Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 36 (17:36)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 36 in Arabic Text

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْبَصَرَ وَٱلْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْـُٔولًۭا
Wa laa taqfu maa laisa laka bihee ‘ilm; innas sam’a walbasara walfu’aada kullu ulaaa’ika kaana ‘anhu mas’oolaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 36

Sahih International
And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.

Yusuf Ali
And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).

Abul Ala Maududi
(xiii) Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Surely the hearing, the sight, the heart – each of these shall be called to account.

Muhsin Khan
And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah).

Pickthall
(O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart – of each of these it will be asked.

Dr. Ghali
And do not pursue what you have no knowledge of; surely hearing and beholding and heart-sight, (Or: perception) all of those will be questioned of.

Abdel Haleem
Do not follow blindly what you do not know to be true: ears, eyes, and heart, you will be questioned about all these.

Quran 17 Verse 36 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 36, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:36) (xiii) Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Surely the hearing, the sight, the heart – each of these shall be called to account.[42]


42. The meanings of “Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge” are very comprehensive. It demands that both in individual and collective life, one should not follow mere guess work and presumption instead of knowledge. This instruction covers all aspects of Islamic life, moral, legal, political, administrative and applies to science, arts and education. It has thus saved the society from numerous evils which are produced in human life by following guesswork instead of knowledge. The Islamic moral code demands: Guard against suspicion and do not accuse any individual or group without proper investigation. In law, it has been made a permanent principle that no action should be taken against anyone without proper investigation. It has been made unlawful to arrest, beat or imprison anyone on mere suspicion during investigation. In regards to foreign relations, the definite policy has been laid down that no action should be taken without investigation, nor should rumors be set afloat. Likewise in education the so called sciences based on mere guess work, presumptions and irrational theories have been disapproved. Above all, it cuts at the very root of superstitions, for this instruction teaches the believers to accept only that which is based on the knowledge imparted by Allah and His Messenger.

Ibn-Kathir

36. And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah).


Do not speak without Knowledge

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “This means) do not say (anything of which you have no knowledge).” Al-`Awfi said: “Do not accuse anyone of that of which you have no knowledge.” Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said: “It means bearing false witness.” Qatadah said: “Do not say, `I have seen’, when you did not see anything, or `I have heard’, when you did not hear anything, or `I know’, when you do not know, for Allah will ask you about all of that.” In conclusion, what they said means that Allah forbids speaking without knowledge and only on the basis of suspicion, which is mere imagination and illusions. As Allah says:

﴿اجْتَنِبُواْ كَثِيراً مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ﴾

(Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins.) ﴿49:12﴾ According to a Hadith:

«إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّنَفَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيث»

(Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech.) The following Hadith is found in Sunan Abu Dawud:

«بِئْسَ مَطِيَّةُ الرَّجُلِ: زَعَمُوا»

(What an evil habit it is for a man to say, `They claimed…’) According to another Hadith:

«إِنَّ أَفْرَى الْفِرَى أَنْ يُرِيَ الرَّجُلُ عَيْنَيْهِ مَا لَمْ تَرَيَا»

(The worst of lies is for a man to claim to have seen something that he has not seen.) In the Sahih it says:

«مَنْ تَحَلَّمَ حُلْمًا كُلِّفَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَنْ يَعْقِدَ بَيْنَ شَعِيرَتَيْنِ وَلَيْسَ بِفَاعِل»

(Whoever claims to have seen a dream (when he has not seen) will be told on the Day of Resurrection to make a knot between two barley grains, and he will not be able to do it.)

﴿كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ﴾

(each of those ones) means these faculties, hearing, sight and the heart,

﴿كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً﴾

(will be questioned.) means, the person will be asked about them on the Day of Resurrection, and they will be asked about him and what he did with them.

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