Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 20

فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا ٱلشَّيْطَٰنُ لِيُبْدِىَ لَهُمَا مَا وُۥرِىَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَٰتِهِمَا وَقَالَ مَا نَهَىٰكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَٰذِهِ ٱلشَّجَرَةِ إِلَّآ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ ٱلْخَٰلِدِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Now Satan begins to play the role for which he dedicated himself. This against a unique creation whose birth God so graciously announced Himself before the Supreme Society in grand celebration. Furthermore, He ordered the angels to prostrate themselves to him, and expelled Satan from heaven on his account. We are told how God created man with a dual nature, capable of following both the right and wrong paths. He has inherent weaknesses and desires which can lead him astray, unless he observes God’s commandments.Thus Satan saw his chance and began to play on human desires.

We do not know how the whisperings of Satan took place, because we do not even know Satan’s nature or from what he is made, let alone understand how he acts. We cannot say how he establishes his contact with man or how he tempts him. But we know for certain, on the basis of true information given to us by the only source acceptable in connection with such matters known only to God, that temptation to do what is evil does actually happen in order to encourage man to do what he is forbidden. Such temptation relies on the weaknesses in human nature, but such weakness can be transformed into strength through faith and remembrance of God. None of Satan’s schemes can be of any effect with a believer who remains conscious of his Lord.
 
Thus Satan whispered to them in order to show them their nakedness. This was his aim. They certainly had unsightly parts of which they were unaware because they were made not to see them. We will soon learn from the Qur’ānic passage that these were in their physical constitution, requiring to be covered. Hence, we may understand this as a reference to their private parts. Satan did not reveal to them his objective but continued to play on their desires: “He said to them: ‘Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree lest you two become angels or immortals.’” (Verse 20) He knew the inner desires of man who loves to be immortal or at least to have a very long life. He also loves to be an angel who is not limited to a short lifespan.

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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