Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh. Shaykh Fawzaan explains the story of Bul`aam (I've also read Bal`am in some places) maashaa'Allaah. وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِي آتَيْنَاهُ آيَاتِنَا فَانْسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ And recite (O Muhammad) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but he threw them away, so Shaytaan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. (Soorah Al A’raf 7:175) Shaykh Fawzaan: This man was a scholar from the children of Israel. “Him to whom We gave Our Ayat”. He was a scholar from the children of Israel. And he was a person whose supplication was answered, because he knew the greatest Name. He knew Allah’s greatest Name, which if called upon with this name He will answer the supplication. He was a worshipper and he was a scholar, and he was a person whose supplication was answered. His name was Bul`am; Bul`aam ibn Baa’ooraa’. Thus Musa—peace be upon him—and the children of Israel fought the military campaign during the battle for Baytul Maqdis to conquer it and take it from the hands of the pagans, the likes of the Canaanites and the Amalekites. So the enemies who Musa were fighting against came to Bul`aam, this scholar. They were afraid of the Muslims, they were afraid of Musa peace be upon him. They came to Bul`aam requesting that he supplicate to Allah against Musa and against the Muslims. They requested this from him because his supplication was accepted. At first he rejected their request. He refused and rejected them. Then they convinced him, perhaps giving him some wealth. At this point he supplicated against Musa. Thus Allah the Exalted disgraced him and removed the blessing from him. And recite (O Muhammad) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but he threw them away, so Shaytaan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَاهُ بِهَا And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith Meaning with the Ayat.وَلَكِنَّهُ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ But he clung to the earth He did not want elevation and might (from Allah) أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ He clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِنْ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَثْ 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. The dog always dangles its tongue out, whether it’s in the shade or the sun, if it is riding or walking; it dangles its tongue out. Thus Allah likens this man to a dog, the vilest of animals. And with Allah refuge is sought. Despite the fact that he was a scholar etc.; but when he threw away the Ayat of Allah, Allah removed it from him. He threw away the Ayat of Allah and obeyed the pagans, and supplicated against the friends of Allah; thus Allah the Exalted punished him. Allah punished him. This is proof that whoever obeys the disbelievers and assists and aids them against the Muslims is similar to Bul’aam ibn Baa’ooraa’, he has thrown away the signs of Allah.