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 5 contains Āyāt / Parts 8
  • Siparah/ Volume 8 & 9


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُجْرِمِينَ

Inna allatheena kaththaboo biayatina wa(i)stakbaroo AAanha la tufattahu lahum abwabu a(l)ssamai wala yadkhuloona aljannata hatta yalija aljamalu fee sammi alkhiyati wakathalika najzee almujrimeen(a)

Assuredly those who belie Our-SWT Signs and are stiff necked against them, for them will not be opened the portals of heaven nor will they enter the Garden until a camel passes through the eye of a needle. Thus do We-SWT requite the culprits.


لَهُم مِّن جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ وَمِن فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ

Lahum min jahannama mihadun wamin fawqihim ghawashin wakathalika najzee a(l)ththalimeen(a)

Theirs will be a bed in Hell, and over them coverings. Thus do We-SWT requite the wrong doers.


وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ لاَ نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Wa(a)llatheena amanoo waAAamiloo a(l)ssalihati la nukallifu nafsan illa wusAAahaolaika ashabu aljannati hum feeha khalidoon(a)

And those who believed and worked righteous works-We-SWT burden not a soul except according to its capacity-they are the fellows of the Garden; therein they shall be abiders forever.


وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ وَقَالُواْ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ لَقَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

WanazaAAna ma fee sudoorihim min ghillin tajree min tahtihimu alanharu waqaloo alhamdu lillahi allathee hadana lihatha wama kunna linahtadiya lawla an hadanaAllahu laqad jaat rusulu rabbina bi(a)lhaqqi wanoodoo an tilkumu aljannatu oorithtumooha bima kuntum taAAmaloon(a)

And We-SWT shall recover whatever of rancour may be in their breasts, rivers flowing beneath them, and they will say: all measure of praise be to Allaah-SWT Who-SWT has guided us on to this, we were not such as to find guidance were it not that Allaah-SWT had guided us; the Messengers-AS of your Rabb-SWT came with truth. And this shall be cried out to them: this is the Garden; it you inherit for what you have been working.


وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ أَن قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا قَالُواْ نَعَمْ فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن لَّعْنَةُ اللّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ

Wanada ashabu aljannati ashaba a(l)nnari an qad wajadna ma waAAadanarabbuna haqqan fahal wajadtum ma waAAada rabbukum haqqan qaloo naAAam faaththana muaththinun baynahum an laAAnatu Allahi AAala a(l)ththalimeen(a)

And the fellows of the Garden shall cry out to the fellows of the Fire: surely we have found true what our Rabb-SWT had promised us, have you found true what your Rabb-SWT had promised you? They shall say: yea! Then a crier in between them shall cry; the curse of Allaah-SWT be upon the wrong-doers.


الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ كَافِرُونَ

Allatheena yasuddoona AAan sabeeli Allahi wayabghoonaha AAiwajan wahum bi(a)lakhirati kafiroon(a)

Those who hindered from the Way of Allaah-SWT and would seek to render it crooked and in the Hereafter they were disbelievers.


وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ وَعَلَى الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلاًّ بِسِيمَاهُمْ وَنَادَوْاْ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَن سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ

Wabaynahuma hijabun waAAala alaAArafi rijalun yaAArifoona kullan biseemahum wanadaw ashaba aljannati an salamun AAalaykum lam yadkhuloohawahum yatmaAAoon(a)

And between the twain there will be a veil, and on the Heights will be men recognizing them all by their marks; and they will cry to the fellows of the garden: peace be on you. They will not have yet entered it while they will be longing.


وَإِذَا صُرِفَتْ أَبْصَارُهُمْ تِلْقَاء أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تَجْعَلْنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

Waitha surifat absaruhum tilqaa ashabi a(l)nnari qaloo rabbana la tajAAalnamaAAa alqawmi a(l)ththalimeen(a)

And when their eyes will be turned to the fellows of the Fire, they will cry: our Rabb-SWT ! Place us not with these wrongdoing people.


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

Reason for Not having Faith in Supplications

Those who refuse to accept divine Revelations and display arrogance, their worldly pomp and show is nothing but a facade. They are denied access into the heavens and will not be allowed into Paradise until a camel can pass through a needle's eye. This is to highlight the impossibility of their salvation. The scholars elaborate upon the various aspects of this denial. Firstly, their supplications are denied access to Allah-SWT's Court, which in itself is a big punishment. This is why very few people believe in supplications because the doors of the heavens are only opened for those who have faith. Majority of the people rely on the material sources whereas supplication is a much more effective source. Secondly, in the light of Ahadith the scholars elaborate upon circumstances when the Spirit of a believer is taken across the heavens immediately after death to the Divine Court. The angels escort it with respect; it is honoured at every heaven while on its way and is further honoured by its presence in the Divine Court. The questioning in the grave is carried out on its return whence its connection is established with Paradise. The emancipated is thus blessed with the view and fragrance of Paradise. Further details of this will follow.


But in case of a miserable non-believer, the angels of death approach him with a terrifying appearance, painfully seize his Spirit and escort it to the heavens where it is denied admission and is out rightly rejected. The angels fling it back into its physical body and after the questioning is over, its link is established with Hell, assigning the Register of Conduct to the Sijjin.


llliyin and Sijjin are two sections of Barzakh: the former ascends upwards while the latter is located in the deeper regions inside the earth. The llliyin is allocated to the noble Spirits, while Sijjin is the abode of the non believers and all those condemned to perdition. They continue to descend deep down according to their levels and therein shall be imprisoned their Spirits along with their records.


Lack of Satisfaction

Yet the third explanation is that the Spirit is associated with Alam-e-Amr, a Realm which begins where the limits of Alam-e-Khalq comprising the heavens, the 'Urush and the Grand Throne, end. Faith gives life to the Qalb and the Spirit while righteous deeds and pious company provide it excellence, until the Spirit establishes a connection with 'Alam-e-Amr after traversing the heavens and the Urush. This journey of the Spirit is called Suluk, the sublime Sufi Path and the various stages of this Path are known as stations-of Suluk. Together with faith and righteous conduct, the condition of noble company is imperative, because the Spirit cannot traverse this Path by itself The Companions'-RAU received this power in the company of the Holy Prophet-SW; the Tab'ain acquired it in the company of the Companions'RAU and so the Chain of Transmission continues. A seeker has to strive at his own, but cannot find the Path without the Shaikh. The problem of infidelity is that the gateway to heavens is not opened for an infidel's Spirit. Therefore, he cannot gain any access to the realities of 'Alam-e-Amr, nor can he receive any benefit from them. And so long as the Spirit is not blessed with a link with the 'Alam-e-Amr, neither can a person engage in a continuous Zikr nor can he attain peace of mind. This indeed is a great misfortune, an inevitable consequence of infidelity. Had the infidels embraced faith and mended their ways they too had the natural capacity to attain there spiritual levels; but they opted for the path leading to Hell, a place for eternal and agonizing punishments.


The Path to Paradise is the Easiest

On the contrary, those who take Shahadah and adopt the life style laid down by Allaah-SWT and work for His-SWT Pleasure are blessed with a very easy life. They are never told to do anything beyond their capacity. There can be no better concept of convenience. One is allowed to leave what one cannot possibly do. However, what one can do must be done in accordance with Allah-SWT's directions as conveyed by His-SWT Prophet-SW. Such law abiders will be the eternal dwellers of Paradise and will never experience anything unpleasant. It is very natural for two good persons to develop ill feelings for one another in this worldly life. They can have a difference of opinion and can also be annoyed with one another. But Paradise is a place, wherein all bitterness and malice will be erased from the bosoms of its dwellers leaving only love for everyone. The pleasures in Paradise will be subject to the choice of its residents, who while expressing their gratitude to Allaah-SWT will cry out: "O Allaah-SWT ’! It is indeed a great favour that You-SWT admitted us to this exalted place by Your-SWT Mercy. Indeed Your-SWT ’ Messengers-AS had come with the Truth and You-SWT gave us the capacity to obey them".


Stages of Guidance

There are different stages of guidance, which stands for progress in attaining Allah-SWT's Nearness, knowing no limits. That is why every Muslim, from an ordinary believer to the Holy Prophet-SW prays: "Guide us to the Straight Path". Even the entry-into Paradise is a manifestation of Divine Guidance, which will continue to grow by the minute. Thus there is no limit to guidance or the stations of Suluk and the states of Allah-SWT's Nearness. The believers will be told that Paradise belongs to them because of their loyalty to Allaah-SWT and His-SWT ’ Prophet-SW, which they practically demonstrated in their worldly life.


Dialogue Between the Twain

The dwellers of Paradise will converse with those eternally condemned to Hell for their disbelief. In this worldly phase of life the physical body is entrusted with responsibility while the Ruh is subordinated to it. In Barzakh it will be the reverse. From the Day of Reckoning onwards both body and the Ruh will be equally responsible. Any spiritual or physical comfort or distress will be experienced equally by both. Just as believers in Paradise will be able to see the distant dweller of Hell, so shall a non believer, in the Hell be able to see those in Paradise, and both will talk to each other. This visualization will generate feelings of gratitude in a believer and that of wistfulness in a non believer.


Insight in Worldly Life

The light of faith can enable a believer to attain insight in this very world, and this is also brought about by the spiritual states. These states or feelings can only be transmitted from one enlightened heart to another. The hearts of the Prophets-AS are blessed with the highest spiritual powers, which enable them to converse with Allaah-SWT . Witnessing the Barzakh, talking to the angels and receiving information from Alam-e-Amr is the basis of religion, as the entire Din is revealed through these sources. Similarly a believer moving in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet-SW attains the spiritual insight or observation; this indeed is termed as Wilayah Khasah (Sublime Sainthood) or the spiritual insight of the faith. A Prophet-AS attains this directly whereas a Wali gets it through obedience to the Prophet-AS. The former is perfect, while observation by the latter is correct only until it remains within the pale of Prophetic teachings; otherwise he has erred. The distinction for a believer is that he can attain the spiritual insight in this very world, which is impossible for a non believer. Since in the Hereafter the Spirit too will have equal sensory powers, therefore, the non believer will also be able to observe. But in this worldly life it is only possible through the light of faith, earnest seeking and the company of an accomplished Shaikh.



The dwellers of Paradise will address those in Fire: "We have found Allah-SWT's promises fulfilled. Although you made fun of us in the life of the world and never missed any opportunity to belittle us, yet what we believed in did happen. How did you fare? Did the warnings conveyed by the Prophets-AS over various matters turn out to be true?" They will reply: "Undoubtedly, they all came out to be true to the last detail." Then a crier shall proclaim: "Allaah-SWT has accursed the transgressors who exerted all their efforts towards hindering people from the Path of Allah-SWT, and those who tried to create crooked ways of their own choice and denied the Hereafter".


The Intervening Wall between the two groups is called the Al-A'raf over which some people would have been detained. It is not a dwelling place or residence but just a stopover. According to the Holy Prophet-SW there will be some believers whose good and evil deeds would have weighed equally on the Scales. They will neither qualify for Paradise nor for Hell, and after crossing the Bridge will be detained at Al-A'raf.


These souls will recognize people on both sides by their faces, and will rejoice on seeing those in Paradise. They will intensify their prayers for admission into Paradise and will send messages of goodwill to their friends therein. But when they will turn to see the other way, they will cry out to Allaah-SWT for Mercy and protection against the fate of the evil doers whom they will also clearly recognize. The Holy Prophet-SW adds that they will be finally given Divine Permission to enter the bliss. May Allaah-SWT bless us with the company of noble souls in this life too!