The General Translation & Tafsir of the Ayat of Isra

12/12/2012 20:36


The General Translation & Tafsir of the Ayat of Isra


سُبْحَانَ ٱلَّذِى أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَىٰ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَآ إِنَّهُ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلبَصِيرُ 


{Bani Israil; 17: 1}


Yusuf Ali translates the Ayah as follows:


“Glory to (Allah) 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).”


The Salafis, Mohsin & Hilali translate the Ayah as follows:


“Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] [Tafsir Qurtubi, Vol. 10, Page 204] Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”




General Tafsir of the Ayah of ‘Isra’

Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti Shafai’ {d. 911 A.H} states:

{ سُبْحَانَ } أي تنزيه

{ ٱلَّذِى أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ } محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم

{ لَيْلاً } نصب على الظرف، والإِسراء: سير الليل، وفائدة ذكره الإِشارة بتنكيره إلى تقليل مدّته

{ مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ } أي مكة

{ إِلَىٰ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلاْقْصَى } بيت المقدس لبُعْده منه

{ ٱلَّذِى بَٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ } بالثمار والأنهار

{ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِنَا } عجائب قدرتنا

{ إِنَّهُ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلبَصِيرُ } أي العالم بأقوال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأفعاله، فأنعم عليه بالإِسراء المشتمل على اجتماعه بالأنبياء وعروجه إلى السماء ورؤية عجائب الملكوت ومناجاته له تعالى.


Translation of the Above Tafsir


(i) { سُبْحَانَ } “Subhan” : Meaning, We exalt Him for above His Being there with associated in Worship.


(ii) { ٱلَّذِى أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ } “Al Lazi Asra bi Abdihi” : Meaning, Muhammad .


(iii) { لَيْلاً } “Laylan” : By Night. <“Laylan” is in the accusative as an adverbial qualification; ‘Isra’ means ‘To Travel by Night’; what is instructive about this mention [of laylan, ‘by night’] is that, through its being indefinite, there is an indication of the brevity of its duration)>


(iv) { مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ } “Minal Masjid il Haram” : Meaning, Makkah.



(v) { إِلَىٰ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلاْقْصَى } “Ilal Masjid al Aqsa” : To ‘Bayt al Maqdis’ {The Sacred House}. It was as such called because of its being so distant .


(vi) { ٱلَّذِى بَٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ } “Al Lazi Barakna Hawlahu” : By Over- flowing Rivers and Abundant vegetations.


(vii) { لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِنَا } “Li Nuriyahu Min Ayatina” : The Stunning Marvels of Our Power.


(viii) { إِنَّهُ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلبَصِيرُ } “Innahu Huwas Sami ul Basir” : Meaning, the Knower of the Prophet’s  Sayings and Deeds. Thus He was gracious to him by way of carrying him on the Night Journey, which comprised his encountering other Prophets, his Ascension to Heaven and the Sight of the Marvels of the Divine Realm and His Communion, Exalted be He, with him.”

Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti then goes on to describe the Miraculous Journey of the Prophet  in the Light of the Hadith of Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik  narrated by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim in their ‘Sahihs’. Then, Imam Suyuti states:

“It was recorded in ‘Al Mustadrak’ by Hakim from Abdullah bin Abbas  who narrated: The Prophet  said: “I Saw my ‘Rabb’ {i.e. Allah/Lord}, Glorified and Exalted be He.” {Tafsir al Jalalayn Translation; 1: 804-806}

Compiled & Translated by

Basharath Ali Siddiqui Ashrafi

Ashrafiya Islamic Foundation.