Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 103
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with Our Signs
and his chiefs
But they were unjust
(of) the corrupters
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The sūrah now begins the story of Moses from when he confronted Pharaoh and the leaders of his government with the divine message. It then tells us very briefly the sum of their response, and refers to the fate they suffered. Pharaoh’s people wilfully and wrongfully rejected the signs shown to them by God, without proper consideration or reflection. We find that the Qur’ān often uses terms like, `wrongful, unjust, oppression or transgression’ in place of `disbelief’ or `associating partners with God’. Here the Arabic text uses the phrase `resorted to injustice’ for what is rendered in the translated text as `wilful rejection’. The fact is that the association of partners with God or rejecting divine faith is the worst type of injustice and the most ghastly transgression. Those who reject faith adopt a wrongful attitude towards the basic truism of God’s oneness. They also wrong themselves by exposing themselves to destruction in this life, as well as severe punishment in the life to come. They are also unjust to other human beings because they try to take them away from submission to God, the only Lord in the universe, in order to force them to submit to different deities and authorities. There can be no worse injustice than this. Hence, to disbelieve in God is to be unjust, and, as the Qur’ān states, “Truly, the unbelievers are the wrongdoers.” (2: 254) Similarly, a person who rejects faith is a transgressor, because he turns away from the straight path leading to God in order to follow other paths that lead only to hell.
Pharaoh and his people certainly took a wrongful and oppressive attitude, rejecting God’s signs and revelations. Hence, “Behold what happened in the end to those spreaders of corruption.” (Verse 103) Their fate will be presently outlined in the sūrah. Let us for now reflect on the import of the term, ‘spreaders of corruption’, which is used here as a synonym for `unbelievers’ and ‘wrongdoers’.
Here they are described as ‘spreaders of corruption’ because of their wrongful rejection of God’s signs. The fact is that to disbelieve is the worst type of corruption and indeed a wilful spreading of such corruption. Human life cannot flourish and prosper unless it is built on the foundation of believing in God as the only deity in the universe, and on submission to Him alone. Life on earth will certainly suffer corruption when people refrain from such submission, which means that there is only one master for mankind, to whom they address their worship. They will then submit to His law alone which frees their lives from submission to fleeting human desires. When human beings acknowledge the Lordship of several deities in preference to that of God alone, corruption does not affect merely their social lives, but also their concepts and beliefs. The fact is that human life on earth was not set on the proper footing and did not prosper except when they declared that they submit only to God in faith, worship and law. Man did not achieve his liberation except under the single Lordship of God. Hence, God says in reference to Pharaoh and his people: “Behold what happened in the end to those spreaders of corruption.” (Verse 103) Every tyrant who imposes his law on human beings in preference to God’s law is a spreader of corruption.
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
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]