Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 58
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And the land
by (the) permission
(of) its Lord
for a people
who are grateful
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
At the end of this journey that encompasses the whole universe and touches on the secrets of existence, the sūrah gives an example of good and evil hearts. But the analogy relies heavily on the scene that has just been portrayed in order to maintain harmony between what we see and what is outlined of different natures: “Good land brings forth its vegetation in abundance, by its Lord’s leave, but from the bad land only poor and scant vegetation comes forth. Thus do We expound Our revelations in various ways for the benefit of those who are grateful.” (Verse 58)
A good heart is often likened in the Qur’ān and the ĥadīth to a good land and good soil, while an evil heart is likened to a bad land and soil. For both the heart and the soil can support plants that come forth and yield fruits. The heart is the place where intentions and feelings, reactions and responses, directions and wills are translated into actions that give their results in practical life. The land, on the other hand, supports plants that give fruits of different colours, shapes and tastes.
“Good land brings forth its vegetation in abundance, by its Lord’s leave.” The vegetation is wholesome, growing easily and giving its goodness in abundance. “But from the bad land only poor and scant vegetation comes forth.” (Verse 58) It brings with it harm, difficulty and hardship. Revelation, guidance, good counsel and admonition have the same effect on the heart as rainfall on soil. If the heart is good, it opens up with a newly felt freshness and gives its goodness to its owner and those around, in the same way as good land does. If the heart is evil, it can only harden up and deliver nothing but evil, in the same way as bad land brings forth thorny, harmful plants.
“Thus do We expound Our revelations in various ways for the benefit of those who are grateful.” (Verse 58) Gratitude only comes out of a good heart, indicating a welcoming reception and a goodly reaction. It is to those who are grateful and who receive good counsel well that God’s revelations are expounded, because it is they who benefit by these revelations and work according to their guidance in order to make their benefits available to all.
Gratitude is often mentioned in this sūrah, side by side with warnings and reminders. This is not the first time it has been mentioned in the sūrah, but we will have more of it as we move along, in the same way as more reminders and warnings are given.
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]