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Sura al-Furqan

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Sura al-Furqan
al-Nur← →al-Shu'ara'
سوره فرقان.jpg
Sura Number 25
Juz' 18 and 19
Revelation Number 42
Makki/Madani Makki
Verse Count 77
Word Count 897
Letter Count 3877
This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Furqan; to read its text see text:Sura al-Furqan.

Sūra al-Furqān (Arabic: سُورَة الفُرْقان) is the twenty fifth sura of the Qur'an. It is one of the Makki suras of the Qur'an in its eighteenth and nineteenth 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 sixtieth verse of this sura. The well-known verses of the sura include its thirtieth verse (abandonment of the Qur'an), fifty third verse (separation of sweet and bitter seas), and fifty ninth 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".


  • Name

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.[1]

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Furqan is a Makki sura of the Qur'an. It is the forty second 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 twenty fifth sura,[2] located in juz's eighteen, nineteen of the Qur'an.

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Furqan has seventy seven verses, 897 words, and 3,877 letters. It is one of the Mathani suras. It is a little more than one quarter of one juz' of the Qur'an.

It is recommended to prostrate after reciting or hearing the sixtieth verse of Sura al-Furqan.[3]


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 sixty third verse to the end of the sura.[4]

Content of Sura al-Furqan[5]
Reply to objections made by the Prophet's enemies
Introduction: verses 1-3
Bi'tha of the Prophet (s) as a grace for the whole world
First objection: verses 4-6
The Qur'an was not revealed by God
Second objection: verses 7-20
Why does the Prophet (s) live like ordinary people?
Third objection: verses 21-31
Why are not angels sent down on us?
Fourth objection: verses 32-40
Why was not the Qur'an revealed all at once?
Fifth objection: verses 41-59
Insulting the Prophet's monotheistic call
Sixth objection: verses 60-77
Claim that it is pointless to serve God
Reply: verse 6
The Qur'an involves secrets of which no one is aware except Allah
First reply: verses 9-10
This remark implies ignorance and misguidedness
First reply: verses 21-24
The day when unbelievers see the angels is the day of their punishment
First reply: verses 32-33
The aim of the gradual revelation of the Qur'an was to strengthen the Prophet's heart
Objection: verse 42
What the unbelievers said to insult the Prophet and defend their own gods
First reply: verses 60-62
God's blessings as reasons for worshiping Him
Second reply: verses 11-19
The main reason why unbelievers oppose the Prophet (s) is that they do not believe in the resurrection
Second reply: verses 25-26
The day when angels are sent down to unbelievers is a hard day for them
Second reply: verses 34-40
As a reminder for the consequences of opposing the Prophet and holy scriptures
First reply: verses 43-44
The unbelievers follow their own desires
Second reply: verses 63-76
Good deeds of the servants of God
Third reply: verse 20
All prophets live like ordinary people
Third reply: verses 27-31
Regrets of unbelievers on the day of resurrection for their opposition to the Prophet (s)
Second reply: verses 45-55
God's blessings are signs of His oneness
Third reply: verse 77
The worthlessness of unbelievers for God
Third reply: verses 56-59
The only goal of the Prophet is to call people to God

Historical Narrations

Sura al-Furqan narrates the story of the Prophet Moses (a) and his brother, Aaron (a).[6] The sura introduces the people of Noah (a) as people who denied the prophets (a) and finally drowned in floods.[7] The sura also mentions people of 'Ad, people of Thamud, and companions of Rass who suffered divine punishments. The fortieth verse of the sura refers to the fate of the people of Lot.[8]


Sins Nullify Good Deeds

Three verses about supplication: Your Lord has said, 'Call Me, and I will hear you!'. (Qur'an 40:60) When My servants ask you about Me, [tell them that] I am indeed nearmost. I answer the supplicant's call when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me, and let them have faith in Me, so that they may fare rightly. (Qur'an 2:186) Say, 'What store my Lord would set by you were it not for your supplication? (Qur'an 25:77). Calligraphy by Mohammad Uzjai.

In Tafsir al-burhan, under the twenty third 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.[9] 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.[10]

Believing in the Wilaya of Ahl al-Bayt (a) as a Condition for the Acceptance of the Deeds

Under the exegesis of the verse twenty three [11] 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".[12] Also, some hadiths are cited under verses twenty seven to twenty nine[13] 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.[14]

Occasion of the Revelation

According to Tafsir al-mizan, the occasion of the revelation of the seventh verse [15] 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 twenty 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 (s) so that everyone would be convinced, but He did not do so in order to test people.[16]

Well-Known Verses

Complain of the Prophet (s) about his people (verse 30)

A well-known verse of Sura al-Furqan is its thirtieth 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.[17] In his Tafsir al-mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i wrote that this is the Prophet's (s) complaint on the day of resurrection.[18]

The two seas (verse 53)

The meeting point of the Baltic and North seas, near the Northernmost point of Denmark, Skagen; is one of the many instances of this phenomenon.

According to exegeses of the Qur'an, this verse portrays a wonderful manifestation of God's power in the creation of the world.[19] 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)

Another well-known verse of the sura is the verse fifty nine 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 six other suras as well.[20] According to the verse nine of Qur'an 41[21], God created the Earth in two days.[22] In Tafsir al-mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i discussed the temporal length of the creation of the word under verse nine 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 twenty four hours.[23]

Merites and Benefites

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.[24] 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.


External Links


  1. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 15, p. 3.
  2. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 166.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1244.
  4. Qirāʾatī, Tafsīr-i noor, vol. 8, p. 221.
  5. 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.
  6. Qur’ān, 25:35.
  7. Qur’ān, 25:37.
  8. Qur’ān, 25:35-40.
  9. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 118.
  10. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 117-122.
  11. Then We shall attend to the works they have done and then turn them into scattered dust. (Qur'an 25:23)
  12. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 122.
  13. 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)
  14. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 124-132.
  15. 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)
  16. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 15, p. 195-196.
  17. Makārim Shīrāzī, Barguzīda-yi Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 3, p. 336.
  18. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 15, p. 205.
  19. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 15, p. 124.
  20. Qurʾān, 7:54; 10:3; 11:7; 32:4; 50:38; 57:4.
  21. 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!' (Qur'an 41:9)
  22. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 362.
  23. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 15, p. 135.
  24. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 250.
  25. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 250; Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 109.


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