Surah Al-Furqan

From Islamica
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Criterion


Name of Chapter and Reason for its Name

The name of this chapter is Surah Al-Furqaan and the word Furqaan means ‘a book that is a separator of truth from falsehood’ and it appears in the first verse of this chapter.

Chapter Number

Surah Al-Furqaan is the 25th chapter of the Quran and it was revealed after Surah Yaseen. [1]

Number of Verses

Surah Al-Furqaan has 77 verses.

Place of Revelation

Surah Al-Furqaan was revealed in Mecca and is therefore a Makki chapter. Some narrations however, have deemed verses 68 to 70 to be Madani. [2] [3] [4]


Important Concepts in this Chapter

Verses 1-20

Praise of the Quran and its separation of truth from falsehood; the Lord’s Oneness; the polytheists’ objections of the Prophet; and their denial of the Quran being Divine. The Book that Allah gave to the Prophet has been named Furqaan because it divides truth from falsehood, guidance from misguidance, and halaal (permissible) from haraam (impermissible). [5]

A passage from verse 1, “…that he may be a warner to all of the nations” is an explanation of the intended objective of the revelation of the Quran, and that is to warn the inhabitants of the earth, be they man or jinn. The form of this warning has come without glad tidings because of the style of this chapter with regard to explaining this admonition. [6]

Verse 2 “Yet they have taken gods besides Him who create nothing and have themselves been created,” is referring to the polytheists who worship fictitious gods who not only do not create anything, but they themselves are from among those who are created. [7] The intended meaning of ‘myths’ in verse 5, “They say, ‘He has taken down myths of the ancients, and they are dictated to him morning and evening,’” are written fables from the past which have remained and most of which are applied as superstitious information. [8] The Quran is not a lie, nor is it a ‘myth,’ and this accusation that has come from the polytheists has been rejected in these verses. [9]

Verses 21-31

The polytheists’ pride; a request for the sending of angels; the polytheists’ and disbelievers’ end and their regret and remorse at that time; Allah is the helper of the Prophet.

In verse 21 of this chapter, “Those who do not expect to encounter Us say, ‘Why have angels not been sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord?’ Certainly, they are full of arrogance within their souls and have become terribly defiant.” This is an explanation for one of the objections from the polytheists and disbelievers that they had requested to meet the angels without an intermediary and because of their arrogance they once again cast doubt on the message of the Prophet. [10]

Verse 25 which says: “The day when the sky with its clouds will be split open, and the angels will be sent down [in a majestic] descent,” is related to the Day of Judgement, and on that day the skies will split open and the angels will descend. [11]

Verses 32-52

The disbelievers’ excuses regarding the gradual revelation of the Quran; their taunting the Prophet and lack of acceptance of the message; Allah’s support of the Prophet; a reference towards the end of the misled ones; and a command not to support the disbelievers and to wage war against them. The passage, “So it was, that We may strengthen your heart with it,” in verse 32 and “So it was, that We may strengthen your heart with it, and We have recited it [to you] in a measured tone. They do not bring you any representation but that We bring you the truth [in reply to them] and the best exposition” in verse 33 explain the complete reason why the Quran was revealed gradually and that is for the peace of heart and strengthening of the mind. In this verse the intended meaning of ‘strengthening’ is a gradational strengthening. [12] The passage, “They do not bring you any representation…” means that no proof or misgiving has been brought forward that has not been responded to with a verse that is revealed or an answer that is revealed by Jibrail from Allah and this is a proof of the Prophet’s great character. [13]

Verses 53-77

An invitation to monotheism and a response to the disbelievers’ doubts; an explanation of the Prophet’s rewards; the qualities of the ‘Servants of the Beneficent’, their manner of repentance and how to be among them; and the good end of the good doers. The Prophet’s reward for his mission has been mentioned in verse 57: “Say, ‘I do not ask you any reward for it, except that anyone who wishes should take the way to his Lord.’” This means that the reward for the mission is nothing except “that anyone who wishes should take the way to his Lord’” and here the reward of the Prophet’s mission is monotheism, and the people’s worshipping of One deity. [14] Other verses refer to the qualities of the ‘Servants of the Beneficent’ who are described as “those who walk humbly on the earth” [15], and this means those who walk reservedly and far from pride. Also among their qualities is “and when the ignorant address them, (they) say, ‘Peace!’” [15] In response to those who are misguided, they reply to them with soft words. [16] [17]

Discussions on this Chapter

According to the Sunni Traditions

Verse 10: “Blessed is He who will grant you better than that if He wishes—gardens with streams running in them, and He will make for you palaces.”

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي إِنْ شَاءَ جَعَلَ لَكَ خَيْرًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكَ قُصُورًا١٠ عن حبیب بن أبی ثابت عن خیثمة: قیل للنبی صلی اللّه علیه و سلم إن شئت أن نعطیک خزائن الأرض و مفاتیح‌ها ما لم نعطه نبیا قبلک، و لا نعطی أحدا من بعدک و لا ینقص ذلک مما لک عند اللّه، فقال «اجمعوها لی فی الآخرة» فأنزل اللّه عز و جل فی ذلک تَبارَک الَّذِی إِنْ شاءَ جَعَلَ لَک خَیراً مِنْ ذلِک

Habib ibn Abu Thaabit narrates from Khaythamah that it was said to the Prophet: “If you wish, we will give you treasures of the earth and its keys in a way that we have not given to any Prophet before you and will not be given to anyone after you, and it will not reduce anything from what you have with Allah.” The Prophet said: “Gather that for me in the Hereafter.” Then regarding this matter Allah sent down (this verse), ‘Blessed is He who will grant you better than that if He wishes.’ [18]

Verse 12: “When it sights them from a distant place, they will hear it raging and roaring.”

إِذَا رَأَتْهُمْ مِنْ مَكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ سَمِعُوا لَهَا تَغَيُّظًا وَزَفِيرًا١٢ عن خالد بن کثیر، عن خالد بن دریک بإسناده عن رجل من أصحاب النبی صلی اللّه علیه و سلم قال: قال رسول اللّه: «من یقل علی ما لم أقل، أو ادعی إلی غیر والدیه، أو انتمی إلی غیر موالیه فلیتبوأ مقعده من النار- و فی روایة- فلیتبوأ بین عینی جهنم مقعدا» قیل: یا رسول اللّه و هل لها من عینین؟ قال «أما سمعتم اللّه یقول إِذا رَأَتْهُمْ مِنْ مَکانٍ بَعِیدٍ»

Khalid ibn Kathir narrates from Khalid ibn Durayk who through his own chain of narrators, narrates from one of the companions of the Prophet that the Prophet said: “A person who ascribes something to me that I have not said, or attributes oneself to those other than one’s own parents, or affiliates oneself with those who are not his masters - shall take the fire of hell as his home. In a tradition it says – one shall take up a home in between the two eyes of hell.” It was asked of the Prophet: “O Prophet of Allah! Does hell have two eyes?” He replied: “Have you not heard Allah say, ‘When it sights them from a distant place.’” [19]

Verse 63: “The servants of the All-Beneficent are those who walk humbly on the earth, and when the ignorant address them, say, ‘Peace!’”

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا٦٣ عن أبی خالد الوالبی، عن النعمان بن مقرن المزنی قال: قال رسول اللّه صلی اللّه علیه و سلم، و سب رجل رجلا عنده، فجعل قال: المسبوب یقول: علیک السلام، الرجل فقال رسول اللّه صلی اللّه علیه و سلم «أما إن ملکا بینکما یذب عنک، کلما شتمک هذا قال له: بل أنت و أنت أحق به، و إذا قلت له و علیک السلام، قال: لا بل علیک و أنت أحق به»

Abu Khalid al-Walibi narrates from Noman ibn Muqarrin al-Mazani that a man used abusive language against another man in the presence of the Prophet, and the one who was abused said ‘Peace be upon you’ to the abuser. The Prophet said to the one who was abused: “Indeed there is an angel between the two of you who defends you. When this person abused you, the angel said to him: ‘Rather you are more worthy of that abuse;’ and when you said to him ‘and peace be upon you’ the angel said: ‘No, rather upon you (be peace) for you are more worthy of it.’” [20]

Verse 71: “And whoever repents and acts righteously indeed turns to Allah with due penitence.”

وَمَنْ تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتَابًا٧١ عن شریح بن عبید عن أبی مالک الأشعری قال: قال رسول اللّه صلی اللّه علیه و سلم «إذا نام ابن آدم قال الملک للشیطان: أعطنی صحیفتک، فیعطیه إیاها، فما وجد فی صحیفته من حسنة محا بها عشر سیئات من صحیفة الشیطان و کتبهن حسنات، فإذا أراد أحدکم أن ینام فلیکبر ثلاثا و ثلاثین تکبیرة، و یحمد أربعا و ثلاثین تحمیدة، و یسبح ثلاثا و ثلاثین تسبیحة فتلک مائة»

Shurayh ibn Ubayd narrates from Abu Maalik al-Ashari that the Prophet said: “When a son of Adam sleeps, an angel says to Shaytan: ‘Give me your book.’ Then he gives it to the angel. Then, with every good deed the angel finds in his book, he wipes ten evil deeds from Shaytan’s book and instead writes ten good deeds.’ Thus whenever anyone of you wishes to go to sleep, he should recite 33 takbir (Allahu Akbar), 34 tamhid (Alhamdulillah), and 33 tasbih (Subhanallah) - and that makes a hundred.” [21]

According to the Shia Traditions

Verse 1: “Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all of the nations.”

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا١ عَلِی بْنُ إِبْرَاهِیمَ عَنْ أَبِیهِ عَنِ ابْنِ سِنَانٍ أَوْ عَنْ غَیرِهِ عَمَّنْ ذَکرَهُ قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَنِ الْقُرْآنِ وَ الْفُرْقَانِ أَ هُمَا شَیئَانِ أَوْ شَی‌ءٌ وَاحِدٌ فَقَالَ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةُ الْکتَابِ وَ الْفُرْقَانُ الْمُحْکمُ الْوَاجِبُ الْعَمَلِ بِهِ

Ali ibn Ibrahim narrates from his father, from Ibn Sinan or from someone else, from someone whose name has been mentioned by him that he said: “I asked Abu Abdillah about the Quran and the Furqaan, whether they are two (separate) things or one?” He replied: “The Quran is the whole book, and Furqaan is that firm part of it acting upon which is obligatory.” [22]

Verse 22: “The day they will see the angels, there will be no good news for the guilty on that day, and they will say, ‘Keep off [from Paradise]!’”

يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَا بُشْرَى يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْمُجْرِمِينَ وَيَقُولُونَ حِجْرًا مَحْجُورًا٢٢ عن جابر بن یزید الجعفی عن أبی جعفر فی حدیث یذکر فیه قبض روح الکافر قال: فَإِذا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُومَ ضَرَبَتِ الْمَلَائِکةُ وَجْهَهُ وَ دُبُرَهُ وَ قِیلَ أَخْرِجُوا أَنْفُسَکمُ الْیوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذابَ الْهُونِ بِما کنْتُمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَی اللَّهِ غَیرَ الْحَقِّ وَ کنْتُمْ عَنْ آیاتِهِ تَسْتَکبِرُونَ وَ ذَلِک قَوْلُهُ یوْمَ یرَوْنَ الْمَلائِکةَ لا بُشْری‌یَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْمُجْرِمِینَ وَ یقُولُونَ حِجْراً مَحْجُوراً فَیقُولُونَ حَرَاماً عَلَیکمُ الْجَنَّةُ مُحَرَّما

Jabir ibn Yazeed al-Jufi narrates a tradition from Abu Jafar regarding the taking of the soul from an unbeliever, and Imam al-Baqir replied: “When it (the unbeliever’s soul) reaches his throat, the angels will hit his face and his posterior, and it will be said to him, ‘Give up your souls! Today you shall be requited with a humiliating punishment because of what you used to attribute to Allah untruly, and for your being disdainful towards His signs.’ This is Allah’s word (that) ‘The day they will see the angels, there will be no good news for the guilty on that day, and they will say, ‘Keep off [from Paradise]!’’ Then they will say: ‘The Paradise is forbidden for you.’” [23]

Verse 23: “Then We shall attend to the works that they have done and then turn them into scattered dust.”

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَنْثُورًا٢٣ عن سلیمان بن خالد قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عن قول الله عز و جل: «وَ قَدِمْنا إِلی ما عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْناهُ هَباءً مَنْثُوراً» قال: أما و الله لقد کانت أعمالهم- أشد بیاضا من القباطی- و لکن کانوا إذا عرض لهم حرام لم یدعوه

Sulayman ibn Khalid says: “I asked Abu Abdillah about these words of Allah ‘Then We shall attend to the works they have done and then turn them into scattered dust.’” He replied: “As for them, by Allah, indeed their deeds were whiter than the white clothes, but whenever a forbidden act was presented to them, they would not turn it down.” [23]

Verse 24: “On that day the inhabitants of paradise will be in the best abode and an excellent resting place.”

أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا٢٤ عن عبد الأعلی و بإسناد آخر عن سوید بن غفلة قال: قال أمیر المؤمنین فی حدیث وضع المؤمن فی قبره. فَیفْسَحَانِ لَهُ فِی قَبْرِهِ مَدَّ بَصَرِهِ- وَ یفْتَحَانِ لَهُ بَاباً إِلَی الْجَنَّةِ وَ یقُولَانِ لَهُ نَمْ قَرِیرَ الْعَینِ نَوْمَ الشَّابِّ النَّاعِمِ- وَ هُوَ قَوْلُهُ «أَصْحابُ الْجَنَّةِ یوْمَئِذٍ خَیرٌ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَ أَحْسَنُ مَقِیلًا»

....Suwayd ibn Ghaflah says in a tradition about a believer’s state in the grave that Amir al-Momineen says: “Then they (two angels that visit the grave after one’s death) widen the grave for him as far as his eyes can see and they open for him a door to paradise and say to him: ‘Be at peace with tranquillity just like (tranquillity of) sleep of a youth blessed with favours.’ These are the words of Allah, ‘On that day the inhabitants of paradise will be in the best abode and an excellent resting place.’” [24]

Verse 67: “Those who, when spending, are neither wasteful nor tight-fisted, and moderation lies between these [extremes].”

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنْفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَامًا٦٧ عن محمد بن سنان عن أبی الحسن: فِی قَوْلِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ- وَ کانَ بَینَ ذلِک قَواماً قَالَ الْقَوَامُ هُوَ الْمَعْرُوفُ- عَلَی الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَ عَلَی الْمُقْتِرِ قَدَرُهُ مَتاعاً بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَی الْمُحْسِنِینَ عَلَی قَدْرِ عِیالِهِ وَ مَئُونَتِهِمُ الَّتِی هِی صَلَاحٌ لَهُ وَ لَهُمْ وَ لا یکلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْساً إِلَّا ما آتاها

Muhammad ibn Sinaan narrates from Abul Hasan with regards to the following word of Allah, ‘Those who are neither wasteful nor tight-fisted when spending, and moderation (having Qawam) lies between these [two extremes]’ that he said: “Qawam means honourable (amount) - the well-off according to his capacity, and the poor according to his capacity - it is an obligation upon the virtuous ones to provide for their family and their daily expenses with a sustenance that is honourable and which is suitable for him and his family. And Allah does not hold anyone responsible for more than what has been given to them.” [25]

Verse 73: “Those who, when reminded about the signs of their Lord, do not turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to them.”

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا٧٣ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ زِیادٍ عَنْ أَبِی بَصِیرٍ قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ قَوْلِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ- وَ الَّذِینَ إِذا ذُکرُوا بِآیاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ یخِرُّوا عَلَیها صُمًّا وَ عُمْیاناً قَالَ مُسْتَبْصِرِینَ لَیسُوا بِشُکاک

Muhammad ibn Ziyad narrates from Abu Baseer who says: “I asked Abu Abdillah about the words of Allah, ‘Those who, when reminded about the signs of their Lord, do not turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to them,’ and he said: ‘It means that they are insightful and have no doubts.’” [26]


  1. Mahmud Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf an Haqaiq Ghawamid al-Tanzil (1986), Volume 3, Page 262
  2. Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf an Haqaiq Ghawamid al-Tanzil (1986), Page 262
  3. Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran (1971), Volume 15, Page 173
  4. Fadhl ibn Hasan Tabrisi, Majma al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran (1988), Volume 7, Page 250
  5. Ismail ibn Umar ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim (1998), Volume 6, Page 84
  6. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran (1971), Page 174
  7. Ibid., Page 177
  8. Ibid., Page 181
  9. Ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim (1998), Page 86
  10. Ibid., Page 24
  11. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran (1971), Page 202
  12. Ibid., Page 210
  13. Ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim (1998), Page 99
  14. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran (1971), Page 230
  15. 15.0 15.1 Surah al-Furqaan, Verse 63
  16. Ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim (1998), Page 110
  17. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran (1971), Page 239
  18. Ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim, Volume 6, Page 87
  19. Ibid., Page 88
  20. Ibid., Page 111
  21. Ibid., Page 116
  22. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Volume 15, Page 187
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ibid., Page 206
  24. Ibid., Page 207
  25. Ibid., Page 247
  26. Ibid., Page 248