Surah al-A`raf (The Elevated Places) 7 : 199
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The first directive given in this passage is to make allowances for the weaknesses of human beings and accept what is decent and easy from them. The Prophet is instructed not to require perfection or expect a very high standard of morality. He should overlook their shortfalls and weaknesses. But all that applies in personal matters, not in questions of faith or religious duties.
There can be no overlooking of the essentials of faith or Islamic law. Forbearance can apply in business and personal dealings. Such forbearance is the appropriate attitude to be shown by those who are strong towards people who are weak. God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) is a guide and a teacher. Hence, forbearance and forgiveness are appropriate qualities for him.
Indeed, these were distinctive qualities of the Prophet Muhammad. He never showed anger over personal matters. But if something related to the faith made him angry, then his anger was feared by all. All advocates of the divine faith are required to follow the Prophet’s suit. An advocate of the divine message, who inevitably deals with human beings, must be kind and easy, but without being negligent.
“Enjoin the doing of what is right.” (Verse 199) This order applies to everything that is clearly good and generally accepted as such by honest people with sound, uncorrupted nature. When people get used to doing what is good, they become ready to do it voluntarily, feeling that it is no burden. Nothing stops people from doing what is good like rigidity and complication particularly in the early days of being aware of their religious duties. In the early stages, they should be given duties that are easy and common to all so that they get used to responding properly. This enables people to get ready for what requires more effort and approach it without difficulty.
“And turn away from those who choose to remain ignorant.” (Verse 199) As used here, ignorance may be understood as the opposite of wisdom, or the opposite of knowledge. Both meanings are closely related. Turning away from them is just to ignore them and show how petty all their ignorant actions are. One must not enter into any argument with them because that is a waste of time. Ignoring them altogether may get them to revise their attitude and soften their hearts. Argument, on the other hand, may lead to polarization and stubbornness. Even if it does not soften their hearts, they remain isolated from anyone who is good at heart. The latter will realize that the advocates of the divine message are forbearing, unwilling to enter into a slanging match while ignorant people continue with their stupid attitude. Every advocate of faith should realize the importance of this divine directive, because God knows what influences people and what may get through to them.
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]