Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 137
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
To enhance the atmosphere of swiftness and decisiveness, the sūrah also portrays the opposite picture of giving power to the oppressed. This is brought forward because the Children of Israel were not given power in Egypt, where Pharaoh and his people lived. Instead, they were given power when they were at their best in following divine guidance, before they deviated and incurred the punishment of humiliation and dispersal. Their kingdom was in Palestine, several decades after the drowning of Pharaoh, and long after the Prophet Moses had passed away, and indeed after their forty years in the wilderness which is mentioned elsewhere in the Qur’ān. But the sūrah glides over all these events and shifts from one period of time to another in order to highlight the fact that they were established and given power to be free to conduct their own affairs. This provides a clear contrast with their state of weakness when they endured Pharaoh’s persecution: “We caused the people who were persecuted and deemed utterly low to inherit the eastern and western parts of the land which We had blessed. Thus your Lord’s gracious promise to the Children of Israel was fulfilled, because they were patient in adversity; and We destroyed all that Pharaoh and his people had wrought, and all that they had built.” (Verse 137)
Restricted by the limitations of time as we are, we, human beings, speak of a time order because we record events in accordance with their occurrence and the moment when we note their happening. For this reason, we say that the power that was given to those who were oppressed came after the event of Pharaoh’s drowning. That is our own understanding of events. What could “before” and “after” signify to God in His absolute knowledge, we cannot tell. All that takes place clearly appears to Him in full vision, with nothing partially or totally screened by limitations of time and place. To Him everything is known absolutely perfectly, while our knowledge remains scanty indeed.
Thus the curtain falls with the scene of total destruction on the one side and that of a new power to build a new civilization on the other. Pharaoh, yesterday’s tyrant, is drowned with his people. All that they had built in this life, and all the edifices and towers they raised on great pillars, and all their construction, vineyards and riches lie in ruin. All this takes place in a fraction of a moment, and all is portrayed in a few short words.
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]