QURAN SUMMARY: AL ISRA

Surah Isra Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Isra Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME: الإسراء, بني إسراءيل, Al-Isra’, Bani Isra’eel.

This Surah has two names. Names taken from Verse 1 and 4 where there is a mention of “Al-Isra” and “Bani Isra’eel” respectively.

١  سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
1  Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

٤  وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا
4  And We conveyed to the Children of Israel in the Scripture that, “You will surely cause corruption on the earth twice, and you will surely reach [a degree of] great haughtiness.

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: The Night Journey, The Children of Israel.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 17

SURAH ISRA TOTAL VERSES: 111

SURAH ISRA TOTAL WORDS: 1,558

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 885

TOTAL LETTERS: 6,643

REVELATION PERIOD:

Meccan, Approx. 621 – 622 AD. 

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, His Servant (Muhammad), Israelites, Human kind, Parents, Accursed Tree, Adam, Angels, Iblis/Devil, Moses.

SURAH ISRA MAIN TOPICS:

Mention of Night Journey of Prophet Muhammad, Israelites two Times Mischief In Land and God’s Punishment, Good Treatment with Parents, Give Relative, Poor, Traveler Their Right But Neither Misery Nor Extravagance, Answer to Doubts On Resurrection, Before Resurrection All Will Be Destroyed, Adam, Angel Prostration, Iblis/Devil Refusal, Additional Prayer Tahajud For Prophet, Question About Ruh/Spirit, Quran Surah Challenge, Musa Was Given Nine Evident Signs.

SURAH ISRA KEY VERSES:

١  سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

1  Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

٤  وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا

4  And We conveyed to the Children of Israel in the Scripture that, “You will surely cause corruption on the earth twice, and you will surely reach [a degree of] great haughtiness.

٥  فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ أُولَاهُمَا بَعَثْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ عِبَادًا لَنَا أُولِي بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ فَجَاسُوا خِلَالَ الدِّيَارِ ۚ وَكَانَ وَعْدًا مَفْعُولًا

5  So when the [time of] promise came for the first of them, We sent against you servants of Ours – those of great military might, and they probed [even] into the homes, and it was a promise fulfilled.

٢١  انْظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا

21  Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.

٢٣  وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

23  And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

٢٤  وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

24  And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.”

٢٨  وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُلْ لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَيْسُورًا

28  And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.

٣١  وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا

31  And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.

٥٨  وَإِنْ مِنْ قَرْيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُورًا

58  And there is no city but that We will destroy it before the Day of Resurrection or punish it with a severe punishment. That has ever been in the Register inscribed.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

1(Exalted Is He Who Took his Servant by Night From Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al- Aqsa), 4-8(Allah Told Israelites Two Times Fasad/Mischief in Land and Two Times They Will Be Punished), 11(Man Prays for Evil as He Ought To Pray for Good. Man Is Hasty), 13-14(Each Individual Have his Deeds in his Neck, on Last Day It Will Be Spread Open), 15(No Bearer of Burdens Will Bear The Burden of Another), 16(and When God Intend To Destroy a City, He Command its Affluent but They Defiantly Disobey So the Word Comes Into Effect Upon It), 17-22((Whoever Desires the Life of This World God Gives Whom He Wills and Those Desire Hereafter: Given if They Strived for It and Was a Believer), 23-24(Good Treatment With Parents, Not Even “Uf” to Them), 26-30( Give Relative, Poor, Traveler Their Right, but Neither Misery nor Extravagance), 31-33(Abortion and Killing Of Children or any Soul), 37(Do Not Walk on Earth Exultant, Indeed, You Will Never Tear the Earth, and You Will Never Reach the Mountains in Height), 41-44(if There Other Deities They Would Have Tried To Dethrone God, all Glorify God but You Don’t Understand), 45-48(Belief in the Hereafter Is Necessary To Understand the qur’an), 49-52( Doubt on Resurrection, Quran Says “on the Day God Will Call You and You Will Respond With Praise of Him and Think That You Had Not Remained [in the World] Except for a Little), 58(Before Resurrection All Will Be Destroyed; and There Is No City but That God Will Destroy It Before the Day of Resurrection) 59(Nothing Has Prevented God From Sending Signs Except That the Former Peoples Denied Them), 60(Again Mention of Isra/Miraj & Accursed Tree), 61-65( God Ordered Angels to Prostrate Adam, all Did, but Iblis/Satan/Devil Refused, God Put Curse on Satan/Devil and Expelled Him, He Asked Reprieve Till Last Day and Said I Will Mislead Them all, God Said, Over my [Believing] Servants There Is for You no Authority), 72( Whoever Is Blind in This Life Will Be Blind in the Hereafter), 73-75(Warning to the Prophet: no Compromise Is Allowed in Matters of Revelation and Laws), 78-79(Instructions for 4 Prayers After Sun Down and One in the Morning Quran, Additional Prayer Tahajud for Prophet), 81(Truth Has Come & Falsehood Has Vanished), 85(Question About Ruh/Spirit: It Is a Command of God), 88( Produce a Quran Like This; Challenge to Insan/ Human and Jinn), 90-93( Demand of Disbelievers That Show Some Miracle), 95(God Has Sent a Human Prophet to Human Beings, if There Were Upon the Earth Angels, We Would Have Sent Down to Them From the Heaven An Angel), 101-104(Musa Was Given Nine Evident Signs, People Still Did Not Believe Him), 106(Quran Revealed in Intervals), 110(Offer Prayer/Salah/Namaz Neither Too Loud Not Silent, Adopt the Middle Course)

SURAH ISRA BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACK GROUND

This Surah has 111 verses divided into 12 Rukus/Sections. This Surah was revealed in Mecca in the last stage of Prophet Muhammad preaching, almost a couple of months before his migration to Yathrib (Madina). So this Surah revealed under a time of great distress and persecution but also this was a time when God had put Prophet’s love in the hearts of the people of Madina who accepted Islam and invited prophet to come to Madina.

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal recorded that `Aishah said: “The Messenger of God used to fast until we would say, he does not want to break his fast, then he would not fast until we would say, he does not want to fast, and he used to recite Surah Isra and Zumar every night.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: One who recites this Surah, and his heart softens when the parents are mentioned, for him would be a Qintar (weight) in Paradise, and a Qintar is 1200 “Awqiya” and one “Awqiya” is better than the world and whatever is in it.

It revealed after the Miraj (Prophet Muhammad Ascension to Heavens). That is also the reason for one of its name “Isra” which means “Night Journey.” The second name of this Surah is “Bani Israel.” This journey of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to “Mosque Aqsa” (Jerusalem) and from there to 7th Heaven is mentioned at two places first in the beginning of Surah and second in verse 60. As per traditions after his “Miraj” Ascension to Heavens prophet Muhammad brought two gifts for Muslims, the five daily Prayers and this Surah.

The Surah deals with various topics but primarily focus on the importance of divine guidance in the life of human beings and in molding the human character. Moreover, it also teaches the basic morality and concepts of right and wrong and ultimate consequences of sin by emphasizing on the resurrection and life after death and also by narrating the end of previous nations.