Day Eight: Surah al-An’am and Surah al-A`raf

by Kareem Elsayed

End of Surat Al-An`am

Allah (SWT) revealed ayat in this juz’ comforting the Prophet (SAAWS) and his companions (RAA) after a long and arduous da`wah in Makkah:

    “And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – Shayatin (devils) among mankind and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it, so leave them alone with their fabrications (6:112)”
    “Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do. (6:122)”

Allah (SWT) continues to distinguish between the benefits of belief and the catastrophe of disbelief:

    “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not. (6:125)”

Next, Allah (SWT) emphasizes his Mercy in sending messengers, saying:

    “This is because your Lord would not destroy the (populations of) towns for their wrong-doing (i.e. associating others in worship along with Allah) while their people were unaware (so the Messengers were sent). (6:131)”

Then Allah (SWT) contrasts the divine rulings with the superstitious restrictions of the pagan Arabs in order to show the striking differences between the two and thus prove the Quran to be a Revealed Book.

After establishing that fact, tone of the juz’ continues to emphasize da`wah to Allah (SWT) and clarifying the stance of His deen:

    Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand. “And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence, etc.), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allah, This He commands you, that you may remember. “And verily, this (i.e. Allah’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses 151 and 152) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).” (6:151-153)

Finally, Allah (SWT) concludes the surah in a very beautiful passage urging the believers to remain united, informing them that the good deed is worth ten rewards, and to always make sure to have the right intentions.

    Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah ; then He will inform them about what they used to do. Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged. Say, “Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path – a correct religion – the way of Abraham, inclining toward truth. And he was not among those who associated others with Allah .” Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.” (6:159-163)

Surat Al-A`raf

This surah was revelead around the same time of Surat al-An`am: the last year of the Prophet (SAAWS)’s life at Makkah. The surah reverberates with a resounding message, inviting the people to the Divine Message sent down to Muhammad (SAAWS).

Allah (SWT) opens the surah inviting people to follow the message of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) and they are warned of the consequences of its rejection.

Adam, Hawwa (Eve) and Iblees (Satan)

Next, Allah (SWT) relates the story of Adam and his wife, Eve, and their historical first encounter with Shaytan. First, Allah (SWT) created Adam and commanded the angels to prostrate to him, and they did, except Iblees. So Allah (SWT) asked him, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” Satan said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”(7:12).

With that the first sin of all time was committed: Arrogance.

    “Indeed, those who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them – the gates of Heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel enters into the eye of a needle. And thus do We recompense the criminals. (7:40)”

So Shaytan makes an appeal to Allah (SWT) to allow him to mislead humanity until the Day of Judgement. And he commenced his mission with full force, preying upon the unaware Adam and Eve.

    But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.”(7:20)

After eating from the tree, Adam and Eve realized their fault and supplicated to Allah (SWT) with a beautiful and remarkable du`aa’:

    They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.”

This all, of course, was a part of Allah (SWT)’s divine plan, and Allah (SWT) indicated our stance with respect to Shaytan:

    [ Allah ] said, “Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time.” (7:24)

Conversations on the Day of Judgment

After the conclusion of the story of mankind vs. Shaytan, Allah (SWT) relates several events and conversations the transpire after the judgment. The first of these will be between the people of Hellfire and the people of Paradise:

    “And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah , who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” And the companions of Paradise will call out to the companions of the Fire, “We have already found what our Lord promised us to be true. Have you found what your Lord promised to be true?” They will say, “Yes.” Then an announcer will announce among them, “The curse of Allah shall be upon the wrongdoers.” (7:43-44)”

Then Allah (SWT) describes the people of al-A`raf: they are those whose good deeds and bad deeds have balanced out and have not yet entered Hellfire or Paradise.

    “And between them will be a partition, and on [its] elevations (A`raf) are men who recognize all by their mark. And they call out to the companions of Paradise, “Peace be upon you.” They have not [yet] entered it, but they long intensely. And when their eyes are turned toward the companions of the Fire, they say, “Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people.” (7:46-47)

Ultimately Allah (SWT) will allow them to enter into Paradise by His Mercy:

    [ Allah will say], “Are these the ones whom you [inhabitants of Hell] swore that Allah would never offer them mercy? Enter Paradise, [O People of the Elevations]. No fear will there be concerning you, nor will you grieve.” And the companions of the Fire will call to the companions of Paradise, “Pour upon us some water or from whatever Allah has provided you.” They will say, “Indeed, Allah has forbidden them both to the disbelievers.” Who took their religion as distraction and amusement and whom the worldly life deluded.” So today We will forget them just as they forgot the meeting of this Day of theirs and for having rejected Our verses. (7:49-51)

The next section describes some of the signs of Allah (SWT) in a very beautiful manner. This reminder should cause the believers to increase in Iman and conviction:

    Indeed, your Lord is Allah , who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds. (7:54)

The final portion of this juz’ relates the stories of some of the previous prophets including Nuh, Hud to `Ad, Salih to Thamud, Shu`ayb to Madyan, and Lut to his people. Each of the prophets had the same message, recognizing the oneness of Allah (SWT) and worshipping him, and desisting any transgressions against Allah (SWT) and any sins or corruption they were causing in the land. Some select verses from this part follow:

    We had certainly sent Noah to his people, and he said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day. Said the eminent among his people, “Indeed, we see you in clear error.” (7:59-60)
    And to the ‘Aad [We sent] their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. Then will you not fear Him?” (7:65)
    Then do you wonder that there has come to you a reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you? And remember when He made you successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature extensively. So remember the favors of Allah that you might succeed. (7:69)
    And to the Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. This is the she-camel of Allah [sent] to you as a sign. So leave her to eat within Allah ‘s land and do not touch her with harm, lest there seize you a painful punishment.And remember when He made you successors after the ‘Aad and settled you in the land, [and] you take for yourselves palaces from its plains and carve from the mountains, homes. Then remember the favors of Allah and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” Said the eminent ones who were arrogant among his people to those who were oppressed – to those who believed among them, “Do you [actually] know that Salih is sent from his Lord?” They said, “Indeed we, in that with which he was sent, are believers.” (7:73-75)
    And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? (7:80)
    So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained [with the evildoers]. (7:83)
    And to [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu’ayb. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. So fulfill the measure and weight and do not deprive people of their due and cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. That is better for you, if you should be believers. (7:85)
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