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al-Isra` (Children of Israel, The Israelites)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah Children of Israel, The Israelites(al-Isra`)
17:1 GLORY BE to Him who made His servant go by night from the Sacred Temple¹ to the farther Temple² whose surroundings We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs. He it is who hears all and observes all.
17:2 We gave Moses the Book and made it a guide for the Israelites: ‘You shall take no guardian other than Myself.
17:3 You are the descendants of those We carried in the ark with Noah: he was a truly thankful servant.‘
17:4 In the Book We decreed to the Israelites: ‘Twice shall you do evil in the land; and you shall commit great transgressions.‘
17:5 And when the prophecy of the first came to be fulfilled, We sent against you servants of Ours, a formidable army¹ which ravaged your land and carried out the punishment that had been promised.
17:6 Then We once again granted you victory over them and multiplied your riches and your descendants, so that once again you grew and multiplied.
17:7 If you do good, it shall be to your advantage; but if you do evil, you shall sin against your own souls.‘ And when the prophecy of the second came to be fulfilled, We sent another² to afflict you and to enter the Temple as the former entered it at first, utterly destroying all that they laid their hands on.
17:8 Your Lord may yet be merciful to you. If you come back, We shall again come back. We have made Hell a prison-house for the unbelievers.‘
17:9 Surely this Koran gives guidance to that which is most upright. It promises the faithful who do good works a rich recompense;
17:10 and those who deny the life to come We have prepared a woeful scourge.
17:11 Yet man prays for evil as fervently as he prays for good. Truly, man is ever impatient.
17:12 We made the night and the day twin marvels. We enshrouded the marvel of the night with darkness and made the marvel of the day to see with, that you might seek the bounty of your Lord and learn to count the seasons and the years.³ We have made all things manifestly plain to you.
17:13 And the fate of each man We have bound about his neck. On the Day of Resurrection We shall confront him with a book he shall find wide open:
17:14 Read your Book: enough for you this day that your own soul should call you to account.‘
17:15 He that seeks guidance shall have guidance for the good of his own soul, and he that errs shall err at his peril. No burdened soul shall bear another‘s burden. Nor do We punish until We have sent forth an emissary.
17:16 When We resolve to raze a city, We first give warning to its prodigals. If they persist in sin therein, judgement is passed, and We destroy it utterly.
17:17 How many generations have We cut down since Noah‘s time! Suffice it that your Lord is well aware of His servants‘ sins and observes them all.
17:18 Whoever desires this fleeting life We shall quickly grant him therein whatever We will and for whomever We please. But then We have prepared Hell for him, wherein he shall burn despised and rejected.
17:19 As for him that desires the life to come and strives for it as he ought to, being a true believer, his endeavours shall be richly recompensed.
17:20 On all ― on these and those ― We bestow the bounty of your Lord: none shall be denied the bounty of your Lord.
17:21 Behold how We have exalted some above others. Yet the life to come has higher ranks of honours and is more exalted.
17:22 Set up no other deity besides God, lest you incur disgrace and ruin:
17:23 your Lord has decreed that you shall worship none but Him. And that you shall show kindness to your parents: if either or both of them attain old age in your dwelling, show them no sign of impatience, nor rebuke them; but speak to them kind words.
17:24 Treat them with humility and tenderness, and say: ‘Lord, be merciful to them, even as they nursed me when I was an infant.‘
17:25 Your Lord best knows what is in your hearts, and knows if you are virtuous. He will surely forgive those that turn to Him in penitence.
17:26 Give to the near of kin their due, and also to the destitute and to the traveller in need. Do not squander your substance wastefully,
17:27 for the wasteful are Satan‘s brothers; and Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
17:28  And if, while hopefully seeking from your Lord some bounty, you lack the means to assist them, then speak to them kindly.
17:29 Be neither miserly nor prodigal, for then you should either earn reproach or be reduced to penury.
17:30 Your Lord gives abundantly to whom He will, and sparingly likewise. He knows and observes His servants.
17:31 You shall not kill your children for fear of poverty.¹ We will provide for them and for you. To kill them is a grievous sin.
17:32 You shall not commit adultery, for it is lewd and the way to evil.
17:33 You shall not kill any man God has forbidden you to kill, except for a just cause. If a man is slain unjustly, his heir shall be entitled to satisfaction. But let him not carry his vengeance to excess, for his victim is sure to be assisted and avenged.
17:34 And do not approach the property of orphans except with the best of motives, until they reach maturity. Keep your promises; you are accountable for all that you promise.
17:35 And give full measure, when you measure, and weigh with even scales; that is better and fairer in the end.
17:36 Do not follow what you know not. Man‘s eyes, ears, and heart ― each of his senses shall be closely questioned.
17:37 And do not walk proudly on the earth. You cannot split the earth, nor can you rival the mountains in stature.
17:38 Evil is all this in the sight of your Lord, and odious.
17:39 These are but some of the wise precepts your Lord has inspired you² with. Serve no other deity besides God, lest you should be cast into Hell, condemned and rejected.
17:40 What! Has your Lord favoured you³ with sons and Himself adopted females from among the angels? A monstrous blasphemy is that which you utter.
17:41 We have expounded Our revelations in this Koran so that they may remember. Yet it has only added to their aversion.
17:42 Say: ‘If, as they claim, there were other gods besides God, they would surely seek to dethrone Him.‘
17:43 Glory be to Him! Exalted be He, high above their falsehoods!
17:44 The seven heavens, the earth, and all who dwell in them give glory to Him. All creatures celebrate His praises. Yet you cannot understand their praises. Benevolent is He and forgiving.
17:45 And when you recite the Koran, We place between you and those who deny the life to come a hidden screen.
17:46 We have cast veils over their hearts lest they understand it, and made them hard of hearing. When you make mention of your Lord, alone, in the Koran they turn their backs with much aversion.
17:47 We well know what they wish to hear in it when they listen to you, and what they say when they converse in private; when the wrongdoers declare: ‘The man you follow is surely bewitched.‘
17:48 Behold what epithets they bestow upon you. They have surely gone astray and cannot find the right path.
17:49 And they say: ‘What! When we are turned to bones and dust, shall we be restored in a new creation?‘
17:50 Say: ‘Whether you turn to stone or iron,
17:51 or any other substance you may think unlikely to be given life.‘ They will say: ‘Who will restore us?‘ Say: ‘He that created you at first.‘ They will shake their heads at you and say: ‘When will this be?‘ Say: ‘It may well be near at hand.
17:52 On that day He will summon you all, and you shall answer Him with praises. You shall think that you have lingered but a little while.‘
17:53 And tell My servants to be courteous in their speech. Satan would sow discord among them; Satan is surely the veritable enemy of man.
17:54 Your Lord knows you best. He will show you mercy if He will, and punish you if He pleases. We have not sent you to be their guardian.
17:55 Your Lord is best aware of all who dwell in the heavens and the earth. We have exalted some prophets above others. To David We gave Psalms.
17:56 Say: ‘Pray if you will to those whom you deify besides Him.¹ They cannot relieve your distress, nor can they change it.‘
17:57 Those to whom they pray, themselves seek to approach their Lord, vying with each other to be near Him. They crave His mercy and fear His punishment; for your Lord‘s punishment is to be feared indeed.
17:58 There is no city but We shall obliterate it before the Day of Resurrection, or grievously punish it: that is decreed in the Eternal Book.
17:59 And nothing hinders us from sending signs except that the ancients disbelieved them. To Thamūd We gave the she-camel as a visible sign, yet they laid violent hands on her. We give signs only by way of warning.
17:60 We have told you that your Lord encompasses mankind. We have made the vision which We showed you, as well as the tree² cursed in the Koran, but a test for people‘s faith. We seek to put fear in their hearts, but this only makes their wickedness all the more outrageous.
17:61 And when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam,‘ they all prostrated themselves, except Satan, who said: ‘Shall I bow to him whom You have made of clay?
17:62 And he said: ‘Do You see this being whom You have exalted above me? If You give me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will exterminate all but a few of his descendants.‘
17:63 Go!‘ said He. ‘Hell is your reward, and the reward of those that follow you. An ample recompense it shall be.
17:64 Rouse with your voice whomever you are able. Muster against them your battalions of horse and foot. Be their partner in riches and in offspring. Promise them what you will. (Satan promises them only to deceive them.)
17:65 But over My true servants you shall have no authority. Sufficient is your Lord as a guardian.‘
17:66 It is your Lord who drives for you the ships across the ocean, that you may seek His bounty. Surely He is ever compassionate towards you.
17:67 And when at sea a misfortune befalls you, all but Him of those to whom you pray forsake you; yet when He brings you safe to dry land you turn your backs: truly, man is ever thankless.
17:68 Are you confident He will not cause the earth to cave in beneath you, or let loose a deadly sand-storm upon you? Then you shall find none to protect you.
17:69 Or are you confident that when again He lets you put to sea He will not blast you with a violent tempest and drown you for being thankless? Then you shall find none to prosecute your case against Us.
17:70 We have bestowed bounties on Adam‘s descendants and carried them by land and sea. We have provided them with wholesome things and exalted them above a great many of Our creatures.
17:71 The day will surely come when We shall summon each community with its leader. Those who are given their books in their right hands will read their recorded doings, and shall not in the least be wronged.
17:72 And those who have been blind in this life shall be blind in the life to come and more misguided.
17:73 They sought to entice you from Our revelations ― they nearly did ― hoping that you might invent another in Our name, and thus they would adopt you as an intimate friend.
17:74 Indeed, had We not strengthened your faith, you might have made some compromise with them
17:75 and We would thus have made you taste a double punishment in this life and a double punishment after death. Then you should have found none to help you against Us.
17:76 And they sought to provoke you ― they nearly did ― and thus drive you out of the land: and they then would have scarcely survived your departure.
17:77 Such was Our way with the apostles We sent before you. And you shall find no change in Our accustomed way.
17:78 Perform the prayer at sunset, at nightfall, and at dawn recital; the dawn recital has its witnesses:
17:79 during the night as well: an additional duty, for the fulfilment of which your Lord may exalt you to a praiseworthy station.
17:80 Say: ‘Lord, grant me a goodly entrance and a goodly exit, and sustain me with Your own power.‘
17:81 And say: ‘Truth has come and Falsehood has been routed. Falsehood was bound to be routed.‘
17:82 That which We reveal in the Koran is a balm and a blessing to true believers, although it only adds to the wrongdoers‘ prospects of perdition.
17:83 When We bestow bounties on man, he turns his back and holds aloof; and when evil befalls him, he grows despondent.
17:84 Say: ‘Each man behaves after his own fashion. But your Lord best knows who is more rightly guided.‘
17:85 And they put questions to you about the Spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit is at my Lord‘s command. Little indeed is the knowledge vouchsafed to you.‘
17:86 If We please, We could take away that which We have revealed to you: then you should find none to plead with Us on your behalf,
17:87 except through a favour from your Lord. His goodness to you has been great indeed.
17:88 Say: ‘If men and jinn combined to produce a book akin to this Koran, they would surely fail to produce its like, though they helped one another as best they could.‘
17:89 We have set forth for people in this Koran all manner of arguments, yet most of them persist in unbelief.
17:90 They say: ‘We will not believe in you until you make a spring gush from the earth before our very eyes,
17:91 or cause rivers to gush in a grove of palms and vines;
17:92 until you cause the sky to fall upon us in fragments, as you have claimed you would, or bring down God and the angels in our midst;
17:93 until you have for yourself a house of gold, or ascend to heaven: nor will we believe in your ascent until you have sent down for us a book which we can read.‘ Say: ‘Glory be to my Lord! Am I not but an emissary, made of flesh and blood?‘
17:94 Nothing prevents people from having faith when guidance comes to them but the excuse: ‘Can it be that God has sent a human as an emissary?‘
17:95 Say: ‘Had the earth been safe enough for angels to walk on, We would have sent down to them an angel from heaven as an emissary.‘
17:96 Say: ‘Sufficient is God as my witness, and your witness. He well knows and closely observes His servants.‘
17:97 Those whom God guides are rightly guided; and those whom He confounds shall find no guardians besides Him. We shall herd them all on the Day of Resurrection, prostrate upon their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf. Hell shall be their home: whenever its flames die down We will rekindle them into a greater conflagration.
17:98 Thus shall they be rewarded: because they disbelieved Our revelations and said: ‘When we are turned to bones and dust, shall we be restored in a new creation?‘
17:99 Or do they not see that God, who has created the heavens and the earth, has power to create their like? Their term He pre-ordained beyond all doubt. Yet the wrong-doers persist in unbelief.
17:100 Say: ‘Had you possessed the treasures of my Lord‘s mercy, you would have covetously hoarded them. How niggardly is man!‘
17:101 And to Moses We gave nine conspicuous signs. Ask the Israelites how he first appeared among them. Pharaoh said to him: ‘Moses, I can see that you are bewitched.‘
17:102 ‘You know full well,‘ he replied, ‘that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these visible signs. Indeed, Pharaoh, I can see that you are doomed.‘
17:103 He sought to scare them out of the land: but We drowned him, together with those who were with him all.
17:104 Then We said to the Israelites: ‘Dwell in the land. When the promise of the hereafter comes to be fulfilled, We shall herd you all together.‘
17:105 With the Truth We have revealed it, and with the Truth it has come down. We have sent you forth only to proclaim joyful tidings and to give warning;
17:106 with a Koran that We divided into sections, that you may recite it to the people with deliberation. We have imparted it by gradual revelation.
17:107 Say: ‘It is for you to believe in it or to deny it. Those who were endowed with knowledge before its revelation prostrate themselves when it is recited to them
17:108 and say: "Glorious is our Lord. Our Lord‘s promise has surely been fulfilled."
17:109 They fall down upon their faces, weeping; and as they listen, their awe increases.‘
17:110 Say: ‘You may call on God or you may call on the Merciful: by whatever name you call on Him, His are the most gracious names.‘ Pray neither with too loud a voice nor in silence, but, between these extremes, seek a middle course.
17:111 Say: ‘Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom; who needs none to protect Him from humiliation.‘ Proclaim His greatness.


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