Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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People of the Heights
(1,205 words)

Qurʾānic eschatological designation for people not destined for hell. The term al-aʿrāf (pl. of ʿurf) in q 7:46 and q 7:48 (where it appears in the construct, asḥāb al-aʿrāf: “the companions — or people — of al-aʿrāf”) has been variously understood as “elevated place, crest, to distinguish between things, or to part them.” Al-aʿrāf (the name of the seventh sūra of the Qurʾān) also signifies “the higher, or the highest,” and “the first or foremost,” hence the source of the English term “[the People of] the Heights,” and of M.H. Shakir's (Holy Qurʾān, 140-1) translation as “the Elevated …

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Brinner, William M., “People of the Heights”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 19 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00322>

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