VERSES
206
PAGES
151-176

Name

This Surah takes its name from vv. 46-47 in which mention of A'araf occurs.

Period of Revelation

A study of its contents clearly shows that the period of its revelation is about the same as that of Al-An'am, i. e., the last year of the Holy Prophet's life at Makkah, but it cannot be asserted with certainty which of these two was sent down earlier. Anyhow the manner of its admonition clearly indicates that it belongs to the same period. As both have the same historical background the reader should keep in view the preface to Al-An'am.

Topics of Discussion

The principal subject of this surah is "invitation to the Divine Message sent down to Muhammad" (Allah's peace be upon him), which is couched in a warning. This is because the Messenger had spent a long time in admonishing the people of Makkah without any tangible effect on them. Nay, they had turned a deaf ear to his message and become so obdurate and antagonistic that, in accordance with the Divine Design, the Messenger was going to be commanded to leave them and turn to other people,. That is why they are being admonished to accept the Message but, at the same time, they are being warned in strong terms of the consequences that followed the wrong attitude of the former people towards their Messengers. (Now that the Holy Prophet was going to" migrate from Makkah the concluding portion of the address has been directed towards the people of the Book with whom he was going to come into contact. This meant that the time of migration was coming near and the "invitation" was going to be extended to mankind in general, and was not to be confined to his own people in particular as before.

During the course of the address to the Jews, the consequences of their hypocritical conduct towards Prophethood have also been pointed out clearly, for they professed to believe in Prophet Moses but in practice opposed his teachings, disobeyed him and worshiped falsehood and consequently were afflicted with ignominy and disgrace.

At the end of the Surah, some instructions have been given to the Holy Prophet and his followers for carrying out the work of the propagation of Islam with wisdom. The most important of these is that they should show patience and exercise restraint in answer to the provocations of their opponents. Above all, they have been advised that under stress of the excitement of feeling, they should not take any wrung step that might harm their cause.

Subject: Invitation to the Divine Message

Topics and their Interconnection

In this passage, the people have been invited to follow the Message sent down to them through Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) and warned of the consequences of its rejection. 1 - 10

The story of Adam has been related with a view to warning his descendants against the evil devices of Satan who is ever ready to mislead them as he did in the case of Adam and Eve. 11 - 25

This passage contains some Divine instructions, and contrasts these with Satan's instructions, and depicts a graphic picture of the results and the consequences of the two. 26 - 53

As the Message has been sent down by Allah (Who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in them), it should be followed, for it is like the rain He sends down to give life to the dead earth. 54 - 58

Events from the lives of some well-known Prophets - Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Shu`aib, Moses (Allah's peace be upon them all) -- have been related to show the consequences of the rejection of the Message, and the addressees of Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) have been admonished to accept and follow the Message in order to escape perdition. 59 - 171

As the Covenant with the Israelites was mentioned at the end of the preceding passage, the whole mankind has been reminded very appropriately of the Covenant that was made at the time of the appointment of Adam as the Vicegerent of Allah so that all of his descendants should remember it and accept and follow the Message that was delivered by the Holy Prophet. 172 - 174

The example of the one who had the knowledge of the Message but discarded it, has been cited as a warning to those who were treating the Message as false; they have been exhorted to use their faculties to recognize the Message; otherwise Hell would be there abode. 175 - 179

In this concluding portion of the Surah, some deviations of those who do not use their faculties properly to understand the Message have been dealt with and they have been admonished, reproved and warned of the serious consequences of their antagonistic attitude towards the Message of the Holy Prophet. 180 - 198

In conclusion, instructions have been given to the Holy Prophet, and through him to his followers, about the attitude they should adopt towards those who reject the Message and deviate from it. 199 - 206

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran

ﭑﭒﭓ

ﭿ

قَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

Shakir

The chiefs of Firon's people said: most surely this is an enchanter possessed of knowledge:

Dr. Ghali

The chiefs of Firaawn's (pharaoh's) people said, "Surely this is indeed a knowledgeable sorcerer.

Sahih International

Said the eminent among the people of Pharaoh, "Indeed, this is a learned magician

يُرِيدُ أَن يُخْرِجَكُم مِّنْ أَرْضِكُمْ ۖ فَمَاذَا تَأْمُرُونَ

Shakir

He intends to turn you out of your land. What counsel do you then give?

Dr. Ghali

Who would (like to) drive you out of your land; so, what (is it that) you command?"

Sahih International

Who wants to expel you from your land [through magic], so what do you instruct?"

قَالُوا أَرْجِهْ وَأَخَاهُ وَأَرْسِلْ فِي الْمَدَائِنِ حَاشِرِينَ

Shakir

They said: Put him off and his brother, and send collectors into the cities:

Sahih International

They said, "Postpone [the matter of] him and his brother and send among the cities gatherers

Dr. Ghali

They said, "Put him off, and his brother, (a while) and send among the cities mutterers.

يَأْتُوكَ بِكُلِّ سَاحِرٍ عَلِيمٍ

Dr. Ghali

(And) they will come up to you with every knowledgeable sorcerer."

Shakir

That they may bring to you every enchanter possessed of knowledge.

Sahih International

Who will bring you every learned magician."

وَجَاءَ السَّحَرَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ قَالُوا إِنَّ لَنَا لَأَجْرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحْنُ الْغَالِبِينَ

Sahih International

And the magicians came to Pharaoh. They said, "Indeed for us is a reward if we are the predominant."

Dr. Ghali

And the sorcerers came to Firaawn; they said, "Surely we will indeed have a reward in case we ourselves, are the over comers."

Shakir

And the enchanters came to Firon (and) said: We must surely have a reward if we are the prevailing ones.

قَالَ نَعَمْ وَإِنَّكُمْ لَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ

Shakir

He said: Yes, and you shall certainly be of those who are near (to me).

Dr. Ghali

Said he, "Yes, and surely you will indeed be among the near-stationed."

Sahih International

He said, "Yes, and, [moreover], you will be among those made near [to me]."

قَالُوا يَا مُوسَىٰ إِمَّا أَن تُلْقِيَ وَإِمَّا أَن نَّكُونَ نَحْنُ الْمُلْقِينَ

Shakir

They said: O Musa! will you cast, or shall we be the first to cast?

Dr. Ghali

They said, "O Musa! (Moses) Either you cast, or we ourselves will be the ones casting (first)."

Sahih International

They said, "O Moses, either you throw [your staff], or we will be the ones to throw [first]."

قَالَ أَلْقُوا ۖ فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْا سَحَرُوا أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَاءُوا بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ

Sahih International

He said, "Throw," and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic.

Dr. Ghali

Said he, "You cast." So as soon as they cast, they bewitched (their) fellowmen?s eyes, and overawed them, and came with a tremendous sorcery.

Shakir

He said: Cast. So when they cast, they deceived the people's eyes and frightened them, and they produced a mighty enchantment.

وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ أَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ ۖ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَلْقَفُ مَا يَأْفِكُونَ

Sahih International

And We inspired to Moses, "Throw your staff," and at once it devoured what they were falsifying.

Dr. Ghali

And We revealed to Musa (Moses) (saying), "Cast your staff." So, only then did it gulp whatever they falsified.

Shakir

And We revealed to Musa, saying: Cast your rod; then lo! it devoured the lies they told.

فَوَقَعَ الْحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Shakir

So the truth was established, and what they did became null.

Sahih International

So the truth was established, and abolished was what they were doing.

Dr. Ghali

So the Truth came to pass, (Literally: fell "on them") and void (Literally: became untrue) was whatever they were doing.

ﯿ

فَغُلِبُوا هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُوا صَاغِرِينَ

Dr. Ghali

So they were overcome over there, and they turned over belittled.

Shakir

Thus they were vanquished there, and they went back abased.

Sahih International

And Pharaoh and his people were overcome right there and became debased.

وَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ

Dr. Ghali

And the sorcerers were cast down prostrating.

Shakir

And the enchanters were thrown down, prostrating (themselves).

Sahih International

And the magicians fell down in prostration [to Allah ].

قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Shakir

They said: We believe in the Lord of the worlds,

Dr. Ghali

They said, "We believe in The Lord of the worlds,

Sahih International

They said, "We have believed in the Lord of the worlds,

رَبِّ مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ

Shakir

The Lord of Musa and Haroun.

Dr. Ghali

The Lord of Musa (Moses) and Harun." (Aaron)

Sahih International

The Lord of Moses and Aaron."

قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ آمَنتُم بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ آذَنَ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَمَكْرٌ مَّكَرْتُمُوهُ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لِتُخْرِجُوا مِنْهَا أَهْلَهَا ۖ فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Dr. Ghali

Firaawn (Pharaoh) said, "You have believed in Him before I permit you. Surely this is indeed a scheme you have been scheming in the city that you may drive out its population. Yet you will eventually know!

Shakir

Firon said: Do you believe in Him before I have given you permission? Surely this is a plot which you have secretly devised in this city, that you may turn out of it its people, but you shall know:

Sahih International

Said Pharaoh, "You believed in him before I gave you permission. Indeed, this is a conspiracy which you conspired in the city to expel therefrom its people. But you are going to know.

لَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلَافٍ ثُمَّ لَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

Sahih International

I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will surely crucify you all."

Dr. Ghali

Indeed I will definitely cut up your hands and your legs alternately, thereafter indeed I will definitely crucify you all together."

Shakir

I will certainly cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, then will I crucify you all together.

قَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ

Shakir

They said: Surely to our Lord shall we go back:

Dr. Ghali

They said, "Surely to our Lord we are around (Literally: turning over).

Sahih International

They said, "Indeed, to our Lord we will return.

ﭿ

وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّا إِلَّا أَنْ آمَنَّا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَاءَتْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِينَ

Sahih International

And you do not resent us except because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You]."

Shakir

And you do not take revenge on us except because we have believed in the communications of our Lord when they came to us! Our Lord: Pour out upon us patience and cause us to die in submission.

Dr. Ghali

And in no way do you take vengeance upon us except that we have believed in the signs of our Lord as soon they came to us. Our Lord, pour out upon us patience and take us to Yourself as Muslims."

وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَآلِهَتَكَ ۚ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَاهِرُونَ

Shakir

And the chiefs of Firon's people said: Do you leave Musa and his people to make mischief in the land and to forsake you and your gods? He said: We will slay their sons and spare their women, and surely we are masters over them.

Dr. Ghali

And the chiefs of the people of Firaawn said, "Will you leave Musa (Moses) and his people corrupt in the earth, and leave you and your gods behind?" He said, "We will soon massacre their sons and (spare) alive their women, and surely above them we are vanquishers."

Sahih International

And the eminent among the people of Pharaoh said," Will you leave Moses and his people to cause corruption in the land and abandon you and your gods?" [Pharaoh] said, "We will kill their sons and keep their women alive; and indeed, we are subjugators over them."

قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا ۖ إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

Sahih International

Said Moses to his people, "Seek help through Allah and be patient. Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah . He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous."

Shakir

Musa said to his people: Ask help from Allah and be patient; surely the land is Allah's; He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases, and the end is for those who guard (against evil).

Dr. Ghali

Musa said to his people, "Beseech Allah for help and be patient; surely the earth (belongs) to Allah. He causes whomever He decides among His bondmen to inherit it, and the (prosperous) end is for the pious."

قَالُوا أُوذِينَا مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِن بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا ۚ قَالَ عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ

Dr. Ghali

They said, "We were hurt even before you came up to us and even after you came to us." Said he, "It may be that your Lord will cause your enemy to perish and make you successors in the earth; so He looks into how you do."

Sahih International

They said, "We have been harmed before you came to us and after you have come to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy and grant you succession in the land and see how you will do."

Shakir

They said: We have been persecuted before you came to us and since you have come to us. He said: It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you rulers in the land, then He will see how you act.

وَلَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ بِالسِّنِينَ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

Shakir

And certainly We overtook Firon's people with droughts and diminution of fruits that they may be mindful.

Sahih International

And We certainly seized the people of Pharaoh with years of famine and a deficiency in fruits that perhaps they would be reminded.

Dr. Ghali

And indeed We already took the house of Firaawn (to task) with years (of dearth), and diminution of products, that possibly they would constantly remember.

فَإِذَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْحَسَنَةُ قَالُوا لَنَا هَٰذِهِ ۖ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَطَّيَّرُوا بِمُوسَىٰ وَمَن مَّعَهُ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّمَا طَائِرُهُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Dr. Ghali

Then when the fair (reward) came to them, they said, "This belongs to us, " and in case an odious (thing) afflicted them, they would augur ill by Musa (Moses) and the ones with him. Verily their bird (of augury) is surely only in the Meeting with Allah, but most of them did not know.

Sahih International

But when good came to them, they said, "This is ours [by right]." And if a bad [condition] struck them, they saw an evil omen in Moses and those with him. Unquestionably, their fortune is with Allah , but most of them do not know.

Shakir

But when good befell them they said: This is due to us; and when evil afflicted them, they attributed it to the ill-luck of Musa and those with him; surely their evil fortune is only from Allah but most of them do not know.

وَقَالُوا مَهْمَا تَأْتِنَا بِهِ مِنْ آيَةٍ لِّتَسْحَرَنَا بِهَا فَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

Sahih International

And they said, "No matter what sign you bring us with which to bewitch us, we will not be believers in you."

Dr. Ghali

And they said, "No matter what sign you come up with to us to bewitch us, then in no way are we believers with you."

Shakir

And they said: Whatever sign you may bring to us to charm us with it-- we will not believe in you.

ﭿ

فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ آيَاتٍ مُّفَصَّلَاتٍ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا وَكَانُوا قَوْمًا مُّجْرِمِينَ

Dr. Ghali

So We sent upon them the deluge, and the locusts, and the lice, and the frogs, and the blood, expounded signs; yet they waxed proud and were a criminal people.

Sahih International

So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood as distinct signs, but they were arrogant and were a criminal people.

Shakir

Therefore We sent upon them widespread death, and the locusts and the lice and the frog and the blood, clear signs; but they behaved haughtily and they were a guilty people.

وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّجْزُ قَالُوا يَا مُوسَى ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ ۖ لَئِن كَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

Shakir

And when the plague fell upon them, they said: O Musa! pray for us to your Lord as He has promised with you, if you remove the plague from us, we will certainly believe in you and we will certainly send away with you the children of Israel.

Sahih International

And when the punishment descended upon them, they said, "O Moses, invoke for us your Lord by what He has promised you. If you [can] remove the punishment from us, we will surely believe you, and we will send with you the Children of Israel."

Dr. Ghali

And as soon as the chastisement befell them, they said, "O Musa! Invoke your Lord for us by what He covenanted in your presence. Indeed in case you lift off from us the chastisement, indeed we will definitely believe you, and indeed we will definitely send with you the Seeds (Or: sons) of ."Israel)

فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْزَ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ هُم بَالِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ

Sahih International

But when We removed the punishment from them until a term which they were to reach, then at once they broke their word.

Dr. Ghali

Then as soon as We lifted off from them the chastisement to a term that they should reach, only then did they breach (their covenant).

Shakir

But when We removed the plague from them till a term which they should attain lo! they broke (the promise).

فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ

Shakir

Therefore We inflicted retribution on them and drowned them in the sea because they rejected Our signs and were heedless of them.

Sahih International

So We took retribution from them, and We drowned them in the sea because they denied Our signs and were heedless of them.

Dr. Ghali

So We took vengeance on them, then We drowned them in the main for that they cried lies to Our signs, and they were heedless of them.

وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الْأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا ۖ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَىٰ عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا ۖ وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْرِشُونَ

Dr. Ghali

And We caused the people that were deemed weak to inherit the eastern parts of the earth and the western parts, which We had blessed, and the Fairest Word of your Lord was perfectly (fulfilled) upon the Seeds of for whatever they (endured) patiently; and We destroyed whatever Firaawn (pharaoh) used to work, (i.e., make) and his people, and what they used to trellis. (Literally: to trellis. Understood here to mean build as thrones, palaces and towers).

Sahih International

And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured. And We destroyed [all] that Pharaoh and his people were producing and what they had been building.

Shakir

And We made the people who were deemed weak to mhent the eastern lands and the western ones which We had blessed; and the good word of your Lord was fulfilled in the children of Israel because they bore up (sufferings) patiently; and We utterly destroyed what Firon and his people had wrought and what they built.

وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتَوْا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ يَعْكُفُونَ عَلَىٰ أَصْنَامٍ لَّهُمْ ۚ قَالُوا يَا مُوسَى اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَٰهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ

Dr. Ghali

And We made the Seeds (or: sons) of Israel) pass over the sea. Then they came upon a people consecrating themselves to idols they had. They said, "O Musa, (Moses) make for us a god as they have gods." He said, "Surely you are a people who are ignorant.

Sahih International

And We took the Children of Israel across the sea; then they came upon a people intent in devotion to [some] idols of theirs. They said, "O Moses, make for us a god just as they have gods." He said, "Indeed, you are a people behaving ignorantly.

Shakir

And We made the children of Israel to pass the sea; then they came upon a people who kept to the worship of their idols They said: O Musa! make for us a god as they have (their) gods He said: Surely you are a people acting ignorantly:

إِنَّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Shakir

(As to) these, surely that about which they are shall be brought to naught and that which they do is vain.

Sahih International

Indeed, those [worshippers] - destroyed is that in which they are [engaged], and worthless is whatever they were doing."

Dr. Ghali

Surely, whatever (idols) these (people consecrated themselves to) will be completely annihilated, and whatever they were doing is untrue.".

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