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Quran Chapter 17 [part 2] - The Night Journey - Explanations, God Advises Prophet Muhammad

41 We have explained things in various ways in this Quran, so that such people might take notice, but it has only turned them further away. 42 Say, ‘If there were other gods along with Him, as they say there are, then they would have tried to find a way to the Lord of the Throne.’ 43 Glory to Him! He is far above what they say! 44 The seven heavens and the earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is not a single thing that does not celebrate His praise, though you do not understand their praise: He is most forbearing, most forgiving.

45 [Prophet], when you recite the Quran, We put an invisible barrier between you and those who do not believe in the life to come. 46 We have put covers on their hearts that prevent them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord in the Quran, and Him alone, they turn their backs and run away. 47 We know best the way they listen, when they listen to you and when they confer in secret, and these wrongdoers say, ‘You are only following a man who is bewitched.’ 48 See what they think you are like! But they are lost and cannot find the right way. 49 They also say, ‘What? When we are turned to bones and dust, shall we really be raised up in a new act of creation?’ 50 Say, ‘[Yes] even if you were [as hard as] stone, or iron, 51 or any other substance you think hard to bring to life.’ Then they will say, ‘Who will bring us back?’ Say, ‘The One who created you the first time.’ Then they will shake their heads at you and say, ‘When will that be?’ Say, ‘It may well be very soon: 52 it will be the Day when He calls you, and you answer by praising Him, and you think you have stayed [on earth] only a little while.’

God Advises Prophet Muhammad

53 [Prophet], tell My servants to say what is best. [a] Satan sows discord among them: Satan is a sworn enemy of man. 54 Your Lord has the most knowledge about all of you: if He pleases He will have mercy on you, and if He pleases He will punish you. [Prophet], We did not send you to take charge of them. 55 Your Lord knows best about everyone in the heavens and the earth. We gave some prophets more than others: We gave David a book [of Psalms]. [b] 56 Say, ‘Call upon those you claim to be deities beside God: they have no power to remove or avert any harm from you.’ 57 Those [angels] [c] they pray to are themselves seeking a way to their Lord, even those who are closest to Him. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is much to be feared: 58 there is no community [d] We shall not destroy, or punish severely, before the Day of Resurrection– this is written in the Book. [e]

59 Nothing prevents Us from sending miraculous signs, [f] except the fact that previous peoples denied them. We gave the people of Thamud the she-camel as a clear sign, yet they maltreated it. We send signs only to give warning. 60 [Prophet], We have told you that your Lord knows all about human beings. The vision We showed you [g] was only a test for people, as was the cursed tree [mentioned] in the Quran. [h] We warn them, but this only increases their insolence.

Adam & Iblees

61 When We said to the angels, ‘Bow down before Adam,’ they all bowed down, but not Iblis. He retorted, ‘Why should I bow down to someone You have created out of clay?’ 62 and [then] said, ‘You see this being You have honored above me? If You reprieve me until the Day of Resurrection, I will lead all but a few of his descendants by the nose.’ 63 God said, ‘Go away! Hell will be your reward, and the reward of any of them who follow you– an ample reward. 64 Rouse whichever of them you can with your voice, muster your cavalry and infantry against them, share their wealth and their children with them, and make promises to them– Satan promises them nothing but delusion– 65 but you will have no authority over My [true] servants: Your Lord can take care of them well enough.’

Humanity is Ungrateful

66 [People], it is your Lord who makes ships go smoothly for you on the sea so that you can seek His bounty: He is most merciful towards you. 67 When you get into distress at sea, those you pray to besides Him desert you, but when He brings you back safe to land you turn away: man is ever ungrateful. 68 Can you be sure that God will not have you swallowed up into the earth when you are back on land, or that He will not send a sandstorm against you? Then you will find no one to protect you. 69 Or can you be sure that He will not send you back out to sea, and send a violent storm against you to drown you for being so ungrateful? You will find no helper against Us there. 70 We have honored the children of Adam and carried them by land and sea; We have provided good sustenance for them and favored them specially above many of those We have created.


a. In arguing about religion and proving it as God has shown here. See 16: 125; 29: 46.

b. See also 4: 163–6.

c. See verse 40.

d. Of evildoers. See 18: 16; 7: 101.

e. God’s divine Record.

f. See 2: 118 for signs demanded by those without knowledge.

g. The vision he was shown on the Night Journey.

h. Said to refer to the tree of Zaqqum in Hell (see 56: 52; 44: 43–6). The eater will curse its fruits (Razi). Both the vision and the tree in Hell were objects of derision for the disbelievers.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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