Surah Al- Isra borrows its title ‘the night journey’ from the ascension adventure of the prophets and has 111 verses. The chapter begins with the glorification of Allah and hence called Al-Musabbihat sura and finishes up with worshipping and praising Allah. The greater part of the night journey discusses two main things; Quran and Mohammad as prophet plus his prophecy. The chapter also mentions the children of Israel and contains an easy and articulate set of God’s commandments. This surah has a great combination of various themes which have been laid in a balanced ratio. This paper will majorly highlight five ideas pointed out in this chapter as follows; the theme of admonition, tradition, righteousness, greed, and injustice. Admonition is drawn among the non- believers of Makkah.
According to Surah Isra’17:11, the doubters had been warned to take notes from the downfall of the Israelites as well as other communities and put right their ways within the stipulated time given by Allah which was soon expiring. The disbelievers of Makkah, therefore, had to heed to the invitation that Muhammad extended (Allah’s peace be upon him) as well as the Quran. If not, the disbelievers would be replaced and annihilated by other groups as quoted in Surah 17:23. This instruction is comprehensive. It not only prohibits the adoration of any person apart from Allah but also suggests that one ought to serve, obey and submit to only Allah. It outlines that for one to be obedient enough, they should accept Allah’s law and commandments and his authority should be unquestionable. The instruction was not confined to individual practice and religious creed but purposefully also served as the foundation of a cultural, moral and political system which was made by the Prophet in Al-Madinah.
The principal gave the warning in chapter 17:42 that, only Allah is the lawgiver, master, and sovereign. The theme of tradition is evidenced in Chapter 17:20 of Surah Isra’. It introduces the theme of tradition as portrayed in various ways. For example, the belief that Mi’raj treated as the initial event on which the five prayers were set to be performed at a scheduled time on a daily basis (Salah). Also, according to Imam Kazim in Surah Isra’ 17:25, one is not allowed to call their parents by their names. Instead, ought to be addressed in a more respectable way. ‘my father’. Children are taught morals according to the traditional beliefs. This is evidenced again in Surah 17:26 where it is an offence if a child goes towards their parents while walking. In addition, one should not put himself a seat next to the parent and children had the obligation to take care of their parents even after death. According to Abū-Sayyid-’Ans ari, when the man from Bani-Salmah asked prophet what he could do after the demise of the parents, the messenger of Allah answered that the dead could be done well by performing ritual prayers for them and ask for forgiveness on behalf of the parents from Allah (Campanini 10).
Again, Surah Isra’ 17: 26 highlights how the living children could do good to their late parents by paying their debts and giving respect to their friends. Righteousness is broadly emphasized among both the young and adults and the relationship between these groups. For instance, if one is not having a close relationship with the parents, then one can repent to Allah and be righteous before him. Surah Isra 17:25 talks about how Allah is omniscient and already knows all about everyone. According to surah Isra’17:39 only Allah is the one who can forgive and cleanse. The verse says that if one has no intention of disobeying his parents and has himself involved in erroneous behavior, with regard to goodness and respect concerning the parents and immediately regrets his actions, Allah will forgive and let them sheltered with his amnesty. Surah 17:26 also stresses about children righteousness in obeying parents. For example, being thankful to parents as outlined in the Glorious Quran is put on a similar basis with showing gratitude to Allah for his blessings.
The Quran does not allow any slight disrespect to parents, in this manner children grow being obedient and in a righteous way (Khetia 40). The theme of greed is strongly condemned in Surah Isra’17:27. The verse gives a strong justification and emphasizes the negation of extravagant. It infers that people who get involved in over possession or consumption are associated to the Satan since they spoil blessings of Allah. The verse further states that Satan was never grateful to Allah because Allah bestowed him an excellent potentiality intellect and exceptional capability which he used for purposes other than intended. He utilized all his intellects on the seduction of individuals. Surah Isra’ 17:37 encourages brotherhood and condemns the wastrels, it condemns on land grabbing which should not belong to those in power but should be a communal property. In this noble section of the Quran, it further outlines the need to share with the needy and generally the need to spend wealth without extravagance. There is caution against one putting his big hand clasped to own neck, the rich should consider the less privileged in the community. For example, the rich should share with orphans, needy and travelers in reference to Surah Isra’ 17:29.
The chapter also points on the theme of injustice. It encourages being fair and reasonable (Dargazelli 20). For example, Surah Isra’ 17:31 gives directions to parents that they should not kill their children if at all they cannot provide for them. That is considered a great sin because it is Allah who provides for them and they cannot result in poverty since it is the will of Allah. Surah Isra’ 17:32 cautions on vices such as adultery and murder. It emphasizes that if anyone is murdered unjustly, then Allah may allow retribution and at the same time, discourages vengeful. Instead, one should not handle the matter too far for Allah himself is just to everyone. The verse Surah Isra’ 17:34 stretches justice to the protection of properties belonging to orphans and counsels on dealing with the orphan’s properties unless with good intents. In summary, the themes of admonition, tradition, righteousness, greed, and injustice all interrelate in a manner that condemns the vices in the society and attempts to give a straight path to the people. Those who do good are promised great reward from Allah and those who do not believe and follow Allah’s commandments are awaiting punishment. Quran surah 17 provides a viewpoint of how the society should look like and gives instructions to humankind on how they can live amongst themselves. For example, the rich are reminded to consider those who lack; children are advised to grow in an upright manner by being righteous and parents, on the other hand, are encouraged to be just and rational to their children.