Chapter 7, Al-A’raaf (The Heights) (part 3 of 3)
Description: A brief commentary of Chapter 7 (verses 148 to 206) of the Holy Quran. In these final verses we discover that Prophet Muhammad was mentioned in both the Torah and Gospel and the warnings in previous parts are reiterated.
- By Aisha Stacey (© 2015 IslamReligion.com)
- Published on 17 Aug 2015
- Last modified on 01 Apr 2018
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Verses 148 – 156 The wrath of God
While Moses was gone the people began worshipping a shape like a calf made from their jewellery and ornaments but they perceived that they were doing wrong and when Moses returned they said if God does not forgive us we will be among the losers. Moses was angry and upset with them but especially his brother Aaron. He threw down the tablets, seized his brother by the hair and pulled towards him. Aaron said, "Oh son of my mother, (reminding Moses of their kinship) they would have overpowered me and killed me". Moses asked God to forgive both his brother and himself.
Those who worshipped the calf would gain the anger of their Lord but those who realised their misdeeds and repented would be forgiven. When Moses had calmed down he picked up the tablets on which were inscribed guidance and mercy for those who feared their Lord. Moses chose 70 men from among their number and they came towards Moses fearful and shaking. They were supposed to apologise and beg forgiveness for worshipping the calf but instead they demanded to see God. The mountain convulsed in a massive earthquake and they fell down dead. Moses prayed for forgiveness and God’s mercy encompasses all things. Mercy is for those who are God conscious, pay the prescribed alms and believe in the revelations.
Verses 157 – 158 Mohammad in the Torah and Gospel
Special mercy will be assigned to those who follow the unlettered Prophet who they will find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel. He enjoins them to good and forbids them from evil. He makes good things lawful and bad things unlawful. He relieves them of their burdens. Those who follow him will succeed. God says to Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, to declare to the people that he is the Messenger of God sent by the one who controls the heavens and the earth and that there is no true deity worthy of worship except God.
Verses 159 – 168 The Children of Israel are tested
In the nation of Moses there were some who were guided and thereby established justice. God divided them into twelve tribes. When the thirsty people asked for water God revealed to Moses where to strike the rock with his staff. Twelve springs gushed forth and each tribe had its own drinking place. God sent down mana (pure things) from heaven for them to eat. They rebelled, but they did not harm God by their rebellion; they harmed only themselves.
God said to them, reside in this town, eat whatever you please, ask for forgiveness and enter the gate with humility. God would then forgive their sins and multiply the reward of the good-doers but there were wicked amongst them who changed the wording of God’s commandment. So God sent down upon them a scourge from heaven. God tells Prophet Muhammad to ask them about the town by the sea and what happened when they transgressed the laws of the Sabbath. They were tested because of their disobedience. On the Sabbath the fish came easily but did not appear on other days. Ask them also, God said, about the warners and why they preached to a people who surely would be destroyed or punished by God. The warners said they wanted to discharge their duty to God and they hoped some would take admonition. However they disregarded the warning, continued with their behaviour and God said to them "Be thee detested apes".
Remind them also that God said he would raise against them those who would inflict them with grievous harm right up until the Day of Resurrection. God broke their unity as a nation and dispersed them all over the world. Some are righteous and others are not, they were tested with both blessings and misfortunes.
Verses 169 – 180 Including the covenant with the descendants of Adam.
Then they were succeeded by an evil generation. They enjoyed a low life thinking everything would be forgiven. Why do they not see that the Hereafter is better? Those who follow the Book and establish the prayer will never have their deeds go to waste. And mention to them the mountain that was suspended over them as if it were an umbrella. They thought it was going to fall on them but God said hold fast to what we have given to you and remember so that you will return to God consciousness.
Remind them Oh Prophet about the time when God brought into existence every single descendant of Adam (every human) and made them testify asking, "Am I not your Lord?" God did this, in case on the Day of Resurrection, anyone said, "but we were not aware". Or in case they should try to blame their ancestors for idolatry or ascribing partners to God, saying we just followed our forefathers. Everything is made clear.
Tell them also the story of the man in the time of Moses to whom we gave our stories but he chose to ignore them and Satan pursued him until he became one of the deviators. He would have been exalted through the revelations but he clung to his earthly life. He was like a dog; if you chase him he pants, if you leave him he still pants. Tell them the stories that they may reflect, whomever God guides is truly guided, whoever he forsakes is a loser.
God says He created Hell for those of the jinn and humankind who have hearts but do not understand, eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear. They are worse than animals because they are heedless. And to God belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave the company of those who use them improperly.
Verses 181 – 188
God created a community (the followers of Prophet Muhammad) who guide to the truth and establish justice. Those who deny God’s revelations are drawn step by step towards destruction. Their companion (Prophet Muhammad) is not mad, but he is a warner. What could they believe in if they do not believe in this? Whoever God leads astray cannot be guided, He leaves them wandering blindly. When they ask (you, Prophet Muhammad) about the Hour say, "Its knowledge is only with my Lord. None will reveal its time except Him. It lays heavily upon the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except unexpectedly." Prophet Muhammad is told to tell the people he has no power to benefit or avert harm from himself and that he is nothing more than a warner and bearer of good news for those who believe.
Verses 189 – 206 God created everything – worship Him
It is God who created everyone from one soul (Adam). The people are ungrateful and set up partners with God but He is far exalted above the partners they ascribe to Him. God says to Prophet Muhammad, say that your protector is God who sent the Quran and protects the righteous. Be tolerant and say what is right, if Satan should tempt you seek protection with God. When those who fear God are tempted by Satan they only need to remember God and they will know the right course of action.
Tell them Muhammad that you follow only what is revealed from God; the Book (Quran) is a guidance and a blessing. When you hear it recited, be silent and listen. Remember God with humility and reverence in the morning and in the evening. Do not be heedless; those who are close to God are never too proud to worship Him. Glorify Him and bow down before Him.