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Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. -- Qur'an 17:1

And We gave Moses the Scripture and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel that you not take other than Me as Disposer of affairs, -- Qur'an 17:2

When I read the first ayah in this surah, it clearly describes the event of israk mikraj to me? But when come to the next ayah, I feel lost.

What is the actual context of this two ayah since the name of the surah clearly point to people of Israel in the era of Prophet Musa AS.

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Chapter 17 of the Qur'an is called Al-Isrā', and Banu Isrā'īl. It was commonly referred to as either by the companions. The chapter is talking mainly about Banu Isrā'īl. It starts with exalting Allah by reminding us of three miracles that He did to demonstrate His power:

  1. The night trip of the Prophet ﷺ from night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa.
  2. The Scripture [Torah] revealed to Moses for the benefit of Banu Isrā'īl.
  3. Saving of their ancestors, the believers, during the time of Noah on a ship during the flooding.

Muhammad Metwali al-Sharawi said in his Al-Khawātir, 1st Ed., Cairo: 1997, Vol. 13, pp. 8309-8340 that Allah is reminding Banu Isrā'īl of their past and leading them to the present (at the time of revelation of the verses): Banu Isrā'īl's ancestors were saved during Noah's flood, and Banu Isrā'īl's prophet was given scripture to guide them, and now (at the time of revelation of the verse) Banu Isrā'īl had a prophet that had undergone a miraculous trip from Mecca (his holy place) to al-Masjid al-Aqsa (their holy place).

Allah then reminds Banu Isrā'īl of what is in their Scripture: Banu Isrā'īl would cause corruption twice, but if they repent they would enter al-Masjid al-Aqsa (their temple) as they did the first time (after the death of Moses).

It is worth noting that there is no hadith or athar that explain the connection between these verses in specific. So the opinions expressed are those of the scholars themselves.

  • I simply have an idea about this ayah which enlightened Rasulullah Muhammad the hijrah from Mecca to Yathrib. Because, in my humble opinion, the word masjidil haram simply means his place or village of where he is raised. and the word masjidil aqsa means a place that not really far from his village. The Masjidil aqsa is the place where Law of God has been established before. And Muhammad SAW see that Hukum of Allah cannot be uphold in his own place. His place were too dangerous and not fit to execute the law of god even there is Kaabah. – Muhaimin Jun 13 '17 at 2:37
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From Tafsir al-Maududi:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Quran 17:1

In this verse, the Qur'an mentions only a part of the Journey, i.e., from Masjid-i-Haram to the Temple at Jerusalem. The object of this journey as stated here was that Allah willed to show His servant some of His signs. The Qur'an does not give any details other than this but we find further details in the traditions.


وَآتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ هُدًى لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَلَّا تَتَّخِذُوا مِن دُونِي وَكِيلًا

Quran 17:2

As this verse has no apparent connection with the event of Mi'raj, it may appear to a cursory reader that either of the two verses has been misplaced here. But if we try to understand the matter in the context of the theme of the whole Surah, we can easily understand the connection between the two. .The main object of this Surah is to give a warning to the disbelievers of Makkah. That is why the mention of Mi`raj has been made in the very first verse, as if to say, "The person whom you dub as an impostor and reject the Book sent down to him, has just now seen with his naked eyes great Signs of Allah. So you should learn a lesson from the history of the Israelites who discarded the Book of Allah and therefore, were given painful punishment."

This is how the two verses are connected.

And Allah knows best

  • That is why the mention of Mi'raj has been made in the very first verse I can't find the word Mi'raj in original text or in translation – Muhaimin Jun 11 '17 at 18:33
  • The event is called the Mi'raj. – Armaan Jun 11 '17 at 18:45
  • And you even said in your question that it describes israk miraj – Armaan Jun 11 '17 at 18:49
  • I thought that surah wants to focus on the journey of people of Israel but I still can't see the relation between the journey of Prophet Muhammad. Perhaps we should elaborate the meaning of Masjidil Haram and Masjidil Aqsa – Muhaimin Jun 11 '17 at 18:52
  • My answer clearly explains the connection and that the Surah is about a warning to the disbelievers in Makkah – Armaan Jun 11 '17 at 18:53

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