Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 11 (17:11)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 11 in Arabic Text

وَيَدْعُ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ بِٱلشَّرِّ دُعَآءَهُۥ بِٱلْخَيْرِ ۖ وَكَانَ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ عَجُولًۭا
Wa yad’ul insaanu bishsharri du’aaa ‘ahoo bilkhayr; wa kaanal insaanu ‘ajoola

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 11

Sahih International
And man supplicates for evil as he supplicates for good, and man is ever hasty.

Yusuf Ali
The prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds).

Abul Ala Maududi
Man prays for evil in the manner he ought to pray for good. Man is ever hasty.

Muhsin Khan
And man invokes (Allah) for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty [i.e., if he is angry with somebody, he invokes (saying): “O Allah! Curse him, etc.” and that one should not do, but one should be patient].

Pickthall
Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man was ever hasty.

Dr. Ghali
And man invokes for evil, as is his invocation for charity, (i.e., welfare) and man has constantly been hasty.

Abdel Haleem
Yet man prays for harm, just as he prays for good: man is ever hasty.

Quran 17 Verse 11 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 11, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:11) Man prays for evil in the manner he ought to pray for good. Man is ever hasty.[12]


12. This is in answer to the foolish demands of the disbelievers of Makkah who repeatedly demanded from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to bring about that torment with which he threatened them. It is closely connected with the preceding verse, as if to say: O foolish people instead of asking goodness you demand the torment. Can’t you realize the sufferings of the community which was visited by God’s torment?

It also contains a subtle warning to those Muslims who prayed for punishment for those disbelievers who persecuted them and rejected the message obdurately; there were still among those disbelievers many such people who afterwards embraced Islam and became its standard bearers in the world. That is why Allah says: Man does so because he is very hasty and impatient. He prays to Allah for all such things as are the immediate need of the time, though often subsequent experience shows that if Allah had granted his prayer, it would have been very harmful to him.

Ibn-Kathir

11. And man invokes (Allah) for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty.


Man’s Haste and Prayers against Himself

Allah tells us about man’s haste and how he sometimes prays against himself or his children or his wealth, praying for something bad to happen for them, or for them to die or be destroyed, invoking curses, etc. If Allah were to answer his prayer, he would be destroyed because of it, as Allah says:

﴿وَلَوْ يُعَجِّلُ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ الشَّرَّ﴾

(And were Allah to hasten for mankind the evil…) ﴿10:11﴾ This is how it was interpreted by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah. We have already discussed the Hadith:

«لَا تَدْعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ، وَلَا عَلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ أَنْ تُوَافِقُوا مِنَ اللهِ سَاعَةَ إِجَابَةٍ يَسْتَجِيبُ فِيهَا»

(Do not pray against yourselves or your wealth, for that might coincide with a time when Allah answers prayers.) What makes the son of Adam do that is his anxiety and haste. Allah says:

﴿وَكَانَ الإِنْسَـنُ عَجُولاً﴾

(And man is ever hasty.) Salman Al-Farisi and Ibn `Abbas mentioned the story of Adam, when he wanted to get up before his soul reached his feet. When his soul was breathed into him, it entered his body from his head downwards. When it reached his brain he sneezed, and said, “Al-Hamdu Lillah” (praise be to Allah), and Allah said, “May your Lord have mercy on you, O Adam.” When it reached his eyes, he opened them, and when it reached his body and limbs he started to stare at them in wonder. He wanted to get up before it reached his feet, but he could not. He said, “O Lord, make it happen before night comes.”

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