Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 11
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We created you
We fashioned you
to the Angels
So they prostrated
those who prostrated
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
What we are about to learn is the story of human life with all its exciting events. It begins with an announcement of the forthcoming birth of mankind. The announcement is made in a majestic celebration attended by the Supreme Society, a Qur’ānic term that refers to the angels. As a further evidence of honour, no one other than God Almighty makes the announcement when the angels are gathered, and Iblīs is present, though he is not one of the angels. The whole event is witnessed by the heavens and the earth and all that God has created. It is indeed a great event in the history of the universe.
The angels are a different type of God’s creation who have their distinctive characteristics and special tasks. We do not know anything about them except what God has told us, which we have stated earlier. Iblīs belongs to yet another type of creation, different from the angels. God states in the Qur’ān, in reference to Iblīs: “He belonged to the jinn and acted contrary to his Lord’s command.” (18: 50) The jinn are also a type of creation different from the angels and we have already summarized earlier what God has told us about them. It will be stated later in this sūrah that Iblīs was created out of fire. Hence, most certainly he never was an angel, although he was commanded to prostrate himself to Adam together with the angels in that great event when the Almighty announced the forthcoming appearance of man, the unique creature.
As for the angels, who never disobey God in whatever He may order them and simply do what they are bid, they all prostrated themselves in total obedience to God. None hesitated; none showed any indication of arrogance, because none contemplated disobedience of God for any reason. Such is their nature and such are their characteristics. Here we see clear evidence of the honour God has given to man, and of the total obedience that is always shown by the type of God’s servants to whom we refer as the angels.
As for Iblīs, he wilfully disobeyed God, defying His orders. We will soon learn what thoughts were in his mind and what caused him to take this stance although he was perfectly aware that the One who was giving the orders was his Lord who had created him and who had control of his destiny as also of the destiny of the whole universe. Iblīs never entertained any doubt about all this. Nevertheless, he still disobeyed God.
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]