Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 10

وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّٰكُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَٰيِشَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And We have certainly established you upon the earth and made for you therein ways of livelihood. Little are you grateful.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The Creator of both the earth and man is the One who has made it possible for the human race to establish itself on earth. It is He who has given the earth its qualities and characteristics and made all these balances which allow human life to prosper and provide people with sustenance and other means of livelihood.

It is indeed He who has made the earth suitable for sustaining human life, by giving it its atmosphere, its particular size, shape and make-up, its appropriate distance from the sun and the moon. It is He who has set it in its orbit in order to enable it to move round the sun, and given it its particular speed and determined the angle it makes with its axis. All these balances are as important as giving the earth the potential to produce sustenance and sources of energy to enable human life to continue and prosper. It is also God who has made man the master of all creation on earth, giving him the ability to utilize the earth’s potential and resources by his ability to identify and use the laws of nature.

Had it not been for the fact that God has established man on earth and given him all these qualities, man, a weak creation as he certainly is, would not have been able to make his `conquest of nature’, as people in jāhiliyyah communities, past and present, say. He would not have been able to stand up to the enormous, overwhelming forces that operate in the universe.

Only the Islamic concept of life provides a coherent concept that relates all these details to their original and consistent line. It is God who has created both man and the universe. His will and wisdom has determined the nature of this universe making it possible for human life to maintain itself and prosper. He has also endowed man with the ability that makes it possible for him to identify certain natural laws and utilize them for his own needs. This perfect coherence and harmony is the one worthy of God’s creation, because God’s work is characterized by its perfection in every aspect. He does not place His creation on a war footing so that they are always hostile to one another. 

Under this concept, man lives in a friendly universe, enjoying the care of a wise, supreme power. He is at peace with himself, reassured, able to move steadily in order to fulfil his task as vicegerent on earth. He feels that he can rely on unfailing help and he deals with the universe in an attitude of mutual friendship. He praises God every time he is able to discover a new secret or a new law of the universe which enables him to fulfil his task and makes it possible for him to make progress and increase his comfort.

Man is the son of this earth and this universe. God has created him out of this earth and established him on it, and He has provided him with the means of sustenance and livelihood. Moreover, He has enabled him to acquire knowledge and discover the secrets of the universe. He has made the laws of nature move in harmony with human existence, so that man is able to make use of these laws in order to set his life on the road to progress. What he needs for this is to try to identify these laws with an open mind.

But human beings are seldom grateful, because when they are in the depths of ignorance, they do not know what blessings God has given them. Even those who know are unable to thank God in full for the grace He has bestowed on them. How can they ever thank Him enough? It is an aspect of God’s grace that He accepts from them what they can do. In both situations, the Qur’ānic statement is true: “How seldom are you grateful.”

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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A study of its contents clearly shows that the period of its revelation is about the same as that of Surah 6: al-An’am (The Grazing Livestock), i.e. the last year of the Prophet's life at Makkah, but it cannot be asserted with certainty which of these two were sent down earlier. The manner of its admonition clearly indicates that it belongs to the same period. [Ref: Mawdudi]

It is considered the longest surah revealed during the Makkan period. Some consider this surah to have been revealed after Surah 38: Sad. [Ref: Tafsir al-Maudheei, Dr. Mustafah Muslim, vol. 3, p. 2]

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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