Chapter 17: The Night Journey


SECTION 1: Israelites Punished Twice


In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


1. Glory to (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, - in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things). 2. We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): "Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs." 3. O you that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful. 4. And We gave (Clear) Warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)! 5. When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare: They entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled. 6. Then did We grant you the Return as against them: We gave you increase in resources and sons, and made you the more numerous in manpower. 7. If you did well, you did well for yourselves; if you did evil, (you did it) against yourselves. So when the second of the warnings came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they had entered it before, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power. 8. It may be that your Lord may (yet) show Mercy unto you; but if you revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments): And we have made Hell a prison for those who reject (all Faith). 9. Verily this Qur'an does guide to that which is most right (or stable), and gives the Glad Tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward; 10. And to those who believe not in the Hereafter, (it announced) that We have prepared for them a Penalty Grievous (indeed).


Verily this Qur'an does guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the Glad Tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward; (17:9)


SECTION 2: Every Deed has a Consequence


11. The prayer that man should make for good, he made for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds). 12. We have made the Night and the Day as two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We obscured, while the Sign of the Day We have made to enlighten you; that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail. 13. Every man's fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open. 14. (It will be said to him:) "Read your (own) record: Sufficient is your soul this day to make out an account against you."


15. Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit: who goes astray does so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent a Messenger (to give warning). 16. When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true against them: then (it is) We destroy them utterly. 17. How many generations have We destroyed after Noah? and enough is your Lord to note and see the sins of His servants.


18. If any do wish for the transitory things (of this life), We readily grant them - such things as We will, to such person as We will: in the end have We provided Hell for them: they will burn therein, disgraced and rejected. 19. Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive therefor with all due striving, and have Faith, - they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to God). 20. Of the bounties of your Lord We bestow freely on all- These as well as those: The bounties of your Lord are not closed (to anyone). 21. See how We have bestowed more on some than on others; but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence. 22. Take not with God another object of worship; or you (O man!) will sit in disgrace and destitution.


SECTION 3: Moral Precepts


23. Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. 24. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." 25. Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts: If you do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence).


26. And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. 27. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful. 28. And even if you have to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from your Lord which you do expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness. 29. Make not your hand tied (like a niggard's) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that you become blameworthy and destitute. 30. Verily your Lord does provide sustenance in abundance for whom He pleases, and He provides in a just measure. For He does know and regard all His servants.


Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. (17:23)



SECTION 4: Moral Precepts


31. Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin. 32. Nor come near to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). 33. Nor take life - which God has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).


34. Come not near to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). 35. Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination. 36. And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). 37. Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for you cannot rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height. 38. Of all such things the evil is hateful in the sight of your Lord. 39. These are among the (precepts of) wisdom, which your Lord has revealed to you. Take not, with God, another object of worship, lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.


40. Has then your Lord (O Pagans!) preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself daughters among the angels? Truly you utter a most dreadful saying!


SECTION 5: Disbelievers Grow Harder


41. We have explained (things) in various (ways) in this Qur'an, in order that they may receive admonition, but it only increases their flight (from the Truth)! 42. Say: If there had been (other) gods with Him, as they say, - behold, they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne! 43. Glory to Him! He is high above all that they say! – Exalted and Great (beyond measure)! 44. The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet you understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!


45. When you do recite the Qur'an, We put, between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, a veil invisible: 46. And We put coverings over their hearts (and minds) lest they should understand the Qur'an, and deafness into their ears: when you do commemorate your Lord and Him alone in the Qur'an, they turn on their backs, fleeing (from the Truth). 47. We know best why it is they listen, when they listen to you; and when they meet in private conference, behold, the wicked say, "You follow none other than a man bewitched!" 48. See what similes they strike for you: but they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.


49. They say: "What! when we are reduced to bones and dust, should we really be raised up (to be) a new creation?" 50. Say: "(No!) be you stones or iron, 51. "Or created matter which, in your minds, is hardest (to be raised up), - (Yet shall you be raised up)!" then will they say: "Who will cause us to return?" Say: "He who created you first!" Then will they wag their heads towards you, and say, "When will that be?" Say, "Maybe it will be quite soon! 52. "It will be on a Day when He will call you, and you will answer (His call) with (words of) His praise, and you will think that you tarried but a little while!"


SECTION 6: Punishment Must Follow

53. Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan does sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy. 54. It is your Lord that knows you best: If He please, He grants you mercy, or if He please, punishment: We have not sent you to be a disposer of their affairs for them. 55. And it is your Lord that knows best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms.


56. Say: "Call on those - besides Him - whom you fancy: they have neither the power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them." 57. Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of your Lord is something to take heed of.


58. There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record. 59. And We refrain from sending the signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror (and warning from evil). 60. Behold! We told you that your Lord does encompass mankind round about: We granted the vision which We showed you, but as a trial for men, - as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur'an: We put terror (and warning) into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!


SECTION 7: The Devil’s Opposition to the Righteous


61. Behold! We said to the angels: "Bow down unto Adam": They bowed down except Iblis: He said, "Shall I bow down to one whom You did create from clay?" 62. He said: "See You? This is the one whom You have honored above me! If You will but respite me to the Day of Judgment, I will surely bring his descendants under my sway - all but a few!" 63. (God) said: "Go your way; if any of them follow you, verily Hell will be the recompense of you (all) – an ample recompense. 64. "Lead to destruction those whom you can among them, with your (seductive) voice; make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry; mutually share with them wealth and children; and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but deceit. 65. "As for My servants, no authority shall you have over them:" Enough is your Lord for a Disposer of affairs.


66. Your Lord is He That makes the ship go smoothly for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His Bounty. For He is unto you Most Merciful. 67. When distress seizes you at sea, those that you call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, you turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man! 68. Do you then feel secure that He will not cause you to be swallowed up beneath the earth when you are on land, or that He will not send against you a violent tornado (with showers of stones) so that you shall find no one to carry out your affairs for you? 69. Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea and send against you a heavy gale to drown you because of your ingratitude, so that you find no helper therein against Us? 70. We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of our creation.


SECTION 8: Opposition to the Prophet


71. One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least. 72. But those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the hereafter, and most astray from the Path.


73. And their purpose was to tempt you away from that which We had revealed unto you, to substitute in our name something quite different; (in that case), behold! they would certainly have made you (their) friend! 74. And had We not given you strength, you would nearly have inclined to them a little. 75. In that case We should have made you taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life, and an equal portion in death: and moreover you would have found none to help you against Us! 76. Their purpose was to scare you off the land, in order to expel you; but in that case they would not have stayed (therein) after you, except for a little while. 77. (This was Our) way with the Messengers We sent before you: you will find no change in Our ways.


SECTION 9: Truth Will Prevail

78. Establish regular prayers - at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. 79. And pray in the small watches of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for you: soon will your Lord raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory! 80. Say: "O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honor, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honor; and grant me from Your Presence an authority to aid (me)." 81. And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." 82. We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.


83. Yet when We bestow Our favors on man, he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us), and when evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair! 84. Say: "Everyone acts according to his own disposition: But your Lord knows best who it is that is best guided on the Way."



We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss. (17:82)


SECTION 10: The Qur’ān – a Unique Guidance

85. They ask you concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (comes) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)" 86. If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent you by inspiration: then would you find none to plead your affair in that matter as against Us, - 87. Except for Mercy from your Lord: for his bounty is to you (indeed) great.


88. Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support. 89. And We have explained to man, in this Qur'an, every kind of similitude: yet the greater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude! 90. They say: "We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth, 91. "Or (until) you have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water; 92. "Or you cause the sky to fall in pieces, as you say (will happen), against us; or you bring God and the angels before (us) face to face: 93. "Or you have a house adorned with gold, or you mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in your mounting until you send down to us a book that we could read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I anything but a man, - a Messenger?"


SECTION 11: Justice of Retribution


94. What kept men back from belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has God sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger." 95. Say, "If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger." 96. Say: "Enough is God for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all things).


97. It is he whom God guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray - for such will you find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgment We shall gather, them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, We shall increase from them the fierceness of the Fire. 98. That is their recompense, because they rejected Our signs, and said, "When we are reduced to bones and broken dust, should we really be raised up (to be) a new Creation?" 99. See they not that God, Who created the heavens and the earth, has power to create the like of them (anew)? Only He has decreed a term appointed, of which there is no doubt. But the unjust refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude. 100. Say: "If you had control of the Treasures of the Mercy of my Lord, behold, you would keep them back, for fear of spending them: for man is (every) niggardly!"


SECTION 12: Comparison with Moses


101. To Moses We did give Nine Clear Signs: As the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him: "O Moses! I consider you, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery! 102. Moses said, "You know well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider you indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!" 103. So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him. 104. And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land (of promise)": but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.


105. We sent down the (Qur'an) in Truth, and in Truth has it descended: and We sent you but to give Glad Tidings and to warn (sinners). 106. (It is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts from time to time), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals: We have revealed it by stages. 107. Say: "Whether you believe in it or not, it is true that those who were given knowledge beforehand, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration, 108. "And they say: 'Glory to our Lord! Truly has the promise of our Lord been fulfilled!'" 109. They fall down on their faces in tears, and it increases their (earnest) humility. 110. Say: "Call upon God, or call upon The Most Gracious: by whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak your Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between." 111. Say: "Praise be to God, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His Greatness and Glory!"


Say: "Whether you believe in it or not, it is true that those who were given knowledge beforehand, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration, (17:107)