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The Holy Quran, tr. by Yusuf Ali, [1934], at

p. 693

Sūra XVII.

Banī Isrā-īl, or the Children of Israel,

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 heareth
And seeth (all things).

2. We gave Moses the Book,
And made it a Guide

p. 694

To the Children of Israel,
(Commanding): "Take not
Other than Me
As Disposer of (your) affairs."

3. O ye 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.

p. 695

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 man-power.

7. If ye did well,
Ye did well for yourselves;
If ye did evil,
(Ye 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

p. 696

Unto you; but if ye
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-ān
Doth 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;

10. And to those who believe not
In the Hereafter, (it announceth)
That We have prepared
For them a Penalty
Grievous (indeed).


11. The prayer that man
Should make for good,
He maketh for evil;
For man is given to
Hasty (deeds).

12. We have made the Night
And the Day as two

p. 697

(Of Our) Signs: the Sign
Of the Night have We obscured,
While the Sign of the Day
We have made to enlighten
You; that ye may seek
Bounty from your Lord,
And that ye 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 thine (own) record:
Sufficient is thy soul
This day to make out
An account against thee."

p. 698

15. Who receiveth guidance,
Receiveth it for his own
Benefit: who goeth astray
Doth 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
An apostle (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 thy Lord
To note and see
The sins of His servants

p. 699

18. If any do wish
For the transitory things
(Of this life), We readily
Grant them—such things
As We will, to such persons
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
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 thy Lord
We bestow freely on all—
These as well as those:
The bounties of thy 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

p. 700

And more in excellence.

22. Take not with God
Another object of worship;
Or thou (O man!) wilt sit
In disgrace and destitution.'


23. Why Lord hath decreed
That ye worship hone but Him,
And that ye be kind
To parents. Whether one
Or both of them attain
Old age in thy life,
Say not to them a word
Of contempt, nor repel them,
But address them
In terms of honour.

p. 701

24. And, out of kindness,
Lower to them the wing
Of humility, and say:
"My Lord! bestow on them
Thy Mercy even as they
Cherished me in childhood.

25. Your Lord knoweth best
What is in your hearts:
If ye 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.

p. 702

27. Verily spendthrifts are brothers
Of the Evil Ones;
And the Evil One
Is to his Lord (Himself)

28. And even if thou hast
To turn away from them
In pursuit of the Mercy
From thy Lord which thou
Dost expect, yet speak
To them a word
Of easy kindness.

29. Make not thy hand tied
(Like a niggard's) to thy neck,
Nor stretch it forth
To its utmost reach,
So that thou become
Blameworthy and destitute.

30. Verily thy Lord doth provide
Sustenance in abundance
For whom He pleaseth, and He
Provideth in a just measure.
For He doth know
And regard all His servants.

p. 703


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 nigh 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 Qiṣāṣ
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 nigh
To the orphan's property
Except to improve it,

p. 704

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 ye
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 thou hast
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 thou

p. 705

Canst not rend the earth
Asunder, nor reach
The mountains in height.

38. Of all such things
The evil is hateful
In the sight of thy Lord.

39. These are among the (precepts
Of) wisdom, which thy Lord
Has revealed to thee.
Take not, with God,
Another object of worship,
Lest thou shouldst 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 ye utter
A most dreadful saying!

p. 706


41. We have explained (things)
In various (ways) in this Qur-ān,
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 ye understand not
How they declare His glory!
Verily He is Oft-Forbearing,
Most Forgiving!

45. When thou dost recite
The Qur-ān, We put,

p. 707

Between thee and those who
Believe not to the Hereafter,
A veil invisible:

46. And We put coverings
Over their hearts (and minds)
Lest they should understand
The Our-ān, and deafness
Into their ears: when thou
Dost commemorate thy Lord—
And Him alone—in the Qur-ān,
They turn on their backs,
Fleeing (from the Truth).

47. We know best why it is
They listen, when they listen
To thee; and when they
Meet in private conference,
Behold, the wicked say,
"Ye follow none other than
A man bewitched!"

48. See what similes they strike
For thee: but they have gone
Astray, and never can they
Find a way.

49. They say: "What!
When we are reduced

p. 708

To bones and dust,
Should we really be raised up
(To be) a new creation?

50. Say: "(Nay!) be ye
Stones or iron,

51. "Or created matter
Which, in your minds,
Is hardest (to be raised up),
(Yet shall ye 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 thee,
And say, "When will
That be?" Say, "May be
It will be quite soon!

52. "It will be on a Day
When He will call you,
And ye will answer
(His call) with (words
Of) His praise, and ye
Will think that ye tarried
But a little while!

p. 709


53. Say to My servants
That they should (only) say
Those things that are best:
For Satan doth sow
Dissensions among them:
For Satan is to man
An avowed enemy.

54. It is your Lord
That knoweth you best:
If He please, He granteth
You mercy, or if He please,
Punishment: We have not sent
Thee to be a disposer
Of their affairs for them.

55. And it is your Lord
That knoweth 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.

p. 710

56. Say: "Call on those—
Besides Him—whom ye 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 thy 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:

p. 711

We sent the She-camel
To the Thamūd 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 thee
That thy Lord doth encompass
Mankind round about:
We granted the Vision
Which We showed thee,
But as a trial for men,—
As also the Cursed Tree
(Mentioned) in the Qur-ān:
We put terror (and warning)
Into them, but it only
Increases their inordinate

p. 712


61. Behold! We said to the angels:
"Bow down unto Adam":
They bowed down except Iblīs
He said, "Shall I bow down
To one whom Thou didst create
From clay?"

62. He said, "Seest Thou? This is
The one whom Thou hast honoured
Above me! If Thou wilt 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 thy way;
If any of them follow thee,
Verily Hell will be
The recompense of you (all)—
An ample recompense.

p. 713

64. "Lead to destruction those
Whom thou canst among them,
With thy (seductive) voice;
Make assaults on them
With thy cavalry and thy
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 shalt thou
Have over them:"
Enough is thy Lord
For a Disposer of affairs.

66. Your Lord is He
That maketh the Ship
Go smoothly for you
Through the sea, in order that
Ye may seek of His Bounty.
For He is unto you
Most Merciful.

67. When distress seizes you
At sea, those that ye
Call upon—besides Himself—
Leave you in the lurch!
But when He brings you back
Safe to land, ye turn

p. 714

Away (from Him). Most ungrateful
Is man!

68. Do ye then feel secure
That He will not cause you
To be swallowed up
Beneath the earth
When ye are on land,
Or that He will not send
Against you a violent tornado
(With showers of stones)
So that ye shall find
No one to carry out
Your affairs for you?

69. Or do ye 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 ye find no helper
Therein against Us?

70. We have honoured 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 favours,
Above a great part
Of Our Creation.

p. 715


71. One day We shall call
Together all human beings
With their (respective) Imāms:
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 he
Blind in the Hereafter,
And most astray
From the Path.

73. And their purpose was
To tempt thee away
From that which We
Had revealed unto thee,
To substitute in Our name
Something quite different:
(In that case), behold!
They would certainly have
Made thee (their) friend!

74. And had We not
Given thee strength,

p. 716

Thou wouldst nearly
Have inclined to them
A little.

75. In that case We should
Have made thee taste
An equal portion (of punishment)
In this life, and an equal portion
In death: and moreover
Thou wouldst have found
None to help thee against Us!

76. Their purpose was to scare
Thee off the land,
In order to expel thee;
But in that case they
Would not have stayed
(Therein) after thee,
Except for a little while.

77. (This was Our) way
With the apostles We sent
Before thee: thou wilt find
No change in Our ways.


78. Establish regular prayers—
At the sun's decline

p. 717

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 thee: soon will thy Lord
Raise thee to a Station
Of Praise and Glory!

80. Say: "O my Lord!
Let my entry be
By the Gate of Truth
And Honour, and likewise
My exit by the Gate
Of Truth and Honour;
And grant me
From Thy Presence
An authority to aid (me).

p. 718

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-ān 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 favours 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."

p. 719


85. They ask thee concerning
The Spirit (of inspiration).
Say: "The Spirit (cometh)
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 thee by inspiration
Then wouldst thou find
None to plead thy affair
In that matter as against Us,—

87. Except for Mercy from thy Lord:
For His Bounty is
To thee (indeed) great.

88. Say: "If the whole
Of mankind and Jinns
Were to gather together
To produce the like
Of this Qur-ān, they
Could not produce
The like thereof, even if
They backed up each other

p. 720

With help and support.

89. And We have explained
To man, in this Qur-ān,
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 thee, until thou
Cause a spring to gush
Forth for us from the earth,

91. "Or (until) thou have
A garden of date trees
And vines, and cause rivers
To gush forth in their midst,
Carrying abundant water;

92. "Or thou cause the sky
To fall in pieces, as thou
Sayest (will happen), against us;

p. 721

Or thou bring God
And the angels before (us)
Face to face;

93. "Or thou have a house
Adorned with gold,
Or thou mount a ladder
Right into the skies.
No, we shall not even believe
In thy mounting until thou
Send down to us a book
That we could read."
Say: "Glory to my Lord!
Am I aught but a man,—
An apostle?"


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) Apostle?"

95. Say, "If there were settled,
On earth, angels walking about

p. 722

In peace and quiet, We should
Certainly have sent them
Down from the heavens
An angel for an apostle."

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 wilt thou
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 for 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?"

p. 723

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 ye had
Control of the Treasures
Of the Mercy of my Lord,
Behold, ye would keep them
Back, for fear of spending
Them: for man
Is (ever) niggardly!"


101. To Moses We did give
Nine Clear Signs:
Ask the Children of Israel:
When he came to them,
Pharaoh said to him:
"O Moses! I consider thee,

p. 724

Indeed, to have been
Worked upon by sorcery!

102. Moses said, "Thou knowest
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 thee
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

p. 725

105. We sent down the (Qur-ān)
In Truth, and in Truth
Has it descended: and We sent
Thee but to give Glad
Tidings and to warn (sinners).

106. (It is) a Qur-ān
Which We have divided
(Into parts from time to time),
In order that thou mightest
Recite it to men
At intervals: We have
Revealed it by stages.

107. Say: "Whether ye believe
In it or not, it is true
That those who were given
Knowledge beforehand, when
It it 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!"

p. 726

109. They fall down on their faces
In tears, and it increases
Their (earnest) humility!

110. Say: "Call upon God, or
Call upon Raḥmān:
By whatever name ye call
Upon Him, (it is well):
For to Him belong
The Most Beautiful Names.
Neither speak thy Prayer aloud,
Nor speak it in a low tone,
But seek a middle course

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
Yea, magnify Him
For His greatness and glory!"

p. 727

Next: Sūra XVIII. Kahf, or the Cave