English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 17: Bani Israil — The Israelites (Revealed at Makkah: 12 sections, 111 verses)

Section 7 (Verses 17:61–17:70): The Devil’s Opposition to the Righteous


وَ اِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اسۡجُدُوۡا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِیۡسَ ؕ قَالَ ءَاَسۡجُدُ لِمَنۡ خَلَقۡتَ طِیۡنًا ﴿ۚ۶۱﴾

17:61 And when We said to the angels: Be submissive to Adam, they submitted, but not Iblīs.1 He said: Shall I submit to him whom You have created of dust?

قَالَ اَرَءَیۡتَکَ ہٰذَا الَّذِیۡ کَرَّمۡتَ عَلَیَّ ۫ لَئِنۡ اَخَّرۡتَنِ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ لَاَحۡتَنِکَنَّ ذُرِّیَّتَہٗۤ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلًا ﴿۶۲﴾

17:62 He said: Do You see, this is he whom You have honoured above me! If You grant me respite to the day of Resurrection, I will certainly cause his progeny to perish except a few.

قَالَ اذۡہَبۡ فَمَنۡ تَبِعَکَ مِنۡہُمۡ فَاِنَّ جَہَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُکُمۡ جَزَآءً مَّوۡفُوۡرًا ﴿۶۳﴾

17:63 He said: Go away! Whoever of them follows you surely hell is your recompense, a full recompense.

وَ اسۡتَفۡزِزۡ مَنِ اسۡتَطَعۡتَ مِنۡہُمۡ بِصَوۡتِکَ وَ اَجۡلِبۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِخَیۡلِکَ وَ رَجِلِکَ وَ شَارِکۡہُمۡ فِی الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَ الۡاَوۡلَادِ وَ عِدۡہُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا یَعِدُہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ اِلَّا غُرُوۡرًا ﴿۶۴﴾

17:64 And incite whoever of them you can with your voice,2 and collect against them your horse(-men) and your foot(-soldiers),3 and share with them in wealth and children,4 and promise them. And the devil promises them only to deceive.

اِنَّ عِبَادِیۡ لَیۡسَ لَکَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سُلۡطٰنٌ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِرَبِّکَ وَکِیۡلًا ﴿۶۵﴾

17:65 My servants — you have surely no authority over them.5 And your Lord is sufficient as having charge of affairs.

رَبُّکُمُ الَّذِیۡ یُزۡجِیۡ لَکُمُ الۡفُلۡکَ فِی الۡبَحۡرِ لِتَبۡتَغُوۡا مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ بِکُمۡ رَحِیۡمًا ﴿۶۶﴾

17:66 Your Lord is He Who speeds the ships for you in the sea that you may seek of His grace. Surely He is ever Merciful to you.

وَ اِذَا مَسَّکُمُ الضُّرُّ فِی الۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَنۡ تَدۡعُوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اِیَّاہُ ۚ فَلَمَّا نَجّٰىکُمۡ اِلَی الۡبَرِّ اَعۡرَضۡتُمۡ ؕ وَ کَانَ الۡاِنۡسَانُ کَفُوۡرًا ﴿۶۷﴾

17:67 And when distress afflicts you in the sea, away go those whom you call on except He; but when He brings you safe to the land, you turn away. And man is ever ungrateful.6

اَفَاَمِنۡتُمۡ اَنۡ یَّخۡسِفَ بِکُمۡ جَانِبَ الۡبَرِّ اَوۡ یُرۡسِلَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ حَاصِبًا ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوۡا لَکُمۡ وَکِیۡلًا ﴿ۙ۶۸﴾

17:68 Do you then feel secure that He will not bring you low on a tract of land, or send on you a violent wind?7 Then you will not find a protector for yourselves;

اَمۡ اَمِنۡتُمۡ اَنۡ یُّعِیۡدَکُمۡ فِیۡہِ تَارَۃً اُخۡرٰی فَیُرۡسِلَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ قَاصِفًا مِّنَ الرِّیۡحِ فَیُغۡرِقَکُمۡ بِمَا کَفَرۡتُمۡ ۙ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوۡا لَکُمۡ عَلَیۡنَا بِہٖ تَبِیۡعًا ﴿۶۹﴾

17:69 or, do you feel secure that He will not take you back into it another time, then send on you a fierce gale and thus overwhelm you for your ungratefulness? Then you will not find any aider against Us in the matter.

وَ لَقَدۡ کَرَّمۡنَا بَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ وَ حَمَلۡنٰہُمۡ فِی الۡبَرِّ وَ الۡبَحۡرِ وَ رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّیِّبٰتِ وَ فَضَّلۡنٰہُمۡ عَلٰی کَثِیۡرٍ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَا تَفۡضِیۡلًا ﴿٪۷۰﴾

17:70 And surely We have honoured the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We provide them with good things, and We have made them to excel highly most of those whom We have created.


  1. See 2:34 and 7:12.
  2. The devil is here compared with a coward who comes with great show but little real force, and who, if shown the least resistance, retreats at every step. Every inviter who invites people to the disobedience of Allah is such a devil.
  3. The forces of the devil are no other than the evildoers, those going quickly into evil being likened to horsemen and those who walk slowly in their evil course being likened to infantry.
  4. The sharing of the devil in wealth signifies everything spent or acqui­red unlaw­fully and sharing in children is in reference to committing forni­cation.
  5. My servants may include all human beings. The devil will say to the sinners: I had no authority over you (14:22).
  6. A true picture is drawn here of human nature, which turns to Allah in affliction but forgets Him in ease.
  7. It was by a violent wind that the combined forces of all the enemies of Islam were brought low in the battle of the Allies, when, besieging Madinah in the year 5 A.H., they had to flee in disorder.