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


وَوَاعَدْنَا مُوسَى ثَلاَثِينَ لَيْلَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيقَاتُ رَبِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً وَقَالَ مُوسَى لأَخِيهِ هَارُونَ اخْلُفْنِي فِي قَوْمِي وَأَصْلِحْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

WawaAAadna moosa thalatheena laylatan waatmamnaha biAAashrin fatamma meeqatu rabbihi arbaAAeena laylatan waqala moosa liakheehi haroona okhlufnee fee qawmee waaslih wala tattabiAA sabeela almufsideen(a)

And We-SWT appointed with Musa-AS thirty nights, and We-SWT completed them with ten; so the appointment of his Rabb-SWT was completed by forty nights. And Musa-AS said to his brother Harun-AS: act you in my place among my people and rectify; and do not follow the way of the corrupters.


وَلَمَّا جَاء مُوسَى لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Walamma jaa moosa limeeqatina wakallamahu rabbuhu qala rabbi arinee anthur ilayka qala lan taranee walakini onthur ila aljabali faini istaqarra makanahu fasawfa taranee falamma tajalla rabbuhu liljabali jaAAalahu dakkan wakharra moosasaAAiqan falamma afaqa qala subhanaka tubtu ilayka waana awwalu almumineen(a)

And when Musa-AS came at Our-SWT appointment, his Rabb-SWT Spoke to him he said: Rabb-SWT ! Show Yourself-SWT to me, that I may look at You-SWT ! Allaah-SWT said: you cannot see Me-SWT , but look at that mount there, if it stands in its place, then you will see Me-SWT . Then when his Rabb-SWT unveiled His-SWT Glory to the Mount, it turned it to dust, and Musa-AS fell down thunder struck. Then when he recovered, he said: hallowed be You-SWT ! I turn to You-SWT repentant, and I am the first of the believers.


قَالَ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَالاَتِي وَبِكَلاَمِي فَخُذْ مَا آتَيْتُكَ وَكُن مِّنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ

Qala ya moosa innee istafaytuka AAala a(l)nnasi birisalatee wabikalamee fakhuthma ataytuka wakun mina a(l)shshakireen(a)

Allah-SWT said: O Musa-AS! I-SWT have chosen you indeed above mankind by My-SWT Messages and by My-SWT Speaking: so hold fast what I-SWT have given you, and be of the grateful.


وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ فِي الأَلْوَاحِ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَّوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلاً لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُواْ بِأَحْسَنِهَا سَأُرِيكُمْ دَارَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

Wakatabna lahu fee alalwahi min kulli shayin mawAAithatan watafseelan likulli shayin fakhuthha biquwwatin wamur qawmaka yakhuthoo biahsaniha saoreekum dara alfasiqeen(a)

And in the tablets We-SWT wrote for him of everything an exhortation, and a detail of everything. So hold you fast with firmness, and bid your people follow the best of it: soon I-SWT shall show you the abode of the ungodly people.


سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَوْاْ كُلَّ آيَةٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَا وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الرُّشْدِ لاَ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الْغَيِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ

Saasrifu AAan ayatiya allatheena yatakabbaroona fee alardi bighayri alhaqqi wain yaraw kulla ayatin la yuminoo biha wain yaraw sabeela a(l)rrushdi la yattakhithoohu sabeelan wain yaraw sabeela alghayyi yattakhithoohu sabeelan thalika biannahum kaththaboo biayatina wakanoo AAanha ghafileen(a)

I-SWT will turn away from My-SWT Signs those who are big with pride on the earth unjustly, and even though they may see every Sign, they will not believe; and if they see the path of rectitude they will take it as their path, and if they see the path of error they will take it as their path. This is because they belied Our-SWT Signs and they were ever neglectful of them.


وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَلِقَاء الآخِرَةِ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

Wa(a)llatheena kaththaboo biayatina waliqai alakhirati habitat aAAmaluhum hal yujzawna illa ma kanoo yaAAmaloon(a)

Those who belie Our-SWT Signs and the meeting of the Hereafter-vain shall be their works. They shall be requited only for what they wrought.


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

Now that the Bani Israil were safe and they had realized that idol worship was not the right thing to do, the determination of a Code of Worship and Divine Law became imperative in order to guarantee salvation in both the worlds. So Allaah-SWT summoned Prophet Musa-AS to Mount Tur for a thirty nights solitude in worship and prayer. This duration was subsequently extended by ten nights making it a total of forty. In other words, the required level of attention towards Allaah-SWT was achieved in forty nights instead of thirty. A certain spiritual state was the goal, which Allaah-SWT could have blessed otherwise without demanding an effort. But since this is a world of causes and effects, therefore, the Prophet-AS was Commanded to use the means and methods.


Effects of Solitude

Prophet Musa-AS fasted for thirty days and nights continuously. He remained in isolation to meditate because it plays a special role in attaining concentration. When the sensory organs have nothing to see or hear they do not send any information to the Qalb whereby it is invigorated. That is why the seekers turn off the lights while engaging in Allah-SWT's Zikr in an attempt to achieve concentration. The extension often days in Prophet Musa-AS ‘s stay at Tur in fact is a lesson that things may not always turn out as expected and extension may have to be given. This implies that a Shaikh must not put the seekers through the meditations until a certain condition is experienced. The prescribed duration of thirty nights also highlights the importance of lunar calendar in matters of religion, though it is permissible and correct to use the solar calendar in worldly matters.


The Basis of Chillah (Forty Days)

The basis of Chillah is provided by this forty nights sojourn of Prophet Musa-AS on Mount Tur. Moreover, its role and importance in attaining inner purification is highlighted by a saying of the Holy Prophet-SW: "Whoever will worship Allaah-SWT with devotion for forty days, springs of wisdom will How from his Qalb". It also drives home a lesson of patience, perseverance and steadiness in all matters of life.


Nominating a Deputy

Prophet Musa-AS appointed Prophet Harun-AS before leaving for Tur as his representative and deputy. He told him to take care of all the matters in his absence. This lays down for us a principle that arrangements must be made, before leaving on any expedition, for the welfare of those being left behind irrespective of how important the task may be. This rejects the view point of those who mistake mismanagement for the sign of saintliness.


Therefore, a ruler whether of a State or a household, must appoint his deputy to take charge in his absence. Those who go out on a Chillah for propagation of Islam without leaving any provisions for their dependants, have here a point to ponder over. A Prophet-AS of Allaah-SWT leaving to fetch a Divine Code of Life makes arrangements for those being left behind; how can anyone else be justified in going away without any consideration for the dependants?


Although Harun-AS was himself a Prophet-AS but he  was given specific instructions by Prophet Musa-AS to keep a vigilant eye on the conduct of the people after he had gone, and to exert all his efforts for their reformation. And if anyone still opted for the wrong path, that person should not expect or get any cooperation from him. This establishes the fact that an outgoing person must leave a complete and specific set of instructions to his nominee about all matters. The same is also proven by the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet-SW, for he-SW too appointed his-SW deputies to officiate in his absence.


Observing Divinity

While Prophet Musa-AS was on Mount Tur engaged in Allah-SWT's worship, in seclusion, he had the honour to speak to Him-SWT . This set ablaze in him a desire to behold Him-SWT . So he requested "O’ my Rabb-SWT ! Show Yourself-SWT to me so that I may see You-SWT *'. Allaah-SWT answered: "It is no impossible but not in the present situation, that is, in the temporal life." A beholding is not denied here but the dialogue implies that the observation of Divine Splendor cannot be endured in this physical existence. It must be noted that in this temporal life the body is entrusted with all responsibility while the Ruh is its subordinate. In the next phase of Barzakh, the Ruh will assume the leading role, while the physical body will become subordinate. And in the Hereafter both will share responsibility equally. Thus where the physical comforts will be experienced, the spiritual refulgence and a dialogue with the angels-AS will also be enjoyed. And since the spiritual as well as physical powers will be tremendously increased the believers will be blessed with the honour of beholding the Divinity. Only those engulfed in the darkness of their misdeeds will remain deprived. Since that kind of power is normally not possessed in this temporal existence, therefore, inspite of being logically possible, observing Allaah-SWT is not endorsed by Shariah. However, it is not right to discuss the exceptional personage of the Holy Prophet-SW in this context because he-SW was blessed with extraordinary powers. If he-SW could go beyond the Sidrah-al-Muntaha, it is enough to establish that he-SW enjoyed spiritual as well as physical powers par excellence. Here Prophet Musa-AS the subject of discussion.


Divine Refulgence

In response to Prophet Musa-AS’s request, he was told that it was not possible to withstand His-SWT Refulgence in this physical existence. However, as an experiment, he may keep an eye on Mount Tur. If it stayed intact, he too would be able to behold the Splendor. Thus Allaah-SWT manifested His-SWT Refulgence; the Mount was reduced to dust and Prophet Musa-AS fell unconscious. With Sufis, refulgence refers to indirect vision such as seeing through a mirror. Therefore, it cannot be termed as Ru'ait (direct observation) even though the lexicon meaning of refulgence is to manifest.


The States of Kashf

Visualized spiritually, it appears as if the Divine Refulgence was manifested on a peak separated by valley from the one on which Prophet Musa-AS was standing. But inspite of this distance, he could not bear the Refulgence and lost his senses. When he-AS recovered he turned to Allaah-SWT in penitence, admitting that His-SWT Refulgence was too exalted to be captured by the physical eye. He begged forgiveness for his-AS anxious and improper request and at the same time proclaimed his complete submission to His-SWT Will and Purpose.


Divine Bestowal is Indeed the Best

Allah-SWT told Prophet Musa-AS that he had not only been appointed as a Messenger-AS but also enjoyed the honour of conversing with Him-SWT . Therefore, he should hold firmly on to what had been given to him. the Divine Commandments. He was told to adhere to them and show his gratitude to Allaah-SWT . This is indeed a lesson for the seekers of the Sufi Path. They should endeavor to their best and leave the rest entirely upto Allah-SWT, without worrying for the spiritual stations, and be grateful on whatever they are blessed with.


So Allaah-SWT blessed Prophet Musa-AS with Tablets inscribed with Divine Commandments, dealing with all aspects of human needs. He was told not only to obey the Commandments himself but also to ensure adherence by his people in the best possible manner. This will ensure their victory over the defiant folk whose townships would be at their feet.


Reason for Misguidance

Those who indulge in sheer arrogance and self conceit shall not be blessed with the capacity to accept the Divine Commandments. Rather their sins will lead to crookedness within their hearts whereby they will fail to become believers even after observing various miracles. They will fail to tread on the path of piety after it has been manifested to them and instead dash towards evil, with all their energy.


This is the fate suffered by those who deny the Signs of Allaah-SWT and become heedless of His-SWT Zikr. And this neglect culminates into the repudiation of the Hereafter, which alone is enough to mollify any good deed ever done.


Sin and Negligence drive to Disbelief

Disobedience and sin are the sources of neglect towards Allah-SWT's Zikr. If this negligence persists and no remedial measures are taken, a person does not only remain heedless to Zikr but also denies Resurrection in the Hereafter. This, in turn, makes him a disbeliever, which ruins all his good deeds that were to earn him the requital.