Surah ‘Isra’, Chapter 17

Surah ‘Isra’ or Surah Bani-’Israel (The Children of Israel), No. 17

(Revealed in Mecca)

111 verses in 12 sections

The Content of Surah ‘Isra’

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

Surah ‘Isra’ contains 111 verses, and it is widely known to be a Meccan Surah. However, some are of the opinion that verses 26, 32, 33, 57, and 58 of it were originally revealed in Medina.

This Surah has been named as ‘Subhan’ for its first word; it has also been named Surah ‘Isra’ for the sake of referring to the adventure of ascension of the Prophet (S), and has also been named ‘Surah Bani ‘Isra’il’ for recounting of the story of Bani-Israel.

As in the case of other ‘Meccan Suras’, this Surah deals with such issues as ‘monotheism’ ‘resurrection’ beneficial pieces of advice, and struggle against all sorts of paganism, injustice and deviation, traditions and rules, whether individual and social in historical perspective, the story of Adam and ’Iblis, the Prophet of Islam (S) and his position in Mecca.

The main point in question in this Holy Surah is the ‘Ascension of the Messenger (S)’.

The Surah starts with ‘Glorification of Allah’ and ends up with Praising and worshipping Him.

The Virtues of the Recitation of the Surah

There are numerous rewards mentioned in various Islamic quotations for those who recite or read this Surah among which one may name the quotation from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:

“Whoever reads Surah Bani Israel on each night preceding Fridays will unequivocally grasp the presence of Hadrat-i-Qa’im (as), before his death and will be included among his companions.”

We have reiterated over and again that such rewards and gains are not to be attained merely just by reading; on the contrary, they will be brought about when the recitation is coupled with and backed up by meditation, reflection and, consequently, by the obtaining of clues for practical purposes.