Surah Ghafir >> Currently viewing Surah Ghafir Ayat 23 (40:23)

Surah Ghafir Ayat 23 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا وَسُلْطَـٰنٍۢ مُّبِينٍ
Wa laqad arsalnaa Moosaa bi Aayaatinaa wa sultaanim mubeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 23

Sahih International
And We did certainly send Moses with Our signs and a clear authority

Yusuf Ali
Of old We sent Moses, with Our Signs and an authority manifest,

Abul Ala Maududi
Verily We sent Moses with Our Signs and a clear authority

Muhsin Khan
And indeed We sent Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and a manifest authority,

And verily We sent Moses with Our revelations and a clear warrant

Dr. Ghali
And indeed We already sent Mû‍sa (Moses) with Our signs and an evident all-binding authority.

Abdel Haleem
We sent Moses with Our signs and clear authority

Quran 40 Verse 23 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ghafir ayat 23, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(40:23) Verily We sent Moses[35] with Our Signs and a clear authority[37]

35. For the other details of the story of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), see (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 49-61); (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 164); (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayats 20-26); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 103-162); (Surah Yunus, Ayats 7, 5- 92); (Surah Houd, Ayats 17, 96-97), 110); Introduction to Surah Yusuf; (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 5-8); (Surah Bani-Israil, Ayats 101-104); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayats 60-82); (Surah Maryam, Ayats 51-53); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 9-98); (Surah AlMuminun, Ayats 45-49); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayats 10-68); (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 7-14); Introduction to Surah Al- Qasas and (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 3-44); (Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayats 69); (Surah As-Saff, Ayats 114-122) and the E.Ns thereof.

36. “A manifest authority”: With such clear signs as left no doubt that he had been sent by Allah, and he had Allah, Lord of the worlds’ power at his back. From a careful study of the details of the Prophet Moses’ story, as given in the Quran, it becomes obvious as to what were those signs which are being described here as a clear authority of his appointment as a Prophet by Allah. In the first place, even this was strange that a person who, a few years earlier, had fled the country after killing a man of Pharaoh’s nation and whose warrants of arrest had been issued, should make a sudden appearance directly in the packed court of Pharaoh, with a staff in hand, and should boldly and fearlessly address the king and his nobles and demand that they should acknowledge him as the representative of Allah, Lord of the worlds, and should act according to what he says, and none dares to lay his hands on him. Whereas the nation to which Moses belonged, had been so suppressed under slavery that if he had been apprehended immediately on the charge of murder, no one would have voiced even a protest, not to speak of rising in rebellion. This shows that Pharaoh and his courtiers had been aweinspired just at the appearance of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), even before they witnessed the miracles of the staff and the shining hand, and they had realized in the very beginning that he had some greater power behind him, Then each of the wonderful miracles that he performed, one after the other, was enough to bring about the conviction that it was not a manifestation of magic but of divine power. After all, what power of magic could cause a staff to change into a serpent, or cause a whole country to suffer from famine, or cause different sorts of disasters to strike vast areas of the land on a sudden notice by Moses and be removed on a notice by him? That is why, according to the Quran, Pharaoh and all the responsible people of his kingdom had been convinced in their hearts, whether they might be refusing to profess with the tongue, that Moses had indeed been appointed a Prophet by Allah. (For details, see (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 106-117); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 56 78); (Surah Ash-Shuara, Ayats 30-51); (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 10-13).


23. And indeed We sent Musa with Our Ayat, and a manifest authority, 24. To Fir`awn, Haman and Qarun, but they called (him): “A sorcerer, a liar!” 25. Then, when he brought them the Truth from Us, they said: “Kill with him the sons of those who believe and let their women live;” but the plots of disbelievers are nothing but in vain! 26. Fir`awn said: “Leave me to kill Musa, and let him call his Lord! I fear that he may change your religion, or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land!” 27. Musa said: “Verily, I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!”

The Story of Musa and Fir`awn

Allah consoles His Prophet Muhammad for the disbelief of his people and gives him the glad tidings of good consequences and victory in this world and the Hereafter, as happened to Musa bin `Imran, peace be upon him, whom Allah sent with clear proof and definitive evidence. Allah says:

﴿بِـَايَـتِنَا وَسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(with Our Ayat, and a manifest authority). Authority means proof and evidence.

﴿إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ﴾

(to Fir`awn), who was the king of the Copts of Egypt.


(Haman) who was his adviser.


(and Qarun) who was the richest trader among the people of his time.

﴿فَقَالُواْ سَـحِرٌ كَـذَّابٌ﴾

(but they called (him): “A sorcerer, liar!”) means, they rejected him and thought he was a sorcerer, a madman and an illusionist who was telling lies about having been sent by Allah. This is like the Ayah:

﴿كَذَلِكَ مَآ أَتَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ قَالُواْ سَـحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ – أَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ طَـغُونَ ﴾

(Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them but they said: “A sorcerer or a madman!” Have they transmitted this saying to these Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds!) (51:52-53)

﴿فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ مِنْ عِندِنَا﴾

(Then, when he brought them the Truth from Us,) means, with definite evidence that Allah had sent him to them,

﴿قَالُواْ اقْتُلُواْ أَبْنَآءَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ وَاسْتَحْيُواْ نِسَآءَهُمْ﴾

(they said: “Kill with him the sons of those who believe and let their women live;) This was a second command from Fir`awn to kill the males of the Children of Israel. The first command had been as a precaution against the emergence of a man like Musa, or an act intended to humiliate this people or reduce their numbers or both. The second command was for the second reason, to humiliate the people so that they would regard Musa as a bad omen. they said:

﴿أُوذِينَا مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِن بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا قَالَ عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَيَنظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾

(“We (Children of Israel) had suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us.” He said: “It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act”) (7:129). Qatadah said, this was one command after another.

﴿وَمَا كَـيْدُ الْكَـفِرِينَ إِلاَّ فِى ضَلَـلٍ﴾

(but the plots of disbelievers are nothing but in vain!) means, their schemes and intentions — to reduce the numbers of the Children of Israel lest they prevail over them — were doomed to failure.

﴿وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ ذَرُونِى أَقْتُلْ مُوسَى وَلْيَدْعُ رَبَّهُ﴾

(Fir`awn said: “Leave me to kill Musa, and let him call his Lord!…”) Fir`awn, may Allah curse him, resolved to kill Musa, peace be upon him, i.e., he said to his people, `let me kill him for you.’

﴿وَلْيَدْعُ رَبَّهُ﴾

(and let him call his Lord!) means, `I do not care.’ This is the utmost in offensive stubbornness.

﴿إِنِّى أَخَافُ أَن يُبَدِّلَ دِينَكُـمْ أَوْ أَن يُظْهِرَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ الْفَسَادَ﴾

(I fear that he may change your religion, or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land!) means, Musa; Fir`awn was afraid that Musa would lead his people astray and change their ways and customs. As if Fir`awn would be concerned about what Musa might do to his people! The majority understood this as meaning, `he will change your religion and cause mischief to appear in the land.’

﴿وَقَالَ مُوسَى إِنِّى عُذْتُ بِرَبِّى وَرَبِّكُـمْ مِّن كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ ﴾

(Musa said: “Verily, I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!”) means, when he heard that Fir`awn had said,

﴿ذَرُونِى أَقْتُلْ مُوسَى﴾

(Leave me to kill Musa,) Musa, peace be upon him, said, “I seek refuge and protection with Allah from his evil and the evil of those like him.” So he said:

﴿إِنِّى عُذْتُ بِرَبِّى وَرَبِّكُـمْ﴾

(Verily, I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord) — those who were being addressed here —

﴿مِّن كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ﴾

(from every arrogant) means, from every evildoer,

﴿لاَّ يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ﴾

(who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!) It was reported in the Hadith narrated from Abu Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, that when the Messenger of Allah was afraid of some people, he would say:

«اللْهُمَّ إِنَّا نَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شُرُورِهِمْ، وَنَدْرَأُ بِكَ فِي نُحُورِهِم»

(O Allah, we seek refuge in You from their evil and we seek Your help in repulsing them.)

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