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Monday, March 23, 2020

Overview: Sürah Al-A'raf - The Heights: 7th Chapter of Quran


Sürah Al-A'raf " ٱلْأَعْرَاف " is the seventh surah with 206 ayahs with 24 rukus, part of the 8th-9th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. It also has one sajdah (prostration of recitation - (verse 206).  This Sürah takes its name from verses 46-47 in which mention of A'araf occurs.

The contents of this Sürah clearly show that the period of its revelation is about the same as that of Sürah 6. Al-An'am, i. e., the last year of the Holy Prophet's life at Makkah, but it cannot be asserted with certainty which of these two was sent down earlier. However, the manner of its admonition clearly indicates that it belongs to the same period. As both have the same historical background the reader should keep in view the preface to Al-An'am.

In fact this Sürah is closely connected, both chronologically and in respect of the argument with the previous Sürah 6 An'aam. But it expounds the doctrine of revelation and man's religious history by illustrations from Adam onward, through various prophets, and the detail of Moses's struggles, to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sws), in which Allah's revelation is completed.

The main theme of this Sürah is a invitation to the Divine Message sent down to Prophet Muhammad (sws). The Messenger had been admonishing the individuals of Makkah for 13 years. Yet there was no substantial impact on them, since they had deliberately ignored his message. And had become so adversarial that Allah was going to order His Prophet to disregard them and go to others. That is the reason they are being reproved to acknowledge the message and an admonition is given about the results of their off-base demeanor. Since Prophet of Allah was going to get Allah's edict to relocate from Makkah, the finishing up part of this Sürah addresses the People of the Book with whom he was going to come into contact at Al-Madinah. In the verse directed to the Jews, the outcomes of their deceptive mentality towards the prophets are likewise brought up clearly. As they proclaimed to put belief in Musa (Moses) yet their practices were against his lessons. They were defying him as well as were in certainty worshiping falsehood.

Towards the ending of the Sürah, guidelines are given to Prophet Muhammad (sws) and his adherents to show tolerance and exercise patience in answer to the incitements of their rivals. Since the devotees were feeling the squeeze and stress, are encouraged to be cautious and not make any stride that may hurt their cause.

In view of the extraordinary length (206 verses) and mention of a number of prophets, the exegesis of the Sürah has been divided into following parts:
  • Par I: Ruku / Sections 1-7 [Verses 1-58], wherein verses 1-31 the opposition of Evil to Good is illustrated by the story of Adam and Iblis. Arrogance leads to rebellion, the rebel is jealous and tempts the natural man, who is warned against deceit and all excess. Verses 32-58 expound on idea that If the warning is not heeded, the future penalties are indicated, while the privileges and the bliss and peace of the righteous are shown in a picture of the Hereafter, as well as in the power and goodness of Allah in the world that we see around us.
  • Part II; Ruku / Sections 8-12 [Verses 58-99] The story of Noah and the Flood, and the stories of Hod, Salih, Lot, and Shu'aib, all point to the lesson that the Prophets were resisted and rejected, but truth triumphed in the end, and evil was humbled, for Allah's Plan never fails.
  • Part IIIRuku / Sections 13-19 [Verses 100-157] The story of Moses is told in greater detail, not only in his struggles with Pharaoh, but in his preparation for his mission, and his struggles with his own rebellious people. Even from the time of Moses the coming of the unlettered Prophet was foreshadowed.
  • Part IVRuku / Sections 20-21 [Verses 158-171] The people of Moses frequently lapsed from Allah's Law as promulgated to them, and transgressed Allah's Covenant, and they were scattered through the earth in sections.
  • Part VRuku / Sections 22-24 [Verses 172-206] The children of Adam have multiplied, but many of them have rejected truth and go by degrees to destruction in ways that they do not realize. The righteous listen to the Message of Allah, and serve Him in humility.

Please look for our future posts that will provide the exegesis of the Sürah in parts as appended above.

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 
You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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