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 22 (Verses 7:172–7:181): Evidence of Divine Impress on Man’s Nature


وَ اِذۡ اَخَذَ رَبُّکَ مِنۡۢ بَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ مِنۡ ظُہُوۡرِہِمۡ ذُرِّیَّتَہُمۡ وَ اَشۡہَدَہُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ۚ اَلَسۡتُ بِرَبِّکُمۡ ؕ قَالُوۡا بَلٰی ۚۛ شَہِدۡنَا ۚۛ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ اِنَّا کُنَّا عَنۡ ہٰذَا غٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۲﴾ۙ

7:172 And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their loins, their descendants, and made them bear witness about themselves: Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes, we bear witness.1 In case you should say on the day of Resurrection: We were unaware of this,

اَوۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡۤا اِنَّمَاۤ اَشۡرَکَ اٰبَآؤُنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ کُنَّا ذُرِّیَّۃً مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ ۚ اَفَتُہۡلِکُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الۡمُبۡطِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۳﴾

7:173 or you should say: Only our fathers set up partners (with Allah) before (us), and we were (their) descendants after them. Will You destroy us for what liars did?

وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُفَصِّلُ الۡاٰیٰتِ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۴﴾

7:174 And thus do We make the messages clear, and that perhaps they may return.

وَ اتۡلُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ نَبَاَ الَّذِیۡۤ اٰتَیۡنٰہُ اٰیٰتِنَا فَانۡسَلَخَ مِنۡہَا فَاَتۡبَعَہُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ فَکَانَ مِنَ الۡغٰوِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۵﴾

7:175 And recite to them the news of him to whom We give Our messages, but he withdraws himself from them, so the devil follows him up, and he is of those who perish.2

وَ لَوۡ شِئۡنَا لَرَفَعۡنٰہُ بِہَا وَ لٰکِنَّہٗۤ اَخۡلَدَ اِلَی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اتَّبَعَ ہَوٰىہُ ۚ فَمَثَلُہٗ کَمَثَلِ الۡکَلۡبِ ۚ اِنۡ تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَیۡہِ یَلۡہَثۡ اَوۡ تَتۡرُکۡہُ یَلۡہَثۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ مَثَلُ الۡقَوۡمِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا ۚ فَاقۡصُصِ الۡقَصَصَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۶﴾

7:176 And if We had pleased, We would have exalted him thereby; but he clings to the earth and follows his low desire.3 His parable is as the parable of the dog — if you drive him away, he lolls out his tongue, and if you leave him alone, he lolls out his tongue. Such is the parable of the people who reject Our messages. So relate the narrative that they may reflect.

سَآءَ مَثَلَاۨ الۡقَوۡمُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ کَانُوۡا یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۷﴾

7:177 Evil is the likeness of the people who reject Our messages and wrong their own souls.

مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللّٰہُ فَہُوَ الۡمُہۡتَدِیۡ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلۡ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۸﴾

7:178 He whom Allah guides is on the right way; and he whom He leaves in error — they are the losers.

وَ لَقَدۡ ذَرَاۡنَا لِجَہَنَّمَ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ وَ الۡاِنۡسِ ۫ۖ لَہُمۡ قُلُوۡبٌ لَّا یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ بِہَا ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ اَعۡیُنٌ لَّا یُبۡصِرُوۡنَ بِہَا ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ اٰذَانٌ لَّا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ بِہَا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَالۡاَنۡعَامِ بَلۡ ہُمۡ اَضَلُّ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡغٰفِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۹﴾

7:179 And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the people — they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear.4 They are as cattle; rather, they are more astray. These are the heedless ones.

وَ لِلّٰہِ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰی فَادۡعُوۡہُ بِہَا ۪ وَ ذَرُوا الَّذِیۡنَ یُلۡحِدُوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَسۡمَآئِہٖ ؕ سَیُجۡزَوۡنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۰﴾

7:180 And Allah’s are the best names, so call on Him thereby5 and leave alone those who violate the sanctity of His names.6 They will be recompensed for what they do.

وَ مِمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَاۤ اُمَّۃٌ یَّہۡدُوۡنَ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ بِہٖ یَعۡدِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۱﴾٪

7:181 And of those whom We have created is a community who guide with the truth and with it they do justice.


  1. The verse does not mention the bringing forth of descendants from Adam, but from the children of Adam, and this seems clearly to refer to every human being as he comes into existence. The evidence is, therefore, given by human nature itself. It is, in fact, the same evidence which is elsewhere spoken of as being afforded by human nature as in “the nature made by Allah in which He has created mankind” (30:30).
  2. This verse speaks generally of everyone to whom guidance is brought but he turns aside from it. This view is corroborated by what is stated at the con­clusion of the parable in v. 176, such is the parable of the people who rej­ect Our messages.
  3. Earth here stands for all that is earthly, for things material. The people spoken of here are those who do not care for the higher values of life.
  4. Many people and jinn are created for hell, but they are none other than the heedless ones who do not care for what is said. Allah has not created them differently from others, but they themselves do not use the faculties which Allah has granted them.
  5. By the best names are meant names expressing the most excellent attributes of the Divine Being. By calling on Him thereby is meant that man should always keep the Divine attributes before his mind, endeavouring to possess those attributes.
  6. Violation of the sanctity of His names is of two kinds: firstly, giving Him an improper or inaccurate attribute; and secondly, to interpret His attri­­butes in a manner which does not befit Him.