Overview - Surah 40: Ghafir (The Forgiver)

Naming Convention of the Surah

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The Surah has two common names. One is Ghafir [Forgiver] and the other is al-Mu'min [The Believer].

The following Surahs all have the letters, Ha-Meem as their opening Ayaat and interestingly what is common to all of them is their mentioning of the Prophet Musa. These Surahs are;

Surah 40: al-Ghafir
Surah 41: Fussilat
Surah 42: Shurah
Surah 43: Zukhruf
Surah 44: Dukhan
Surah 45: Jathiyah
Surah 46: al-Ahqaaf

There are 85 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat85
Total Words1219
Root Words265
Unique Root Words1
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 60th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 9th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1, 2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam ,
Events during/after still to occur*
Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey, 1st Pledge of Aqabah, 2nd Pledge of Aqabah, , Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah, Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr, Battle of Uhud, , Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah, Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers, , Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain, Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk, Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation,
Names of Prophets Mentioned
Nuh, Yusuf, Musa,
Surah Index
Adversity (patience during) , God (ability to do anything) , God (wills no wrong to His creation) , Apostasy (repentance) (on Judgement Day is too late), Children, Children (in Heaven) , Children (of Israel) , Death, Disbelievers, Disbelievers (God’s promise to) , Earth, Earth (creation and recreation of) , Embryology, Food, Haman, Hell, Humankind (creation of) (from a drop of sperm), Humankind (creation of) (from dust), Humankind (insignificant compared to the Universe) , Joseph, Judgement, Judgement (Day) , Judgement (Day) (repentance then is too late), Knowledge (obligation upon man to obtain and impart) , Life (good things made lawful) , Livestock, Marriage (recline with spouses in Paradise) , Moses, Noah, Pharaoh, Prophet (miracles only by God’s leave) , Prophet (some not mentioned) , Qarun, Religion, Resurrection (Day) , Resurrection (of soul) , Revelation, Sexes (equality of) , Ships, Sin, Thamud, Weather (rain) ,

Central Theme

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Theme 1: The importance of Dawah [calling] to Allah.

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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  • The beginning of Surat Ghafir contains: "The forgiver of sin, the acceptor of repentance, severe in punishment, owner of abundance. There is no deity except Him; to Him is the destination." (40:3). In its end, Allah mentions that when the disbelievers saw His punishment they said: "We believe in Allah." (40:84) This will occur in the hereafter, and thus this belief will be of no benefit because Allah presented to them everything that leads on to Iman and repentance in the worldly life. So when they were resolute on their disbelief, their end was to punishment and fire, with repentance and belief then being of no avail to them.

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • Surah az-Zumar and Surah Ghafir both begin with the mention of making the Din purely for Him - مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
    -إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ فَاعْبُدِ اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ "Indeed, We have sent down to you the Book, [O Muhammad], in truth. So worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion." (39:2)
    فَادْعُوا اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ "So invoke Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, although the disbelievers dislike it." (40:14) (40:65)

The Virtues of the Surah

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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat)

Unique Root Words to this Surah only


1 unique root words that do not appear in any other Surah

Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah

Root Word Frequency
in Surah
Frequency
in Qur'an
أ ل ه 57 2851
ٱلَّذِى 36 1464
ق و ل 25 1722
ك و ن 25 1390
ر ب ب 19 980
د ع و 18 212
أ م ن 17 879
ي و م 15 405
إِلَّا 13 663
ك ف ر 13 525

Period of Revelation

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Background 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?”

Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • The following Surahs all have the letters, Ha-Meem as their opening Ayaat and interestingly what is common to all of them is their mentioning of the Prophet Musa. These Surahs are;

    Surah 40: al-Ghafir
    Surah 41: Fussilat
    Surah 42: Shurah
    Surah 43: Zukhruf
    Surah 44: Dukhan
    Surah 45: Jathiyah
    Surah 46: al-Ahqaaf

  • The angels who bear the throne of Allah pray for those humans who repent and follow the right way.

  • A scene from the Day of Judgement.
  • Allah knows the furtive looks and secret thoughts.
  • Story of the Prophet Musa, Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun.
  • An excellent speech of one of the relatives of Fir'on in favor of the Prophet Musa.
  • Fir'on plotted against that relative, who was a believer, but Allah saved him and destroyed the people of Fir'on, and now they are presented before the fire of Hell every morning and evening.
  • Allah says; "Call me, I will answer your prayers."
  • No one has the right to be worshipped except Allah, the Creator and the Rabb of the world.
  • Those who argue about the revelations of Allah will soon find out the Truth.
  • Allah has sent many Rasools before Muhammad (pbuh): of them some are mentioned in the Qur'an and some are not.
  • Belief after seeing the scourge of Allah is of no avail to the disbelievers.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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