17. The Journey
A.J. Droge [+]
This sūra opens with the famous and tantalizingly brief report of a ‘night journey.’ A variety of topics then follow, including a series of commandments resembling the Decalogue in form and content (Q17.22–39a), as well as passages dealing with the nature and purpose of the Qur’ān. The Prophet’s role as the ‘messenger’ is emphasized, and disbelievers are chastised for their objection that he is merely a ‘human being’ who does not perform any miracles. Q17 is also known as the ‘Sons of Israel’ from the references to the Banū Isrā’īl at its beginning and end.