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Summary of question
In brief, what are the lessons [that can be taken] from Sūrah Banī Isrā\'īl?
In brief, what are the lessons [that can be taken] from Sūrah Banī Isrā\'īl?
Concise answer
The popular view amongst the commentators is that Sūrah Banī Isrā'īl (Isrā')[1] was revealed in Mecca and is considered a Meccan Sūrah[2].
In summary, the core teachings of Sūrah Banī Isrā'īl are as follows:
  1. Proofs for Prophet-hood, especially the miraculous nature of the Quran, and the night journey (mi’raj) of the Prophet [Muhammad] (saw).
  2. Issues relating to the Hereafter; reward, punishment and the books of deeds etc.
  3. Extracts from the eventful stories of the nation of Banī Isrā'īl that appear at the beginning and end of the Sūrah.
  4. Discussions regarding free will, choice, and that the results of all of our good or bad actions will come back to us.
  5. The matter of ‘account keeping’ for our deeds in this life, and how this is only an example of what is to occur in the Hereafter.
  6. Recognizing the truth (what’s right) on all levels, particularly concerning close relatives, and more specifically parents.
  7. Forbidding the following actions: wasting (Israf), stinginess, killing one’s children, fornication, usurping the rights of orphans, cheating [in selling], arrogance, and spilling blood [of innocents].
  8. Discussions regarding Tahwid and knowing God.
  9. Fighting all types of stubbornness in the face of Truth because sins cause the Truth to be hidden [from us] through veils.
  10. The status of Human beings; in addition to their merits and Excellency over all other creation.
  11. The power of the Quran to solve all moral/ethical and social problems [amongst people].
  12. The challenge of the Quran [for all of mankind], and the inability [of humans] to stand against the Quran.
  13. The whispers of Satan and warning all Believers to be cautious in regards to the methods used by Satan to infiltrate into [the thoughts of] the Believers.
  14. Lessons in ethics and morals.
  15. Stories from the lives of the Prophets (pbut) that are mentioned for mankind to gain lessons from and to act as evidence for the points mentioned above.[3]
In short, this Sūrah has discussions regarding: beliefs, ethics, society, and a complete prescription for Human beings to reach perfection in different fields. [4]

[1] The famous name of this Surah is “Bani Israel” and it also has other names such as “Isra’” and “Subhan”; Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 12, pg. 3, Daar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 1995.
[2] Ibid, pg. 5.
[3] Ibid, pp. 5 and 6.
[4] Ibid, pg. 6.

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