Surah Ghafir (The Forgiver) 40 : 85

فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنفَعُهُمْ إِيمَٰنُهُمْ لَمَّا رَأَوْا۟ بَأْسَنَا ۖ سُنَّتَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّتِى قَدْ خَلَتْ فِى عِبَادِهِۦ ۖ وَخَسِرَ هُنَالِكَ ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
But never did their faith benefit them once they saw Our punishment. [It is] the established way of Allāh which has preceded among His servants. There and then the disbelievers were lost.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Such superficial knowledge can lead to conceit and arrogance. Given such knowledge, a person may think that he can control immense powers and immeasurable resources and this leads him to transgress beyond his limits. He tends to forget the great many things he does not know. These are present in the universe, but he has no power over them. Indeed, he is not fully aware of them. He only knows their ends that are close to him. Yet he boasts falsely, emphasizing his knowledge and overlooking his ignorance. If he would only compare what he knows to what he does not, and what he is able to do to with what he cannot even begin to understand, he would certainly moderate his excitement about his knowledge.

Those people, however, revelled in what little knowledge they had and ridiculed whoever reminded them of what is beyond their knowledge: "And so they were overwhelmed by the very thing which they mocked." (Verse 83) Therefore, when they see God's might, they begin to realize the truth of their arrogance and acknowledge what they used to deny. They declare their belief in God's oneness and disown those deities which they alleged to be God's partners. All this, however, comes when it is too late: "And then when they saw Our might, they said: 'We believe in God alone, and we renounce those we used to associate as partners with Him. But accepting the faith after they had seen Our might was not going to benefit them at all." (Verses 84-85) It is a rule God has established that repentance after demonstrating God's might is not acceptable, because it is motivated by fear, not by faith. "This has always been God's way of dealing with His creatures." (Verse 85) God's way remains operative at all times. It never changes, deviates or fails: "There and then the unbelievers will be lost."
This is a very powerful conclusion to the surah, with God's might overwhelming the rejecters when they are raising their voices with appeals motivated by fear. Thus, the end fits well with overall ambience and main subject matter of the surah.
The surah tackles those issues of faith that feature prominently in Makkan revelations, such as God's oneness, resurrection and revelation. These, however, are not the main themes of the surah. Its main theme is the battle between truth and falsehood, faith and unfaith, tyranny and justice. Indeed, the development of this battle gives the surah its distinctive features.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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8. Reasons for Revelation

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There are clear indications in the subject matter of this Surah to the conditions in which it was revealed. The disbelievers of Makkah at that time were engaged in two kinds of the activities against the Prophet. First, they were creating suspicion and misgiving in the minds of the people about the teaching of the Qur’an and the message of Islam and about the Prophet himself by starting many disputes and discussions, raising irrelevant objections and bringing ever new accusations so that the Prophet and the believers were sick of trying to answer them. Secondly, they were preparing the ground for putting an end to the Prophet himself. They were devising one plot after another, and on one occasion had even taken the practical steps to execute a plot. There is a hadith on the authority of Abdullah bin Amr bin al-As, saying that, one day when the Prophet was offering his prayers in the precincts of the Ka’bah, suddenly ‘Uqbah bin Abi Mu’ait, rushed forward and putting a piece of cloth round his neck started twisting it so as to strangle him to death. Abu Bakr, who happened to go there in time, pushed him away. Abdullah says that when Abu Bakr was struggling with the man, he was saying words to the effect: “Would you kill a man only because he says: God is my Lord?”

9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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