English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 7: Al-Araf — The Elevated Places (Revealed at Makkah: 24 sections, 206 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 7:11–7:25): The Devil’s Opposition to Man


وَ لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنٰکُمۡ ثُمَّ صَوَّرۡنٰکُمۡ ثُمَّ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اسۡجُدُوۡا لِاٰدَمَ ٭ۖ فَسَجَدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِیۡسَ ؕ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ مِّنَ السّٰجِدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱﴾

7:11 And We indeed created you, then We fashioned you, then We said to the angels: Be submissive to Adam.1 So they submitted, but not Iblīs; he was not of those who submitted.

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَکَ اَلَّا تَسۡجُدَ اِذۡ اَمَرۡتُکَ ؕ قَالَ اَنَا خَیۡرٌ مِّنۡہُ ۚ خَلَقۡتَنِیۡ مِنۡ نَّارٍ وَّ خَلَقۡتَہٗ مِنۡ طِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۲﴾

7:12 He said: What hindered you from submitting when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he; You have created me of fire, while him You did create of dust.2

قَالَ فَاہۡبِطۡ مِنۡہَا فَمَا یَکُوۡنُ لَکَ اَنۡ تَتَکَبَّرَ فِیۡہَا فَاخۡرُجۡ اِنَّکَ مِنَ الصّٰغِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳﴾

7:13 He said: Then get forth from this (state), for it is not for you to behave proudly in it. Go forth, therefore, surely you are a degraded one.

قَالَ اَنۡظِرۡنِیۡۤ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ یُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴﴾

7:14 He said: Grant me respite till the day when they are raised.3

قَالَ اِنَّکَ مِنَ الۡمُنۡظَرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾

7:15 He said: Surely you are granted respite.

قَالَ فَبِمَاۤ اَغۡوَیۡتَنِیۡ لَاَقۡعُدَنَّ لَہُمۡ صِرَاطَکَ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمَ ﴿ۙ۱۶﴾

7:16 He said: As You have judged me to be in error, I will certainly lie in wait for them in Your straight path,

ثُمَّ لَاٰتِیَنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَیۡنِ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ مِنۡ خَلۡفِہِمۡ وَ عَنۡ اَیۡمَانِہِمۡ وَ عَنۡ شَمَآئِلِہِمۡ ؕ وَ لَا تَجِدُ اَکۡثَرَہُمۡ شٰکِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾

7:17 then I shall certainly come upon them from in front of them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left; and You will not find most of them thankful.

قَالَ اخۡرُجۡ مِنۡہَا مَذۡءُوۡمًا مَّدۡحُوۡرًا ؕ لَمَنۡ تَبِعَکَ مِنۡہُمۡ لَاَمۡلَـَٔنَّ جَہَنَّمَ مِنۡکُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾

7:18 He said: Get out of it, despised, driven away. Whoever of them will follow you, I will certainly fill hell with you all.

وَ یٰۤاٰدَمُ اسۡکُنۡ اَنۡتَ وَ زَوۡجُکَ الۡجَنَّۃَ فَکُلَا مِنۡ حَیۡثُ شِئۡتُمَا وَ لَا تَقۡرَبَا ہٰذِہِ الشَّجَرَۃَ فَتَکُوۡنَا مِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾

7:19 And (We said): O Adam, dwell you and your wife in the garden, and eat from wherever you wish, but do not go near this tree or you would be from among the unjust.

فَوَسۡوَسَ لَہُمَا الشَّیۡطٰنُ لِیُبۡدِیَ لَہُمَا مَا وٗرِیَ عَنۡہُمَا مِنۡ سَوۡاٰتِہِمَا وَ قَالَ مَا نَہٰکُمَا رَبُّکُمَا عَنۡ ہٰذِہِ الشَّجَرَۃِ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَا مَلَکَیۡنِ اَوۡ تَکُوۡنَا مِنَ الۡخٰلِدِیۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾

7:20 But the devil made an evil suggestion to them that he might make manifest to them their shame that had been hidden from them,4 and he said: Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree that you may not become angels or become immortals.

وَ قَاسَمَہُمَاۤ اِنِّیۡ لَکُمَا لَمِنَ النّٰصِحِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۱﴾

7:21 And he swore to them both: Surely I am a sincere adviser to you —

فَدَلّٰىہُمَا بِغُرُوۡرٍ ۚ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَۃَ بَدَتۡ لَہُمَا سَوۡاٰتُہُمَا وَ طَفِقَا یَخۡصِفٰنِ عَلَیۡہِمَا مِنۡ وَّرَقِ الۡجَنَّۃِ ؕ وَ نَادٰىہُمَا رَبُّہُمَاۤ اَلَمۡ اَنۡہَکُمَا عَنۡ تِلۡکُمَا الشَّجَرَۃِ وَ اَقُلۡ لَّکُمَاۤ اِنَّ الشَّیۡطٰنَ لَکُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۲۲﴾

7:22 thus he caused them to fall by deceit. So when they had tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden.5 And their Lord called to them: Did I not forbid you that tree, and say to you that the devil is surely your open enemy?

قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمۡنَاۤ اَنۡفُسَنَا ٜ وَ اِنۡ لَّمۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَ تَرۡحَمۡنَا لَنَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾

7:23 They said: Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves; and if You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall certainly be from among the losers.

قَالَ اہۡبِطُوۡا بَعۡضُکُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ ۚ وَ لَکُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مُسۡتَقَرٌّ وَّ مَتَاعٌ اِلٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۲۴﴾

7:24 He said: Go forth — some of you are enemies of others. And there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.

قَالَ فِیۡہَا تَحۡیَوۡنَ وَ فِیۡہَا تَمُوۡتُوۡنَ وَ مِنۡہَا تُخۡرَجُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۵﴾

7:25 He said: In it shall you live, and in it shall you die, and from it shall you be raised.


  1. That what is stated here of Adam is true of all mankind is made clear by the opening words of this verse. Human beings are created first, then fashion­ed, then the order is given to the angels to make submission to Adam, who in this sense typifies a human being. Thus the angels are really required to make sub­mission to every human being.
  2. Not only is Adam created from dust, but all human beings are spoken of as being similarly created; see 3:59 footnote, and see also 18:37, 22:5 and 30:20. As a contrast to man’s creation from dust, the devil claims to have been created from fire. There may be a reference here to the nature of the temperaments of the two classes, human beings and devils. The Quran says elsewhere: “Man is created of haste” (21:37), which means that he is hasty. In like manner the devil’s creation of fire may mean that he is made of a fiery temperament, while the perfect man is humble and meek, being created of dust, which stands for humility and meekness. Elsewhere it is stated that the jinn were created of fire (15:27), and also that Iblīs was one of the jinn (18:50).
  3. The devil’s grip continues only so long as man is not spiritually raised to life. The raising here stands for the spiritual resurrection of man. If the final Resurrection is meant, the significance would be that the devil would mislead man so long as man lives on this earth.
  4. The devil’s suggestions always lead man to the disclosure of his shame.
  5. The covering with the leaves of the garden is the desire to make up by human effort any fault that may have been committed. The clothing that guards against evil, which is spoken of in v. 26 as being the best clothing, explains the meaning of covering here. Divine revelation points out to man the true way, enabling him to cover himself or guard himself against evil. And, further, the state­­ment in v. 27, pulling off from them both their clothing that he might show them their shame shows that covering with the leaves of the garden is an allegorical statement; see v. 27 footnote 1.