This Surah takes its name (Bani Israil) from v. 4. But this name is merely a distinctive appellation like the names of many other surahs and not a descriptive title, and does not mean that "Bani Isra'il" is the theme of this Surah.

Period of Revelation

The very first verse indicates that this Surah was revealed on the occasion of Mi`raj (Ascension). According to the Traditions and books on the life of the Holy Prophet, this event happened one year before Hijrah. Thus, this Surah is one of those which were revealed in the last stage of Prophethood at Makkah.


The Holy Prophet had been propagating Tauhid for the previous twelve years and his opponents had been doing all they could to make his Mission a failure, but in spite of all their opposition, Islam had spread to every corner of Arabia and there was hardly any clan which had not been influenced by his invitation. In Makkah itself the true Believers had formed themselves into a small community and were ready and willing to face every danger to make Islam a success. Besides them, a very large number of the people of Aus and Khazraj (two influential clans of Al-Madinah) had accepted Islam. Thus the time had come for the Holy Prophet to emigrate from Makkah to Al- Madinah and there gather together the scattered Muslims and establish a state based on the principles of Islam.

These were the conditions when Mi`raj took place and on his return the Holy Prophet brought down the Message contained in this Surah.

Theme and Topics

This Surah is a wonderful combination of warning, admonition and instruction, which have been blended together in a balanced proportion.

The disbelievers of Makkah had been admonished to take a lesson from the miserable end of the Israelites and other communities and mend their ways within the period of respite given by Allah, which was about to expire. They should, therefore, accept the invitation that was being extended by Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) and the Quran. Otherwise they shall be annihilated and replaced by other people. Incidentally, the Israelites, with whom Islam was going to come in direct contact in the near future at Al-Madinah have also been warned that they should learn a lesson from the chastisements that have already been inflicted on them. They were warned, "Take advantage of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) because that is the last opportunity which is being given to you. If even now you behave as you have been behaving, you shall meet with a painful torment."

As regards the education of mankind, it has been impressed that human success or failure, gain or loss, depends upon the right understanding of Tauhid, life-after- death and Prophethood. Accordingly, convincing arguments have been put forward to prove that the Quran is the Book of Allah and its teachings are true and genuine the doubts of the disbelievers about these basic realities have been removed and on suitable occasions they have been admonished and rebuked in regard to their ways of ignorance.

In this connection, those fundamental principles of morality and civilization on which the Islamic System of life is meant to be established have been put forward. Thus this was a sort of the Manifesto of the intended Islamic state which had been proclaimed a year before its actual establishment. It has been explicitly stated that that was the sketch of the system on which Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) intended to build human life first in his own country and then in the outside world.

Besides these, the Holy Prophet has been instructed to stick firmly to his stand without minding the opposition and difficulties which he was encountering and should never think of making a compromise with unbelief. The Muslims who sometimes showed signs of impatience, when they met with persecution, calumny, and crooked arguments, have also been instructed to face adverse circumstances with patience and fortitude and keep full control over their feelings and passions. Moreover, salat was prescribed in order to reform and purify their souls, as if to say, "This is the thing which will produce in you those high qualities of character which are essential for everyone who intends to struggle in the righteous way Incidentally, we learn from Traditions that Mi'raj was the first occasion on which the five daily Prayers were prescribed to be offered at fixed times.

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran


وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

Sahih International

And say, "Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart."


Dan katakanlah:" Telah datang kebenaran (Islam), dan hilang lenyaplah perkara yang salah (kufur dan syirik); sesungguhnya yang salah itu sememangnya satu perkara yang tetap lenyap".

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا

Sahih International

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.


Dan Kami turunkan dengan beransur-ansur dari Al-Quran Aya-ayat Suci yang menjadi ubat penawar dan rahmat bagi orang-orang yang beriman kepadanya; dan (sebaliknya) Al-Quran tidak menambahkan orang-orang yang zalim (disebabkan keingkaran mereka) melainkan kerugian jua.

وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ ۖ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ كَانَ يَئُوسًا

Sahih International

And when We bestow favor upon the disbeliever, he turns away and distances himself; and when evil touches him, he is ever despairing.


Dan apabila Kami kurniakan nikmat kepada manusia, berpalinglah ia serta menjauhkan diri (dari bersyukur); dan apabila ia merasai kesusahan, jadilah ia berputus asa.

قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَىٰ شَاكِلَتِهِ فَرَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَىٰ سَبِيلًا

Sahih International

Say, "Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way."


Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): "Tiap-tiap seorang beramal menurut pembawaan jiwanya sendiri; maka Tuhan kamu lebih mengetahui siapakah (di antara kamu) yang lebih betul jalannya".

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا


Dan mereka bertanya kepadamu tentang roh. Katakan: "Roh itu dari perkara urusan Tuhanku; dan kamu tidak diberikan ilmu pengetahuan melainkan sedikit sahaja".

Sahih International

And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little."


وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلًا


Dan sesungguhnya jika Kami kehendaki, tentulah Kami akan hapuskan apa yang Kami telah wahyukan kepadamu, kemudian engkau tidak akan beroleh sebarang pembela terhadap Kami untuk mengembalikannya.

Sahih International

And if We willed, We could surely do away with that which We revealed to you. Then you would not find for yourself concerning it an advocate against Us.

إِلَّا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ إِنَّ فَضْلَهُ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ كَبِيرًا


(Tetapi kekalnya Al-Quran itu) hanyalah sebagai rahmat dari tuhanmu; sesungguhnya limpah kurnianya kepadamu (wahai Muhammad) amatlah besar.

Sahih International

Except [We have left it with you] as a mercy from your Lord. Indeed, His favor upon you has ever been great.

قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَىٰ أَن يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا

Sahih International

Say, "If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants."


Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): "Sesungguhnya jika sekalian manusia dan jin berhimpun dengan tujuan hendak membuat dan mendatangkan sebanding dengan Al-Quran ini, mereka tidak akan dapat membuat dan mendatangkan yang sebanding dengannya, walaupun mereka bantu-membantu sesama sendiri".

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَىٰ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا

Sahih International

And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Qur'an from every [kind] of example, but most of the people refused [anything] except disbelief.


Dan sesungguhnya Kami telah menerangkan berulang-ulang kepada manusia, di dalam Al-Quran ini, dengan berbagai-bagai contoh perbandingan (yang mendatangkan iktibar); dalam pada itu, kebanyakan manusia tidak mahu menerima selain dari kekufuran.


وَقَالُوا لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ يَنبُوعًا

Sahih International

And they say, "We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring.


Dan mereka berkata: "Kami tidak sekali-kali akan beriman kepadamu (wahai Muhammad), sehingga engkau memancarkan matair dari bumi, bagi Kami.