|Juz'||18 and 19|
Sūra al-Furqān (Arabic: سُورَة الفُرْقان) is the 25th sura of the Qur'an. It is one of the Makki suras of the Qur'an in its 18th and 19th juz's. The word, "furqan", means the thing that separates the right from the wrong or the truth from falsehood. The sura involves teachings about monotheism, resurrection, prophethood, and fight against idolatry. The last verses of the sura characterize true believes. It is recommended to prostrate when reciting or hearing the 60th verse of this sura. The well-known verses of the sura include its 30th verse (abandonment of the Qur'an), 53rd verse (separation of sweet and bitter seas), and 59th verse (creation of the world in six days).
With regard to the virtue of reciting this sura, the Prophet (s) is quoted as saying: "if a person recites Sura al-Furqan, he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment while he believes in the resurrection and has no doubts that people in the graves will be resurrected".
The sura is called "Sura al-Furqan", because the word, "furqan", occurs in its first verse. The word means the thing that separates truth from falsehood. In this case, it means that the Qur'an demarcates the truth from falsehood.
Place and Order of Revelation
Sura al-Furqan is a Makki sura of the Qur'an. It is the 42nd sura which was revealed to the Prophet (s), that is, after Qur'an 36 and before Qur'an 35. In the traditional order of compilation, it is the 25th sura in the 18th and 19th juz's of the Qur'an.
Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Furqan has 77 verses, 897 words, and 3,877 letters. It is one of the Mathani suras. It is a little more than one-fourth of one juz' of the Qur'an.
It is recommended to prostate after reciting or hearing the 60th verse of Sura al-Furqan.
The issues Sura al-Furqan is concerned with include: excuses made by polytheists for the rejection of Islam and the Qur'an's reply to them, the fight against polytheism, the story of past nations, people's regrets after resurrection, signs of monotheism, the manifestation of God's greatness in the nature, and the comparison of believers and unbelievers. However, the most important part of the sura is concerned with the characteristics of "servants of the Most Merciful" ('ibād al-Raḥmān), that is, the true servants of God, which extends from the 63rd verse to the end of the sura.
Sura al-Furqan narrates the story of the Prophet Moses (a) and his brother, Aaron (a). The sura introduces the people of Noah (a) as people who denied the prophets and finally drowned in floods. The sura also mentions people of 'Ad, people of Thamud, and companions of Rass who suffered divine punishments. The 40th verse of the sura refers to the fate of the people of Lot.
Sins Nullify Good Deeds
In Tafsir al-burhan, under the 23rd verse of Sura al-Furqan, a hadith is cited from the Prophet (s) according to which, a group of people appear on the day of resurrection whose good deeds are as big as mountains, nevertheless God nullifies their good deeds, because whenever they had a chance to do something forbidden, they went for it. According to other hadiths, backbiting, love of this world, arrogance, selfishness, jealousy, hypocrisy, and refusing to pay the zakat lead to the nullification of one's good deeds.
Believing in the Wilaya of Ahl al-Bayt (a) as a Condition for the Acceptance of the Deeds
Under the exegesis of the verse 23[Note 1] of Sura al-Furqan, a number of hadiths are cited according to which, God accepts one's deeds only on the condition that the person believes in the wilaya of Ahl al-Bayt (a). Some of these hadiths are collected by Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani in his Tafsir al-burhan. He writes: "the number of such hadiths is beyond enumeration". Also, some hadiths are cited under verses 27 to 29[Note 2] according to which the word, "sabil" (path), in these verses refers to Imam 'Ali (a). These hadiths refer to Imam 'Ali's (a) being the true successor of the Prophet (s), whose right was usurped by others.
Occasion of the Revelation
According to Tafsir al-mizan, the occasion of the revelation of the 7th verse[Note 3] of Sura al-Furqan is as follows: a number of unbelievers went to the Prophet (s) for negotiations. They asked him whether he was seeking property or positions. The Prophet (s) rejected their remarks and said that what he had brought with him (that is, Islam) was not for the purpose of gaining property, kingdom, or fame; he was just commissioned by God to be a bringer of good tidings and a warner and convey the message of God to people. When the unbelievers heard his answer, they asked why there was no angel accompanying him, or why he had no gardens and castles in order to be freed from the need for markets. It was then that God revealed the verse 20 of the sura: "We have made you a trial for one another, [to see] if you will be patient", that is, God could give everything to His prophet so that everyone would be convinced, but He did not do so in order to test people.
Complain of the Prophet (s) about his people (verse 30)
|“||And the Apostle will say, 'O my Lord! Indeed my people consigned this Qur'ān to oblivion.'[Note 4]||”|
|— Qur'an 25:30|
A well-known verse of Sura al-Furqan is its 30th verse in which the Prophet (s) complains that his people have abandoned the Qur'an. According to Tafsir-i nimuna, the complaint extends to our time too, because the Qur'an has now turned into a ceremonial book. In his Tafsir al-mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i wrote that this is the Prophet's (s) complaint on the day of resurrection.
The two seas (verse 53)
|“||It is He who merged the two seas: this one sweet and agreeable, and that one briny and bitter, and between the two He set a barrier and a forbidding hindrance.[Note 5]||”|
|— Qur'an 25:53|
According to exegeses of the Qur'an, this verse portrays a wonderful manifestation of God's power in the creation of the world. The two seas are also mentioned in Qur'an 55 (verses 19 and 20) and Qur'an 27 (verse 61).
'Creation in six days (verse 59)
|“||He, who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days, and then settled on the Throne, the All-beneficent; so ask someone who is well aware about Him.[Note 6]||”|
|— Qur'an 25:59|
Another well-known verse of the sura is the verse 59 according to which God created the heavens and the Earth and what is between them in six days. With slight differences in the wording, the same content appears in 6 other suras as well. According to the verse 9 of Qur'an 41[Note 7], God created the Earth in two days. In Tafsir al-mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i discussed the temporal length of the creation of the word under verse 9 of Qur'an 41. According to him, "day" in this verse means a portion of time. According to Tafsir-i nimuna, "day" here means a period of time, and not 24 hours.
There is a hadith cited in Majma' al-bayan about the virtue of reciting Sura al-Furqan, according to which the Prophet (s) said: "if a person recites Sura al-Furqan, he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment while he believes in the resurrection and has no doubts that people in the grave will be resurrected". Such a person will enter the Heaven without any evaluation of his actions. According to al-Shaykh al-Saduq, there is a hadith in which Imam al-Kazim (a) is quoted as saying: "never abandon the recitation of Sura al-Furqan, because a person who recites Sura al-Furqan at night will never be punished by God and his actions will not be evaluated, and he will reside the higher Paradise.
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Furqan.|
- Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
- وَقَدِمنا إِلىٰ ما عَمِلوا مِن عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلناهُ هَباءً مَنثورًا: Then We shall attend to the works they have done and then turn them into scattered dust. (Qur'an 25:23)
- وَيَومَ يَعَضُّ الظّالِمُ عَلىٰ يَدَيهِ يَقولُ يا لَيتَنِي اتَّخَذتُ مَعَ الرَّسولِ سَبيلًا (۲۷) يا وَيلَتىٰ لَيتَني لَم أَتَّخِذ فُلانًا خَليلًا (۲۸) لَقَد أَضَلَّني عَنِ الذِّكرِ بَعدَ إِذ جاءَني ۗ وَكانَ الشَّيطانُ لِلإِنسانِ خَذولًا: A day when the wrongdoer will bite his hands, saying, 'I wish I had followed the Apostle's way! (27) Woe to me! I wish I had not taken so and so as a friend! (28) Certainly he led me astray from the Reminder after it had come to me, and Satan is a deserter of man.' (Qur'an 25:27-29)
- وَقالوا مالِ هٰذَا الرَّسولِ يَأكُلُ الطَّعامَ وَيَمشي فِي الأَسواقِ ۙ لَولا أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكونَ مَعَهُ نَذيرًا: And they say, 'What sort of apostle is this who eats food and walks in the marketplaces? Why has not an angel been sent down to him so as to be a warner along with him?' (Qur'an 25:7)
- وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا (Q 25:30
- وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَـٰذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَـٰذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخًا وَحِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا ﴿٥٣﴾
- الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۚ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا
- قُل أَئِنَّكُم لَتَكفُرونَ بِالَّذي خَلَقَ الأَرضَ في يَومَينِ وَتَجعَلونَ لَهُ أَندادًا ۚ ذٰلِكَ رَبُّ العالَمينَ: Say, 'Do you really disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two days, and ascribe partners to Him? That is the Lord of all the worlds!' (Quran 41:9)
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره فرقان in Farsi WikiShia.