Sūrat al-A‘rāf

Sūrat No. 7. Revealed in Makkah

Revealed in Makkah except for verse 163 which was revealed in Madīnah according to some commentators, 206 verses.  It gets its name from the story of the people of A‘rāf (elevations on the Day of Resurrection) which is mentioned in verse 46. Chronologically, Sūrat al-A‘rāf is the 39th Sūrah to be revealed in Makkah.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Imam al-Sādiq (a) has said; The one who recites Sūrat al-A‘rāf once a month will be from those who will have no fear, nor will they grieve. (This is a reference to verse 35 of the Sūrah). And one who recites it every Friday will be from those who will enter Heaven without any reckoning.

Note: This great reward will be for those who are able to implement the message of the Sūrah in their lives.

General synopsis of contents

1) The truth of revelation and creation (vv. 1-10)

2) Prophet Adam (a) and Iblis (vv. 11-25)

3) Advice and guidance for human beings (vv. 26-37)

4) Groups of people in the Hereafter; in Hell, Heaven and on Elevations (vv. 38-51)

5) Creation of Allah (vv. 52-58)

6) Prophet Nūh (a) and his people (vv. 59-64)

7) Prophet Hūd (a) and his people (vv. 65-72)

8) Prophet Sālih (a) and his people (vv. 73-79)

9) Prophet Lūt (a) and his people (vv. 80-84)

10) Prophet Shu‘ayb (a) and his people (vv. 85-93)

11) Warnings sent to the people of the Prophets (vv. 94-102)

12) Story of Prophet Mūsā (a) (vv. 103-156)

13) The Prophet Muhammad a (vv. 157-159)

14) People of Prophet Mūsā (a) (vv. 160-171)

15) Human beings asked to be witnesses over themselves (vv. 172-174)

16) Guidance and misguidance (vv. 175-181)

17) The Resurrection (vv. 182-188)

18) Warning to the disbelievers and other matters (vv. 189-206)

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 7:27 – O Children of Adam! Do not let Satan tempt you,

2) 7:29- Set your heart [on Him] at every occasion of prayer, and invoke Him, putting your exclusive faith in Him.

3) 7:42 – We task no soul except according to its capacity.

4) 7:89 – Our Lord! Judge justly between us and our people, and You are the best of judges.

5) 7:96- If the people of the towns had been faithful and God conscience, We would have opened to them blessings from the heaven and the earth.

6) 7:126 – Our Lord! Pour patience upon us and cause us to die as Muslims.

7) 7:178 – He whom Allah guides, he alone is rightly guided; and he whom Allah lets go astray – it is they who are the losers.

8) 7:180 – Allah has the most excellent names. So, call on Him by His names and shun those who distort them.

9) 7:196 – My guardian is Allah Who has revealed the Book, and it is He Who protects the righteous.

Activities for self-study

1) Verses 31-32 talk about adornment, especially at the time of prayer. For a discussion of this important issue, see Quran Reflection #572 – https://academyofislam.com/quranic-reflection-no-572-ayat-731-adorn-your-prayers-in-ramadan/

2) Write out the conversations that take place between the people in the Hereafter, in verses 43-50.

3) Many stories from the life of Prophet Musa (a) are mentioned in this Sūrah. Study the following verses and write out an account of the events.

  1. a) Reaction of the magicians when they witness the truth (vv. 120-126)
  2. b) The request of the people after crossing the sea (vv. 138-141)
  3. c) The incident of the golden calf (vv. 148-153)

4) Verses 200-202 talk about seeking protection from Shaytan. What are the steps a believer takes when becoming afflicted with the whisperings of Shaytan?

5) Reflect on verses 204-206. What are the different ways recommended in these verses to increase humility and God consciousness.