Chapter Scripts

Surah Ghafir 40:41-50

40:41 And, O my people, how is it that I summon you to salvation, the while you summon me to the fire?


i.e., of the universe as a whole. By stressing the fact that man is only a small, insignificant part of the universe, the Qur’an points out the absurdity of the man-centered worldview alluded to in the preceding verse.

40:42 – [For] you call upon me to deny [the oneness of] God and to ascribe a share in His divinity to aught of which I cannot [possibly] have any knowledge, the while I summon you to [a cognition of] the Almighty, the All-Forgiving!


i.e., refuse to admit to themselves that the world as they know it could ever come to an end: which is another aspect of the “overweening conceit” spoken of in verse 56 above.

40:43 There is no doubt that what you summon me to is something that has no claim to being invoked either in this world or in the life to come – as [there is no doubt] that unto God is our return, and that they who have wasted their own selves shall find themselves in the fire.


Cf. 2:186.

40:44 And at that time you will [have cause to] remember what I am telling you [now]. “But [as for me] I commit myself unto God, For, Verily, God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants.”


See note 77 on 27:86.

40:45 And God preserved him from the evil of their scheming, whereas suffering vile was to encompass Pharaoh’s folk. 


Sc., “O you who deny this truth!” For my above rendering of tu’fakun, see note 90 on the last sentence of 5:75.

40:46 The fire [of the hereafter – that fire] which they had been  made to contemplate [in vain], morning and evening: for on the Day when the Last Hour dawns [God will say], “Make Pharaoh’s folk enter upon suffering most severe!”


See surah 29, note 45.

40:47 And Lo! They [who in life were wont to deny the truth] will contend with one another in the fire [of the hereafter], and then the weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance, “Behold, we were but your followers, can you, then, relieve us of some [of our] share of this fire?”


i.e., in accordance with the exigencies of human life. See also note 9 on the first sentence of 7:11.

40:48 [To which] they who had [once] been arrogant will reply, “Behold, we are all in it [together]! Verily, God has judged between His creatures!”


See note 4 on 23:12.

40:49 And they who are in the fire will say to the keepers of hell,”Pray unto your Sustainer that He lighten, [though it be] for one day [only], this suffering of ours!”


Or: “a term known [only to Him]” – cf. 6:2 and the corresponding note 2.

40:50 [But the keepers of hell] will ask, “Is it not [true] that your apostles came unto you with all evidence of the truth?” Those [in the fire] will reply, “Yea, indeed.” [And the keepers of hell] will say, “Pray, then!”- for the prayer of those who deny the truth cannot lead to aught but delusion.


Lit., “how they are turned away” – i.e., from the truth: in this case, from all the observable evidence of God’s Almightiness and creative activity.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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