Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 176 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 176
And if We had willed, we could have elevated him thereby, but he adhered [instead] to the earth and followed his own desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. That is the example of the people who denied Our signs. So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought.
If it had been Our will, We should have elevated him with Our signs; but he inclined to the earth, and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our signs; So relate the story; perchance they may reflect.
Now had We so willed We could indeed have exalted him through those signs, but he clung to earthly life and followed his carnal desires. Thus his parable is that of the dog who lolls out his tongue whether you attack him or leave him alone. Such is the parable of those who reject Our signs as false. Narrate to them these parables that they may reflect.
And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out. Such is the description of the people who reject Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.
And had We willed We could have raised him by their means, but he clung to the earth and followed his own lust. Therefor his likeness is as the likeness of a dog: if thou attackest him he panteth with his tongue out, and if thou leavest him he panteth with his tongue out. Such is the likeness of the people who deny Our revelations. Narrate unto them the history (of the men of old), that haply they may take thought.
And if We had decided, We would indeed have raised him thereby, but he clung to the earth and closely followed his prejudice. So the likeness of him is like the likeness of a dog: in case you burden it, it lolls (its tongue out), or (in case) you leave it, it lolls (its tongue out). That is the likeness of the people who have cried lies to Our signs. So narrate (these) narratives that possibly they would meditate..
if it had been Our will, We could have used these signs to raise him high, but instead he clung to the earth and followed his own desires- he was like a dog that pants with a lolling tongue whether you drive it away or leave it alone. Such is the image of those who reject Our signs. Tell them the story so that they may reflect.
Quran 7 Verse 176 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-A’raf ayat 176, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(7:176) Now had We so willed We could indeed have exalted him through those signs, but he clung to earthly life and followed his carnal desires. Thus his parable is that of the dog who lolls out his tongue whether you attack him or leave him alone. Such is the parable of those who reject Our signs as false. Narrate to them these parables that they may reflect.
139. Since the statement here embodies a very significant point, it needs to be carefully examined. The person mentioned in the verse as the representative of the evil type possessed knowledge of God’s signs, and hence of the truth. This should have helped him to give up an attitude which he knew to be wrong, and to act in a manner which he knew to be right. Had he followed the truth and acted righteously God would have enabled him to rise to higher levels of humanity. He, however, overly occupied himself with the advantages, pleasures, and embellishments of the worldly life. Instead of resisting worldly temptations, he totally, succumbed to them so much so that he abandoned altogether his lofty spiritual ambitions and became indifferent to the possibilities of intellectual and moral growth. He even brazenly, violated all those limits which, according to his knowledge. should have been observed. Hence when he deliberately turned away from the truth merely because of his moral weakness, he was misled by Satan who is ever ready to beguile and mislead man. Satan continually led him from one act of depravity to another until he landed him in the company of those who are totally under Satan’s control and who have lost all capacity for rational judgement.
This is followed by a statement in which God likens the person in question to a dog. A dog’s protruding tongue and the unceasing flow of saliva from his mouth symbolize unquenchable greed and avarice. The reason for likening the human character described above to a dog is because of his excessive worldliness. It is known that in several languages of the world it is common to call people overly devoted to worldliness as ‘dogs of the world’. For what, after all, is the characteristic of a dog? It is nothing else but greed and avarice. Just look at the dog! As he moves around, he continuously sniffs the earth. Even if a rock is hurled at him he runs at it in the hope that it might be a piece of bone or bread. Before he discovers it to be a rock, he hastens to seize it in his mouth. Even a person’s indifference does not deter a dog from waiting expectantly for food – panting for breath, his tongue spread out and drooping, and a whole world from one perspective alone – that of his belly! Even if he discovers a large carcass, he would not be content with his portion of it, but would try to make it exclusively his and would not let any other dog even come close. It seems that if any urge other than appetite tickles him, it is the sexual urge. This metaphor of the dog, highlights the fate of the worldly man who breaks loose from his faith and knowledge, who entrusts his reins to blind lust and who ends up as one wholly devoted to gratifying his own appetite.
The tafsir of Surah Al-A’raf verse 176 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah A’raf ayat 175 which provides the complete commentary from verse 175 through 177.
Quick navigation links