Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 177

سَآءَ مَثَلًا ٱلْقَوْمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا وَأَنفُسَهُمْ كَانُوا۟ يَظْلِمُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
How evil an example [is that of] the people who denied Our signs and used to wrong themselves.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Can there be a more dismal example than that? Can there be a worse action than discarding guidance and pulling oneself away from divine revelations? Is there anything more disgraceful than clinging to the lowly life of this earth and succumbing to desires? Can any human being cause himself more wrong than the one who does this? By so doing, he tears apart that protective shield which could have ensured his safety. Instead, he leaves his soul easy prey for Satan and sinks to the level of animals, with all that it entails of worry and uncertainty. He is soon seen as a dog constantly panting away.
 
Can we think of a more vivid, lively and inspiring description of this case? The Qur’ānic style is at its most effective when it gives such descriptions and examples.

It is pertinent to ask here whether these verses tell a story that actually took place or whether they refer to a particular case that happens frequently. If it is the latter, then it is perfectly right to tell it as a story.

Every day we see new examples of such people everywhere and in all communities. Long periods of time may pass and we hardly see a scholar who does not follow this example. Only a small minority cling to God’s guidance and refuse to succumb to Satan or follow their desires. They seek God’s support in order not to covet the trifling pleasures of this world that can be bestowed by those who are in power. Hence, the example given in the Qur’ān is not limited to a single case, but occurs in every society and in every generation.

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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