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17:60 The wisdom behind respite given

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Behold! We told thee that thy Lord doth encompass mankind round about: We granted the vision which We showed thee, but as a trial for men,- as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur’an: We put terror (and warning) into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!

The reference may be to 72:28, probably an
earlier Makkan revelation. But the argument is
independent of time.
This verse falls naturally into three divisions. Warnings
and Portents and Signs are sent or not sent according to
Allah’s All-Wise Plan of Mercy and Justice, this is in no
wise inconsistent with the apparent freedom given to the
wicked: because:

  • in any case Allah is all round all His creatures, and
    His delay as a Sign of Mercy in no way diminishes His
  • the Visions of Truth vouchsafed to Prophets of Allah
    are themselves Signs by which they can warn the
    ungodly; and
  • sometimes it is more merciful to give them time by
    not immediately bringing the matter to judgment.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

Regarding: ‘And We granted the vision (Ascension to the Heaven “Miraj”) which We showed you (O Muhammad as an actual eye witness) but as a trial for mankind.’ (17.60) It was an actual eyewitness which was shown to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) during the night he was taken on a journey (through the heavens). And the cursed tree is the tree of Az-Zaqqum (a bitter pungent tree which grows at the bottom of Hell).


Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 4716
In-book reference : Book 65, Hadith 238
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 240
  (deprecated numbering scheme)

Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. (surah 17 verse 60)Microsoft Word – 017 Bani Israel.doc (

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