Surah Al-Araf: Tracing its significance and teachings

Quran Contributor

Surah Al-Araf is the 7th chapter (Surah) of the Quran. One of the special features of this Surah is that Allah has addressed mankind as ‘O children of Adam!’ in four places in this Surah. In addition, this Surah mentions the historical du’a of Adam (AS) and Eve (AS) asking for forgiveness.

Forgiveness from Adam (AS) and Eve (AS) in Surah Al-Araf

When they were sent to the world after being expelled from Paradise, they realized their mistake and prayed to Allah for forgiveness,

“O Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you do not forgive us (and purify us) and have mercy on us, we will surely be among the losers.” (7:23)

Offer Salah in good clothes

In Surah Al-Araf, it is instructed to perform Salah by wearing good clothes. Because at the moment of performing the Salah, the believer engages in a private conversation with his Lord. That is why Allah instructed us to wear good clothes while praying,

“O children of Adam! Wear clean clothes at every prayer, eat and drink; But don’t waste. Surely Allah does not love the wasteful. (7:31)

Mutual discussion between the inhabitants of Paradise and Hellfire

In the Hereafter, the inhabitants of Paradise will find the truth of all the declarations of the Quran and Hadith. All the people of Paradise will pray to Allah to refrain from being the companion of inhabitants of Hell after witnessing their torment. This incident and their dua are mentioned as follows,

“The dwellers of the Paradise will say to the inmates of the Hellfire, ‘We have found the truth of all that our Lord promised us in the worldly life. Have you not found the promise of your Lord to be true?’ They will say, ‘Yes’. Then a herald will come in between them and proclaim the curse of Allah on the wrongdoers “(7:44)

After this mutual discussion, the people of Paradise will see the terrible torment of the people of Hell and will supplicate to Allah,

“O our Lord! Do not make us partners with the wrongdoers. ” (7:46)

Surah Al-Araf and description of various blessings of Allah

Then in this Surah, the creation of the sky and the earth and its position has been clearly stated. Allah says,

“Indeed, Allah is your Lord, who created the heavens and earth in only six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, and another night chasing it rapidly; and He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Listen, His is the only thing to creation and command. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” (7: 54)

Allah says,

“He is the One who sends the good news of the rain before it rains. Even when the wind carries watery clouds, he is the one who drives them to a dead land. Then He sent down water from the cloud. Then He produces with it all kinds of fruits. Thus He will bring out the dead so that you may reflect. The land which is excellent produces its fruits at the command of its Lord, and the soil which is inferior produces little fruit. Thus do We repeat the signs for people who are grateful.” (7: 57-58)

A detailed description of the call of the Prophets

This Surah mentions some notable incidents in which the Prophets and Messengers came with the call of the Oneness of Allah and the demand for worship. In this Surah, Allah narrates the events of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), Prophet Hud (peace be upon him), Prophet Saleh (peace be upon him), Prophet Lut (peace be upon him), Prophet Shoaib (peace be upon him) and in particular, the events of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh narrated with great assembly. The narration of this Surah gives some insight into the approach taken by the Prophets and the problems they faced in inviting Tawheed (Oneness of Allah). These narrations are very instructive for the callers to Islam of all times.

Allah is the Best Protector, the Forgiver of sins

Then at the end of this Surah Allah reminds us of the special qualities of Him so that we may return to His mercy and surrender before His mercy. The supplication of forgiveness to Allah is mentioned in the teachings,

“You are our only protector. So, forgive us and have mercy on us. Surely You are the Most Forgiving.” (7: 155)

May Allah grant us the grace to build a life by applying the teachings of this Surah. Ameen.