Assalamualaikum.

Surah Nuh (Arabic: سورة نوح) is the 71st Surah of the Quran. It is classified as a Meccan Surah and composed of 28 ayat.  

This Surah discusses the story of Prophet Nuh (Noah) who according to some reports preached islam for over 900 years. The numbers of believers over centuries did not increase and he slowly grew frustrated and made du’a asking for the punishment of the disbelievers. This brought up Allah’s wrath and they were all destroyed in a flood.

One of the goals of the My Islam site it to make it easy for you to read and understand the Quran. Below every ayat in Arabic there’s transliteration to help with pronunciation. We’ve also included the Sahih International translation to help with understanding. At the end of the Surah you can find different sources for Tafsir including Ibn Kathir.

Notable Quote:

 “And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.”
Surah Nuh Ayat 10

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Read Surah Nuh with Translation and Transliteration

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِۦٓ أَنْ أَنذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ

Innaaa arsalnaa Noohan ilaa qawmihee an anzir qawmaka min qabli any yaatiyahum ‘azaabun aleem
1. Indeed, We sent Noah to his people, [saying], “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment.”

قَالَ يَـٰقَوْمِ إِنِّى لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌۭ مُّبِينٌ

Qaala yaa qawmi innee lakum nazeerum mubeen
2. He said, “O my people, indeed I am to you a clear warner,

أَنِ ٱعْبُدُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱتَّقُوهُ وَأَطِيعُونِ

Ani’udul laaha watta qoohu wa atee’oon
3. [Saying], ‘Worship Allah, fear Him and obey me.

يَغْفِرْ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَيُؤَخِّرْكُمْ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍۢ مُّسَمًّى ۚ إِنَّ أَجَلَ ٱللَّهِ إِذَا جَآءَ لَا يُؤَخَّرُ ۖ لَوْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Yaghfir lakum min zunoobikum wa yu’akhkhirkum ilaaa ajalim musammaa; innaa ajalal laahi izaa jaaa’a laa yu’akhkhar; law kuntum ta’lamoon
4. Allah will forgive you of your sins and delay you for a specified term. Indeed, the time [set by] Allah, when it comes, will not be delayed, if you only knew.’ “

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِى لَيْلًۭا وَنَهَارًۭا

Qaala rabbi innee da’awtu qawmee lailanw wa naharaa
5. He said, “My Lord, indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day.

فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَآءِىٓ إِلَّا فِرَارًۭا

Falam yazid hum du’aaa ‘eee illaa firaaraa
6. But my invitation increased them not except in flight.

وَإِنِّى كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُوٓا۟ أَصَـٰبِعَهُمْ فِىٓ ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَٱسْتَغْشَوْا۟ ثِيَابَهُمْ وَأَصَرُّوا۟ وَٱسْتَكْبَرُوا۟ ٱسْتِكْبَارًۭا

Wa inee kullamaa da’awtuhum litaghfira lahum ja’alooo asaabi’ahum fee aazaanihim wastaghshaw siyaabahum wa asaarroo wastakbarus tikbaaraa
7. And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance.

ثُمَّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُهُمْ جِهَارًۭا

Summa innee da’aw tuhum jihaara
8. Then I invited them publicly.

ثُمَّ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَنتُ لَهُمْ وَأَسْرَرْتُ لَهُمْ إِسْرَارًۭا

Summaa inneee a’lantu lahum wa asrartu lahum israaraa
9. Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly

فَقُلْتُ ٱسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ غَفَّارًۭا

Faqultus taghfiroo Rabakum innahoo kaana Ghaffaaraa
10. And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.

يُرْسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًۭا

Yursilis samaaa’a ‘alaikum midraaraa
11. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers

وَيُمْدِدْكُم بِأَمْوَ‌ٰلٍۢ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَـٰرًۭا

Wa yumdidkum bi am waalinw wa baneena wa yaj’al lakum Jannaatinw wa yaj’al lakum anhaaraa
12. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.

مَّا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًۭا

Maa lakum laa tarjoona lillaahi waqaaraa
13. What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur

وَقَدْ خَلَقَكُمْ أَطْوَارًا

Wa qad khalaqakum at waaraa
14. While He has created you in stages?

أَلَمْ تَرَوْا۟ كَيْفَ خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَـٰوَ‌ٰتٍۢ طِبَاقًۭا

Alam taraw kaifa khalaqal laahu sab’a samaawaatin tibaaqaa
15. Do you not consider how Allah has created seven heavens in layers

وَجَعَلَ ٱلْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُورًۭا وَجَعَلَ ٱلشَّمْسَ سِرَاجًۭا

Wa ja’alal qamara feehinna nooranw wa ja’alash shamsa siraajaa
16. And made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp?

وَٱللَّهُ أَنۢبَتَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَرْضِ نَبَاتًۭا

Wallaahu ambatakum minal ardi nabaataa
17. And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth.

ثُمَّ يُعِيدُكُمْ فِيهَا وَيُخْرِجُكُمْ إِخْرَاجًۭا

Summa yu’eedukum feehaa wa ukhrijukum ikhraajaa
18. Then He will return you into it and extract you [another] extraction.

وَٱللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلْأَرْضَ بِسَاطًۭا

Wallaahu ja’ala lakumul arda bisaataa
19. And Allah has made for you the earth an expanse

لِّتَسْلُكُوا۟ مِنْهَا سُبُلًۭا فِجَاجًۭا

Litaslukoo minhaa subulan fijaajaa
20. That you may follow therein roads of passage.’ “

قَالَ نُوحٌۭ رَّبِّ إِنَّهُمْ عَصَوْنِى وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ مَن لَّمْ يَزِدْهُ مَالُهُۥ وَوَلَدُهُۥٓ إِلَّا خَسَارًۭا

Qaala Noohur Rabbi innahum ‘asawnee wattaba’oo mal lam yazid hu maaluhoo wa waladuhooo illaa khasaara
21. Noah said, “My Lord, indeed they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children will not increase him except in loss.

وَمَكَرُوا۟ مَكْرًۭا كُبَّارًۭا

Wa makaroo makran kubbaaraa
22. And they conspired an immense conspiracy.

وَقَالُوا۟ لَا تَذَرُنَّ ءَالِهَتَكُمْ وَلَا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّۭا وَلَا سُوَاعًۭا وَلَا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْرًۭا

Wa qaaloo laa tazarunna aalihatakum wa laa tazarunna Waddanw wa laa Suwaa’anw wa laa Yaghoosa wa Ya’ooqa wa Nasraa
23. And said, ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa’ or Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr.

وَقَدْ أَضَلُّوا۟ كَثِيرًۭا ۖ وَلَا تَزِدِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ إِلَّا ضَلَـٰلًۭا

Wa qad adalloo kasee ranw wa laa tazidiz zaalimeena illaa dalaalaa
24. And already they have misled many. And, [my Lord], do not increase the wrongdoers except in error.”

مِّمَّا خَطِيٓـَٔـٰتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُوا۟ فَأُدْخِلُوا۟ نَارًۭا فَلَمْ يَجِدُوا۟ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَنصَارًۭا

Mimmaa khateee’ aatihim ughriqoo fa udkhiloo Naaran falam yajidoo lahum min doonil laahi ansaaraa
25. Because of their sins they were drowned and put into the Fire, and they found not for themselves besides Allah [any] helpers.

وَقَالَ نُوحٌۭ رَّبِّ لَا تَذَرْ عَلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ مِنَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ دَيَّارًا

Wa qaala Noohur Rabbi laa tazar ‘alal ardi minal kaafireena daiyaaraa
26. And Noah said, “My Lord, do not leave upon the earth from among the disbelievers an inhabitant.

إِنَّكَ إِن تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا۟ عِبَادَكَ وَلَا يَلِدُوٓا۟ إِلَّا فَاجِرًۭا كَفَّارًۭا

Innaka in tazarhum yudil loo ‘ibaadaka wa laa yalidooo illaa faajiran kaffaaraa
27. Indeed, if You leave them, they will mislead Your servants and not beget except [every] wicked one and [confirmed] disbeliever.

رَّبِّ ٱغْفِرْ لِى وَلِوَ‌ٰلِدَىَّ وَلِمَن دَخَلَ بَيْتِىَ مُؤْمِنًۭا وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَارًۢا

Rabbigh fir lee wa liwaa lidaiya wa liman dakhala baitiya mu’minanw wa lil mu’mineena wal mu’minaati wa laa tazidiz zaalimeena illaa tabaaraa
28. My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whoever enters my house a believer and the believing men and believing women. And do not increase the wrongdoers except in destruction.”

Tafseer of Surah Nuh

We’ve including this section adding various different tafseer of Surah Nuh for those looking to gain a more comprehensive view and understanding of this Surah.

Many people read the Quran in Arabic which is amazing and should be continued but let’s not forgot that the Qur’an was a revelation to all people that Islam is the one true religion and the Quran is a complete book for guidance. Thus we should not only read the Quran but make it a study. And there’s no one right way to do this, each person has a different learning style. We can listen to lectures or we can read the interpretations from different scholars. 

It is our personal belief that the tafseer provides a more structured format and is more dense then a formal talk. You can branch off easily and explore different ayat of different Surahs as needed and learn at your own pace. We’ve included three different tafseers below, if you have any other recommendations you can send an email to our team and we’ll see if it can be added.

Tafsir Surah Nuh by Ibn Kathir

Which was revealed in Makkah
﴿بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴾

 

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Nuh’s Invitation to His People

Allah says concerning Nuh that He sent him to his people commanding him to warn them of the punishment of Allah before it befell them. He was to tell them that if they would repent and turn to Allah, then the punishment would be lifted from them. Due to this Allah says,

﴿إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحاً إِلَى قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – قَالَ يقَوْمِ إِنِّى لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴾

 

(“Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.” He said: “O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you.”) meaning, clarity of the warning, making the matter apparent and clear.

﴿أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاتَّقُوهُ﴾

 

(That you should worship Allah, and have Taqwa of Him,) meaning, `abandon those things that He has forbidden and avoid that which He has declared to be sinful.’

﴿وَأَطِيعُونِ﴾

 

(and obey me,) `In that which I command you to do and that which I forbid you from.’

﴿يَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ﴾

 

(He will forgive you of your sins) meaning, `if you do what I command you to do and you believe in what I have been sent with to you, then Allah will forgive you for your sins. ‘

﴿وَيُؤَخِّرْكُمْ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى﴾

 

(and respite you to an appointed term.) meaning, `He will extend your life span and protect you from the torment that He would have made befall you if you did not stay away from His prohibitions.’ This Ayah is used as proof by those who say that obedience (to Allah), righteousness and maintaining the family ties truly increase the life span of a person. This is like that which has been reported in the Hadith,

«صِلَةُ الرَّحِمِ تَزِيدُ فِي الْعُمُر»

 

(Maintaining the family ties increases the life span.) Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿إِنَّ أَجَلَ اللَّهِ إِذَا جَآءَ لاَ يُؤَخَّرُ لَوْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ﴾

 

(Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but know.) means, hasten to the obedience (of Allah) before the coming of His vengeance. For verily, if He commands that to happen, it cannot be repulsed or prevented. For He is the Great One Who compels everything, and He is the Almighty Whose might all of creation succumbs to.

Nuh complains about his Encounter with His People

Allah tells about His servant and Messenger, Nuh, and that he complained to his Lord about the response he received from his people, and how he was patient with them for this long period of time — which was nine hundred and fifty years. He complained due to his explaining and clarifying matters for them and his calling them to guidance and the straightest path. So he (Nuh) said,

﴿رَبِّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِى لَيْلاً وَنَهَاراً﴾

 

(O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day,) meaning, `I did not abandon calling them night and day, carrying out Your command and in obediance to You.’

﴿فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَآئِى إِلاَّ فِرَاراً ﴾

 

(But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight.) meaning, `the more I called them to come to the truth, the more they fled from it and avoided it.’

﴿وَإِنِّى كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُواْ أَصَـبِعَهُمْ فِى ءَاذَنِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْاْ ثِيَابَهُمْ﴾

 

(And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments,) meaning, `they closed up their ears so that they could not hear what I was calling them to.’ This is similar to what Allah said about the disbelievers of the Quraysh.

﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لاَ تَسْمَعُواْ لِهَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ وَالْغَوْاْ فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَغْلِبُونَ ﴾

 

(And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qur’an, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome.”) (41:26)

﴿وَاسْتَغْشَوْاْ ثِيَابَهُمْ﴾

 

(covered themselves up with their garments,) Ibn Jarir recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “They concealed themselves under false pretences from him so that he would not recognize them.” Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi both said, “They covered their heads so that they could not hear what he was saying.”

﴿وَأَصَرُّواْ﴾

 

(and persisted,) meaning, they continued in what they were upon of associating partners with Allah and great disbelief.

﴿وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ اسْتِكْبَاراً﴾

 

(and magnified themselves in pride.) meaning, they were turned away from following the truth and submitting to it.

﴿ثُمَّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُهُمْ جِهَـراً ﴾

 

(Then verily, I called to them openly.) meaning, openly among the people.

﴿ثُمَّ إِنِّى أَعْلَنْتُ لَهُمْ﴾

 

(Then verily, I proclaimed to them in public,) meaning, with open speech and a raised voice.

﴿وَأَسْرَرْتُ لَهُمْ إِسْرَاراً﴾

 

(and I have appealed to them in private.) meaning, in discussions with them. So he tried various types of propagation to be more effective with them.

What Nuh said when He called His People to Allah
﴿فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً ﴾

 

(I said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving;) meaning, `return to Him and turn away from what you are involved in. Repent to Him soon, for verily, He is Most Accepting of the repentance of those who turn to Him in repentance. He will accept repentance no matter what the sin is, even if it is disbelief and polytheism.’ Thus, he said,

﴿فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً – يُرْسِلِ السَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مُدْرَاراً ﴾

 

(I said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you Midrar,) meaning, continuous rain. Thus, it is recommended to recite this Surah in the prayer for rain due to this Ayah. This has been reported from the Commander of the faithful, `Umar bin Al-Khattab. He ascended the Minbar to perform the prayer for rain, and he did not do more than seeking Allah’s forgiveness and reciting the Ayat that mention seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Among these Ayat:

﴿فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً – يُرْسِلِ السَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مُدْرَاراً ﴾

 

(I said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you Midrar, disbelievers of the Quraysh. Qu ? s? ? ? ? A ? Nuh complains about his Encounter with His People Allah tells about His servant and Messenger, Nuh, and that he complained to his Lord about the response he received from his people, and how he was patient with them for this long period of time — which was nine hundred and fifty years. He complained due to his explaining and clarifying matters for them and his calling them to guidance and the straightest path. So he (Nuh) said,

﴿رَبِّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِى لَيْلاً وَنَهَاراً﴾

 

(O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day,) meaning, `I did not abandon calling them night and day, carrying out Your command and in obediance to You.’

﴿فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَآئِى إِلاَّ فِرَاراً ﴾

 

(But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight.) meaning, `the more I called them to come to the truth, the more they fled from it and avoided it.’

﴿وَإِنِّى كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُواْ أَصَـبِعَهُمْ فِى ءَاذَنِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْاْ ثِيَابَهُمْ﴾

 

(And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments,) meaning, `they closed up their ears so that they could not hear what I was calling them to.’ This is similar to what Allah said about the disbelievers of the Quraysh. n?A h complains about his Encounter with His People Allah tells about His servant and Messenger, Nuh, and that he complained to his Lord about the response he received from his people, and how he was patient with them for this long period of time — which was nine hundred and fifty years. He complained due to his explaining and clarifying matters for them and his calling them to guidance and the straightest path. So he (Nuh) said, NnA ? What Nuh said when He called His People to Allah

﴿فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً ﴾

 

(I said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving;) meaning, `return to Him and turn away from what you are involved in. Repent to Him soon, for verily, He is Most Accepting of the repentance of those who turn to Him in repentance. He will accept repentance no matter what the sin is, even if it is disbelief and polytheism.’ Thus, he said,

﴿فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً – يُرْسِلِ السَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مُدْرَاراً ﴾

 

(I said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you Midrar,) meaning, continuous rain. Thus, it is recommended to recite this Surah in the prayer for rain due to this Ayah. This has been reported from the Commander of the faithful, `Umar bin Al-Khattab. He ascended the Minbar to perform the prayer for rain, and he did not do more than seeking Allah’s forgiveness and reciting the Ayat that mention seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Among these Ayat:

﴿فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً – يُرْسِلِ السَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مُدْرَاراً ﴾

 

(I said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you Midrar,) Then he (`Umar) said, “Verily, I have sought rain with the keys of the sky which cause the rain to descend.” Ibn `Abbas and others have said, “It (Midrar) means some of it (rain) following others.” Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَلٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّـتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَاراً ﴾

 

(And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.) meaning, `if you repent to Allah, seek His forgiveness and obey Him, He will increase your provisions for you and provide you with water from the blessings of the sky. He will cause the blessings of the earth and crops to grow for you. He will increase your live stock animals for you and give you more wealth and children. This means that He will give you more wealth, more children and gardens with various types of fruits. He will cause rivers to flow among these gardens.’ This is the position of the invitation with encouragement. Then He made it balanced for them by using intimidation. He said,

﴿مَّا لَكُمْ لاَ تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَاراً ﴾

 

(What is the matter with you, that you do not hope for any Waqar from Allah) meaning, great majesty. This has been said by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak. Ibn `Abbas said, “That you all do not magnify Allah in the proper manner that He deserves to be magnified. Meaning, you do not fear His punishment and His vengeance.”

﴿وَقَدْ خَلَقَكُمْ أَطْوَاراً ﴾

 

(While He has created you (in) Atwar (stages).) It has been said that this means from a drop of sperm, then from a hanging clot, then from a lump of flesh. Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Qatadah, Yahya bin Rafi`, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd, all said this. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَوْاْ كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ طِبَاقاً ﴾

 

(See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens in tiers) meaning, one above another. Can this be comprehended simply by hearing it only or is it of the matters that actually can be perceived with the senses which are known about the movements (of the heavenly bodies) and the eclipses. It is known that they (the scholars) have many different opinions about these matters that we will not discuss here. The only intent here is that Allah

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَوْاْ كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ طِبَاقاً – وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُوراً وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجاً ﴾

 

(Allah has created the seven heavens in tiers and has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp) meaning, He made a distinction between them (the sun and moon) in reference to their lighting. He made each one of them in a set manner with a distinct quality so that the night and day may be known. They (the night and day) are known by the rising and setting of the sun. He also determined fixed stations and positions for the moon, and He made its light vary so that sometimes it increases until it reaches a maximum, then it begins to decrease until it is completely veiled. This shows the passing of months and years. This is as Allah said,

﴿هُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَآءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُوراً وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ يُفَصِّلُ الآيَـتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴾

 

(It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for its stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayat in detail for people who have knowledge.) (10:5) Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَاللَّهُ أَنبَتَكُمْ مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ نَبَاتاً ﴾

 

(And Allah has brought you forth from the (dust of) earth) This (Nabat) is a verbal noun (for emphasis) and its usage here is most excellent.

﴿ثُمَّ يُعِيدُكُمْ فِيهَا﴾

 

(Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth),) (71:18) meaning, when you die.

﴿وَيُخْرِجُكُمْ إِخْرَاجاً﴾

 

(And bring you forth.) meaning, on the Day of Judgement He will repeat your creation just as He first originated you.

﴿وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ بِسَاطاً ﴾

 

(And Allah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.) meaning, He spread it out, leveled it, settled it, and stabilized it with firm and lofty mountains.

﴿لِّتَسْلُكُواْ مِنْهَا سُبُلاً فِجَاجاً ﴾

 

(That you may go about therein in broad roads.) meaning, He created it so that you may settle in it and travel in it wherever you wish, from its different sides, areas and regions. All of this is from what Nuh informed them of concerning Allah’s power and His greatness in creating the heavens and the earth. It demostrates the favor that He did for them by making both heavenly benefits and earthly benefits. For He is the Creator and the Sustainer Who made the heaven as a building and the earth as a bed, and He enlarged His provisions for His creatures. Therefore, He is the One Who it is obligatory to worship, and accept as One God. No one should be associated with Him as a partner, because He has no equal, peer, rival, coequal, mate, son, minister or advisor, rather He is the Most High, the Most Great.

﴿قَالَ نُوحٌ رَّبِّ إِنَّهُمْ عَصَوْنِى وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَن لَّمْ يَزِدْهُ مَالُهُ وَوَلَدُهُ إِلاَّ خَسَاراً – وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً كُبَّاراً – وَقَالُواْ لاَ تَذَرُنَّ ءَالِهَتَكُمْ وَلاَ تَذَرُنَّ وَدّاً وَلاَ سُوَاعاً وَلاَ يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْراً – وَقَدْ أَضَلُّواْ كَثِيراً وَلاَ تَزِدِ الظَّـلِمِينَ إِلاَّ ضَلاَلاً ﴾
Nuh complains to His Lord about His People’s Response

Allah says that Nuh turned to Allah to inform Allah – the All Knowing from Whom nothing escapes – that he presented the clear call, as mentioned previously, and the comprehensive invitation in various ways. He called them sometimes by encouragement and sometimes by intimidating warnings. Yet, they disobeyed him, opposed him, denied him and followed the children of the world. They were those who were heedless of the command of Allah and they possessed delights of wealth and children. However, these things (worldly benefits) were also for gradual punishment and temporary respite, not for honor or blessing. Thus, Allah says,

﴿وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَن لَّمْ يَزِدْهُ مَالُهُ وَوَلَدُهُ إِلاَّ خَسَاراً﴾

 

(and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but loss.) The meaning of Allah’s statement,

﴿وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً كُبَّاراً ﴾

 

(And they have plotted a mighty plot.) is that they plotted a deceptive plot for their followers tricking them into believing that they were following the truth and correct guidance. This is like what they will say to them on the Day of Judgement,

﴿بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَآ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً﴾

 

(Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day: when you orderd us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!) (34:33) For this reason He says here,

 

The Idols of the People of Nuh and what happened to Him
﴿وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً كُبَّاراً – وَقَالُواْ لاَ تَذَرُنَّ ءَالِهَتَكُمْ وَلاَ تَذَرُنَّ وَدّاً وَلاَ سُوَاعاً وَلاَ يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْراً ﴾

 

(And they have plotted a mighty plot. And they have said: `You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa`, nor Yaghuth, and Ya`uq and Nasr.’) These are the names of their idols which they used to worship besides Allah. Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “The idols that were among the people of Nuh wound up among the Arabs afterwards. In reference to Wadd, it became the idol of the people of Kalb in the area of Dawmat Al-Jandal. Suwa` became the idol of the people of Hudhayl. Yaghuth became the idol of the people of Murad, then the people of Bani Ghutayf at Al-Juruf in the area of Saba’ worshipped it after them. Ya`uq became the idol of the people of Hamdan. Nasr became the idol of the people of Himyar for the family of Dhu Kala`. These idols were all named after righteous men from the people of Nuh. Then when these men died, Shaytan inspired his (Nuh’s) people to erect statues in honor of them at their gathering places where they used to come and sit, and to name these statues after these men (with their names). So they did this (as Shaytan suggested), but these statues were not worshipped until after those people (the ones who built them) had died and the knowledge was lost. Then, those statues were later worshipped.” This has also been similarly reported from `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Ibn Ishaq. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “These are statues that were worshipped in the time of Nuh.” Ibn Jarir recorded from Muhammad bin Qays that he said concerning Yaghuth, Ya`uq and Nasr, “They were righteous people between the time of Adam and Nuh, and they had followers who used to adhere to their guidance. Then, when they died, their companions who used to follow them said, `If we make images of them, it will increase our desire to perform worship when we remember them.’ So they made images of them. Then, when those people died and other people came after them, Iblis approached them and said, `They (your predecessors) used to worship these statues and they were granted rain by their worship of them.’ Thus, they (the latter people) worshipped them.”

 

The Supplication of Nuh against His People and for whoever believed in Him
﴿وَقَدْ أَضَلُّواْ كَثِيراً﴾

 

(And indeed they have led many astray.) meaning, by the idols that they took for worship, they mislead a large number of people. For verily, the worship of those idols continued throughout many generations until our times today, among the Arabs, the non-Arabs and all the groups of the Children of Adam. Al-Khalil (Prophet Ibrahim) said in his supplication,

﴿وَاجْنُبْنِى وَبَنِىَّ أَن نَّعْبُدَ الاٌّصْنَامَرَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ﴾

 

(And keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.”O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind…”) (14:35,36) Allah then says,

﴿وَلاَ تَزِدِ الظَّـلِمِينَ إِلاَّ ضَلاَلاً﴾

 

(Grant no increase to the wrongdoers save error.) This is a supplication from him (Nuh) against his people due to their rebellion, disbelief and obstinacy. This is just as Musa supplicated against Fir`awn and his chiefs in his statement,

﴿رَبَّنَا اطْمِسْ عَلَى أَمْوَلِهِمْ وَاشْدُدْ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُواْ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ﴾

 

(Our Lord ! Destroy their wealth, and harden their hearts, so that they will not believe until they see the painful torment.) (10:88) Verily, Allah responded to the supplication of both of these Prophets concerning their people and He drowned their nations due to their rejection of what he (that Prophet) had come with.

﴿مِّمَّا خَطِيئَـتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُواْ فَأُدْخِلُواْ نَاراً فَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ لَهُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنصَاراً – وَقَالَ نُوحٌ رَّبِّ لاَ تَذَرْ عَلَى الاٌّرْضِ مِنَ الْكَـفِرِينَ دَيَّاراً – إِنَّكَ إِن تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّواْ عِبَادَكَ وَلاَ يَلِدُواْ إِلاَّ فَاجِراً كَفَّاراً – رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَىَّ وَلِمَن دَخَلَ بَيْتِىَ مُؤْمِناً وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ وَلاَ تَزِدِ الظَّـلِمِينَ إِلاَّ تَبَاراً ﴾
﴿مِّمَّا خَطِيئَـتِهِمْ﴾

 

(Because of their sins) It also has been recited as; (خَطَايَاهُمْ) (their errors.)

﴿أُغْرِقُواْ﴾

 

(they were drowned,) meaning, for their numerous sins, rebellion, persistence in disbelief and opposition to their Messengers.

﴿أُغْرِقُواْ فَأُدْخِلُواْ نَاراً﴾

 

(they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire.) meaning, they will be carried from the flood of the seas to the heat of the Fire.

﴿فَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ لَهُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنصَاراً﴾

 

(And they found none to help them instead of Allah.) meaning, they will have no helper, assistant, or savior who can rescue them from the punishment of Allah. This is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿لاَ عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ﴾

 

(This day there is no savior from the decree of Allah except him on whom He has mercy.) (11:43)

﴿وَقَالَ نُوحٌ رَّبِّ لاَ تَذَرْ عَلَى الاٌّرْضِ مِنَ الْكَـفِرِينَ دَيَّاراً ﴾

 

(And Nuh said: “My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth Dayyar!”) meaning, do not leave a single one of them on the face of the earth, not even a lone individual. This is a method of speaking that gives emphasis to the negation. Ad-Dahhak said, “Dayyar means one.” As-Suddi said, “Dayyar is the one who stays in the home.” So Allah answered his supplication and He destroyed all of those on the face of the earth who were disbelievers. He (Allah) even destroyed Nuh’s (biological) son from his own loins, who separated himself from his father (Nuh). He (Nuh’s son) said,

﴿سَآوِى إِلَى جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِى مِنَ الْمَآءِ قَالَ لاَ عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ وَحَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُغْرَقِينَ﴾

 

(I will betake myself to some mountain, it will save me from the water. Nuh said: “This day there is no savior from the decree of Allah except him on whom He has mercy.” And waves came in between them, so he (the son) was among the drowned.) (11:43) Allah saved the people of the ship who believed with Nuh, and they were those whom Allah commanded Nuh to carry with him. Allah said,

﴿إِنَّكَ إِن تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّواْ عِبَادَكَ﴾

 

(If You leave them, they will mislead Your servants,) meaning, `if You leave a single one of them they will lead your servants astray.’ This refers to those whom He will create after them.

﴿وَلاَ يَلِدُواْ إِلاَّ فَاجِراً كَفَّاراً﴾

 

(and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.) meaning, wicked in their deeds and disbelieving in their hearts. He (Nuh) said this due to what he knew about them since he remained among them for nine hundred and fifty years. Then he said,

﴿رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَىَّ وَلِمَن دَخَلَ بَيْتِىَ مُؤْمِناً﴾

 

(My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer,) Ad-Dahhak said, “This means, my Masjid.” However, there is no harm in understanding the Ayah according to its apparent meaning, which would be that he (Nuh) supplicated for every person who entered his house who was a believer. Then he said,

﴿وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ﴾

 

(and all the believing men and women.) He supplicated for all of the believing men and women, and that includes those of them who were living and those of them who were dead. For this reason, it is recommended to supplicate like this, in following the example of Nuh, and that which has been reported in the narrations and well-known, legislated supplications. Then, he said,

﴿وَلاَ تَزِدِ الظَّـلِمِينَ إِلاَّ تَبَاراً﴾

 

(And to the wrongdoers, grant You no increase but destruction!) As-Suddi said, “But destruction.” Mujahid said, “But loss.” This means in both this life and in the Hereafter.

***

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Nuh. And all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

[71:1] We sent Nulh to his people saying (to him), “Warn your people before a painful punishment comes to them.”

[71:2] He said, “O my people, I am a plain warner for you

[71:3] to say that you must worship Allah, and fear Him, and obey me,


[71:4] and Allah will forgive you your sins, and will defer you to an appointed term. Indeed when Allah’s term comes, it is not deferred, if you only know!”

Commentary
يَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ and Allah will forgive you your sins, 71:4). The particle min is often used to indicate division into parts, that is, to refer to only a part of an amount, group or number. If it is taken in that sense here, it would signify that by embracing the faith only those sins would be forgiven which pertains to the Divine rights because violation of human rights would be forgiven only when the believer fulfills the human rights which he has violated [such as pecuniary obligations] and if they cannot be fulfilled [such as hurting somebody physically or verbally], then the person who has been so hurt must first be requested to forgive. The hadith which reports that by embracing the faith all sins are forgiven must be understood in the light of the foregoing explanation. In other words, the hadith has the same conditions attached to it as the verse under comment, that is, violation of the rights of the human beings is not forgiven except upon fulfillment of those rights or seeking forgiveness from the victims of that violation. Other scholars of Tafsir interpret the particle min as za’idah, (having no meaning, and added only because of usage). In this way, it signifies that all their sins would be forgiven. However, on the basis of other texts, this general expression is subject to the conditions mentioned above.


[71:5] He said, “My Lord, I have called my people night and day, [71:6] but my call added only to their flight (from the truth) . [71:7] Whenever I called them, so that You might forgive them, they put their fingers into their ears, and wrapped their clothes around themselves, and grew obstinate, and waxed proud in extreme arrogance. [71:8] Then I called them loudly, [71:9] and then I spoke to them in public and spoke to them in private. [71:10] So I said, _Pray to your Lord for your forgiveness,__ Indeed He is Very-Forgiving, __ [71:11] and He will cause the heavens to rain upon you in abundance, [71:12] and will help you with riches and sons, and will cause gardens to grow for you, and cause rivers to flow for you. [71:13] What has happened to you that you do not appreciate the Majesty of Allah, [71:14] while He has created you in different phases?
[71:15] Allah has created seven heavens one upon another, لَمْ تَرَ‌وْا كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّـهُ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ‌ فِيهِنَّ نُورً‌ا (Did you not see how Allah has created seven heavens one upon another, and has made the moon a light therein? ….71:15-16) These verses are adduced as proof positive of Divine Oneness and His power. He has created seven heavens, one on top of the other, and placed the moon as a light in them. The prepositional phrase in the verse apparently indicates that the moon is placed in the body of the heavens. The subject is fully discussed in Surah Al-Furqan under the following verse: تَبَارَ‌كَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُ‌وجًا وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَ‌اجًا وَقَمَرً‌ا مُّنِيرً‌ا Glorious is the One who made stellar formations in the sky and placed therein a lamp (sun) and a bright moon. [25:61] Complaining about his people, Prophet Nuh (علیہ السلام) said: وَمَكَرُ‌وا مَكْرً‌ا كُبَّارً‌ا (and they devised an enormous plan….71:22). In other words, they hatched a mighty plot. They rejected the message and persecuted Prophet Nuh (علیہ السلام) . In addition, they let loose hooligans and hoodlums on him. They agreed that they will not abandon their gods, especially the five major idols whose names appear in the following verse:
[71:16] and has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp? [71:17] And Allah has caused you to grow out of the earth a perfect growth, [71:18] then He will send you back into it, and will bring you forth once again. [71:19] And Allah has made the earth a spread for you, [71:20] so that you may go about its broad ways.” [71:21] And said Nuh, “My Lord, they disobeyed me, and followed him whose wealth and children added nothing to him but loss, [71:22] and they devised an enormous plan,
[71:23] and said, “Never forsake your gods, and never forsake Wadd, nor Sawa’, nor yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr. لَا تَذَرُ‌نَّ آلِهَتَكُمْ وَلَا تَذَرُ‌نَّ وَدًّا وَلَا سُوَاعًا وَلَا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْرً‌ا (and never forsake Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor yaghuth and Ya` uq and Nasr…71:23). Imam Baghawi reports that these five were in fact righteous servants of Allah who lived in the intervening period between Prophets ‘Adam and Nuh (علیہما السلام) . There were many people who held them in high regard and followed their footsteps. Even after their death, they followed their footsteps and complied with Divine injunctions. A while later, Shaitan misled them. He put it to them that if they make pictures of their righteous elders and place them in front, their worship would be perfect and they would attain the quality of humility and humbleness. Those people fell into the Shaitanic trap and carved statues of them and placed them in their temples. When they saw the statues of their elders, their memories were refreshed and experienced a special feeling. That generation gradually died and a new generation came up. Satan played another trick with them. He imparted to them that the object of worship of their elders were statues and idols. They fell for this trick and worshipped them. This is the beginning of idol-worship or idolatry. People of Prophet Nuh (علیہ السلام) gradually got steeped in idolatry. They had many idols, the five mentioned in the verse under comment being the most popular because of the deep love they had for them. وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا ضَلَالًا (…let not the wrongdoers progress in anything but deviation from the right path 71:24). This is the supplication of Prophet Nuh (علیہ السلام) against his people. It may not be surmised that the duty and obligation of a Prophetic office is to guide the people, but here Prophet NuhI is praying for increase in his people’s misguidance. Prophet Nuh (علیہ السلام) did not invoke this curse out of despair or impatience. In fact, he invoked it when, after doing full justice to his mission for many centuries, his people chose the path of deviation, rebellion, disbelief and obstinacy and persisted in it until they had reached a point of no return, of which Allah informed him thus, ‘And it was revealed to Nuh (علیہ السلام) that none of your people would ever believe except those who have already believed__ [11:36] ‘. This situation made it clear to him that his people would definitely and certainly die in the state of disbelief. So he prayed for their final destiny to overtake them sooner and destroy them.
[71:24] And they have led many astray. And (0 my Lord,) let not the wrongdoers progress in anything but deviation from the right path.”
[71:25] Because of their sins, they were drowned, and then admitted into the Fire. So they found no helpers for them besides Allah. مِّمَّا خَطِيئَاتِهِمْ أُغْرِ‌قُوا فَأُدْخِلُوا نَارً‌ا فَلَمْ يَجِدُوا لَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَنصَارً‌ا (Because of their sins they were drowned, and then admitted into the Fire. So they found no helpers for them besides Allah…1:25). The ‘sins’ referred to here are unpardonable sins of ‘kufr and shirk’. They were drowned in water and emerged in fire, an opposing punishment which is not impossible for Divine power. Obviously, the ‘Fire’ mentioned in the verse does not refer to the fire of Hell, but refers to the fire in the realm of ‘Barzakh’ (the existence between the worldly life and the life of the Hereafter). The Qur’an speaks of the fire in the realm of ‘Barzakh’. It is evident that Sayyidna Nuh’s (علیہ السلام) people will be punished in Hell-Fire in the Hereafter after resurrection and accounting for their deeds.

Qur’ an Confirms Punishment in the Grave
The verse under comment confirms that people will be punished in the realm of Barzakh, usually referring to the period of stay in the grave. This further proves that, since the evil-doers will be punished in the grave, the righteous believers will also be rewarded and blessed with favours. Authentic and successively transmitted ahadith report about the reward and punishment in the grave so abundantly and clearly that its reality cannot be denied or rejected. Therefore, there is a total agreement of the Ummah on this issue; and belief in it is the symbol of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jami’ah.


[71:26] And said Nuh, “My Lord, do not leave on earth even a single inhabitant from the disbelievers (surviving). [71:27] If You leave them (surviving), they will lead Your slaves astray, and will beget none but a sinful disbeliever. [71:28] My Lord, grant pardon to me, and to my parents, and to everyone who enters my home as a believer, and to all the believing men and believing women, and do not increase the wrongdoers but in ruin. Al-hamdulillah The Commentary on Surah Nuh Ends here

Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi

71. Surah Nuh (Noah)

Name
“Nuh” is the name of this Surah as well as the title of its subject matter, for in it, from beginning to the end, the story of the Prophet Noah has been related.

Period of Revelation
This also is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah, but the internal evidence of its subject matter shows that it was sent down in the period when opposition to the Holy Prophet’s message of Islam by the disbelievers of Makkah had grown very strong and active.

Theme and Subject
In this surah the story of the Prophet Noah has not been related only for the sake of story telling, but its object is to warn the disbelievers of Makkah, so as to say:”You, O people of Makkah, are adopting towards Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) the same attitude as the people of the Prophet Noah had adopted towards him; if you do not change this attitude, you too would meet with the same end.” This had not been said in so many words anywhere in the Surah, but in the background of the conditions under which this story was narrated to the people of Makkah, this subject itself became obvious.

Vv. 2-4 briefly explain how he began his mission and what he preached.

Then after suffering hardships and troubles in the way of preaching his mission for ages the report that he made to his Lord has been given in vv. 5-20. In it he states how he had been trying to bring his people to the right path and how his people had stubbornly opposed him.

After this, the Prophet Noah’s final submission has been recorded in vv. 21-24, in which he prays to his Lord, saying: “These people have rejected my invitation: they are blindly following their chiefs, who have devised a tremendous plot of deceit and cunning. Time now has come when these people should be deprived of every grace to accept guidance.” This was not an expression of impatience by the Prophet Noah, but when after having preached his message under extremely trying circumstances for centuries be became utterly disappointed with his people, he formed the opinion that no chance whatever was left of their coming to the right path. His this opinion fully conformed to Allah’s own decision. Thus, in the next verse (25), it has been said: “The torment of Allah descended on those people because of their misdeeds.”

In the concluding verse, the Prophet Noah’s supplication that he made to his Lord, right at the time the torment descended, has been recorded. In it he prays for his own and for all the believers’ forgiveness, and makes a submission to Allah to the effect: “Do not leave any of the disbelievers alive on the earth, for they have become utterly devoid of every good: they will not beget any but disbelieving and wicked descendants.”

While studying this Surah one should keep in view the details of the Prophet Noah’s story which have been given in the Qur’an above. For this see Al-Araf: 59-64 Yunus: 71,73, Hud: 25-49, Al-Mu’minun: 23-31, Ash- Shua’ra: 105-122, Al-Ankabut: 14,15, As-Saffat: 75-82, Al-Qamar: 9-16.

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

1-20 Prophet Nuh’s preaching and submission to Allah after exhausting all his efforts


(71:1) We sent Noah to his people (and directed him): “Warn your people before a grievous chastisement1 comes upon them.” (71:2) Noah said: “My people, I have certainly been sent as a clear warner to you, (71:3) that you serve Allah and fear Him, and follow me;2 (71:4) He will forgive your sins3 and will grant you respite until an appointed term.4 Indeed when Allah’s appointed term comes, it cannot be deferred;5 if you only knew!”6 (71:5) He said:7 “My Lord, I called my people by night and by day, (71:6) but the more I called, the farther they fled.8 (71:7) And every time I called them so that You might forgive them,9 they thrust their fingers into their ears and wrapped up their faces with their garments10 and obstinately clung to their attitude, and waxed very proud.11 (71:8) Then I summoned them openly, (71:9) and preached to them in public, and also addressed them in secret. (71:10) I said to them: “Ask forgiveness from your Lord; surely He is Most Forgiving. (71:11) He will shower upon you torrents from heaven, (71:12) and will provide you with wealth and children, and will bestow upon you gardens and rivers.12 (71:13) What is amiss with you that you do not look forward to the majesty of Allah13 (71:14) when He has created you in stages?14 (71:15) Do you not see how Allah has created seven heavens, one upon the other, (71:16) and has placed the moon in them as a light, and the sun as a radiant lamp? (71:17) And Allah has caused you to grow out of the earth so wondrously,15 (71:18) and He will later cause you to return to it and will then again bring you out of it. (71:19) Allah has made the earth a wide expanse for you (71:20) so that you may tread its spacious paths.”


1. “Warn your people”: Warn them that the errors and moral evils that they were involved in would only earn them Allah’s punishment if they did not desist from them, and tell them what way they should adopt in order to ward off that punishment.

2. The three things which the Prophet Noah presented before his people at the outset of his mission of Prophethood were:

(1) Worship of Allah.

(2) Adoption of piety (taqwa).

(3) Obedience of the Messenger.

Worship of Allah meant that they should give up worship and service of all others and should acknowledge Allah alone as their Deity and should worship and carry out His commands alone. Taqwa (piety) meant that they should refrain from all those works which caused Allah’s anger and displeasure, and should instead adopt such attitude in their lives as the God fearing people should adopt. As for “obey me”, it meant that they should obey the commands that he gave them as Allah’s Messenger.

3. The sentence yaghfir la-kum min dhunub-i-kum in the original does not mean that Allah will forgive some of their sins, but its correct meaning is: If you accept and acknowledge the three things which are being presented before you, He will forgive all the sins that you have committed in the past.

4. That is, if you accepted these three things, you would be given respite to live in the world until the time that Allah has appointed for your natural death.

5. “A term appointed”: The time fixed by Allah for sending down a torment on a people. In this regard the Quran has at several places stated explicitly that when Allah’s torment has been decreed for a certain people, they are not pardoned even if they affirm the faith after it.

6. That is, if you come to know that the time which is now passing after you have received Allah’s message through me is, in fact, a period of respite that has been granted to you for affirming the faith and there is no chance of escape from Allah’s torment after the term of respite has elapsed, you would testify to the faith without delay and would not like to postpone it until the torment actually started descending on you.

7. Omitting the history of a long period of preaching, now the Prophet Noah’s petition that he made to Allah in the last stage of his worldly mission is being related.

8. That is, as I went on calling them towards You, they went on fleeing farther and farther away from You.

9. “That you may forgive them”: That they might give up their attitude of disobedience and beg forgiveness of Allah, for in that way alone they could be forgiven by Allah.

10. They covered their faces either because they did not even like to have a look at Prophet Noah’s (peace be upon him) face, not to speak of listening to what he said, or they did so in order to hide their own faces from him as they passed by him so that he could not recognize and address them. This precisely was the attitude and conduct which the disbelievers of Makkah were adopting towards the Prophet (peace be upon him). In (Surah Hud Ayat 5), their attitude has been described thus: Behold, they turn aside their chests in order to hide themselves from him: Beware, even when they cover themselves up with their garments, Allah knows alike what they hide and what they show. He indeed knows even the secrets they conceal in their breasts. (For explanation, see (E.Ns 5, 6 of Surah Hud).

11. Arrogance implies that they thought it was below their dignity to bow before the truth and accept the admonition of Allah’s Messenger. As for example, if a gentleman admonishes a perverted person and he, in response, shakes his head and walks away haughtily, this would amount to rejecting the admonition with arrogance.

12. This theme has been expressed at several places in the Quran that the rebellious attitude against God causes man to lead a wretched life not only in the Hereafter but also in this world, Contrary to this, if a nation adopts the way of faith and piety and obedience to divine commands, instead of disobedience, it benefits it not only in the Hereafter but also in the world; it is favored with every kind of blessing. In Surah TaHa it has been said: And whoever turns away from My admonition, will have a wretched life in the world, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection. (verse 124). In Surah Al-Maidah it has been said: Had the people of the Book observed the Torah and the Gospel and the other Books which had been sent down by their Lord, abundance of provisions would have been given to them from above and from beneath.(verse 66). In Surah Al-Aaraf: Had the people of the settlements believed and adopted the way of piety, We would have opened on them doors of blessings from the heavens and the earth. (verse 96). In Surah Houd, the Prophet Houd (peace be upon him) addressed his people, saying: And O my people, beg forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him in penitence, and He will open the gates of heavens for you and add more strength to your present strength.(verse 52). Through the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself in this very Surah Houd, the people of Makkah have been admonished to the effect: And you should beg forgiveness of your Lord, then return to Him, and He will provide you with good provisions of life till an appointed term. (verse 3). According to the Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the Quraish: There is a word which if you accept, would enable you to rule over the Arab as well as the non- Arab world. (For explanation, see (E.N. 96 of Surah Al- Maidah); (E.Ns 3, 57 of Surah Houd); (E.N. 105 of TaHa); Introduction to Surah Sad).

Acting on this same instruction from the Quran, once during a famine Umar came out to invoke Allah for the rain and begged only forgiveness of Him. The people said: O commander of the faithful, you have not prayed for the rain. He replied: I have knocked at the doors of heaven wherefrom the rain is sent down, and then he recited these verses of Surah Nooh to them. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir). Likewise, when in the assembly of Hasan Basri, a person complained of drought, he said to him “Beg forgiveness of Allah.” Another person complained of poverty, a third one said that he was not being blessed with children, a fourth one said that his harvest had failed, and he continued to remind everyone to beg forgiveness of Allah. The people asked: How is it that you have suggested to all the people one and the same cure for the different complaints? He in response recited these verses of Surah Nooh to them. (Al-Kashshaf).

13. It means: as for the petty chiefs of the world, you think it would be dangerous to do anything against their dignity, but as for the Creator and Lord of the universe, you do not expect that He would also be a Being endowed with dignity. You rebel against Him, associate others in His Divinity, disobey His commands, and yet you are not at all afraid that He would punish you for your misconduct.

14. That is, He has brought you to the present stage after passing you through different stages of creation and phases of development. In the beginning you lay in the form of

sperm and ovum separately in the loins of your father and mother. Then the two were combined by the power of Allah and you were conceived. Then for nine months in the womb of the mother you were gradually formed into a perfect human form and were endowed with all those capabilities which you needed to function as a man in the world. Then you came out as a child from the mother’s womb, and you were developed from one state to another constantly until you attained to full youth and then old age. While passing through all these stages you lay wholly in the power of Allah at all times. Had He so willed, He would not have allowed you to be conceived but allowed another person to be conceived in your place. Had He so pleased, He would have made you blind, deaf, dumb, or a cripple in the mother’s womb itself, or made you mentally deficient. Had He so liked, you would not have been born as a living child. Even after your birth He could have destroyed you any time by causing you to fall a victim to one or other accident suddenly. About that God under Whose power you are so powerless, how could you have taken it into your head that you could commit any insolence against Him, could regard Him with every treachery and ingratitude, could rebel against Him as and when you pleased, and could do all this with impunity?

15. Here, the creation of man out of the substances of the earth has been compared to the growth of vegetation. Just as at one time there was no vegetation on the earth, then Allah caused it to grow, so at one time man did not exist, then Allah created him.

21-28 Prophet Nuh’s prayer not to leave any unbeliever on the surface of the earth and Allah granted his wish


(71:21) Noah said: “My Lord, they did not pay heed to what I said, and followed those (nobles) whose possession of wealth and children has led them to an even greater loss. (71:22) They contrived a plot of great magnitude.16 (71:23) They said: “Do not abandon your deities; do not abandon Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Yauq, nor Nasr.17 (71:24) They have misled many. So do not enable these evildoers to increase in anything except straying (from the Right Way).”18 (71:25) And so they were drowned on account of their sins, and then cast into the Fire,19 and did not find any other than Allah,20 to come forth to their help. (71:26) Noah said: “My Lord, do not leave out of these unbelievers even a single dweller on earth, (71:27) for certainly if You should leave them (alive), they will mislead Your servants, and will beget none but sinners and utter unbelievers. (71:28) My Lord, forgive me and my parents, and whoever enters my house as a believer, and forgive all believers, both men and women, and do not increase the wrong-doers in anything except perdition.”


16 “Mighty plot”: All those deceits, deceptions and frauds which the chiefs and religious guides were employing in an attempt to mislead the common people against the teachings of the Prophet Noah. For example, they said: Noah is no more than a mere man like yourselves. How can one believe that Allah sends down Revelations to him? (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 63); (Surah Houd, Ayat 27). We also see that only the meanest of us have become his followers without due thought. Had there been some weight in what he says, the elders of the people would have believed in him.(Surah Houd, Ayat 27). Had Allah willed, He would have sent down angels. (Surah Al-Mominoon, Ayat 24). Had he been sent by Allah, he would possess treasures, he would know the unseen, and he would be free from all human needs, like the angels (Surah Houd, Ayat 31). We find nothing in him that might give him superiority over us. (Surah Houd, Ayat 27). He merely intends to obtain superiority over you. (Surah Al-Mominoon, Ayat 24). Obviously, this man is possessed. (Surah Al-Mominoon, Ayat 25). Similar were the things that the Quraish chiefs said to mislead the people against the Prophet (peace be upon him).

17. Of the gods of the Prophet Noah’s people only those gods have been mentioned whom later the people of Arabia had also started worshipping and whose shrines were found all over the country at the advent of Islam. It is not impossible that the later generations heard the names of the ancient gods of Noah’s people from the people who were saved from the flood, and when ignorance once again spread among their children, they made idols of the same gods and started worshipping them again.

Wadd was the god of the Bani Kalb bin Wabash, a branch of the Qudaah tribe, whose shrine had been built at Daumat al-Jandal. In the ancient Arabian inscriptions he has been named as Waddam ibam (father Wadd). Kalbi has stated that the image built to him was of a man of enormous size. The Quraish also acknowledged him as god and called him Wudd. It is after him that a person has been named Abd-i Wudd (slave of Wudd) in history.

Suwa was the goddess of the Hudhayl tribe and her idol was a female figure. Her temple was situated at Ruhat near Yanbu.

Yaghuth was the god of Anum, a branch of the Tay tribe, and of some branches of the Madhjih tribe. The people of Madhjih had installed its idol, the image of a lion, at Jurash, a place between Yaman and Hijaz. Among the Quraish also some people had been named Abd-i Yaghuth.

Yauq was the god of Khaywan, a branch of the Hamdan tribe, in the territory of Hamdan in Yaman; its idol was of the horse’s figure.

Nasr was the god of Al-i dhul-Kula, a branch of the Himyar tribe, in the territory of Himyar; it had its idol installed at Balkha and had the image of the vulture. In the ancient inscriptions of Saba its name has been written as Nasor. Its temple was called bayt Nasor (house of Nasor) and its devotees ahl Nasor (people of Nasor). The ruins of the ancient temples that are found in Arabia and in the adjoining lands have the image of the vulture made on the doors of most of them.

18. As we have explained in the introduction to this Surah, the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) did not invoke this curse out of impatience but he invoked it when, after doing full justice to the preaching of his mission for many centuries, he became totally despaired of any success with his people. Similar were the conditions under which the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had also cursed Pharaoh and his people, thus: Lord, destroy their wealth and harden their hearts in a manner so that they do not believe until they see the painful torment. And Allah, in response, had said: The prayer of you both has been granted (Surah Younus, Ayats 88-89). Like the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), the Prophet Noah’s (peace be upon him) curse was also in complete conformity with divine will. Thus, in Surah Houd, it has been said: And it was revealed to Noah (peace be upon him): No more of your people will believe in you now than those who have already believed. So, do not grieve at their misdeeds. (verse 36).

19. That is, drowning was not their end, but after death their souls were immediately subjected to the punishment of the Fire. This precisely was the treatment that was meted out to Pharaoh and his people, as has been stated in (Surah Al-Muminun Ayats 45-46). (For explanation, (see E.N. 63 of Surah Al Muminun). This verse also is of those verses which prove the punishment of barzakh (intermediary stage between death and Resurrection).

20. That is, none of the gods whom they looked upon as their supporters and helpers came to their rescue. This, in fact, was a warning to the people of Makkah, as if to say: If you too are subjected to the torment of Allah, these gods on whom you have placed all your reliance, will avail you absolutely nothing.