سورة الأعراف   

Surah Name: Al-A'raf Meaning:The Heights

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • The foundation of Islam is on the transparent belief in the Unity of Allah-SWT . The relationship between man and Allah-SWT is such that the former must present his needs only before Him-SWT display his utter humility and insignificance. The theme of the preceding Surah is further expanded here, with emphasis on the importance of the Prophethood because no one can, on his own, comprehend Allah-SWT's Magnificence. He-SWT is beyond human senses. Allah-SWT's Cognition is a feeling induced into the human heart, and this honour is conferred upon the subtle hearts of His-SWT Prophets-AS through Revelations. They distribute these blessings amongst their followers, through a process known as Tazkiyah. In other words, the heart that receives this light is purified and capacitated to comprehend the Divine Book and the Wisdom. Thus the cognition of the Prophet-AS‘s paves the way to the Cognition of Allah-SWT ’. This Surah discusses the importance of Prophethood, supporting it with both logical and chronicle evidence, in the light of history of the preceding nations and their Prophets"-AS their conduct and the end results thereof. Towards the end is the discussion on the Unity of Allah-SWT ’. Also listed are some of His-SWT ’ Commands to facilitate His-SWT Cognition through obedience

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 24
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 206
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 7
  • Rukū / Section 11 contains Āyāt / Parts 9
  • Siparah/ Volume 8 & 9


وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَأَوْفُواْ الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءهُمْ وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Waila madyana akhahum shuAAayban qala ya qawmi oAAbudoo Allaha malakum min ilahin ghayruhu qad jaatkum bayyinatun min rabbikum faawfoo alkayla wa(a)lmeezana wala tabkhasoo a(l)nnasa ashyaahum wala tufsidoo fee alardi baAAda islahiha thalikum khayrun lakum in kuntum mumineen(a)

To Madyan We-SWT sent their brother Shu’aib-AS. He said: O’ my people! Worship Allah-SWT, no god you have but He-SWT . Surely there has come to you an evidence from your Rabb-SWT; so give full weight and measure, and do not defraud people of their things, and do not act corruptly on the earth after its ordering; that is best for you if you be believers.


وَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ بِكُلِّ صِرَاطٍ تُوعِدُونَ وَتَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَتَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ قَلِيلاً فَكَثَّرَكُمْ وَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

Wala taqAAudoo bikulli siratin tooAAidoona watasuddoona AAan sabeeli Allahi man amana bihi watabghoonaha AAiwajan wa(o)thkuroo ith kuntum qaleelan fakaththarakum wa(o)nthuroo kayfa kana AAaqibatu almufsideen(a)

And do not beset every highway menacing and turning aside from the Path of Allaah-SWT those who believe in Him-SWT and seeking to render it crooked. And remember when you were small, and He-SWT thereafter multiplied you; and behold! What like was the end of the corrupters.


وَإِن كَانَ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنكُمْ آمَنُواْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ وَطَآئِفَةٌ لَّمْ يْؤْمِنُواْ فَاصْبِرُواْ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللّهُ بَيْنَنَا وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ

Wain kana taifatun minkum amanoo bi(a)llathee orsiltu bihi wataifatun lam yuminoo fa(i)sbiroo hatta yahkuma Allahu baynana wahuwa khayru alhakimeen(a)

And if there is a party of you who believe in that with which I am sent and a party who do not believe, then have patience until Allaah-SWT judges between us, and He-SWT is the Best of Judges.


قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لَنُخْرِجَنَّكَ يَا شُعَيْبُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَكَ مِن قَرْيَتِنَا أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا قَالَ أَوَلَوْ كُنَّا كَارِهِينَ

Qala almalao allatheena istakbaroo min qawmihi lanukhrijannaka ya shuAAaybu wa(a)llatheena amanoo maAAaka min qaryatina aw lataAAoodunna fee millatinaqala awalaw kunna kariheen(a)

The chiefs of those who were stiff necked among his people said, surely we’ will you forth. O’ Shu’aib-AS and those who have believed with you from our city or else you shall return to our faith. He said: What! Even though we abhor.


قَدِ افْتَرَيْنَا عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا إِنْ عُدْنَا فِي مِلَّتِكُم بَعْدَ إِذْ نَجَّانَا اللّهُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَكُونُ لَنَا أَن نَّعُودَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء اللّهُ رَبُّنَا وَسِعَ رَبُّنَا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا عَلَى اللّهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا رَبَّنَا افْتَحْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ قَوْمِنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْفَاتِحِينَ

Qadi iftarayna AAala Allahi kathiban in AAudna fee millatikum baAAda ithnajjana Allahu minha wama yakoonu lana an naAAooda feeha illa an yashaa Allahu rabbuna wasiAAa rabbuna kulla shayin AAilman AAala Allahi tawakkalnarabbana iftah baynana wabayna qawmina bi(a)lhaqqi waanta khayru alfatiheen(a)

We must have been fabricating a lie against Allaah-SWT if we returned to your faith after Allaah-SWT has delivered us from it And it is not for us to return thereto except that Allaah-SWT our Rabb-SWT so willed; everything our Rabb-SWT comprehends in His-SWT Knowledge, in Allaah-SWT we place our trust. O’ our Rabb-SWT ’! Decide You-SWT between us and our people with truth; You-SWT are the Best of the Deciders.


وَقَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتُمْ شُعَيْباً إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَاسِرُونَ

Waqala almalao allatheena kafaroo min qawmihi laini ittabaAAtum shuAAayban innakum ithan lakhasiroon(a)

And the chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said: should you follow Shu'aib-AS, lo! Verily you shall be the losers.


فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ

Faakhathathumu a(l)rrajfatu faasbahoo fee darihim jathimeen(a)

An earthquake thereupon felled them; so that they lay prone in their dwelling.


الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيْبًا كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيْبًا كَانُواْ هُمُ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Allatheena kaththaboo shuAAayban kaan lam yaghnaw feeha allatheena kaththaboo shuAAayban kanoo humu alkhasireen(a)

Those who had belied Shu'aib-AS became as though they had not dwelt therein; those who had belied Shu'aib-AS it is they who were losers.


فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ فَكَيْفَ آسَى عَلَى قَوْمٍ كَافِرِينَ

Fatawalla AAanhum waqala ya qawmi laqad ablaghtukum risalati rabbee wanasahtu lakum fakayfa asa AAala qawmin kafireen(a)

Then he turned from them and said: O’ my people! Assuredly I delivered to you the Messages of my Rabb-SWT ’ and counselled you good, how then should I lament over a disbelieving people?


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

With the passage of time settlements grew at Madyan. According to the Commentators, Madyan was Prophet Ibrahim-AS‘s son whose children as well as the settlement was called Madyan after him. As they became prosperous, avarice creeped into their hearts. Accumulation of wealth became primary goal of their lives. To become rich, they resorted to all sorts of unfair means, deceiving people in measure and weight and plundering the wayfarers. They would also levy illegal taxes on the wayfarers.


The Divine Mercy came to rescue them and Prophet Shu’aib-AS was deputed unto the people of Madyan. He was also related to Prophet Ibrahim-AS and Prophet Lut-AS and was thus a brother to the people of Madyan. He invited them to worship Allaah-SWT Who Alone was worthy of worship. He instructed them to pin all their hopes on Him-SWT as He-SWT was their Rabb. He-SWT had raised him as a clear proof of His-SWT ’ Providence. Hence whoever wishes to follow the right path could seek guidance from His-SWT ’ Prophet-AS.


Violating Others' Rights is Forbidden

He prompted his people to weigh and measure goods precisely and not to wrong one another. The Commentators assert that no form of usurpation of the rights of others is permissible whether in terms of money, honour or reputation. It is forbidden not to respect someone as much as he deserves or to disobey someone whose obedience is obligatory. So much so that Hadhrat ‘Umar'-RAU once admonished a worshipper bending and prostrating hastily saying that he was violating the rights of Salat. Prophet Shu’aib-AS told his people not to become a source of disruption on earth, which Allaah-SWT had furnished with means of comfort and amenities. Whereas injustice apparently creates nothing but unrest, it also shows a weakening of the bonds with Allaah-SWT ’. Once this connection is upset the result is the destruction of inner self. Therefore, the Prophet-AS  persuaded his people to follow him as it was the best in their own interest.


Unreasonable Taxes

He told his people to stop collecting toll taxes from wayfarers and plundering them. And also not to prevent others from accepting the true faith. The problem with disbelief and sin is that such a person cannot bear to see others embracing the truth. If a whit of goodness survived in the heart of a sinner, it would lead him to repentance; else he would wish everyone else to become misguided like him.


Prosperity, Progeny and Power is a Divine Blessing

Prophet Shu’aib-AS reminded his people of the time when they were of no significance in terms of manpower as well as political and financial resources. Allaah-SWT blessed them with affluence, children and power; so it was obligatory for them to be grateful to Him-SWT for His-SWT favours. He warned them that a failure to do so will become the very cause of destruction. They must not ignore the fate of the People of Prophets Nuh-AS, Hud-AS  Salih-AS and Lut-AS before them. A few fortunate people embraced the faith presented by Prophet Shu'aib-AS  ' while the majority went head long with their disbelief and criminal activities. Rather they felt sorry for the believers, who in their view, were at a loss in terms of riches as compared to them. Prophet Shu'aib-AS told them not to jump to conclusions as Allaah-SWT gives respite to wrongdoers, though the ultimate outcome of transgression is indeed tragic. So let Allaah-SWT be the Judge between the believers and the evil doers as He-SWT is the One Who-SWT passes the best of judgements!


History repeated itself and once again truth became intolerable for those who had cloaked their vain desires in a religious garb. So the chieftains warned Prophet Shu’aib-AS's that if he did not turn back to their religion, he and those believing with him shall be forced into exile.


Evil of Rituals

The believers replied that they had abandoned their previous religion knowing it to be logically wrong. Their hearts had attained such a state as to become abhorrent to disbelief. So how could they be forced to renounce the faith. Prophet Shu’aib-AS, as Allah-SWT's Messenger-AS, could never possibly indulge in any degree of disbelief. The above discussion concerns the believers who were with him. Secondly, if they became apostates it would mean that they had been lying about Allaah-SWT and had not been guided by Him-SWT . It is indeed a great transgression that lies be fabricated against Him-SWT . It must be remembered that self created rituals promoted as rewardable deeds is as big a crime as lying about Allaah-SWT . So the believers refused to turn away from the faith, as they were grateful to Allaah-SWT who had delivered them of the ungodly rituals and blessed them with it.


Apostasy Earns Allah-SWT's Annoyance

The believers declared that they would never give up the true faith, unless it is taken away by Allaah-SWT due to their own mistakes. For if Allaah-SWT is annoyed He-SWT may turn off the light of faith kindled in the hearts. Allah-SWT's Knowledge is unlimited, and He-SWT is Aware of the secrets hurried deep in the hearts. As long as the hearts are pious, He-SWT facilitates repentance over sins, but once these turn evil, the circumstances change Therefore, the believers asserted that they banked on Allaah-SWT Alone, as He-SWT is the One Who could keep them steadfast on truth.


At last the believers raised their hands in prayer that if the non believers insist, let the dispute be settled between them by Allah-SWT's Grace and His-SWT Justice. It was time for the truth to be established as the wrongdoers had launched a disinformation campaign against the true faith. They were employing all the resources to misguide and confuse the believers and would often remind them of the material losses they suffered by embracing the Divine Faith.


Hence the Divine Punishment caught up. According to the Commentators the temperature rose to such a high degree that it became unbearable. Suddenly a dense cloud appeared over the jungle and they all rushed in that direction. No sooner had they gathered in the jungle, the earth shook and the cloud showered lire and everyone perished. And it looked like as if those who had denied the Prophet-AS never existed. The lesson was driven home that only the non believers were it a loss.


Prophet Shu’aib-AS  remorsefully remarked that he had tried his level best to convince these ill fated people but they never listened. He decided to migrate to Makkah alongwith the believers to live there permanently. Majority of the Prophets-AS whose nations were so destroyed had migrated to Makkah alongwith the believers. Although, at that time the building of the K'abah was not there in its present shape but the place as usual was the focal point of Divine Splendour. Therefore, those Prophets--AS lived in Makkah, passed away and were buried there. Right now there are many such exalted souls resting in peace under the Muta'af, which only an enlightened heart blessed with Kashf can observe.