Sūra Fātir (Arabic: سورة فاطر, the Originator) or Sūra al-Malāʾika (Arabic: سورة الملائکة, the Angels) is the thirty fifth sura of Qur'an. It is a Makki sura which is located in the twenty second juz'. It is one of the hamidat suras which start with praising God.
Sura Fatir is about the resurrection, situation and difficulties of the Day of Judgment and repentance of disbelievers. It also warns mankind of deceitfulness of Satan and life which lead astray. Blessings of God are also mentioned in this sura and it recommended people to say prayers, spend for God and recite Qur'an as valuable deeds.
The famous verses of this sura of Qur'an are the 15th verse which states that God is not in need of anyone while mankind is in need of God, and the eighteenth verse which talks about divine justice and severe punishment of God on the Day of Judgment. It is narrated from Prophet Muhammad (s) that if someone recites Sura Fatir, three doors of the Heaven will invite him/her toward themselves on the Day of Judgment.
- 1 Names
- 2 Place and Order of Revelation
- 3 Number of Letters and Words
- 4 Content
- 5 Exegesis
- 6 Famous Verses
- 7 Merits
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
This sura of the Quran is called "Fatir" or "al-Mala'ika" (the Angels) which both are stated in the first verse of this sura. The term fatir derives from the word "fatara" and it means "the originator of the heavens and the earth" as it is cited in the first verse.[Note 1]
Place and Order of Revelation
This sura of Quran was the forty third sura revealed to Prophet (s) after Sura al-Furqan and before Sura Maryam. Sura Fatir is the thirty-fifth sura of Qur'an and it is Makki. It is also located in the twenty second juz'.
Number of Letters and Words
Sura Fatir is the fifth and the last hamidat suras which start with the praise of Allah. This sura of Qur'an has forty-five verses, seven hundred and eighty words and 3228 letters. Considering its size, this sura is among mathani suras about one hizb (a quarter of a juz').
This sura warns mankind of deceitfulness of life and temptations of Satan that lead them astray. It also states that mankind is in need of God while God is not in need of anyone. Sura Fatir also mentioned the blessings of God like rain, getting married, and the two fresh and salty seas in order to remind mankind of God's blessings and to be grateful to Him.
This sura also discusses resurrection and its situations and repentance of disbelievers who wish they could return to this world in order to compensate their mistakes. In addition, in some verses, disbelievers and their incapable gods are mentioned and it recommended mankind to say prayers, recite Qur'an and spend on others secretly and openly.
Prophet Muhammad's (s) Efforts in Guiding People
In the eighth verse of Sura Fatir, God addressed Prophet Muhammad (s), "do not fret yourself to death regretting for them". Which has the same meaning as the third verse of Qur'an 26.[Note 2] Such phrases show how Prophet Muhammad (s) was eager to guide people and convince them to convert to Islam.
Human will in Guidance or Deception
Based on the eighth verse of Sura Fatir, only God leaves to stray whom He wills and guides to whom he pleases[Note 3]. Seemingly, humans have no willpower, but according to Imam al-Hadi's (a) letter which is stated in al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi, this verse can imply one of the two meanings:
- God can leave to stray or guide everybody, which means no rewards or punishment will be meaningful then, [while human's deeds will be rewarded or they will be punished; so this meaning could not be right]
- Here guiding means to learn [like showing the right path to His servants] as stated in the seventeenth verse of Sura Fussilat[Note 4], in this case, humans are responsible for their decisions and actions.
However, some exegetes believe there are two steps in guidance and going astray. In the first step God does not force human and they have willpower, but if someone chooses to go astray, he will be punished, which lead to the second stray by the order of God as it is a reflection of the human's disobedience. Therefore the verses which state that going astray is by the will of God are actually about the second misleading.
Acceptance of Deeds Reliant on Accepting Wilaya
Considering the verse 10, "To Him ascends the good word, and He elevates righteous conduct"; in hadiths the "good word" is testifying monotheism, prophethood of Muhammad (s), and Wilaya (guardianship) of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and other Imams. Also, the "good deeds" means having a true belief in the mentioned testimony.
Al-Shaykh al-Kulayni stated in his book al-Kafi, that Imam al-Sadiq (a) explained this verse: "This verse is about guardianship of Ahl al-Bayt" and he said it while he was pointing at himself; so those who do not believe in wilaya of Shiite Imams, their deeds will not be accepted by God."
Wahhabis' Viewpoint on Tawassul
It is stated in the twenty-second verse of Sura Fatir: "Indeed Allah makes whomever He wishes to hear, and you cannot make those who are in the graves hear". Wahhabis have used this verse to reject the concept of tawassul to the departed ones. According to this verse, the departed ones cannot hear us and they cannot help people.
In contrary, Shiite scholars and a large number of Sunni and Sufi scholars believe the dead are living in Barzakh; there are numerous Qur'anic verses which support this notion. They believe that in the verse disbelievers who are impossible to guide are likened to dead people, as for both, the guidance of the prophets is futile.
Need of Mankind and Sufficiency of God
- O mankind! It is you who stands in need of Allah, and it is Allah Who is Free of all wants, Worthy of all praise. (Qur'an 35:15)
This verse is highly regarded by philosophers and mystics. A number of philosophers believe this verse is about Burhan al-Imkan wa al-Wujub (Cosmological arguments) which proves the existence of the necessary being. It is stated that only God is the true One, Who is not in need of anyone and existence of necessary being in the entire universe is attributed to Him. All the humans, as well as all the creatures, are in need of God, an independent existence, and if their connection to Him is broken, they turn to nothingness.
Each Person is Responsible for His Own Deeds
- No bearer shall bear another's burden, and should one heavily burdened call [another] to carry it, nothing of it will be carried, even if he were a near relative... (Qur'an 25:18)
Only Knowledgeable People Fear God
- ...Only those of Allah's servants having knowledge fear Him... (Qur'an 25:28)
The Arabic word "khashiya" (خَشِيَ) means fear of God as well as worshiping Him. It is narrated from Imam al-Sajjad (a) about this verse: "Knowledge and deeds are two close friends, those who know God, they will fear Him, which lead to being obedient to God's orders." Knowledgeable people and their followers are only those who know God well, perform deeds for Him and love Him". It is stated in exegetical and hadith books that the "knowledgeable people" in this verse is attributed to 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a).
|For the full text, see text:Sura Fatir.|
As narrated from Prophet Muhammad (s) in Majma' al-bayan, if someone recites Sura Fatir, three doors of Heaven will invite him toward itself in the day of Qiyama, and he can enter from each door he desires. It is also narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) in Nur al-Thaqalayn that if someone recites Sura Fatir and Quran 34 at night, God will protect him and if someone recite these suras during the day, he will not be harmed and God will give him blessings in the world and in the Hereafter which are unimaginable to him.
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- All praise belongs to Allah, the originator of the heavens and the earth, maker of the angels [His] messengers, possessing wings, two, three, or four [of them]. He adds to the creation whatever He wishes. Indeed Allah has power over all things. (Qur'an 35:1)
- You are liable to imperil your life [out of distress] that they will not have faith. (Qur'an 26:3)
- Is someone the evil of whose conduct is presented as decorous to him, so he regards it as good…. Indeed Allah leads astray whomever He wishes, and guides whomever He wishes. So do not fret yourself to death regretting for them. Indeed Allah knows best what they do. (Qur'an 35:8)
- As for [the people of] Thamūd, We guided them, but they preferred blindness to guidance. So the bolt of a humiliating punishment seized them because of what they used to earn. (Qur'an 41:17)
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