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al-A`raf (The Heights, The Elevated Places)
as rendered by Shabbir Ahmed
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Shabbir Ahmed rendition of Surah The Heights, The Elevated Places(al-A`raf)
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7:1 A.L.M.S. Alif. Lam. Mim. Saad. Allah Aleem, the Knower; As-Sadiq, the Truthful, states that,
7:2 This Book, a Divine Writ, has been revealed to you (O Messenger). Let it not burden your chest. It has been revealed to you so that you may caution your fellow human beings against the consequences of their wrong actions. This is a Reminder for those who attain belief.
7:3 O People! Follow what has been sent to you from your Lord and follow no masters other than Him. How seldom do you keep this in mind!
7:4 (You will find ample documentation in history that when communities ignored Our Permanent Value System they met with destruction.) How many a community Our Law of Requital has annihilated! Our Requital visited them by night, or while they slept at noon.
7:5 They had no plea when Our Requital came to them, but they said, "We were indeed unjust, and used to oppress the vulnerable."
7:6 We will certainly question those to whom Our Messengers were sent, and verily We will question the Messengers.
7:7 We shall recount the whole story for them, for We were never absent in Time and Place.
7:8 The scales on that Day will be truly equitable. Those whose constructive deeds are heavy, will prosper.
7:9 And those whose scales are light, will be the ones who have put their 'Self' in loss. This is because they used to replace Our Revelations with man-made dogmas.
7:10 (Take heed before the final scales are set). We have placed you on earth and given you means for a fulfilling life. How seldom are you grateful! (Being grateful is sharing Allah's bounties with others (16:114), (31:12)).
7:11 We created you, then shaped you, then told the angels, "Be of service to Adam! And they agreed to be of service, all but Iblis (Satan). He was not of the subservient.
7:12 God said, "What stopped you from being subservient when I ordered you?" Iblis responded, "I am better than he. You created me from fire, and him from clay." (Emotions are fiery in relation to sound judgment. The criterion of honor is not lineage, color, caste or nation. It is nothing but good conduct (49:13)).
7:13 (Recall that many of the verses of the Qur'an are allegorical.) God said, "You are dismissed and degraded hence. It is not for you to be arrogant here. Go forth, then! Among the humiliated you shall be."
7:14 He (Iblis) said, "Give me respite till the Day they are raised up."
7:15 The request was granted, " Be among those who are given respite."
7:16 Iblis said, "Since You have willed that I go astray, I will lurk in ambush for them in Your Straight Path."
7:17 "Then I will assault them openly and secretly, through their strengths and through their weaknesses. And You will not find most of them grateful (for Your Guidance)."
7:18 He said, "Go forth from here, degraded and banished. Whoever follows you among them, I will surely fill hell with you all."
7:19 " O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden and eat from whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become wrong doers." (Contrary to the popular beliefs that the Forbidden Tree was the tree of knowledge, fruit of this plant and that plant, or of sexual charms, it refers to humanity dividing itself like the branches of a tree (2:35-36), (2:213), (20:120)).
7:20 Then Satan deceived them in order to reveal their imperfections and fallibility to them. He said, "Your Lord forbade this tree lest you become angels or become immortals." (The selfish desire of humans prompted them to think about their own children rather than the collective good. That would, in a way, give them power and immortality).
7:21 And Satan swore to both, man and woman, "I am a sincere advisor to you."
7:22 So by deceit Satan brought about their downfall. They tasted of the tree of discord and started to divide into branches. (Personal interest dominated their minds rather than the collective good of all. Humanity began to fall into mutual contention). Soon their imperfections became obvious and they tried to conceal them in vain with superficial courtesy. Then came a reminder from their Lord, "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan is your open enemy?"
7:23 They said, "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. Unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will certainly be lost." (Man and woman accepted responsibility acknowledging that they had free will as against Satan who had ascribed his disobedience to the Will of Allah (7:16))
7:24 (Self interests of people had given rise to unjust marking of land and individual hoarding. Suppression of the weak had begun). Allah told them that they had fallen down from the high station of humanity. They had ignored the Law that "Mankind is one community" (10:19). From then on, they would live as tribes and nations, enemies to one another, "There will be for you on land an abode and sustenance for a while."
7:25 He said, "You shall live in the earth and die there and be resurrected from there." (In the meantime they could regain their lost paradise if they followed the Divine Commands (2:213)).
7:26 O Children of Adam! We have provided you with garments to cover your bodies as well as to adorn you. The best garment for you to wear, in addition, is good conduct. Your character decorates you inside out. These are the verses of Allah that they must take to heart.
7:27 O Children of Adam! Let not your selfish desire deceive you as it deceived your ancestors, caused them to lose their paradise, and exposed their imperfections. A host of selfish and rebellious desires lurk within you. You can't even see them but these Satans see you and befriend those who do not believe.
7:28 (As an example) when people commit an indecency they say, "We found our forefathers doing it and Allah has enjoined it upon us." (Made it natural for us). Say (O Prophet), "Allah never enjoins indecency. Do you attribute to Allah of which you have no knowledge?"
7:29 Say (O Messenger), "My Lord enjoins justice and moderation and to stand devoted to Him alone in complete obedience. Call unto Him, sincere in your Faith in Him alone. He it is Who brought you into being in the first place, and to Him you will return." (And this is how you can regain your lost Paradise in both worlds).
7:30 But there will be two parties among people. Some of them will walk aright according to the Divine Laws of Guidance while others will ally with Satans as their friends. They take their religious leadership as their masters instead of Allah, and think that they are rightly guided (7:3), (22:13).
7:31 O Children of Adam! Subservience and obedience to the Divine Commands ensures for you adornment and nice things in life. So enjoy Allah's Bounties, but do not commit excesses. Allah does not love the wasters.
7:32 Say, "Who has forbidden the beauty and nice things Allah has brought forth for His servants, and the pure clean things of your choice?" Say, "Such things are for those in this world who practically believe in the Divine Laws. And on the Day of Resurrection they will be exclusively for those who attained Conviction." We thus explain Our Laws for those who make good use of what they learn".
7:33 Say, "My Lord forbids only: Indecent shameful deeds, open or secret. Actions that hurt the "Self" and drag down the individual and collective human potential. Unjust aggression. Idol worship in any form. It has been completely unauthorized by Allah. And that you say things about Allah that you know not."
7:34 All nations and communities determine the terms of their Rise and Fall in accordance with these Divine Laws. And these Laws work with meticulous timing, without delay and without hastening.
7:35 O Children of Adam! (I had revealed in the early stages of human civilization that I will keep sending My Guidance to you (2:213)). So, when Messengers of your own come to you narrating My Messages, those who will walk aright and mend their ways, will have nothing to fear or grieve.
7:36 On the other hand, those who reject Our Revelations and scorn them, will dwell in the Hellfire to live therein, forever.
7:37 Who can do a greater wrong than the one who invents lies about Allah, or belies His Revelations? They get their due share according to the Law of Respite till Our couriers of death come to them saying, "Where are those on whom you called besides Allah?" They will respond, " They have left us hanging." Then they will testify against themselves that they had been disbelievers.
7:38 Allah will command them to join the previous rural and urban communities into the Fire. Every later group will blame the former, "Our Lord! These are the ones who misled us; double their punishment." He will say, "The punishment is doubled for both." (The first group violated the Laws and misled others, and the second group was guilty of blind following and misleading their successors).
7:39 The first nation will say to the last, "You are not the least bit better than us. So taste the doom for what you earned."
7:40 Those who deny Our Messages, and scorn them, the gates of Heaven will not be opened for them. And they will not enter the Garden until the camel goes through the eye of a needle. This is how We recompense the guilty. (Likewise nations that ignore the Divine Laws will utterly fail to establish a paradise on earth).
7:41 Hell is their bed and their covering as well. This is how We recompense the guilty, those who steal the fruit of others' labor and thus violate human rights. (Nations that fail to build their own paradise on earth only lurk on hellish ground. They have a ceiling of chaos keeping them from rising in the community of nations).
7:42 On the other hand, those who attain conviction in Divine Laws and work to augment the individual and collective potential of humanity, will succeed in attaining paradise of their own making (3:136). (The paradise of people's own making will never be lost; it will be their heritage in the life to come (2:25), (3:133), (55:45-47)). We never assign goals to people that are beyond their capacity.
7:43 (In earthly life human beings conceal many negative feelings that they have towards others even though they may have cordial relations with them). We will remove all negative emotions from their hearts. There will be no such feelings amongst the dwellers of earthly and heavenly Paradise wherein streams will flow. (The blessings of such a Social Order would be everlasting!) They will say: "All Praise is due to Allah Who has guided us to such a beautiful destination. Without Divine guidance we would never have reached this place. Allah's Messengers brought to us this Truth. It will be proclaimed: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited; and since you have inherited this Paradise as a result of your own effort, you will not be expelled from it."
7:44 The dwellers of the Garden will call out to the dwellers of the Fire, "We have found that what our Sustainer promised us has come true. Have you too, found that what your Sustainer promised you has come true?" They will answer, "Yes!" Then from their midst a voice will proclaim, "Allah rejects the oppressors who wrongfully violated human rights."
7:45 They hindered men and women from the Path of Allah and tried to make it crooked, thus practically denying the Law of Requital and the life Hereafter.
7:46 Between the people of Paradise and Hell there will be a veil. On the Heights there will be people with insight who will recognize others by their looks. They will greet those who, in their estimate, are worthy of entering the Garden, with "Peace!" (2:143), (4:41), (56:10-11).
7:47 When they turn to the ones who have been living a hellish life, they will say, "Our Lord! Keep us away from the ways of the wrongdoers and violators of human rights."
7:48 The people on the Heights will recognize another group and say to them, "How did your multitude, the wealth you amassed and the things you took pride in, help you?"
7:49 And pointing to the dwellers of the Garden, they will say, "Are these not the people about whom you used to swear that Allah will never bestow His Grace upon them? They are entering the Garden where there will be no fear or grief." (They will make it clear that the Divine Law favors no particular peoples. Obeying His Laws brings His Grace and Bounties"). Follow His Laws and, "Enter the paradise of your own making, the society where there shall be no fear nor grief."
7:50 The dwellers of Hell will say to the dwellers of Paradise, "Give us something of the life-giving resources and the provisions bestowed on you by Allah." They will reply, "Allah has made these things forbidden to the rejecters of His Laws." (The hellish societies will expect Allah's provisions to be granted to them as free-bees. They will be told that Allah's Bounties can only be achieved by establishing the Right System, and His Law forbids these Bounties to the rejecters.
7:51 Those who took their religion as mere amusement and ritual partying, were deceived by immediate gains of the worldly life (6:70). We will forget them as they forgot the meeting of this Day, and rejected Our Revelations.
7:52 We have given them a Book of Knowledge that explains the Guidance in full detail. It is a Mercy for those who accept it. (It has the Power to change hellish societies into paradise on earth).
7:53 Are they waiting until the consequences stare them in their eyes? The Day the consequences appear, those who disregarded it will say, "The Messengers of our Lord did bring the Truth. Are there any intercessors to intercede on our behalf? Or can we be returned that we behave differently from our past?" They have put their "Self" in loss and their own forgery fails them. (They will seek mediation for their mutual conflicts and long for starting from scratch. Since they have hurt their "Self", they have lost the power of judgment and they would need help. They have been fabricating unworkable systems).
7:54 Verily, your Sustainer is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth in six stages, and is established on the Throne of His Almightiness (10:3), (13:2). He draws the night over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession. The sun, the moon, the stars are committed to serve by His Command. Listen and remember, to Him belongs the World of Creation, and to Him belongs the World of Command. Exalted, He is the Lord of the Worlds.
7:55 (He has the power to revive dead nations). Call unto your Lord humbly and in the secrecy of your hearts. He does not love those who transgress the bounds of what He has ordained as right.
7:56 Hence, do not spread corruption on earth after it has been set in order. Call unto Him in fear and hope. (Fear the consequences of violating His Commands and hope since you know His Promise is always true). Allah's Mercy is close to the benefactors of humanity.
7:57 He is the One who sends pleasant winds bearing good news of the forthcoming rain of His blessings. When the winds carry the heavy clouds, We drive them to a land that is dead. The water then causes all kinds of fruit and vegetation to sprout. This is how We can revive dead people and nations. Herein is a sign for those who pay heed.
7:58 The land that has been well prepared springs up rich produce by the Leave of its Lord. The land that has not been well prepared only yields scant vegetation. (Similar is the situation of nations that wish to come back to life. They need reform at the grassroots level). This is how We explain Our verses from various vantage points for those who are grateful to receive such clear Guidance.
7:59 (Now, We give you a brief resume of the previous Prophets and their nations for you to draw lessons). We sent Noah to his people. He said, " O My people! Serve Allah. You have no other god beside Him. (If you reform not) I fear for you the retribution of an awesome day."
7:60 The chiefs of his people said, "We surely see you in manifest error."
7:61 Noah said, "O My people! There is no error in me. I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.
7:62 I only convey to you the Messages of my Lord. My advice is sincere to you and I know from Allah that which you know not.
7:63 Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from amongst you - to warn you, and to show you the secure path so that you may flourish in Grace?"
7:64 But they denied him. So, We saved him and those with him in the ship, and drowned those who denied Our Revelations. Indeed they were folk blind in arrogance. (A great flood was about to come and Noah was informed. He and his followers built an Ark. They were with him in belief and in the ship, so were they saved).
7:65 To the people of Aad, We sent their brother, Hud. He said, "O My people! Serve Allah. You have no god beside Him. Don't you wish to walk aright?"
7:66 The elite among his people who were disbelieving said, "Ah! We see that you are in folly, and we think that you are a liar."
7:67 He said, "O My people! There is no folly in me. I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.
7:68 I convey to you the Messages of my Lord, and I am a sincere and trustworthy adviser to you.
7:69 Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from amongst you, to warn you? Recall that He made you successors to Noah's people and gave you abundant power. Keep in mind Allah's Authority and Blessings that you may continue to prosper."
7:70 They said, "Have you come to us that we worship Allah alone and give up what our forefathers worshiped? Bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are truthful."
7:71 (Aad were powerful people but their society had gone unjust. Since there is a Law of Respite for nations, they flourished and were unable to see the wrong thus far). Hud said, "Allah's Law of Requital is already hovering over you. Do you argue with me about certain names, false authorities that you and your forefathers have fabricated? And Allah never authorized them (53:23). Then wait for the consequences, and I am also waiting."
7:72 (The people of Aad who inhabited a big empire in the North of Arabia, failed to heed the warning of the Prophet. Then hurricane winds annihilated them (41:16)). We saved him and those with him by Mercy from Us, and cut the root of those who belied Our Messages and would not believe.
7:73 The people of Thamud were successors to Aad. To them We sent their brother, Saleh. He said, "O My people! Serve Allah. You have no other god but He. The Clear Truth has come to you from your Lord. This is the she-camel of Allah, a token for your obedience. So let her feed in Allah's earth and do not harm her lest painful torment seize you." (Their feudal lords controlled land, crop, oases and water resources, and the weak were suffering. Saleh assigned a she-camel as a symbol of their reformation).
7:74 Saleh said, "Remember how He made you inherit the land after Aad and established you therein. You build castles in the valleys and carve out homes in the mountains. So, remember Allah's bounties and do not spread corruption in the land."
7:75 Their leaders said to the believers, "How do you know that Saleh is sent from his Lord?" They responded, "We believe in the Message he has brought." (The bringer of such Sublime Message cannot be a liar).
7:76 (The arrogant leaders and the feudal lords could see their vested interests getting hit, so they decided to reject the Divine Message.) The arrogant ones said to the believers, "We reject what you believe in."
7:77 They killed the she-camel, rebelled against their Lord's Command and challenged, "O' Saleh! Bring the doom you threaten us with, if you are really a Messenger."
7:78 (In their life of luxury, like other strong nations they felt invincible.) The destruction came from under their feet. A powerful earthquake annihilated them, leaving them lifeless in their homes.
7:79 Saleh was grieved that his people disregarded the Message of his Lord. He moved away from the township saying to himself, "O My people! I gave my Lord's Message to you, and advised you sincerely, but you never liked good advisers."
7:80 (Hud, Saleh, and their respective followers, escaped destruction because they believed in the Revelation and took appropriate precautions. The people of Prophet Lot lived by the Dead Sea in Sodom.) Lot told them, "You commit such an abomination that no one in the worlds has done before you."
7:81 You approach men with lust in preference to women. Nay, but you are a people crossing all bounds."
7:82 They said, "Drive them out of your town! These people want to be models of purity."
7:83 We saved him and his followers. But his wife who lagged behind in belief stayed with the crowd, and was destroyed.
7:84 (It was the time when a huge volcano was about to erupt. The Prophet of God had advance knowledge and he moved out at the right time, along with his followers.) And We rained a rain upon them (a huge shower of stones). See now how grievous was the outcome of the guilty.
7:85 (And there was the Nation of Midyan that lived between Madinah and Damascus since around 2000 B.C. They were the descendants of Prophet Abraham's son MIDYAN from his third wife QATOORA. Most of them were traders but they squandered justice and equity in business.) We sent Shoaib (Jethro), their brother, to them (around 1300 BC). He said, "O My people! Obey Allah. There is none else worthy of obedience and Law-giving. Now has come to you the clear evidence of Truth from your Lord. Be loyal to measure and weight in all your dealings. Withhold not from people the things that are rightfully theirs. Do not corrupt the earth after it has been set straight. All this will be better for you if you would but believe. Learn from history about the outcome of the corrupt and the bloody criminals.
7:86 Lurk not on every road threatening travelers, and hindering from the Path of Allah those who believe in Him. Nor seek to make it crooked. Remember, when you were few and weak and how He multiplied and strengthened you. Learn from history about the outcome of the corrupt and the bloody criminals.
7:87 A group among you has believed in what I have been sent with and the other group has not believed. Then have patience (let the believers work their program of reform), until Allah judges between us. He is the Best of deciders."
7:88 The arrogant leaders of his community said, "O Shoaib! We will certainly drive you and those who believe with you out of our town unless you return to our ways." Shoaib said, "Why, even though we detest your ways?"
7:89 "Shall we forge a lie against Allah by embracing your ways when He has rescued us from the wrong? How could we revert to your ways and thus violate the Will of Allah, our Sustainer? Our Lord encompasses all things in Knowledge, (and He knows what is right and what is wrong). In Allah do we put our trust. O Our Lord! Make the Truth triumph between our people and us. You are the best Exponent of the Truth."
7:90 But the disbelieving chiefs of his nation said, "O People! If you follow Shoaib, then truly we will be ruined (as we lose the big profits in our trade)."
7:91 A tremendous earthquake seized them and the morning found them dead in their homes, on the ground.
7:92 Those who denied Shoaib became as though they had never lived there. Those who denied Shoaib, were the losers.
7:93 (The Prophet of God had been forewarned of the oncoming catastrophe and he moved out into the valley along with his followers.) As he was leaving, he said, "O My people! I delivered my Lord's Messages to you and gave you sincere advice. How could I mourn for people who rejected the Truth?"
7:94 We sent no Prophet to a community without Our Law of Requital trying them with adversity and tribulation for their wrongdoings, so that they become humble.
7:95 Then We changed their plight for good till they became affluent. Then they said, "(Hardships and prosperity are just a matter of chance). Even our parents and forefathers have gone through these ups and downs." Our Requital seized them when they least expected it. (To them it appeared sudden, but unjust systems insidiously move towards the consequences).
7:96 If the people of the towns had believed in the Divine Laws and run their system aright, We would have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth. But they denied and what they earned with their deeds seized them.
7:97 Can the people of any community ever feel secure that Our Requital will not come upon them at night, while they are asleep?
7:98 Or do the people of townships feel secure from the coming of Our Requital upon them in the daytime while they play?
7:99 Do they feel secure from the subtle progression of the Divine Laws? Do they think that the Divine Law grants them unconditional security? Only the losers feel secure from the subtle progression of Allah's Law of Requital.
7:100 Is it not a lesson for those who inherit the earth from previous generations that they could suffer similar consequences? Trailing behind in the community of nations is a tribulation in itself. And Our Law can cause their intellectual and perceptual faculties to be sealed and blunted for their failings.
7:101 Such were the communities whose historical accounts We relate to you (O Prophet). Their Messengers came to them with clear evidence of Truth. But they preemptively rejected it, and then stuck to rejection. Or they denied the Truth in blind following since their ancestors had denied it. This is how the rejecters cause Allah's Law to seal their hearts to reason.
7:102 And in most of them We found no bond with their honored stature of humanity (17:70). And We found that most of them slip away from the Permanent Values.
7:103 (Here is another historical account. Moses was the next generation to Shoaib. After the Midyans had risen and declined in the previous millennium), We sent Moses to Pharaoh and his chiefs with Our Revelations and they willfully rejected them. Now see the consequence of the corrupters.
7:104 Moses said, "O Pharaoh! I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.
7:105 It is incumbent upon me that I say about God nothing but the Truth. I come to you with clear evidence of the Truth from your Lord. So let the Children of Israel go with me."
7:106 Pharaoh said, "If you have come with clear evidence, produce it if you are of the truthful."
7:107 Moses presented his argument that he held fast, with vibrant confidence and logic.
7:108 The strength of his conviction shone bright to those present (20:17-21).
7:109 The chiefs of Pharaoh's nation said, "This is some knowing wizard!
7:110 It appears to us that Moses, after gaining some following, plans to throw you out of your land." Said Pharaoh, "Now, what do you advise?"
7:111 After consulting among themselves, the chiefs said, "Put his and his brother, Aaron's matter on hold and send to cities couriers.
7:112 To bring all master debaters to your court."
7:113 The master debaters came to Pharaoh. They said, "Surely there will be reward for us if we are victors."
7:114 He answered, "Yes, verily, and you will be among those who are close to me."
7:115 The debaters said, "O Moses! Either you begin or let us be the first to present our case."
7:116 Moses asked them to begin. When they began they cast a spell on the people's eyes, and struck them with awe, and stunned the assembly with their spellbinding eloquence.
7:117 We inspired Moses to respond with Conviction, and it swallowed the deceptive rhetoric of the debaters.
7:118 The Truth prevailed and their arguments were manifestly proven false.
7:119 Thus were they defeated right there and humiliated.
7:120 The debaters fell down prostrate.
7:121 They were convinced and said, "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds.
7:122 The Lord of Moses and Aaron."
7:123 Pharaoh got annoyed, "You believe in Him before I give you permission! This is a political conspiracy you all have made up in the city, so that you get my subjects out on the streets in rebellion and topple the government. You will see the punishment very soon.
7:124 I will immobilize you in handcuffs and fetters. Then I will crucify every one of you." (Cutting off of the hands and feet on the alternate side refers to immobilization otherwise crucifixion won't be necessary.)
7:125 They responded, "We are determined to turn to the Way of our Lord."
7:126 "Will you persecute us simply because we believed in the Revelations of our Lord when they came to us? Our Lord! Strengthen our resolve and make us die as those who have surrendered to You."
7:127 The chiefs among Pharaoh's people said, "Will you allow Moses and his people to create disorder in the land, and forsake your rule and your gods?" He said, "We will slay their sons and spare their women. We are in power over them."
7:128 Moses assured his people, "Seek help in Allah and endure. Following the Divine Commands will empower you. The earth belongs to Allah, and not to any tyrants. He grants it to His servants according to His Laws (21:105). The ultimate success belongs to those who walk aright in the Divine Light."
7:129 Fearing persecution they said, "We suffered before you came to us and after you have come to us." Moses said, "Your Lord will annihilate your enemy, and you will inherit the earth. Then He will see what kind of works you do."
7:130 The unjust system of Pharaoh and his people began to waver (7:94). When Our Requital struck them with famine, and scanty crop (they found themselves ill prepared for the relief efforts). They should have stopped to think.
7:131 (Instead of reflecting and taking corrective action, they sought the easy way out.) All good that came along, they ascribed it to their own worthiness, and any affliction that struck them, they blamed it on the bad omen of Moses and his companions. Most people know not that there is no such thing as a bad omen or a good omen. People determine their destiny according to Allah's Laws. In that sense, then, omens are with Allah alone.
7:132 They kept telling Moses, "Whatever the Verses might say, whatever bad omens you could bring, or bewitch us with your logic, we will not believe in you" (and will not consider moral reformation).
7:133 Their System was too inefficient to fight off natural calamities, such as, floods, swarms of locusts, diseases of crops, livestock and humans. These were open signs for them to wake up to reform, but Pharaoh and his chiefs were too arrogant to accept responsibility, and too involved in luxury to take action. They were guilty of misrule.
7:134 (The irrational Egyptians continued to remain sunken in superstition.) Whenever hardship struck, they turned to Moses for prayer stating that Allah had a pledge with him, and promising that they would believe and let the Children of Israel go with him. (They did not understand that the pledge of Allah with His Messenger was only that of obeying His Commands and His blessings in return. It did not involve any supernatural phenomena such as miracles).
7:135 When the hardship ran its course according to Our Laws, they would break their promise with Moses.
7:136 They had to meet with Our Law of Requital as they continued to deny Our Revelations and remained heedless. Instead of mending their ways, they tried to annihilate Moses and his people and We drowned them in the sea as they were pursuing Moses and his people, in rage and arrogance.
7:137 We made the oppressed people inherit the east and the west of the land that We had blessed with abundant provision. The Commands of your Lord were fulfilled for the Children of Israel to reward them for their steadfastness. Pharaoh and his people eventually met destruction for violating Our Laws. And We mingled with dust, the great works and fine buildings, temples, palaces, tombs, statues and stately structures of all kinds that Pharaoh and his people had built with so much skill and pride. (The Children of Israel later inherited a sizeable and highly prosperous kingdom including Syria and Palestine under David and Solomon).
7:138 After they crossed the sea (into Sinai (2:50-51)), the Children of Israel passed by some people who were worshiping statues. They said, 'O' Moses! Make a god for us, like the gods they have." Moses said, "You are a folk who wish to lurk in darkness.
7:139 What these idol worshipers are doing is senseless and vain.
7:140 Shall I seek a god for you other than Allah, when He has blessed you more than the other existing nations?"
7:141 Remember, We delivered you from Pharaoh's folk as they were persecuting you. They killed your sons and spared your women. This was a great tribulation you incurred according to the Laws of your Lord, since you had divided among yourselves and became weak (28:4).
7:142 We summoned Moses for one month and ten days to instruct him about the future program (2:51). The complete term would take forty nights, in two stages of thirty and ten to make it easy for him. Before leaving for Mount Sinai, Moses assigned his brother Aaron, as his deputy and told him to keep social order after him and not to be intimidated by the problem makers.
7:143 When Moses arrived at the appointed time, and his Lord spoke to him, Moses said, "My Lord! Show me Yourself, such that I can see You." His Lord said, "You cannot see Me. The best way to see Me is to look at this mountain and think. If you contemplate, you will understand that even a single mountain is made of countless atoms that were scattered. Then consider that you have seen Me." Realizing this, Moses imagined the Glory of His Lord through His signs in the Universe. He was stunned and when he recovered his senses, he said, "Infinite are You in Your Glory! I feel embarrassed and repent at my question. I am among the foremost believers." (The 7,359 feet high Mount Sinai is standing to this day. Therefore contrary to popular literal translation of this verse, its understanding in allegorical terms is preferred. Also, a Prophet of God is unlikely to make a demand to behold God in physical form).
7:144 God said, "O Moses! I have chosen you to be My Messenger and convey My Word to the people. I have given to you My Messages and spoken to you. Hold on to these Commands and be appreciative by sharing My Bounty of Revelations with people."
7:145 We ordained for him in, the Tablets of Law, Enlightenment and clearly spelled out Guidance. And told him, "Uphold these teachings strongly, and tell your people to uphold them. These are excellent teachings. I will soon let you and your people see (how blessed the outcome of compliance will be and) to which abode the drifters will be headed (39:18)."
7:146 The Law stands* that those who are proud on earth without justification will turn away from My revelations. Even if they went through the entire script, and saw clear evidence of the Truth, their arrogance will keep them from believing. When they see the right guidance, they do not accept it, but they readily accept straying. This is because they choose to preemptively deny Our Revelations and to remain unaware of the wisdom in them. (*The consequences according to the Law of Requital, Allah ascribes to Himself, such as "Allah did it.")
7:147 Those who deny our Messages and the meeting of the Hereafter, their works are fruitless. Are they rewarded anything but what they deserved for their decisions? .
7:148 The people of Moses made up a calf out of their ornaments while Moses was on the Mount Sinai. They made it such that blowing into it produced a lowing sound. They didn't even see that it couldn't talk to them or show them any way. Still they chose it as a god, and thus wronged their own "Self".
7:149 When they regretted their action and realized that they had gone astray, they said, "Unless our Lord embraces us with Mercy and forgives us, we surely will be lost."
7:150 Moses returned to his people and was upset and grieved. He said, "You have chosen a terrible thing after me. Do you wish your Lord's Law of Requital to smite you soon (20:86)? He placed the tablets of the Commands among them and questioned his brother, Aaron, very strictly. Aaron explained, "O Son of my mother! These people treated me harshly and took my patience as weakness, and almost killed me. Let not my opponents rejoice, and count me not among the wrongdoers." (Seizing the beard and head is indicative of interrogating harshly. Aaron had been extra patient with their idolatry to avoid division among them (20:94). Aaron, the Prophet of God, preferred SHIRK over Sectarianism. This is how reprehensible sectarianism and division in religion is).
7:151 Moses said, "My Lord! Forgive me, and my brother and admit us in Your Grace. You are the Most Merciful among the gracious."
7:152 Those who chose the calf for worship, have incurred their Lord's Requital, and humiliation in the life of this world. Thus do We requite those who invent a lie.
7:153 Those who have done ill deeds, but then repent and attain belief, for them, afterward, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
7:154 When Moses calmed down, he picked up the tablets, on which was inscribed Merciful Guidance for those who fear violating the Law of their Lord.
7:155 Moses planned for the future. He appointed seventy of his people as officers to prevent the nation from wavering. An earthquake shook them (2:55) and Moses said, "My Lord! You could have destroyed them and me before, if You so willed (when they asked to see God in physical form (2:55)). Would you destroy us for the actions of the ignorant among us? This must be Your trial for us. You have appointed Laws of straying and guidance. You are our Protecting Friend. Forgive us and have Mercy on us. You are the Best of forgivers.
7:156 Ordain for us the good in this world and in the Hereafter. We turn to You with conviction in Your Guidance." God responded, "My punishment is but the Law of Requital, and My Mercy embraces all things. I will specify My Mercy to those who walk aright, spend their wealth on community welfare, and practically believe in Our Revelations."
7:157 (Now the Law has been revealed to Prophet Muhammad.) Follow the Messenger, the Prophet who is a non-Israelite, and who was unlettered before the Revelation (29:48). They find him well described* in the Torah and the Gospel with them. He enjoins upon them the Right, and forbids them the Wrong. He declares Lawful all good things, and declares Unlawful only the unclean things. He relieves people from the burdens they carried. He breaks the shackles that they used to wear, of mental and physical slavery, and brings them from darkness to Light (5:15-16), (65:11), (76:4). Those who believe in him, honor him, support him, and follow the Light that came with him, are the eternally successful. *(Deuteronomy xviii, 15 and 18. Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7 PARACLETOS = COMFORTER, from original Greek PERICLYTOS = THE PRAISED ONE. In Aramaic, MAWHAMANA = THE PRAISED ONE)
7:158 Say, "O Mankind! I am Allah's Messenger to all of you (beyond temporal and geographical bounds). The Messenger of Him to Whom belongs the Dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no god but He. He has Absolute Control over the fountain spring of life and over the Laws of transition to death. So, believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet to whose people no Scripture was given before, and who believes in Allah and in His Words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided."
7:159 The people of Moses were given similar guidance and a section among them was guided and did justice in Truth.
7:160 We set up twelve tribal communities among the Israelites for effective administration. When his people asked for water, We revealed to Moses, "Strike the rock with your staff!" And twelve springs gushed forth from there. (Remember the times when you were in the Sinai desert and there was shortage of water. Moses asked for water for his people and We guided him to a rock under which were hidden twelve springs of water ready to gush forth. Moses, with the strength of his conviction and with the help of his companions, unclogged those springs and each of the twelve tribes found their respective source of fresh cool water (2:60)). Moses had established the Divine system of life. We shall open the Blessings of the heavens and the earth for any nation that accepts these Laws and works for the collective good of humanity. Such abundance with equity is no less than a heavenly "Table spread" that ensures freedom from want for all, in the shadow of Divine Grace. They enjoyed delicious bird meat and vegetation they had grown in the oasis of their own making. That is what the people of Moses were given, "Eat of the good things that We have provided you." After a time, the corrupters in that wonderful society started dissenting. Did they harm us? Nay, they harmed their own "Self".
7:161 And remember, when it was said to them, "Dwell in this town, enjoy Our bounties all along and remain humble before Our Commands. As soon as you enter the gate, your wandering in the desert will end. Remain submissive and We will forgive your faults. We increase the reward for those who benefit humanity." (2:58). Then We commanded you, "Enter the Sacred Land (of Palestine (5:21)) and enjoy the provisions; eat from where you want. Enter the gate humbly and say, HITTATUN, 'Our Lord! Absolve our misdeeds, we mend our ways.' Then do what you say and We shall forgive you your misdeeds and amply reward the doers of good."
7:162 But, some of the wrongdoers began changing the Word of God that was taught to them, and displaced it with their own fabrications. And that resulted in a change in behavior. Our Heavenly Law of Requital caused them to weaken and waver, for they violated the Commands (2:59-61). Detachment from the Ideology made them lose their strength (5:22-24).
7:163 Ask the Israelites about the township (Elat) that was located by the sea, and they had violated the Sabbath. The big fish used to come on the surface in abundance on their day of Sabbath, feeling secure, and did not come up on other days. (But the community failed to persevere, and broke the Sabbath to get a good catch). Thus We tested them to see for themselves how they drift away from discipline.
7:164 The kind-hearted among them kept reminding the violators. And others said, "Why do you preach a people whom Allah's Requital is going to destroy or punish them with a severe torment?" The counselors said, "In order to be free of guilt before your Lord that we failed to advise. And in the hope that they walk aright."
7:165 When they disregarded the reminders, We saved the ones who admonished them. And punished those who transgressed and drifted away from the Command.
7:166 As they persisted with their rebellious behavior, Our Law caused their disposition take a downward turn and they developed apish mentality. We told them, "Be the living symbols of humiliation."
7:167 And remember, your Lord proclaimed that He would raise against them till the Day of Resurrection, people who will persecute them. Your Lord is Swift in Retribution, yet any peoples who mend their ways, will find Him Forgiving, Merciful.
7:168 Our Law caused them to scatter in the earth as sections. Among them some are righteous, and some are opposite. Through the turns of history We have caused them to experience easy and difficult times, in order that they might return to Our Laws.
7:169 But, the succeeding generations that inherited the Scripture, did no better. They became more materialistic, falling for instant gains. Yet, they insist, "We will be forgiven," and won't have to account for it. And they keep longing for material gains. Didn't they promise to uphold the Scripture, and not to say about God but the Truth? And they have studied the Commands in it! The long-term benefit and the abode of the Hereafter are better for those who deal justly with people and walk aright. Do you not use sense?
7:170 Those who hold fast to the Book of Allah, and strive to establish the Divine System, should know that We never squander the reward of the righteous.
7:171 They must recall that the Mount Sinai stands over them as a telling Witness. The mountain could shake with a quake and fall to be level with them but the Divine Guidance is the unwavering Truth (13:31), (59:61). We said, "Hold fast the Scripture We have given you and work the teachings in it, so that you may live upright."
7:172 Your Lord brought forth generations from the Children of Adam, and they have been the living testimony that He creates and provides them with sustenance. "Am I not your Sustainer?" They practically admit, "Yes, verily. We testify." Thus you cannot say on the Resurrection Day, "We were not aware of this."
7:173 Nor will any excuse avail them such as, "It was our forefathers who took false gods and we inherited their belief system. Will you punish us for what falsehood others practiced?" (You will not be questioned what others used to do. No one will bear the load of another (2:134), (39:7)).
7:174 We explain Our Verses in detail so that people turn towards the Book.
7:175 And tell them what happens to him whom We have conveyed Our Messages and he passes them by. So his selfish desire overtakes him, and he becomes of those who lose their way.
7:176 He could have raised himself in honor according to Our Laws, but he clung to the earth and followed his own desire. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog. Whether you pet him or scold him, he pants. Such is the example of people who deny Our Revelations in practice. (The Revelation of Allah lightens your burdens, while man-made dogmas burden you (7:157)). So relate this narration that they may reflect.
7:177 Indeed, pitiable is the example of those who reject Our Verses, since they hurt their own "Self".
7:178 Whoever attains Allah's Guidance according to His Laws is led aright. And goes astray he who violates Allah's Law of Guidance. (4:88).
7:179 Our Law has committed to Hell numerous people, rural and urban; they are living the life of hell. They have hearts that they use not to understand. They have eyes with which they see not, and ears with which they hear not. They are like cattle. Nay, they are even worse. Such are the people who have chosen to live through life in total darkness of ignorance.
7:180 All Names of Allah are the fairest names. You can invoke Him by any of them. Be mindful not to over-emphasize a single attribute of His. (For example, the Merciful God is also a Just God). Disregard those who distort His Names or the meaning of His Attributes (like calling Him, father, son, the man upstairs, the destroyer etc.) Be assured that all of you will be rewarded according to your doings, and by no other criterion.
7:181 Among the communities We have created there have been those who guide with Truth and establish justice with it.
7:182 And those who deny Our Revelations, Our Law of Requital leads them in stages to the miserable destination they have no idea of.
7:183 I give them respite but My Law of Requital is designed to be strong.
7:184 Has it never occurred to them that there is no madness whatever in their fellow-man? He has lived a whole life among you (10:16). He is only a plain Warner.
7:185 Can they not see (and correlate what he tells them with) the Dominion of the heavens and the earth and what Allah has created? Does it ever occur to them that the end of their own life may be near (hence the time to make the right decisions is not unlimited)? What HADITH besides the Qur'an, are they going to believe after him?
7:186 There is no guide for him who misleads himself by violating Allah's Law of Guidance. When he leaves the Law, the Law leaves him wandering in the wilderness of arrogant trespassing (2:15).
7:187 (They even venture into predicting the end of the world.) They ask you (O Messenger), about the Hour, when the end of the world will come to pass. Say, "That knowledge is only with my Lord. He alone will manifest it at the appropriate time. Heavy it is in the heavens and the earth. It will come upon you suddenly." They ask you as if you could gain insight into this mystery with persistent inquiry. Say, "The knowledge thereof is with Allah only. But most people do not know that even Messengers were not given this knowledge."
7:188 Say, "I do not even have the power to benefit myself or to avert harm to myself, contrary to the Laws of Allah. Had I the knowledge of what is beyond the reach of human perception, I would have amassed abundant fortune, and no adversity would ever touch me. I am but a Warner and a bearer of good news for those who believe in the Message."
7:189 (The Message encompasses life in its totality.) Recall that Allah created life from a single life cell, then made male and female cells, and then shaped you into human beings, males and females. He designed it such that man might incline with love towards the woman. When he gets intimate with her, she carries a light load that she can hardly notice. As she grows heavy with the child, they both implore Allah, their Lord, "If you indeed grant us a healthy baby, we shall certainly be among the grateful."
7:190 But as soon as He grants them a sound baby, they begin to ascribe to other powers beside Him a share in bringing about what He has granted them. Exalted is He, High Above all that they associate with Him.
7:191 Do they ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing, but are themselves created?
7:192 And they cannot help them, nor can they help themselves.
7:193 When you invite them to the Guidance, they follow you not. It is the same for you whether you invite them or remain silent.
7:194 Those whom you call upon besides Allah, such as mystics and saints, are people like you. Go ahead and call upon them, let them respond by helping you if you are true in your belief.
7:195 Do the idols have feet to walk, hands to hold, eyes to see and ears to hear? (Likewise, these human demigods have no foundation of Truth to stand on, nor the power to avert Requital, nor the faculties of confronting Reason). Tell the opponents of the Message, "Call upon your idols and your so-called partners of Allah, contrive what you can, and give me no respite.
7:196 My Protecting Friend is Allah Who has revealed this Book, and He befriends the righteous."
7:197 Whomever you call instead of Him, have no power to help you, nor can they help themselves.
7:198 Such people are lost in their reverence of false deities. When you invite them to Guidance, they hear without listening and you see them looking at you, but they see not.
7:199 (O Prophet) hold to pardon, and go ahead with your program of enjoining virtue and disregard the behavior of those who adamantly remain ignorant.
7:200 Seek refuge in Allah's Laws by staying alert to any covert actions of the satanic opponents. He is Hearer, Knower.
7:201 Those who are mindful of Allah's Laws, stay alert to the covert actions of the hinderers and see them with an observant mind.
7:202 The hinderers and their comrades plunge one another deeper into error, and cease not.
7:203 When you do not produce a miracle that they demand, they say, "Why not ask God for it?" Say, "I simply follow and convey what is revealed to me from my Lord." These verses are the enlightening miracle from your Lord, the Guidance and Grace for those who accept them.
7:204 When the Qur'an is read, listen to it with full attention, and listen to it silently, that you may receive Mercy.
7:205 Remember your Sustainer within yourself humbly and in reverence, and without raising your voice, morning and evening. Be not among the neglectful.
7:206 Those who are with your Lord (truly God conscious), are never too proud to serve Him. They strive to establish His Glory on earth by adoring Him and submitting to His Commands.


   


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