?"
[ Saheeh International ]
Or you have a house of gold or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read." Say, "Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?"
Tafseer Commentary

2296 Cf. 6:35 about the ladder in the skies.

2297 Cf. 6:7 for the foolish idea of materialistic sceptics that a spiritual revelation could come down from the heavens on a piece of parchment that they can touch.

2298 A prophet or messenger of Allah is a man at the command of Allah, and not to satisfy the disingenuous whims and fancies of Unbelievers. Miracles greater than any that their foolish fancies could devise were before them. The Qur'an was such a miracle, and it is a standing miracle that lasts through the ages. Why did they not believe? The real reason was spite and jealousy like that of Iblis. See next verse.


17:94
[ Original ]
وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَنْ يُؤْمِنُوا إِذْ جَاءَهُمُ الْهُدَىٰ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَسُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What kept men back from belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has Allah sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger."
[ Saheeh International ]
And what prevented the people from believing when guidance came to them except that they said, "Has Allah sent a human messenger?"
Tafseer Commentary

2299 When a man is raised to honour and dignity, his brothers rejoice, for it is an honour that reflects its glory on them. But those with evil in their hearts are jealous like their prototype IblTs, ( 17:61, n. 2251 ). To such men the mere fact that their own brother receives the grace of Allah is enough to turn them against that brother. Any other reasons they may devise are mere make-believe.


17:95
[ Original ]
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَلَائِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَلَكًا رَسُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say, "If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger."
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "If there were upon the earth angels walking securely, We would have sent down to them from the heaven an angel [as a] messenger."
Tafseer Commentary

2300 The argument is that if the angels inhabited this earth, an angel from heaven could be sent down as a messenger to them, as they could mutually understand each other, and the Message of Allah could be explained without difficulty. But the earth is inhabited by men, and the men themselves are divided into races, or groups, or nations. To each group is sent a prophet from among their brethren: to 'Ad. their brother Hud (11:50); to Thamud, their brother Salih (11:61); and so on. As a matter of fact, with wicked men, constituted as they are, the appearance of an angel causes disturbance and an unseemly riot, as in the case of the angels that came to Lot (11:77-80). In any case they cannot carry out an effective mission among men (6:8-9).


17:96
[ Original ]
قُلْ كَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all things).
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Sufficient is Allah as Witness between me and you. Indeed he is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing."
Tafseer Commentary

2301 'If you want a real witness, it is not these sorts of fancy miracles, but the witness of the true ever-living God. Purify your hearts, and ask Him in true contrition and repentance, and He will guide you and show you the Way.' (R).


17:97
[ Original ]
وَمَنْ يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ ۖ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِنْ دُونِهِ ۖ وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ عُمْيًا وَبُكْمًا وَصُمًّا ۖ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ كُلَّمَا خَبَتْ زِدْنَاهُمْ سَعِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray - for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgment We shall gather, them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, We shall increase from them the fierceness of the Fire.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whoever Allah guides - he is the [rightly] guided; and whoever He sends astray - you will never find for them protectors besides Him, and We will gather them on the Day of Resurrection [fallen] on their faces - blind, dumb and deaf. Their refuge is Hell; every time it subsides We increase them in blazing fire.
Tafseer Commentary

2302 'All your insincere subtleties are of no use. The only real guidance is the guidance of Allah. If you do not seek His grace, you will be lost. Besides Him, there is no true friend or protector.'

2303 'If you still persist in your evil ways, what is to be your evil end? You will become more and more identified with the company of Evil. You will come to shame and ignominy, like men thrown down prone on their faces. You will lose the use of all the faculties of judgement with which Allah had endowed you. Instead of seeing, you will be blind to Allah's Signs. Instead of having the power of seeking Him in prayer and rejoicing in His grace, you will be dumb. Instead of hearing the harmony and music of the spheres, as typified in the pure and harmonious lives of men, you will hear nothing or only hear dull or confused sounds like deaf men. The scorching fire of your punishment will not grow less, but grow more fierce as you go deeper into Hell.'


17:98
[ Original ]
ذَٰلِكَ جَزَاؤُهُمْ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَقَالُوا أَإِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That is their recompense, because they rejected Our signs, and said, "When we are reduced to bones and broken dust, should we really be raised up (to be) a new Creation?"
[ Saheeh International ]
That is their recompense because they disbelieved in Our verses and said, "When we are bones and crumbled particles, will we [truly] be resurrected [in] a new creation?"
Tafseer Commentary

2304 This phrase is repeated from 17:49. The reminiscence rounds oft the argument. After certain moral precepts to which Faith was linked, we have had a discussion of unfaith. Its various motives have been analysed, and its penalties have been allegorically shadowed forth. After this, the example of Pharaoh is held as a type of unfaith in the next section, and the Surah closed with an exhortation to faith and a declaration of the glory of Allah.


17:99
[ Original ]
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ قَادِرٌ عَلَىٰ أَنْ يَخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُمْ وَجَعَلَ لَهُمْ أَجَلًا لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ فَأَبَى الظَّالِمُونَ إِلَّا كُفُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, has power to create the like of them (anew)? Only He has decreed a term appointed, of which there is no doubt. But the unjust refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude.
[ Saheeh International ]
Do they not see that Allah, who created the heavens and earth, is [the one] Able to create the likes of them? And He has appointed for them a term, about which there is no doubt. But the wrongdoers refuse [anything] except disbelief.
Tafseer Commentary

2305 Allah, Who created all that is in the heavens and on earth, has surely the power to receive the life of individual souls after their bodies have perished-and revive them with memories of their past life and for a continuation of their spiritual history. Only He has fixed a term for each stage of our existence, which we can neither prolong nor shorten.

2306 This phrase carries us back to 17:89. after we began the argument about the real motives for the rejection of the Qur'an by sceptics. That argument is now closed in a sort of minor circle within the major circle sketched in n. 2304 above.


17:100
[ Original ]
قُلْ لَوْ أَنْتُمْ تَمْلِكُونَ خَزَائِنَ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّي إِذًا لَأَمْسَكْتُمْ خَشْيَةَ الْإِنْفَاقِ ۚ وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ قَتُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "If ye had control of the Treasures of the Mercy of my Lord, behold, ye would keep them back, for fear of spending them: for man is (ever) miserly!"
[ Saheeh International ]
Say [to them], "If you possessed the depositories of the mercy of my Lord, then you would withhold out of fear of spending." And ever has man been stingy.
Tafseer Commentary

2307 A fresh argument is now addressed to those who confine Allah's revelations to a limited circle of men, such as they themselves belonged to. The reference was to the Jews, who could not understand how any Gentiles could receive revelations and guidance even superior to what they considered their own birthright. But the tendency is widespread in the human race. A particular race, or caste, or a particular kind of culture, claims to be the custodian of Allah's Message, whereas it is universal. Allah's Mercy is universal, and He scatters the priceless Treasures of His Mercy broadcast among His creatures. They are not exhausted by spending. It is only the misers who hoard their wealth for fear it should be used up by spending. 'Are you spiritual misers going to keep back Allah's holy Message from the multitude? Is that the reason why you deny the advent of the new Teacher, who comes as a Mercy to all men-to all Creation?'


17:101
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ تِسْعَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ ۖ فَاسْأَلْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِذْ جَاءَهُمْ فَقَالَ لَهُ فِرْعَوْنُ إِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ مَسْحُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Moses We did give Nine Clear Sings: As the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him: "O Moses! I consider thee, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery!
[ Saheeh International ]
And We had certainly given Moses nine evident signs, so ask the Children of Israel [about] when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, "Indeed I think, O Moses, that you are affected by magic."
Tafseer Commentary

2308 Nine Clear Signs; see 7:133, n. 1091. The story of Pharaoh (or a phase of it) is here told with a view to exhibiting the decline of a soul on account of pride in outward power and dignity.

2309 To them: i.e., to Pharaoh, as sitting in his Council, with the Chiefs of his People. Cf. 7:103. The whole scene is described in some detail from the point of view of nations or Ummahs in 7:103-133.

2310 At a different and later stage in the scene, Pharaoh's Chiefs call Moses a "sorcerer well-versed" (7:109). Here Moses, who had come with Nine Signs but had not yet shown them, is reproached with being the object of sorcery: he is practically told that he is mad!


17:102
[ Original ]
قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا أَنْزَلَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِلَّا رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ بَصَائِرَ وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا فِرْعَوْنُ مَثْبُورًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Moses said, "Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!"
[ Saheeh International ]
[Moses] said, "You have already known that none has sent down these [signs] except the Lord of the heavens and the earth as evidence, and indeed I think, O Pharaoh, that you are destroyed."
Tafseer Commentary

2311 We can well suppose Moses to ask Pharaoh to recall all the past history of Moses, for Moses had been brought up in Pharaoh's palace in all the learning of the Egyptians. He could not therefore be mad, or a simpleton worked on by Egyptian magic. What he was going to show was something far greater; it was not the deceptive magic of Pharaoh's sorcerers, but true Signs that came from Allah, the Lord of all power. They were to open the eyes of his people, and if Pharaoh resisted faith, Moses warns him that Pharaoh in that case was doomed to destruction. This is the course of the soul that sinks down by Pride! (R).


17:103
[ Original ]
فَأَرَادَ أَنْ يَسْتَفِزَّهُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُ وَمَنْ مَعَهُ جَمِيعًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him.
[ Saheeh International ]
So he intended to drive them from the land, but We drowned him and those with him all together.
Tafseer Commentary

2312 Pharaoh on this tries various subterfuges and plans for removing not only Moses but all his people by doing away with them. The detailed story is not told here but may be read in S. 7. But Allah's Wrath descended on Pharaoh and those who were with him in body and mind. The Egyptians who repented were subject to Pharaoh's wrath but were saved from the Wrath of Allah ( Cf. 7:121-126).


17:104
[ Original ]
وَقُلْنَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اسْكُنُوا الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ الْآخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land (of promise)": but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We said after Pharaoh to the Children of Israel, "Dwell in the land, and when there comes the promise of the Hereafter, We will bring you forth in [one] gathering."
Tafseer Commentary

2313 The Israelites were taken to the Promised Land in Palestine , and they established their own kingdom there, but they forfeited Allah's favour by their sins and backslidings and will have to answer like all souls by the laws of personal responsibility at the Day of Judgement.

2314 The second of the warnings: the first was probably that mentioned above, in 17:5 and the second that mentioned in 17:7 (middle). When this second warning clue to the rejection of Jesus came to pass, the Jews were gathered together in a mingled crowd. Some commentators understand the second warning to be the Day of Judgement, the Promise of the hereafter. (R).


17:105
[ Original ]
وَبِالْحَقِّ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ وَبِالْحَقِّ نَزَلَ ۗ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We sent down the (Qur'an) in Truth, and in Truth has it descended: and We sent thee but to give Glad Tidings and to warn (sinners).
[ Saheeh International ]
And with the truth We have sent the Qur'an down, and with the truth it has descended. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner.
Tafseer Commentary

2315 The Qur'an was sent down by Allah in Truth: it was not forged by any mortal. It has descended in Truth: it was not falsified or corrupted in the process of being communicated to mankind.

2316 The part of the Prophet was that of a Messenger: he was not responsible if the ungodly rejected it. He fulfilled his mission in promulgating and explaining it and leaving it as a legacy to the world.


17:106
[ Original ]
وَقُرْآنًا فَرَقْنَاهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَاهُ تَنْزِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(It is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts from time to time), in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have revealed it by stages.
[ Saheeh International ]
And [it is] a Qur'an which We have separated [by intervals] that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have sent it down progressively.
Tafseer Commentary

2317 The marvel is that these parts, revealed at different times and in different circumstances, should fit together so closely and consistently as they do. All revelation is progressive. The previous revelations were also progressive. Each of them marked a stage in the world's spiritual history. Man's mind does not take in more than his spiritual state will have prepared him for. Allah's revelation comes as a light to illuminate our difficulties and show us the way in actual situations that arise.


17:107
[ Original ]
قُلْ آمِنُوا بِهِ أَوْ لَا تُؤْمِنُوا ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Whether ye believe in it or not, it is true that those who were given knowledge beforehand, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration,
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Believe in it or do not believe. Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it - when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration,
Tafseer Commentary

2318 No one's belief or unbelief affects the beauty or grandeur of Allah's revelation. But those endowed with spiritual knowledge or insight know at once when they hear Allah's Holy Word, and fall down and adore Allah. Those endowed with knowledge include those who had received previous revelations and had kept themselves free from corrupt ideas.


17:108
[ Original ]
وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنْ كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And they say: 'Glory to our Lord! Truly has the promise of our Lord been fulfilled!'"
[ Saheeh International ]
And they say, "Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled."
Tafseer Commentary

2319 Those who had received previous revelations find in the Qur'an and in the Messenger who brought it, the promise of Allah fulfilled. Those who were spiritually prepared for it found in the same way the satisfaction of their spiritual yearnings: to them, also, Allah's promise was sent to be fulfilled.


17:109
[ Original ]
وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا ۩
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They fall down on their faces in tears, and it increases their (earnest) humility.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur'an increases them in humble submission.
Tafseer Commentary

2320 A feeling of earnest humility comes to the man who realises how, in spite of his own unworthiness, he is brought, by Allah's Mercy, into touch with the most sublime Truths. Such a man is touched with the deepest emotion, which finds its outlet in tears.


17:110
[ Original ]
قُلِ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَٰنَ ۖ أَيًّا مَا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Al Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names." And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.
Tafseer Commentary

2321 Cf. 7:180. Rahman describes one of the attributes of Allah-His Grace and Mercy which come to the sinner even before he feels conscious of the need of itthe preventive Grace which saves Allah's servants from sin. See n. 19 to 1:1. Allah can be invoked, either by His simple name, which includes all attributes, or by one of the names implying the attributes by which we try to explain His nature to our limited understanding. The attribute of Mercy in Rahman was particularly repugnant to the Pagan Arabs (sec 25:60, and 21:36): that is why special stress is laid on it in the Qur'an. (R).

2322 Cf. 20:8. These Beautiful Names of Allah are many. The Hadith related by Tirmidhi, accepted by some as authentic, mentions 99 names of Allah. Qadi Muhammad Sulaiman has published an Urdu monograph on the subject, published by the Daftar Rahmatun-lil-AIamin, Patiala , India , 1930. Those who wish to see a poetic Commentary on the names in the form of stories in English may consult Sir Edwin Arnold's Pearls of the Faith. Sir Edwin's stories are of unequal merit, but a fine example is furnished by No. 4, al-Malik, "The King". (R).

2323 Cf, 7:205. All prayer should be pronounced with earnestness and humility, whether it is congregational prayer or the private outpouring of one's own soul. Such an attitude is not consistent with an over-loud pronunciation of the words, though in public prayers the standard of permissible loudness is naturally higher than in the case of private prayer. In public prayers, of course, the adhan or call to prayer will be in a loud voice to be heard near and far, but the chants from the Sacred Book should be neither so loud as to attract the hostile notice of those who do not believe nor so low in tone as not to be heard by the whole congregation.


17:111
[ Original ]
وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلِيٌّ مِنَ الذُّلِّ ۖ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And say, "Praise to Allah, who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification."
Tafseer Commentary

2324 A first step towards the understanding of Allah's attributes is to clear our mind from superstitions, such as that Allah begot a son, or that He has partners, or that He is dependent upon other beings to protect Him from harm and humiliation. We must realise that He is the One and Peerless. His greatness and glory are above anything we can conceive: but using our highest spiritual ideas, we must declare forth His greatness and glory. The Surah began with singing the glory and praises of Allah: it ends in the same note, concluding the argument. The next Surah takes up the same theme from another point of view, and opens with the same note, "Praise be to Allah". (R).


Quran Sura/Chapters: