Surah Ankabut >> Currently viewing Surah Ankabut Ayat 14 (29:14)

Surah Ankabut Ayat 14 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِۦ فَلَبِثَ فِيهِمْ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ إِلَّا خَمْسِينَ عَامًۭا فَأَخَذَهُمُ ٱلطُّوفَانُ وَهُمْ ظَـٰلِمُونَ
Wa laqad arsalnaa Noohan ilaa qawmihee falabisa feehim alfa sanatin illaa khamseena ‘aaman fa akhazahumut toofaanu wa hum zaalimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 14

Sahih International
And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years, and the flood seized them while they were wrongdoers.

Yusuf Ali
We (once) sent Noah to his people, and he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty: but the Deluge overwhelmed them while they (persisted in) sin.

Abul Ala Maududi
We did indeed send Noah to his people and he lived among them a thousand years save fifty. Eventually the Flood overtook them while they were engaged in wrongdoing.

Muhsin Khan
And indeed We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years [inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allah (Monotheism), and discard the false gods and other deities], and the Deluge overtook them while they were Zalimun (wrong-doers, polytheists, disbelievers, etc.).

Pickthall
And verily we sent Noah (as Our messenger) unto his folk, and he continued with them for a thousand years save fifty years; and the flood engulfed them, for they were wrong-doers.

Dr. Ghali
And indeed We already sent N‍ûh (Noah) to his people. So he lingered among them a thousand years except fifty seasons. Then the Deluge took them (away) (for) they were unjust.

Abdel Haleem
We sent Noah out to his people. He lived among them for fifty years short of a thousand but when the Flood overwhelmed them they were still doing evil.

Quran 29 Verse 14 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ankabut ayat 14, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(29:14) We did indeed send Noah to his people[21] and he lived among them a thousand years save fifty.[22] Eventually the Flood overtook them while they were engaged in wrongdoing.[23]


21. For comparison, see (Surah Aal-Imran: Ayats 33-34), (Surah An-Nisa: Ayat 163), (Surah Al-Anaam: Ayat 84), (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayats 59-64), (Surah Yuuns: Ayats 71-73), (Surah Hud: Ayats 25-48), (Surah Al-Anbiyaa: Ayats 76-77), (Surah Al-Muminun: Ayats 23-30), (Surah Al-Furqan: Ayat 37), (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayats 105-123), (Surah As-Saffat: Ayats 75-82), (Surah Al-Qamar: Ayats 9-15), (Surah Al- Haqqah: Ayats 11-12), Surah Nuh: Entire Surah. One should keep the initial verses of this Surah in view in order to understand the relevancy of these stories in this context. There, on the one hand, it has been said to the believers, “We have put to the test all those believers who have passed before you”, and, on the other, the wicked disbelievers have been warned to the effect: “You should not have the misunderstanding that you will outstrip Us and escape Our grasp.” It is to impress these two things that these historical events are being related here.

22. This does not mean that the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) lived for 950 years, but it means that after his appointment to prophethood till the coming of the flood, he went on making efforts for 950 years for the reformation of his wicked people, and he did not lose heart even though he suffered persecutions for such a long time. The same is the aim of the discourse here. The believers are being told: “You have been suffering persecutions and experiencing stubbornness of your wicked opponents hardly for six years or so. Just imagine the patience and resolution and firmness of Our servant who braved such afflictions and hardships continuously for nine and a half centuries.”

The Quran and the Bible differ about the age of the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him). The Bible says that he lived for 950 years. He was 600 years old when the flood came, and lived for another 350 years after the flood. But according to the Quran, he must have lived for at least a thousand years, because 950 years is the time that he spent in preaching his mission after his appointment to prophethood till the coming of the flood. Evidently, he must have been appointed to prophethood after he had attained his maturity, and must have lived some life after the flood also.

For some people such a long life is inconceivable. But in this world of God strange happenings are not rare. Wherever one may look one will see extraordinary manifestations of His power. The occurrence of certain events and things in a usual form and manner is no proof that the event or thing cannot happen in an unusual and extraordinary way. To break these assumptions there exists a long list of unusual events and things that have taken place in every kind of creation in every part of the universe. In particular, the person who has a clear concept of God’s being All- Powerful, cannot be involved in the misunderstanding that it is not possible for God, Who is the Creator of life and death, to grant a life of a thousand years or so to any man. The fact is that man of his own will and wish cannot live even for a moment, but if Allah wills, He can make him live for as long as He pleases.

23. That is, the flood came when they still persisted in their wickedness. Had they desisted from it before the coming of the flood, Allah would not have sent this torment on them.

Ibn-Kathir

14. And indeed We sent Nuh to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years; so the Deluge overtook them while they were wrongdoers. 15. Then We saved him and the Companions of the Boat, and made it an Ayah for all people.


Nuh and His People

Here Allah consoles His servant and Messenger Muhammad by telling him that Nuh, peace be upon him, stayed among his people for this long period of time, calling them night and day, in secret and openly, but in spite of all that they still persisted in their aversion to the truth, turning away from it and disbelieving in him. Only a few of them believed with him. Allah says:

﴿فَلَبِثَ فِيهِمْ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ إِلاَّ خَمْسِينَ عَاماً فَأَخَذَهُمُ الطُّوفَانُ وَهُمْ ظَـلِمُونَ﴾

(and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years; and the Deluge overtook them while they were wrongdoers.) meaning, `after this long period of time, when the Message and the warning had been of no avail, so, O Muhammad, do not feel sorry because of those among your people who disbelieve in you, and do not grieve for them, for Allah guides whomsoever He wills and leaves astray whomsoever He wills. The matter rests with Him and all things will return to Him.’

﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَلَوْ جَآءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ﴾

(Truly, those, against whom the Word of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them) (10:96-97). Know that Allah will help you and support you and cause you to prevail, and He will defeat and humiliate your enemies, and make them the lowest of the low. It was recorded that Ibn `Abbas said: “Nuh received his mission when he was forty years old, and he stayed among his people for a thousand years less fifty; after the Flood he lived for sixty years until people had increased and spread.”

﴿فأَنْجَيْنـهُ وأَصْحَـبَ السَّفِينَةِ﴾

(Then We saved him and the Companions of the Boat,) means, those who believed in Nuh, peace be upon him. We have already discussed this in detail in Surah Hud, and there is no need to repeat it here.

﴿وَجَعَلْنَـهَآ ءَايَةً لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ﴾

(and made it (the ship) an Ayah for all people.) means, `We caused that ship to remain,’ whether in itself, as Qatadah said, that it remained until the beginning of Islam, on Mount Judi, or whether the concept of sailing in ships was left as a reminder to mankind of how Allah had saved them from the Flood. This is like the Ayat: s

﴿وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمْ أَنَّا حَمَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ فِى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ – وَخَلَقْنَا لَهُمْ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ مَا يَرْكَبُونَ ﴾

(And an Ayah for them is that We bore their offspring in the laden ship. And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride) until:

﴿وَمَتَاعاً إِلَى حِينٍ﴾

(and as an enjoyment for a while) ﴿36:41-44﴾.

﴿إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا الْمَآءُ حَمَلْنَـكُمْ فِى الْجَارِيَةِ – لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَآ أُذُنٌ وَعِيَةٌ ﴾

(Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the ship. That We might make it an admonition for you and that it might be retained by the retaining ears.) (69:11-12) And Allah says here:

﴿فأَنْجَيْنـهُ وأَصْحَـبَ السَّفِينَةِ وَجَعَلْنَـهَآ ءَايَةً لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(Then We saved him and the Companions of the Boat, and made it an Ayah for all people.) This is a shift from referring to one specific ship to speaking about ships in general. A similar shift from specific to general is to be seen in the Ayat:

﴿وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَـبِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَـهَا رُجُوماً لِّلشَّيَـطِينِ﴾

(And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps missiles to drive away the Shayatin (devils)) (67:5). meaning, `We have made these lamps missiles, but the lamps which are used as missiles are not the same lamps as are used to adorn the heaven.’ And Allah says:

﴿وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِن سُلَـلَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ – ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَـهُ نُطْفَةً فِى قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ ﴾

(And indeed We created man out of an extract of clay. Thereafter We made him a Nutfah in a safe lodging.) (23:12-13). There are many other similar examples.

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