Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 12 (17:12)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 12 in Arabic Text

وَجَعَلْنَا ٱلَّيْلَ وَٱلنَّهَارَ ءَايَتَيْنِ ۖ فَمَحَوْنَآ ءَايَةَ ٱلَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَآ ءَايَةَ ٱلنَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةًۭ لِّتَبْتَغُوا۟ فَضْلًۭا مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلِتَعْلَمُوا۟ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلْحِسَابَ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَىْءٍۢ فَصَّلْنَـٰهُ تَفْصِيلًۭا
Wa ja’alnal laila wannahaara Aayatayni famahawnaaa Aayatal laili wa ja’alnaaa Aayatan nahaari mubsiratal litabtaghoo fadlam mir Rabbikum wa lita’lamoo ‘adadas sineena walhisaab; wa kulla shai’in fassalnaahu tafseelaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 12

Sahih International
And We have made the night and day two signs, and We erased the sign of the night and made the sign of the day visible that you may seek bounty from your Lord and may know the number of years and the account [of time]. And everything We have set out in detail.

Yusuf Ali
We have made the Night and the Day as two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We obscured, while the Sign of the Day We have made to enlighten you; that ye may seek bounty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail.

Abul Ala Maududi
We have made night and day as two signs. We made the sign of the night devoid of light, and made the sign of the day radiant that you may seek the bounty of your Lord and know the computation of years and numbers. Thus We have expounded everything in detail to keep everything distinct from the other.

Muhsin Khan
And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs etc.). Then, We have made dark the sign of the night while We have made the sign of day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.

Pickthall
And We appoint the night and the day two portents. Then We make dark the portent of the night, and We make the portent of the day sight-giving, that ye may seek bounty from your Lord, and that ye may know the computation of the years, and the reckoning; and everything have We expounded with a clear expounding.

Dr. Ghali
And We have made the night and the day (time) as two signs; so We have erased the sign of the 137 night and We have made the sign of the day-time a beholder (i.e., when man can behold) that you may seek Grace from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And everything We have expounded with (a distinct) expounding.

Abdel Haleem
We made the night and the day as two signs, then darkened the night and made the daylight for seeing, for you to seek your Lord’s bounty and to know how to count the years and calculate. We have explained everything in detail.

Quran 17 Verse 12 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 12, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:12) We have made night and day as two signs. We made the sign of the night devoid of light, and made the sign of the day radiant that you may seek the bounty of your Lord and know the computation of years and numbers. Thus We have expounded everything in detail to keep everything distinct from the other.[13]


13. Allah invites man to study the wisdom that underlies variety in the world and not get confused and long for monotonous uniformity. In fact, the whole system is based on variety, distinctiveness and diversity in things. For the sake of illustration let us take the case of the signs of day and night: You see these opposite things daily in your life. If you just consider the underlying wisdom, you will find that without this variety there would have been hardly any activity in the world. Likewise great wisdom lies in the creation of the people with different temperaments, thoughts and inclinations. If Allah had made all men righteous by birth or annihilated disbelievers and wicked people and left only believers and submissive people in the world, the purpose of men’s creation could not leave been realized. Therefore, it is wrong to desire that there should only be day and no night. The righteous thing is that these people, who have the light of guidance, should exert their utmost to remove the darkness of deviation. It is their duty that if they find darkness like that of night, they should pursue it like the sun so that the light of guidance should reappear.

Ibn-Kathir

12. And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs). Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and to count (periods of time). And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.


The Night and Day are Signs of the Great Power of Allah

Allah reminds us of the great signs that He created, including the alternation of the night and day, so that people may rest at night, and go out and earn a living, do their work, and travel during the day, and so that they may know the number of days, weeks, months and years, so they will know the appointed times for paying debts, doing acts of worship, dealing with transactions, paying rents and so on. Allah says:

﴿لِتَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ﴾

(that you may seek bounty from your Lord,) meaning, in your living and travels etc.

﴿وَلِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ﴾

(and that you may know the number of the years and to count.) If time stood still and never changed, we would not know any of these things, as Allah says:

﴿قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ الَّيْلَ سَرْمَداً إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَنْ إِلَـهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُمْ بِضِيَآءٍ أَفَلاَ تَسْمَعُونَ – قُلْ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ النَّهَارَ سَرْمَداً إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَنْ إِلَـهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُمْ بِلَيْلٍ تَسْكُنُونَ فِيهِ أَفلاَ تُبْصِرُونَ – وَمِن رَّحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُواْ فِيهِ وَلِتَبتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴾

(Say: “Tell me! If Allah made the night continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, which god besides Allah could bring you light Will you not then hear” Say: “Tell me! If Allah made the day continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, which god besides Allah could bring you night wherein you rest Will you not then see” It is out of His mercy that He has made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and that you may seek of His bounty – and in order that you may be grateful.) (28:71-73)

﴿تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجاً وَقَمَراً مُّنِيراً – وَهُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُوراً ﴾

(Blessed be He Who has placed the big stars in the heaven, and has placed therein a great lamp (sun), and a moon giving light. And He it is Who has put the night and the day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.) (25:61-62)

﴿وَلَهُ اخْتِلَـفُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ﴾

(and His is the alternation of night and day.) ﴿23:80﴾

﴿يُكَوِّرُ الَّيْـلَ عَلَى النَّهَـارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ النَّـهَارَ عَلَى الَّيْلِ وَسَخَّـرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُـلٌّ يَجْرِى لاًّجَـلٍ مُّسَـمًّى أَلا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفَّارُ﴾

(He makes the night to go in the day and makes the day to go in the night. And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running (on a fixed course) for an appointed term. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.) ﴿39:5﴾

﴿فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ الَّيْلَ سَكَناً وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَاناً ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ ﴾

((He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. Such is the measuring of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.) (6:96),

﴿وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ – وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَـا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ ﴾

(And a sign for them is the night. We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.) (36:37-38) Allah has made the night a sign having distinguishing features by which it is known. These features include the darkness and the appearance of the moon. The day also has distinguishing features by which it is known; the light and the appearance of the shining sun. He made a distinction between the light of the moon and the light of the sun, so that they may be distinguished from one another, as Allah says:

﴿هُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَآءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُوراً وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ﴾

(It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and to count (periods of time). Allah did not create this but in truth.) ﴿10:5﴾ until,

﴿لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَّقُونَ﴾

(Ayat for those people who keep their duty to Allah, and fear Him much.) ﴿10:6﴾

﴿يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِىَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ﴾

(They ask you about the crescent moons. Say: “These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.”) ﴿2:189﴾

﴿فَمَحَوْنَآ ءَايَةَ الَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَآ ءَايَةَ النَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً﴾

(Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating,) Ibn Jurayj reported that `Abdullah bin Kathir commented on this Ayah: “﴿It means﴾ the darkness of the night and the twilight of the day.” Ibn Jurayj reported that Mujahid said: “The sun is the sign of the day and the moon is the sign of the night.

﴿فَمَحَوْنَآ ءَايَةَ الَّيْلِ﴾

(We have obliterated the sign of the night) this refers to the moon’s blackness, which is how Allah has created it.”

﴿وَجَعَلْنَا الَّيْلَ وَالنّهَارَ ءَايَتَيْنِ﴾

(And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat.) Ibn Abi Najih reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “By night and day, this is how Allah created them, may He be glorified.”

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