Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 127

وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوْمَهُۥ لِيُفْسِدُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَءَالِهَتَكَ ۚ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْىِۦ نِسَآءَهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَٰهِرُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And the eminent among the people of Pharaoh said, "Will you leave Moses and his people to cause corruption in the land and abandon you and your gods?" [Pharaoh] said, "We will kill their sons and keep their women alive; and indeed, we are subjugators over them."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Let us now pickup the thread of the story as the curtains are drawn back to reveal a fourth scene where conspiracy is taking place. Pharaoh’s advisers felt that they simply could not allow Moses and those who believed with him, a small minority as they were, to go unpunished. They began to plot and instigate. They wanted Pharaoh to take strong action against Moses and his followers, raising before him the spectre of losing all his power and position, should he take a lenient attitude. They warned him against the possibility that the new faith, based on God’s oneness and Lordship of the universe, could be allowed to establish roots in society. Pharaoh was furious and began to issue his warnings feeling that he had the power to suppress the rebellion: “The great ones among Pharaoh’s people said: `Will you allow Moses and his people to spread corruption in the land and to forsake you and your gods?’ He replied: ‘We shall put their sons to death and shall spare only their women. We shall certainly overpower them.’” (Verse 127)
 
Pharaoh did not claim Godhead in the sense that he was the creator and controller of the universe, or that he had power over natural forces. He simply claimed to be the god of his subjugated people, in the sense that he ruled them according to his own law and that they were subject to his will in all their affairs. This is still claimed by every ruler who enforces his own law and imposes his own will. This is lordship in both its linguistic and practical senses.
 
Nor did the Egyptians serve Pharaoh in the sense that they addressed their worship rituals to him. They had their own deities as did Pharaoh himself. This is clearly understood from his aides’ statement where he is warned against being abandoned by Moses and his followers: “And to forsake you and your gods.” (Verse 127) This is also confirmed by what we know of the history of ancient Egypt. They served Pharaoh in the sense that they accepted his authority and never violated his law or disobeyed his orders. This is the practical and linguistic meaning of worship. Hence, if people in any community receive their laws from a human being and obey him, then they actually worship him. Indeed this is what the Prophet himself indicated when he interpreted the Qur’ānic verse which says in reference to the Jews and Christians: “They make of their clerics and monks lords besides God.” (9: 31) 

In their view, to declare that God is the only Lord in the universe is to spread corruption, because it entails that Pharaoh’s regime is illegitimate and his rule invalid. That regime was founded on giving all sovereignty to Pharaoh, or, to use a synonymous term, making him lord of his people. Hence, to them, corruption is spread in the land by overthrowing that regime and destroying the social set-up based on the lordship of human beings in order to establish a totally different situation which assigns lordship only to God. It is for this reason that they equated Moses’ forsaking of Pharaoh and his gods with spreading corruption in the land.

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

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11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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