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Benefits of surah Al-A’raf – lessons and reasons to recite it

With 206 verses, “the heights” is the seventh chapter of the Quran. In Arabic, it is called Surah Al-A’raf which is derived from verses number 46 and 48. It is also called the Purgatory. This Makki Surah contains a Sajdah (the performance of prostration) in its final verse and is one of the longest Surat (plural of Surah) of the Quran. This article is dedicated to the lessons and benefits we can gain from this Surah.

What does Al-A’raf mean?

Al-A’raf refers to a high space that separates heaven and hell. It is the place people with equal good deeds (virtues) and bad deeds (sins) go to. To put it simply, as some Islamic scholars describe it, Al-A’raf is a sort of a gated wall that works as a barrier between heaven and hell. Allah (SWT) says:

 “There will be a barrier between Paradise and Hell. And on the heights ‘of that barrier’ will be people who will recognize ‘the residents of’ both by their appearance. They will call out to the residents of Paradise, “Peace be upon you!” They will have not yet entered Paradise, but eagerly hope to.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:46).

He (SWT) continues in the 48th verse: “Those on the heights will call out to some ‘tyrants in the Fire’, who they will recognize by their appearance, saying, “Your large numbers and arrogance are of no use ‘today’!”. This verse almost carries the same meaning as the aforementioned verse: people of Al-Araf are neither a part of heaven nor of hell. Yet, residents of the heights would recognize both people of heaven and those of hell.

What does Surah Al-A’raf talk about?

The 7th chapter of the Quran too is an invitation to Tawhid (oneness of God). However, the history of humans and Satan, the punishment of God Almighty, and the Day of Judgment are also some of the recurrent themes in this Surah.

What does Surah Al-A’raf teach us?

Like the many other chapters of the Quran, Surah Al-A’raf is also full with lessons and morals. Some of which are as follows:

  • Islam is the true religion and we are all invited to embrace it.
  • Allah’s mercy is infinite and He Almighty has bestowed many blessings upon us.
  • God’s punishment is inevitable for those who dismiss and ridicule His commands as He is the most powerful and judicious.
  • Arrogance can lead to destruction. Islam is a religion of humility and modesty.
  • For last but not least, taking care of one’s image and looks is not discouraged. It is rather promoted especially for Salah Jumuaa (Friday). However, the best garment is that of piety.

Benefits of reading Surah Al’Araf

  • According to some scholars, this Surah acts as a barrier between Satan and its reciter on the Day of Judgment.
  • Reciting this Surah also acts as a witness on behalf of its reader on the Day of Judgment.
  • Strengthening one’s faith and preparing them for doomsday.
  • It is also used in protection from evil and evil eye.
  • Finally yet importantly, it was reported that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) used to recite this Surah for Maghrib prayer. “The Messenger of Allah recited Surat Al-A’raf in maghrib and split it between two rak’ahs” (Sunan an-Nasa’i). This shows how important this chapter is. Hence, we should also do so and follow the prophet’s practices.


All in all, Surah Al-A’raf gives us valuable insight about our life journey and Judgment day. More importantly, it is a good reminder of Allah’s righteousness and just judgment. Thus, it is our responsibility to work hard to gain his grace.

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