Surah Al-Isra (The Night Journey ) 17 : 24

وَٱخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًا

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
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."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

“And spread over them humbly the wings of your tenderness.” (Verse 24)

At this point the Qur’ān uses very tender words to touch our hearts and consciences. Mercy and compassion are so heightened that they border on humility, making the son and daughter too respectful to look their parents straight in the face, but willing to obey them. It is as if such tenderness spreads wings over one’s parents. This is followed by a prayer: “My Lord, bestow on them Your grace, even as they reared and nurtured me when I was a child.” (Verse 24)

The prayer recalls the care and love, exercised by parents for vulnerable children. Yet now it is the parents themselves who are similarly weak and in need of tender, loving care. Hence, the address to God to bestow His grace on them. Indeed His grace is far greater, and His care is much more wide-ranging. He is better able to reward them for their kindness, while their children can never repay them for it. A ĥadīth mentions that “a man was carrying his mother while he was doing the ţawāf [i.e. the obligatory walk around the Ka`bah] during pilgrimage. He asked the Prophet whether he had discharged his duty towards her. The Prophet said, ‘No, not even for a single deep sigh.’”

This ĥadīth speaks of a mother so weakened she was no longer able to walk in order to fulfil her religious duty of ţawāf. Her son carried her so that she could fulfil that duty, just like a mother carries her child when it is very young. However, that is far from fulfilling a mother’s claim against her children, which is constituted by the constant care she took of them, with every breath of her life.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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The very first verse indicates that this Surah was revealed on the occasion of the ascension (Mi’raj). According to the narrations (hadith) on the life of the Prophet, this event happened one year before migration (Hijrah). Thus this Surah was revealed in the last stage of Prophethood in Makkah.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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The Prophet had been propagating Monotheism (Tawhid) for twelve years now. In spite of all the opposition, Islam had spread to every corner of Arabia and there was hardly a clan which had not been influenced by the invitation. In Makkah itself, the true Believers had formed themselves into a small community.  A large number of the people from the Aws and Khazraj tribes (two influential clans of Madinah) had also now accepted Islam. Thus the time had come for the Muslims to emigrate from Makkah to Madinah, at behest of the Aws and Khazraj to establish an Islamic state.

9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

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12. External Links

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