Surah Al-Isra (The Night Journey ) 17 : 3
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
This episode in the Children of Israel’s history is mentioned only in this sūrah in the Qur’ān. It refers to the fate of the Jews which led to the collapse of their state. It reveals the direct relationship between the spread of corruption and loose morality in a nation and its decline and destruction. This comes in fulfilment of a law of nature God has set in operation, and which the sūrah refers to. The law states that the corruption and immorality of the affluent in any community is the cause of its destruction by God.
The story begins here by mentioning Moses’ revealed book, the Torah, and the warnings it gives to the Israelites. It reminds them of their great ancestor, Noah, God’s obedient and truly grateful servant, and also of their ancestors who were carried with him in the ark. It should be remembered that only the believers were allowed on the ark: “We gave Moses the book and made it a [source of] guidance for the Children of Israel, saying: Do not take anyone for a guardian other than Me. You are the descendants of those whom We carried [in the ark] with Noah. He was a truly grateful servant of Ours.” (Verses 2-3)
Both the warning and the reminder are confirmation of the promise that the sūrah soon mentions. The promise makes it clear that God will not inflict punishment on any community unless He sends them first a messenger to warn and remind them. It makes clear the primary purpose of giving the book to Moses. It serves as a source of guidance and warns them: “Do not take anyone for a guardian other than Me.” They must rely on none other than God and turn to Him only for guidance. This is the essence of faith. Anyone who seeks a guardian other than God is misguided and devoid of true faith.
The sūrah makes its address to them in the name of their ancestors who were carried in the ark with Noah. These were the best of mankind at the time of the first messenger on earth. Pointing out this relationship in this address serves to remind them of God’s grace when He saved their forefathers with His truly grateful servant, Noah. Thus it establishes an age-long bond of faith. That Noah is described here as God’s servant is intended to emphasize this point and also to highlight the essential quality of God’s chosen messengers, which is their servitude to Him. In the first verse Muĥammad is described as ‘God’s servant’. This follows the Qur’ānic method of maintaining an air of harmony and coherence throughout each sūrah.
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
- Nuh (Noah) a.s is desribed by Allah as: "إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ عَبۡدً۬ا شَكُورً۬ا" "Indeed, he was a Grateful slave" The general word for 'grateful' in Arabic is 'Shaakiran'; 'someone who shows gratitude', However, Allah says "Shakoor" instead. The use of the word "Shakoor", as opposed to 'Shaakir', which the Qur'an does . . . Does 2 things; 1st, It makes him Extremely, Excessively grateful at every occasion (known as Mubaalaghah in Linguistics) 2nd, It makes it a constant. "Shakoor" combines 2 qualities. He is constantly Grateful, and every time, he demonstrates the Most Extreme form of Gratitude.
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
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[ edit ]
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.