Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s explanation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s explanation of this Chapter.
NEW: Laleh Bakhtiar’s explanation of this Chapter.
From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
“This is an early Makkan Surah… The theme is that while Good must uphold the standard of Truth and Righteousness, a stage is reached when it must definitely part company with Evil, lest Evil should spread its corruption.
The story of Noah's agony is almost a Parable for the Holy Prophet's persecution in the Makkan period.”
From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:
“DEVOTED in its entirety to Noah's preaching to his erring fellow-men, this surah depicts symbolically every conscious believer's struggle against blind materialism and the resulting lack of all spiritual values.
The story of Noah as such is mentioned in several places in the Qur'an, and particularly in 11:25.”
Notable for its refrain and rhythm, this Chapter is almost a soliloquy, with most of the statements we hear being ‘voiced’ by Noah who seems to be giving his Lord his final assessment regarding his progress – or lack of it- with his people.
This narrative is retold for the benefit of its recipients, strengthening Prophet Muhammad as it persuades and dissuades listeners.
We shan’t spend much time explaining these verses; Readers can see the full explanation by any of our three Commentators above. We shall only highlight the important facts interspersed within.
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1. Verses 1-4 relate a part of Prophet Noah’s story with his people; we did encounter similar verses in HQ 11: 25. It is interesting to note that God’s Messengers, peace upon them, bear the same message which asks people mainly to be aware of God, and obey the Messenger. The promise is that, should people comply, they would earn forgiveness for part OF their wrongdoing (‘min’) and be granted respite. But in the case of Noah, is people chose not to.
2. In Verses 5- 9 Noah shows his Lord his own dedication in calling his people to Him, day and night, loudly and softly, in public and in private; he laments that they would try to bar their senses from seeing or hearing him, and that his calls only made them flee further away, in stubborn arrogance.
PAGE 571 Arabic Qur’an
3. In Verses 10- 12 Noah’s monologue gives us a few important facts (they ARE facts or else they would not have been mentioned). One such fact is that Our Lord is ‘Ghaffaar/ Oft-Forgiving,’ and that when we ask His Forgiveness, we not only get it, but we ALSO get much bounty from Him.
4. In Verses 13- 14 Noah asks his people, what the matter with them is, that they do not reflect highly on God/ realize His magnitude…. while it is He Who created them in stages?
It is important to remember this verse, which mentions our creation taking place in stages ‘aTwaar,’ and what it indicates, that this should lead us Cognizant Humans to recognize God’s ‘waqaar;’ the weighty, immense, significance of God being The CreatOR (‘waqaar’ literally means ‘weightiness’). We’ve already encountered verses which speak, more generally, of people who do not hold God in rightful ‘esteem/ qadr.’
Can we ever truly realize God’s esteem? I don’t think we can know it, but I think that we can feel it. I think that, while we are always attempting to know more, all that is required of us is feeling it.
To know more about the Creator, look to His Creation. Life. He is The Source, The Origin, Al RaHmaan.
Look at the facts. It is scientifically indisputable, that all Life, including human, is an evolution. However, what IS now scientifically disputed, is the 150 years old Darwinian theory of natural selection! In the 19th century, scientists were expecting that future studies on complex living organisms will only reveal the simplicity of their structure. What has happened is the exact opposite: The closer they were able to look at living organisms, the more detail they saw, and the greater complexity. One highly complex organism is the bacterium, which contains the most efficient machine in the entire universe, the ‘Bacterial Flagellum’ (see pic) with an RPM of 10,000! ([i])
Watch this 7 min. video ‘What Darwin Didn’t Know.’ How did this microscopic machine come about? How did everything else come about?
He is The Creator of Everything, and He is, over everything, Guardian and Disposer (HQ 39:62)
Such information has spurred the ongoing debate between Evolutionism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design, behind which lurks the timeless question: Does ‘The Creator’ exist?
My answer to that, dear Reader, is:
I am more certain of The Creator’s Existence than I am of my own.
5. Then Verses 15-16 continue to speak directly to listeners (in the first person plural, showing them the magnitude of the Creator), asking them of the creation of the seven ‘mantled/ layered’ Exalted Expanses, in which the moon is a shining light, while the sun is a burning torch. This description (more detailed than HQ 10:5) is considered a scientific ‘marvel,’ seeing that its accuracy is beyond what was ‘common knowledge’ at the time of Revelation.
Verses 17-18 continue, referring to the wonder which is their own beginning, and also referring to their end on this earth; how humans ‘sprouted out’ from this earth and propagated in a manner similar to all Life upon it, only to return back to the earth and be brought out of it ‘in an expelling’ ([ii]).
Do check out the following links; they are worth your while.
The Qur’an uses the word ‘nabaata’ ([iii]) which seems to refer to a process of ‘sprouting and propagating’ FROM earth-matter. It is very interesting to see this taking place in the ongoing cycle which sustains all Life, called Mytosis.
Meiosis, on the other hand, is a special type of cell-division necessary for reproduction. Check this out too; it is just as remarkable.
Verses 19-20 continue, mentioning how God rendered the Earth a ‘spread’ for them to course through its passage-ways (gullies).
6. Then, in Verses 21- 24, Prophet Noah turns to his Lord, telling Him how his people disobeyed him (with regard to worshipping God Alone and being Aware of Him) and followed someone whose wealth and offspring only took him deeper into loss/ruin, and they misconstrued an enormous ‘misconstruction/ makr,’ discouraging others from leaving their ‘deities’ (naming 5 specific ones). He then states a fact as to the many people they have misguided, and asks God to increase them in nothing but Misguidance.
Then Verse 25 tells us that, because of their Wrongs, they were drowned and made to enter Fire, finding none to save them other than God.
7. In Verses 26- 27 we find Prophet Noah asking God not to leave a single Denier on Earth, because they would mislead His worshippers and only breed blatant Deniers.
We may wonder at this, and see it as ‘pessimistic and cold-hearted,’ but it may simply be an assessment of Noah’s, based on God’s telling him (HQ 11:36) that after his extensive efforts and dedication, he has reached a dead-end: He shall not win another person over; no one else shall believe in him, other than those whom he had already won over.
The last verse in this Chapter has Noah asking God to forgive him and his parents and any who enters his house in faith, and to all Men and Women of Faith, and to only increase the Wrong-doers in ruination.
At the end of this chapter, let us pause for a moment and reflect on our Creator’s magnificence and magnitude. I don’t know about you, dear Reader, but today’s post made me desire, from the deeeeeeeepest recesses of my being… it made me desire and hope and wish and yearn and look forward to… meeting Him!
Hold that thought as we leave these pages.
Peace unto all!
The Rotation Per Minute of a car is around 6,000. Only ‘Formula One’ cars can surpass this in speed- but NOTHING can surpass it in efficiency!
نبت: يدلُّ على نماءٍ في مزروع، ثم يستعار. فالنَّبت معروفٌ، يقال نَبَت. وأنْبَتَتِ الأرض. ونَبَّتُّ الشَّجرَ: غَرستُه. ويقال: إنَّ في بني فلانٍ لنابِتَةَ شرّ. ونبَتَتْ لبني فلانٍ نابتةٌ، إذا نشَأ لهم نَشْءٌ صِغار من الوَلَد.