Surah Hud (1/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)


Qur'anic Exegesis

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

الٓرٰ ۟ کِتٰبٌ اُحۡکِمَتۡ اٰیٰتُہٗ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتۡ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡ حَکِیۡمٍ خَبِیۡرٍ ۙ﴿۱﴾ اَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلَّا اللّٰہَ ؕ اِنَّنِیۡ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡہُ نَذِیۡرٌ وَّ بَشِیۡرٌ ۙ﴿۲﴾ وَّ اَنِ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ یُمَتِّعۡکُمۡ مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی وَّ یُؤۡتِ کُلَّ ذِیۡ فَضۡلٍ فَضۡلَہٗ ؕ وَ اِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَاِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ عَذَابَ یَوۡمٍ کَبِیۡرٍ ﴿۳﴾ اِلَی اللّٰہِ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ ۚ وَ ہُوَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۴﴾

This is Surah Alif Lam Ra.[1] This is the Book whose verses were initially concise; then they were explained from the wise and knowledgeable God[2] so that you do not worship anyone except Him.[3] I am from Him a warner and a deliverer of glad tidings. And that seek forgiveness from your Lord, then turn to Him; He will abundantly provide you till a fixed period of time and will bless every person worthy of favour with His favour. But if you turn away, I fear for you the torment of a horrific day.[4] All of you have to return to God and He has power over all things.[5] (1-4)

اَلَاۤ اِنَّہُمۡ یَثۡنُوۡنَ صُدُوۡرَہُمۡ لِیَسۡتَخۡفُوۡا مِنۡہُ ؕ اَلَا حِیۡنَ یَسۡتَغۡشُوۡنَ ثِیَابَہُمۡ ۙ یَعۡلَمُ مَا یُسِرُّوۡنَ وَ مَا یُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ۚ اِنَّہٗ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۵﴾ وَ مَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اِلَّا عَلَی اللّٰہِ رِزۡقُہَا وَ یَعۡلَمُ مُسۡتَقَرَّہَا وَ مُسۡتَوۡدَعَہَا ؕ کُلٌّ فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۶﴾

Do you observe how they turn away their chests to hide from God! Beware! When they cover themselves with sheets [for this purpose, even then they are before His eyes].[6] He knows what they conceal and what they reveal. He is even aware of the secrets in the hearts. There is not a single living being on earth whose sustenance is not the responsibility of God. And He knows his dwelling and also the place where he will be consigned [to the earth after death]. All this is written in an open Book.[7] (5-6)

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ فِیۡ سِتَّۃِ اَیَّامٍ وَّ کَانَ عَرۡشُہٗ عَلَی الۡمَآءِ لِیَبۡلُوَکُمۡ اَیُّکُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا ؕ وَ لَئِنۡ قُلۡتَ اِنَّکُمۡ مَّبۡعُوۡثُوۡنَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ الۡمَوۡتِ لَیَقُوۡلَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۷﴾وَ لَئِنۡ اَخَّرۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ الۡعَذَابَ اِلٰۤی اُمَّۃٍ مَّعۡدُوۡدَۃٍ لَّیَقُوۡلُنَّ مَا یَحۡبِسُہٗ ؕ اَلَا یَوۡمَ یَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ لَیۡسَ مَصۡرُوۡفًا عَنۡہُمۡ وَ حَاقَ بِہِمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا بِہٖ یَسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡنَ ﴿۸﴾وَ لَئِنۡ اَذَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنَّا رَحۡمَۃً ثُمَّ نَزَعۡنٰہَا مِنۡہُ ۚ اِنَّہٗ لَیَـُٔوۡسٌ کَفُوۡرٌ ﴿۹﴾ وَ لَئِنۡ اَذَقۡنٰہُ نَعۡمَآءَ بَعۡدَ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتۡہُ لَیَقُوۡلَنَّ ذَہَبَ السَّیِّاٰتُ عَنِّیۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُوۡرٌ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾ اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ صَبَرُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃٌ وَّ اَجۡرٌ کَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱﴾

And it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in six days[8] and [before your creation] His throne was on water[9] – created you to test you as to which of you does better deeds.[10] Now [O Prophet!] If you say to them: "[People!] You shall be raised to life again after death," these disbelievers shall at once say: "This is plain magic."[11] And if We defer the torment of this world from them for a while,[12] they will definitely ask: "What has withheld it?" Listen! The day it alights on them, it will not be averted and they will be surrounded by precisely what they are making fun of. Such is the matter of man that when We bless him with some favour and then deprive him of it, he will definitely complain because he is quick to lose hope and is very ungrateful. And if after some adversity that has inflicted him We make him taste a favour, he will certainly say: "My adversities have left me," [and will rejoice] because he is very arrogant and boastful.[13] Only they are an exception to this who are steadfast and do righteous deeds. For them is forgiveness and a great reward as well. (7-11)

فَلَعَلَّکَ تَارِکٌۢ بَعۡضَ مَا یُوۡحٰۤی اِلَیۡکَ وَ ضَآئِقٌۢ بِہٖ صَدۡرُکَ اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا لَوۡ لَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡہِ کَنۡزٌ اَوۡ جَآءَ مَعَہٗ مَلَکٌ ؕ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنۡتَ نَذِیۡرٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّکِیۡلٌ ﴿ؕ۱۲﴾ اَمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ افۡتَرٰىہُ ؕ قُلۡ فَاۡتُوۡا بِعَشۡرِ سُوَرٍ مِّثۡلِہٖ مُفۡتَرَیٰتٍ وَّ ادۡعُوۡا مَنِ اسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳﴾ فَاِلَّمۡ یَسۡتَجِیۡبُوۡا لَکُمۡ فَاعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ بِعِلۡمِ اللّٰہِ وَ اَنۡ لَّاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ فَہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴﴾

So, [O Prophet! Because of their attitude,] perhaps you want to leave out a part[14] of what is being revealed to you and it is distressing you that these people will say: "Why was not a treasure revealed to him or why was not an angel sent with him?" [In reality,] you are only a warner and in future everything is entrusted to God. Do they say: "The Prophet has fabricated it himself?"[15] Tell them: "Then you also bring forth ten such fabricatedsurahslike it and call in whoever you can except God, if you are truthful.[16] However, if they do not come to your rescue, know that this has been revealed with God's knowledge and that no one except Him is God.[17] Then do you accept? (12-14)

مَنۡ کَانَ یُرِیۡدُ الۡحَیٰوۃَ الدُّنۡیَا وَ زِیۡنَتَہَا نُوَفِّ اِلَیۡہِمۡ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فِیۡہَا وَ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا لَا یُبۡخَسُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾ اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَیۡسَلَہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اِلَّا النَّارُ ۫ۖوَ حَبِطَ مَاصَنَعُوۡا فِیۡہَا وَ بٰطِلٌ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶﴾

[They have become disbelievers because the life of this world has deceived them. Tell them:] "Those who desire the life of the world and its finery, We reward them for their deeds here and no loss do they suffer in this." It is these people for whom there is nothing but Fire in the Hereafter.[18] Whatever they did in the world all stands wiped out and whatever they do will bear no fruit. (15-16)

اَفَمَنۡ کَانَ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہٖ وَ یَتۡلُوۡہُ شَاہِدٌ مِّنۡہُ وَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہٖ کِتٰبُ مُوۡسٰۤی اِمَامًا وَّ رَحۡمَۃً ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِہٖ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّکۡفُرۡ بِہٖ مِنَ الۡاَحۡزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوۡعِدُہٗ ۚ فَلَا تَکُ فِیۡ مِرۡیَۃٍ مِّنۡہُ ٭ اِنَّہُ الۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ وَ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾ وَ مَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ یُعۡرَضُوۡنَ عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ وَ یَقُوۡلُ الۡاَشۡہَادُ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَبُوۡا عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ ۚ اَلَا لَعۡنَۃُ اللّٰہِ عَلَی الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۸﴾ الَّذِیۡنَ یَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ یَبۡغُوۡنَہَا عِوَجًا ؕ وَ ہُمۡ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ ہُمۡ کٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَمۡ یَکُوۡنُوۡا مُعۡجِزِیۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا کَانَ لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ۘ یُضٰعَفُ لَہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ ؕ مَا کَانُوۡا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ السَّمۡعَ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا یُبۡصِرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾ اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ خَسِرُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ ضَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱﴾ لَا جَرَمَ اَنَّہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخرَۃِ ہُمُ الۡاَخۡسَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲﴾ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ اَخۡبَتُوۡۤا اِلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡجَنَّۃِ ۚ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾ مَثَلُ الۡفَرِیۡقَیۡنِ کَالۡاَعۡمٰی وَ الۡاَصَمِّ وَ الۡبَصِیۡرِ وَ السَّمِیۡعِ ؕ ہَلۡ یَسۡتَوِیٰنِ مَثَلًا ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾

So, can a person who is on a clear proof[19] from his Lord, then [as a further corroboration] another witness comes after it from his Lord[20] and before this the Book of Moses is also present as a guide and mercy[21] reject this Qur'an?[22] [Certainly not!] Such people will surely profess faith in it. And whoever among the groups [of your addressees] rejects it, for him the fire is the promised abode. Therefore, [O Prophet!] Do not be in any doubt about it[23] because it is a truth from your Lord but most people do not believe. [Tell them:] "Who can be more unjust than the person who ascribes falsehood to God?"[24] They will be presented before their Lord and the witnesses[25] will bear witness that these are the ones who had fabricated a lie on God. Listen! God's curse be on the unjust who stop [people] from the path of God and seek to distort it,[26] and it is they who disbelieve in the Hereafter. They were not beyond God's grasp in the earth nor did they have any supporter [there] except God. [However, they were of this opinion because of the respite We had given them.] They shall now be given a two-fold torment[27] because they could not hear nor see.[28] It is they who have put themselves into a loss and whatever they fabricated has been lost from them. There is no doubt that in the Hereafter they will be the greatest losers. On the contrary, those who professed faith and did righteous deeds and humbly submitted to their Lord, they are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide in it forever. The example of both these groups is as if one is blind and deaf and one can see and hear.[29] Will both become equal? So, do you not think? (17-24)

وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوۡحًا اِلٰی قَوۡمِہٖۤ ۫ اِنِّیۡ لَکُمۡ نَذِیۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾ اَنۡ لَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلَّا اللّٰہَ ؕ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ عَذَابَ یَوۡمٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۲۶﴾ فَقَالَ الۡمَلَاُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنۡ قَوۡمِہٖ مَا نَرٰىکَ اِلَّا بَشَرًا مِّثۡلَنَا وَ مَا نَرٰىکَ اتَّبَعَکَ اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ اَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِیَ الرَّاۡیِ ۚ وَ مَا نَرٰی لَکُمۡ عَلَیۡنَا مِنۡ فَضۡلٍۭ بَلۡ نَظُنُّکُمۡ کٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۷﴾

[In a similar way,] We had sent Noah as a messenger to his nation. [He said to his nation:] "I am an open warner for you[30] that you worship no one but God.[31] [If you do this,] I fear for you the torment of a painful day." At this, the chiefs of his nation who were disbelievers said: "We consider you as a person like us and we only see the lowliest among us blindly following you. We do not think that you have any superiority over us. In fact, we think of you as a blatant liar."[32] (25-27)

قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّیۡ وَ اٰتٰىنِیۡ رَحۡمَۃً مِّنۡ عِنۡدِہٖ فَعُمِّیَتۡ عَلَیۡکُمۡ ؕ اَنُلۡزِمُکُمُوۡہَا وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَہَا کٰرِہُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾ وَ یٰقَوۡمِ لَاۤ اَسۡئَلُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ مَالًا ؕ اِنۡ اَجۡرِیَ اِلَّا عَلَی اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا بِطَارِدِ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ مُّلٰقُوۡا رَبِّہِمۡ وَ لٰکِنِّیۡۤ اَرٰىکُمۡ قَوۡمًا تَجۡہَلُوۡنَ﴿۲۹﴾ وَیٰقَوۡمِ مَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُنِیۡ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ طَرَدۡتُّہُمۡ ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾ وَ لَاۤ اَقُوۡلُ لَکُمۡ عِنۡدِیۡ خَزَآئِنُ اللّٰہِ وَ لَاۤ اَعۡلَمُ الۡغَیۡبَ وَ لَاۤ اَقُوۡلُ اِنِّیۡ مَلَکٌ وَّ لَاۤ اَقُوۡلُ لِلَّذِیۡنَ تَزۡدَرِیۡۤ اَعۡیُنُکُمۡ لَنۡ یُّؤۡتِیَہُمُ اللّٰہُ خَیۡرًا ؕ اَللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ۚۖ اِنِّیۡۤ اِذًا لَّمِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾ قَالُوۡا یٰنُوۡحُ قَدۡ جٰدَلۡتَنَا فَاَکۡثَرۡتَ جِدَالَنَا فَاۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَاۤ اِنۡ کُنۡتَ مِنَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾ قَالَ اِنَّمَا یَاۡتِیۡکُمۡ بِہِ اللّٰہُ اِنۡ شَآءَ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾ وَ لَا یَنۡفَعُکُمۡ نُصۡحِیۡۤ اِنۡ اَرَدۡتُّ اَنۡ اَنۡصَحَ لَکُمۡ اِنۡ کَانَ اللّٰہُ یُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ یُّغۡوِیَکُمۡ ؕ ہُوَ رَبُّکُمۡ ۟ وَ اِلَیۡہِ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۴﴾

Noah replied: "People of My Nation! Just think that if I am on a clear argument[33] from my Lord and then He has also blessed me with His special mercy[34] and you could not see that; so should we [forcibly] stick it on you when you dislike it?[35] O People of My Nation! I am not asking any wealth from you for this service [that I be compelled to accept every thing you say.] My reward rests with God and [in order to please you] I am never going to turn out those who have accepted faith. They will be meeting their Lord [with this faith of theirs. Only He will decide their worth;] but I see that you are given to ignorance. O People of My Nation! Who will help me in being protected from God if I turn them out? So, do you not think? I do not say to you that I have the treasures of God. Nor do I have the knowledge of the Unseen. I also do not claim to be an angel.[36] And [like you] I also cannot dare say about those whom your eyes see as inferior that God cannot bless them with any good.[37] God best knows whatever is in their hearts. If I do this, I will be among the unjust. [At this,] those people said: "Noah! You have argued with us and argued a lot. Now, if you are truthful bring forth on us that which you are threatening us with." Noah replied: "Only God will bring it forth on you if He desires and at that time you will not be able to escape His grasp. Even if I want to be your well-wisher, my well-wishing can be of no use to you if [as a result of this attitude of yours] God has decided to lead you astray. He alone is your Lord and to Him you have to return. (28-34)

اَمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ افۡتَرٰىہُ ؕ قُلۡ اِنِ افۡتَرَیۡتُہٗ فَعَلَیَّ اِجۡرَامِیۡ وَ اَنَا بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُجۡرِمُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾

Do they say: "[To ascribe it to us] this person has concocted this anecdote himself?" Tell them [O Prophet:] "If I have concocted it myself, then the evil consequence of my crime will come on me but [you are responsible for] the crime [of intentionally denying the truth]. I am acquitted from it."[38] (35)

وَ اُوۡحِیَ اِلٰی نُوۡحٍ اَنَّہٗ لَنۡ یُّؤۡمِنَ مِنۡ قَوۡمِکَ اِلَّا مَنۡ قَدۡ اٰمَنَ فَلَا تَبۡتَئِسۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۳۶﴾ وَ اصۡنَعِ الۡفُلۡکَ بِاَعۡیُنِنَا وَ وَحۡیِنَا وَ لَا تُخَاطِبۡنِیۡ فِی الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا ۚ اِنَّہُمۡ مُّغۡرَقُوۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾ وَ یَصۡنَعُ الۡفُلۡکَ ۟ وَ کُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَیۡہِ مَلَاٌ مِّنۡ قَوۡمِہٖ سَخِرُوۡا مِنۡہُ ؕ قَالَ اِنۡ تَسۡخَرُوۡا مِنَّا فَاِنَّا نَسۡخَرُ مِنۡکُمۡ کَمَا تَسۡخَرُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۸﴾ فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ۙ مَنۡ یَّاۡتِیۡہِ عَذَابٌ یُّخۡزِیۡہِ وَ یَحِلُّ عَلَیۡہِ عَذَابٌ مُّقِیۡمٌ ﴿۳۹﴾ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا وَ فَارَ التَّنُّوۡرُ ۙ قُلۡنَا احۡمِلۡ فِیۡہَا مِنۡ کُلٍّ زَوۡجَیۡنِ اثۡنَیۡنِ وَاَہۡلَکَ اِلَّا مَنۡ سَبَقَ عَلَیۡہِ الۡقَوۡلُ وَ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ ؕ وَ مَاۤ اٰمَنَ مَعَہٗۤ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلٌ ﴿۴۰﴾ وَ قَالَ ارۡکَبُوۡا فِیۡہَا بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ مَ‍‍جۡؔرٖىہَا وَ مُرۡسٰىہَا ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡلَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۱﴾

[Then] it was revealed to Noah that no others among your nation will accept faith except the ones who already have. So, stop grieving at their misdeeds and make a ship under Our supervision and according to Our guidance. Do not say anything to Me in favour of these unjust people. They are now destined to drown. Noah began making the ship [in accordance with this guidance]. And when the chiefs of his nation passed by him, they would laugh at him.[39] He would reply to them: "If you laugh at us, then just as you laugh, [one day] we will laugh at you.[40] Then you will soon know the ones who are visited by that torment which humiliates them and that scourge descends that stays stationed on them [after its descent.]"[41] They continued to do this until when Our directive arrived and the storm erupted,[42] We said: "Place in the ship a pair of every type [of animal species][43] both [male and female] and also board your family in this ship except for those about whom a judgement has been passed[44] and they also who have professed faith – and few were the ones who had professed faith with him."[45] Noah said: "Board it; its sailing and setting anchor is with the name of God alone.[46] My Lord is Forgiving. He is ever Merciful."[47] (36-41)

وَ ہِیَ تَجۡرِیۡ بِہِمۡ فِیۡ مَوۡجٍ کَالۡجِبَالِ ۟ وَ نَادٰی نُوۡحُۨ ابۡنَہٗ وَ کَانَ فِیۡ مَعۡزِلٍ یّٰـبُنَیَّ ارۡکَبۡ مَّعَنَا وَ لَا تَکُنۡ مَّعَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۴۲﴾ قَالَ سَاٰوِیۡۤ اِلٰی جَبَلٍ یَّعۡصِمُنِیۡ مِنَ الۡمَآءِ ؕ قَالَ لَا عَاصِمَ الۡیَوۡمَ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ اللّٰہِ اِلَّا مَنۡ رَّحِمَ ۚ وَ حَالَ بَیۡنَہُمَا الۡمَوۡجُ فَکَانَ مِنَ الۡمُغۡرَقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾ وَ قِیۡلَ یٰۤاَرۡضُ ابۡلَعِیۡ مَآءَکِ وَ یٰسَمَآءُ اَقۡلِعِیۡ وَ غِیۡضَ الۡمَآءُ وَ قُضِیَ الۡاَمۡرُ وَ اسۡتَوَتۡ عَلَی الۡجُوۡدِیِّ وَ قِیۡلَ بُعۡدًا لِّلۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۴۴﴾ وَ نَادٰی نُوۡحٌ رَّبَّہٗ فَقَالَ رَبِّ اِنَّ ابۡنِیۡ مِنۡ اَہۡلِیۡ وَ اِنَّ وَعۡدَکَ الۡحَقُّ وَ اَنۡتَ اَحۡکَمُ الۡحٰکِمِیۡنَ ﴿۴۵﴾ قَالَ یٰنُوۡحُ اِنَّہٗ لَیۡسَ مِنۡ اَہۡلِکَ ۚ اِنَّہٗ عَمَلٌ غَیۡرُ صَالِحٍ ٭۫ۖ فَلَا تَسۡـَٔلۡنِ مَا لَـیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعِظُکَ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡجٰہِلِیۡنَ ﴿۴۶﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعُوۡذُ بِکَ اَنۡ اَسۡـَٔلَکَ مَا لَـیۡسَ لِیۡ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ وَ اِلَّا تَغۡفِرۡ لِیۡ وَ تَرۡحَمۡنِیۡۤ اَکُنۡ مِّنَ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾ قِیۡلَ یٰنُوۡحُ اہۡبِطۡ بِسَلٰمٍ مِّنَّا وَ بَرَکٰتٍ عَلَیۡکَ وَ عَلٰۤی اُمَمٍ مِّمَّنۡ مَّعَکَ ؕ وَ اُمَمٌ سَنُمَتِّعُہُمۡ ثُمَّ یَمَسُّہُمۡ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۸﴾

That ship began to take them between waves as high as mountains and Noah called upon his son[48] who was [standing] apart [at a distance from him]: "Son! Board with us and do not be with these disbelievers."[49] He replied: "I will presently take refuge in some mountain that will protect me from the water."[50] Noah said: "There is no one to save today from God's directive except to whom He shows mercy." In the meantime, a wave came between the two and he was also among those drowned.[51] It was ordered: "O Earth! Swallow up your water and cease O Sky!"[52] Thus the water was brought down; the judgement was passed. The ship came to rest at Judi[53] and it was said: "May the curse of God be on this unjust nation." Noah called on his Lord and said: "Lord! My son is from my family[54] and no doubt that true is Your promise and among the judges you are the greatest."[55] God said: "Noah! He is not from your family.[56] He is an extremely wretched person. So, do not ask me about which you have no knowledge. I urge you to not be among those who are overwhelmed by emotions." Noah immediately said: "Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking you something of which I have no knowledge. If you do not forgive me now and not have mercy on me, then I will be among the losers." God said: "Disembark Noah with Our peace and blessings, upon you and also upon those communities which will come into existence from those with you."[57] And [after this,] there are some communities which We will provide for in future; then [because of their misdeeds] a painful torment from Us will seize them.[58] (42-48)

[1]. What is the meaning of this name? I have explained in detail my view about it while discussing verse 2 of Surah al-Baqarah.

[2]. Ie., initially a concise, brief and succinct style was adopted and then later this brevity and terseness was explained. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The purpose of stating this is to refer to the elaborate arrangement made by the Almighty in His Book for the education and instruction of people... At the end of the verse, two of God's attributes: wise and knowledgeable are mentioned. This is because only a God Who is wise can encapsulate treasures of wisdom in a few words and it is only befitting for a God Who is knowledgeable to explain the unfathomable depth and profundity of these few words. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 107)

[3]. This is the basic message of the Qur'an which is mentioned in almost these same words in the preaching of God's messengers.

[4]. This is the detail of the warning and glad tidings that were referred to earlier. The torment of a horrific day refers to the worldly punishment which visits those who disbelieve their messengers and are instantly destroyed.

[5]. The threat found in these vague words is louder than any explicit mention of it.

[6]. Turning away chests and walking away by covering themselves with clothing are portrayals of the aversion and diversion these people would adopt to ignore the words of the Prophet (sws) and to arrogantly walk away from him. The Qur'an tells one to look at these people who want to hide from the Being who knows what is even in the hearts. What greater a foolishness can engulf them after being warned by the Prophet (sws).

[7]. If the various aspects of warning found in these verses are revealed, the discourse is something to the effect: what do they want to hide from God? His knowledge embraces everything; how can anything of these people be hidden from the being who provides sustenance to every living being wherever it is? These people too thrive on His sustenance but evade His call; they should remember that God is aware of their abodes and also the places in which they will be consigned to earth after they die; a day will come when the earth will consign back to God what was entrusted to it and these people will be held accountable for what they did; each of their deeds is written and preserved in an open book.

[8]. These refer to the days of God about which the Qur'an has specified that they are equivalent to one thousand earth years and at times to fifty thousand earth years. The implication is that the creation of this world is not an accidental happening. It has come into being because of a calculated intention and scheme devised by God and according to a great sequence envisaged by Him. Not to speak of His wisdom in this planning. Hence this world cannot be a purposeless creation. It is bound to have a purpose which manifests itself soon or late.

[9]. Ie., before this, the earth surface consisted of water only and was governed by the Almighty. In the times of the Prophet (sws), people may have wondered at this statement of the Qur'an; however, today's researches have shown that this information about the earth is a fact which the Qur'an had stated centuries ago.

[10]. This is a statement of the purpose for which this world was created in an elaborate way in six days – which are equivalent to millions of earth years. It is for this reason that God has given human beings the freedom of will and the awareness of good and evil. Their creator wants to see whether they adopt the path of right or wrong. They have been told that one day they will be held accoutable for their choices and will be rewarded or punished accordingly.

[11]. Ie., it is a magic of words and nothing more.

[12]. Ie., the torment that necesarily visits people who deny their respective messengers.

[13]. Although these remarks are made in general for human beings, they are directed to the people who are under discussion. By turning away from them, a statement is made that this attitude is not specific to them. It is the misfortune of human beings that this is what they generally do.

[14]. Ie., he wants to evade presenting what his addressees dislike. This does not mean that he actually wanted to do this. This is actually a preemptive sentence and an advice to remain steadfast and resolute in the wake of difficult circumstances, intensity of reaction from the adversaries and storm of disdain and sarcasm. This advice has been given in a style so that not even such a thought should pass his mind. The word لَعَلّevidences this fact. Thus deliberation shows that the harshness in the address is also directed at the adversaries who were creating this situation because of their attitude.

[15]. This question is meant to express wonder. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The above objections were cited in a simple style. However, regarding the Qur'an to be a fabrication was a very strange thing, especially from the tongues of those who were literary critics and who also relished the brevity and conciseness of a discourse. They also had a huge collection of the works of their top notch poets and orators to compare the Qur'an to. For this reason, the style adopted expresses amazement. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 112)

[16]. Ie., if they are truthful in the notion that the Prophet (sws) has fabricated this book, then this can be judged very easily: they should produce ten surahs of the same majesty as it. If they think that if a person (Muhammad (sws)) of their nation can do it without any intellectual or literary background, then they too should have no problem in authoring such a discourse. This same challenge has been mentioned in verses 33-34 of Surah al-Ṭur by the words: بِحَدِيْثٍ مِثْلِهِ. This surah is one of the initial ones from the phase of open warning (indhar 'am) of the preaching mission of the Prophet (sws). It is evident from this that the Qur'an first presented this challenge to the disbelievers in concise words and later elaborated upon it when the need arose. No sequence or gradual progression is needed to be understood in this.

[17]. The direction of address has become direct in this verse. It is thus said that if their deities do not come to their help even at this instance, then they should acknowledge the divinity of the Qur'an. Thus even collectively they cannot present anything of the majesty of this book and the claim made by this book is absolutely true that there is no deity except God.

[18]. This is a warning sounded to them with reference to an established practice of God: those who only want a worldly reward, live and die for it and spend their lives while totally disregarding the Hereafter are recompensed by the Almighty in this very world in a proportion He desires and for those He deems appropriate. As a result of this, they are wrongly led to believe that if ever the Hereafter comes, there too they will be the favoured ones of God. The Qur'an states that in the Hereafter there shall be nothing but fire for them.

[19]. This refers to the spark of light found in human nature through which a person distinguishes right from wrong and good from evil. It has been innately ordained in it by the Almighty.

[20]. Ie., divine revelation is actually light upon light and corroborates the fundamentals given to human nature by the Almighty. Here the pronoun in يَتْلُوْهُ is in the singular. Its antecedent is بَيِّنَةٌ. However, since the latter word occurs as an unreal feminine, hence the pronoun refers to what is connoted by بَيِّنَةٌ.

[21]. Ie., a guide in this world and a mercy in the next that will necessarily engulf the believers.

[22]. At times, in such interrogative sentences, certain parts are suppressed. They have been revealed in the translation. The implication is that it is such slaves of this world who can reject the Qur'an as have been mentioned above. This is because the spark of light found in their nature has been extinguished because of their wrong attitude. And people whose internal spark is extinguished are not capable of believing in the Qur'an. Deliberation shows that found in this is a subtle reference to the People of the Book who though had not fully come to the fore, yet were fully geared up for opposition from their inside.

[23].The implication is that if these unfortunate people are denying the Qur'an, let them do so. This attitude of theirs should not confuse the Prophet (sws). It may be noted that though the Prophet (sws) is addressed here yet what is said is directed to the wretched people who were rejecting the Qur'an. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The rebuke found in such sentences is directed ... towards the adversaries. However, since they are not worthy of being addressed, these words are not directly addressed to them. Instead, they are addressed to the Prophet (sws). This style of scolding and rebuking someone at times is more effective than direct address. Many striking examples of this style of address are found in the Qur'an. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 118)

[24]. Ie., associate partners with him. In the Qur'an, this expression is also used to denote polytheism as well as to regard something as allowed or prohibited without divine sanction, which also is a form of polytheism. It is evident from the context that here this expression actually denotes polytheism.

[25]. This witness shall be borne by God's messengers who were sent to conclusively convey the truth and also by his angels who are responsible for keeping the record of deeds of people.

[26]. Ie., they want to lead people away from the straight path into the perplexities of polytheistic beliefs.

[27]. Two-fold torment because they stayed away from the path of God and led others away from it as well.

[28]. The implication is that neither were they prepared to listen to God and His Messenger (sws) nor learn a lesson from the signs of God found within themselves and around them.

[29]. This is a reference to the same disbelievers who were mentioned earlier by the words: مَا كَانُوْا يَسْتَطِيعُوْنَ السَّمْعَ وَمَا كَانُوْا يُبْصِرُوْنَ.

[30]. The actual words are: نَذِيْرٌ مُبِيْنٌ. Ie., one who warns with full clarity and absolute certainty. These words carry a subtle allusion in them as well. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It was a tradition among the Arabs that they would construct turrets on every high hillock or hill in which a guard would always sit. His job would be to tear his clothes, strip naked and shout واصباحا when some enemy would advance to attack his people. This was an alarm for the whole nation and they would unsheathe their swords and come out. That person would be called "a naked warner." messengers of God also came to warn their people about a torment and they informed people in the same manner as if it is about to descend from behind. For this reason, the Qur'an has used the words نَذِيْرٌ مُبِيْنٌ for these messengers. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 136)

[31]. Readers may take a look at verse 2 of this surah. Muhammad (sws) also began his preaching with these words.

[32]. These are three objections raised by the leaders of Noah's nation in response to his preaching. They are answered ahead.

[33]. The actual word is: بَيِّنَةٌ. It refers to the spark of light found in human nature. It has been alluded to earlier in verse 17.

[34]. Reference is to the divine revelation sent to the Prophet (sws).

[35]. The implication is that because of their misdeeds the light found in their nature has been extinguished and as a result the light of divine revelation that came to them has also been lost in darkness. Moreover, they also have a dislike for such things. So, how can the Prophet (sws) paste something on them for which they do not have any potential for acceptance.

[36]. This is an answer to what the addressees of the Prophet (sws) had said that he seems to be a human being like them.

[37]. They made this statement on the grounds that when God has not chosen these poor people to become affluent in this world like them, how can He choose them for the favours of the Hereafter.

[38]. These words are addressed to the Prophet (sws) in between the main discourse of the surah. They are an on the spot comment on the reaction of the addressees.

[39]. This because they thought that threat of punishment was an absolute bluff. Thus when the ship was being constructed they must have thought that this was mere madness on the part of Noah (sws) and his companions.

[40].These words occur on the basis of mujanasah (similarity of genre) and express the joy and elation and overwhelming increase in faith and satisfaction that is attained by believers when the promise of God is fulfilled. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… In normal circumstances, it is not good to be happy to see others in difficulty. However, when God's punishment visits those to whom the truth has been conclusively conveyed the way Noah (sws) and his companions had done so to their nation, it becomes a memorable incident of the victory of the truth and defeat of falsehood. If the believers feel overjoyed on this, then this is an absolute requisite of their faith. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 141)

[41]. Such is the nature of the torment that visits a nation after the truth is conclusively conveyed to it by messengers of God. When it comes, it goes away only when the nation is utterly routed and becomes a relic of the past.

[42].The actual words are فَارَ التَّنْوْرُ. This is a metaphorical expression of the storm that was accompanied by the turbulent cyclonic winds and nearby seas also spilled their waters on the shores.

[43].The words مِنْ كُلٍ are spoken with respect to what is in the mind of the speaker. Ie., one pair each of those animals which had been domesticated by people and which were necessary to start life afresh after the storm.

[44].Ie., about whom it has been decided from the very first day that they will be punished in this world because of their misdeeds and in the Hereafter also will become fuel for Hell.

[45].This sentence expresses yearning and sorrow: a vast majority of people continued to evade the truth in spite of several hundred years of warnings delivered to them by Noah (sws) and were finally drowned in the sea. There is also an indirect message of assurance in these words for the Prophet (sws) and his companions: if the arrogant majority of the Quraysh also reaches a similar fate, then this should not be any cause of wonder. Many nations before them have encountered such a fate.

[46].These words express trust in God: through them a believer consigns himself to his Lord who does not need any means or resources to implement His directives. In fact, He is the creator of these means and resources.

[47].A reference to these attributes of God expresses great humility and helplessness. It means that people were not worthy of being forgiven. However, God is forgiving and very merciful: he has saved them from every difficulty in these times of the punishment's descent on the nation.

[48].In the Torah, the name of Noah's son is Canaan.

[49].Such is the manner in which passion of persuasion and fatherly affection are intertwined in this sentence that they cannot be expressed in words.

[50].It is evident from this how far stubbornness and obduracy can take a person.

[51].It was very possible that this scene may not have been shown to Noah (sws). But God intended that he see it with his very eyes. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… This was the last test of Noah's faithfulness. Evident from it is the extent of trials through which prophets of God have to pass. However, with the grace and help of God they succeed in every test. Also evident from this is that when the law of God is so unbiased that even a prophet's son is not spared if he is defiant, what is to become of others. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 144)

[52].Ie., the instant he drowned, this directive was given. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi this was the last scene of this horrific tragedy. As soon as it took place, the heavens and the earth were ordered to stop as the purpose had been achieved.

[53].This is the name of a peak in the mountainous range of Ararat. Starting from the high ground of Armenia, this range goes into Kurdistan in the south. For this reason, it is called only Ararat in the Bible. The Qur'an has only mentioned the peak where the ship stopped so that one can grasp the horrific nature of the storm in which the water rose to such a high level.

[54].Earlier it was stated that Noah (sws) was directed to board his family on the ship. It is because of this that he said that his son was among his family. The reason for this is that till that time he did not know with certainty that his son had become liable for application of God's judgement.

[55].This prayer was uttered by Noah (sws) when he saw his son drowning. However, it has been mentioned here. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... In the eyes of God, in spite of being Noah's son, he was such a wretch that until he had been drowned God did not even like to discuss the prayer of Noah (sws). The obvious reason for this was that the greatest fortune in this world for a person can be to be born in the family of God's prophet. Yet this good fortune can become his greatest of misfortunes if it is not given due importance by him and he ends up a devil in the house of a saint. Thus it is clearly evident from the sequence of the discourse that Noah's son has been regarded as one who has been the greatest recipient of God's wrath. It is as if he was the real target of the storm: as soon as he was drowned, the storm was ordered to cease. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 145)

[56].The reason stated is: اِنَّہٗ عَمَلٌ غَیۡرُ صَالِحٍ (he is a wretched person). It is evident from this that the family of a prophet is not merely constituted through lineage but also through faith and righteous deeds.

[57].These peace and blessings manifested such that later sprang from these few individuals their progeny which inhabited the whole earth.

[58].Ie., the worldly judgement which has now taken place will also take place later periodically and the unjust among the progeny of those who have been delivered now will keep meeting this fate once the truth has been conclusively communicated to them by messengers of God.

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Surah Hud (2/3)




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