Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 205
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and (in) fear
in the mornings
and (in) the evenings
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
God’s remembrance is not the mere mentioning of His name verbally; it can only be achieved when both heart and mind are brought into it. It is the type of remembrance that makes hearts tremble and minds respond. Unless it is coupled with a feeling of humility and awe, it will not be true remembrance of God. Indeed, it could border on impoliteness towards God. When we remember God, we should think of His greatness, fear His punishment and hope for His mercy. Only in that way, can we achieve spiritual purity. When we mention His name as we remember His greatness, and we join the physical action with the spiritual, we must show our humility, speaking in a low voice, without singing or showing off.
“And bethink yourself of your Lord humbly and with awe, and without raising your voice, in the morning and evening.” (Verse 205) This is to ensure that our hearts remain in contact with God at both ends of the day. Remembering God is not limited to these two times; indeed it must be present all the time. We should be constantly on our guard against slipping into error. But in these two particular periods we can observe the clear change that takes place in the universe as the night changes into day, and the day changes into night. Human hearts feel in touch with the universe around them, as they witness how God accomplishes this transition of day and night and the great change that takes place as one gives way to the other.
God — limitless He is in His glory— knows that at these two particular times, human hearts are most likely to be impressed and to respond positively. There are frequent directives in the Qur’ān to remember God and glorify Him at the time when the whole universe appears to interact with the human heart, sharpen its impressions, and motivate it to remain in touch with God Almighty: “Bear with patience whatever they may say, and extol your Lord’s limitless glory and praise before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and in the night too, extol His glory, and at every prayer’s end.” (50: 39-40) “Extol His glory, too, during the hours of the night as well as during the hours of the day, so that you may attain a state of contentment.” (20: 130) “Bear in mind your Lord’s name early in the morning and before sunset, and during some of the night, and prostrate yourself to Him, and extol His limitless glory throughout the long night.” (76: 25-26)
There is no need to say that this order to remember God at this particular time was before the daily prayers were made obligatory at their appointed times, because this may give the impression that these obligatory prayers have superseded this order. The fact is that this remembrance of God is wider than obligatory prayers. Its timing and its form are not limited to obligatory prayer. It may be a remembrance in private, or something in which both heart and mouth share without the movements that prayer includes. It is indeed wider than that, because it involves constant remembrance of God’s Almightiness, when one is alone or with people, before any action, large or small, and before resolving to do anything. However, the early morning, the end of the day as the sun begins to set, and the depth of the night are mentioned because these are times that have special appeal to human hearts. God who has created man and who knows his nature is fully aware of all this.
“Do not be negligent”. (Verse 205) This is a reference to people who neglect to remember God, not by word of mouth, but in their hearts and minds. It is the remembrance that keeps the heart alive to deter man from doing anything or following any course in which he feels embarrassed to be seen by God, and who watches God before doing anything. This is the type of remembering God that is ordered here. Otherwise, it would not be true remembrance of God if it does not lead to obeying Him and implementing His orders.
Do not let yourself be negligent of remembering God and watching your actions. Man needs to remain in constant touch with his Lord so that he is able to resist the temptation that Satan may place before him: “If a prompting from Satan stirs you up, seek refuge with God; He hears all and knows all.” (Verse 200) In its early part, the sūrah painted a panoramic scene of the battle between man and Satan. Throughout, it showed the procession of faith as the satans from among the jinn and human beings tried to force it out of its way. Satan was also mentioned in the story of the person to whom God gave His signs, but he pulled himself away from them, and chose to remain in error. At its end, it mentions the temptations of Satan and how people should seek shelter from him with God, who hears all and knows all.
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]