Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 179

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ ٱلْجِنِّ وَٱلْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ ءَاذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَآ ۚ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ كَٱلْأَنْعَٰمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْغَٰفِلُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Those large numbers of jinn and human beings are destined for hell. Why? And what for? There are two aspects to consider here. The first is that God’s perfect knowledge shows that such creatures will inevitably go to hell. For God to know this does not require that actions which earn the punishment of hell actually take place. God’s knowledge is absolute, free from the constraints of time, action and place. Nothing is added to God’s knowledge as a result of a motion or an action that takes place in our world.
 
The second aspect to consider is that God’s perfect knowledge does not in any way direct these creatures to go astray so as to incur the punishment of hell as a result. It is they who are just like the Qur’ānic verse describes: “They have hearts they cannot understand with, and they have eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear.” (Verse 179) It is they who have not opened their hearts and minds to learn and understand. Proofs, signs, indications and pointers of all sorts are available throughout the universe and in the divine messages, providing guidance which can easily be understood by hearts and minds that are kept open. It is they who have chosen not to open their ears to listen to God’s revelations. They have kept all these means of perception and understanding idle and unused. As a result, they live a life of wilful ignorance: “They are like cattle; indeed, they are even further away from the right way; they are the truly heedless.” (Verse 179)
 
Those who are heedless of the signs God has placed in the universe and in life itself, and choose not to reflect on the events that take place around them, and do not see God’s will behind them all, are indeed further astray than cattle. Animals have natural tendencies to guide them. Human beings and jinn have been given hearts, minds, eyes and ears to hear, look and understand. If they choose not to open their means of perception, and prefer instead to go about life without reflecting about its meaning and aim, and without looking at its events and what they signify, or hearing its messages, they place themselves below animals who have only been given their natural tendencies. As a result, they are destined for hell. It is God’s will that drives them there ever since He has given them their dual susceptibility and made the law of punishment and reward. God knows right at the beginning that their action and attitude will lead them to hell.

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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