Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s Translation of this Chapter
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of this Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.
1. Our Reading today begins with Verse 45 (from page 226), as Prophet Noah, peace upon him, calls upon his Lord, regarding his son who was not saved from the flood. (Remember the exchange which took place in yesterday’s Reading between father and son?) Here he asks God why his son was not saved, despite his being ‘of his family.’
PAGE 227 Arabic Qur’an.
2. Verses 46- 47 report the exchange which took place between Noah and his Lord, after Noah alludes to God’s promise to save his family. Here Noah is told that his son is not ‘of his family,’ and furthermore that his son ‘is’- OR ‘has committed’ – an unrighteous deed.
The first literal understanding (of some) is thought to refer to the boy/man not being Noah’s genetic son. The second metaphorical understanding (of most commentators) is that he was not ‘of Noah's family’ because he did not believe his own father, which also was the unrighteous deed he committed, which indicates that a true family is less about genetics and more about shared values.
See also HQ 66:10 where the ‘betrayal’ of the wives (of Prophets Noah and Lot, peace upon both) is explained by Yusuf Ali as ‘spiritual betrayal.’
Anyway, this matter is Unseen (Gheyb) and has no bearing on us today, so we’ll leave it right there!
3. Verse 48 begins by informing Noah that his ‘disembarkment’ (off of the Arc- and his descent upon the land and into the life that awaits him) would be in Peace and of much ‘abiding benefit’ (which is the meaning of ‘barakaat’ بركات-), which seems to be in answer to his prayer in HQ 23:29.
As Readers will notice, although stories may seem to be ‘repeated’ at times, there is added value in each occurrence of the story in the Qur’an. Many of those who do not believe the Qur’an to be ‘Truth,’ after studying it, have found great difficulty in explaining how, despite so many recurrences, the narratives only enhance and never contradict each other. That alone is proof that the Qur’an has a single Truthful source since, as we all know, fabrication always leads to conflicting reports.
4. As one historic narrative ends and another begins, Verse 49 readdresses Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him.
With Verse 50 begins the section on Prophet Hud, peace upon him (after whom this Chapter is named). He calls upon his people (the tribe of ‘Aad) to worship God, other than Whom there is no god. Except for the ending, this narrative is quite similar to what we read earlier about Hud in HQ 7:65.
Put "اعبدوا الله ما لكم من إله غيره" in Tanzil to see the other Prophets who made this same call to their people.
In Verse 51, he assures them that he seeks no personal benefit from them.
Put أسألكم أجر in Tanzil to see other Prophets who said the same.
5. Verse 52 shows the personal and ecological revenues humanity can earn from mending destructive habits!
‘Asking God’s Forgiveness’ means repenting from past wrong-doings, while ‘returning to Him’ means spending the rest of our lives undoing past wrongs, and attempting to do everything in line with the rest of God’s Creation, focusing upon Him as our DESTINATION.
If we indeed worked WITH nature, and did so FOR the general well-being of all creatures on earth…would the skies be sent with abundance upon us (snow, rain, sunshine, wherever they are needed)? Would we also be strengthened in our persons?
Although we might only say ‘Yes!’ driven by Faith, one thing is certain: Every day we see more evidence of how our wrongdoing has diminished the bounties of this earth and all upon it, including ourselves. It only follows logically that reversing our wrongs would replenish earth’s bounties. See this important concept in 30:41.
We notice that this same Promise was also said by Noah to his people in HQ 71:11, which raises another argument against limiting the word ‘midraara’ (abundance) to rain, as Ali put it. I prefer Asad’s interpretation.
Hud’s people respond to him quite harshly, in Verse 53.
PAGE 228 Arabic Qur’an.
6. Their response continues in Verse 54, after which Hud denounces them, seeking God as his witness.
In Verse 55 he challenges them, while in Verse 56 he relies upon God to whom all creatures are subject. Hud also mentions here, that his Lord is on a Straight Path.
In Verse 57 he announces that he has fulfilled his duty to them, with advice and final warning.
Verse 58 brings God’s judgment upon them all, except for Hud and those who had believed with him.
7. Then, Verse 59 begins with “And that was (the tribe of) ‘Aad,’ which ends their story, and serves to refocus our attention on the Messenger Muhammad, to whom this narrative was revealed, AND on his tribe, Qureish, for whom this narrative was a lesson.
Verse 60 tells us that they were followed by اللعنة or ‘deprivation,’ in both this world and upon Resurrection (for accurate linguistic interpretation see March 16th.) Excerpt below:
'La'ana' لعن in Arabic is not a simple swear-word, or a 'curse,' but has the physical connotation of being deprived of all that is good; condemned to banishment from God's Favor.”
Our next Reading is from HQ 11:61-83.
Have a great Weekend!