Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 145

وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْأَلْوَاحِ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مَّوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلًا لِّكُلِّ شَىْءٍ فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُوا۟ بِأَحْسَنِهَا ۚ سَأُو۟رِيكُمْ دَارَ ٱلْفَٰسِقِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And We wrote for him on the tablets of everything - instruction and explanation for all things, [saying], "Hold on to them with [all your] strength and order your people to take the best of it. I will show you the abode of the defiantly disobedient."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

We understand from this statement that Moses was favoured over all his contemporaries. Messengers were sent before Moses and other messengers were sent after his time. It is, then, a favour over a whole generation of mankind. What was unique to Moses alone was the fact that God spoke to him directly. Moses was also commanded by God to take what he was given and to be grateful for being favoured and for having been given God’s message. Thus he was instructed how to react to God’s favour. All messengers [peace by upon them] provide guidance to people and present them with a good example. Hence, all people should accept whatever is given to them by God and show their gratitude for it so that they can receive more blessings and guard against arrogance and conceit, and maintain a good relationship with God.

The sūrah then tells us how Moses was given the message and its contents: “We wrote for him on the tablets all manner of admonition, clearly spelling out everything.” (Verse 145) Reports and commentators give different accounts of these tablets. Some of them give very detailed descriptions which we imagine to have been taken from Jewish sources. Such accounts have found their way into commentaries on the Qur’ān. None of these details is authentically reported to have been given by God’s Messenger (peace be upon him). Therefore, we confine ourselves to the true Qur’ānic statement, not going an inch beyond it. Those descriptions neither add to, nor detract anything from the nature of those tablets. What were these tablets and how they were written are matters that do not concern us, since no authentic report has provided us with any details. What is important is the contents of those tablets. They included all aspects that were of the essence of the divine message, its aim of providing a true concept of God and details of His law, and the instructions needed to reform the Israelite community whose nature had been corrupted by enduring tyranny and humiliation for a long time.
 
“Implement them with strength and determination, and bid your people to observe what is best in them.” (Verse 145) This is a divine order to Moses (peace be upon him) to take those tablets and implement their contents with strength and determination. Moreover, he was to bid his people to fulfil their tough obligations because these were the best for them and the most certain to bring about a great transformation in their situation. The way this order is given suggests that this was the proper approach to reform the nature of the Israelites. They needed to show seriousness and determination to fulfil their obligations outlined to them in God’s message. But the order given to Moses also suggests that this is the approach to be followed by every community towards divine faith.
 
In return for carrying out God’s orders, God promises Moses and his people to establish them in the land and to cause them to inherit the land which was then in the hands of a transgressor community: “I shall show you the abode of the transgressors.” (Verse 145)
 
Most probably this is a reference to the Holy Land which was at the time in the hands of a pagan community. Thus, this was happy news given to the Israelites that they were certain to take over the Holy Land. It is true that the Children of Israel did not enter the Holy Land in Moses’s lifetime, but that was because their reformation was as yet incomplete, and their nature not yet straightened. We should remember that they stood at its borders, saying to their Messenger: “Mighty people dwell in that land, and we will surely not enter it unless they depart from it. If they do depart, then we will enter.” (5: 22) When two believers who truly feared God urged them to force their way into the Holy Land, they spoke to Moses with all the rudeness only cowards can command, just like a mule that kicks its driver, saying: “We will never go in so long as they are in it. Go forth, then, you and your Lord, and fight, both of you. We shall stay here.” (5: 24) This describes their cowardly nature which cannot stand up to any serious obligation. The faith and the law given to the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and the divine commandment that he should take it seriously and implement it with strength and determination aimed at transforming that nature. Hence, he was also ordered to bid his people to stand up to the difficulties involved in implementing God’s law.
 

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

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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