This page contains all verses of surah Al-A'raaf in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الأعراف ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
An overview of the Surah shows that most of the subjects it deals with are related to Ma` ad (Return to the Hereafter) and Risalah (Prophethood). The former appear from the beginning of the Surah upto approximately the end of the sixth section. Then, from the eighth to the twenty first sections, there is a detailed description of past prophets, events about their communities, their reward and punishment and the punishment which overtook them.
In the statement فَلَا يَكُن فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ appearing in the first verse, the address is to the Holy Prophet . ؓ and he has been told: This Qur'an is the Book of Allah sent down to you. This should not cause any constraint on your heart. The word: حَرَج (haraj) translated here as ` constraint' means that ` you should have no anguish or apprehension in conveying the Qur'an and its injunctions lest people belie it and hurt you.' (As reported from Abu Al-` Aliyah - Mazhari)
The hint given here is that Allah who has sent down this Book on you has also made arrangements that you shall remain protected and that takes care of any anguish on your part. Some commentators have said that ` haraj' or ` constraint on the heart' refers to the constraint experienced by the Holy Prophet ؓ who, because of his affectionate concern for people, felt pain when they would not believe despite having heard the Qur'an and its injunctions. To offset this constraint, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has been told that the duty with which he has been obligated is simply to make the call and convey the message. Once this is done, it is not his responsibility to see who becomes a Muslim and who does not. Therefore, there was no reason for him to be anxious.
The statement: فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿6﴾ in verse 6 refers to the day of Qiyamah when people will be asked by Allah how did they receive the messengers and Books sent to them by Him - and the messengers will be asked if they did convey to their communities the message and injunctions Allah had sent them with. (Narrated by Baihaqi from Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ - Mazhari)
It appears in Sahib Muslim on the authority of a narration from Sayyidna Jabir ؓ that the Holy Prophet ﷺ asked people during the address of his Last Hajj: When, on the day of Qiyamah, you will be asked about me - whether or not I have conveyed the message of Allah to you - what will you, then, say in reply? (فَمَا انتم قَائِلُونَ ). All Sahabah present there said: We will say that you have conveyed the message of Allah to us and you have fulfilled the trust of Allah at its best and you have wished and done what was most beneficial for the community. Hearing this, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: اَشھَدُاَللَّھُمَّ Allah, You be witness).
According to a narration in the Musnad of Ahmad, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said: On the day of Qiyamah, Allah Ta'ala will ask me if I have conveyed His message to His servants and I shall say in response: Yes, I have. Therefore, all of you should make sure that those who are present do convey my message to those absent. (Mazhari)
` Those absent' refers to people who were present during that time but were not present at that particular occasion - as well as generations which would come later on. To convey to them the message of the Holy Prophet ﷺ means that people of every time should continue the chain of conveying this message to the generations coming next, so that all children of Adam to be born right through the day of Qiyamah will have received this message.
In the first verse, it was said: وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ ` (And the Weighing on that day is definite). It means that the weighing of good and bad deeds on the day of Judgment is due and true. There is no room for doubt in it. Here, the hint given is that let no one be deceived by the idea that things which usually get to be weighed or measured are things having some weight or heaviness. Human deeds, good or bad, have no body or mass which could be weighed. How, then, would deeds be weighed? First of all, the reason is that the authority of Allah is absolute. He is powerful over everything. Why then, would it be necessary that something we cannot weigh could not be weighed by Allah Almighty as well? Then, other than that, we have before us, in our time, countless new instruments which claim to weigh or measure anything in the world. They no more need the traditional balance or scales or rod or tip. Modern instruments can weigh what nobody ever thought could be weighed, air, electric current, heat, cold, and so many other things. A meter is all you need. Now, if Allah Almighty, the Maker of makers, in His perfect power, could weigh or measure human deeds - with or without a device - what is there in it which would make it to be something far out to believe? Leaving this aside for a moment, the Creator of the Universe does have the power to transform our deeds at some time into a material presence, even give it some shape or form (interesting that people would believe something like this happening in a Speilberg movie, yet squirm at the religious view of things as would come to pass). There are many Ahadith from the Holy Prophet ﷺ ` which confirm that human deeds will appear in particular shapes and forms during Barzakh (the post-death - pre-resurrection state) and Mahshar (Resurrection). Good deeds of a person will, in forms beautified, become the companions of the grave - and evil deeds would crawl all over in the form of snakes and scorpions. A Hadith says that a person who has not paid the Zakah due against his wealth, that wealth will reach his grave in the shape of a poisonous snake to bite him and say: I am your wealth, I am your treasure.
It is said in a Sahih Hadith that Al-Baqarah and 'Al-` Imran, the two Surahs of the Holy Qur'an will come on the plains of Resurrection in the form of two dense clouds and cast their shade over those who used to recite these Surahs.
Similarly, there are countless narrations from Hadith, all authentic and reported reliably, which indicate that once these good and bad deeds of ours pass away from this mortal world, they will transform into particular shapes and forms and be there on the plains of Resurrection in a material presence.
There are even verses of the Qur'an which confirm it. It is said: وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ، that is, ` what people had done in the world, they would find that present there - 18:49.' In a verse of Surah Az-Zalzalah, it is said: مَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ ﴿7﴾ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ that is, ` whoever does good even the weight of a particle shall see it on the day of Qiyamah, and whoever does evil even the weight of a particle shall see that too in Qiyamah.' Things as described here obviously lend to the possibility that human deeds will come in some nuclear form of existence. This is something which needs no further interpretations as what is crucial is the compensation of deeds which will exist and be perceptible.
Under these circumstances, weighing deeds does not remain something difficult or far out. But, human beings are what they are. Given their limited framework of reasoning, they take everything on the analogy of their own present state of being and this is the criterion they have to judge things around them. So used to it they are that they just cannot act otherwise. It is this state of being of theirs which the Qur'an has put in words which appear in Surah Ar-Rum: يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ ﴿7﴾. It means that ` these people know an obvious aspect of mortal life (and that too, not the whole of it) and about the Hereafter they are totally heedless - 30:7.' In their onslaught on the obvious and the perceptible, they will shake the earth and the space to find out the unfound, but the great field of the reality of things the unfolding of which has to take place in the 'Akhirah is something they are totally unaware of
Therefore, in this verse, special care has been taken while saying: وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ (And the Weighing on that day is definite) so that man, all infatuated with the obvious, may not be able to deny the weighing of deeds in the Hereafter - which stands proved from the Holy Qur'an and is the collective belief of the Muslim Ummah.
That there will be the weighing of deeds on the day of Qiyamah is a subject dealt with in many verses of the Holy Qur'an from various angles, and in Hadith, its details abound.
The Weighing of Deeds: A Doubt and its Answer
Out of the details on the weighing of deeds appearing in the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet ﷺ the first to ponder about is the oft-narrated statement that, on the day of Resurrection, the heaviest in weight shall be the Kalimah: لا إلہ إلا اللہ محمد الرسول اللہ (There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). The scale-pan which holds this Kalimah shall outweigh the rest.
Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Baihaqi and Hakim have reported from Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Umar ؓ that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: A man of my Ummah will be brought before the entire creation on the plain of Resurrection. Then, ninety nine of his Books of Deeds will be brought in. Each scroll of his Book of Deeds will be as long as far he could see - and all these Books of Deeds shall be full of sins and evils. This person will be asked if everything written in these Books of Deeds was correct, or had the angels done any injustice to him, or had they written anything there which was not as it hap-pened. He will admit: 0 my Lord, whatever is written there is correct. But, in his heart, he will be nervous while worrying about how would he find his deliverance from this situation. That will be the time Allah Ta` ala will say: Today, there is no injustice for anyone. Against all your sins, We have a testimonial of your being good, with Us, written where, is your Kalimah: لا إلہ إلا اللہ محمد الرسول اللہ (I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger). That person will say: 0 my Lord, what weight this little note will carry against such a big black Book of Deeds? Then, it would be said: No injustice will be done to you. Then, all those Books of Deeds full of sins will be placed in one scale-pan and in the other, this note with the Kalimah of 'Iman on it. The scale-pan with the Kalimah on it shall weigh heavier and the scale-pan with all those sins on it shall turn to be lighter. After having related this event, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: Nothing can weigh more than the name of Allah. (Mazhari)
According to a narration from Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar ؓ in Musnad al-Bazzar and Mustadrak Hakim, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: At the time of his death, Nuh (علیہ السلام) (La ila-ha illallah) لا إلہ إلا اللہ because, should the heavens and the earth be placed in one pan of the scale and the Kalimah: لا إلہ إلا اللہ La Ilaha Illallah in the other, the pan containing the Kalimah shall invariably remain heavier. Other narrations on the same subject have been reported from Sayyidna Abu Said al-Khudri, Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas and Sayyidna Abu-ad-Darda' ؓ supported by reliable transmitting authorities and are spread over in various Hadith collections. (Mazhari)
According to these narrations, a believing Muslim who recites the Kalimah shall always find the scale heavier in his favour, no matter how many sins he carries on him. But, many other verses of the Qur'an and narrations of Ahadith prove that the good and bad deeds of a Muslim shall be weighed. For some, the scale-pan with good deeds will be heavier, for some others, that of sins. The one whose scale-pan with good deeds is heavier will have his salvation while the one whose scale-pan with sins and evils is heavier will have his punishment. For example, in Surah Al-Anbiya' it is said:
وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا ۖ وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ ﴿47﴾
And We shall set up Scales of Justice on the day of Judgment. Then, not the least injustice will be done to anyone. And if there be (good or bad) the weight of a mustard seed, We shall bring it (to account on the scale for deeds) and We are sufficient to take account - 21:47.
And in Surah Al-Qari` ah, it is said:
فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ ﴿6﴾ فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ ﴿7﴾ وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ ﴿8﴾ فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ
Whoever has his scale of good deeds heavy will be in life blissful and whoever has his scale of good deeds lighter, his place will be Hell -101:6-9.
Explaining these verses, Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، said: The believer whose good deeds on the scale are heavier will go to Jannah with his deeds - and the one whose evil deeds on the scale are heavier will be sent to Jahannam with his deeds. (Reported by Al-Baihaqi in Shu'ab al-'Iman - Mahari)
Based on a narration from Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ it has been reported in Abu Dawud: If a shortage is found in the Fara'id of a servant, Allah Ta` ala will ask if that servant has some Nawafil to his credit. If they are there, the shortage of the obligatory will be compensated by the voluntary. (Mazhari)
The outcome of all these verses and Hadith narrations is that the scale will sometimes be heavier in favour of a believer and lighter at some others. Therefore, scholars of Tafsir say that this shows that weighing in Mahshar (Resurrection) will be twice. First to be weighed will be belief and disbelief through which distinction will be made between a believer and a disbeliever. In this weighing whoever has even just the declaration of faith (Kalimah) in the Book of Deeds, his or her scale will become heavier and he or she will be separated from the group of disbelievers. Then, there will be a second weighing of good and bad deeds. In this, the good deeds of one believer will be heavy on the scale while the other will find the scale heavy with evil deeds - and everyone will have his or her punishment or reward in accordance with that. Thus, the subject as dealt with in all these verses and narrations of Hadith becomes synchronized. (Bayan a1-Qur'an)
How Would Deeds Be Weighed?
According to a Hadith narrated by Sayyidna Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ which appears in Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: On the day of Qiyamah, there will come some heavy people whose weight, in the sight of Allah, will not be worth the weight of even a mosquito - and, in support, he recited the verse of the Qur'an:
نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا
that is, on the day of Qiyamah, We will not give them any weight - 18:105 (Mazhari).
And featuring the virtues (manaqib) of Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Masud ؓ there is a Hadith in which the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said: His legs look so thin but, by Him in whose hands lies my life, on the balance of justice for the day of Qiyamah, their weight shall be more than the weight of the mountain of Uhud.
Then, there is the Hadith of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ with which Imam al-Bukhari has concluded his book, the Sahih. In it, it is said that there are two words very light when said but very heavy when weighed on the Scale of Deeds, and with Allah, they are dear, and they are: سُبحَانَ اللہِ وَبِحَمدِہِ (Subbanallahi wa bi-hamdihi : Pure is Allah and Praised is He سُبحَانَ اللہِ اَلعَطِیم Subhanallahil-Azim : Pure is Allah the Great).
As narrated by Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Umar ؓ عنہما the Holy Prophet ﷺ used to say that saying: سُبحَانَ اللہِ (Subhan Allah) fills half of the pan on the scale of deeds while saying: اَلحَمدُ للہ ، (Alhamdulillah) fills the other half.
Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban report with sound authority from Sayyidna Abu۔ ا d Darda' ؓ that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: No deed will be heavier than good morals on the scale of deeds.
And to Sayyidna Abu Dharr al-Ghifari ؓ the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: I tell you about two things doing which is not hard for anyone - but, on the scale of deeds, they shall be the heaviest -(1) good morals, and (2) usually observing silence, that is, not talking unless necessary.
In his Kitab al-Zuhd, Imam Ahmad (رح) has reported from Sayyidna Hazim ؓ ، that angel, Jibra'il al-Amin (علیہ السلام) came to the Holy Prophet ﷺ while someone there was weeping in fear of Allah. Angel Jibra'il (علیہ السلام) said: All human deeds will be weighed, but human tears flowing from the fear of Allah and 'Akhirah is a deed which would not be weighed. Rather, one such tear would put off the wildest fire of Jahannam. (Mazhari)
A Hadith says about a person present on the plain of Resurrection. When he will look at his Book of Deeds, he will notice very few good deeds there. He will be nervous. All of a sudden, something will rise like a cloud and fall right into the scale-pan of his good deeds. He will be told that this was in return for his teaching of the faith which multiplied onwards when people acted in accordance with it, and there was a share kept aside for him with each single follower of his teaching. (Mazhari, from Sayyidna Ibn al-Mubarak)
Tabarani reports from Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: A person who goes to the graveyard with the Janazah, two karats will be placed on his scale of deeds. Other narrations say that the weight of this karat will be equal to the mountain of Uhud.
He has also reported from Sayyidna Jabir ؓ that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: One's first deed to be placed on the scale of deeds will be the good deed of spending on one's family and taking care of their needs.
Imam al-Dhahabi has reported from Sayyidna ` Imran ibn Husayn (رح) ، that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: On the day of Qiyamah, when the ink used by the ` Ulama to write about the religion and its rules will be weighed against the blood of shuhada' (martyrs), the weight of the ink used by ` Ulama will turn out to be more than the weight of the blood of martyrs.
There are many more Ahadith relating to the weighing of deeds as in Qiya.mah. Some of them have been mentioned here as they shed light on the merit and worth of particular deeds.
The mode of weighing deeds as mentioned in these narrations of Hadith seems to be different. Some indicate that the doers of deeds will be the ones weighed and it will be they who would be heavy or light according to their deeds. Some others show that their Books of Deeds will be weighed. Still others prove that deeds themselves would become personified and they will be measured. Tafsir authority, Ibn Kathir, after having reported all these narrations, has said that it is possible that the weighing is repeated several times in different ways and, it is obvious, the full reality of these matters is known to Allah Ta` ala alone - and for doing what one does in real life, it is, for all practical purposes, not necessary to know this reality. Quite sufficient for us is to know that our deeds shall be weighed. If our deeds turn out to be lighter on the scale of deeds, we shall deserve punishment. Then, it is an entirely different matter that Allah Ta` ala, in His grace, by Him-self, or by the intercession of a Nabiyy or Waliyy, forgives us our sins and we stand delivered from punishment. As for the likelihood that some people will have their salvation on the sole virtue of their having said and believed in the Kalimah of 'Iman (La Ilaha Illallah) and all sins accruing to them will be forgiven because of that - as narrated in some of these narrations - that belongs to the exception mentioned above and which is beyond the general regulation and is a special manifestation of the grace and mercy of Allah Ta` ala.
In the two verses the Tafsir of which you have just read through, sinners were warned against the disgrace on the plain of Resurrection and the Divine punishment that would come in its wake. Then comes the third verse which mentions the blessings of Allah Ta` ala and persuades people to accept truth and act accordingly by suggesting that Allah has bestowed on them full ownership and control on the earth and has opened thousands of avenues of comfort for them. It is as if the Master of the Universe has made this whole earth and what it contains a giant warehouse of human needs and comforts, a most compre-hensive inventory of that inside it. Now, what is left for human beings to do is to learn to go in there, take out what they need and use it how they will. Science and technology are essentially no more than a trained method of taking out things created by the Master of the Universe and stored in this warehouse, properly and nicely, and use it soundly and beneficially. One who is short on sense and manners and does not know how to take things out from this warehouse, or does not understand how to use what he has taken out, he remains deprived of their benefits. An intelligent person benefits from both.
In short, Allah Ta` ala has placed all that human beings need on and in this earth which demands that they should be grateful to Him all the time under all conditions. But, human beings are prone to heedlessness. They would not take much time to forget the favours of their Creator and Master - only to return to the same world of things. So, at the end of the verse, it is in a mode of complaint that it was said: قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ (Little you are receptive to advice).