Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 23 (17:23)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 23 in Arabic Text

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـٰنًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّۢ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًۭا كَرِيمًۭا
Wa qadaa Rabbuka allaa ta’budooo illaaa iyyaahu wa bilwaalidaini ihsaanaa; immaa yablughanna ‘indakal kibara ahaduhumaaa aw kilaahumaa falaa taqul lahumaaa uffinw wa laa tanharhumaa wa qullahumaa qawlan kareemaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 23

Sahih International
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

Yusuf Ali
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.

Abul Ala Maududi
Your Lord has decreed: (i) Do not worship any but Him; (ii) Be good to your parents; and should both or any one of them attain old age with you, do not say to them even “fie” neither chide them, but speak to them with respect,

Muhsin Khan
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.

Pickthall
Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, say not “Fie” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word.

Dr. Ghali
And your Lord has decreed that you should not worship any except Him (only) and (to show) fairest companionship to parents; in case ever one or both of them reaches old age (Literally: being great “in years”) in your presence, do not say to them, “Fie!” nor scold them; and speak to them respectful words (Literally: say to them an honorable saying).

Abdel Haleem
Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully

Quran 17 Verse 23 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 23, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:23) Your Lord has decreed:[25] (i) Do not worship any but Him;[26] (ii) Be good to your parents; and should both or any one of them attain old age with you, do not say to them even “fie” neither chide them, but speak to them with respect,


25. In the succeeding verses, those main basic principles have been put forward on which Islam desires to build the entire structure of human life. These form the manifesto of the invitation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared by him at the end of the Makki stage of his mission, and the eve of the new stage at Al-Madinah so that it should be known to all that the new Islamic society and state were going to be built on such and such ideological, moral, cultural economic and legal principles. (Please also refer to (Ayats 151-153 and E.Ns thereof of Surah Al-Anaam).

26. This commandment is very comprehensive. It prohibits not only the worship of anyone except Allah but also implies that one should obey and serve and submit to Allah alone without question. One should accept His commandments and law alone to be worthy of obedience and His authority to be supreme above all. This was not merely an instruction confined to a religious creed and individual practice but it served as the foundation of the moral, cultural, and political system which was practically established in Al-Madinah by the Prophet (peace be upon him). Its first and foremost principle was that Allah alone is the Master, Sovereign and Law-giver.

Ibn-Kathir

23. And your Lord has Qada ﴿decreed﴾ that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor reprimand them but address them in terms of honor. 24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”


The Command to Worship Allah Alone and to be Dutiful to One’s Parents

Allah commands us to worship Him alone, with no partner or associate. The word Qada ﴿normally having the meaning of decree﴾ here means “commanded”. Mujahid said that

﴿وَقُضِىَ﴾

(And He has Qada) means enjoined. This is also how Ubayy bin Ka`b, Ibn Mas`ud and Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim recited the Ayah as:

«وَوَصَّى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاه»

“And your Lord has Wassa ﴿enjoined﴾ that you worship none but Him.” The idea of worshipping Allah is connected to the idea of honoring one’s parents. Allah says:

﴿وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا﴾

(And that you be dutiful to your parents.) Here He commands good treatment of parents, as He says elsewhere:

﴿أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ﴾

(give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination) ﴿31:14﴾

﴿إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ﴾

(If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect,) means, do not let them hear anything offensive from you, not even say “Uff!” which is the mildest word of disrespect,

﴿وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا﴾

(and do not reprimand them) means, do not do anything horrible to them.

﴿وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا﴾

(and do not reprimand them) `Ata’ bin Rabah said that it meant, “Do not raise your hand against them.” When Allah forbids speaking and behaving in an obnoxious manner, He commands speaking and behaving in a good manner, so He says:

﴿وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا﴾

(but address them in terms of honor.) meaning gently, kindly, politely, and with respect and appreciation.

﴿وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ﴾

(And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy,) means, be humble towards them in your actions.

﴿وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًا﴾

(and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”) means, say this when they grow old and when they die. Ibn `Abbas said: “But then Allah revealed:

﴿مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ﴾

(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the idolators. ..)” ﴿9:13﴾ There are many Hadiths which speak about honoring one’s parents, such as the Hadith narrated through a number of chains of narration from Anas and others, which states that the Prophet climbed up on the Minbar, and then said, ((Amin, Amin, Amin.)) It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, why did you say Amin” He said:

«أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ فَقَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ ذُكِرْتَ عِنْدَهُ فَلَمْمُيصَلِّ عَلَيْكَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِينَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَلَمْ يُغْفَرْ لَهُ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِينَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ وَالِدَيْهِ أَوْ أَحَدَهُمَا فَلَمْ يُدْخِلَاهُ الْجَنَّةَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِين»

(Jibril came to me and said, “O Muhammad, he is doomed who hears you mentioned and does not say Salla upon you.” He said, “Say Amin,” so I said Amin. Then he said, “He is doomed who sees the month of Ramadan come and go, and he has not been forgiven.” He said, “Say Amin,” so I said Amin. Then he said, “He is doomed who grows up and both his parents or one of them are still alive, and they do not cause him to enter Paradise.” He said, “Say Amin,” so I said Amin.)

Another Hadith Imam Ahmad reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

«رَغِمَ أَنْفُ، ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ أَحَدَ أَبَوَيْهِ أَوْ (كِلَيْهِمَا) عِنْدَ الْكِبَرِ وَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الْجَنَّة»

(He is doomed, he is doomed, he is doomed, the man whose parents, one or both of them, reach old age while he is alive and he does not enter Paradise.) This version is Sahih although no one recorded it other than Muslim.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded Mu`awiyah bin Jahimah As-Salami saying that Jahimah came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I want to go out to fight and I have come to seek your advice.” He said,

«فَهَلْ لَكَ مِنْ أُم»

(Do you have a mother) He said, “Yes.” The Prophet said,

«فَالْزَمْهَا فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيْهَا»

(Then stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet.) Similar incidents were also recorded by others. This was recorded by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dikarib said that the Prophet said:

«إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِآبَائِكُمْ إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِأُمَّهَاتِكُمْ إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِأُمَّهَاتِكُمْ إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِأُمَّهَاتِكُمْ إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِالْأَقْرَبِ فَالْأَقْرَب»

(Allah enjoins you concerning your fathers, Allah enjoins you concerning your mothers, Allah enjoins you concerning your mothers, Allah enjoins you concerning your mothers, Allah enjoins you concerning your close relatives then the next in closeness.) This was recorded by Ibn Majah from the Hadith of `Abdullah bin `Ayyash.

Another Hadith

Ahmad recorded that a man from Banu Yarbu` said: “I came to the Prophet while he was talking to the people, and I heard him saying,

«يَدُ الْمُعْطِي الْعُلْيَا، أُمَّكَ وَأَبَاكَ، وَأُخْتَكَ وَأَخَاكَ، ثُمَّ أَدْنَاكَ أَدْنَاك»

(The hand of the one who gives is superior. (Give to) your mother and your father, your sister and your brother, then the closest and next closest.)”

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