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Towards Understanding the Quran
With kind permission: Islamic Foundation UK
Introduction to Tafheem | Glossary | Verbs
Other resources: Maarif | Dawat 

 Surah Al-Isra 17:61-70 [7/12]
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
وَإِذْAnd when
قُلْنَاWe said
لِلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِto the Angels,
لِأَدَمَto Adam."
فَسَجَدُوٓاْSo they prostrated
قَالَHe said,
ءَأَسْجُدُ"Shall I prostrate
لِمَنْto (one) whom
خَلَقْتَYou created
طِينًا(from) clay?"
قَالَHe said,
أَرَءَيْتَكَ"Do You see
كَرَّمْتَYou have honored,
عَلَىَّabove me?
أَخَّرْتَنِYou give me respite
يَوْمِ(the) Day
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ(of) the Resurrection,
لَأَحْتَنِكَنَّI will surely destroy
ذُرِّيَّتَهُۥٓhis offspring
قَلِيلاًa few."
قَالَHe said,
فَمَنand whoever
تَبِعَكَfollows you
مِنْهُمْamong them
فَإِنَّthen indeed,
جَزَآؤُكُمْ(is) your recompense -
جَزَآءًa recompense
وَٱسْتَفْزِزْAnd incite
ٱسْتَطَعْتَyou can
مِنْهُمamong them
بِصَوْتِكَwith your voice,
وَأَجْلِبْand assault
عَلَيْهِم[on] them
بِخَيْلِكَwith your cavalry
وَرَجِلِكَand infantry
وَشَارِكْهُمْand be a partner
ٱلْأَمْوَٲلِthe wealth
وَٱلْأَوْلَـٰدِand the children,
وَعِدْهُمْ‌ۚand promise them."
وَمَاAnd not
يَعِدُهُمُpromises them
ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُthe Shaitaan
عِبَادِىMy slaves
لَكَfor you
عَلَيْهِمْover them
سُلْطَـٰنٌ‌ۚany authority.
وَكَفَىٰAnd sufficient
بِرَبِّكَ(is) your Lord
وَكِيلاً(as) a Guardian."
رَّبُّكُمُYour Lord
ٱلَّذِى(is) the One Who
لَكُمُfor you
ٱلْفُلْكَthe ship
ٱلْبَحْرِthe sea,
لِتَبْتَغُواْthat you may seek
فَضْلِهِۦٓ‌ۚHis Bounty.
إِنَّهُۥIndeed, He
بِكُمْto you
رَحِيمًاEver Merciful.
وَإِذَاAnd when
مَسَّكُمُtouches you
ٱلضُّرُّthe hardship
ٱلْبَحْرِthe sea,
مَن(are) who
تَدْعُونَyou call
إِيَّاهُ‌ۖHim Alone.
فَلَمَّاBut when
نَجَّـٰكُمْHe delivers you
ٱلْبَرِّthe land
أَعْرَضْتُمْ‌ۚyou turn away.
وَكَانَAnd is
أَفَأَمِنتُمْDo you then feel secure
أَنthat (not)
يَخْسِفَHe will cause to swallow
ٱلْبَرِّ(of) the land
عَلَيْكُمْagainst you
حَاصِبًاa storm of stones?
تَجِدُواْyou will find
لَكُمْfor you
وَكِيلاًa guardian?
أَمِنتُمْdo you feel secure
أَنthat (not)
يُعِيدَكُمْHe will send you back
فِيهِinto it
تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰanother time,
فَيُرْسِلَand send
عَلَيْكُمْupon you
قَاصِفًاa hurricane
ٱلرِّيحِthe wind,
فَيُغْرِقَكُمand drown you
كَفَرْتُمْ‌ۙyou disbelieved?
تَجِدُواْyou will find
لَكُمْfor you
عَلَيْنَاagainst Us
تَبِيعًاan avenger?
۞ وَلَقَدْAnd certainly,
كَرَّمْنَاWe have honored
بَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ(the) children of Adam
وَحَمَلْنَـٰهُمْand We carried them
ٱلْبَرِّthe land
وَٱلْبَحْرِand the sea,
وَرَزَقْنَـٰهُمand We have provided them
ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِthe good things
وَفَضَّلْنَـٰهُمْand We preferred them
مِّمَّنْof those whom
خَلَقْنَاWe have created
تَفْضِيلاً(with) preference.

وَاِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلٰۤـئِكَةِ اسۡجُدُوۡا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِيۡسَ قَالَ ءَاَسۡجُدُ لِمَنۡ خَلَقۡتَ طِيۡنًا​ ۚ‏  قَالَ اَرَءَيۡتَكَ هٰذَا الَّذِىۡ كَرَّمۡتَ عَلَىَّ لَـئِنۡ اَخَّرۡتَنِ اِلٰى يَوۡمِ الۡقِيٰمَةِ لَاَحۡتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهٗۤ اِلَّا قَلِيۡلًا‏  قَالَ اذۡهَبۡ فَمَنۡ تَبِعَكَ مِنۡهُمۡ فَاِنَّ جَهَـنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمۡ جَزَآءً مَّوۡفُوۡرًا‏  وَاسۡتَفۡزِزۡ مَنِ اسۡتَطَعۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ بِصَوۡتِكَ وَاَجۡلِبۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ بِخَيۡلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكۡهُمۡ فِى الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَالۡاَوۡلَادِ وَعِدۡهُمۡ​ ؕ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيۡطٰنُ اِلَّا غُرُوۡرًا‏  اِنَّ عِبَادِىۡ لَـيۡسَ لَـكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ سُلۡطٰنٌ​ ؕ وَكَفٰى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيۡلًا‏   رَبُّكُمُ الَّذِىۡ يُزۡجِىۡ لَـكُمُ الۡفُلۡكَ فِى الۡبَحۡرِ لِتَبۡتَغُوۡا مِنۡ فَضۡلِهٖؕ اِنَّهٗ كَانَ بِكُمۡ رَحِيۡمًا‏  وَاِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فِى الۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَنۡ تَدۡعُوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اِيَّاهُ​ ۚ فَلَمَّا نَجّٰٮكُمۡ اِلَى الۡبَرِّ اَعۡرَضۡتُمۡ​ ؕ وَكَانَ الۡاِنۡسَانُ كَفُوۡرًا‏   اَفَاَمِنۡتُمۡ اَنۡ يَّخۡسِفَ بِكُمۡ جَانِبَ الۡبَرِّ اَوۡ يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَاصِبًا ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوۡالَـكُمۡ وَكِيۡلًا ۙ‏  اَمۡ اَمِنۡتُمۡ اَنۡ يُّعِيۡدَكُمۡ فِيۡهِ تَارَةً اُخۡرٰى فَيُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ قَاصِفًا مِّنَ الرِّيۡحِ فَيُغۡرِقَكُمۡ بِمَا كَفَرۡتُمۡ​ۙ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوۡا لَـكُمۡ عَلَيۡنَا بِهٖ تَبِيۡعًا‏  وَلَـقَدۡ كَرَّمۡنَا بَنِىۡۤ اٰدَمَ وَحَمَلۡنٰهُمۡ فِى الۡبَرِّ وَالۡبَحۡرِ وَرَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبٰتِ وَفَضَّلۡنٰهُمۡ عَلٰى كَثِيۡرٍ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَا تَفۡضِيۡلًا‏ 
(17:61) And recall when We asked the angels73 to prostrate themselves before Adam; all prostrated themselves except Iblis,74 who said: "Shall I prostrate myself before him whom You created of clay?" (17:62) He then continued: "Look! This is he whom You have exalted above me! If you will grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection I shall uproot the whole of his progeny75 except only a few." (17:63) Thereupon He retorted: "Be gone! Hell shall be the recompense - and a most ample one - of whosoever of them who follows you. (17:64) Tempt with your call all whom you wish.76 Muster against them all your forces - your cavalry and your foot soldiers;77 share with them riches and offspring,78 and seduce them with rosy promises - and Satan's promise is nothing but a deception79 - (17:65) but know well that you will have no power against My servants.80 Your Lord suffices for them to place their trust in."81 (17:66) Your Lord is He Who steers your vessels across the seas82 that you may seek of His Bounty.83 He is ever Merciful towards you. (17:67) When a calamity befalls you on the sea, all those whom you invoke forsake you except Him.84 But when He delivers you safely to the shore you turn away from Him, for man is indeed most thankless. (17:68) Do you, then, feel secure against His causing you to be swallowed up by a tract of the earth, or letting loose a deadly whirlwind charged with stones towards you, and there you will find none to protect you? (17:69) Or do you feel secure that He will not cause you to revert to the sea, and let a tempest loose upon you and then drown you for your ingratitude whereupon you will find none even to inquire of Us what happened to you? (17:70) Indeed, We honoured the progeny of Adam, and bore them across land and sea and provided them with good things for their sustenance, and exalted them above many of Our creatures.85

73. That is, We showed you such things during the Miraj so that they should have the first hand knowledge of the reality from a truthful and honest man like you and be warned by it to the right way. They, however, began to make fun of you, though We had already warned them through you that their evil ways would force them to eat of the Az-zaqqum. Instead of this they began to scoff at you, saying, just consider the logic of this man. On the one hand, he says that there is an awful fire burning in Hell and, on the other, he says that trees are growing in it.

74. Please also refer to (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 30-39); (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 117-122); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 11- 25); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 22); (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 26-43). This story has been cited here to impress upon the disbelievers that their attitude of arrogance and indifference towards Allah is exactly the same as was adopted by Satan. As a matter of fact, they were following Satan who is the avowed enemy of man, and were being entangled in the snare spread by him who had challenged the progeny of Adam at the very beginning of human history that he would allure and ruin them.

75. That is, I will uproot them from the high position of divine vicegerency which demands steadfastness in obedience. Their removal from that high position is just like the tearing of a tree from its roots.

76. The literal meaning of the Arabic text is: You may sweep away those whom you find superficial and weak minded.

77. Here, Satan has been likened to that robber who assaults a habitation with cavalry and infantry and orders them to rob. The cavalry and the infantry of Satan are those jinns and human beings who are engaged in numerous forms and positions in carrying out his mission.

78. This is a very meaningful sentence which depicts a true and perfect picture of the relationship between Satan and his followers. On the one hand, Satan becomes a partner with the one who follows him in the earning and spending of his money without putting in any labor in it. On the other hand, he does not become a partner in bearing the consequences of his error, crime and sin. But his foolish dupe follows his instructions as if he were a partner, nay, a stronger party. Again in regard to the children of such a man, the father himself bears the whole burden of bringing them up, but under the misguidance of Satan he trains them in wrong and unmoral ways as if he alone was not their father but Satan as well was a partner in it.

79. Satan entices them with false promises of success and entangles them in the snare of false expectations.

80. It has two meanings: (1) You will have no power over human beings to force them to follow your way. What you are allowed to do is that you may delude them by false counsel and entice them by false promises, but they will have the option to follow or not to follow your counsel. You will not have the power over them to force them to follow your way against their will. (2) You will not succeed in alluring My righteous people. Though the weak minded will be enticed by you. My righteous people who are steadfast in My obedience will not succumb to you.

81. That is, those who will trust in Allah and believe in His guidance and help, will not stand in need of any other support in their trial by Satan for Allah will guide them, protect them and help them to be safe from his allurements. On the other hand, those people, who will place their trust in their own power or that of any other than Allah, will not come out successful in their trial by Satan.

82. This passage (Ayats 66-72) is closely connected with the previous one. It tells man that if he wants to protect himself from the allurements, temptations and false promises of Satan who has been his avowed enemy from the day of his creation, he should recognize his real Lord and be steadfast in His obedience. Satan intends to prove that man is not worthy of the honor with which Allah has blessed him. Therefore if he follows any other way he cannot escape the snares of Satan.

In this passage, arguments of Tauhid have been put forward in order to make man steadfast in his faith and refrain from shirk.

83. That is, try to avail of the economic, social, educational and intellectual benefits which are provided by the sea voyages.

84. That is, this is a proof of the fact that your real nature knows no other Lord than Allah, and you feel in the depths of your hearts that He alone possesses the real power of every gain or loss. Had it not been so, man would never have invoked Allah at the time when he realized that no other helper could remove his misfortune.

85. That is, it is an obvious fact that the superiority man enjoys over all other beings on the earth and all that is in it, has not been bestowed upon him by a jinn or an angel or a prophet. Most surely that is Allah’s blessing and favor. Is it not then the height of folly and ignorance that after having achieved such a high rank, man should bow down before any creature of Allah instead of Him?