Tafsir of Ayah 5 of Surah Al-Isra'

Q 1: My question is about the Tafsir (explanation/exegesis) of the Ayah in Surah Al-Isra’ (meanings of which are translated as): So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. Is this Ayah meant for Muslim believers only, or is the meaning general? Did it happen, or not?


A: Allah (Exalted be He) has declared to the Children of Israel in the Scripture (Torah) revealed to them that they will twice spread mischief on the earth, tyrannize over it, and oppress people. In the first of the two times of their spreading corruption, Allah (Exalted be He) will punish them by sending against them soldiers from among His creatures, of great military might, supplies and force who will defeat them, take over the country they ruled and walk into the inside of their homes, as a kind of punishment for their tyranny. (Part No. 4; Page No. 247) This is a just decisive Judgment from Allah (Exalted be He), with wisdom behind it, till the time when the Children of Israel repent and return to Him (Glorified be He), He will make them triumphant over their enemy once again and they will retrieve from them the reigns of the country. He (Exalted be He) will reinforce them with wealth and children and make them more numerous than their enemies as a reward for their repentance and goodness, out of mercy from Allah (Exalted be He). Truly, when people do good, it is for the benefit of their own selves and when they commit evil, it is only against their own selves. But when the second promise comes to pass, and the second of the two times of their spreading corruption occurs, showing tyranny and abusive exercise of power, Allah (Exalted be He) will send against them once again soldiers to afflict them with the worst of punishment and to enter the Masjid (mosque) of Jerusalem as they did the first time, and destroy everything that Allah (Exalted be He) willed to be destroyed as exact recompense for their tyranny and mischief on earth, and out of Justice and Wisdom of Allah (Exalted be He) Who says (what means): Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself; and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves. Allah (Glorified be He) then tells them that if they (the Children of Israel) return to mischief and corruption, He will once again punish them in a way fitting their crime. For more details and benefit, we advise you to read the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir (may Allah be merciful to him) concerning the above-mentioned Ayahs from Surah Al-Isra’.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Tags: