Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 95
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(of) the bad
and the ease
So We seized them
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
But then God may decide to change the type of trial: “We then replaced the affliction with good fortune.” (Verse 95) Thus, every aspect of difficulty is replaced by an aspect of comfort and happiness. People begin to enjoy affluence, ease, blessings, good health, fertility, numerical strength and security after they had experienced poverty, hardship, depression, poor health, sterility, numerical weakness and fear. But the change of fortunes is no more than a new trial.
A test exposing people to hardship may be met with perseverance, because hardship may sharpen the elements of determined resistance. It may remind those who are good at heart of God, so they turn to Him with earnest supplication which gives them hope, reassurance and a promise of better things to come. A trial with affluence is withstood by only a few, because affluence makes people forget and riches cause them to feel self-sufficient. Hence, they indulge themselves seeking every type of pleasure. Such a test is passed only by a very small number of people.
“We then replaced the affliction with good fortune till they throve and said, Hardship and good fortune befell our forefathers as well:” (Verse 95) This statement indicates that they had increased in numbers and enjoyed an easy life, tasting every pleasure, to the extent that they no longer hesitated to do anything they desired, nor did they feel embarrassed by any action. The Arabic term which is translated here as “they throve” also connotes a certain attitude of mind which is rather careless, even bordering on recklessness. It views everything as easy, and acts on impulse. This attitude is very common among affluent people who enjoy riches for a long period, whether at the individual or community level. It is an attitude that suggests a blunted sensitivity and a care-free attitude. They spend and enjoy themselves with recklessness and they care little for the rights of others. No cardinal sin or ghastly crime seems to worry them. They do not care if they incur God’s wrath or people’s criticism. They do not reflect on the trials to which other people have been exposed. They think that life just goes on, without a purpose or a definite goal.
“They throve and said, ‘Hardship and good fortune befell our forefathers as well.’” (Verse 95) They look at it as if it is the turn of a repeated cycle. They have had their turn in adversity and now they are due for some good fortune. This all just happens without any particular consequence. At this moment, when they are totally heedless, indulging themselves in all sorts of transgression, their fate is sealed in accordance with God’s law: “We then smote them, all of a sudden, while they were totally unaware.” (Verse 95) They had gone so far astray that they no longer felt ashamed of anything they did. To fear God does not occur to them at all.
Thus we see how God’s law operates, fulfilling His will. Human history thus moves by human will and human action, within the context of God’s will and the laws He has set in operation. The Qur’ān reveals this fact to human beings and warns them that they must prove themselves when they are subjected to a trial of adversity or a test of affluence. It kindles in them a state of alertness which brings back to them a sense of fearing the outcome which befits what they do in this life. Those who do not respond, and continue in their erring ways wrong only themselves because they expose themselves to God’s punishment which is certain to engulf them. No one will suffer any injustice.
Those others enjoying a life of affluence are only going through a different stage of the operation of the law of nature: “We then replaced the affliction with good fortune till they throve and said, ‘Hardship and good fortune befell our forefathers as well.’” (Verse 95) It is then a test of plenty, which is far more difficult than a trial of adversity. There is an essential difference between what such people enjoy and the blessings God promises to those who believe in Him and fear Him. Blessings can be given with limited means if people can use those means well and combine them with goodness and a sense of reassurance, security and happiness. Many a rich and powerful community goes through a life of misery, insecurity and hollow ties between its people. The people themselves are worried, apprehensive of losing their power. It is a situation of strength without security, affluence without contentment, plenty without goodness. It is a bright present to be followed by a miserable future. It is a test that is certain to lead to doom.
The blessings that come with faith and a God-fearing attitude can be experienced in all situations, both within the human being himself and in his feelings, as well as within all enjoyable aspects of life. These blessings give growth and elevate life to a higher standard. They are so different from affluence that is combined with misery and immorality.
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]