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al-Isra` (Children of Israel, The Israelites)
as rendered by Aisha Bewley
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Aisha Bewley rendition of Surah Children of Israel, The Israelites(al-Isra`)
17:1 Glory be to Him who took His slave on a journey by night from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
17:2 We gave Musa the Book and made it guidance for the tribe of Israel: ´Do not take anyone besides Me as a guardian.´
17:3 Descendants of those We carried with Nuh. He was a grateful slave.
17:4 We decreed in the Book for the tribe of Israel: ´You will twice cause corruption on the earth and you will rise to a great height.
17:5 When the promised first time came, We sent against you slaves of Ours possessing great force, and they ransacked your houses, rampaging right through them. It was a promise which was fulfilled.
17:6 Then once again We gave you the upper hand over them and supplied you with more wealth and children and made you the most numerous group.
17:7 If you do good, you do it to yourselves. If you do evil, you do it to your detriment. When the next promised time arrived, it was so that they could injure you and enter the Temple as they had entered it the first time, and in order to completely destroy what they had conquered.
17:8 It may well be that your Lord will have mercy on you. But if you revert to what you did, We also will revert. We have made Hell a prison for the kafirun.´
17:9 This Qur´an guides to the most upright Way and gives good news to the muminun who do right actions that they will have a large reward.
17:10 But as for those who do not have iman in the Next World, We have prepared for them a painful punishment.
17:11 Man prays for evil just as he prays for good. Man is prone to be impetuous.
17:12 We made the night and day two Signs. We blotted out the Sign of the night and made the Sign of the day a time for seeing so that you can seek favour from your Lord and will know the number of years and the reckoning of time. We have made all things very clear.
17:13 We have fastened the destiny of every man about his neck and on the Day of Rising We will bring out a Book for him which he will find spread open in front of him.
17:14 ´Read your Book! Today your own self is reckoner enough against you!´
17:15 Whoever is guided is only guided to his own good. Whoever is misguided is only misguided to his detriment. No burden-bearer can bear another´s burden. We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.
17:16 When We desire to destroy a city, We send a command to the affluent in it and they become deviant in it and the Word is justly carried out against it and We annihilate it completely.
17:17 How many generations We destroyed after Nuh! Your Lord is well able to be aware of and see the wrong actions of His slaves!
17:18 As for anyone who desires this fleeting existence, We hasten in it whatever We will to whoever We want. Then We will consign him to Hell where he will roast, reviled and driven out.
17:19 But as for anyone who desires the Next World, and strives for it with the striving it deserves, being a mumin, the striving of such people will be gratefully acknowledged.
17:20 We sustain each one, the former and the latter, through the generous giving of your Lord; and the giving of your Lord is not restricted.
17:21 Look how We favour some of them over others. But the Next World has higher ranks and greater favours.
17:22 Do not set up any other god together with Allah and so sit there reviled and forsaken.
17:23 Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none but Him, and that you should show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ´Ugh!´ to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity.
17:24 Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: ´Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small.´
17:25 Your Lord knows best what is in your selves. If you are righteous, He is Ever-Forgiving to the remorseful.
17:26 Give your relatives their due, and the very poor and travellers but do not squander what you have.
17:27 Squanderers are brothers to the shaytans, and Shaytan was ungrateful to his Lord.
17:28 But if you do turn away from them, seeking the mercy you hope for from your Lord, then speak to them with words that bring them ease.
17:29 Do not keep your hand chained to your neck but do not extend it either to its full extent so that you sit there blamed and destitute.
17:30 Your Lord expands the provision of anyone He wills and restricts it. He is aware of and sees His slaves.
17:31 Do not kill your children out of fear of being poor. We will provide for them and you. Killing them is a terrible mistake.
17:32 And do not go near to fornication. It is an indecent act, an evil way.
17:33 Do not kill any person Allah has made inviolate, except with the right to do so. If someone is wrongly killed We have given authority to his next of kin. But he should not be excessive in taking life. He will be helped.
17:34 Do not go near the property of orphans before they reach maturity, except in a good way. Fulfil your contracts. Contracts will be asked about.
17:35 Give full measure when you measure and weigh with a level balance. That is better and gives the best result.
17:36 Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of. Hearing, sight and hearts will all be questioned.
17:37 Do not strut arrogantly about the earth. You will certainly never split the earth apart nor will you ever rival the mountains in height.
17:38 All of that is evil action and hateful in the sight of your Lord.
17:39 That is part of the wisdom your Lord has revealed to you. Do not set up another god together with Allah and so be thrown into Hell, blamed and driven out.
17:40 Has your Lord honoured you with sons and Himself taken the angels as daughters? It is truly something terrible that you say!
17:41 We have made things clear in this Qur´an so that they might pay heed, but it only makes them run away the more!
17:42 Say: ´If there had, as you say, been other gods together with Him, they would have sought a way to the Master of the Throne.´
17:43 Glory be to Him! He is exalted above what they say in Greatness and Sublimity!
17:44 The seven heavens and the earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is nothing which does not glorify Him with praise but you do not understand their glorification. He is All-Forbearing, Ever-Forgiving.
17:45 When you recite the Qur´an, We place an obscuring veil between you and those who do not believe in the akhira.
17:46 We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur´an, they turn their backs and run away.
17:47 We know how they listen when they listen to you, and when they confer together secretly, and when the wrongdoers say, ´You are only following a man who is bewitched!´
17:48 Look how they make likenesses of you and go astray. They are unable to find their way.
17:49 They say, ´What! When we are bones and crumbled dust, will we then be raised up as a new creation!´
17:50 Say: ´It would not matter if you were rock or iron,
17:51 Or indeed any created thing that you think is harder still!´ They will say, ´Who will bring us back again?´ Say: ´He who brought you into being in the first place.´ They will shake their heads at you and ask, ´When will it happen?´ Say: ´It may well be that it is very near.´
17:52 On the Day He calls you, you will respond by praising Him and think that you have only tarried a very short time.
17:53 Say to My slaves that they should only say the best. Shaytan wants to stir up trouble between them. Shaytan is an outright enemy to man.
17:54 Your Lord knows you best. If He wills, He will have mercy on you, and, if He wills, He will punish you. We did not send you to be their guardian.
17:55 My Lord knows best everyone in the heavens and earth. We favoured some of the Prophets over others. And We gave Dawud the Zabur.
17:56 Say: ´Call on those you make claims for apart from Him. They possess no power to remove any harm from you or to change anything.´
17:57 Those they call on are themselves seeking the means by which they might approach their Lord — even those who are the closest to Him — and are hoping for His mercy and fearing his punishment. The punishment of your Lord is truly something to be feared.
17:58 There is no city We will not destroy before the Day of Rising, or punish with a terrible punishment. That is inscribed in the Book.
17:59 Nothing has prevented Us sending you Signs except the fact that the previous peoples denied them. We gave Thamud the she-camel as a visible Sign, and then they mistreated her. We do not send Signs except to frighten people.
17:60 When We said to you, ´Surely your Lord encompasses the people with His knowledge.´ We only appointed the vision We showed you and the Accursed Tree in the Qur´an as a trial and temptation for the people. We frighten them, but it only increases them in their excessive insolence.
17:61 When We said to the angels, ´Prostrate yourselves to Adam!´ they prostrated, except for Iblis. He said ´What! Am I to prostrate to one You have created out of clay?´
17:62 He said, ´Do You see this creature You have honoured over me? If You reprieve me till the Day of Rising, I will be the master of his descendants except for a very few.´
17:63 He said, ´Go! And as for any who follow you, your repayment is Hell, repayment in full!
17:64 Stir up any of them you can with your voice and rally against them your cavalry and your infantry and share with them in their children and their wealth and make them promises! The promise of Shaytan is nothing but delusion.
17:65 But as for My slaves, you will not have any authority over them.´ Your Lord suffices as a guardian.
17:66 Your Lord is He who propels the ships on the sea for you so that you may seek His bounty. He is indeed Most Merciful to you.
17:67 When harm occurs to you at sea, those you call on vanish — except for Him alone! But when He delivers you to dry land, you turn away. Man truly is ungrateful.
17:68 Do you feel secure against Him causing the shore to swallow you up or sending against you a sudden squall of stones? Then you will find no one to be your guardian.
17:69 Or do you feel secure against Him taking you back into it another time and sending a violent storm against you and drowning you for your ingratitude? Then you will find no one to defend you against Us.
17:70 We have honoured the sons of Adam and conveyed them on land and sea and provided them with good things and favoured them greatly over many We have created.
17:71 On the Day We summon every people with their records, those who are given their Book in their right hand will read their Book and they will not be wronged by even the smallest speck.
17:72 Those who are blind in this world will be blind in the Next World and even further off the Path.
17:73 They were very near to enticing you away from some of what We have revealed to you, hoping that you would invent something against Us. Then they would have taken you as their intimate.
17:74 If We had not made you firm, you would have leaned towards them a little.
17:75 Then We would have let you taste a double punishment in life and a double punishment in death. You would not have found any helper against Us.
17:76 They were very near to scaring you from the land with the object of expelling you from it. But had they done so they would only have remained there a short time after you.
17:77 That was the pattern with those We sent before you as Our Messengers. You will not find any changing of Our pattern.
17:78 Establish salat from the time the sun declines until the darkening of the night, and also the recitation at dawn. The dawn recitation is certainly witnessed.
17:79 And stay awake for prayer during part of the night as a supererogatory action for yourself. It may well be that your Lord will raise you to a Praiseworthy Station.
17:80 Say: ´My Lord, make my entry sincere and make my leaving sincere and grant me supporting authority direct from Your Presence.´
17:81 Say: ´Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is always bound to vanish.´
17:82 We send down in the Qur´an that which is a healing and a mercy to the muminun, but it only increases the wrongdoers in loss.
17:83 When We bless man, he turns away and draws aside. When evil touches him, he despairs.
17:84 Say: ´Each man acts according to his nature, but your Lord knows best who is best guided on the Path.´
17:85 They will ask you about the Ruh. Say: ´The Ruh is my Lord´s concern. You have only been given a little knowledge.´
17:86 If We wished We could take away what We have revealed to you and then you would not find any to guard you from Us —
17:87 but for a mercy from your Lord. His favour to you is indeed immense.
17:88 Say: ´If both men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur´an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they backed each other up.´
17:89 We have variegated throughout this Qur´an all kinds of examples for people, but most people spurn anything but kufr.
17:90 They say, ´We will not believe you until you make a spring gush out from the earth for us;
17:91 or have a garden of dates and grapes which you make rivers come pouring through;
17:92 or make the sky, as you claim, fall down on us in lumps; or bring Allah and the angels here as a guarantee;
17:93 or possess a house built out of gleaming gold; or ascend up into heaven — and even then we will not believe in your ascent unless you bring us down a book to read!´ Say: ´Glory be to my Lord! Am I anything but a human messenger?´
17:94 Nothing prevents people from having iman when guidance comes to them but the fact that they say, ´Has Allah sent a human being as Messenger?´
17:95 Say: ´If there had been angels on the earth going about in peace, We would have sent down to them an angel from heaven as Messenger.´
17:96 Say: ´Allah is a sufficient witness between me and you. He is certainly aware of and sees His slaves.´
17:97 Whoever Allah guides is truly guided. But as for those He leads astray, you will not find any protectors for them apart from Him. We will gather them on the Day of Rising, flat on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf. Their shelter will be Hell. Whenever the Blaze dies down, We will increase it for them.
17:98 That is their repayment for rejecting Our Signs and saying, ´What, when we are bones and crumbled dust, will we then be raised up as a new creation?´
17:99 Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and earth, has the power to create the like of them, and has appointed fixed terms for them of which there is no doubt? But the wrongdoers still spurn anything but kufr.
17:100 Say: ´Even if you possessed the vast storehouses of my Lord´s mercy, you would still hold back, fearing they would run out.´
17:101 We gave Musa nine Clear Signs. Ask the tribe of Israel about when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, ´Musa, I think you are bewitched.´
17:102 He said, ´You know that no one sent these down but the Lord of the heavens and earth to be clear proofs. Pharaoh, I think you are destroyed.´
17:103 He wanted to scare them from the land but We drowned him and every one of those with him.
17:104 We said to the tribe of Israel after that, ´Inhabit the land and, when the promise of the Next World comes, We will produce you as a motley crowd.´
17:105 We have sent it down with truth and with truth it has come down. We only sent you to bring good news and to give warning.
17:106 We have divided up the Qur´an, so you can recite it to mankind at intervals, and We have sent it down little by little.
17:107 Say: ´Have iman in it or do not have iman in it.´ Certainly, when it is recited to them, those who were given knowledge before it fall on their faces in prostration,
17:108 saying, ´Glory be to our Lord! The promise of our Lord is truly fulfilled!´ Weeping,
17:109 they fall to the ground in prostration, and it increases them in humility.
17:110 Say: ´Call on Allah or call on the All-Merciful, whichever you call upon, the Most Beautiful Names are His.´ Do not be too loud in your salat or too quiet in it, but try to find a way between the two.
17:111 And say: ´Praise be to Allah Who has had no son and Who has no partner in His Kingdom and Who needs no one to protect Him from abasement.´ And proclaim His Greatness repeatedly!


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