Surah Al-Isra Ayat 47 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 47
We are most knowing of how they listen to it when they listen to you and [of] when they are in private conversation, when the wrongdoers say, “You follow not but a man affected by magic.”
We know best why it is they listen, when they listen to thee; and when they meet in private conference, behold, the wicked say, “Ye follow none other than a man bewitched!”
We are well aware of what they wish to hear when they listen to you and what they say when they confer in whispers, when the wrong-doers say: “You are only following one who is bewitched.”
We know best of what they listen to, when they listen to you. And when they take secret counsel, behold, the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) say: “You follow none but a bewitched man.”
We are Best Aware of what they wish to hear when they give ear to thee and when they take secret counsel, when the evil-doers say: Ye follow but a man bewitched.
We know best what (intention) it is that they listen with as they listen to you, and as they have private conferences, as the unjust (of them) say, “Decidedly you are following (none) except a man bewitched.”
We know best the way they listen, when they listen to you and when they confer in secret, and these wrongdoers say, ‘You are only following a man who is bewitched.’
Quran 17 Verse 47 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 47, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(17:47) We are well aware of what they wish to hear when they listen to you and what they say when they confer in whispers, when the wrong-doers say: “You are only following one who is bewitched.”
53. This refers to those devices which they conspired against the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They would secretly listen to him, and then hold consultations in order to counteract this. Sometimes it so happened that they suspected that someone had been influenced by the Quran. Then they would sit together and try to dissuade him, saying: How is it that you have been influenced by a person who himself is bewitched by some enemy and talks like this?
47. We know best of what they listen to, when they listen to you. And when they take secret counsel, then the wrongdoers say: “You follow none but a bewitched man.” 48. See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.
Allah tells His Prophet about what the leaders of Quraysh discussed when they came and listened to him reciting Qur’an in secret, without their people knowing about it. They said that he was Mashur which according to the better-known view means someone affected by magic (Sihr); it may also mean a man who has a lung, i.e., a mere human being, as if they were saying that if you follow Muhammad, you will only be following a human being. This second suggestion does not sound correct, because what they meant here was that he was under the influence of Sihr (magic) which made him see dreams in which he learned these words that he recited. Some of them said he was a poet, or a soothsayer, or crazy, or a sorcerer. Allah says:
(See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.) meaning, they will never be guided to the truth and will never find a way to reach it. Muhammad bin Ishaq said in As-Sirah: “Muhammad bin Muslim bin Shihab Az-Zuhri told me that it happened that Abu Sufyan bin Harb, Abu Jahl bin Hisham and Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq bin `Amr bin Wahb Ath-Thaqafi, the ally of Bani Zahrah, went out one night to listen to the Messenger of Allah when he was praying at night in his house. Each one of them took up a position for listening, and none of them knew that the others were also there. They stayed listening to him all night until dawn came. When they left, they met up on the road, each of them blaming the others, saying to one another; `Do not come back again, lest you give the wrong impression ﴿i.e., that you like what you hear﴾.’ Then they went away until the second night came, when each of them came back to his place and spent the night listening. When dawn came they left, then when they met up on the road, each of them blamed the others, saying the same as they had said the previous night. Then they went away until the third night came, when each of them came back to his place and spent the night listening. When dawn came they left, then when they met up on the road, they said to one another, `Let us not leave until we promise not to come back,’ so they made a promise to that effect, and went their separate ways. In the morning, Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq took his stick and went to the house of Abu Sufyan bin Harb, where he said, `Tell me, O Abu Hanzalah ﴿i.e., Abu Sufyan﴾, what do you think of what you have heard from Muhammad’ Abu Sufyan said, `O Abu Tha`labah ﴿i.e., Al-Akhnas﴾, by Allah, I have heard something I understand and I know what is meant by it, and I have heard things I do not understand and do not know what is meant by it.’ Al-Akhnas said: `Me too, by the One by Whom you swore.’ Then he left and went to Abu Jahl, and entered his house. He said, `O Abu Al-Hakam ﴿i.e., Abu Jahl﴾, what do you think of what you have heard from Muhammad’ He said, `What did you hear’ He said, `We and Banu `Abd Manaf competed for honor and position: they fed people so we fed people, they engaged in battle so we engaged in battle, they gave so we gave, until we were neck and neck, like race horses. Then they said, we have a Prophet among us who receives revelation from heaven. How could we compete with that By Allah we will never believe in him.’ Then Al-Akhnas got up and left him.”
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