Surah Al-A’raf >> Currently viewing Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 4 (7:4)

Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 4 in Arabic Text

وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـٰهَا فَجَآءَهَا بَأْسُنَا بَيَـٰتًا أَوْ هُمْ قَآئِلُونَ
Wa kam min qaryatin ahlaknaahaa fajaaa’ahaa ba’sunaa bayaatan aw hum qaaa’iloon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 4

Sahih International
And how many cities have We destroyed, and Our punishment came to them at night or while they were sleeping at noon.

Yusuf Ali
How many towns have We destroyed (for their sins)? Our punishment took them on a sudden by night or while they slept for their afternoon rest.

Abul Ala Maududi
How many a township We have destroyed! Our scourge fell upon them at night, or when they were taking midday rest.

Muhsin Khan
And a great number of towns (their population) We destroyed (for their crimes). Our torment came upon them (suddenly) by night or while they were sleeping for their afternoon rest.

Pickthall
How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them.

Dr. Ghali
And how many a town We have caused to perish, so Our violence came to it at night (in their homes), or while halting (at midday).

Abdel Haleem
How many towns We have destroyed! Our punishment came to them by night or while they slept in the afternoon:

Quran 7 Verse 4 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-A’raf ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(7:4) How many a township We have destroyed! Our scourge fell upon them at night, or when they were taking midday rest.


There is no commentary by Abul Maududi available for this verse.

Ibn-Kathir

4. And a great number of towns We destroyed. Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap. 5. No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: “Verily, we were wrongdoers.” 6. Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers. 7. Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.


Nations that were destroyed

Allah said,

﴿وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا﴾

(And a great number of towns We destroyed.) for defying Our Messengers and rejecting them. This behavior led them to earn disgrace in this life, which led them to disgrace in the Hereafter. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُواْ مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ ﴾

(And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at) ﴿6:10﴾, and

﴿فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَبِئْرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصْرٍ مّشِيدٍ ﴾

(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle!) ﴿22:45﴾, and,

﴿وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا فَتِلْكَ مَسَـكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً وَكُنَّا نَحْنُ الْوَرِثِينَ ﴾

(And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little. And verily, We have been the heirs)﴿28:58﴾. Allah’s saying,

﴿فَجَآءَهَا بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتًا أَوْ هُمْ قَآئِلُونَ﴾

(Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap. ) means, Allah’s command, torment and vengeance came over them at night or while taking a nap in the middle of the day. Both of these times are periods of rest and leisure or heedlessness and amusement. Allah also said

﴿أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ – أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ ﴾

(Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing)﴿7:97-98﴾ and,

﴿أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ – أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ – أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴾

(Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them Or that He may catch them with gradual wastage. Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful) ﴿16:45-47﴾. Allah’s saying;

﴿فَمَا كَانَ دَعْوَاهُمْ إِذْ جَآءَهُم بَأْسُنَآ إِلاَ أَن قَالُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ ﴾

(No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: “Verily, we were wrongdoers.”) This means, when the torment came to them, their cry was that they admitted their sins and that they deserved to be punished. Allah said in a similar Ayah,

﴿وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَـلِمَةً﴾

(How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed)﴿21:11﴾, until,

﴿خَـمِدِينَ﴾

(Extinct)﴿21:15﴾. Allah’s saying.

﴿فَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ﴾

(Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent) is similar to the Ayat,

﴿وَيَوْمَ يُنَـدِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴾

(And (remember) the Day (Allah) will call them, and say: “What answer gave you to the Messengers”) ﴿28:65﴾, and,

﴿يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أُجِبْتُمْ قَالُواْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ ﴾

(On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: “What was the response you received” They will say: “We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is unseen.”) ﴿5:109﴾. Allah will question the nations, on the Day of Resurrection, how they responded to His Messengers and the Messages He sent them with. He will also question the Messengers if they conveyed His Messages. So, `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas, who said commenting on the Ayah:

﴿فَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴾

(Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers.) He said; “About what they conveyed.” Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s statement,

﴿فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيْهِم بِعِلْمٍ وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ ﴾

(Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.) “The Book will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection and it will speak, disclosing what they used to do.”

﴿وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ﴾

(and indeed We have not been absent) meaning, On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will inform His servants about what they said and did, whether substantial or minor. Certainly, He witnesses to everything, nothing escapes His observation, and He is never unaware of anything. Rather, He has perfect knowledge of what the eyes are deluded by and what the hearts conceal,

﴿وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِى ظُلُمَـتِ الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِى كِتَـبٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(Not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.)﴿6:59﴾

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