Bismillāh and Salamun alaykum.
Familiarization with Quranic Sūras
Month of Ramadan 1441 – Day 1
Sūrat al-Ghāfir – Part 1 (verses 1-45)
Sūra Ghāfir, No.40, Revealed in Madinah, 85 verses.
The sura is also known as Sūrat al-Mu’min, as it includes the story of the Mu’min of Āli Fir‘awn. His story only appears in this sūra. More than 20 verses of the sūra – about one fourth of the sūra – talks about him.
It is the first of the Hawamīm sūras – those that begin with the letters Hā-Mīm. There are seven of these sūras from sura no.40-46, in order.
Regarding the Hawamīm suras, the Holy Prophet (s) says:
– The Hawamīm are the crowns of the Quran.
– The Hawamīm are seven and the doors of Hell are seven. Every sūra from the Hawamīm will come and stand at one of these doors. It will say, ‘O Allah do not allow to enter through this door one who believed in me and recited me’.
Synopsis of contents
1) The beautiful names of Allah, focusing on those that bring hope and fear to the heart.
2) Warning to those who reject God through a reminder of the ultimate end of past communities, and through a description of the Day of Judgment.
3) Story of Mu’min of Āli Fir‘awn.
4) Signs of the existence of One God.
5) A reminder of the favours of Allah (swt).
1) The angels are concerned for the believers and pray for them (verse 7)
2) No-one takes heed of the message of Allah except one who constantly turns to Him (verse 13)
3) Traveling on earth teaches us lessons from the history of past people (verses 21-22)
4) A believer argues reasonably, using logic based on common sense (verse 28)
Select verses from the Sūra to know (learn, reflect, memorize)
1) Q 40:4 – No one disputes the signs of Allah except the faithless. So, do not be misled by their bustle in the cities.
2) Q 40:16 – The day when they will emerge [from their graves], nothing about them will be hidden from Allah. ‘To whom does the sovereignty belong today?’ ‘To Allah, the One, the Subduer’.
3) Q 44-45 – . . . and I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, Allah watches His servants. Then Allah saved him from their evil schemes . . .
Activities for self-study
The story of Mu’min of Āli Fir‘awn.
This interesting story has many lessons for us. Read verses 28-45.
a) Divide his talk to the people into different sections. What are his main points?
b) What two qualities would you use to describe him?
c) What is he afraid of, for his people?
d) Explain the different ways in which Fir‘awn reacts.
You can write out this story, illustrate it, act it out with family members, use it for a study circle. It has many lessons in it.
For more details on this story check:
Sources Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.), Tafsir Namūne; Organization of
Quran and Itrah Nūr al-Thaqalayn, Dhikre Mubarak