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al-Isra` (Children of Israel, The Israelites)
as rendered by Shabbir Ahmed

Shabbir Ahmed rendition of Surah Children of Israel, The Israelites(al-Isra`)
17:1 Glorious is He Who initiated the migration by night of His servant from the Sacred Masjid to the Remote Masjid whose environs We did bless that We might show him of Our Signs (20:23). (That the Divine System will begin to prevail from therein). Verily, He is the Hearer, the Seer.
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 They were the descendants of those whom We carried in the ship along with Noah. Behold, he was a most grateful servant of Ours.
17:4 We had informed the Children of Israel in the Scripture, "Verily, you will work corruption in the earth twice, and show great arrogance and tyranny."
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 as a warning fulfilled (and took you to Babylon as slaves in 586 B.C.).
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 B.C.). We then, helped you with wealth and children and made you numerous in soldiery.
17:7 We made it clear, "If you (keep the Commandments and) 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. (The Roman General Titus invaded Jerusalem in 70 C.E.). His armies entered the Temple and destroyed everything they conquered completely, just as the Babylonians had done before.
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 Verily, this Qur'an guides to what is most Upright, and gives good news of a great reward to those who accept it and do works of social welfare.
17:10 And that for those who disbelieve in the life to come, We have readied grievous suffering.
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 (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 (of ignorance) while the Sign of the Day we have made brightness (of Guidance). You shall seek the Bounty from your Lord, and be aware of the passing years and make your calendars. (6:97), (10:5). (Reckon every day, month and year to see what you have gained and what you have lost in your self-development). We have given you much detail in this brief statement.
17:13 All deeds of the humans are instantly recorded on their "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 "Read your book! You are a sufficient auditor for yourself this Day."
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. (The Eternal Messenger now is the Book of Allah).
17:16 (Here is the Divine Law of Requital for nations.) We let the leaders of a nation commit corruption, drift out of discipline and consider themselves above Law. Then Our Law annihilates them completely. (And the leaders and the public are left blaming one another (7:38), (10:28), (14:21), (16:86).
17:17 How many generations has Our Law annihilated since Noah! Allah suffices as the Knower and Beholder of what causes His servants to trail behind.
17:18 Those who fall for quick gains of life that hastens away, (disregarding the Eternal Values and the Hereafter), We hasten for them according to Our Laws indiscriminately. (But, since they have not invested in the Hereafter) We have appointed for them Hell; they will endure its heat, disgraced, rejected. (2:200), (11:15-16).
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 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 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 Do not set up gods besides Allah. If you run man-made systems, disregarding the Divine Values, you will face an embarrassing failure.
17:23 (A benevolent society begins at home.) Your Lord has decreed that you worship 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. (36:68).
17:24 Lower for them the wing of kindness and humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow upon them Your Mercy as they raised me since I was little."
17:25 Your Lord is best Aware of your psyche. If you fulfill the needs of others, you grow your own personality. If you turn to His Laws, He will protect your "Self" from deterioration. (Ghufarah = Helmet and armor).
17:26 And give your relative his or her Divine right, and give to those whose running businesses have stalled, who have lost their jobs, the needy wayfarer, the homeless, and the one who reaches you in a state of destitution. (For this nobility you will have to guard yourself against squandering your wealth). Do not squander your wealth senselessly. (2:261).
17:27 Squanderers are close companions of Satan, their selfish desire. And your Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
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 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 (Make decent effort to earn your provision.) Your Lord has appointed Laws for affluence and poverty in societies. (In the Divine System every individual will get generous return for his toil (53:39)). Verily, He is fully Cognizant, Seer of His servants.
17:31 Kill not your children (nor deprive them of good rearing) for fear of poverty. We it is Who provide for them as well as for you. (The Divine System will take responsibility of all your needs (9:111), (20:118)). Verily, killing them (or depriving them of proper education and training) is a grave offense.
17:32 Do not come close to adultery, for, it is an abomination and an evil way.
17:33 You shall not kill any person, for Allah has made all life sacred, except in the course of justice through an appropriate court. In case of unjust killing, We have given rights to the victim's family. With that right of retribution, comes the responsibility that since the law is helping them, they must not exceed the limits. (2:178), (5:32), (6:152), (42:40).
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 (Always be mindful of just dealings.) Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with even scale. This is the best way and will prove to be best in the end. (81:1-3).
17:36 And you shall not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning. (And so, the insane and the disabled will have their incapacities taken into account in a court of law.)
17:37 Walk not on earth with pride. Neither would you bore through the earth, nor would you become as tall as the mountains. (Know, that your body language speaks louder than words (3:187), (31:19), (40:75)).
17:38 The evil of all this is detestable in the Sight of your Lord.
17:39 This is some of the Wisdom your Lord has revealed to you. Do not set up with Allah any other god, lest you be cast into Hell blameworthy rejected. (Accept no Authority worthy of obedience in lieu of Allah (2:269)).
17:40 What! Has your Lord distinguished you by giving you sons, and chosen for Himself daughters in the guise of angels? (16:57). Verily you speak a monstrous word!
17:41 We have explained things in various ways in this Qur'an so that people understand. But Our Law of Guidance is unwavering (4:88). The ones with preconceived denial will only increase in their flight from the Truth.
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 unto the Lord of the Throne of Almightiness."
17:43 Glorified is He, and High Exalted above what they say!
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. Allah, the Clement, the Absolver of imperfections, sustains and maintains them in Order.
17:45 The prejudiced among them approach you with a closed mind when you convey the Qur'an to them (17:41). Since they believe not in the life to come, they are preoccupied with immediate gains only. And their attitude causes Our Law to create a hidden (psychological) barrier between you and them. (Many people would rather embark upon a journey without a road map).
17:46 It is Allah's Law that people who do not use their faculties, lose them. Their minds, hearts, and ears act impermeable when you mention your Lord alone in the Qur'an. And, they turn their backs in disgust. (They wish to hear about other deities and false 'authorities').
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." (It is unfortunate that under the influence of fabricated traditions, most of the Muslims even today believe that a Jewish magician successfully cast a spell of 'magic' on the exalted Prophet! Such traditions and ahadith that clash with the Qur'an, were obviously contrived by non-Muslims in the guise of 'Imams').
17:48 See how (cunning) examples they make up about you (O Prophet)! They are going astray to the point of no return.
17:49 And they say, "After we are bones and fragments, shall we be raised up as a new creation?"
17:50 Say, "Even if you turn into rocks or iron!"
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 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 (They must do good in this short life-span, so) Tell My servants to speak to one another in a kind manner and treat one another nicely. Verily, Satan, their selfishness, creates discord among them. For, verily, Satan is man's open foe.
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 and He will chastise you according to His Laws. We have not sent you (O Prophet) as a warden over them.
17:55 And your Lord is best Aware of all beings who are in the Highs and the Lows. (In this, Our Infinite Knowledge, did We send Our Messengers). But, indeed, We caused some Prophets to excel the others, however, you should understand that they were all one in Purpose, so make no distinction among them on that account (2:62), (2:136), (2:253). (You O Prophet, are given the Perfected Eternal Message). To David We gave a Book of Wisdom, (the Psalms, as well as a kingdom that was matchless in its times (21:79), (34:10), (38:19-20)).
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 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. Verily, your Lord's Requital is something to beware of!
17:58 There is no nation that upholds a wrong system, and yet survives the Law of Requital. This Law will be effective until the Day of Resurrection, and is well-recorded in the Divine Database.
17:59 Nothing has changed Our Plan to send down this Final Revelation, even though the previous nations have often denied or distorted Our Verses. The most blatant example is of Thamud who violated the clear sign of their submission, and failed the crucial test by killing the she-camel. (7:73), (11:89), (26:141), (27:45). We continued to send Messages for mankind to establish the Order in which peace would replace fear.
17:60 And, We said to you (O Prophet), "Behold, your Lord encompasses all mankind, so We have given you the Vision." (Through this Final Message, We have given you the VISION that they shall all become One Community again). Those who hinder this Plan will end up eating the bitter and pungent Tree of Division that is mentioned in the Qur'an (7:19), (14:26), (15:39), (17:60), (37:65), (38:82), (44:44). 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 great rebellion. (But mankind shall win their lost Paradise (2:35)).
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 Iblis, their selfish desire that refused to submit. He said, "Shall I bow before that 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 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 God said, "Go! But whoever of them follows you, Hell will be the reward for all of you, an ample recompense."
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 but meant to deceive their minds.
17:65 "Behold, you shall have no power over My faithful servants. And your Lord suffices as their Guardian." (15:40-42).
17:66 (O Mankind, be mindful of your Lord to ward of your selfish desire). Your Sustainer is He Who causes the ships to move onward for you through the sea that you may seek of His bounty. Verily, He is Most Gracious towards you.
17:67 (You hardly think that His Laws are changeless and, therefore, trustworthy.) When harm touches you on the sea, those you call upon besides Him, leave you in the lurch! (You try to save the ship according to Our Laws and forget superstitions). But when He brings you safely ashore, you turn aside and forget Him. The fact is, that the unguided human is ever ungrateful.
17:68 (You forget that His Laws apply to land as they do to 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 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 Our Laws. (Life is too short and too unpredictable to postpone for tomorrow the good you can do today).
17:70 Now indeed, We have conferred dignity on the 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. And We have favored the humans far above a great many of Our creation.
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 Whoever is blind of heart here will be blind in the life to come as well, and yet further astray (from Divine Grace). (Individuals and nations who are blind of reason live in misery in this world, and no amount of wishful thinking will take them to Paradise).
17:73 And, behold, they endeavor to tempt you away (O Prophet) from what We reveal to you (and make compromises in return for accepting you as the King of Arabia and a Prophet) if you invented something of their liking (like authorizing the worship of their false deities or taking back the equality of humans) in Our Name. (17:46).
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 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 Our Law of Requital.
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 would have annihilated one another in a short while.
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.
17:78 You shall strive in the Divine Cause from morning to night. The Qur'an upsprings the Light for you to witness your objective and your way. Its likeness is the Dawn that brings light after a dark night. (42:38).
17:79 As head of the state you shall even contemplate and work part of the night. This is the extra endeavor for you. (And your companions shall join you in this endeavor as needed (73:2-3)). Soon, your Lord will raise you to a Glorious Station.
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 (Time has come for you to) say, "The Truth has come to light, and falsehood has withered away. For, behold, all falsehood is bound to wither away."
17:82 Thus, step by step, We have sent down in the Qur'an the cure of all ills of humanity. It is a Mercy for those who accept it. At the same time, it is a harbinger of loss for the oppressors, since it liberates the oppressed from their grasp.
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 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 (O Messenger) They ask you about the (Spirit, the Soul), the Revelation. Tell them, "Revelation is from your Lord's World of Command, of which you have been given little knowledge." The Spirit is the Divine Energy, something from which has been given to humans in the form of free will. The Soul is your "Self".
17:86 (Revelation from Us is the extrinsic knowledge, as distinct from intrinsic inspiration. To make it more clear) if We so Willed, We could withdraw what We reveal to you, and you would find none to plead in your behalf before Us.
17:87 The Revelation is a Grace from your Lord to you (and for all humanity.) Indeed, His Favor unto you (O Messenger) is great indeed! (6:116), (15:19), (87:6-7).
17:88 Say, "If all mankind, in towns and villages of the world, get together to produce a Qur'an like this, they will utterly fail, however strength they exert in aiding one another." (2:23), (10:38), (11:13).
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 (Instead of reflecting on it, they keep demanding physical miracles) saying, "We will not believe in you until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth."
17:91 "Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst."
17:92 "Or you make the sky fall on us, as you keep warning us about retribution, or bring Allah and the angels face to before us." (26:187), (6:35).
17:93 "Or you should have a house of gold. Or you ascend to the sky. But, nay, we will not believe your ascension unless you bring a written book that we can read." Tell them, "Glory be to my Lord! Am I more than a mortal man, a Messenger?"
17:94 Yet whenever Guidance came to people, nothing has ever kept them from believing as much as this objection, "Would Allah send a mortal man as His Messenger?"
17:95 Say, "If angels walked about and dwelled in the earth, We would have sent an angel from the heaven as Messenger." (43:60).
17:96 Tell them, "Allah suffices as witness between me and you. Verily, fully Aware He is of His servants." (The outcome according to His Law will prove who is right).
17:97 The rightly guided is the one who follows Allah's Guidance. Anyone who quits His Way, has gone astray. You will not find any protectors for them outside His Laws. On the Day of Resurrection, We will gather them together prone upon their faces; blind, dumb, and deaf. (That is how they lived their life). Hell is their abode, and every time its flames abate, We shall increase for them its blazing flame.
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 Do they not realize that Allah 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 Say, "If you owned the treasure-houses of my Lord's Bounty, you would try to hold on to them tightly for fear of spending too much. For, man has ever been self-serving."
17:101 (We have been sending Prophets for the reformation of this mentality.) Indeed We gave unto Moses nine clear Messages. Ask then, the Children of Israel what happened when he came unto them and Pharaoh said to him, "Verily, O Moses! I think you are bewitched." (7:133), (27:12).
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, verily, O Pharaoh! I think that you are utterly lost."
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 After that We said to the Children of Israel, "Dwell now securely in the earth but remember that when the last promise comes to pass, We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations." (The first two Promises (17:5), (17:7), (7:157)).
17:105 Truthfully, We have sent it down, and with the Truth it has come down (to you O Prophet). For, We have sent you (O Prophet) as a herald of glad tidings and a Warner.
17:106 With the Qur'an which We have gradually unfolded, so that you might convey it to mankind by stages. Behold, We have sent it down step by step, as one Revelation.
17:107 Say, "Believe in it or do not believe." Those who have been endowed with innate knowledge and make use of it, recognize its glory and fall down upon their faces in prostration as soon as it is conveyed to them."
17:108 They say, "Glory be to our Lord. Verily, the Promise of our Lord has been fulfilled."
17:109 And so they fall down on their chins, weeping, and increasing in humility.
17:110 Say, "Call Him Allah, or call Him Rahman, the Beneficent; to Him belong the best names. By whichever name you call Him, His are all the best attributes of perfection. And be not too loud in your call to the Divine System, nor speak in too low a voice, but follow a way in between.
17:111 And say, "All Praise is due to Allah Who begets not an offspring, and has no partner in His Dominion, and has absolutely no weakness, hence no need of any aid." And so, extol His limitless Greatness. (Establish His Greatness in the Earth with all magnificence, as it is in the entire Universe). (9:33, 74:3).


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