Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 123
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I give permission
(is) surely a plot
you have plotted it
so that you may drive out
you will know
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
No tyrant enjoying absolute power can ever understand how light penetrates human hearts, or how people can enjoy the reassurance of faith and experience the happiness it imparts. Tyrants continue to exercise power for a long time, seeing that people accept whatever they say. With the passage of time they come to believe that their authority extends over people’s minds, hearts and souls, when these actually submit only to God. Hence, Pharaoh was totally surprised to see the sorcerers accept the faith so quickly, especially as he could not see the faith penetrating into their hearts and could not realize how their minds worked. But he was quick to recognize how serious this development was and that it threatened his very authority. Those sorcerers, who were actually the attendants in temples throughout Egypt, were gathered in order to prove Moses’s and Aaron’s message as false. It was those same sorcerers who accepted that message and declared their submission to God, the Lord of the universe and of Moses and Aaron.
Pharaoh felt his throne shake, and it is well known that the throne and the crown represent all that is in the life of a tyrant. Tyrants are always ready to commit any crime, without hesitation, in order to retain power.
He haughtily exclaims: “You believe in Him even before I have given you permission!” (Verse 123) He really expects them to seek his permission before their hearts, consciences and souls open up to receive the truth, when they themselves have no control over these and cannot prevent anything from touching or penetrating them. Perhaps Pharaoh wanted them to repel the truth as it penetrated their souls, or to stifle their faith as its shoots began to spring up and blossom inside their souls, or to cover their eyes so that they could not see the light. That is tyranny: ignorant and stupid, but at the same time arrogant and conceited.
There is another element which influences Pharaoh’s attitude: namely, fear that his power is threatened. “This is indeed a plot you have contrived in this city in order to drive out its people.” (Verse 123) Elsewhere in the Qur’ān where the history of Moses and Pharaoh is related, Pharaoh is quoted as saying to the sorcerers in reference to Moses: “He is your chief who has taught you sorcery.” (20: 71)
The whole question is absolutely clear. It is the fact that Moses calls on people to believe in `God, the Lord of all the worlds’ that causes all this worry and fear. The tyrants realize that they can have no peace of mind if they allow that message to be preached. Their power relies on dismissing God’s Lordship of mankind through ignoring His law. Instead, they appoint themselves as deities enacting legislation for human society and forcing people to submit to the laws they enact. These two methods can have no meeting point, because they move in opposite directions. They are two contradictory religions addressing worship to different lords. Pharaoh and the elders among his people were aware of this, and they were frightened when they realized that Moses and Aaron advocated submission to the Lord of the universe. Now that the sorcerers prostrated themselves in submission to God, Pharaoh and his elders were increasingly alarmed. Those sorcerers were the clergy in a pagan faith that attributed Godhead to Pharaoh himself. They were the ones who ensured that he exercised absolute power in the name of religion. Hence, it was only expected that Pharaoh should issue his fearful warning.
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]