بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Compassionate.
In the name of God, the Almighty, the Merciful.
In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. ,
All praise is due to God, the Lord/Cherisher/Sustainer of the Universe and everything therein.
Bismillâhir rahmânir rahîm.
Rahman, Rahim Allah'ın ismiyle
Rahman ve Rahim Allah'ın adıyla...
RAHMÂN, RAHÎM ALLAH ADINA
Rahman ve Rahim olan Allah'ın adıyla
17:1 Subhana allathee asrabiAAabdihi laylan mina almasjidi alharami ilaalmasjidi al-aqsa allathee barakna hawlahulinuriyahu min ayatina innahu huwa alssameeAAualbaseeru
17:1 Glory be to the One who took His servant by night from the Restricted Temple to the most distant temple which We had blessed around, so that We may show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearer, the Seer.1
Hadith books contain many hearsay stories on this issue. See the note for verse 20:41.
17:1 Glory be to the One who took His servant by night from the Restricted Temple to the most distant temple which We had blessed around, so that We may show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearer, the Seer.
17:1 LIMITLESS in His glory is He who transported His servant by night from the Inviolable House of Worship [at Mecca] to the Remote House of Worship [,at Jerusalem] - the environs of which We had blessed1 -so that We might show him some of Our symbols: for, verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-seeing.2
The above short reference to the Prophet's mystic experience of the "Night Journey" (al-isra') to Jerusalem and the subsequent "Ascension" (mi'raj) to heaven is fully discussed in Appendix IV at the end of this work. - "The Inviolable House of Worship" (al-masjid al-haram is one of the designations given in the Qur'an to the Temple of the Ka`bah, the prototype of which owed its origin to Abraham (see surah 2, note 102) and was "the first Temple set up for mankind" (3: %), i.e., the first ever built for the worship of the One God. "The Remote [lit., "farthest"] House of Worship", on the other hand, denotes the ancient Temple of Solomon-or, rather, its site - which symbolizes here the long line of Hebrew prophets who preceded the advent of Muhammad and are alluded to by the phrase "the environs of which We had blessed". The juxtaposition of these two sacred temples is meant to show that the Qur'an does not inaugurate a "new" religion but represents a continuation and the ultimate development of the same divine message, which was preached by the prophets of old.
Although the term ayah is most frequently used in the Qur'an in the sense of "[divine] message", we must remember that, primarily, it denotes "a sign [or "token"] by which a thing is known" (Qamus). As defined by Raghib, it signifies any perceivable phenomenon (irrespective of whether it is apparent to the senses or only to the intellect) connected with a thing that is not, by itself, similarly perceivable: in brief, a "symbol". Hence, the expression min ayatina may be suitably rendered as "some of Our symbols", i.e., insight, through symbols, into some of the ultimate truths.
17:1 Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant (Muhammad) during the night, from the Sacred Masjid (of Mecca) to the farthest place of prostration, whose surroundings we have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer.,1
17:1 Glorious is He Who initiated the migration of His servant by night, from the Sacred Masjid to the Remote Masjid whose environment We did bless that We may show him some of Our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer.1
This is the 17th Surah of the Qur’an. Some exponents refer to it as Surah Bani Israel. It has 111 verses. Asra (Night Journey) is often confused with Me’raaj (Ascension). Since God is Omnipresent, the notion of anyone going to meet with Him over the skies does not stand up to reason. Asra signifies night journey and it refers to the beginning of the exalted Messenger's emigration from Makkah to Madinah by night. Verses 20:77 and 26:52 use the same term for migration of Prophet Moses along with his followers across the sea. Also consider 17:2. Masjid Al-Aqsa means the Remote Mosque and refers to the ‘Remote Mosque’ in Madinah, the place where Muslims used to congregate before the Prophet's arrival to the city. Masjid may also be understood here as Madinah since it was the place of regular congregations. The famous Masjid Al-Aqsa, the so-called Qiblah Awwal, the supposed First Holy Sanctuary, is widely known as Haram Shareef in Jerusalem. But, in fact, it was built in 72 AH (691 CE) by the Umayyad Ruler, Abdul Malik bin Marwan, about 60 years after the exalted Messenger passed on. The First Sanctuary was nothing but Ka’bah in Makkah 3:96. Jerusalem, until the Muslim conquest under the second Caliph of Islam in 637 CE, had been under the control of Byzantine Christians for centuries, and there was no person worshiping in a Masjid anywhere in the world but Madinah. So, the question of the presence of a Masjid in Jerusalem during the lifetime of the exalted Prophet should not arise. Again, Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 637 CE during the Rule of the second Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar. When he visited the place, he along with his companions continued to pray in open grounds, although Pope Severinus gave him the key to the city and invited him to pray in the Church of Holy Sepulture. But Hazrat Umar feared that Muslims might start converting churches into Masjids, so he politely declined. If a Masjid were present, he would have prayed there. The word Me'raaj (physical Ascension) nowhere occurs in the Qur’an. Yet, under erroneous traditions, it is a popular, though non-Qur’anic, belief among many Muslims that the exalted Messenger was taken up physically to the Heights/Skies to meet with God! The Qur’an sets the records straight by asserting that the First ever blessed Sanctuary was the Ka’bah built by Prophets Abraham and Ishmael in Makkah. And that the Divine laws remain unchanged under all circumstances. Bodily Ascension is a Biblical and not a Qur’anic theme at all.
Qubbah-tas-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock)is an Islamic shrine and major landmark located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, near Al-Aqsa. It was completed in 691 CE. Temple Mount is a holy site for Judaism as well. There is a very questionable history that the Dome of the Rock was constructed over the site of the Second Jewish Temple which was completely destroyed during the Roman invasion by General Titus in 70 CE.
The exalted Messenger never ascended to the heavens. Allah is everywhere. Our brilliant Muhaddithin and historians bring a lot of irrational and contradictory material on this subject:
01. Me’raaj happened in Madinah.
02. No sorry! It happened in Makkah.
03. It happened just before Hijrah.
04. Sorry! It happened 9 years before Hijrah.
05. The Prophet was sleeping at Umm Hani’s house - what? Gabriel held his hand and took him to Allah up there in the heavens.
06. Oh’ no! (That would be a slander). He was sleeping in the Ka’bah.
07. Gabriel opened his chest and poured faith and wisdom from a platter of gold before taking him up there.
08. Sorry! That surgery was performed when he was 3 years old.
09. Gabriel took him straight to the heavens. Sorry again! The angel first took him to Jerusalem.
10. No, it was not Gabriel. Burraaq (The Centauress with the head and face of a beautiful woman and the body of a horse) carried him to the heavens at lightning speed.
These are not even 10% of the insults. The real ascension of the exalted Messenger was his character, and not some kind of Greek Mythology.
With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness
20:23. Signs that the Divine System will begin to prevail from there
17:2 Waatayna moosa alkitabawajaAAalnahu hudan libanee isra-eela allatattakhithoo min doonee wakeelan
17:2 We gave Moses the book and We made it guidance for the Children of Israel: "Do not pick any protector besides Me."
17:2 And We gave Moses the Book and We made it a guidance for the Children of Israel: "Do not believe in any besides Me."
17:2 And [thus, too,] We vouchsafed revelation unto Moses,3 and made it a [source of] guidance for the children of Israel, [commanding them:] "Do not ascribe to any but Me the power to determine your fate,4
The conjunctive particle "And" which introduces this verse is meant to show that the mystic Night Journey - and, by implication, the subsequent Ascension as well - were experiences of the same high order of divine grace as the revelation bestowed upon Moses. The Qur'an mentions in 4:164 that "God spoke His word unto Moses", i.e., directly (takliman); see also 7:143, and especially verse 144, in which God says to Moses, "I have raised thee above all people ... by virtue of My speaking [unto thee]". A similar directness of experience is alluded to in the opening words of this surah, "Limitless in His glory is He who transported His servant (Muhammad] by night ... so that We might show him some of Our symbols" (see note 2 above; also, Appendix IV). Apart from this, the reference, in this and many other places in the Qur'an, to the religious history of the Hebrews is due to the fact that the revelations granted to their prophets represent the earliest formulation of monotheism, which makes it ideologically important for its later development.
The term wakil denotes "one who is entrusted with the management of (another person's] affairs", or "is responsible for [another person's] conduct". When applied to God, it is sometimes used in' the sense of "guardian" (e.g., in 3:173), or "defender" (e.g., in 4:109), or-in combination with the phrase `ala kulli shay'in (as, e.g., in 6:102 or 11:12) -in the sense of "the One who has everything in His care". In the present instance (as well as in 39:62) the term evidently alludes to God's exclusive power to determine the fate of any created being or thing.
17:2 Similarly, we gave Moses the scripture, and rendered it a beacon for the Children of Israel that: "You shall not set up any idol as a lord and master beside Me.",
17:2 (Recall that Moses had to migrate from Pharaoh's kingdom to the Sinai Peninsula.) We gave Moses the scripture and We appointed it a Guide to the Children of Israel, saying, “Choose no guardian besides Me.”
17:3 Thurriyyata man hamalnamaAAa noohin innahu kana AAabdan shakooran
17:3 They were the progeny of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a thankful servant.
17:3 The progeny of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a thankful servant.
17:3 O you descendants of those whom We caused to be borne (in the ark] with Noah! Behold, he was a most grateful servant (of Ours]!"
17:3 They are descendants of those whom we carried with Noah; he was an appreciative servant.,
17:3 They were the descendants of those whom We carried on the ship along with Noah. Surely, he was a most grateful servant of Ours.
17:4 Waqadayna ila banee isra-eelafee alkitabi latufsidunna fee al-ardi marratayniwalataAAlunna AAuluwwan kabeeran
17:4 We decreed to the Children of Israel in the book, that you will make corruption twice on earth, and that you will reach the zenith of arrogance.
17:4 And We decreed to the Children of Israel in the Book, that you will make corruption twice on the earth, and that you will become very high and mighty.
17:4 And we made [this] known to the children of Israel through revelation:5 Twice, indeed, will you spread corruption on earth and will indeed become grossly overbearing!6
Lit., "in the revelation" - here evidently used in the generic sense of the word, and probably applying to predictions contained in the Torah (Leviticus xxvi, 14-39 and Deuteronomy xxviii, 15-68) as well as the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, John and Jesus.
Since both the Bible and the Qur'an mention that the children of Israel rebelled against the law of God on many occasions, there is every reason to assume that the expression "twice" (marratayn) does not refer to two single instances but, rather, to two distinct, extended periods of their history.
17:4 We addressed the Children of Israel in the scripture: "You will commit gross evil on earth, twice. You are destined to fall into great heights of arrogance.,
17:4 We had informed the Children of Israel in the scripture, "Surely, you will work corruption on the earth twice, and show great arrogance and tyranny.”
17:5 Fa-itha jaa waAAdu oolahumabaAAathna AAalaykum AAibadan lana oleeba/sin shadeedin fajasoo khilala alddiyariwakana waAAdan mafAAoolan
17:5 So, when the promise of the first one comes to pass, We would send against you servants of Ours who are very powerful, thus they managed to breach your very homes, and this was a promise which has come to pass.
17:5 So, when the promise of the first one comes to pass, We would send against you servants of Ours who are very powerful, thus they managed to breach your very homes, and this was a promise which has come to pass.
17:5 Hence, when the prediction of the first of those two [periods of iniquity] came true, We sent against you some of Our bondmen of terrible prowess in war, and they wrought havoc throughout the land: and so the prediction was fulfilled.7
The term `ibad, rendered by me above as "bondmen", denotes every kind of "created beings" (in this case, obviously human beings) inasmuch as all of them are, willingly or unwillingly, subservient to God's will (cf. 13:15 and the corresponding note 33). It is probable that the phrase "Our bondmen of terrible prowess in war" relates to the Assyrians who overran Palestine in the seventh century B.C. and caused the disappearance of the greater part of the Hebrew nation (the ten "lost tribes"), and to the Babylonians who, about one hundred years later, destroyed Solomon's Temple and carried off the remainder of the children of Israel into captivity, or to both, thus comprising all these events within one "period" (see foregoing note).-God's "sending" tribulations upon reprobate sinners is here, as elsewhere in the Qur'an, a metonym for the natural law of cause and effect to which, in the long run, the life of man-and particularly the corporate life of nations and communities -is subject.
17:5 "When the first time comes to pass, we will send against you servants of ours who possess great might, and they will invade your homes. This is a prophecy that must come to pass.,
17:5 When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants of great might (armies of Nimrod Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon) who ravaged your country, a warning fulfilled (and took you to Babylon as slaves in 586 BC).
17:6 Thumma radadna lakumu alkarrataAAalayhim waamdadnakum bi-amwalin wabaneenawajaAAalnakum akthara nafeeran
17:6 Then We gave back to you your independence from them, and We supplied you with wealth and children, and We made you more influential.
17:6 Then We gave back to you your independence from them, and We supplied you with wealth and sons, and We made you more influential.
17:6 And after a time We allowed you to prevail against them once again,8 and aided you with wealth and offspring, and made you more numerous [than ever].
Lit., "We gave back to you the turn against them" - apparently a reference to the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity in the last quarter of the sixth century B.C., the partial re-establishment of their state, and the building of a new temple in the place of the one that had been destroyed.
17:6 "Afterwards, we will give you a turn over them, and will supply you with a lot of wealth and children; we will give you the upper hand.,
17:6 Then, We granted you victory over them (when King Cyrus of Persia defeated the Babylonians and brought you back to your country in 520 BC). We then, helped you with wealth and children and made you numerous in soldiery.
17:7 In ahsantum ahsantumli-anfusikum wa-in asa/tum falaha fa-itha jaawaAAdu al-akhirati liyasoo-oo wujoohakum waliyadkhulooalmasjida kama dakhaloohu awwala marratin waliyutabbiroo maAAalaw tatbeeran
17:7 If you do good, then it will be good for you, and if you do bad, then so be it. But when the promise of the second time comes, they will make your faces filled with sorrow and they will enter the Temple as they did the first time, and they will strike down all that was raised up.
17:7 If you do good, then it will be good for you, and if you do bad, then so be it. But when the promise of the second time comes, they will make your faces filled with sorrow and they will enter the Temple as they did the first time, and they will strike down all that was raised up.
17:7 [And We said:] "If you persevere in doing good, you will but be doing good to yourselves; and if you do evil, it will be [done] to yourselves." And so, when the prediction of the second [period of your iniquity] came true, [We raised new enemies against you, and allowed them] to disgrace you utterly,9 and to enter the Temple as [their forerunners] had entered it once before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that they had conquered.
Lit., "to bring evil to your faces". Inasmuch as the face is the most prominent and expressive part of the human body, it is often used as a metonym for one's whole being; hence, the "evil done to one's face" is synonymous with "utter disgrace". Most probably, this passage relates to the destruction of the Second Temple and of Jewish statehood by Titus in the year 70 of the Christian era.
17:7 "If you work righteousness, you work righteousness for your own good, but if you commit evil you do so to your own detriment. Thus, when the second time comes to pass, they will defeat you and enter the masjid, just as they did the first time. They will wipe out all the gains you had accomplished.",
17:7 We made it clear, “If you do collective good, you will be doing good to yourselves. And if you do evil, you will hurt yourselves. (You did not heed these warnings), and then the second warning came to pass.2
The Roman General Titus invaded Jerusalem in 70 CE. His armies entered the Temple and destroyed everything they conquered completely, just as the Babylonians had done before
17:8 AAasa rabbukum an yarhamakumwa-in AAudtum AAudna wajaAAalna jahannama lilkafireenahaseeran
17:8 Perhaps your Lord will have mercy on you, and if you revert then so will We. We made hell a prison for the ingrates.
17:8 Perhaps your Lord will have mercy on you, and if you revert then will We will also revert. And We made Hell a gathering place for the rejecters.
17:8 Your Sustainer may well show mercy unto you; but if you revert [to sinning], We shall revert [to chastising you]. And [remember this:] We have ordained that [in the hereafter] hell shall close upon all who deny the truth.
17:8 Your Lord showers you with His mercy. But if you revert to transgression, we will counter with retribution. We have designated Gehenna as a final abode for the disbelievers.,
17:8 Now is the time that your Lord may bless you with His mercy (as the Final Messenger is in your midst 7:157). If you repeat your transgressions, We will counter with retribution. We have made Hell a prison for opponents of the Divine Order.
17:9 Inna hatha alqur-ana yahdeelillatee hiya aqwamu wayubashshiru almu/mineena allatheenayaAAmaloona alssalihati anna lahum ajrankabeeran
17:9 This Quran guides to what is more upright, and it gives glad tidings to those who acknowledge, those who promote reforms that they will have a great reward.
17:9 This Qur'an guides to that which is more upright, and it gives glad tidings to the believers who do good works that they will have a bountiful reward.
17:9 VERILY, this Qur'an shows the way to all that is most upright,10 and gives the believers who do good deeds the glad tiding that theirs will be a great reward;
I.e., conformable to ethical rectitude and beneficial to man's individual and social life. Thus, after showing that sinning is synonymous with denying the truth, the discourse returns to the fundamental theme 9f the Qur'an, already alluded to in verse 2 of this surah: namely, the statement that God always offers guidance to man through the revelations which He bestows upon His prophets.
17:9 This Quran guides to the best path, and brings good news to the believers who lead a righteous life, that they have deserved a great recompense.,
17:9 Surely, this Qur’an guides to what is most upright, and gives good news of a great reward to those who accept it, and benefit the creation.
17:10 Waanna allatheena layu/minoona bial-akhirati aAAtadna lahum AAathabanaleeman
17:10 For those who do not acknowledge the Hereafter, We have prepared for them a painful retribution.
17:10 And for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have prepared for them a painful retribution.
17:10 and [it announces, too,] that We have readied grievous suffering for those who will not believe in the life to come.
Quran: Our Means to Salvation17:10 As for those who disbelieve in the Hereafter, we have prepared for them a painful retribution.,
17:10 And that for those who disbelieve in the life to come, We have readied grievous suffering.
17:11 WayadAAu al-insanu bialshsharriduAAaahu bialkhayri wakana al-insanuAAajoolan
17:11 The human asks for evil as he asks for 'good'; the human is prone to be hasty.
17:11 And man calls to evil as much as he calls to good, and man was always hasty.
17:11 As it is,11 man [often] prays for things that are bad as if he were praying for something that is good:12 for man is prone to be hasty [in his judgments].
This, to my mind, is the meaning of the conjunctive particle wa in the above context.
Cf. 2:216-"it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know": in other words, divine guidance is the only objective criterion as to what is good and what is bad.
17:11 The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient.,
17:11 Man asks for what is evil for him as he prays for the good. Man is prone to be hasty in judgment.
17:12 WajaAAalna allayla waalnnaharaayatayni famahawna ayata allayliwajaAAalna ayata alnnahari mubsiratanlitabtaghoo fadlan min rabbikum walitaAAlamoo AAadada alssineenawaalhisaba wakulla shay-in fassalnahutafseelan
17:12 We made the night and the day as two signs, so We erased the sign of night and We made the sign of day manifest, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the count. Everything We have detailed meticulously.
17:12 And We made the night and the day as two signs, so We erased the sign of night and We made the sign of day to see-in, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the count. And everything We have detailed completely.
17:12 And We have established the night and the day as two symbols;13 and thereupon We have effaced the symbol of night and set up [in its place] the light giving symbol of day,14 so that you might seek to obtain your Sustainer's bounty and be aware of the passing years15 and of the reckoning [that is bound to come]. For clearly, most clearly, have We spelt out everything!16
Regarding the primary meaning of the term ayah, see note 2 above. In the present context, the expression ayatayn ("two symbols") refers - as the subsequent clause shows - to the symbols of spiritual darkness and light.
I.e., the message of the Qur'an, which is meant to lead man out of spiritual ignorance and error into the light of faith and reason.
Lit., "the count (`adad) of years". Since, as the Qamus points out, this phrase denotes also "the years of [a person's] life, which he counts", it obviously implies here a call to spiritual self-criticism in view of the ephemeral nature of one's worldly life.
Le., everything that man may be in need of in the domain of ethics and religion.
17:12 We rendered the night and the day two signs. We made the night dark, and the day lighted, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein. This also establishes for you a timing system, and the means of calculation. We thus explain everything in detail.,
17:12 (Right and wrong have been made distinct as day and night.) We have appointed the Night and the Day as two of Our signs. The sign of the Night We have made darkness while the sign of the Day we have made sight-giving so that you may seek the bounty from your Lord, and be aware of the numbers and counting of years. Thus, We have explained all things in detail.3
17:13 Wakulla insanin alzamnahu ta-irahufee AAunuqihi wanukhriju lahu yawma alqiyamati kitabanyalqahu manshooran
17:13 We have attached every human's deeds to his own neck, and We bring forth for him a book on the day of Resurrection which he will find on display.2
All our intentions, words, and actions are recorded in a record. We will be impeached by this record on the Day of Judgment. See 57:22.
17:13 And We have attached to the neck of every man his deeds, and We bring forth for him a record on the Day of Resurrection which he will find on display.
17:13 And every human being's destiny have We tied to his neck;17 and on the Day of Resurrection We shall bring forth for him a record which he will find wide open;
The word ta'ir literally signifies a "bird" or, more properly, a "flying creature". Since the pre-Islamic Arabs often endeavoured to establish a good or bad omen and, in general, to foretell the future from the manner and direction in which birds would fly, the term ta'ir came to be tropically used in the sense of "fortune", both good and evil, or "destiny". (See in this connection surah 3, note 37, and surah 7, note 95.) It should, however, be borne in mind that the Qur'anic concept of "destiny" relates not so much to the external circumstances of and events in man's life as, rather, to the direction which this life takes in result of one's moral choices: in other words, it relates to man's spiritual fate-and this, in its turn, depends-as the Qur'an so often points out-on a person's inclinations, attitudes and conscious actions (including self-restraint from morally bad actions or, alternatively, a deliberate omission of good actions). Hence, man's spiritual fate depends on him-self and is inseparably linked with the whole tenor of his personality; and since it is God who has made man responsible for his behaviour on earth, He speaks of Himself as having "tied every human being's destiny to his neck".
The Video Tape17:13 We have recorded the fate of every human being; it is tied to his neck. On the Day of Resurrection we will hand him a record that is accessible.2 ,
Your life is already recorded, as if on a video tape, from birth to death. This same record will be made accessible to us upon resurrection.57:22 &Appendix 14..
17:13 All deeds of the humans are instantly recorded on their own ‘self’, as if the record book is fastened to their own necks. And We shall bring forth this record book wide open to them on the Day of Resurrection.
17:14 Iqra/ kitabaka kafa binafsikaalyawma AAalayka haseeban
17:14 Read your book! Today, you suffice as a reckoner against yourself.
17:14 Read your record! It is sufficient for you that you are aware of yourself today.
17:14 [and he will be told:] "Read this thy record,! Sufficient is thine own self today to make out thine account!"18
The "record" and the subsequent "account" represent man's total comprehension, on Judgment Day, of all his past life (Razi). This allegory occurs in the Qur'an in many formulations, e.g., in 37:19 or 39:68, and perhaps most incisively in 50:22 "now We have lifted from thee thy veil, and sharp is thy sight today!"
17:14 Read your own record. Today, you suffice as your own reckoner.,
17:14 "Read your book! You are a sufficient auditor for yourself this Day."
17:15 Mani ihtada fa-innama yahtadeelinafsihi waman dalla fa-innama yadilluAAalayha wala taziru waziratun wizra okhrawama kunna muAAaththibeena hattanabAAatha rasoolan
17:15 Whoever is guided is guided for himself, and whoever is misguided is for his own loss. No person shall carry the load of another, and We were not to punish until We send a messenger.3
17:15 Whoever is guided is guided for himself, and whoever is misguided is for his own loss. And no person shall carry the burdens of another, and We were not to punish until We send a messenger.
17:15 Whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever goes astray. goes but astray to his own hurt; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another" burden.19 Moreover. We would never chastise [any community for the wrong they may do[ ere We have sent an apostle [to them].20
See 6:164, 35:18 and 39:7, as well as the corresponding notes; also 53:38, which represents the earliest Qur'anic statement of this fundamental principle of ethics.
17:15 Whoever is guided, is guided for his own good, and whoever goes astray does so to his own detriment. No sinner will bear the sins of anyone else. We never punish without first sending a messenger.,
17:15 So, whoever goes right, does it for his own ‘self’, and whoever strays, strays against his own ‘self’. No person bears the load of another. And We never punish any people until We have sent a Messenger.4
The Eternal Messenger now is the Qur’an
17:16 Wa-itha aradna an nuhlikaqaryatan amarna mutrafeeha fafasaqoo feehafahaqqa AAalayha alqawlu fadammarnahatadmeeran
17:16 If We wish to destroy a town, We allow its privileged hedonists to rule it, then they commit evil in it, then it deserves the punishment, then We destroy it completely.
17:16 And if We wish to destroy a town, We allow its carefree to rule it, then they commit wickedness in it, then it deserves the punishment, then We destroy it completely.
17:16 But when [this has been done, and] it is Our will to destroy a community, We convey Our last warning21 to those of its people who have lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures;22 and [if] they [continue to] act sinfully, the sentence [of doom] passed on the community takes effect, and We break it to smithereens.
Lit.. "Our command", i e., to mend their ways. The term qaryah (ht., "town") denotes usually - though not always - a "community" or "people of a community".
Le., to the exclusion of all moral considerations. (por the above rendering of the expression mutraf, see surah 11, note 147.) The people referred to here are those who, by virtue of their wealth and social position, embody the real leadership of their community and are, therefore, morally responsible for the behaviour of their followers.
17:16 If we are to annihilate any community, we let the leaders commit vast corruption therein. Once they deserve retribution, we annihilate it completely.,
17:16 (Here is the Divine Law of Requital for communities.) We let the leaders of a community commit corruption, drift out of discipline and consider themselves above law. Then the sentence is passed against them and We annihilate them completely.5
17:17 Wakam ahlakna mina alqurooni minbaAAdi noohin wakafa birabbika bithunoobiAAibadihi khabeeran baseeran
17:17 How many a generation have We destroyed after Noah? It is enough for your Lord to have knowledge and sight over the sins of His servants.
17:17 And how many a generation have We destroyed after Noah? And it is enough for your Lord to have knowledge and sight over the sins of His servants.
17:17 And how many a generation have We [thus] destroyed after [the time of] Noah! For, none has the like of thy Sustainer's awareness and insight into His creatures' sins.
17:17 Many a generation have we annihilated after Noah. Your Lord is most efficient in dealing with the sins of His servants; He is fully Cognizant, Seer.,
17:17 How many generations has Our law annihilated since Noah! God suffices as the Knower and Beholder of what causes His servants to trail behind.
17:18 Man kana yureedu alAAajilataAAajjalna lahu feeha ma nashao limannureedu thumma jaAAalna lahu jahannama yaslahamathmooman madhooran
17:18 Whoever seeks the life of haste, We will hasten for Him what he wishes, then We will make hell for him a place which he will reach disgraced and rejected.
17:18 Whoever seeks the life of haste, We will make for him what he wishes, then We will make Hell for him a place which he will reach disgraced and rejected.
17:18 Unto him who cares for [no more than the enjoyment of] this fleeting life We readily grant thereof as much as We please, [giving] to whomever it is Our will [to give]; but in the end We consign him to [the suffering of] hell;23 which he will have to endure disgraced and disowned!
lit., "We assign [or "shall assign"] hell to him".
Choose Your Priorities Carefully This Life17:18 Anyone who chooses this fleeting life as his priority, we will rush to him what we decide to give him, then we commit him to Gehenna, where he suffers forever, despised and defeated.,
17:18 Those who desire only the quick gains of this life, We readily grant them from it according to Our laws, to those whom We will. In the end, We have appointed for them Hell. They will endure its heat, condemned and rejected. [2:200, 11:15-16]
17:19 Waman arada al-akhirata wasaAAalaha saAAyaha wahuwa mu/minun faola-ika kanasaAAyuhum mashkooran
17:19 Whoever seeks the Hereafter and strives for it as it deserves, and is an acknowledging person, then their effort is appreciated.
17:19 And whoever seeks the Hereafter and strives for it as it deserves, and is a believing person, then to those what they have sought is given in thanks.
17:19 But as for those who care for the [good of the] life to come, and strive for it as it ought to be striven for, and are [true] believers withal24 -they are the ones whose striving finds favour [with God]!
Since caring and striving for the good of the hereafter presupposes belief in God and in man's responsibility before Him, it is obvious that the term "believer" relates, in this context, to a cognition of God's absolute oneness and uniqueness as well as to a willing acceptance of the guidance offered to man through prophetic revelation. - In the original, the whole preceding sentence has the singular form ("he who cares ... and strives ... and is a believer"); but in view of the next clause, which is expressed in the plural, it is preferable to render these pronouns, agreeably with Arabic usage, uniformly in the plural.
The Hereafter17:19 As for those who choose the Hereafter as their priority, and work righteousness, while believing, their efforts will be appreciated.,
17:19 And the one who keeps the life to come in view and strives for it as best as he can, provided he is a true believer; the endeavor of every such person will be accepted. [2:201]
17:20 Kullan numiddu haola-i wahaola-imin AAata-i rabbika wama kana AAataorabbika mahthooran
17:20 For both groups We will bestow from the bounty of your Lord. The bounty of your Lord is never restricted.
17:20 For both groups We will bestow from the bounty of your Lord. And the bounty of your Lord is never restricted.
17:20 All [of them] -these as well as those -do We freely endow with some of thy Sustainer's gifts, since thy Sustainer's giving is never confined [to one kind of man].
17:20 For each one of them we provide; we provide for those and these from your Lord's bounties. Your Lord's bounties are inexhaustible.,
17:20 All, these as well as those, We bestow on them some of your Lord’s gifts since your Lord’s giving is not confined. [42:20]
17:21 Onthur kayfa faddalnabaAAdahum AAala baAAdin walal-akhiratuakbaru darajatin waakbaru tafdeelan
17:21 See how We have preferred some of them over the others; and in the Hereafter are greater levels, and greater preference.
17:21 See how We have preferred some of them over the others; and in the Hereafter are greater levels, and greater preference.
17:21 Behold how We bestow [on earth) more bounty on some of them than on others: but [remember that] the life to come will be far higher in degree and far greater in merit and bounty.25
Lit., "greater in degrees and greater in the bestowal of bounty (tafdilan )" - but since the latter term obviously comprises, in this instance, the concept of "merit" as well, a composite rendering would seem to be indicated.
17:21 Note how we preferred some people above others (in this life). The differences in the Hereafter are far greater and far more significant.,
17:21 Behold how We bestow more bounty on some of them than others. But the life to come will be far higher in degree and far greater in bounty.
17:22 La tajAAal maAAa Allahi ilahanakhara fataqAAuda mathmooman makhthoolan
17:22 Do not set up with God another god; or you will find yourself disgraced, abandoned.
17:22 Do not make with God another god, or you will find yourself disgraced, abandoned.
17:22 DO NOT set up any other deity side by side with God, lest thou find thyself disgraced and forsaken:
Major Commandments17:22 You shall not set up any other god beside GOD, lest you end up despised and disgraced.,
17:22 Do not set up gods besides God. If you run manmade systems, disregarding the Permanent Values, you will face an embarrassing failure.
17:23 Waqada rabbuka alla taAAbudooilla iyyahu wabialwalidayni ihsananimma yablughanna AAindaka alkibara ahaduhumaaw kilahuma fala taqul lahuma offinwala tanharhuma waqul lahuma qawlan kareeman
17:23 Your Lord decreed that you shall not serve except Him, and do good to your parents. When one of them or both of them reaches old age, do not say to them a word of disrespect nor raise your voice at them, but say to them a kind saying.
17:23 And your Lord decreed that you shall not serve except He, and do good to your parents. When one of them or both of them reach old age, do not say to them a word of disrespect nor shout at them, but say to them a kind saying.
17:23 for thy Sustainer has ordained that you shall worship none but Him. And do good unto [thy] parents.26 Should one of them, or both, attain to old age in thy care, never say "Ugh"27 to them or scold them, but [always] speak unto them with reverent speech,
Whereas God is the real, ultimate cause of man's coming to life, his parents are its outward, immediate cause: and so the preceding call to God is followed by the injunction to honour and cherish one's parents. Beyond this, the whole of the present passage - up to and including verse 39- is meant to show that kindness and just dealings between man and man are an integral part of the concept of "striving for the good of the life to come"
In Arabic, uff - a word or sound indicative of contempt, dislike or disgust.
17:23 Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship except Him, and your parents shall be honored. As long as one or both of them live, you shall never say to them, "Uff" (the slightest gesture of annoyance), nor shall you shout at them; you shall treat them amicably.,
17:23 (A benevolent society begins at home.) Your Lord has decreed that you serve none but Him, and always be kind to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age, do not utter the slightest harsh word to them. Never repel them and always address them respectfully. [2:233, 7:189, 17:23-24, 31:13-15, 36:68, 46:15]
17:24 Waikhfid lahuma janahaalththulli mina alrrahmati waqulrabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayanee sagheeran
17:24 Lower for them the wing of humility through mercy, and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they have raised me when I was small."
17:24 And lower for them the wing of humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they have raised me when I was young."
17:24 and spread over them humbly the wings of thy tenderness,28 and say: "O my Sustainer! Bestow Thy grace upon them, even as they cherished and reared me when I was a child!"
Lit., "lower for them the wing of humility, out of tenderness (rahmah)" = a metonymical expression evocative of a bird that lovingly spreads its wings over its offspring in the nest.
17:24 And lower for them the wings of humility, and kindness, and say, "My Lord, have mercy on them, for they have raised me from infancy.",
17:24 Lower for them the wing of kindness and humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow upon them Your grace as they raised me in kindness since I was little."
17:25 Rabbukum aAAlamu bima fee nufoosikumin takoonoo saliheena fa-innahu kana lil-awwabeenaghafooran
17:25 Your Lord is fully aware of what is in yourselves. If you are good, then He is to those who repent a Forgiver.
17:25 Your Lord is fully aware of what is in your souls. If you are good, then He is to the obedient a Forgiver.
17:25 Your Sustainer is fully aware of what is in your hearts. If you are righteous, [He will forgive you your errors]:29 for, behold, He is much-forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again.
This interpolation gives the meaning of the above elliptic sentence (Tabari, Baghawi Zamakhshari, Razi).
17:25 Your Lord is fully aware of your innermost thoughts. If you maintain righteousness, He is Forgiver of those who repent.,
17:25 Your Lord knows best what is in your minds. If you work for social welfare, He grants the protection of forgiveness to those who take corrective action when they falter.6
Saaleh = He who contributes to the society = Who does acts of social welfare = Helps people = Restores balance. Ghafarah = Helmet = Guarding against deterioration = Protection = Forgiveness. Awwabeen = Those who take corrective action = Who return to the right road
17:26 Waati tha alqurba haqqahuwaalmiskeena waibna alssabeeli walatubaththir tabtheeran
17:26 Give the relative his due, and the poor, and the wayfarer; and do not waste excessively.
17:26 And give the relative his due, and the poor, and the wayfarer; and do not waste excessively.
17:26 And give his due to the near of kin,30 as well as to the needy and the wayfarer,31 but do not squander [thy substance] senselessly.32
In this instance, "his due" evidently refers to the loving consideration due to one's relatives (Zamakhshari and Razi); those of them who are in a state of want are included in the subsequent mention of "the needy" (al-miskin).
Regarding this expression, see surah 2, note 145.
Lit., "with [utter] squandering" (tabdhiran), i.e., senselessly and to no good purpose. It is to be borne in mind that the term tabdhir does not relate to the quantity but, rather, to the purpose of one's spending. Thus, Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Mas'ud (both of them quoted by Tabari) defined tabdhir as "spending without a righteous purpose" or "in a frivolous (batil) cause": and Mujahid is reported (ibid.) to have said, "If a man were to spend all that he possesses in a righteous cause, it could not be termed squandering; but if he spends even a small amount in a frivolous cause, it is squandering."
17:26 You shall give the due alms to the relatives, the needy, the poor, and the traveling alien, but do not be excessive, extravagant.,
17:26 And give your relative his or her Divinely ordained right, and give to those whose running businesses have stalled, those who have lost their jobs, the needy wayfarer, the homeless, and the one who reaches you in a state of destitution. Do not squander your wealth senselessly.7
17:27 Inna almubaththireena kanooikhwana alshshayateeni wakana alshshaytanulirabbihi kafooran
17:27 Those who waste excessively are brothers to the devils, and the devil was an unappreciative of his Lord.
17:27 Those who waste excessively are brothers to the devils, and the devil was to his Lord a rejecter.
17:27 Behold, the squanderers are, indeed, of the ilk of the satans - inasmuch as Satan has indeed proved most ungrateful to his Sustainer.33
Since squandering - in the sense explained in the preceding note - implies an utter lack of gratitude for the gift of sustenance bestowed by God upon man, the squanderers are described as being "of the ilk [lit., "brethren"] of the satans". Regarding the deeper meaning of the terms "satans" and "satanic", see surah 15, note 16.
17:27 The extravagant are brethren of the devils, and the devil is unappreciative of his Lord.,
17:27 Squanderers are close companions of Satan, their selfish desires. And Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
17:28 Wa-imma tuAAridanna AAanhumuibtighaa rahmatin min rabbika tarjooha faqullahum qawlan maysooran
17:28 If you turn away from them to seek a mercy from your Lord which you desire, then say to them a gentle saying.
17:28 And if you turn away from them to seek a mercy from your Lord which you desire, then say to them a gentle saying.
17:28 And if thou [must] turn aside from those [that are in want, because thou thyself art] seeking to obtain thy Sustainer's grace and hoping for it,34 at least speak unto them with gentle speech.
Le., "because thou art thyself in want, and therefore unable to help others".
17:28 Even if you have to turn away from them, as you pursue the mercy of your Lord, you shall treat them in the nicest manner.,
17:28 If you are waiting for affluence from your Lord, and are unable to currently help the needy, then speak to them in kindness, and treat them in the nicest manner.
17:29 Wala tajAAal yadaka maghloolatan ilaAAunuqika wala tabsutha kulla albastifataqAAuda malooman mahsooran
17:29 Do not make your hand stingy by holding it to your neck, nor shall you make it fully open so you become in despair and regret.
17:29 And do not make your hand stingy by holding it to your neck, nor shall you lay it fully open so you become in despair and regret.
17:29 And neither allow thy hand to remain shackled to thy neck,35 nor stretch it forth to the utmost limit [of thy capacity], lest thou find thyself blamed [by thy dependants], or even destitute.
A metaphor signifying miserliness and, in particular, unwillingness to help others (cf. a similar expression in 5:64).
Stinginess Condemned17:29 You shall not keep your hand stingily tied to your neck, nor shall you foolishly open it up, lest you end up blamed and sorry.,
17:29 You should not keep your hand chained to your neck in stinginess, nor open it foolishly lest you sit down destitute and denuded.
17:30 Inna rabbaka yabsutu alrrizqaliman yashao wayaqdiru innahu kana biAAibadihikhabeeran baseeran
17:30 Your Lord lays out openly the provision for whom He wishes, and He is able to do so. He is Ever-aware and Watcher to His servants.
17:30 Your Lord lays out openly the provision for whom He wishes, and He is able to do so. He is Expert and Seer over His servants.
17:30 Behold, thy Sustainer grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills: verily, fully aware is He of [the needs of] His creatures, and sees them all.
17:30 For your Lord increases the provision for anyone He chooses, and reduces it. He is fully Cognizant of His creatures, Seer.,
17:30 Your Lord provides sustenance in abundance and scarcity according to His laws. He is fully Cognizant, Seer of His servants.8
Manyyasha = According to His laws = Common but erroneous translation, ‘whom He pleases’. God has appointed laws for affluence and poverty in societies. In the Divine System every individual will get fair return for his labor. 53:39
17:31 Wala taqtuloo awladakumkhashyata imlaqin nahnu narzuquhum wa-iyyakuminna qatlahum kana khit-an kabeeran
17:31 Do not kill your born children out of fear of poverty; We shall provide for you and them. The killing of them was a big mistake.4
The Arabic word we translated as "children" is aWLaD (plural of WaLaD) and it literally means "those who are born." The story of pagans killing their daughters by burying them alive years after they were born is a mythology. They were simply practicing infanticide, that is, they would murder their daughters as soon as they learned their sexes. For abortion, see 46:15.
17:31 And do not kill your children out of concern of poverty; We shall provide for you and them. The killing of them was a big mistake.
17:31 Hence, do not kill your children for fear of poverty :36 it is We who shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily, killing them is a great sin.
Historically, this may be a reference to the pre-Islamic Arabian custom of burying unwanted female children alive (see note 4 on 81:8), as well as to the occasional-though much rarer-sacrifices of male children to some of their gods (see Zamakhshari 's comments on 6:137). Beyond this, however, the above prohibition has a timeless validity inasmuch as it relates also to abortions undertaken "for fear of poverty", i.e., on purely economic grounds.
Abortion is Murder17:31 You shall not kill your children due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense.,
17:31 Do not kill your children (nor deprive them of good rearing) for fear of poverty. We are the One Who provide for them as well as for you. Surely, killing them is a grave offense.9
17:32 Wala taqraboo alzzinainnahu kana fahishatan wasaa sabeelan
17:32 Do not go near adultery, for it is a sin and an evil path.
17:32 And do not come near adultery, for it is immoral and an evil path.
17:32 And do not commit adultery37 -for, behold, it is an abomination and an evil way.
Lit., "do not come near adultery", thus intensifying the prohibition. It is to be noted that the term zina signifies all sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not husband and wife, irrespective of whether either of them is married to another partner or not; hence, it denotes both "adultery" and "fornication" in the English senses of these terms.
17:32 You shall not commit adultery; it is a gross sin, and an evil behavior.,
17:32 Do not come close to adultery, for, it is an abomination and an evil way.
17:33 Wala taqtuloo alnnafsa allateeharrama Allahu illa bialhaqqiwaman qutila mathlooman faqad jaAAalnaliwaliyyihi sultanan fala yusrif fee alqatli innahukana mansooran
17:33 Do not kill, for God has made this forbidden, except in the course of justice. Whoever is killed unjustly, then We have given his heir authority. Since he received help let him not transgress in the taking of a life.
17:33 And do not take a life, for God has made this forbidden, except in the course of justice. And whoever is killed innocently, then We have given his heir authority, so let him not transgress in the taking of a life, for He will be given victory.
17:33 And do not take any human being's life -[the life] which God has willed to be, sacred-otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice.38 Hence, if anyone has been slain wrongfully, We have empowered the defender of his rights [to exact a just retribution] ;39 but even so, let him not exceed the bounds of equity in [retributive] killing.40 [And as for him who has been slain wrongfully -] behold, he is indeed succoured [by God] !41
Le., in the execution of a legal sentence or in a just war (see 2:190 and the corresponding note 167), or in individual; legitimate self-defence.
This refers to the legal punishment for homicide, termed qisas ("just retribution") and explained in 2:178 and the corresponding notes. In the present context, the term wall ("protector" or "defender of [one's] rights") is usually taken to mean the heir or next of kin of the victim; Zamakhshari, however, observes that it may also apply to the government (as-sultan): an interpretation which is obviously based on the concept of the government as the "protector" or "defender of the rights" of all its citizens. As regards the expression qutila mazluman ("slain wrongfully"), it is obvious that it refers only to cases of wilful homicide, since the concept of zulm applies in the Qur'an exclusively to intentional and never to accidental wrongdoing.
Thus, the defender of the victim's rights (in this case, a court of justice) is not only not entitled to impose a capital sentence on any but the actual murderer or murderers, but may also, if the case warrants it, concede mitigating circumstances and refrain from capital punishment altogether.
I.e., he is avenged in this world by the retribution exacted from his murderer, and in the life to come, blessed by the special grace which God bestows on all who have been slain without any legal or moral justification (Razi). Some of the commentators, however, relate the pronoun "he" to the defender of the victim's rights, respectively, to the latter's heir or next of kin, and explain the above phrase as meaning "he is sufficiently helped by the law of just retribution (qisas) and should not, therefore, demand any punishment in excess of what is equitable".
17:33 You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped.,
17:33 You shall not kill any person, for God has forbidden it, except in the course of justice (through an appropriate court). In case of unjust killing, We have given rights to the victim’s next of kin. With that right of retribution, comes the responsibility that, since the law is helping them, he (the next of kin) must not exceed the limits.10
17:34 Wala taqraboo mala alyateemiilla biallatee hiya ahsanu hattayablugha ashuddahu waawfoo bialAAahdi inna alAAahda kanamas-oolan
17:34 Do not go near the orphan's money, except for what is best, until he reaches maturity. Fulfill your oath, for the oath brings responsibility.
17:34 And do not come near the money of the orphan, except for that which is best, until he reaches his independence. And fulfill the pledge, for the pledge brings great responsibility.
17:34 And do not touch the substance of an orphan, save to improve it, before he comes of age.42 And be true to every promise - for, verily, [on Judgment Day] you will be called to account for every promise which you have made !43
See surah 6, note 149.
Lit., "every promise shall be asked about" or "investigated".
17:34 You shall not touch the orphans' money except for their own good, until they reach maturity. You shall fulfill your covenants, for a covenant is a great responsibility.,
17:34 Go not near the wealth of the orphan, except for his or her own good, until they come of age. (Then let them make their own decisions.) This is a covenant that you must fulfill. Surely, you will be questioned about all your covenants.
17:35 Waawfoo alkayla itha kiltum wazinoobialqistasi almustaqeemi thalika khayrun waahsanuta/weelan
17:35 Give full measure when you deal, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good and better in the end.
17:35 And give full measure when you deal, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good and better in the end.
17:35 And give full measure whenever you measure, and weigh with a balance that is true:44 this will be [for your own] good, and best in the end.
Lit., "straight" (mustaqim)-a term which in the Qur'an has invariably a spiritual or moral connotation. Hence, as in the similar phrase in 6:152, the above injunction applies not merely to commercial transactions but to all dealings between man and man.
17:35 You shall give full measure when you trade, and weigh equitably. This is better and more righteous.,
17:35 (Always be mindful of just dealings.) Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with even scale. This is the best way and it will prove to be best in the end. [81:1-3]
17:36 Wala taqfu ma laysa laka bihiAAilmun inna alssamAAa waalbasara waalfu-adakullu ola-ika kana AAanhu mas-oolan
17:36 Do not uphold what you have no knowledge of. For the hearing, eyesight, and mind, all these are held responsible for that.5
This verse instructs us to use both our reason and senses to examine all the information we receive. It warns us against blindly following a religious teaching or political ideology. It warns us not to be hypnotized by the charisma of leaders nor by the social conventions. A society comprised of iconoclastic individuals that value rational and empirical inquiry will never become the victim of religious fanaticism or tragedies inflicted by charismatic politicians. A religion or sect that glorifies ignorance and gullibility can be very dangerous for its followers and others. As the Physicist Steven Weinberg once put profoundly, "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." See 6:74.
The following advice is attributed to Buddha. We are not quoting this because we consider his name to be an authority, nor because we are sure that it is uttered or written by a man called Buddha; but because it articulates a profound fact: "Do not put faith in traditions, even though they have been accepted for long generations and in many countries. Do not believe a thing because many repeat it. Do not accept a thing on the authority of one or another of the sages of old, nor on the ground of statements as found in the books. Never believe anything because probability is in its favor. Do not believe in that which you yourselves have imagined, thinking that a god has inspired it. Believe nothing merely on the authority of the teachers or the priests. After examination, believe that which you have tested for yourself and found reasonable, which is in conformity with your well being and that of others." Interestingly, this is the summary of many verses in the Quran! If the above wise statements were indeed made by Buddha, then he would be the first one who would reject the allegiance of the so-called Buddhists.
The Biblical, "Know the truth, and the truth will set you free!" (John 3:24 ), is a powerful statement against idolatry and ignorance. St. Paul and his followers, such as Tertullian and many other church leaders turned the wisdom preached by Jesus into bigotry and dogmatism that considered philosophy and philosophers the enemy. Most faithful of religions nod positively at Voltaire's depiction of their understanding: "The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning."
If I really want to name myself with suffixes such as an –ist, –ite, or –an, then I should call myself Truthist, Truthite, or Truthian! Or, maybe just, Godist, Godite, Godian!
The Quran repeatedly advises us to use our intellect, to reason, to be open-minded, to be the seekers of truth, to be philosophers, to be critical thinkers, and not to be the followers of our wishful thinking or a particular crowd. For instance, see 2:170, 171, 242, 269; 3:118, 190; 6:74; 7:169; 8:22; 10:42, 100; 11:51; 12:2, 111; 13:4, 19; 16:67; 21:10, 67; 23:80; 24:61; 29:63; 30:28; 38:29; 39:9, 18, 21; 40:54; 59:14. See also 6:110.
17:36 And do not uphold what you have no knowledge of; for the hearing, eyesight, and heart - all these you are responsible for.
17:36 And never concern thyself with anything of which thou hast no knowledge:45 verily, [thy] hearing and sight and heart - all of them - will be called to account for it [on Judgment Day]!
Or: "do not follow [or "pursue"] anything...", etc. This would seem to relate to groundless assertions about events or people (and hence to slander or false testimony), to statements based on guesswork unsupported by evidence, or to interfering in social situations which one is unable to evaluate correctly.
Crucial Advice17:36 You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.,
17:36 Do not reach conclusions about that of which you have no knowledge. (Using your senses and intellect, you must verify it for yourself.) Surely, the hearing, the sight and the faculty of reasoning – all of them – will be questioned. [32:9, 45:23, 46:26]
17:37 Wala tamshi fee al-ardi marahaninnaka lan takhriqa al-arda walan tablugha aljibalatoolan
17:37 Do not walk in the land arrogantly, for you will not penetrate the earth, nor will you reach the mountains in height.
17:37 And do not walk in the land arrogantly, for you will not penetrate the earth, nor will you reach the mountains in height.
17:37 And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, thou canst never rend the earth asunder, nor canst thou ever grow as tall as the mountains!
17:37 You shall not walk proudly on earth - you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the mountains.,
17:38 Kullu thalika kana sayyi-ohuAAinda rabbika makroohan
17:38 All of this is bad, and disliked by your Lord.
17:38 All of this is bad, and disliked by your Lord.
17:38 The evil of all this is odious in thy Sustainer's sight:46
According to some commentators, this condemnation refers to what has been mentioned in the preceding two verses; more probably, however, it extends to the subject-matter of all the prohibitions - whether enunciated as such or merely implied - in verses 22-37.
17:38 All bad behavior is condemned by your Lord.,
17:38 The evil of all this is detestable in the Sight of your Lord.
17:39 Thalika mimma awhailayka rabbuka mina alhikmati wala tajAAal maAAaAllahi ilahan akhara fatulqa feejahannama malooman madhooran
17:39 That is from what your Lord has inspired to you of the wisdom. Do not make with God another god, or you will be cast into hell, blameworthy and rejected.6
The followers of hadith and sunna claim that Muhammed was given both the Quran and Wisdom, the latter being delivered in hadith books. For those who know the nature of hadith collections, this is clearly not a wise statement. The verse expressly states that the Wisdom is not separate from the Quran; it is in the Quran. We cannot divorce the Quran from wisdom and make a mockery of "wisdom" by using it to sanctify contradictory hearsay accounts and medieval culture. Besides, the fabricators of hadith were not "wise" enough to name their fabrications "Wisdom," since they picked a wrong word, hadith, which is negatively treated by the Quran when it is used for any other utterance besides the Quran (6:112; 33:38). Furthermore, one of the attributes of the Quran is hakym, which means "wise." See 9:31; 17:46; 18:26; 36:1; 42:21.
17:39 That is from what your Lord has inspired to you of the wisdom. And do not make with God another god, or you will be cast into Hell, blameworthy and regretting.
17:39 this is part of that knowledge of right and wrong with which thy Sustainer has inspired thee.47 Hence, do not set up any other deity side by side with God,48 lest thou be cast into hell, blamed [by thyself] and rejected [by Him]!
Or: "which thy Sustainer has revealed to thee". It is to be noted that the noun hikmah, usually signifying "wisdom", is derived from the verb hakama ("he prevented" or "restrained [him or it]", i.e., from acting in an undesirable manner). Hence, the primary meaning of hikmah is "that which prevents one from evil or ignorant behaviour" (cf. Lane 11, 617); in its positive sense, it signifies "[conscious] insight into that which is most excellent" (Lisan al-`Arab, Taj al-'Arus). Inasmuch as this term refers here, in particular, to what is "odious in God's sight", it implies moral discrimination (or "the knowledge of right and wrong") on the part of men; and this, in its turn, presupposes the existence of an absolute, God-willed standard of moral values.
Since there is no basis for an acceptance of absolute moral values - i.e., values that are independent of time and social circumstances-without a belief in God and His ultimate judgment, the passage ends, as it began. with a call to a cognition of God's oneness and uniqueness.
Quran Is Wisdom17:39 This is some of the wisdom inspired to you by your Lord. You shall not set up another god beside GOD, lest you end up in Gehenna, blamed and defeated.,
17:39 This is some of the wisdom your Lord has revealed to you. Do not set up with God any other god, lest you be cast into Hell, blameworthy and rejected. [2:269]
17:40 Afaasfakum rabbukum bialbaneenawaittakhatha mina almala-ikati inathaninnakum lataqooloona qawlan AAatheeman
17:40 Has your Lord preferred for you the males, while He takes the females as controllers? You are indeed saying a great thing!
17:40 Has your Lord preferred for you the males, while He takes the females as angels? You are indeed saying a grave thing!
17:40 HAS, THEN, your Sustainer distinguished you by [giving you] sons, and taken unto Himself daughters in the guise of angels?49 Verily, you are uttering a dreadful saying!
Lit., "and taken unto Himself, out of the angels, females": an allusion to the pre-Islamic Arabian belief that the angels - conceived of as a kind of female sub-deities - were God's "daughters", and this despite the pagan Arabs' contempt for female offspring (cf. 16:57 and the corresponding notes). In its wider implication, this rhetorical question is meant to bring out the absurdity of the supposition that God's divinity could be projected into, or shared by, any other being (cf. 6:100).
17:40 Has your Lord given you boys, while giving Himself the angels as daughters?! How could you utter such a blasphemy?,
17:40 What! Has your Lord distinguished you by giving you sons, and chosen for Himself daughters in the guise of angels? Certainly, you speak a monstrous word! [16:57]
17:41 Walaqad sarrafna fee hathaalqur-ani liyaththakkaroo wama yazeeduhumilla nufooran
17:41 We have cited in this Quran so they may remember, but it only increases their aversion!
17:41 And We have dispatched in this Qur'an that they may remember, but it only increases their aversion!
17:41 And, indeed, many facets have We given [to Our message] in this Qur'an, so that they [who deny the truth] might take it to heart: but all this only increases their aversion.
17:41 We have cited in this Quran (all kinds of examples), that they may take heed. But it only augments their aversion.,
17:41 We have explained things in various ways in this Qur’an so that they understand, but it only increases their flight from the truth.12
Blind following, arrogance, preconceived notions disable reason. 4:88
17:42 Qul law kana maAAahu alihatunkama yaqooloona ithan laibtaghaw ila theealAAarshi sabeelan
17:42 Say, "If there had been gods with Him as they say, then they would have tried to gain a way to the Possessor of Authority."
17:42 Say: "If there had been gods with Him as they say, then they would have tried to gain a way to the Throne."
17:42 Say: "If there were-as some people assert [other] deities side by side with Him, surely [even] they would have to strive to find a way unto Him who is enthroned on His almightiness?"50
The term `arsh (lit., "throne" or, more properly, "seat of power") is used in the Qur'an to denote God's absolute sway over all that exists; hence, the expression dhu 'l-arsh may be suitably rendered as "He who is enthroned in His almightiness". Beyond this, the commentators are not entirely agreed as to the purport of the above sentence. Some take it to mean that "had there been other deities apart from God, they would endeavour to deprive Him of some or all of His power, and would thus create chaos in the universe". Others-and most prominently among them Tabari and Ibn Kathir - have a far better, though somewhat more complicated explanation to offer. Starting from the legitimate assumption that those who believe in the existence of other deities or divine powers apart from God regard them as no more than mediators between man and Him, the argument runs thus: If those alleged divine or semi-divine "mediators" would really exist, then it is obvious that, being no more than mediators, even they would have to recognize Him as the Supreme Being - which would amount to admitting that they have no power of their own but are, in the last resort, entirely dependent on and subject to Him: and this unavoidable conclusion implies a negation of any divinity in those imaginary "mediators". This being so, is it not far more reasonable for man to turn directly to God, who is almighty, all-seeing, all-hearing, and has therefore no need of any mediator?
17:42 Say, "If there were any other gods beside Him, as they claim, they would have tried to overthrow the Possessor of the throne.",
17:42 Say, "If there were any other deities side by side with Him, as they claim, even those would have to find a way to the Lord of the Throne of Almightiness.”
17:43 Subhanahu wataAAalaAAamma yaqooloona AAuluwwan kabeeran
17:43 Be He glorified and high above from what they say.
17:43 Be He glorified and exalted above what they say, a great falsehood.
17:43 Limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely, immeasurably exalted above anything that men may say [about Him]51
See surah 6, note 88.
17:43 Be He glorified, He is much too exalted, far above their utterances.,
17:43 Glorified is He, and High Exalted above what they say!
17:44 Tusabbihu lahu alssamawatualssabAAu waal-ardu waman feehinna wa-in minshay-in illa yusabbihu bihamdihi walakinla tafqahoona tasbeehahum innahu kana haleemanghafooran
17:44 He is glorified by the seven heavens and the earth and who is in them, and there is not a thing but it glorifies His praise, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Compassionate, Forgiving.
17:44 He is glorified by the seven heavens and the earth and that which is in them, and there is not a thing except it glorifies His praise, but you do not comprehend their glorification. He is Compassionate, Forgiving.
17:44 The seven heavens52 extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all that they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise: but you [O men] fail to grasp the manner of their glorifying Him!53 Verily, He is forbearing, much-forgiving!
For an explanation of this expression, see surah 2, note 20.
Le., although everything in creation bears witness to the existence of a conscious Creative Will, man is only too often blind and deaf to this overwhelming evidence of God's ever-present almightiness.
17:44 Glorifying Him are the seven universes, the earth, and everyone in them. There is nothing that does not glorify Him, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Clement, Forgiver.,
17:44 All the seven Highs and their Lows, and all beings in them are working His Plan, displaying that He is Praiseworthy. All creatures are playing their role in the Universe. In your present state of knowledge, you do not understand their exact modes of action. God, the Clement, the Absolver of imperfections, sustains and maintains them in Order.
17:45 Wa-itha qara/ta alqur-anajaAAalna baynaka wabayna allatheena layu/minoona bial-akhirati hijabanmastooran
17:45 When you study the Quran, We place between you and those who do not acknowledge the Hereafter an invisible barrier.
17:45 And when you read the Qur'an, We place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier.
17:45 But [thus it is:]54 whenever thou recitest the Qur'an, We place an invisible barrier between thee and those who will not believe in the life to come:_
This passage connects with verse 41 above.
17:45 When you read the Quran, we place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier.,
17:45 When you recite the Qur’an, We put an invisible veil between you and those who disbelieve in the Hereafter.13
17:41. Disbelievers in the eternal life remain preoccupied with the glitter of this world, a mental barrier to understanding
17:46 WajaAAalna AAala quloobihimakinnatan an yafqahoohu wafee athanihim waqran wa-ithathakarta rabbaka fee alqur-ani wahdahuwallaw AAala adbarihim nufooran
Quran Alone17:46 We place shields over their hearts, that they should not understand it, and deafness in their ears. If you mention your Lord in the Quran alone, they run away turning their backs in aversion.7
Those who do not acknowledge the hereafter with certainty will not understand the Quran, and they will claim that the Quran is difficult or even impossible to understand on its own. See 54:17,and 40.
Traditional translations and commentaries somehow separate the word “Quran” from the adjective (wahdahu = alone, only) that follows it. They translate it as "Lord alone in the Quran." Though there are many verses emphasizing God's oneness (see 39:45), this verse could be understood as another one emphasizing that message. However, this could be only a secondary meaning of this particular verse, since the adjective wahdehu is used not after the word Rab (Lord) but after the word Quran. In Arabic if one wants to say ‘Quran alone,’ the only way of saying it is "Quranun wahdahu." The mathematical structure of the Quran too confirms our translation. For instance, the word wahdahu is used for God in 7:70; 39:45; 40:12 and 60:4. If we add these numbers we get 361, or 19x19. However, if we add 17:46, where the word wahdahu is used for the Quran, the total is not in harmony with the great mathematical system.
17:46 And we place shields over their hearts, that they should not understand it, and a deafness in their ears. And if you mention your Lord in the Qur'an alone, they run away turning their backs in aversion.
17:46 for, over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping its purport, and into their ears, deafness.55 And so, whenever thou dost mention, while reciting the Qur'an, thy Sustainer as the one and only Divine Being,56 they turn their backs [upon thee] in aversion.
Lit., "whenever thou dost mention in the Qur'an thy Sustainer alone".
Quran: The ONLY Source17:46 We place shields around their minds, to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears. And when you preach your Lord, using the Quran alone, they run away in aversion.,3
The Arabic word "alone" refers to God in 7:70,39:45,40:12& 84, and60:4. If you add these numbers, you get 361, 19x19. But if you include17:46, which refers to the Quran, the product is not a multiple of 19. "Alone,"therefore refers to the Quran in17:46(Appendix 18.).
17:46 And We place shields over their hearts and minds to prevent them from grasping it, and cause deafness in their ears. Their minds, hearts, and ears act impermeable when you mention your Lord in the Qur’an, Him alone, and they turn their backs in disgust.14
They wish to hear about their saints and ‘Imams’
17:47 Nahnu aAAlamu bimayastamiAAoona bihi ith yastamiAAoona ilayka wa-ithhum najwa ith yaqoolu alththalimoonain tattabiAAoona illa rajulan mashooran
17:47 We are fully aware of what they are listening to when they are listening to you, and when they conspire secretly the wicked say, "You are but following a bewitched man!"
17:47 We are fully aware of what they are listening to, for they are listening to you but while they are in private counsel the wicked say: "You are following a man who is bewitched!"
17:47 We are fully aware of what they are listening for when they listen to thee:57 for when they are secluded among themselves, lo! these wrongdoers say [unto one another], "If you were to follow [Muhammad, you would follow] only a man bewitched!"
I.e., to find fault with the message of the Qur'an.
17:47 We are fully aware of what they hear, when they listen to you, and when they conspire secretly - the disbelievers say, "You are following a crazy man.",
17:47 We are best Aware of what they wish to hear when they listen to you. Then they hold secret meetings and these wrongdoers say, "You only follow a man who is under the influence of magic."15
It is unfortunate that under the influence of fabricated traditions, most Muslims even today believe that a Jewish magician successfully cast a spell of ‘magic’ on the exalted Prophet! Traditions and Ahadith that clash with the Qur’an, were obviously contrived by forgers in the guise of ‘Imams’ 25:8
17:48 Onthur kayfa daraboolaka al-amthala fadalloo fala yastateeAAoonasabeelan
17:48 See how they cite the examples for you. They have gone astray, and cannot come to the path.
17:48 See how they put forth the examples for you. They have gone astray, and cannot come to the path.
17:48 See to what they liken thee, [O Prophet simply] because they have gone astray and are now unable to find a way [to the truth]!
17:48 Note how they describe you, and how this causes them to stray off the path.,
17:48 See what similes they strike for you (O Prophet)! They are going astray to the point of no return.
17:49 Waqaloo a-itha kunnaAAithaman warufatan a-innalamabAAoothoona khalqan jadeedan
17:49 They said, "When we are bones and fragments, will we then be resurrected to a new creation?"
17:49 And they said: "When we are bones and fragments, will we then be resurrected to a new creation?"
17:49 And [thus, too,] they say, "After we will have become bones and dust, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead in a new act of creation?"
17:49 They said, "After we turn into bones and fragments, we get resurrected anew?!",
17:49 And they say, "What! After we are bones and fragments, shall we be raised up as a new creation?"
17:50 Qul koonoo hijaratan aw hadeedan
17:50 Say, "Even if you be stones or iron."
17:50 Say: "Even if you be stones or metal."
17:50 Say: "[You will be raised from the dead even though] you be stones or iron
17:50 Say, "Even if you turn into rocks or iron.,
17:50 Say, "Even if you turn into rocks or iron!”
17:51 Aw khalqan mimma yakburu fee sudoorikumfasayaqooloona man yuAAeeduna quli allathee fatarakumawwala marratin fasayunghidoona ilayka ruoosahumwayaqooloona mata huwa qul AAasa an yakoona qareeban
17:51 "Or a creation that is held dear in your chests." They will say, "Who will return us?" Say, "The One who initiated you the first time." They will shake their heads to you and say, "When is this?" Say, "Perhaps it is near."
17:51 "Or a creation that is held dear in your chests." They will say: "Who will return us?" Say: "The One who initiated you the first time." They will shake their heads to you and say: "When is this?" Say: "Perhaps it is near."
17:51 or any [other] substance which, to your minds, appears yet farther removed [from life]!"58 And [if] thereupon they ask, "Who is it that will' bring us back [to life]?"-say thou: "He who has brought you into being in the first instance." And [if] thereupon they shake their heads at thee [in disbelief] and ask, "When shall this be?"-say thou: "It may well be soon,
Lit., "or any created matter which, in your hearts, appears yet more difficult" - i.e., even less susceptible of having or receiving life.
17:51 "Even if you turn into any kind of creation that you deem impossible." They will then say, "Who will bring us back?" Say, "The One who created you in the first place." They will then shake their heads and say, "When will that be?" Say, "It may be closer than you think.",
17:51 “Or fossilize into forms as far away from life as you can imagine, you shall be raised up.” Then they might say, “Who shall bring us back to life?” Tell them, “He Who initiated you in the first place.” They will then shake their heads and say, "When will that be?" Say, "It may be sooner than you think!"
17:52 Yawma yadAAookum fatastajeeboona bihamdihiwatathunnoona in labithtum illa qaleelan
17:52 The day He calls you and you respond by His grace, and you think that you only stayed a little while.
17:52 The Day He calls you and you respond by His grace, and you think that you only stayed a little while.
17:52 on a Day when He will call you, and you will answer by praising Him, thinking all the while that you have tarried [on earth] but a little while."59
Man's life on earth will appear to him "but as a little while" in comparison with the unlimited duration of the life in the hereafter (Tabari, Zamakhshari). A further implication is that man's concept of "time" is earthbound and, hence, has no meaning in the context of ultimate reality. The preceding reference to the erstwhile deniers of the possibility of resurrection as "answering God's call by praising Him" implies that as soon as they are resurrected they will become fully aware of His existence and almightiness.
17:52 The day He summons you, you will respond by praising Him, and you will then realize that you had lasted in this life but a short while.,
17:52 A Day when He will call you, you will be spellbound with His glory. Then you will think that you lived in this world only a short while.
17:53 Waqul liAAibadee yaqooloo allateehiya ahsanu inna alshshaytana yanzaghubaynahum inna alshshaytana kana lil-insaniAAaduwwan mubeenan
17:53 Say to My servants to speak what is best. The devil plants animosity between them. The devil was to the people a clear enemy.
17:53 And say to My servants to speak that which is best. The devil makes bitterness between them. The devil is to man a clear enemy.
17:53 AND TELL My servants that they should speak in the most kindly manner [unto those who do not share their beliefs]:60 verily, Satan is always ready to stir up discord between men61 - for, verily, Satan is man's open foe!
Lit., "Satan stirs up discord between them".
17:53 Tell My servants to treat each other in the best possible manner, for the devil will always try to drive a wedge among them. Surely, the devil is man's most ardent enemy.,
17:53 (They must do good works in this short lifespan, so) Tell My servants to speak to one another in a kind manner and treat one another nicely. Satan, their selfishness, creates discord among them. For, Satan is an open foe for humans.
17:54 Rabbukum aAAlamu bikum in yasha/ yarhamkumaw in yasha/ yuAAaththibkum wama arsalnakaAAalayhim wakeelan
17:54 Your Lord is fully aware of you, if He wishes He will have mercy on you, or if He wishes He will punish you. We have not sent you as a guardian over them.
17:54 Your Lord is fully aware of you, if He wishes He will have mercy on you, or if He wishes He will punish you. And We have not sent you as a guardian over them.
17:54 Your Sustainer is fully aware of what you are [and what you deserve]: if He so wills, he will bestow [His] grace upon you; and if He so wills, He will chastise you. Hence, We have not sent thee [unto men, O Prophet,] with the power to determine their fate,62
For my rendering of the term wakil, in this context, as "one who has the power to determine the fate [of another being]", see note 4 on verse 2 of this surah. An alternative, equally acceptable rendering of the above phrase would be, "We have not sent thee charged with responsibility for their conduct."
17:54 Your Lord knows you best. According to His knowledge, He may shower you with mercy, or He may requite you. We did not send you to be their advocate.,
17:54 Your Lord is best Aware of you (what you are, what you do and what you deserve). He will bestow His grace upon you or He will chastise you according to His laws. We have not sent you (O Prophet) as a warden over them.
17:55 Warabbuka aAAlamu biman fee alssamawatiwaal-ardi walaqad faddalna baAAdaalnnabiyyeena AAala baAAdin waataynadawooda zabooran
17:55 Your Lord is fully aware of who is in the heavens and the earth. We have preferred some prophets over others, and We gave David the Psalms.8
The Creator and Master of prophets and messengers has given each special qualities and skills. It is not up to us to put them in a competition that ultimately produces fancy lies and idols. See 2:285.
17:55 And your Lord is fully aware of who is in the heavens and the earth. And We have preferred some prophets over others, and We gave David the Psalms.
17:55 seeing that thy Sustainer is fully aware of [what is in the minds of] all beings that are in the heavens and on earth. But, indeed, We did endow some of the prophets more highly than others63 -just as We bestowed upon David a book of divine wisdom [in token of Our grace]64
This seems to be an allusion to the role of Muhammad as the Last Prophet (Zamakhshari, Baydawi): despite his personal inability to "determine the fate" of the people to whom he conveyed God's message, that message is destined to remain alive forever.
I.e., just as David's "book of divine wisdom" (the Psalms) had outlived the glory of his earthly kingdom, so will Muhammad's message, the Qur'an, outlive all the changing fortunes of his followers.
17:55 Your Lord is the best knower of everyone in the heavens and the earth. In accordance with this knowledge, we preferred some prophets over others. For example, we gave David the Psalms.,
17:55 And your Lord is best Aware of all beings who are in the highs and the lows. We caused some Prophets to excel the others. To David We gave a Book of wisdom16
17:56 Quli odAAu allatheena zaAAamtum mindoonihi fala yamlikoona kashfa alddurriAAankum wala tahweelan
17:56 Say, "Call on those you have claimed besides Him. For they have no power to remove harm from you or shift it."
17:56 Say: "Call on those you have claimed besides Him. For they have no power to remove harm from you or shift it."
17:56 SAY:65 "Call upon those [beings] whom you imagine [to be endowed with divine powers] beside Him66 and [you will find that] they have it not in their power to remove any affliction from you, or to shift it [elsewhere]. "67
Sc., "to those who believe in the existence of any divine power apart from God".
As the sequence shows, this relates to the worship of saints or angels.
I.e., to transfer it onto themselves: obviously an allusion to the Christian doctrine of "vicarious atonement".
17:56 Say, "Implore whatever idols you have set up beside Him." They have no power to relieve your afflictions, nor can they prevent them.,
17:56 (All these Prophets taught that there is only One True God.) Say, "Call unto those saints, angels, idols, whom you consider gods besides Him. They have no power to rid you of any troubles, nor can they divert them."
17:57 Ola-ika allatheena yadAAoonayabtaghoona ila rabbihimu alwaseelata ayyuhum aqrabuwayarjoona rahmatahu wayakhafoona AAathabahuinna AAathaba rabbika kana mahthooran
17:57 The ones they call on, they are themselves seeking a path to their Lord which is nearer, and they desire His mercy, and they fear His retribution. The retribution of your Lord is to be feared!
17:57 The ones you call on, they are themselves seeking a path to their Lord which is nearer, and they desire His mercy, and they fear His retribution. The retribution of your Lord is to be feared!
17:57 Those [saintly beings] whom they invoke are themselves striving to obtain their Sustainer's favour - [even] those among them who are closest [to Him]68 - hoping for His grace and dreading His chastisement: for, verily, thy Sustainer's chastisement is something to beware of!
I.e., the greatest of the prophets, as well as the angels.
17:57 Even the idols that they implore are seeking the ways and means towards their Lord. They pray for His mercy, and fear His retribution. Surely, the retribution of your Lord is dreadful.,
17:57 Even the believing sages whom they call upon, are themselves striving to obtain their Lord's favor and closeness. They hope for His grace, and fear His requital. Surely, your Lord’s requital is something to beware of!
17:58 Wa-in min qaryatin illa nahnumuhlikooha qabla yawmi alqiyamati aw muAAaththiboohaAAathaban shadeedan kana thalika fee alkitabimastooran
17:58 There is not a town before the day of Resurrection that We will not destroy it, or punish it a severe punishment. This has been written in the record.
17:58 And there is not a town before the Day of Resurrection that We will not destroy it, or punish it with a severe punishment. This has been written in the record.
17:58 And [bear in mind:] there is no community which We will not destroy before the Day of Resurrection,69 or chastise [even earlier, if it proves sinful,] with suffering severe: all this is laid down in Our decree.70
I.e., since everything in this world is ephemeral and bound to perish, man ought to be conscious of the life to come.
Lit., "in the decree" -i.e., for His creation. in accordance with the immutable laws which God has laid down
17:58 There is not a community that we will not annihilate before the Day of Resurrection, or inflict severe retribution upon them. This is already written down in the book.,
17:58 There is not a township but We will destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with dire punishment. This is well recorded in the Divine Database.
17:59 Wama manaAAana an nursila bial-ayatiilla an kaththaba biha al-awwaloona waataynathamooda alnnaqata mubsiratan fathalamoobiha wama nursilu bial-ayatiilla takhweefan
17:59 The rejection of previous people did not stop Us from sending the signs. We sent to Thamud the camel with foresight, but they did her wrong. We do not send the signs except to alert.9
Traditional translations render the meaning of "Ma" as a relative pronoun rather than a negative particle, "What stopped us from sending…." The traditional translation implies that God initially sent signs/miracles to convert people and had an intention to send more signs but He is now disappointed to learn that His signs did not work as expected. Such an implication contradicts the attributes of God detailed in the Quran. Besides, we are repeatedly reminded that the purpose of sending signs/miracles has never been to make people acknowledge the message, but to support the open-minded people in their rational inquiries. The traditional translation also contradicts other verses of the Quran that remind us that messengers were supported by signs/miracles. Muhammed was not given a sign similar to previous messengers, but was rather given a unique sign, the Quran, a perpetual sign for every generation until the end of the world. See 29:51. Also, see 7:73; 26:155; 54:27; 91:13.
17:59 And what stopped Us from sending the signs except that the previous people disbelieved in them. And We sent to Thamud the camel with foresight, but they did her wrong. And We do not send the signs except to make them fearful.
17:59 And nothing has prevented Us from sending [this message, like the earlier ones,] with miraculous signs [in its wake], save [Our knowledge] that the people of olden times [only too often] gave the lie to them:71 thus, We provided for [the tribe of] Thamud the she-camel as a light-giving portent, and they sinned against it.72 And never did We send those signs for any other purpose than to convey a warning.
This highly elliptic sentence has a fundamental bearing on the purport of the Qur'an as a whole. In many places the Qur'an stresses the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, despite his being the last and greatest of God's apostles, was not empowered to perform miracles similar to those with which the earlier prophets are said to have reinforced their verbal messages. His only miracle was and is the Qur'an itself - a message perfect in its lucidity and ethical comprehensiveness, destined for all times and all stages of human development, addressed not merely to the feelings but also to the minds of men, open to everyone, whatever his race or social environment, and bound to remain unchanged forever. Since the earlier prophets invariably appealed to their own community and their own time alone, their teachings were, of necessity, circumscribed by the social and intellectual conditions of that particular community and time; and since the people to whom they addressed themselves had not yet reached the stage of independent thinking, those prophets stood in need of symbolic portents or miracles (see surah 6, note 94) in order to make the people concerned realize the inner truth of their mission. The message of the Qur'an, on the other hand, was revealed at a time when mankind (and, in particular, that part of it which inhabited the regions marked by the earlier, Judaeo-Christian religious development) had reached a degree of maturity which henceforth enabled it to grasp an ideology as such without the aid of those persuasive portents and miraculous demonstrations which in the past, as the above verse points out, only too often gave rise to new, grave misconceptions.
Old Kind of Miracles Made Obsolete17:59 What stopped us from sending the miracles is that the previous generations have rejected them. For example, we showed Thamoud the camel, a profound (miracle), but they transgressed against it. We sent the miracles only to instill reverence.,
17:59 (They keep asking for visible signs for fulfillment of the warnings of the oncoming disaster, such as the sign of the she-camel of Thamud.) Nothing has changed Our plan to send down this revelation, even though the previous generations have often denied Our verses. (For example) We sent the she-camel to Thamud, a visible sign of their compliance. But they did wrong to her. We send messages that they fear (the consequences of their misdeeds and establish the right System in their societies).17
17:60 Wa-ith qulna laka inna rabbakaahata bialnnasi wama jaAAalnaalrru/ya allatee araynaka illafitnatan lilnnasi waalshshajarataalmalAAoonata fee alqur-ani wanukhawwifuhum famayazeeduhum illa tughyanan kabeeran
17:60 We had said to you: "Your Lord has encompassed the people." We did not make the vision that We showed you except as a test for the people, and the tree that was cursed in the Quran. We alert them, but it only increases their transgression.10
This might be a reference to Muhammed's journey to receive revelation (17:1 and 53:1). The diabolically poisonous tree, zaqqum, grows inside hell (37:62) and we are informed that it will confuse and expose the hypocrites as unappreciative people since they cannot understand that the hellfire is a metaphor. With their shallow literal understanding, they solidify their dogmatic fanaticism by scoffing at the Quran, "How can a tree grow in the middle of fire?" God uses examples with multiple purposes, thereby guiding those who are appreciative and misleading those who have already made their minds and chosen the wrong path (2:26; 3:7; 17:82; 74:31). No wonder, the Quran is a mercy and reminder for those who wish to take heed (6:157; 7:203; 12:111; 17:82; 29:51; 31:3; 45:20).
17:60 And when We said to you: "Your Lord has encompassed the people." And We did not make the vision that We showed you except as a test for the people, and the tree that was cursed in the Qur'an. And We are making them fearful, but it only increases their transgression.
17:60 And lo! We said unto thee, [O Prophet:] "Behold, thy Sustainer encompasses all mankind [within His knowledge and might]: and so We have ordained that the vision which We have shown thee73 -as also the tree [of hell,] cursed in this Qur'an - shall be but a trial for men .74 Now [by Our mentioning hell] We convey a warning to them: but [if they are bent on denying the truth,] this [warning] only increases their gross, overweening arrogance."
The vision (ru'ya) mentioned here is the Prophet's experience of the Ascension, preceded by the Night Journey (see Appendix IV). Inasmuch as this experience was and is open to most conflicting interpretations and, hence, may give rise to doubts regarding its objective reality, it becomes-as stated in the sequence-"a trial for men": the weak of faith and the superficial are shaken in their belief in Muhammad's veracity and, thus, in his prophethood; whereas those who firmly believe in God see in it an extraordinary evidence of the spiritual grace which He bestows on His chosen ones, and are, therefore, strengthened in their faith in the message of the Qur'an.
As regards "the tree cursed in this Qur'an", there is no doubt that it is the "tree of deadly fruit" (shajarat az-zaqqum) spoken of in 37:62 ff. and 44:43 ff. as one of the manifestations of hell (see 37:62 and the corresponding notes 22 and 23, the latter of which explains why this "tree" has become "a trial for men"). In the above context it is described as "cursed" because it obviously symbolizes hell itself. The reason why only "hell"-and no other manifestation of the hereafter-is specifically alluded to here becomes evident in the subsequent statement that it is meant to convey a warning.
17:60 We informed you that your Lord fully controls the people, and we rendered the vision that we showed you a test for the people, and the tree that is accursed in the Quran. We showed them solid proofs to instill reverence in them, but this only augmented their defiance.,4
17:60 We said to you (O Prophet), “Your Lord encompasses all mankind, so We have given you the vision (of mankind’s unity)." Those who hinder this Plan will end up eating the bitter, pungent Tree of Division that is mentioned in the Qur’an. This vision and the Tree of Division shall be a test for them. Now We have conveyed a warning to them, yet, for a time it shall increase them in gross rebellion.18
17:61 Wa-ith qulna lilmala-ikatiosjudoo li-adama fasajadoo illa ibleesa qalaaasjudu liman khalaqta teenan
17:61 We said to the controllers: "Fall prostrate to Adam." So they fell prostrate except for Satan, he said, "Shall I prostrate to one you have created from clay!"
17:61 And We said to the angels: "Yield to Adam." So they yielded except for Satan, he said: "Shall I yield to one you have created from clay!"
17:61 AND LO! We said unto the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam"-whereupon they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis.75 Said he: "Shall I prostrate myself before one whom Thou hast created out of clay?"
For an explanation of the allegory of Adam and the angels, see 2:30, 7:11 and 15:26, as well as the corresponding notes. In the present instance, as in Al-A'raf and Al-Hijr, the accent is on the contempt of Iblis for Adam (which is obviously a metonym for the whole human race): hence, this passage apparently connects with the end of verse 53 above-"verily, Satan is man's open foe!" The stress on man's dignity - expressed in God's commandment to the angels to "prostrate themselves before Adam" - links this allegory with verses 70-72.
17:61 When we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam," they fell prostrate, except Satan. He said, "Shall I prostrate to one You created from mud?",
17:61 (Refresh the story of your common origin and the challenge facing humanity since day one.) We made angels, the Divine laws in the Universe, subservient to Adam, the mankind. It was Iblees, their despondence after fulfilling their selfish desires, that refused to submit. He said, "Shall I bow to one whom You have created from inorganic matter (and thus charged him with material temptations)?” [2:30-39, 7:11-14, 15:27-41]
17:62 Qala araaytaka hatha allatheekarramta AAalayya la-in akhkhartani ila yawmi alqiyamatilaahtanikanna thurriyyatahu illa qaleelan
17:62 He said, "Shall I show You this one whom You have preferred over me, that if You respite me until the day of Resurrection, I will destroy his progeny, except for a few."
17:62 He said: "Shall I show You this one whom You have preferred over me, that if You respite me until the Day of Resurrection, I will seize his progeny, except for a few."
17:62 [And] he added: "Tell me, is this [foolish being] the one whom Thou hast exalted above me? Indeed, if Thou wilt but allow me a respite till the Day of Resurrection, I shall most certainly cause his descendants-all but a few-to obey me blindly !76
Cf. 7:16. The verb hanaka denotes, literally, "he put a rope around the lower jaw (hanak) [of a horse]", i.e., in order to lead it; hence, the form ihtanaka means "he made [another being] follow him submissively" or "obey him blindly".
17:62 He said, "Since You have honored him over me, if You respite me till the Day of Resurrection, I will possess all his descendants, except a few.",
17:62 He said, “Since You have honored him above me, grant me respite until the Day of Resurrection, and I will put reins through the noses of his children and pull them wherever I please. Only a few will withstand my temptation."
17:63 Qala ithhab faman tabiAAakaminhum fa-inna jahannama jazaokum jazaan mawfooran
17:63 He said, "Go, and whoever follows you from them. Hell shall be the reward to you all, a reward well deserved."
17:63 He said: "Go, and whoever follows you from them. Hell shall be the reward to you all, a reward well deserved."
17:63 [God] answered: "Go [the way thou hast chosen]! But as for such of them as shall follow thee - behold, hell will be the recompense of you (all], a recompense most ample!
17:63 He said, "Then go; you and those who follow you will end up in Hell as your requital; an equitable requital.,
17:63 God said, "Go! But whoever of them follows you, Hell will be the reward for all of you, an ample recompense."
17:64 Waistafziz mani istataAAtaminhum bisawtika waajlib AAalayhim bikhaylika warajlikawasharik-hum fee al-amwali waal-awladiwaAAidhum wama yaAAiduhumu alshshaytanu illaghurooran
17:64 "Mobilize whoever you can with your voice, and mobilize all your forces and men against them, and you may share their money and children, and promise them." But the devil promises nothing but deceit.
17:64 "And entice whoever you can of them with your voice, and mobilize all your forces and men against them, and you may share with them in their money and children, and promise them." But the devil promises nothing but deceit.
17:64 Entice, then, with thy voice such of them as thou canst, and bear upon them with all thy horses and all thy men,77 and be their partner in [all sins relating to] worldly goods and children,78 and hold out [all manner of] promises to them: and [they will not know that] whatever Satan promises them is but meant to delude the mind.79
This is an idiomatically established metaphor, signifying "with all thy might".
An allusion to possessions acquired by sinful means or spent on sinful purposes, and to the begetting of children through fornication or adultery. (It must, however, be pointed out that in the ethics and the canon law of Islam no moral stigma and no legal disability whatever attaches to the child thus begotten.)
Cf. 4:120 and the corresponding note 142.
17:64 "You may entice them with your voice, and mobilize all your forces and all your men against them, and share in their money and children, and promise them. Anything the devil promises is no more than an illusion.,
17:64 "Tempt and allure them with your voice such of them as you can (through the media and show biz, and propaganda against the truth). You may prompt them into armed conflicts, and entice them with monetary help, business partnerships and ready loans. You may misguide the children with detrimental educational programs, and counter-productive recreation. And hold out promises to them.” Whatever Satan promises them, is meant to deceive their mind.
17:65 Inna AAibadee laysa laka AAalayhimsultanun wakafa birabbika wakeelan
17:65 "As for My servants, you will have no power over them." Your Lord suffices as a Caretaker.11
The most efficient weapon against Perverse is la ilaha illa allah, that there is no god but the one God. See 15:40.
17:65 "As for My servants, you will have no power over them." And your Lord is enough as a Caretaker.
17:65 "(And yet,] behold, thou shalt have no power over [such of] My servants [as place their trust in Me]:80 for none is as worthy of trust as thy Sustainer."
17:65 "As for My servants, you have no power over them." Your Lord suffices as an advocate.,
17:65 “Indeed, you shall have no power over My faithful servants. And your Lord suffices as their Guardian." [15:40-42]
17:66 Rabbukumu allathee yuzjee lakumualfulka fee albahri litabtaghoo min fadlihi innahukana bikum raheeman
17:66 Your Lord is the One Who drives the ships for you in the sea so that you may seek of His bounty. He is Compassionate towards you.12
Water, with its unique chemical and physical properties, is crucial for life. For instance, the maximum density of water being at +4 Celsius degrees, in other words, its expansion in solid form, prevents oceans from freezing from the bottom up. Thus, oceans, with their diverse organisms, function as giant livers cleaning the air in the atmosphere.
17:66 Your Lord is the One Who drives the ships for you in the sea so that you may seek of His bounty. He is Merciful towards you.
17:66 YOUR SUSTAINER is He who causes ships to move onward for you through the sea, so that you might go about in quest of some of His bounty: verily, a dispenser of grace is He unto you.
17:66 Your Lord is the One who causes the ships to float on the ocean, that you may seek His bounties. He is Most Merciful towards you.,5
We now learn from physics and physical chemistry that water possesses unique qualities that render it perfectly suitable for serving our variousneeds.
17:66 (O Mankind, be mindful of your Lord to ward off Satan.) Your Lord is He Who causes the ships to move on for you through the sea that you may seek of His bounty. Surely, He is Most Gracious towards you.
17:67 Wa-itha massakumu alddurrufee albahri dalla man tadAAoona illa iyyahufalamma najjakum ila albarri aAAradtumwakana al-insanu kafooran
17:67 When harm should afflict you at sea, then all those whom you called on besides Him suddenly vanish from you except for Him. So when He saves you to dry land, you turn away. The people are ever ungrateful.
17:67 And if harm should afflict you at sea, then all those whom you called on besides Him suddenly vanish from you except for Him. So when He saves you to dry land, you turn away. Man is ever rejecting.
17:67 And whenever danger befalls you at sea, all those (powers] that you are wont to invoke forsake you, [and nothing remains for you] save Him: but as soon as He has brought you safe ashore, you turn aside [and forget Him]-for, indeed, bereft of all gratitude is man!
Bad Weather Friends17:67 If you are afflicted in the middle of the sea, you forget your idols and sincerely implore Him alone. But as soon as He saves you to the shore, you revert. Indeed, the human being is unappreciative.,
17:67 (His laws are changeless and, therefore, trustworthy.) When harm touches you on the sea, those you call upon besides Him, fail you miserably. (You try to save the ship according to Divine laws and forget superstitions.) But when He brings you safely ashore, you turn away and forget Him. Most ungrateful is the human being.
17:68 Afaamintum an yakhsifa bikum janibaalbarri aw yursila AAalaykum hasiban thumma latajidoo lakum wakeelan
17:68 Are you confident that He will not cause this side of the land to swallow you up, or that He would not send a violent storm against you? Then you will find no caretaker for yourselves.
17:68 Are you confident that He will not cause this side of the land to swallow you up, or that He would not send a violent storm against you? Then you will find no caretaker for yourselves.
17:68 Can you, then, ever feel sure that He will not cause a tract of dry land to swallow you up, or let loose upon you a deadly storm-wind,81 whereupon you would find none to be your protector?
Lit., "a storm-wind that raises stones" (Taj al-'Arus, art. hasaba).
17:68 Have you guaranteed that He will not cause the land, on shore, to swallow you? Or, that He will not send upon you a tempest, then you find no protector?,
17:68 (You forget that His laws apply to land as they do in the entire Universe). Can you then, ever feel sure that He will not cause the dry land to engulf you, or let loose upon you a deadly storm, whereupon you find none to be your protector?
17:69 Am amintum an yuAAeedakum feehi taratanokhra fayursila AAalaykum qasifan mina alrreehifayughriqakum bima kafartum thumma la tajidoo lakumAAalayna bihi tabeeAAan
17:69 Or are you confident that He would not send you back again in it, then He would send against you a violent wind and cause you to drown for your rejection? Then you will not find a pursuer against Us.
17:69 Or are you confident that He would not send you back again in it, then He would send against you a violent wind and cause you to drown for your rejection? Then you will not find a second chance with Us.
17:69 Or can you, perchance, feel sure that He will not make you put back to sea82 once again, and then let loose upon you a raging tempest and cause you to drown in requital of your ingratitude - whereupon you would find none to uphold you against Us?
17:69 Have you guaranteed that He will not return you to the sea another time, then send upon you a storm that drowns you because of your disbelief? Once this happens, we will not give you another chance.,
17:69 Or can you feel sure that He will not return you to that plight a second time, and then let loose upon you a raging tempest and cause you to drown in requital for your ingratitude? And then, you will find none to help you against Us.19
Life is too short and too unpredictable to postpone for tomorrow the good you can do today
17:70 Walaqad karramna banee adamawahamalnahum fee albarri waalbahriwarazaqnahum mina alttayyibati wafaddalnahumAAala katheerin mimman khalaqna tafdeelan
17:70 We have honored the Children of Adam and carried them in the land and the sea, and We have provided for them of the good things, and We have preferred them over many of those We created.
17:70 And We have honored the Children of Adam and carried them in the land and the sea, and We have provided for them of the good things, and We have preferred them over many of those We created in a marked preference.
17:70 NOW, INDEED, We have conferred dignity on the children of Adam,83 and borne them over land and sea, and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life, and favoured them far above most of Our creation:
I.e., by bestowing upon them the faculty of conceptual thinking (cf. 2:31 and the corresponding note 23), which makes them superior in this respect to all other animate beings, and even to the angels. By stressing here this unique distinction of man, the present passage connects with, and continues the theme of, verse 61 above.
17:70 We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.,
17:70 Surely, We have conferred dignity on children of Adam (as a birth right, regardless of where the child is born), and provided them with transport on land and sea and given them decent things of life. We have favored them over very many of those whom We have created.
17:71 Yawma nadAAoo kulla onasin bi-imamihimfaman ootiya kitabahu biyameenihi faola-ikayaqraoona kitabahum wala yuthlamoonafateelan
17:71 The day We call every people by their record. Then, whoever are given their book by their right, they will read their book, and they will not be wronged in the least.
17:71 The Day We call every people by their beacon. Then, whoever are given their book by their right, they will read their book, and they will not be wronged in the least.
17:71 [but] one Day We shall summon all human beings [and judge them] according to the conscious disposition which governed their deeds [in life]:84 whereupon they whose record shall be placed in their right hand85 -it is they who will read their record [with happiness]. Yet none shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth:86
Thus Razi interprets the phrase nad'u kulla unasin bi-imamihim (lit., "We shall summon all human beings by [mentioning] their leaders" or "guides"). In his opinion, the expression imam (lit., "leader" or "guide") has in this context an abstract connotation, signifying the conscious disposition, good or bad, which governs a person's behaviour and provides the motives for his deeds. This interpretation is most convincing, and particularly so in view of the fundamental hadith quoted in my note 32 on 53:39.
A symbolic image, often used in the Qur'an, denoting an acknowledgement of righteousness in the spiritual sense, just as the "left hand" indicates its opposite (cf. 69:19 and 25, as well as 7:84
This last clause obviously applies to both the righteous rendering of fatil, see surah 4, note 67.)
17:71 The day will come when we summon every people, together with their record. As for those who are given a record of righteousness, they will read their record and will not suffer the least injustice.,
17:71 But one Day We shall summon all human beings with their records. One who is given his record in the right hand will read it in jubilation. This will be a symbol of success for them, and they will receive their rewards without the least reduction.
17:72 Waman kana fee hathihi aAAmafahuwa fee al-akhirati aAAma waadallu sabeelan
17:72 Whoever is blind in this, then he will be blind in the Hereafter and more astray from the path.
17:72 And whoever is blind in this, then he will be blind in the Hereafter and more astray from the path.
17:72 for whoever is blind [of heart] in this [world] will be blind in the life to come [as well], and still farther astray from the path [of truth].87
Cf. 20:124. This passage shows that man's life in the hereafter is not merely conditioned by the manner of his life on earth, but is also an organic extension of the latter, manifested in a natural development and intensification of previously-existing tendencies.
17:72 As for those who are blind in this life, they will be blind in the Hereafter; even a lot worse.,
17:72 Whoever is blind of heart here will be blind in the Hereafter as well, and yet further astray (from grace).20
Individuals and nations that are blind of reason live in misery in this world, and no amount of wishful thinking will take them to success
17:73 Wa-in kadoo layaftinoonaka AAani allatheeawhayna ilayka litaftariya AAalayna ghayrahuwa-ithan laittakhathooka khaleelan
Even Muhammed Was Tempted to Follow Other than the Quran17:73 They nearly diverted you from what We inspired to you so that you would fabricate something different against Us, and then they would have taken you as a friend!
17:73 And they nearly diverted you from what We inspired to you so that you would fabricate something different against Us, and then they would have taken you as a friend!
17:73 AND,. behold, they [who have gone astray] endeavour to tempt thee away from all [the truth] with which We have inspired thee, [O Prophet,] with a view to making thee invent something else in Our name - in which case they would surely have made thee their friend!88
This relates to an offer of "compromise" made by the pagan Quraysh: they demanded of the Prophet that he give some sort of recognition to their tribal deities and attribute this recognition to God; in return, they promised to recognize him as a prophet and to make him their leader. Naturally, the Prophet rejected this offer.
God Strengthens the Messenger17:73 They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend.,
17:73 They endeavor to tempt you away from what We reveal to you, to substitute in Our Name something quite different. In that case, they would have certainly made you their friend.21
They want the Prophet to make compromises in return for accepting him as the King of Arabia – compromises like authorizing the worship of their false deities as well and taking back human equality. 17:46
17:74 Walawla an thabbatnaka laqadkidta tarkanu ilayhim shay-an qaleelan
17:74 If We had not made you stand firm, you were about to lean towards them a little bit.
17:74 And if We had not made you stand firm, you were about to lean towards them a little bit.
17:74 And 'had We not made thee firm [in faith], thou might have inclined to them a. little89
The implication is that the Prophet's deep faith made it impossible for him to consider anything of this kind.
17:74 If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit.,
17:74 Their pressure was so intense that, without firm conviction that brings Our support, you might have inclined toward them a little. [10:15, 11:113, 68:9]
17:75 Ithan laathaqnaka diAAfaalhayati wadiAAfa almamati thumma latajidu laka AAalayna naseeran
17:75 Then, We would have made you taste double the retribution in this life and double the retribution in death. Then you would not find for yourself any victor against Us.
17:75 Then, We would have made you taste double the retribution in this life and double the retribution in death. And then you would not find for yourself any victor against Us.
17:75 in which case We would indeed have made thee taste double [chastisement] in life and double [chastisement] after death,90 and thou wouldst have found none to succour thee against Us!
I.e., "for having gone astray despite the revelation bestowed on thee by God, and for having, by thy example, led thy followers astray as well". The purport of the above passage goes, however, beyond the historical event or events to which it relates: it expresses the idea that any conscious offence against a fundamental truth is an unforgivable sin.
17:75 Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us.,
17:75 Had you inclined toward them, We would have doubled the retribution for you in this life and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against Us (Our Law of Requital).
17:76 Wa-in kadoo layastafizzoonaka minaal-ardi liyukhrijooka minha wa-ithan layalbathoona khilafaka illa qaleelan
17:76 They nearly enticed you to drive you out of the land. But in that case, they would have shortly been destroyed after you were gone.13
Indeed, soon after being forced to emigrate to Yathrib, Muhammed and his followers would return to their hometown Mecca, in peace, without bloodshed.
17:76 And they nearly intimidated you so they could drive you out of the land. But then they would have been destroyed shortly after you were gone.
17:76 And [since they see that they cannot persuade thee,] they endeavour to estrange thee from the land [of thy birth]91 with a view to driving thee away from ,it-but, then, after thou wilt have left,92 they themselves will not remain [in it] for more than a little while:93
It must be borne in mind that this is a Meccan surah, revealed at a time when the persecution, both physical and moral, which the Prophet and his followers had to suffer at the hands of the pagan Quraysh reached the peak of its intensity.
Lit., "after thee".
This prophecy was fulfilled a little over two years later, in the month of Ramadan, 2 H., when those same leaders of the Quraysh were killed in the battle of Badr.
17:76 They almost banished you from the land to get rid of you, so they could revert as soon as you left.,
17:76 Since they saw that they could not persuade you, they wished to drive you out (of Madinah as well). If they had done that, (they would have lost the stabilizing force of your presence and), they would have annihilated one another in a short while.
17:77 Sunnata man qad arsalna qablaka minrusulina wala tajidu lisunnatina tahweelan
17:77 This has been the way for Our messengers We sent before you. You will not find any change in Our way.
17:77 Such was the way of those whom We had sent before you of Our messengers. And you will not find any change in Our way.
17:77 [such has been Our] way with all of Our apostles whom We sent before thy time;94 and no change wilt thou find in Our ways.
I.e., the people who drove them away were invariably punished with destruction.
17:77 This has been consistently the case with all the messengers that we sent before you, and you will find that our system never changes.,
17:77 Such has always been Our law with all of Our Messengers We sent before you. (Nations that drove them out suffered dire consequences.) You will never find a change in Our laws. [6:34, 6:115, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23]
17:78 Aqimi alssalatalidulooki alshshamsi ila ghasaqi allayli waqur-anaalfajri inna qur-ana alfajri kana mashhoodan
17:78 You shall hold the contact prayer at the setting of the sun, until the darkness of the night; and the Quran at dawn. The Quran at dawn has been witnessed.14
17:78 Hold the contact prayer till the setting of the sun; to the murkiness of the night; and the Qur'an at dawn - the Qur'an at dawn is witnessed.
17:78 BE CONSTANT in [thy] prayer from the time when the sun has passed its zenith till the darkness of night, and [be ever mindful of its] recitation at dawn:95 for, behold, the recitation [of prayer] at dawn is indeed witnessed [by all that is holy].96
As is evidenced by the practice (sunnah) of the Prophet, this verse fully circumscribes the five daily prayers laid down in Islam as obligatory for every adult man and woman: at dawn (fajr), shortly after the sun passes its zenith (zuhr), in the middle of the afternoon (`asr), immediately after sunset (maghrib), and after the night has fully set in (`isha'). Although parts of the Qur'an should be recited in every prayer, the early morning prayer is metonymically singled out as the "recitation (Qur'an) at dawn" because the Prophet, under divine inspiration, used to lengthen his recitation while praying at that time, thus stressing the special significance of this particular prayer. (See next note.)
Most of the classical commentators take this to mean "witnessed by the angels of night as well as those of day", since dawn is the time between night and day. Razi, however, is of the opinion that the "witness" to which the Qur'an refers here is the spark of God-given illumination in man's own soul-the heightening of his inner perception at the time when the darkness and stillness of night begins to give way to the life-giving light of day, so that prayer becomes a means of attaining to deeper insight into the realm of spiritual truths and, thus, of achieving communion with all that is holy.
The Noon Prayer17:78 You shall observe the Contact Prayer (Salat) when the sun declines from its highest point at noon, as it moves towards sunset. You shall also observe (the recitation of) the Quran at dawn. (Reciting) the Quran at dawn is witnessed.,
17:78 You shall commit yourself to reflect on the Divine Commands before sunrise and then carry on with your program until the darkness of night prevails. The Qur’an springs forth the light for you to brighten your way. The Dawn ushered in by the Qur’an will be self-evident to all. Its likeness is the dawn that brings light after a dark night. [42:38]
17:79 Wamina allayli fatahajjad bihi nafilatanlaka AAasa an yabAAathaka rabbuka maqaman mahmoodan
17:79 From the night you shall reflect upon it additionally for yourself, perhaps your Lord would grant you to a high rank.
17:79 And from the night, as an addition, you shall reflect upon it for yourself, perhaps your Lord would grant you a station that is praiseworthy.
17:79 And rise from thy sleep and pray during part of the night [as well], as a free offering from thee,97 and thy Sustainer may well raise thee to a glorious station [in the life to come].
Lit., "as a deed beyond that which is incumbent on thee" (nafilatan laka)-i.e., in addition to the five obligatory prayers. Hence, the above is not an injunction but a recommendation, although the Prophet himself invariably spent the greater part of the night in prayer.
Meditation17:79 During the night, you shall meditate for extra credit, that your Lord may raise you to an honorable rank.,
17:79 (As head of the state, you shall commit yourself to extra endeavor.) You shall even contemplate and work part of the night, from sunset to the darkness of night. (And your companions shall join you in this endeavor as needed 73:2-3). Soon, your Lord will raise you to a highly honored, praiseworthy station.22
Maqaam-am-Mahmooda = Praiseworthy station that will be obvious to the friend and foe alike
17:80 Waqul rabbi adkhilnee mudkhala sidqinwaakhrijnee mukhraja sidqin waijAAal lee minladunka sultanan naseeran
17:80 Say, "My Lord, admit me an entrance of truth and let me exit an exit of truth, and grant me from Yourself a victorious authority."
17:80 And say: "My Lord, admit me an entrance of truth and let me exit an exit of truth, and grant me from Yourself a support to victory."
17:80 And say [in thy prayer]: "O my Sustainer! Cause me to enter [upon whatever I may do] in a manner .true and sincere, and cause me to leave [it] in a manner true and sincere, and grant me, out of Thy grace, sustaining strength!"
17:80 And say, "My Lord, admit me an honorable admittance, and let me depart an honorable departure, and grant me from You a powerful support.",
17:80 Say, “My Lord! Admit me in honor and let me depart in honor at every juncture of my life, and help me with strong support.”
17:81 Waqul jaa alhaqqu wazahaqa albatiluinna albatila kana zahooqan
17:81 Say, "The truth has come and falsehood has perished. Falsehood is always bound to perish!"
17:81 And say: "The truth has come and falsehood has perished. Falsehood is always bound to perish!"
17:81 And say: "The truth has now come [to light], and falsehood has withered away: for, behold, all falsehood is bound to wither away!"
17:81 Proclaim, "The truth has prevailed, and falsehood has vanished; falsehood will inevitably vanish.",
17:81 (Time has come for you to) say, "The truth has come to light, and falsehood has withered away. For, falsehood is bound to wither away."
17:82 Wanunazzilu mina alqur-ani mahuwa shifaon warahmatun lilmu/mineena walayazeedu alththalimeena illakhasaran
The Same Book, Yet Two Different Effects17:82 We send down from the Quran what is a healing and mercy to those who acknowledge. It only increases the wicked in their loss.15
The meaning of this verse has been distorted by clerics so that they could write, package, and sell verses of the Quran as amulets, drugs, aspirin, or band-aids. The placebo effect was enough to keep the market, and Muslim masses started considering the ink and paper where the Quran written as totems. The Quran is not a drug, but a prescription for universal salvation and eternal happiness, including this world. See 10:57.
17:82 And We send down from the Qur'an what is a healing and mercy to the believers. And it only increases the wicked in their loss.
17:82 THUS, step by step, We bestow from on high through this Qur'an all that gives health [to the spirit] and is a grace unto those who believe [in Us], the while it only adds to the ruin of evildoers:98
By "evildoers" are meant people who, out of self-conceit or an excessive "love of this world"; reject out of hand any suggestion of divine guidance-and, with it, any belief in the existence of absolute moral values -and in the end, as the sequence shows, fall prey to spiritual nihilism.
Healing and Mercy17:82 We send down in the Quran healing and mercy for the believers. At the same time, it only increases the wickedness of the transgressors.,
17:82 Thus, step by step, We have sent down in the Qur’an the cure of all ills of humanity. It is a nourishment of grace for those who accept it. At the same time, it is a harbinger of loss for those who displace the Book from its rightful place of authority.23
The Qur’an is also a harbinger of loss for oppressors since it liberates the oppressed from their grasp. Zulm = To displace something from its rightful place = Oppression = Violation of human rights. Rahmah = Nourishment of grace just as the womb nourishes the embryo without returns
17:83 Wa-itha anAAamna AAalaal-insani aAArada wanaa bijanibihiwa-itha massahu alshsharru kana yaoosan
17:83 When We bless the human being, he turns away and turns his side. But when adversity touches him, he is ever in despair!
17:83 And if We bless man, he turns away and turns his side. But when adversity touches him, he is despairing!
17:83 for [it often happens that] when We bestow Our blessings upon man, he turns away and arrogantly keeps aloof [from any thought of Us]; and when evil fortune touches him, he abandons all hope.99
Cf. 11:9 and the corresponding notes.
17:83 When we bless the human being, he becomes preoccupied and heedless. But when adversity strikes him, he turns despondent.,
17:83 People without higher objectives easily exult and turn away when Our laws make life pleasant for them. And they quickly despair when a hardship touches them. [41:51]
17:84 Qul kullun yaAAmalu AAala shakilatihifarabbukum aAAlamu biman huwa ahda sabeelan
17:84 Say, "Let each work according to his own. Your Lord is fully aware of who is best guided to the path."
17:84 Say: "Let each work according to his own. Your Lord is fully aware of who is best guided to the path."
17:84 Say: "Everyone acts in a manner peculiar to himself -and your Sustainer is fully aware as to who has chosen the best path."100
Lit., "as to who is best guided on a path".
17:84 Say, "Everyone works in accordance with his belief, and your Lord knows best which ones are guided in the right path.",
17:84 Say, "Everyone acts in a manner peculiar to himself. (Human beings tend to make their own rules of conduct), but your Lord is best Aware as to who has chosen the best path.
17:85 Wayas-aloonaka AAani alrroohiquli alrroohu min amri rabbee wama ooteetummina alAAilmi illa qaleelan
17:85 They ask you concerning the Spirit. Say, "The Spirit is from the command of my Lord, and the knowledge you were given was but very little."16
Influenced by the Christian scholars who were influenced by Greek mythology, the word ruh is commonly mistranslated as "soul." In the Quranic terminology, ruh means divine information and commandments. The thing that disconnects from our body or quits functioning during sleep or death is not ruh but nafs, that is, personality and consciousness (39:42). The Quran refers to the controller that delivers the divine revelation as Jibreel or Ruh-ul Quds, meaning "Holy Revelation" or "Holy Spirit" (6:102). God endowed the human species with a program called consciousness and personality via a special revelation (15:29; 38:72; 33:9). We can reform or restore our innate program if it is infected by viruses of ignorance, indulgence in sins, or self-inflicted abuses, by re-installing the program called ruh. The ruh in revelation revives those who have lost the function of the ruh in their genetic makeup (6:122; 8:24). See 15:29.
Charlatan psychics or so-called mediums cannot bring the nafs (person) that is uploaded to God's master record, back to the world. Communication with the person of the dead is a third-rate fraud and it haunts the gullible who take the pretender serious.
Is it possible to record or transfer the unique neural connections and memories recorded in a brain throughout its life into another organic or inorganic medium, such as a computer disk? In other words, can we one day isolate the information recorded in the brain in terms of a holographic network of connections from its biological material and then transfer, preserve and duplicate it as data? Considering the speed of technological advances, this possibility might even become a probability. The atheists who scoff at God's promise of resurrection by asking, "How can rotten bones be revived?" might learn this lesson in their labs: that with the biological death everything is not lost, and humans and everything in the universe are no more than "bundles of information," and information is not dependent on a particular organic medium; its transferable and theoretically eternal. However, looking at history, it is a safe bet that instead of regretting their bigotry, and acknowledging their Lord who declared this fact millennia ago, they will continue their opposition, doubts, and arrogant attitudes. Of course, this self-deception will end one day (10:24). See 15:29.
17:85 And they ask you concerning the Spirit. Say: "The Spirit is from the authority of my Lord; and the knowledge you were given was but very little."
17:85 AND THEY will ask thee about [the nature of] divine inspiration.101 Say: "This inspiration [comes] at my Sustainer's behest; and [you cannot understand its nature, O men, since] you have been granted very little of [real] knowledge."
For this interpretation of the term ruh, see surah 16, note 2. Some commentators are of the opinion that it refers here, specifically, to the revelation of the Qur'an; others understand by it the "soul", in particular the soul of man. This latter interpretation is, however, unconvincing inasmuch as the preceding as well as the subsequent verses relate explicitly to the Qur'an and, hence, to the phenomenon of divine revelation.
Divine Revelation: The Source of All Knowledge17:85 They ask you about the revelation. Say, "The revelation comes from my Lord. The knowledge given to you is minute.",
17:85 (O Messenger) they ask you about the ROOH (Revelation). Say, "The Revelation is from my Lord's World of Command of which you have been given little knowledge.”24
'Rooh' = Divine Energy from which free will has been given to humans = ‘Wahi’ = Revelation to Messengers = ‘Spirit’ = 'Soul' = Angel of Revelation. ‘Spirit’ and ‘Soul’ are popular but non-Qur’anic terms. 'Nafs' meaning Self in the Qur’an comes closest to these two terms. The Qur’an does not mention the presence of ‘rooh’, spirit or soul in humans. We consist of a physical body, mind and NAFS ‘Self’.
17:86 Wala-in shi/na lanathhabannabiallathee awhayna ilayka thumma latajidu laka bihi AAalayna wakeelan
17:86 If We wished, We would take away what We have inspired to you. Then you would not find for yourself with it against Us a caretaker.
17:86 And if We wished, We would take away that which We have inspired to you. Then you would not find for yourself with it against Us a caretaker.
17:86 And if We so willed, We could indeed take away whatever We have revealed unto thee, and in that [state of need] thou wouldst find none to plead in thy behalf before Us.102
Lit., "to be thy guardian against [or "before"] Us"-i.e., "to provide thee with other means of guidance": an allusion to the fact that divine guidance is the only source of ethics in the absolute sense of this word. The "taking away" of revelation denotes its alienation from the hearts and the memory of men, as well as its disappearance in written form.
17:86 If we will, we can take back what we revealed to you, then you will find no protector against us.,
17:86 (Revelation is the extrinsic knowledge, as distinct from intrinsic inspiration.) If We so willed, We could withdraw what We reveal to you, and you would find none to plead on your behalf before Us.
17:87 Illa rahmatan min rabbika innafadlahu kana AAalayka kabeeran
17:87 Except for a mercy from your Lord. His favor upon you has been great.
17:87 Except for a mercy from your Lord. His grace upon you has been great.
17:87 [Thou art spared] only by thy Sustainer's grace: behold, His favour towards thee is great indeed!
17:87 This is but mercy from your Lord. His blessings upon you have been great.,
17:87 This (Revelation) is a grace from your Lord. His bounty upon you (O Messenger) has ever been great. [6:116, 15:19, 87:6-7]
17:88 Qul la-ini ijtamaAAati al-insu waaljinnuAAala an ya/too bimithli hatha alqur-ani laya/toona bimithlihi walaw kana baAAduhum libaAAdinthaheeran
Fanatic Skeptics Do not Appreciate the Intellectual Challenge17:88 Say, "If all the humans and the Jinn were to gather to bring a Quran like this, they could not come with it, even if they were helping one another."17
17:88 Say: "If all mankind and the Jinn were to gather to bring a Qur'an like this, they could not come with its like, even if they were helping one another."
17:88 Say: "If all mankind and all invisible beings103 would come together with a view to producing the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce its like even though they were to exert all their strength in aiding one another!"
See Appendix III.
Mathematical Composition of the Quran17:88 Say, "If all the humans and all the jinns banded together in order to produce a Quran like this, they could never produce anything like it, no matter how much assistance they lent one another.",
17:88 Say, “If all mankind, in towns and villages, get together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they will not be able to produce the like of it, no matter how much help they give one another." [2:23, 10:38, 11:13]
17:89 Walaqad sarrafna lilnnasifee hatha alqur-ani min kulli mathalin faabaaktharu alnnasi illa kufooran
17:89 In this Quran We have cited every example for the people; but most of the people refuse to be anything but ingrates!
17:89 And We have dispatched to the people in this Qur'an from every example, but most of the people refuse to be anything but rejecters!
17:89 For, indeed, many facets have We given in this Qur'an to every kind of lesson [designed] for [the benefit of] mankind!104 However, most men are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy105
According to Raghib, the noun mathal (lit., "similitude", "parable" or "example") is here more or less synonymous with wasf ("description by means of a comparison", i.e., "definition"). In its broadest sense, this term signifies "a lesson".
Le., they are unwilling to accept any idea which runs counter to their own, blasphemous inclinations.
17:89 We have cited for the people in this Quran all kinds of examples, but most people insist upon disbelieving.,
17:89 We have used Tasreef to explain The Qur’an in many facets for mankind. However, most people (due to arrogance, prejudice or blind following) remain ungrateful by rejecting such clear guidance. [17:41]
17:90 Waqaloo lan nu/mina laka hattatafjura lana mina al-ardi yanbooAAan
17:90 They said, "We will not acknowledge you until you cause a spring of water to burst from the land"
17:90 And they said: "We will not believe unto you until you cause a spring of water to burst out of the ground"
17:90 and so they say: "[O Muhammad,] we shall not believe thee till thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,106
I.e., like Moses (cf. 2:60).
God's Messengers Challenged17:90 They said, "We will not believe you unless you cause a spring to gush out of the ground.,
17:90 (Instead of reflecting on it, they keep demanding physical miracles) and they say, “We will not believe in you until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth.”
17:91 Aw takoona laka jannatun min nakheelinwaAAinabin fatufajjira al-anhara khilalahatafjeeran
17:91 "Or that you have a garden of palm trees and grapes, and you cause gushing rivers to burst through it."
17:91 "Or that you have an estate of palm trees and grapes, and you cause gushing rivers to burst through it."
17:91 or thou have a garden of date-palms and vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst in a sudden rush,107
This seems to be a derisory allusion to the allegory of paradise so often mentioned in the Qur'an.
17:91 "Or unless you own a garden of date palms and grapes, with rivers running through it.,
17:91 "Or unless you bring a garden of date palms and grape vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst."
17:92 Aw tusqita alssamaa kamazaAAamta AAalayna kisafan aw ta/tiya biAllahiwaalmala-ikati qabeelan
17:92 "Or that you make the sky fall upon us in pieces as you claimed, or that you bring God and the controllers before us."
17:92 "Or that you make the heaven fall upon us in pieces as you claimed, or that you bring God and the angels before us."
17:92 or thou cause the skies to fall down upon us in smithereens, as thou hast threatened,108 or [till] thou bring God and the angels face to face before us,
Lit., "claimed": possibly a reference to the warning expressed in 34:9, which was revealed somewhat earlier than the present surah.
17:92 "Or unless you cause masses from the sky, as you claimed, to fall on us. Or unless you bring GOD and the angels before our eyes.,
17:92 "Or make the sky fall on us, as you keep warning us about retribution, or bring God and the angels face to face before us." [26:187, 6:35]
17:93 Aw yakoona laka baytun min zukhrufin aw tarqafee alssama-i walan nu/mina liruqiyyika hattatunazzila AAalayna kitaban naqraohu qul subhanarabbee hal kuntu illa basharan rasoolan
17:93 "Or that you have a luxurious mansion, or that you can ascend into the heavens. We will not acknowledge your ascension unless you bring for us a book that we can study." Say, "Glory be to my Lord. Am I anything other than a human messenger!"
17:93 "Or that you have a luxurious home, or that you can ascend into the heavens. And we will not believe in your ascension unless you bring for us a book that we can read." Say: "Glory be to my Lord. Am I anything other than a human messenger!"
17:93 or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven - but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!109 Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!110 Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?"
A reply to this demand of the unbelievers is found in verse 7 of Al-An'am, revealed according to Suyuti -shortly after the present surah. But the allusion to, this and the preceding "conditions" is not merely historical: it illustrates a widely prevalent, psychologically contradictory attitude of mind -a strange mixture of prima-facie scepticism and primitive credulity which makes belief in a prophetic message dependent on the prophet's "performing miracles" (cf. 6:37 and 109 and 7:203). Since the only miracle granted by God to Muhammad is the Qur'an itself (see the first part of verse 59 of this surah, as well as note 71 above), he is bidden, in the next passage, to declare that these demands are irrelevant and, by implication, frivolous.
I.e., "miracles are in the power of God alone" (cf. 6:109 and the corresponding note 94).
17:93 "Or unless you own a luxurious mansion, or unless you climb into the sky. Even if you do climb, we will not believe unless you bring a book that we can read." Say, "Glory be to my Lord. Am I any more than a human messenger?",6
God's Messenger of the Covenant, Rashad Khalifa, was thus challenged, including the challenge to bring a new book, or bring down masses from thesky. Verse 3:81 defines the duties of God's Messenger of the Covenant.Overwhelming proof is detailed in Appendices2&26.
17:93 "Or unless you have a dazzling house of gold or unless you climb into the sky. But, nay, we will not believe your climbing unless you bring a written book that we can read." Tell them, “Glorified is my Lord! Am I more than a human, a Messenger?"
17:94 Wama manaAAa alnnasa anyu/minoo ith jaahumu alhuda illa an qalooabaAAatha Allahu basharan rasoolan
17:94 Nothing stopped the people from acknowledging when the guidance came to them, except they said, "Has God sent a human messenger?"
17:94 And what stopped the people from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has God sent a human messenger?"
17:94 Yet whenever [God's] guidance came to them [through a prophet,] nothing has ever kept people from believing [in him] save this their objection:111 "Would God have sent a [mere] mortal man as His apostle?"
Lit., "save that they said". The verb qala (as also the noun qawl) is often used tropically in the sense of holding or asserting an opinion or a belief; in the above case it obviously implies a conceptual objection.
Messengership: An Essential Test17:94 What prevented the people from believing when the guidance came to them is their saying, "Did GOD send a human being as a messenger?",
17:94 Yet whenever guidance came to people, nothing kept them from believing as much as this objection, "Would God send a mortal man as His Messenger?"
17:95 Qul law kana fee al-ardi mala-ikatunyamshoona mutma-inneena lanazzalna AAalayhim mina alssama-imalakan rasoolan
17:95 Say, "If the earth had controllers walking about at ease, We would have sent down to them from heaven an controller as a messenger."
17:95 Say: "If the earth had angels walking about in security, We would have sent down to them from the heaven an angel as a messenger."
17:95 Say: "If angels were walking about on earth as their natural abode, We would indeed have sent down unto them an angel out of heaven as Our apostle."
17:95 Say, "If the earth were inhabited by angels, we would have sent down to them from the sky an angel messenger.",
17:95 Say, "If angels walked about and dwelled on the earth, We would have sent an angel from the heaven as Messenger." [43:60]
17:96 Qul kafa biAllahishaheedan baynee wabaynakum innahu kana biAAibadihikhabeeran baseeran
17:96 Say, "God suffices as a witness between me and you. He is Ever-aware and Watcher over His servants."
17:96 Say: "God suffices as a witness between me and you. He is Expert and Seer over His servants."
17:96 Say: "None can bear witness between me and you as God does: verily, fully aware is He of His creatures, and He sees all [that is in their hearts]."
God Is My Witness17:96 Say, "GOD suffices as a witness between me and you. He is fully Cognizant of His worshipers, Seer.",
17:96 Tell them, "God suffices as witness between me and you. Surely, He is fully Aware of His servants."25
The outcome through His laws will prove who is right
17:97 Waman yahdi Allahu fahuwa almuhtadiwaman yudlil falan tajida lahum awliyaa min doonihiwanahshuruhum yawma alqiyamati AAalawujoohihim AAumyan wabukman wasumman ma/wahumjahannamu kullama khabat zidnahum saAAeeran
17:97 Whomever God guides is the truly guided one. Whomever He misguides then you will not find for them any allies except for Him. We gather them on the day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, mute, and deaf; their abode will be hell. Every time it dies down, We increase for them the fire.
17:97 Whoever God guides is the truly guided one. And whoever He misguides then you will not find for them any allies except for Him. And We gather them on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, mute, and deaf; their abode will be Hell. Every time it dies down, We increase for them the fire.
17:97 And he whom God guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for those whom He lets go astray thou canst never find anyone to protect them from Him: and [so, when] We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection, [they will lie] prone upon their faces, blind and dumb and deaf, with hell as their goal; [and] every time [the fire] abates, We shall increase for them [its] blazing flame.112
The phrase "for them" is meant, I believe, to stress the individual character of the suffering allegorized in the Qur'an as a "blazing flame" (sa'ir). For a further discussion of this terminology and its philosophical implications, see Appendix I.
17:97 Whomever GOD guides is the truly guided one. And whomever He sends astray, you will never find for them any lords and masters beside Him. We will summon them on the Day of Resurrection forcibly; blind, dumb, and deaf. Their destination is Hell; whenever it cools down, we will increase their fire.,
17:97 One who follows God’s Guidance is the rightly guided. And to go astray, He lets him go astray. You will not find any protectors for such of them besides Him. On the Day of Resurrection, We will assemble them prone on their faces, unable to see, speak and hear. (They chose to live blind, dumb and deaf.) Hell is their abode, and every time its flames abate, Our laws will increase for them its blazing flame.
17:98 Thalika jazaohum bi-annahumkafaroo bi-ayatina waqaloo a-ithakunna AAithaman warufatana-inna lamabAAoothoona khalqan jadeedan
17:98 Such is their recompense that they rejected Our signs, and they said, "If we are bones and fragments, will we be sent into a new creation?"
17:98 Such is their recompense that they rejected Our revelations, and they said: "If we are bones and fragments, will we be sent into a new creation?"
17:98 Such will be their requital for having rejected Our messages and having said, "After we will have become bones and dust, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead in a new act of creation?"113
Implying that this denial of God's power to resurrect the dead (mentioned in exactly the same phrasing in verse 49 of this surah) is equivalent to a denial of His almightiness and, hence, of His Being-all of which is characterized by the words "blind and deaf and dumb" in the preceding verse.
Their Innermost Thoughts17:98 Such is their just retribution, since they rejected our revelations. They said, "After we turn into bones and fragments, do we get resurrected into a new creation?",
17:98 Such is their reward because they preemptively rejected Our messages. And for having said, "When we are bones and fragments, shall we be raised from the dead as a new creation?"
17:99 Awa lam yaraw anna Allaha allatheekhalaqa alssamawati waal-ardaqadirun AAala an yakhluqa mithlahum wajaAAala lahumajalan la rayba feehi faaba alththalimoonailla kufooran
17:99 Did they not see that God who has created the heavens and the earth is able to create their like? He has made an appointed time for them in which there is no doubt. But the wicked refuse anything except rejection.
17:99 Did they not see that God who has created the heavens and the earth is able to create their like? And He has made an appointed time for them in which there is no doubt. But the wicked refuse anything except rejection.
17:99 Are they, then, not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth, has the power to create them anew in their own likeness,114 having, beyond any doubt, set a term for their resurrection?115 However, all [such] evildoers are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy!116
Lit., "to create the like of them" -i.e., to resurrect them individually, each of them having the same identity (or "likeness") which he or she had before death.
Lit., "a term (ajal) for them". Since ajal denotes, primarily, "a specified term [at which something falls due]", it obviously relates here to the inescapable fact of resurrection.
See notes 98 and 105 above.
17:99 Could they not see that the GOD who created the heavens and the earth is able to create the same creations? (That) He has predetermined for them an irrevocable life span? Yet, the disbelievers insist upon disbelieving.,
17:99 Do they not realize that God Who created the heavens and the earth, is Able to create them anew in their own likeness again? He has appointed an irrevocable time to end the worldly life (and of Resurrection). Only those remain submerged in the darkness of ignorance who are bent upon doing wrong to their own ‘self’ (and thus remain ungrateful for the Benevolent guidance).
17:100 Qul law antum tamlikoona khaza-inarahmati rabbee ithan laamsaktum khashyata al-infaqiwakana al-insanu qatooran
17:100 Say, "If you were the ones possessing the vaults of my Lord's mercy, you would have held back for fear of spending. The human being became stingy!"
17:100 Say: "If you were the ones possessing the vaults of the mercy of my Lord, you would have held back for concern of spending. And man was always stingy!"
17:100 Say: "If you were to own' all the treasure-houses of my Sustainer's bounty,117 lo! you would still try to hold on [to them] tightly for fear of spending [too much]: for man has always been avaricious [whereas God is limitless in His bounty].118
Lit., "grace" (rahmah).
I.e., since man is, by his very nature, dependent on material possessions, he instinctively tries to hold on to them; God, on the other hand, is self-sufficient and, therefore, above all need of placing any limits on His bestowal of bounty (hence my interpolation). This implied reference to God's grace and bounty is necessitated by the emphasis, in the preceding as well as in the subsequent passages, on the fact that He has never ceased to guide man, through His prophets, towards the good life.
17:100 Proclaim, "If you possessed my Lord's treasures of mercy, you would have withheld them, fearing that you might exhaust them. The human being is stingy.",
17:100 Say, "If you owned the treasures of my Lord's grace, you would keep them back for fear of exhausting them. For, the human being has always been covetous."
17:101 Walaqad atayna moosatisAAa ayatin bayyinatin fais-albanee isra-eela ith jaahum faqalalahu firAAawnu innee laathunnuka ya moosamashooran
Nine Miracles to Moses17:101 We had given Moses nine clear signs. So ask the Children of Israel, when he came to them Pharaoh said, "I think that you, Moses, are bewitched!"
17:101 And We had given Moses nine clear signs. So ask the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Pharaoh said: "I think that you Moses are bewitched!"
17:101 AND, INDEED, We gave unto Moses nine clear messages.119 Ask, then, the children of Israel120 [to tell thee what happened] when he came unto them, [and appealed to Pharaoh,121 ] and Pharaoh said unto him, "Verily, O Moses, I think that thou art full of sorcery!"122
Some of the commentators assume that this is an allusion to the miracles performed by Moses, while others (relying on a Tradition quoted in the compilations of Nasa'i, Ibn Hanbal, Bayhaqi, Ibn Majah and Tabarani) see in it a reference to nine specific commandments or ethical principles, the foremost of them being a stress on God's oneness and uniqueness. In my opinion, however, the number "nine" may be no more than a metonym for "several", just as the numbers "seven" and "seventy" are often used in classical Arabic to denote "several" or "many"
I.e., of the present time. The whole phrase has this meaning: "Ask them about what the Qur'an tells us in this respect, and they will be bound to confirm it on the basis of their own scriptures." This "confirmation" apparently relates to what is said in verse 104, explaining why the story of Moses and Pharaoh has been mentioned in the present context. (The story as such appears in greater detail in 7:103 and 20:49.)
Cf. 7:105-"let the children of Israel go with me!"
Or: "that thou art bewitched". However, my rendering is based on Tabari's interpretation of the passive participle mashur, which I consider preferable in view of the subsequent reference to the miraculous signs granted by God to Moses.
Moses and Pharaoh17:101 We supported Moses with nine profound miracles - ask the Children of Israel. When he went to them, Pharaoh said to him, "I think that you, Moses, are bewitched.",
17:101 (We have been sending Prophets for the reformation of this mentality.) We gave to Moses nine clear messages. Ask then, the Children of Israel what happened when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, "Surely, O Moses! I think you are bewitched."26
17:102 Qala laqad AAalimta ma anzalahaola-i illa rabbu alssamawatiwaal-ardi basa-ira wa-innee laathunnukaya firAAawnu mathbooran
17:102 He said, "You know that no one has sent these down except for the Lord of the heavens and the earth as visible proofs. I think that you Pharaoh are doomed!"
17:102 He said: "You know that no one has sent these down except for the Lord of the heavens and the earth as visible proofs. And I think that you Pharaoh are doomed!"
17:102 Answered [Moses]: "Thou knowest well that none but the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth has bestowed these [miraculous signs] from on high, as a means of insight [for thee];123 and, verily, O Pharaoh, [since thou hast chosen to reject them;] I think that thou art utterly lost!"
See surah 6, note 94.
17:102 He said, "You know full well that no one can manifest these except, obviously, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. I think that you, Pharaoh, are doomed.",
17:102 Answered Moses, "You know well that no one but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these eye-opening messages and, certainly, O Pharaoh! I think that you are utterly lost."
17:103 Faarada an yastafizzahum mina al-ardifaaghraqnahu waman maAAahu jameeAAan
17:103 So he wanted to entice them out of the land. But We drowned him and all those with him.
17:103 So he wanted to entice them out of the land. But We drowned him and all those with him.
17:103 And then Pharaoh resolved to wipe them off [the face of] the earth - whereupon We caused him and all who were with him to drown [in the sea].124
See Surah 7, note 100.
17:103 When he pursued them, as he chased them out of the land, we drowned him, together with those who sided with him, all of them.,
17:103 Pharaoh resolved to wipe off Moses and his followers from the face of the earth. But We drowned him and those with him, all together.
17:104 Waqulna min baAAdihi libanee isra-eelaoskunoo al-arda fa-itha jaa waAAdu al-akhiratiji/na bikum lafeefan
Relating Back to the Beginning of the Chapter17:104 We said after him to the Children of Israel: "Dwell in the land, then, when the time of the second promise comes, We will bring you all together as a mixed crowd."18
Compared to their small population, the Jewish influence is immense in its global platform, financially, politically and culturally. Disproportional to their population, Jews have exhibited astonishing examples in both good and bad, in both success and blunder, and they have enjoyed a vivid presence in world politics for millennia. This explains why the Quran mentions them so frequently both in negative (3:71; 4:46; 5:78; 5:60; 7:166) and positive terms (2:47; 3:33; 5:20).
After being subjected to genocide, atrocious, and tortures by European fascist forces, Jews were scattered around the world as immigrants. Yet, they did not disappear from the global scene or take centuries to recover, as many other nations would do. A prophecy of the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 30:4-20 was fulfilled. Not surprisingly, with the help of the major powers of the time, they were able to establish their own independent state in 1948, soon after their almost utter annihilation; a state not in Germany, but in their historical land, which has once again become the focal point of a global conflict, stirring the world by showcasing human aggression, greed, hatred, cruelty, racism, and terror. As it seems, some are determined to use any means possible to get the promised lands of their ancestors (Genesis 12:1-3 ; Deuteronomy 1:6-8 ; 30:4; Joshua 1:1-5 ), while disregarding the warnings and conditions related to the promise (Joshua 1:6-7 ; Deuteronomy 16:18-20 ; 30:15; 31:16).
17:104 And We said after him to the Children of Israel: "Dwell on the earth, then, when the time of the second promise comes, We will bring you all together as a mixed crowd."
17:104 And after that We said unto the children of Israel: "Dwell now securely on earth - but [remember that] when the promise of the Last Day shall come to pass, We will bring you forth as [parts of] a motley crowd!125
According to Razi, the expression lafif denotes a human crowd composed of innumerable heterogeneous elements, good and bad, strong and weak, fortunate and unfortunate: in short, it characterizes mankind in all its aspects. It is obviously used here to refute, once again, the idea that the children of Israel are a "chosen people" by virtue of their Abrahamic descent and, therefore, a priori and invariably destined for God's grace. The Qur'an rejects this claim by stating that on Resurrection Day all mankind will be judged, and none will have a privileged position.
17:104 And we said to the Children of Israel afterwards, "Go live into this land. When the final prophecy comes to pass, we will summon you all in one group.",
17:105 Wabialhaqqi anzalnahuwabialhaqqi nazala wama arsalnaka illamubashshiran wanatheeran
17:105 It is with truth that We have sent it down, and with truth it came down. We have not sent you except as a bearer of good news and a warner.
17:105 And it is with the truth that We have sent it down, and with the truth it came down. And We have not sent you except as a bearer of good news and a warner.
17:105 AND AS a guide towards the truth126 have We bestowed this [revelation] from on high; with this [very] truth has it come down [unto thee, O Prophet]:127 for We have sent thee but as a herald of glad tidings and a warner,
Lit., "with truth" or "in truth".
I.e., it has come down to man, through the Prophet, without any alteration, omission or addition.
The Quran Released Slowly To Facilitate Memorization17:105 Truthfully, we sent it down, and with the truth it came down. We did not send you except as a bearer of good news, as well as a warner.,
17:105 We have sent it down, and with the truth it has come down (to you O Prophet). We have sent you as a bearer of glad tidings and as a warner
17:106 Waqur-anan faraqnahulitaqraahu AAala alnnasi AAalamukthin wanazzalnahu tanzeelan
17:106 A Quran/Recitation that We have separated, so that you may relate it to the people over time; and We have brought it down gradually.
17:106 And a revelation that We have separated, so that you may read it to the people over time; and We have brought it down gradually.
17:106 [bearing] a discourse which We have gradually unfolded,128 so that thou might read it out to mankind by stages, seeing that We have bestowed it from on high step by step, as [one] revelation.129
Lit., "which We have divided into [consecutive] parts" or, according to some authorities (quoted by Razi), "set forth with clarity". The rendering adopted by me allows for both these meanings.
The above verse alludes both to the historical fact that the process of the revelation of the Qur'an was gradual, extending over the twenty-three years of the Prophet's ministry, and to the fact that it is nevertheless one integral whole and can, therefore, be properly understood only if it is considered in its entirety - that is to say, if each of its passages is read in the light of all the other passages which it contains. (See also 20:114 and the corresponding note 101.)
17:106 A Quran that we have released slowly, in order for you to read it to the people over a long period, although we sent it down all at once.,
17:106 With the Qur’an which We have gradually unfolded, so that you might convey it to mankind by stages. Indeed, We have sent it down step by step, as one revelation.
17:107 Qul aminoo bihi aw latu/minoo inna allatheena ootoo alAAilma min qablihi ithayutla AAalayhim yakhirroona lil-athqanisujjadan
17:107 Say, "Acknowledge it or do not acknowledge. Those who have been given the knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins prostrating.
17:107 Say: "Believe in it or do not believe in it. Those who have been given the knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins prostrating."
17:107 Say: "Believe in it or do not believe." Behold, those who are already130 endowed with [innate] knowledge fall down upon their faces in prostration as soon as this [divine writ] is conveyed unto them,
Lit., "before it"-i.e., before the Qur'an as such has come within their ken.
17:107 Proclaim, "Believe in it, or do not believe in it." Those who possess knowledge from the previous scriptures, when it is recited to them, they fall down to their chins, prostrating.,
17:107 Say, "Believe in it or do not believe in it." Those who possess knowledge from the previous scriptures, when it is recited to them, they fall down to their chins, prostrating."28
Zaqan = Chin, and not face
17:108 Wayaqooloona subhana rabbinain kana waAAdu rabbina lamafAAoolan
17:108 They say, "Praise be to our Lord. Truly, the promise of our Lord was fulfilled."
17:108 And they say: "Praise be to our Lord. Truly, the promise of our Lord was fulfilled."
17:108 and say, "Limitless in His glory is our Sustainer! Verily, our Sustainer's promise has been fulfilled!"131
This may be an allusion to the many Biblical predictions of the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, especially to Deuteronomy xviii, 15 and 18 (cf. surah 2, note 33). In its wider sense, however, the "fulfilment of God's promise" relates to His bestowal of a definitive revelation, the Qur'an, henceforth destined to guide man at all stages of his spiritual, cultural and social development.
17:108 They say, "Glory be to our Lord. This fulfills our Lord's prophecy.",
17:108 They say, “Glory be to our Lord. Surely, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled."
17:109 Wayakhirroona lil-athqaniyabkoona wayazeeduhum khushooAAan
17:109 They fall upon their chins crying, and it increases them in humility.
17:109 And they fall upon their chins crying, and it increases them in humility.
17:109 And so they fall down upon their faces, weeping, and [their consciousness of God's grace] increases their humility.
17:109 They fall down on their chins, prostrating and weeping, for it augments their reverence.,
17:109 And so they fall down on their chins, weeping, and increasing in humility.
17:110 Quli odAAoo Allaha awi odAAoo alrrahmanaayyan ma tadAAoo falahu al-asmao alhusnawala tajhar bisalatika wala tukhafitbiha waibtaghi bayna thalika sabeelan
17:110 Say, "Call on God or call on the Gracious. Whichever it is you call on, to Him are the best names." Do not be loud/public in your contact prayer, nor quiet/private; but seek a path in between.19
The word ism comes from the root SMY and means "attribute, quality." Regardless of the language, all beautiful attributes may be used for God (the god). Divine attributes do not necessarily define or describe God in an objective sense, but define and describe our relationship with our Creator and the mutual expectations. The word allah (the god) is a contraction of al (the) and elah (god). The Quran uses the word elah (god) in many verses for allah (the god) in the proper context. For instance, in the last chapter of the Quran, God is referred to as "lord of the people." The famous Quranic declaration la ilaha illa allah, therefore, can be translated into English as "there is no god but the god". See 7:180, 26:198; 41:44.
The Quran is correcting the tone of the recitation and manner of the sala prayer performed by Meccan polytheists. Despite this verse reminding us of a moderate tone of voice and moderate display of prayer, the followers of hadith and sunna, like their ancestors, either pray loudly (night time) or quietly (day time). Some even use prayer as political demonstration. This verse simply reminds us not to be ashamed of our prostration before God, nor use it as a means of showing off.
17:110 Say: "Call on God or call on the Almighty; by whichever you call on, to Him are the best names." And do not be too loud in making your contact prayer, nor too quiet; but seek a path in between.
17:110 Say: "Invoke God, or invoke the Most Gracious: by whichever name you invoke Him, [He is always the One-for] His are all the attributes of perfection.132 And [pray unto Him; yet] be not too loud in thy prayer nor speak it in too low a voice, but follow a way in-between;
For an explanation of the expression al-asma' al-husna (lit., "the most perfect [or "most goodly"] names"), see surah 7, note 145. The epithet ar-rahman -rendered by me throughout as "the Most Gracious" -has an intensive significance, denoting the unconditional, all-embracing quality and exercise of grace and mercy, and is applied exclusively to God, "who has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy" (6:12 and 54).
Tone of the Contact Prayers (Salat)17:110 Say, "Call Him GOD, or call Him the Most Gracious; whichever name you use, to Him belongs the best names." You shall not utter your Contact Prayers (Salat) too loudly, nor secretly; use a moderate tone.,
17:110 Say, "Call upon God, or call upon the Beneficent: By whatever name you call upon Him, to Him belong the best names and attributes of perfection. And do not be too loud in your prayer, nor speak in a voice too low, but follow a way between. [7:180]
17:111 Waquli alhamdu lillahi allatheelam yattakhith waladan walam yakun lahu shareekun feealmulki walam yakun lahu waliyyun mina alththulliwakabbirhu takbeeran
17:111 Say, "Praise is to God, who has not taken a son, nor does He have a partner in sovereignty, nor does He have an ally out of weakness." Glorify Him greatly.
17:111 And say: "Praise be to God who has not taken a son, nor does He have a partner in sovereignty, nor does He have an ally out of weakness." And magnify Him greatly.
17:111 and say: "All praise is due to God, who begets no offspring,133 and has no partner in His dominion, and has no weakness, and therefore no need of any aid"134 -and [thus] extol His limitless greatness.
Lit., "who has not taken unto Himself for "begotten"] a son" - i.e., who is free of the imperfection inherent in the concept of begetting a child as an extension of one's own being. Since this statement not merely refutes the Christian doctrine of Jesus as "the son of God" but, beyond that, stresses the logical impossibility of connecting such a concept with God, the clause is best rendered in the present tense, and the noun walad in its primary sense of "offspring", which applies to a child of either sex.
Lit., "and has no protector [to aid Him] on ,account of any [supposed] weakness [on His per)".
17:111 And proclaim: "Praise be to GOD, who has never begotten a son, nor does He have a partner in His kingship, nor does He need any ally out of weakness," and magnify Him constantly.,
17:111 And say, "All praise is due to God Who never begot a son, nor does He have a partner in His Kingdom, nor does He need any ally out of weakness." Therefore, extol His greatness with all magnificence.29