Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 96

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ ٱلْقُرَىٰٓ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَٱتَّقَوْا۟ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِن كَذَّبُوا۟ فَأَخَذْنَٰهُم بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَكْسِبُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allāh, We would have opened [i.e., bestowed] upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

This is the other part of the natural law God has set in operation. Had the people of those cities believed instead of denying God’s messages, and had they been God-fearing instead of being careless, God would have opened up for them blessings from heaven and earth. They would have been given such blessings in abundance, without restriction. God’s blessings would have come to them from above and beneath. The Qur’ānic expression is so general that it imparts a sense of great abundance that is not limited to what is familiar to human beings of provisions and sustenance.
 
This statement and the one preceding it put in front of our eyes certain facts that relate to faith on the one hand and to human life in this world on the other. They also touch on a factor that has a great influence on human history, even though it is often overlooked and indeed denied by man-made theories and philosophies. That fact tells us that the question of having faith in God and fearing Him is not isolated from the reality of life and the course of human history. To believe in God and to fear Him qualify people to receive blessings from heaven and earth. This is a promise given by God, and God is always true to His promises.
 
We who believe in God accept this promise as true without having to ask first about its reasons or causes. We have no hesitation in expecting that it will come true. We believe in God, and consequently in what lies beyond human perception; therefore, we believe in the fulfilment of God’s promises. But when we reflect on God’s promise, as indeed we are ordered to do by our faith, we soon realize its causes. A person who believes in God has an alert nature, sound natural reception, accurate understanding, a healthy human constitution and a keen interaction with the universe. All these elements tend to ensure success in real life.
 
Moreover, faith in God represents a strong motivation. It streamlines all aspects of the human constitution and directs them to a single goal, allowing them to derive strength from God’s power and release them to implement His will in building human life on earth and safeguarding it from all elements of corruption. Again, all this tends to ensure success in practical life.
 
To believe in God is to be free from being enslaved by desire or by other people. There is no doubt that a human being who achieves his freedom through submission to God is, as a result, better able to fulfil man’s task of building human life on earth. To fear God is to combine awareness with wisdom so that we can steer away from rashness, recklessness and conceit as we go about our business in this life. It is a quality that directs human effort sensibly and carefully so that whoever has that quality does not transgress or exceed the limits of acceptable behaviour.
 
When people maintain a balance between incentives and restraints, working on earth but always looking up to heaven, free from the tyranny of human desire, submitting to God Almighty, human life maintains a steady course and yields wholesome fruits. In this way people deserve God’s help after having earned His pleasure. Hence, it will be a blessed life that earns success and prosperity. Viewed from this angle, the whole question is one of visible facts that have their unidentifiable causes, in addition to its being part of God’s promise.
 
The blessings God promises to those who believe in Him and fear Him are given a strong emphasis. They come in a wide variety of shapes and forms but they are not outlined in detail or mentioned in name. The Qur’ānic statement, however, gives an impression of abounding grace that comes from every direction, without any limiting definition. Hence, the reference is to all types and forms of blessings, whether those that are familiar to human beings or those that can only be visualized in their imagination. But they also include what human beings cannot conceive or imagine.
 
Those who imagine that faith in God and steering away from what incurs His anger are questions of pure worship and have no bearing on practical life have no true knowledge of faith or life. They are better advised to look at this very real relationship which God Himself confirms. Needless to say, His testimony is more than enough to prove anything. Nevertheless, this relationship can be recognized by people if they will only look at different situations in life and recognize their causes.

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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12. External Links

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