Sūra Ghāfir (Arabic: سورة غافر) is the 40th sura of the Qur'an and a Makki sura located in juz' 24. Sura Ghafir is also called "Sura al-Mu'min" (Arabic: سُورَةُ المُؤْمِن), because it speaks about the Believer of Pharaoh's People (Mu'min Al Fir'awn). The main theme of this sura is invalidating disbelievers' struggle to eliminate the truth (the Qur'an). In this sura, the story of Prophet Moses (a) and Pharaoh is also mentioned and it speaks about the signs proving the Unity of God and the falsehood of polytheism.
One of the famous verses of this sura is verse 60, in which, God tells His servants to call Him so that He answers them. In books of exegesis, the interpretation of this verse includes many hadiths about the importance of supplication and its superiority over worship. These hadiths also speak about the obstacles of the fulfillment of supplications. In a hadith from the Prophet (s), it is mentioned about the merit of reciting Sura Ghafir that if a person recites this sura, he will not become hopeless on the Judgment Day.
This sura is called "Ghafir" because it is mentioned in the third verse. "Ghafir" is one of the names of God and means "the Forgiver from punishment". Sura Ghafir is also called "Sura al-Mu'min" because it mentions the story of the Believer of Pharaoh's People. Two other names are mentioned for this sura: "Ha'-mim Ula" (حم أولی) and "Tawl" (طَوْل).
Place and Order of Revelation
Number of Verses and Other Features
According to Tafsir al-Mizan, the central idea in this sura is invalidating the struggle of unbelievers for eliminating the truth (the Qur'an) revealed upon them. Thus, God reminds them the promised punishments. Discussions in this sura can be summarized in five parts:
- The early verses of this sura attract attention toward God and some of His Beautiful Names;
- Warning unbelievers about punishments in this world and in the hereafter;
- Signs of proving the Unity of God and the falsehood of polytheism;
- Main article: The Verse of the Fulfillment of Supplication
|“||وَقَالَ رَبُّکمُ ادْعُونِی أَسْتَجِبْ لَکمْYour Lord has said, ‘Call Me, and I will hear you!’ Indeed those who are disdainful of My worship will enter hell in utter humiliation||”|
In Tafsir-i nimuna, the commentary of this verse includes hadiths about the importance of supplication (Dua') and the conditions of its fulfillment. About the importance of supplication, it is mentioned that the supplication is an act of worship and a person who is occupied with reciting supplications is better than the person who is occupied with the worship. Also, it is mentioned in these hadiths that there are positions before God, reaching which is only possible through supplication; and that, supplication is better than reciting the Qur'an.
About the conditions of the fulfillment of supplications, it is mentioned that the supplication of four groups of people will not be answered:
- A person who is sitting at home and says, "O God, give me provisions!"
- A man who is upset of his wife and prays to get rid of her (he will be told [from the Divine], "do not you have the right to divorce her?")
- A person who wastes his properties and then says, "O God, give me provisions!"
- A person who has lent something to someone without taking someone as witness [and then the receiver denies it]. The giver will be told [from the Divine], "did not I order you to take someone as witness upon lending?"
The Believer of Pharaoh's people (Mu'min Al Fir'awn)
- Main article: The Believer of Pharaoh's people
Verses 28 to 45 of Sura Ghafir tell the story of the believer of Pharaoh's people. He was the cousin and treasurer of Pharaoh who hid his faith from Pharaoh for a long time. When Pharaoh became suspicious about him, he practiced taqiyya and hid his faith through Tawriyah and saved his life. During the public invitation of Prophet Moses (a), when the magicians believed in Moses (a), the believer of Pharaoh's people too disclosed his faith and was killed by Pharaoh the same as the magicians. While his hands and fingers had become numb on the cross, he pointed to his people and said,
"Follow me, so that I guide you to the path of rectitude and perfection."
Merits and Benefits
It is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that a person who recites Sura Ghafir, will not become hopeless on the Judgment Day and will be among those who fear God in this world. Also, if someone writes this sura and hangs it on the wall of a garden, that garden will become green and fruitful and if someone writes it and installs in his shop, his business will become prosperous. In another hadith from the noble Prophet (s), it is mentioned that if someone wishes to walk in the gardens of the paradise, he should recite suras beginning with "Ha'-mim" (حم) in his night prayer.
Stories and Historical Reports
- Mission of Moses (a): Inviting Pharaoh, Haman and Korah; Moses' (a) accusation of magic; order to kill the believers
- Story of the Believer of Pharaoh's people: Decision of Pharaoh to kill Moses (a), the answer of the Believer of Pharaoh's people to Pharaoh and warning him about suffering the same destiny of the people of Noah (a), 'Ad and Thamud, warning about opposing the signs of God, Pharaoh's order to Haman for building a tall tower to see God, the invitation of the Believer of Pharaoh's people toward faith and following the Prophets (a)
- Revelation of the book to Moses (a) in verses (23 – 54)
- Your Lord has said, ‘Call Me, and I will hear you!’
- 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.
- There are seven suras which start with "Ha'-mim" (written "حم" in the Qur'an, but pronounced "حاء میم"). These are the 40th to 46th suras of the Qur'an that sequentially are Ghafir, Fussilat, al-Shura, al-Zukhruf, al-Dukhan, al-Jathiya and al-Ahqaf.
- The people of Noah denied before them and the [heathen] factions [who came] after them. Every nation attempted to lay hands on their apostle, and disputed erroneously to refute the truth. Then I seized them; so how was My retribution?! (Qur'an 40:5)
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره غافر in Farsi WikiShia.