QURAN SUMMARY: AL ARAF

Surah Araf Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Araf Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME: الأعراف, Al-A’raf.

Name taken from Verse 46-47 where there is a mention of “Aaraf”.

٤٦  وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ ۚ وَعَلَى الْأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلًّا بِسِيمَاهُمْ ۚ وَنَادَوْا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ

46  And between them will be a partition, and on [its] elevations 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.

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: The Heights.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 7

SURAH ARAF TOTAL VERSES: 206

SURAH ARAF TOTAL WORDS: 3,341

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 1,558

TOTAL LETTERS: 14,435

REVELATION PERIOD:

Meccan, Approx. 618 – 620 AD. 

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, Previous Generations, Adam, Adam’s Wife, Angels, Iblis/Devil, Forbidden Tree, Satan, People of Araf, People of Paradise, People of Hell, Nuh and his People, Ad& Hud, Thamud & Salih, Lut, Shoaib, Moses, Pharaoh, Magicians, Israelites, Aaron, Golden Calf.

SURAH ARAF MAIN TOPICS:

Creation of Adam, Devil Refusal, Punishment to all, Judgement Day Partition/Hijab And People On Araf, Brief Mention of Various Prophets, Detailed story of Moses, Deliverance of Israelites from Egypt, God made an appointment with Moses, Israelites making & worship of Golden Calf, Saturday Sabbath Story, God’s Covenant from all souls, God created the whole of mankind from a single soul.

SURAH ARAF KEY VERSES:

٢٢  فَدَلَّاهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ ۚ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِنْ وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَنْ تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُلْ لَكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ

22  So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?”

٢٣  قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

23  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.”

٤٦  وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ ۚ وَعَلَى الْأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلًّا بِسِيمَاهُمْ ۚ وَنَادَوْا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ

46  And between them will be a partition, and on [its] elevations 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.

٩٤  وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ

94  And We sent to no city a prophet [who was denied] except that We seized its people with poverty and hardship that they might humble themselves [to Allah].

٩٦  وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَىٰ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِنْ كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

96  And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.”

١٦٧  وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكَ لَيَبْعَثَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَنْ يَسُومُهُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَسَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ ۖ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

167  And [mention] when your Lord declared that He would surely [continue to] send upon them until the Day of Resurrection those who would afflict them with the worst torment. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.

١٧٢  وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَا ۛ أَنْ تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ

172  And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.”

١٧٩  وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

179  And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

4(how Many Generations and Cities Destroyed Before You, Punishment of God Came to Them at Night or Noon), 11-18( Creation of Adam, God Ordered Angels to Prostrate Adam, all Did, but Iblis/Satan/Devil Refused, Devil Said “You Have Put Me in Error, I Will Surely Sit in Wait for Them on Your Straight Path”),19-22 ( Dialogues Between God And Adam Eve, Satan/Devil Whispered and Swore to Adam & Eve, Adam Eve Ate From the Tree & Became Naked Verse 22, God Said Go Down All of You Verse 24), 26-27(God Said o Children of Adam We Have Sent Down Cloths for You, Satan/Devil Party See You From Where You Do Not See Them), 34(for Every Nation Is a Specified Term), 40(For Deniers Gate Of Heavens Won’t Get Opened nor Will They Enter Paradise Until Camel Pass Thru Eye of the Needle(I.E It Is Impossible), 46- 51( Judgement Day Partition/Hijab And People On Araf/Elevated Ramps, They Will See Both Hell and Heaven & Will Have Dialogues With Their Occupants, God Said We Forget Today Those Who Were Deluded and Forgot Our Meeting of This Day), 54(Creation of Heavens Earth in 6 Days Then God Mounted on his Throne), 59-64(Prophet Nuh), 65-72(Ad& Hud), 73-79(Thamud, Salih), 80-84(Prophet Lut), 85-93( Prophet Shoaib), 94(Affliction on Cities Before or at Time Of Sending Of Prophets That They Might Humble Themselves), 96(God Said: if People Had Believed We Would Have Sent Down Blessings From Sky and Earth), 103-119( Moses Came to Pharaoh, Showed Miracles, Challenge, Gathering in Central City, Magic, Defeat of Pharaoh Magicians), 120-122-126(Magicians Believed in Lord of Moses and Aaron), 127-137 (Persecution Of Israelites, 10 Ten Plagues, Pharaoh Party Drowned Into Sea), 138-141(Israelites Demand Deity, Moses Replied: Is It Other Than Allah I Should Desire for You as a God While He Has Preferred You Over the Worlds?), 142-145( God Made an Appointment With Moses for Thirty Nights and Perfected Them by [the Addition of] Ten I.E Total 40 Nights, Moses Demand To See God…Moses Fell Unconscious, 2 Two Tablets Given With all Instructions), 147-154 (People of Moses Made, After [his Departure], From Their Ornaments a Calf – an Image Having a Lowing Sound, Moses Anger, Moses Threw the Tablets), 155(God Appointment, Moses Chose 70 Men, Earthquake Seized Them, Moses Said: You Could Have Destroyed Them Before and Me [as Well]. Would You Destroy Us for What the Foolish Among Us Have Done?), 158(Muhammad Prophet for all), 160-162( God Inspired Moses To Struck the Stone With Staff, 12 Twelve Springs and Manna Salwa (Quails) for Israelites, God Commanded When Enter the City Say Hitatun/ Repentance), 163-166( Saturday Sabbath Story..Fish Came to Them Openly on Their Sabbath Day, and the Day They Had no Sabbath They Did Not Come to Them. Thus Did God Give Them Trial, 3 Types of People, God Said to Them, “Be Apes, Despised”), 167(God Declare That He Would Raise Against Israelites Till the Day of Resurrection Those Who Would Lay on Them a Cruel Torment.), 168(and We Divided Them Throughout the Earth Into Nations. Of Them Some Were Righteous, and of Them Some Were Otherwise.), 171(When God Raised Mountain Above Israelites), 172( God’s Covenant With All Souls … ”Your Lord Took From the Children of Adam – From Their Loins – Their Descendants and Made Them Testify of Themselves, “Am I Not Your Lord?” They Said, “Yes, We Have Testified.” Lest You Should Say on the Day of Resurrection, “Indeed, We Were of This Unaware.”), 175-176( Example Of One Given Signs And Knowledge but Turns Away and Followed his Own Desire. So his Example Is Like That of the Dog: if You Chase Him, He Pants, or if You Leave Him, He [Still] Pants.), 179( Insan/Humans Who Do Not Hear See And Feel, Those Are Like Cattle; Rather, They Are More Astray.), 187-188(Prophet Say That I Don’t Know About Qiyamah /Last Day & Ghaib/Unseen), 189-199(God Created the Whole of Mankind From a Single Soul. Reality of Those Gods Whom People Worship Beside God. God Is the Protecting Friend of the Righteous.), 204-206(Be Silent and Humble When Quran Is Recited, Those Beings Which Are With Your Lord Are Never Too Proud To Worship Him)

SURAH ARAF BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACK GROUND

This Surah has 206 verses divided into 24 Rukus/Sections. It was revealed in Makkah. It is one of the longest Makki Surahs and second of the Makki Surahs in Quran’s compilation order. This Surah’s revelation period is almost the same as that of Surah Anam. Thus it also revealed in a later stage of Makki life of Prophet Muhammad after organized persecutions of him and his followers started. The central theme of the Surah is Prophethood and that how God kept on sending His messengers in the past throughout the world in different nations to remind them to warn them.

Ubayy ibn-Kab narrated from Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) who said:

“Whoever recites Surah Al-Araf, Allah will set a curtain between him and the Satan and, on the Day of Judgment Adam(AS) will be his intercessor.”

Particular emphasis given to the prophethood of Muhammad and people have been admonished to accept the Message and also warned of the consequences of rejecting this Divine revelation by narrating to them the stories of Adam and Devil, Previous Prophets and their people and by also depicting the hereafter and situation of righteous and wrongdoers in Paradise and Hell respectively. The later portion of Surah also addressing the People of the Book mainly because they will soon be getting this message directly as Prophet’s migration to Madina was approaching, and there were many tribes of Jews and Christians living in the outskirts of Al Madina(Yathrib).