About Surah: Al-Araf
This is a Makki Surah, and it derives its name from the reference to As’haabul Aaraaf, The People of the Heights, who will be made to stand on a raised area on the Day of Resurrection. They will be separated from the others, as their matter will appear to be undecided, and the most common explanation for this segregation is that their righteous and evil deeds will be equal when weighed on the scales.
Following a brief introduction, the surah narrates the story of Adam (AS) and his wife, particularly how they were deceived by Satan who worked to expose their modesty. Allaah (SWT) then addresses the readers as Children of Adam to warn them against the plots of Satan, especially those targeting their modesty. Prophets of the past nations are then mentioned – Noah, Hud, Saalih, Shuayb, Lut, and Musa – with more elaboration on the last one since his followers were still present and the invitation of Islam extended to them.
The Children of Israel are again reminded of the favors they received from Allaah (SWT) and that the coming of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was already known through the revelations they had previously received. The important incident of them violating the sacredness of the day of Sabbath by setting up nets to catch fish when it was prohibited to engage in any work of the world is narrated in detail in this surah and the consequences of their trying to deceive their Lord.
Further, it is described how Allaah (SWT) took an oath from each descendant of Adam (AS) to worship Allaah (SWT) alone and not associate anyone as partners with Him. This lays the foundation of Tawheed in the heart of each individual and leaves no room for any excuse of ignorance for not recognizing that there is only God worthy of worship. The surah concludes by reiterating upon the believers to worship Allaah (SWT) alone, and to seek guidance through His revelation.