LESSONS IN SURAH AL-A’RAF AYAH 175

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And recite to them, [O Muhammad], the news of him to whom we gave [knowledge of] Our signs, but he detached himself from them; so Satan pursued him, and he became of the deviators.”

It is well-known that this honorable Ayah was revealed about a man from the Children of Israel in ancient times, according to Ibn Mas`ud and several others among the Salaf. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “He is a man from the city of the tyrants (Jerusalem) whose name was Bal`am and who knew Allah’s Greatest Name.” `Ali bin Abi Talhah also reported that Ibn `Abbas that he said,

“When Prophet Musa and those with him went to the city of the tyrants (Jerusalem), the cousins of Bal`am and his people came to him and said, `Musa is a strong man, and he has many soldiers. If he gains the upper hand over us, we will be destroyed. Therefore, supplicate to Allah that He prevents Musa and those with him from prevailing over us.’ Bal`am said, `If I supplicate to Allah that He turns back Musa and those with him, I will lose in this life and the Hereafter.’ “

So they kept luring and begging him until he was tempted by the trial and went on his donkey towards Mount Husban, which was behind the Israelite military barracks. When he proceeded on the Mount for a while, the donkey sat down and refused to proceed. He got off the donkey and struck it until it stood up again and he rode it. The donkey did the same after a little while, and he struck it again until it stood up… So he proceeded and tried to supplicate against Musa and his people. However, Allah made his tongue mention his people with evil and the Children of Israel with good instead of his people, who protested,

“O Bal`am! What are you doing You are supplicating for them and against us!” He said, “It is against my will. This is a matter that Allah has decided.” He then said to them, as his tongue was made to flicker out of his mouth, “Now I have lost this life and the Hereafter.”

 

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Source of Explanation: Tafsir Ibn-e-Kathir                      Graphic Shared By: Sr. Shazia Nawaz

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