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


وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالاً يَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ قَالُواْ مَا أَغْنَى عَنكُمْ جَمْعُكُمْ وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

Wanada ashabu alaAArafi rijalan yaAArifoonahum biseemahum qaloo ma aghnaAAankum jamAAukum wama kuntum tastakbiroon(a)

The fellows of the Heights will cry to the men whom they would recognize by their marks, and say: your multitude availed you nothing nor that over which you were used to be stiff-necked.


أَهَـؤُلاء الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْتُمْ لاَ يَنَالُهُمُ اللّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ

Ahaolai allatheena aqsamtum la yanaluhumu Allahu birahmatin odkhuloo aljannata la khawfun AAalaykum wala antum tahzanoon(a)

Are these the men of whom you swore that Allaah-SWT would not reach them with His-SWT Mercy? Enter the Garden, on you shall come no fear nor shall you grieve.


وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ

Wanada ashabu a(l)nari ashaba aljannati an afeedoo AAalayna mina almai aw mimma razaqakumu Allahu qaloo inna Allaha harramahuma AAala alkafireen(a)

And the fellows of the Fire will cry to the fellows of the Garden: pour out on us some water or anything what Allaah-SWT has provided you with. They will say: surely Allaah-SWT has forbidden them both to the infidels.


الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَهْوًا وَلَعِبًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَاء يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا وَمَا كَانُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ

Allatheena ittakhathoo deenahum lahwan walaAAiban wagharrathumu alhayatu a(l)ddunya fa(a)lyawma nansahum kama nasoo liqaa yawmihim hatha wama kanoo biayatina yajhadoon(a)

Who took their religion as an idle sport and a play and whom the life of the world beguiled. So today We-SWT shall forget them even as they neglected the meeting of this Day of theirs and as they were ever denying Our-SWT Signs.


وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Walaqad jinahum bikitabin fassalnahu AAala AAilmin hudan warahmatan liqawmin yuminoon(a)

And surely We-SWT have brought to them a Book which We-SWT have detailed according to knowledge, a guidance and a Mercy to a people who believe.


هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ يَوْمَ يَأْتِي تَأْوِيلُهُ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ نَسُوهُ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ فَهَل لَّنَا مِن شُفَعَاء فَيَشْفَعُواْ لَنَا أَوْ نُرَدُّ فَنَعْمَلَ غَيْرَ الَّذِي كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ قَدْ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ

Hal yanthuroona illa taweelahu yawma yatee taweeluhu yaqoolu allatheena nasoohu min qablu qad jaat rusulu rabbina bi(a)lhaqqi fahal lana min shufaAAaa fayashfaAAoo lana aw nuraddu fanaAAmala ghayra allathee kunna naAAmalu qad khasiroo anfusahum wadalla AAanhum ma kanoo yaftaroon(a)

They await only its fulfillment. The Day whereon its fulfillment arrives those who had been negligent to it will say: surely the Messengers-AS of our Rabb-SWT brought the truth; are their no intercessors for us that they might intercede for us or could we be sent back that we might work otherwise than we were used to work? Surely they have lost themselves, and there has strayed from them what they were used to fabricate.


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

The People at A'raf will recognize those in Hell by their faces. They will also be aware of their worldly conduct when they, out of sheer arrogance and conceit, had not only become oblivious of Allaah-SWT ’s Greatness and the Hereafter but also mocked at the pious. They used to taunt at their worship, their trust in Allah-SWT, their miseries and their belief in Divine Rewards in the Hereafter. Today the People at A'raf will remind the dwellers of the Fire of their past attitude towards the righteous and will ask them about their mundane power and wealth, which allured them away from the right path and failed them completely. They will point out towards the dwellers of Paradise and ask those in Fire to see for themselves the manifestations of Allah-SWT's Pleasure and His-SWT ’ Promise to the successful, that they shall neither fear anything nor grieve.


The Manifestation of Divine Mercy

People usually believe that wealth and power are symbols of Divine Approval, while these indeed become sources of eternal pain if they tempt a person away from Allah-SWT ’s Obedience. However, if one is also blessed with the capacity' to obey; then these surely are a proof of His-SWT Mercy. When His-SWT ’ Obedience is complemented with lawful wealth and powers to govern and enforce His-SWT Laws on others, such power and influence are indeed a gift of Allaah-SWT ’s Mercy. It must be borne in mind that power and wealth, which alienates from Allah-SWT, is a symbol of His-SWT Annoyance, not His-SWT Approval.


The People of the Fire will call out to the People of Paradise in desperation, begging them to spare them some water and eatables from the rivers flowing by and the orchards all around them. The People of the Paradise will answer that all these belong to the Almighty, Who-SWT has denied these to the non believers. According to a saving of the Holy Prophet-SW the bonds of kinship and love drive us only in this world as the continuity of the human race depends on them. The effects of such relationship can be experienced to a certain extent in the Barzakh also, as Barzakh too is connected at one end to this world and at the other to the Hereafter. But after the Day of Judgement these ties will be severed leaving only the bonds of Faith and Spirit. However, along with the bond of faith if there also exists a bond of blood, it w ill be a bonus. Otherwise even if the son is condemned to Hell the father will not feel the slightest concern, and vice versa. Another Hadith suggests that the Day of Judgement will break all bonds except between those who gathered only to seek Allaah-SWT and separated in the same Cause.


The Curse of Innovations

If the Magnificence and the Greatness of Allaah-SWT is compared to the deafness of those who became arrogant and conceited over this petty world and erred, one might ask that Allaah-SWT is so Great whereas these people in Hell failed out of sheer 'weakness; why then, has He-SWT imposed such a strict embargo as mentioned above?


The answer is that their crime is not only giving up the worship, but also the rituals and innovations they had concocted and observed with the hope of earning a reward. They had taken religion as a pastime, which means to indulge in all those activities which are undertaken purely for the satisfaction of fancies, such as musical concerts, lavish parties and mixed gatherings for fun.


These condemned people had adopted vices like those mentioned above in the name of religion and worship. The reason was that the temporal life allured them into ignoring the realities, even those about the Day of Judgment and assembly before Allaah-SWT . Had they paid any heed to these matters they would have certainly taken guidance from the Prophets-AS of Allaah-SWT and obeyed Him-SWT . On the contrary they denied all the Divine Commandments and displayed arrogance. The requital corresponds to the nature of deeds. Therefore, just as they had forgotten Allaah-SWT ’s Greatness and their assembly before Him-SWT on the Day of Judgement, so has Allaah-SWT ’ completely discarded them.


Allah-SWT conveyed His-SWT Message, which was a comprehensive guidance on all matters as well as a manifestation of His-SWT ’ Mercy. But instead of appreciating this blessing they deliberately denied it. So whatever they suffer is the result of their own conduct.


Barakah of the Prophethood

These ignorant people merely waited to see whether or not the disasters foretold by the Divine Book would ever occur. But they did not realize that when the promised doom will come the time to act will be over, leaving no room, for reformation.


After being enlightened with faith if one is also fortunate enough to be honoured with the Barakah of the Holy Prophet-SW he develops a strong belief and trust in all that is foretold in the Divine Book. An accomplished Shaikh is a trustee of these Barakah. Due to his company if a seeker begins to develop strength in his faith in the Hereafter as well as an inclination to do good, he has achieved the desired goal. On the other hand, becoming a disciple only for worldly gains is a sham.


Divine Providence

When everything will be exposed, all those who had denied the Hereafter will confess that undoubtedly the Messengers-AS of their Rabb-SWT were sent with truth. Here the Messengers-AS are being associated with the Attributive Name Rabb-SWT ’ instead of the Personal Name Allaah-SWT . This is because the raising of Prophets-AS and Messengers-AS is befitting to Divine Providence. Just as He-SWT has provided for the physical needs. He-SWT ’ has also fulfilled all the spiritual needs by sending His-SWT ’ chosen people as His-SWT ’ Messengers-AS.


The condemned people will now wistfully wish for an intercessor, but intercession will be denied to the non believers. They will beg to be returned to life so that they could atone for past follies and be obedient to Allaah-SWT ’. In other words, they will confess that had they wanted they could have lived a noble life but they opted for evil, and destroyed themselves. Nothing will come to their rescue, nor the fabrications in the name of religion be of any avail. Instead these will be a source of punishment.