Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 157 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 157
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.
“Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper.”
[To-day this mercy is for] those who follow the ummi Prophet, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel with them. He enjoins upon them what is good and forbids them what is evil. He makes the clean things lawful to them and prohibits all corrupt things, and removes from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them. So those who believe in him and assist him, and succour him and follow the Light which has been sent down with him, it is they who shall prosper.
Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16), – he commands them for Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah’s Covenant), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him (Muhammad SAW), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Quran) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.
Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honour him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they are the successful.
The ones who closely follow the Messenger, the Prophet, the illiterate one, whom they find written down in their presence in the Tawrah (the Book revealed to Mûsa (Moses) and the Injil, (the Book revealed to Îsa (Jesus) commanding them to beneficence, and forbidding them maleficence, making lawful for them the good things, and prohibiting for them the wicked things, and ridding them of their obligation and the shackles that were upon them. So the ones who believe in him, and rally to him (in assistance) and vindicate him, and closely follow the light that has been sent down with him, those are they (who) are the prosperers.”.
who follow the Messenger- the unlettered prophet they find described in the Torah that is with them, and in the Gospel- who commands them to do right and forbids them to do wrong, who makes good things lawful to them and bad things unlawful, and relieves them of their burdens, and the iron collars that were on them. So it is those who believe him, honour and help him, and who follow the light which has been sent down with him, who will succeed.’
Quran 7 Verse 157 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-A’raf ayat 157, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(7:157) [To-day this mercy is for] those who follow the ummi Prophet,  whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel with them. He enjoins upon them what is good and forbids them what is evil. He makes the clean things lawful to them and prohibits all corrupt things, and removes from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them. So those who believe in him and assist him, and succour him and follow the Light which has been sent down with him, it is they who shall prosper.
112. The preceding verse concludes God’s response to Moses’ prayer. This was the appropriate moment to invite the Israelites to follow the Message preached by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The upshot of what is being said here is that people can even now attain God’s mercy exactly as they could in the past. These conditions require that people should now follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), since refusal to follow a Prophet after his advent amounts to gross disobedience to God. Those who do not commit themselves to follow the Prophet (peace be on him) cannot attain the essence of piety, no matter how hard they try to make a pretence of it by observing the minor details of religious rituals generally associated with piety.
Likewise, the Israelites had been told that paying Zakah was essential to win God’s mercy. However, payment of Zakah is meaningless unless one supports the struggle to establish the hegemony of truth which was being carried on under the leadership of the Prophet (peace be on him). For unless one spends money to exalt the word of God, the very foundation of Zakah are lacking, even if a person spends huge amounts in the way of charity. They were also reminded that they had been told in the past that God’s mercy was exclusively for those who believed in His Revelation. Now those who rejected the Revelation received by Muhammad (peace be on him) could never be considered believers in Revelation no matter how zealously they claim to believe in the Torah.
Reference to the Prophet (peace be on him) in this verse as umimi is significant as the Israelites branded all other nations as Gentiles (ummis). Steeped in racial prejudice, they did not consider members of other nations as their equals, let alone accept any person not belonging to them as a Prophet. The Qur’an also states the Jewish belief that they would not be taken to ask for whatever they might do to non-Jews. See (Al’Imran 3: 75). Employing the same term which they themselves had used, the Qur’an tells them that their destiny was linked with the ummi Prophet. By obeying him they would become deserving of God’s mercy. As for disobedience to the Prophet (peace be on him). it would continue to arouse God’s wrath which had been afflicted upon them for centuries.
113. Pointed and repeated reference to the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) is made in the Bible. (See Deuteronomy 18: 19; Matthew 21: 33-46; John 1: 19-25; 14: 15-17, 25-30; 15: 25-26; 16: 7-15.)
114. The Prophet declares the pure things which they had forbidden as lawful, and the impure things which they had legitimized as unlawful.
115. The Israelites had fettered their lives by undue restrictions which had been placed on them by the legal hair-splitting of their jurists, the pietistic exaggerations of their spiritual leaders, the introduction of superstitions and self-contrived laws and regulations by, their masses. The Prophet, by relieving them of every unnecessary burden and releasing them from every unjustified restriction, in fact liberated their shackled lives.
157. Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written of with them in the Tawrah and the Injil, — he commands them to do good; and forbids them from evil; he makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things, he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.
(Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the Tawrah and the Injil,) This is the description of the Prophet Muhammad in the Books of the Prophets. They delivered the good news of his advent to their nations and commanded them to follow him. His descriptions were still apparent in their Books, as the rabbis and the priests well know. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sakhr Al-`Uqayli said that a bedouin man said to him, “I brought a milk-producing camel to Al-Madinah during the life time of Allah’s Messenger. After I sold it, I said to myself, `I will meet that man (Muhammad) and hear from him.’ So I passed by him while he was walking between Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I followed them until they went by a Jewish man, who was reading from an open copy of the Tawrah. He was mourning a son of his who was dying and who was one of the most handsome boys. The Messenger of Allah asked him (the father),
(I ask you by He Who has sent down the Tawrah, do you not find the description of me and my advent in your Book) He nodded his head in the negative. His son said, `Rather, yes, by He Who has sent down the Tawrah! We find the description of you and your advent in our Book. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. ‘ The Prophet said (to the Companions),
(Stop the Jew (the father) from (taking care of) your brother (in Islam).) The Prophet then personally took care of the son’s funeral and led the funeral prayer on him.”’ This Hadith is sound and is supported by a similar Hadith in the Sahih narrated from Anas. Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Muthanna said that `Ata’ bin Yasar said, “I met `Abdullah bin `Amr and asked him, `Tell me about the description of Allah’s Messenger in the Tawrah.’ He said, `Yes, by Allah! He is described in the Tawrah, just as he is described in the Qur’an,
(O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner.) ﴿33:45﴾ as a safe refuge for the unlettered ones. `You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you `Al-Mutawakkil’ (who trusts in Allah), not hard or harsh.’ Neither uttering foul speech in the markets nor returning evil deed with one in kind. Rather, he forgives and forgoes. Allah will not end his life until He straightens through him the crooked religion, so that they might proclaim, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.’ He will open through him sealed hearts, deaf ears and blind eyes.”’ `Ata’ then said, “I also met Ka`b and asked him the same question, and his answer did not differ from `Abdullah’s answer, even concerning one letter. ” Al-Bukhari recorded it from `Abdullah bin `Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari ﴿up to the word﴾ forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of `Abdullah bin `Amr then he said; “It was common in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures as the Tawrah, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.” Allah’s statement,
(He commands them to do good; and forbids them from evil;) This is the description of the Messenger of Allah in previous Books. These were the true qualities of our Messenger , as well, for he only ordained good and forbade evil. We should mention here that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “When you hear Allah’s statement,
(O you who believe!), then pay it your full attention, for it is a good that you are being commanded, or an evil that you are being forbidden.” And the most important and greatest of these commands and prohibitions, is that Allah has sent the Messenger to order worshipping Him Alone without partners and forbid worshipping others besides Him. This is the Message that Allah has sent all Messengers with before Muhammad , just as Allah said,
(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah, and avoid the Taghut (false deities)”)﴿16:36﴾. Allah’s statement,
(He makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things,) meaning, he makes the Bahirah, Sa’ibah, Wasilah and Ham, etc., lawful. They were prohibitions that they invented which were only hard for themselves. He also forbids them from evil things, such as the flesh of the pig, Riba, and foods that were treated as lawful although Allah the Exalted had forbidden them. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported this from Ibn `Abbas. Allah’s statement,
(He (Muhammad) releases them from their heavy burdens, and from the fetters that were upon them.) indicates that Muhammad came with leniency and an easy religion. As mentioned in the Hadith recorded from many routes that Allah’s Messenger said,
(I was sent with the easy way of Hanifiyyah ﴿monotheism﴾) The Prophet said to the two Commanders he appointed, Mu`adh and Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, when he sent them to Yemen,
(Bring glad tidings and do not drive people away, make things easy and do not make them difficult, obey each other and do not differ among yourselves). Abu Barzah Al-Aslami, the Prophet’s Companion, said, “I accompanied the Messenger of Allah and saw how easy he was. The nations that were before us had things made difficult for them in their laws. Allah made the law encompassing and easy for this Ummah. Hence the statement of the Messenger of Allah,
(Allah has forgiven my Ummah for what occurs in themselves, as long as they do not utter it or act upon it.) The Prophet said,
(My Ummah was forgiven (by Allah) unintentional errors, forgetfulness and what they are forced to do.)” This is why Allah has guided this Ummah to proclaim,
(“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.) ﴿2:286﴾ It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that ﴿the Prophet said that﴾ Allah the Exalted said after every one of these supplications, “I shall accept (your supplication).” Allah’s statement,
(So those who believe in him, honor him, help him.) refers to respecting and honoring Muhammad ,
(and follow the light which has been sent down with him,) the Qur’an and the revelation ﴿Sunnah﴾ that the Prophet delivered to mankind,
(it is they who will be successful.) in this life and the Hereafter.
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