Surah Al-A’raf >> Currently viewing Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 160 (7:160)

Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 160 in Arabic Text

وَقَطَّعْنَـٰهُمُ ٱثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا أُمَمًۭا ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰٓ إِذِ ٱسْتَسْقَىٰهُ قَوْمُهُۥٓ أَنِ ٱضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ ٱلْحَجَرَ ۖ فَٱنۢبَجَسَتْ مِنْهُ ٱثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًۭا ۖ قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍۢ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ ۚ وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْغَمَـٰمَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْمَنَّ وَٱلسَّلْوَىٰ ۖ كُلُوا۟ مِن طَيِّبَـٰتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـٰكُمْ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
Wa qatta’ naahumus natai ‘ashrata asbaatan umamaa; wa awhainaa ilaa Moosaaa izis tasqaahu qawmuhooo anid rib bi’asaakal hajara fambajasat minhus nata ‘ashrata ‘ainan qad ‘alima kullu unaasim mashrabahum; wa zallalnaa ‘alaihimul ghamaama wa anzalnaa ‘alaihimul manna was Salwaa kuloo min taiyibaati maa razaqnaakum; wa maa zalamoonaa wa laakin kaanooo anfusahum yazlimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 160

Sahih International
And We divided them into twelve descendant tribes [as distinct] nations. And We inspired to Moses when his people implored him for water, “Strike with your staff the stone,” and there gushed forth from it twelve springs. Every people knew its watering place. And We shaded them with clouds and sent down upon them manna and quails, [saying], “Eat from the good things with which We have provided you.” And they wronged Us not, but they were [only] wronging themselves.

Yusuf Ali
We divided them into twelve tribes or nations. We directed Moses by inspiration, when his (thirsty) people asked him for water: “Strike the rock with thy staff”: out of it there gushed forth twelve springs: Each group knew its own place for water. We gave them the shade of clouds, and sent down to them manna and quails, (saying): “Eat of the good things We have provided for you”: (but they rebelled); to Us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls.

Abul Ala Maududi
And We divided them into twelve tribes, forming them into communities. When his people asked Moses for water We directed him: ‘Smite the rock with your rod.’ Then twelve springs gushed forth from the rock and every people knew their drinking-places. And We caused thick clouds to provide them shade, and We sent down upon them manna and quails, saying: ‘Eat of the clean things that We have provided you.’ They wronged not Us, but it was themselves that they wronged.

Muhsin Khan
And We divided them into twelve tribes (as distinct) nations. We directed Musa (Moses) by inspiration, when his people asked him for water, (saying): “Strike the stone with your stick”, and there gushed forth out of it twelve springs: each group knew its own place for water. We shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them Al-Manna and the quails (saying): “Eat of the good things with which We have provided you.” They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves.

Pickthall
We divided them into twelve tribes, nations; and We inspired Moses, when his people asked him for water, saying: Smite with thy staff the rock! And there gushed forth therefrom twelve springs, so that each tribe knew their drinking-place. And we caused the white cloud to overshadow them and sent down for them the manna and the quails (saying): Eat of the good things wherewith we have provided you. They wronged Us not, but they were wont to wrong themselves.

Dr. Ghali
And We Cut them up into twelve Grandsons, (Moses) nations. And We revealed to Mûsa, as his people asked him for water, (saying), “Strike with your staff the stone!” So there squirt forth from it twelve springs; every folk already knew their drinking-place. And We overshadowed them with mists, and We sent down manna and quails upon them: (i.e. the Tribes) “Eat of whatever good things with which We have provided you.” And in no way did they do injustice to Us, but to themselves they were doing injustice..

Abdel Haleem
We divided them into twelve tribes [as distinct] communities, and, when his people asked him for water, inspired Moses to strike the rock with his staff [so that] twelve springs gushed out. Each tribe knew its own drinking place; We gave them the shade of clouds and sent down to them manna and quails [saying], ‘Eat the good things We have provided for you.’ They did not wrong Us; it was themselves they wronged.

Quran 7 Verse 160 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-A’raf ayat 160, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(7:160) And We divided them into twelve tribes, forming them into communities.[118] When his people asked Moses for water We directed him: ‘Smite the rock with your rod.’ Then twelve springs gushed forth from the rock and every people knew their drinking-places. And We caused thick clouds to provide them shade, and We sent down upon them manna and quails,[119] saying: ‘Eat of the clean things that We have provided you.’ They wronged not Us, but it was themselves that they wronged.


118. This refers to the organization of the people of Israel which has been mentioned in the Qur’an in (al-Ma’idah 5:12 )and also described, at length, in the Bible in Numbers. According to these sources, in compliance with God’s command the Prophet Moses first conducted the census of the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai. He registered their twelve tribes, ten of whom were descendants of the Prophet Jacob, and the remaining two descendants of the Prophet Joseph, as separate and distinct tribes. He appointed a chief for each tribe and assigned to him the duty to maintain moral, religious, social and military discipline within each tribe and to enforce the Law. The Levites, who were descendants of the Prophets Moses and Aaron, however, were organized as a distinct group entrusted with the task of providing religious guidance to all tribes.

119. This organization was one of the numerous favours which God had bestowed upon the Israelites. Mention is made of three other favours bestowed upon them. First, an extraordinary arrangement for their water supply was made in the otherwise arid Sinai peninsula. Second, the sky was covered with clouds such that they were protected from the scorching heat of the sun. Third, a unique meal, consisting of manna and quails was sent down on them. Had this Divine arrangement, catering as it did for the millions of wandering Israelites’ basic necessities of life, not been made, they would certainly have perished.

On visiting that land even today it is difficult to visualize how such an arrangement providing shelter, food and water for millions of people was made. The population of this peninsula standseven today at a paltry, 55,000 people. (it may be noted that this statement was made in the fifties of the present century. However, the present population of the Sinai is 200,000 – Ed.) If a five or six hundred thousand strong army, were to camp there today, it would be quite a task for those at the helm to provide the necessary supplies for the army. Little wonder, then, that many scholars who belive neither in the Scripture nor in miracles, rule out the historical accuracy of the event. For them, the people of Israel camped in an area lying south of Palestine and north of Arabia. In view of the physical and economic geography of the Sinai peninsula, they consider it totally incredible that such a large population could have stayed there for years. What has made these scholars even more sceptical about the event is the fact that the Israelites were not then in a position to procure supplies from either the Egyptians or the ‘Amaliqah’ who inhabited respectively the eastern and northern parts of the peninsula, since both groups were hostile to them. It is against this background that one may appreciate the immense importance of the favours God conferred on the Israelites. Likewise, it also gives one some idea of the blatant ingratitude of the people of Israel since they consistently defied and betrayed God even though they had witnessed a great many divine signs. (See Towards Understanding the Qur’an, vol. 1, (al-Baqarah 2: nn. 72-3 and 76, pp. 76-7 – Ed.)

Ibn-Kathir

160. And We divided them into twelve tribes (as distinct) nations. We revealed to Musa when his people asked him for water (saying): “Strike the stone with your stick,” and there gushed forth out of it twelve springs, each group knew its own place for water. We shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them the manna and the quail (saying): “Eat of the good things with which We have provided you.” They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves. 161. And (remember) when it was said to them: “Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, `(O Allah) forgive our sins’; and enter the gate prostrating (bowing with humility). We shall forgive you your wrongdoings. We shall increase (the reward) for the good-doers.” 162. But those among them who did wrong, changed the word that had been told to them. So We sent on them a torment from the heaven in return for their wrongdoings.) We discussed these Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah, which was revealed in Al-Madinah, while these Ayat were revealed in Makkah. We also mentioned the difference between the two narrations, and thus we do not need to repeat it here, all thanks are due to Allah and all the favors are from Him.


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