Surah Al-Isra Ayat 78 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 78
Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.
Establish regular prayers – at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.
Establish Prayer from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night; and hold fast to the recitation of the Qur’an at dawn, for the recitation of the Qur’an at dawn is witnessed.
Perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, and ‘Isha’ prayers), and recite the Quran in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Quran in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).
Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed.
Keep up the prayer at the sinking of the sun to the dusk of the night and (the reading) of the Qur’an at dawn; surely the reading of the Qur’an at dawn has been witnessed.
So perform the regular prayers in the period from the time the sun is past its zenith till the darkness of the night, and [recite] the Quran at dawn- dawn recitation is always witnessed––
نماز کو قائم کریں آفتاب کے ڈھلنے سے لے کر رات کی تاریکی تک اور فجر کا قرآن پڑھنا بھی یقیناً فجر کے وقت کا قرآن پڑھنا حاضر کیا گیا ہے
Quran 17 Verse 78 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 78, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(17:78) Establish Prayer from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night; and hold fast to the recitation of the Qur’an at dawn, for the recitation of the Qur’an at dawn is witnessed.
91. The Muslims have been commanded to establish Salat immediately after the mention of obstacles and adversities. This implies that the perseverance required to face adverse circumstances is obtained by the establishment of Salat.
92. We have translated the words of the Arabic text into “the declining of the sun.” Though some of the companions and their followers are of the opinion that it means “the sunset”, the majority of them are of the opinion that it means “the declining of the sun from its zenith.” Umar, Ibn Umar, Anas bin Malik, Abu Barza-tal-Aslami, Hasan Basri, Shaabi, Ata, Mujahid and, according to a tradition, Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them all) are of this opinion and Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Jaafar Sadiq also are of the same opinion. Besides this, there are some traditions from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the same effect, though they are not so authentic.
93. According to some, the original words of the Arabic text mean “darkness of the night”, while others take it to mean “midnight”. If the first opinion is accepted, it will imply “the beginning of the time of the salatul-isha, the isha prayer” and according to the other it will mean “the last limit of the time of salatul-isha.”
94. The literal meaning of the word fajr is dawn, that is, “the beginning of the morning after the darkness of night.”
Here the “recital of the Quran in the morning” stands for the salatul-fajr, the morning prayer. At some places the Quran has used the word salat for prayer and at other places a particular part of salat for prayer as a whole, e.g. tasbih, hamd, zikr, qayam, ruku, sajud etc. Likewise, here “recital of the Quran at dawn” does not mean the mere recital of the Quran but its recital during the salatul-fajr. Thus, the Quran has also incidentally referred to the different parts of which salat is composed and these guided the Prophet (peace be upon him) to prescribe the definite form of salat in which it is performed by the Muslims.
95. The recital of the Quran at dawn is witnessed by the angels of Allah to testify it as has been explained in the traditions. Though the angels witness each prayer and each good deed, the special mention of their being witnesses at the time of the recital of the Quran during the salatul-fajr gives it a particular importance. That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite long passages from the Quran during the salatul-fajr. His example was followed by the companions, and the succeeding Muslim scholars held it to be a desirable thing. In this verse, it has been briefly stated how to establish salat which was made obligatory at the prescribed timings on the occasion of Miraj. It has been ordained that the first prayer is to be offered before the sunrise and the remaining four after the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night. Afterwards Angel Jibril was sent to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to define the limits of the timings of each prayer. According to a tradition of Abu Daud and Tirmizi related by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Jibril led me in the five prayers twice near the Kaabah. On the first day, he offered the Duhr prayer just after the declining of the sun, when the shadow of everything was the shortest. Then he offered the Asr prayer when the shadow of each thing was equal to its own length, then the Maghrib prayer at the time when one breaks hiss fast, and the Isha prayer was offered just at the time when twilight had disappeared, and Fajr prayer at the time when it becomes unlawful to eat and drink anything for the one who intends to observe a fast. The next day he offered the Dhuhr prayer at the time when the shadow of each thing became equal to its own length and the Asr prayer when the shadow had doubled. The Maghrib prayer was offered as on the previous day and the Isha prayer when one third of the night had passed away, and the Fajr prayer when light had spread all over. After this Jibril turned towards me and said: O Muhammad, these are the timings of salat of the Prophets and the right tunings are between these two extreme limits.
The Quran has also pointed to these five times of Salat on different occasions:
(1) And listen; establish salat at the two ends of the day and in the early parts of the night (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 114).
(2) And glorify your Lord with His praise before the sunrise (Fajr) and before sunset (Asr) and then glorify Him during the night (Isha) and then at the ends of the day (Fajr, Dhuhr and Maghrib). (Surah TaHa, Ayat 130).
(3) So glorify Allah when it is evening for you (Maghrib), and when it is morning (Fajr). Praise is only for Him in the heavens and the earth and glorify him in the later part of the afternoon (Asr) and in the afternoon (Dhuhr). (Surah Ar-Room, Ayat 17-18).
There is great wisdom in this system of the timings of salat. One of these is to avoid the timings of the worship of the sun worshipers. This is because the sun has always been in every age one of the greatest deities of the mushriks, who worshiped it especially at the time of sunrise and sunset. Therefore, these two times have totally been forbidden for salat. Besides this, they worshiped the sun at the time of its zenith. That is why Islam has ordained that the Muslims should offer their two prayers during the day time after the sun has declined and the Fajr prayer before the sunrise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself has stated this wisdom of the timings of prayer in several traditions. For instance, in the tradition related by Amar bin Abasah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have replied to a question to this effect: Offer your morning prayer, but refrain from it when the sun is about to rise until it has risen high. For the sun rises between the horns of Satan and the unbelievers fall prostrate before it at that time.
Then after mentioning the Asr prayer, he said:
After Asr prayer, refrain from any prayer until the sunset, for during that time the sun sets between the horns of Satan and the unbelievers fall prostrate before it.
The rising and the setting of the sun between the horns of Satan is a symbolic expression that has been used in this tradition. This implies that both these times are used by Satan as temptations for the people. This is, as if to say: that Satan is so pleased with the worship of the unbelievers at the time of sunrise and sunset that he appears to carry the sun on his head as a mark of approval. This interpretation of the tradition is based on this remark of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The unbelievers fall prostrate before it.
78. Perform the Salah from midday till the darkness of the night, and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed. 79. And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salah with it as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.
Allah says, commanding His Messenger to offer the prescribed prayers at the appointed times:
(Perform the Salat from midday.) Hushaym narrated from Mughirah from Ash-Sha`bi from Ibn `Abbas: “Midday means when the sun is at its zenith.” This was also reported by Nafi` from Ibn `Umar, and by Malik in his Tafsir from Az-Zuhri from Ibn `Umar. This was the opinion of Abu Barzah Al-Aslami and Mujahid, and of Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir and Qatadah. It is also understood to ﴿generally﴾ refer to the times of the five prayers. Allah said;
(from midday till the darkness of the night,) meaning darkness, or it was said, sunset. This was understood to mean Zuhr `Asr, Maghrib and `Isha’.
(and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn.) meaning Salat Al-Fajr. The details of the timings of the prayers were reported in the Mutawatir Sunnah from the words and deeds of the Prophet , and this is what the people of Islam have followed until the present day, passing it down from generation to generation, century after century, as we have stated in the appropriate place, praise be to Allah.
(Verily the recitation of the Qur’an in the early down is ever witnessed.) Ibn Mas`ud reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet said concerning this Ayah :
(and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.)
(It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.) Al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:
(The prayer offered in congregation is twenty-five degrees better than the prayer offered individually, and the angels of the night and the angels of the day meet at Salat Al-Fajr.) Abu Hurayrah said: Recite, if you wish:
(and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.) Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn Mas`ud and Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, concerning the Ayah:
(and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.)
(It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.) This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi said, “It is Hasan Sahih.” According to the version recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet said:
(The angels of the night and the angels of the day come amongst you in successive groups (in shifts). They meet at the Morning prayer (Fajr) and at the Mid-afternoon prayer (‘Asr). Those who stayed among you at ascend, and their Lord asks them, although He knows best about you, “How did you leave My servants” They say, “We came to them when they were praying and we left them when they were praying.”) `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “The two guards meet at Salat Al-Fajr, and one group ascends while the other stays where it is. ” These were the comments of Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Mujahid, Qatadah and others on the Tafsir of this Ayah.
(And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salah with it as an additional prayer for you.) Here Allah commands him (the Prophet ) to offer further prayers at night after the prescribed prayers. It was reported in Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurayrah that when the Messenger of Allah was asked which prayer is best after the prescribed prayers, he said,
(The Night prayer) Allah commanded His Messenger to pray the Night prayer after offering the prescribed prayers, and the term Tahajjud refers to prayer that is offered after sleeping. This was the view of `Alqamah, Al-Aswad, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and others. It is also well-known from the Arabic language itself. A number of Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah used to pray Tahajjud after he had slept. These include reports from Ibn `Abbas, `A’ishah and other Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. This has been discussed in detail in the appropriate place, praise be to Allah. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “This is what comes after `Isha’, or it could mean what comes after sleeping.”
(an additional prayer (Nawafil)) means the Night prayer has been made an extra prayer specifically for the Prophet , because all his previous and future sins had been forgiven. But for other members of his Ummah, offering optional prayers may expiate for whatever sins they may commit. This was the view of Mujahid, and it was reported in Al-Musnad from Abu Umamah Al-Bahili.
(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) meaning, `do that which you are commanded to do, and We will raise you to a station of praise and glory (Maqam Mahmud) on the Day of Resurrection, where all of creation will praise you,’ as will their Creator, may He be glorified and exalted. Ibn Jarir said, “Most of the commentators said, `This is the position to which Muhammad will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, to intercede for the people so that their Lord will relieve them of some of the hardships they are facing on that Day.”’ It was reported that Hudhayfah said, “Mankind will be gathered in one arena, where they will all hear the call and will all be seen. They will be standing barefoot and naked as they were created, and no person shall speak except by the leave of Allah. He will call out, `O Muhammad,’ and he will respond,
(At your service, all goodness is in Your Hands and evil is not to be attributed to You. The one who is guided is the one whom You guide. Your servant is before You, from You, and to You and there is no salvation or refuge from You except with You. May You be blessed and exalted, Glory be to You, Lord of the House (the Ka`bah).) This is the position of praise and honor (Maqam Mahmud) which was mentioned by Allah.” Ibn `Abbas said, “The position of praise and honor is the position of intercession.” Ibn Abi Najih reported something similar from Mujahid, and this was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri. Qatadah said, “He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be the first one to intercede.” So the scholars consider this the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred in the Ayah:
(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) I, Ibn Kathir, say: the Messenger of Allah will have honors in the Day of Resurrection in which no one else will have a share, honors which will not be matched by anyone else. He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened and he will come forth riding to the gathering place. He will have a banner under which Adam and anyone else will gather, and he will have the Hawd (Lake) to which no one else will have more access than he. He will have the right of the Grand Intercession with Allah when He comes to judge between His creation. This will be after the people ask Adam, then Nuh, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then `Isa to intercede, and each of them will say, “I am not able for that.” Then they will come to Muhammad , and he will say,
(I can do that, I can do that.) We will mention this in more detail shortly, If Allah wills. Part of that will be that he will intercede for some people who had been commanded to be taken to Hell, and they will be brought back. He is the first Prophet whose Ummah will be judged, and the first to take them across the Bridge over the Fire, and the first to intercede in Paradise, as was reported in Sahih Muslim. In the Hadith about the Trumpet, it says that none of the believers will enter Paradise except through his intercession. He will be the first to enter Paradise, and his Ummah will be the first nation to enter. He will intercede for the status to be raised for people whose deeds could not get them there. He is the one who will reach Al-Wasilah, which is the highest position in Paradise, which befits no one but him. When Allah gives permission for intercession on behalf of sinners, the angels, Prophets and believers will intercede, and he will intercede for people whose number is known only to Allah. No one will intercede like him and no one will match him in intercession. This has been explained in comprehensive detail at the end of the Book of Sirah, in the chapter on the specific qualities. Praise be to Allah. Now with the help of Allah we will mention the Hadiths that were reported concerning Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Umar said: “On the Day of Resurrection, the people will be humbled to their knees, each nation following its Prophet and saying, `O so-and-so, intercede,’ `O so-and-so, intercede,’ until the power of intercession is given to Muhammad , and that will be the day when Allah raises him to a position of praise and glory. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(The sun will come close until the sweat reaches halfway up one’s ears. When the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and he will say, “I am not the one to do that.” Then they will ask Musa, and he will say likewise, then they will ask Muhammad, and he will intercede for the people and will go and take hold of the handle of the gate of Paradise, and that will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory.) Al-Bukhari also recorded it in the Book of Zakah, where he added:
(That will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory, and all the people will praise him.) Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that `Abdullah said, “Then Allah will give permission for intercession, and Ar-Ruh Al-Quddus, Jibril, will stand up, then Ibrahim, the close Friend of Allah will stand up, then `Isa or Musa will stand up – Abu Az-Za`ra’ said, `I do not know which of them, ‘ — then your Prophet will stand up and will intercede, and no one after him will intercede as much as he does. This is the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred:
(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.)”
Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “Some meat was brought to the Messenger of Allah , and he lifted up the arm, which he used to like, and took one bite, then he said:
(I will be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know why it will be so Allah will gather the first and the last in one place, and they will hear a voice calling out, and they will all be seen. The sun will come close until their anguish and distress becomes unbearable, and some will say to others, “Do you not see how much you are suffering Why do you not find someone to intercede for you with your Lord” And some of the people will say to others, “How about Adam” So they will go to Adam and say, “O Adam, you are the father of mankind, Allah created you with His Hand and breathed into you of His spirit, and commanded the angels to prostrate to you. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” Adam will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. He forbade me to approach the Tree and I disobeyed Him. Myself, myself, myself ﴿i.e., I am only concerned about myself﴾. Go to someone else. Go to Nuh.” So they will go to Nuh and say, “O Nuh, you are the first of the Messengers sent to the people of earth, and Allah called you a grateful servant. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” Nuh will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. There is a prayer that I prayed against my people. Myself, myself, myself ﴿i.e., I am only concerned about myself﴾. Go to someone else. Go to Ibrahim. ” So they will go to Ibrahim and say, “O Ibrahim, you are the Prophet of Allah and His close Friend among the people of earth. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” Ibrahim will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again.” And he mentioned some untruths he had told. “Myself, myself, myself ﴿i.e., I am only concerned about myself﴾. Go to someone else. Go to Musa.”
So they will go to Musa and say, “O Musa, you are the Messenger of Allah, Allah chose you above others by selecting you to convey His Message and by speaking to you directly. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” Musa will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. I killed a soul whom I had not been commanded to kill. Myself, myself, myself ﴿i.e., I am only concerned about myself﴾. Go to someone else. Go to `Isa.” So they will go to `Isa and say, `O `Isa, you are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He bestowed upon Maryam and a spirit created by Him. You spoke to the people as an infant in the cradle. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” `Isa will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again.” And he will not mention any sin. “Myself, myself, myself ﴿i.e., I am only concerned about myself﴾. Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.” So they will go to Muhammad and will say, “O Muhammad, you are the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the Prophets, Allah forgave all your past and future sins. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” I will stand up and come before the Throne, and will fall prostrating to my Lord, may He be glorified and exalted. Then Allah will inspire me to speak and I will speak beautiful words of praise such as no one has ever been inspired with before. It will be said, “O Muhammad, raise your head and ask, it will be granted to you. Intercede, and your intercession will be heard.” So I will raise my head and say, “My Ummah, O Lord, my Ummah, O Lord, my Ummah, O Lord.” It will be said, “O Muhammad, admit those who will not be brought to account from among your Ummah through the right-hand gate of Paradise. Then the rest of your Ummah will share the other gates with the rest of the people.”) Then he said, (“By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the distance between two of the gateposts of Paradise is like the distance between Makkah and Hajar, or between Makkah and Busra.) It was also reported in the Two Sahihs.
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