Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 170
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And those who
to the Book
[We] let waste
(of) the reformers
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
Clear criticism of those who have given their pledges through the Scriptures and who have studied them thoroughly is implied. That is because they do not hold fast to the Scriptures they studied, and do not implement their teachings, or refer to them in formulating their concepts and deciding their behaviour. However, this verse remains general in its import, addressing all generations and all situations.
The very expression, “hold fast to the Scriptures”, gives a vivid image that we can almost see and feel. It is the image of holding the book with strength and seriousness. This is how God likes His book to be approached, without rigidity or narrow- mindedness. Strength and seriousness are totally different from rigidity and narrow- mindedness. They are not opposed to ease, broad vision and compatibility with day- to-day life, but they are opposed to looseness, carelessness, and giving human practices precedence over God’s law. Indeed, what people do must always be subject to God’s law.
Holding fast with strength and seriousness to what God has revealed and attending regularly to prayers, which is here a reference to all aspects of worship, are the twin essential factors of the divine method that aims at setting human life on the right footing. The way this Qur’ānic verse clearly links holding fast to the Scriptures with attending to worship is significant. It shows that implementing divine revelations in human life gives it the right basis, and that proper worship reforms human rights. Thus, the two operate in everyday life as well as in human hearts and set them both aright. This is further emphasized by the reference to doing right at the conclusion of the Qur’ānic verse: “As for those who hold fast to the Scriptures and attend regularly to their prayers, We shall not fail to reward those who enjoin the doing of what is right.” (Verse 170)
The plain fact is that all human life suffers as a result of abandoning these two essential factors of the divine method. When the revealed message is taken lightly, it has no effect on everyday life, and when worship is abandoned, people’s hearts become prone to corruption. This leads to evading the law, as was the practice of the people of earlier Scriptures. The same applies to the followers of any Scripture when their hearts take worship lightly, and in consequence, their fear of God weakens.
The divine system is a complete whole, which establishes life on the basis of a divine writ, and reforms hearts through worship. Thus, hearts are healthy and human life is also wholesome. That is the divine method, which is abandoned in preference for another only by those who are bound to suffer misery in this world and punishment in the life to come.
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]