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 12 contains Āyāt / Parts 6
  • Siparah/ Volume 8 & 9


وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلاَّ أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاء وَالضَّرَّاء لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ

Wama arsalna fee qaryatin min nabiyyin illa akhathna ahlaha bi(a)lbasai wa(al)ddarrai laAAallahum yaddarraAAoon(a)

We-SWT did not send a Prophet-AS to any town but We-SWT afflicted its people with calamities and disasters that perchance they might humble themselves.


ثُمَّ بَدَّلْنَا مَكَانَ السَّيِّئَةِ الْحَسَنَةَ حَتَّى عَفَواْ وَّقَالُواْ قَدْ مَسَّ آبَاءنَا الضَّرَّاء وَالسَّرَّاء فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

Thumma baddalna makana a(l)ssayyiati alhasanata hatta AAafaw waqaloo qad massa abaana a(l)ddarrao wa(al)ssarrao faakhathnahum baghtatan wahum layashAAuroon(a)

Thereafter We-SWT changed ease for adversity until they abounded and said: even thus did tribulation and prosperity touch our fathers. Then We-SWT laid hold of them of a sudden while they perceived not.


وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَواْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ وَلَـكِن كَذَّبُواْ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

Walaw anna ahla alqura amanoo wa(i)ttaqaw lafatahna AAalayhim barakatin mina a(l)ssamai wa(a)lardi walakin kaththaboo faakhathnahum bima kanoo yaksiboon(a)

And had the people of those towns believed and feared Allah-SWT, We-SWT would of a surety have opened up to them blessings from the heavens and the earth; but they belied, so We-SWT seized them for what they had been earning.


أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ

Afaamina ahlu alqura an yatiyahum basuna bayatan wahum naimoon(a)

Are the people of towns then secure that Our-SWT Wrath would not visit them at night while they are slumbering?


أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Awa amina ahlu alqura an yatiyahum basuna duhan wahum yalAAaboon(a)

Or, are the people of towns then secure that Our-SWT Wrath would not visit them by daylight while they are disporting themselves?


أَفَأَمِنُواْ مَكْرَ اللّهِ فَلاَ يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

Afaaminoo makra Allahi fala yamanu makra Allahi illa alqawmu alkhasiroon(a)

Are they then secure against the contrivance of Allaah-SWT ? None feels secure against Allah-SWT's contrivance except the people who are lost.


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

Allah-SWT is extremely Gracious and Benevolent, far beyond the sphere of human knowledge. It is said here that whenever and wherever Allaah-SWT deputed His-SWT Prophets-AS a certain level and a kind of intensity occurred in the form of problems people had to face. Disease, poverty and financial losses would become a common feature so that people would look for an emancipator. Tins would drive them to Allah-SWT's Prophet--AS even though it was for some personal interest.


Although man has been given the power to choose between guidance and evil, yet His-SWT Mercy creates such circumstances whereby he realizes his worthlessness and turns to Allah-SWT ’ in all humility. And when he does, he receives support immediately.


Divine Clemency

If inspite of everything one fails to turn to Allah-SWT, the circumstances are eased off for him. The hardships are replaced by comforts. Taking advantage of this respite man progresses in terms of affluence and power and becomes oblivious to Allah-SWT's Greatness. He-SWT actually begins to believe that weal and woe are normal phenomena, not in any way related to piety or otherwise and that his predecessors too lived through similar circumstances. Or may be that his ancestors were not capable of finding proper solutions while he is progressive enough to develop treatment to ills as well as means of comforts. Amidst these perplexed deliberations he is suddenly caught by Divine Wrath, in the form of death, turmoils, natural calamities or hazards. Thus those ignorant of Allah-SWT's Greatness finally step into the Hereafter.


Taqwa Invokes Barakah

Had the defiant accepted Allaah-SWT ’s Message and had practised Taqwa He-SWT would have certainly opened up the doors of blessings of the heavens and the earth for them.


Taqwa has been explained earlier as a state of the heart attained through the Holy Prophet-SW  ‘s beneficence. This is why faith is mentioned before Taqwa. The reality of faith is total trust in Allah-SWT's Prophet-SW  where by the heart of a seeker receives transmissions from his-SAAW  sacred heart, finds himself before Allaah-SWT and dares not disobey Him-SWT .If this blessing is acquired, the gateway to the Barakah of the heavens and earth are opened up unto him.


What is Barakah?

It is a prosperity substantiated with peace and comfort in one's health, wealth, occupations and time, and is displayed in many ways. Sometimes the quantity of a substance increases: for instance when on a journey the Holy Prophet-SW immersed his-SW  fingers into a tumbler filled with water and it became enough to satiate the entire caravan, including the horses and camels, and also topped up the storage skins. Sometimes the quantity of a substance remains unaltered but it yields the same results which a quantity four times its volume could have produced. Sometimes a single bite provides complete energy and an ordinary medication cures a fatal disease. Many tasks are performed in a short span of time. Many examples of prosperity and abundance may be witnessed in the lives of the Aulia.


Besides, this prosperity also refers to harmony in the earthly as well as celestial conditions; for instance having rainfall at the right time and in the right quantity, so as to yield healthy crops in favourable weather conditions. And then having peace and comfort at heart are also the fruits of Taqwa. These spiritual states are distributed by the Prophets-AS in the first place, then by the Companions-RAU and, in turn, by those who strive under the guidance of the accomplished.


Affluence: both a Reward and a Punishment

When people opted for denial they had to face the consequences. Time became less fruitful while rains proved to be harmful. Inspite of being wealthy they could neither enjoy a good meal nor good health. Similarly, injustice prevailed in the society and ignorant people assumed power and offices of authority. All such punishments were then awarded to the non believers for their denial. In present times similar punishments are inflicted upon the believers because of their disobedience. In other words, it is a law of the nature that Taqwa begets peace and comfort while sin begets remorse and distress.


The Barakah attend the righteous deeds from the heaven as well as from the earth. At the same time the impious also enjoy affluence and power. How, then, would it be judged whether prosperity is a punishment or a reward? The learned scholars give a very simple yardstick; that the circumstances which invoke Allaah-SWT ’'s Zikr and obedience are a Divine Reward, be it affluence or poverty. And all that generates disobedience and indulgence in sin is a kind of punishment, whether it is wealth or power. Besides, peace and tranquility of the heart accompanies the reward whereas punishment renders the heart bleak.


It is amazing how mankind is overpowered by indifference. Inspite of being aware of the fate met by their predecessors, no one bothers to think that disobedience amounts to inviting destruction. It is quite possible that Allah-SWT's Wrath may grip them during the night slumber or in the peak business hours of the day. Have they become heedless of the end results Allaah-SWT has pre-destined for all actions, that the obedience attracts Barakah while disobedience destroys? Take note that those unmindful of the consequences are always at a loss.