Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 130
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with years (of famine)
and a deficit
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The shift in the sequence of the story suggests that Pharaoh and his group actually put their warnings into effect, killing men and sparing women. Moses and his followers where patient when this adversity befell them, proving that they were true believers hoping for intervention by God to lift their affliction. Thus, the whole situation was clearly identified: faith versus rejection of God’s message, tyranny against steadfastness, and human force opposing God.
At this stage in the conflict, the Supreme Power intervenes to settle the issue between the two camps. “We afflicted Pharaoh’s people with drought and poor harvests, so that they might take heed.” (Verse 130) This was a first warning given in the form of drought and poor harvests. In the richly fertile land of Egypt, this was a highly worrying situation that called for reflection and reconsideration. But the tyrants, and those who are fooled by tyrants because of their own transgression, do not wish to reflect or reconsider. They simply do not accept that poor harvests and drought came in fulfilment of God’s warnings. They do not wish to admit the close relationship between the values of faith and practical life, because that relationship belongs to the realm that lies beyond human perception. They have been too hardened in their ignorant ways to be able to see anything beyond the material world. When they see some aspect of a world beyond, they cannot recognize God’s hand in it, or His free will. They attribute everything to blind coincidence.
Similarly, Pharaoh’s people preferred to overlook the early signs that should have awakened them as they pointed to the fact that God’s mercy is bestowed on people, even when they continue to disbelieve in Him. Paganism and its superstitions had corrupted their nature, so that they could not recognize or understand the elaborate laws maintaining the fine order of the universe and influencing human life. These are only recognized and appreciated by true believers; for they realize that the universe has not been created in vain, and that it is governed by strict and well-defined laws. This is indeed the correct scientific mentality, which does not deny what lies beyond our perception, because there is simply no conflict between scientific facts and such a world beyond. Nor does it deny the relationship between the values of faith and practical life, because these have been set by God Himself who wants His servants to believe in Him and to build human life on earth. He lays down for them laws that are in harmony with those operating in the universe so that there is no conflict between their existence and their world.
So, Pharaoh’s people did not see the connection between their transgression and the oppression they wreaked on God’s servant on the one hand, and their affliction with drought and poor harvests in the richly fertile land of Egypt on the other. It was a gesture of God’s mercy to raise this fact before their very eyes, so that they could reflect. They should have remembered that the land of Egypt could always feed its people, except at times when God decided to try them with poor harvests after they had transgressed.
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]