Al-Aʻrāf (Arabic: الأعراف, "The Heights") is the seventh chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an, with 206 verses (āyāt). Regarding the timing and contextual background of the supposed revelation (Asbāb al-nuzūl), it is a "Meccan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Mecca, instead of Medina. Its final verse, verse 206, requires a sajdah, or prostration.
|Other names||The Purgatory|
|Position||Juzʼ 8 to 9|
|Hizb no.||16 to 18|
|No. of Rukus||24|
|No. of verses||206|
|No. of Sajdahs||1 (verse 206)|
Al-Aʻrāf is one of the most detailing Surah about the origins of creation and revealing prophecies about the judgment day, it starts by telling us how Satan made our ancestors Adam and Eve to leave heaven and all of the three came down to earth and from that point Satan became the number one enemy for humanity, and how he refused to obey God and asked him to keep him alive to show him the vulnerability of this new creature the Human being, the Surah then starts by telling us how Satan misled thousands of populations over time and gives us examples of some prophets who suffered in order to gain their lost companions to the right path, cited in this surah:
- Story of Noah, which begins with the prophet warning his people and then the community rejecting the message and facing a punishment, the Grand Deluge.
- Story of Hud: Hud lived with his people Aad, Aad were not ignorant of the existence of Allah, nor did they refuse to worship Him. What they did refuse was to worship Allah alone. They worshipped other gods, also, including idols. This is one sin Allah does not forgive. The Prophet Hud said to his people: "He created you, He provides for you and He is the One Who will cause you to die. He gave you wonderful physiques and blessed you in many ways. So believe in Him and do not be blind to His favors, or the same fate that destroyed Noah's people will overtake you."
- Story of Saleh: Saleh (meaning the good one in Arabic) was sent to an Arab tribe called Thamud, who were reported to be descendants of Noah. They were vain people who took great pride in their fertile farmland and grand architecture. Prophet Saleh tried to call his people to the worship of One God, to Whom they should give thanks for all their bounties. He called upon the rich to stop oppressing the poor, and for an end to all mischief and evil.
- Story of Shuaib: His people were greedy people who did not believe that Allah existed and who led wicked lives. Most of them were merchandisers and they gave short measure, praised their goods beyond their worth, and hid their defects. They lied to their customers, thereby cheating them. Allah (God) sent his prophet Shu'aib armed with many miracles. Shu'aib preached to them, begging them to be mindful of Allah's favors and warning them of the consequences of their evil ways, but they only mocked him. Shu'aib remained calm as he reminded them of his kinship to them and that what he was doing was not for his personal gain.
- Story of Moses and Aaron: The pharaoh who ruled Egypt was a tyrant who oppressed the Children of Israel. He used every means to demean and disgrace them. They were kept in bondage and forced to work for him. Under this system the people obeyed and worshiped the pharaoh, and the ruling class carried out his orders, thereby authorizing his tyranny and crazy whims. Allah (God) sent his prophet Moses to save the Children of Israel from the pharaoh, he gave him great power to face the pharaoh and win over him. He succeeded and saved his people. And as soon as he went to listen to God's orders, they rejected his message even when Aaron was present among them, this made Moses very mad about his brother but later he asked for mercy from the Almighty for him, his brother and those people, Allah accepted.
Then the Surah says that every community or people that will come on earth will think that they are better than those before and thus better the examples cited above, but in fact those who will not believe in God, or got misled by Satan from the right path will have the same punishment, Hell, and people have to pay attention because Satan and his people can see you but you can't.
Folio from Walters manuscript W.552 with a text page containing an illuminated heading in gold ink for chapter 7
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