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Surah Nuh

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Nuh

Mecca Mecca (71)
28Total Ayat: 28
2Total Ruku: 2


"Nuh" is the name of this Surah as well as the title of its subjectmatter, for in it, from beginning to the end, the story of the ProphetNoah has been related.

Period of Revelation

This also is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah, butthe internal evidence of its subject matter shows that it was sentdown in the period when opposition to the Holy Prophet's message ofIslam 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 onlyfor the sake of story telling, but its object is to warn thedisbelievers of Makkah, so as to say:"You, O people of Makkah, areadopting towards Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings)the same attitude as the people of the Prophet Noah had adoptedtowards him; if you do not change this attitude, you too would meetwith the same end." This had not been said in so many words anywherein the Surah, but in the background of the conditions under which thisstory was narrated to the people of Makkah, this subject itself becameobvious.

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

Then after suffering hardships and troubles in the way ofpreaching his mission for ages the report that he made to his Lord hasbeen given in vv. 5-20. In it he states how he had been trying tobring his people to the right path and how his people had stubbornlyopposed him.

After this, the Prophet Noah's final submission has beenrecorded in vv. 21-24, in which he prays to his Lord, saying: "Thesepeople have rejected my invitation: they are blindly following theirchiefs, who have devised a tremendous plot of deceit and cunning. Timenow has come when these people should be deprived of every grace toaccept guidance." This was not an expression of impatience by theProphet Noah, but when after having preached his message underextremely trying circumstances for centuries be became utterlydisappointed with his people, he formed the opinion that no chancewhatever was left of their coming to the right path. His this opinionfully conformed to Allah's own decision. Thus, in the next verse (25),it has been said: "The torment of Allah descended on those peoplebecause of their misdeeds."

In the concluding verse, the ProphetNoah's supplication that he made to his Lord, right at the time thetorment descended, has been recorded. In it he prays for his own andfor all the believers' forgiveness, and makes a submission to Allah tothe effect: "Do not leave any of the disbelievers alive on the earth,for they have become utterly devoid of every good: they will not begetany but disbelieving and wicked descendents."

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

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