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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

17. The Night Journey (53 – 77)

53[Prophet], tell My servants to say what is best.a In arguing about religion and proving it as God has shown here. See 16: 125; 29: 46. Satan sows discord among them: Satan is a sworn enemy of man. 54Your 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. 55Your 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 See also 4: 163–6. 56Say, ‘Call upon those you claim to be deities beside God: they have no power to remove or avert any harm from you.’ 57Those [angels]c See verse 40. 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: 58there is no communityd Of evildoers. See 18: 16; 7: 101. We shall not destroy, or punish severely, before the Day of Resurrection—this is written in the Book.e God's divine Record.

59Nothing prevents Us from sending miraculous signs,f See 2: 118 for signs demanded by those without knowledge. 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 youa The vision he was shown on the Night Journey. was only a test for people, as was the cursed tree [mentioned] in the Qurʾan.b 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. We warn them, but this only increases their insolence.

61When 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?’ 62and [then] said, ‘You see this being You have honoured above me? If You reprieve me until the Day of Resurrection, I will lead all but a few of his descendants by the nose.’ 63God said, ‘Go away! Hell will be your reward, and the reward of any of them who follow you—an ample reward. 64Rouse 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—65but you will have no authority over My [true] servants: Your Lord can take care of them well enough.’

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. 67When 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. 68Can 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. 69Or 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. 70We have honoured the children of Adam and carried them by land and sea; We have provided good sustenance for them and favoured them specially above many of those We have created.

71On the Day when We summon each community, along with its leader,c See 16: 89. those who are given their record in their right hand will read it [with pleasure].a Cf. 69: 19–24. But no one will be wronged in the least: 72those who were blind in this life will be blind in the Hereafter, and even further off the path. 73[Prophet], the disbelievers tried to tempt you away from what We revealed to you, so that you would invent some other revelation and attribute it to Us and then they would have taken you as a friend. 74If We had not made you stand firm, you would almost have inclined a little towards them. 75In that case, We would have made you taste a double punishment in this life, and a double punishment after death and then you would have found no one to help you against Us.76They planned to scare you off the land, but they would not have lasted for more than a little while after you. 77Such was Our way with the messengers We sent before you, and you will find no change in Our ways.

Notes:

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.

a The vision he was shown on the Night Journey.

b 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.

c See 16: 89.

a Cf. 69: 19–24.

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