Sūrat al-Ghāfir

Sūrah No.40, Revealed in Madīnah, 85 verses.

The Sūrah is also known as Sūrat al-Mu’min, as it includes the story of the Mu’min of Āl-i Fir‘awn. His story only appears in this Sūrah. More than 20 verses of the Sūrah – about one fourth of the Sūrah – talks about him.

It is the first of the Hawamīm Sūrahs – those that begin with the letters Hā-Mīm. There are seven of these Sūrahs from Sūrahs no.40-46, in order.

The Sūrah takes its name from verse 3 which refers to Allah X as the Forgiver of sins.

Some believe that though the Sūrah is Makkan, verses 56 and 57 or verses 55-57 were revealed in Madīnah.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Regarding the Hawamīm Sūrahs, the Holy Prophet a says:

– The Hawamīm are the crowns of the Quran.

– The Hawamīm are seven and the doors of Hell are seven. Every Sūrah 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’.

According to the Holy Prophet a, whoever recites this Sūrah, the souls of the Prophets, the righteous ones (Siddiqūn), and the believers, pray for him and seek forgiveness for him. (From Tafsīr Majma‘ al-Bayān)

Note: Quranic Scholars say that the reward is connected to the contents of the Sūrah and requires that recitation be done with awareness, comprehension, reflection and having an intention of implementation.

General 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.

Important Messages

1) The angels are concerned for the believers and pray for them (v. 7)

2) No-one takes heed of the message of Allah except one who constantly turns to Him (v. 13)

3) Traveling on earth teaches us lessons from the history of past people (vv. 21-22)

4) A believer argues reasonably, using logic based on common sense (v. 28)

5) Pride is one of the reasons why people reject the signs of Allah. (v. 56)

6) The good doer and the evil doer are not alike, just as the blind and the seeing are

not alike. (v. 58)

7) Most people are not grateful despite the many favours of Allah X. (v. 61)

8) Travel helps you observe the fate of those who were before you. (v. 82)

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 40:4 – No one disputes the signs of Allah except the faithless. So, do not be misled by their bustle in the cities.

2) 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) 44-45 – . . . and I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, Allah watches His servants. Then Allah saved him from their evil schemes . . .

4) 40:55 – Therefore be patient; surely the promise of Allah is true.

5) 40:60 – And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you

6) 40:81 – And He shows you His signs: which then of Allah’s signs will you deny?

Activities for self-study

1) 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:


2) Compare verses 55 and 77. What similarities/differences do you notice?

3) What different conversations take place in this section of the Sūrah? See verses 47-48 and 49-50.

4) List the signs of Allah mentioned in verses 64 and 67.