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 ﴿۲۱﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ لَمۡ يَكُونُواْ مُعۡجِزِينَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا كَانَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِنۡ أَوۡلِيَآءَۘ يُضَٰعَفُ لَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُۚ مَا كَانُواْ يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَمَا كَانُواْ يُبۡصِرُونَ
1306. The leaders of disbelief will be punished both for their own sins and for the sins of those whom they misled. (close)
d. 26:213. (close)
b. 26:213. (close)
Those who forge lies against God (see v. 19) can never succeed in their wicked plans but only become involved in the meshes of their own schemes and stratagems.
God cannot be their friend and helper because of their fabricating lies against Him, and as God, the Lord of the universe, is angry with them, their own friends and sympathizers can be of no help to them.
The word یضاعف (will be doubled) being derived from ضعف (for which see 3:131), which means both "the double of a thing" or "an unlimited addition," is used here in both these senses. The punishment of disbelievers will be doubled in the sense that they will be punished both for their own sins and for the sins of those whom they misled. In the second sense, the verse means that their punishment will continue to increase absolutely; for by preaching and disseminating a false teaching they sowed the seeds of evil in the world, and as long as that evil subsists their punishment will continue.
Surprise is expressed in the words, They can neither hear, nor can they see, at those who falsely claim to be Divine Messengers. It is pointed out that although both true and false prophets have passed before them, yet they would not try to see what a miserable end the false prophets came to nor would they listen to the stories of their lives. (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ خَسِرُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ ضَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ وَضَلَّ عَنۡهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفۡتَرُونَ
a. 7:54; 10:31. (close)
a. 7:54; 10:31. (close)
1403. Important Words:
For the meaning of the word خسر (khasira) see 6:13. The word is really intransitive, though for the sake of convenience it has been translated here as transitive. (close)
لَا جَرَمَ اَنَّہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ہُمُ الۡاَخۡسَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ هُمُ ٱلۡأَخۡسَرُونَ
b. 16:110. (close)
b. 16:110. (close)
1404. Important Words:
لاجرم (undoubtedly). They say جرمه i.e. he cut it or he cut it off. جرم لاھله means, he acquired or earned for his family. جرم also means, he committed a fault or sin or crime. The expression لاجرم means, there is no avoiding (lit. cutting) it; or it is absolutely necessary; verily or truly. It also sometimes gives the sense of "nay" (Lane).
The verse purports to say that though disbelievers may do a slight harm to the Prophets of God in this life, in the life to come they alone will suffer. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ اَخۡبَتُوۡۤا اِلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡجَنَّۃِ ۚ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ وَأَخۡبَتُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ أَصۡحَٰبُ ٱلۡجَنَّةِۖ هُمۡ فِيهَا خَٰلِدُونَ
c. 2:83; 4:58; 3:58; 13:30; 22:57; 29:8; 30:16; 42:23. (close)
1307. In order to attain to the higher stages of spiritual progress, perfect conviction, complete submission to, and full trust in God and sincere love for Him are essential in addition to right belief and good works. (close)
c. 2:83; 3:58; 4:58; 13:30; 22:57; 29:8; 30:16; 42:23. (close)
1405. Important Words:
اخبتوا (humbled themselves) is derived from خبت. They say خبت ذکرہ meaning, the mention of him or it was or became concealed, i.e. he or it was or became obscure and of no repute or became concealed. اخبت الی الله means, he was or became lowly, humble or submissive in heart and obedient to God; or he humbled or abased himself to his Lord; or he trusted his Lord. خبت (khabtun) means, a low or depressed tract of land; or a wide and low tract of ground; or a soft tract of ground which is easy to walk through (Lane).
The verse makes it clear that in order to attain to the highest stages of spiritual progress, mere faith and good works are not sufficient; perfect conviction, complete submission and full trust in God and sincere love for Him are also essential. Just as a child is happy and satisfied only when it is in the lap of its mother, similarly he who desires to make real spiritual progress should humble himself before God, place complete trust in Him and always turn to Him for help. (close)
مَثَلُ الۡفَرِیۡقَیۡنِ کَالۡاَعۡمٰی وَ الۡاَصَمِّ وَ الۡبَصِیۡرِ وَ السَّمِیۡعِ ؕ ہَلۡ یَسۡتَوِیٰنِ مَثَلًا ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۵﴾
۞مَثَلُ ٱلۡفَرِيقَيۡنِ كَٱلۡأَعۡمَىٰ وَٱلۡأَصَمِّ وَٱلۡبَصِيرِ وَٱلسَّمِيعِۚ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِيَانِ مَثَلًاۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
d. 13:17; 35:20, 21. (close)
1308. A beautiful contrast is instituted here between belief and disbelief. A believer is represented as one who is in perfect possession of the faculties of sight and hearing, while the disbeliever is likened to a blind and deaf person. (close)
a. 13:17; 35:20-21. (close)
This verse beautifully contrasts faith and disbelief. A believer is here represented as one who is in perfect possession of the faculties of sight and hearing, while the disbeliever is likened to a blind and deaf man. Certainly there is a world of difference between them. The epithets "blind" and "deaf" for disbelievers have not been used by way of abuse, but are meant to throw light on the real nature of disbelief.
The difference between a spiritually blind man and one who can see is that the former cannot see the spiritual light that comes from God, while the latter can. Similarly, whereas the former gropes, stumbles and falters on the way to his destination, the latter sees his way clear to it and reaches it directly. Moreover, a blind man cannot distinguish a friend from a foe, and might mistake one for the other, while the seeing man can never make such a mistake.
Similar differences exist between those who follow a true religion and those who reject it. The follower of a true religion knows the Will of God, which serves as a beacon of light for the spiritual wayfarer. But one who rejects truth loses his spiritual vision and thus is deprived of the means to know the Will of his Creator. Similarly, he who has accepted truth, being a seeker after Divine revelation, does not stumble or stagger on the way to his destination, but arrives at it straight away. On the contrary, those who seek to find truth by the unaided help of their own reasoning faculties may sometimes succeed in finding it, but after a good deal of stumbling and groping in the dark. The difference is well illustrated by the statutory prohibition in the United States of America of alcoholic drink in the past few years. Islam prohibited drinking outright, with the result that the Muslim world totally abandoned it. The non-Muslim world has only now begun to realize its evils after an experiment extending over hundreds of years. Another vital difference between a believer and a disbeliever is that the former takes his stand on the firm rock of some recognized truth about which there exists no dispute in his mind, but the latter does not know where he stands, with the result that in order to refute a truth, he sometimes happens to attack even those principles to which he himself subscribes. This is why the Quran repeatedly reminds its opponents that, while attacking Islam, they very often attack their own beliefs and principles.
Believers and disbelievers have also been here compared to the hearing and the deaf. The difference between a man who has ears and one who is deaf is that the former, being able to hear what others have to say, benefits by their experience, while the latter can derive no such benefit. This constitutes one of the chief differences between Islam and other Faiths, and between Muslims and non-Muslims. The teachings of Islam comprise all truths—even those that are found in other religions—and a Muslim is enjoined to get hold of truth wherever he finds it and to make it his own, while a non-Muslim remains contented with his own antiquated and outworn ideas and turns a deaf ear to all others. It is to this peculiarity of Islam that the Holy Prophet has alluded in his famous saying: "A word of wisdom is the lost property of a believer; he gets hold of it wherever he finds it" (Tirmidhi, ch. on ‘Ilm).
In short, the sign of a true religion is that it is catholic and broad-minded and embraces in itself all truths; while a false religion is characterized by narrow-mindedness and perversity. Thus, the very thing which is criticized by the opponents of Islam as one of its defects is claimed here as an excellence. Islam has been accused of plagiarism, but it answers this charge by saying that it is not like a deaf man who cannot hear and therefore is incapable of benefiting by the knowledge and experience of others, but, like a person who is in perfect possession of the power of hearing, it listens to what others have to say and thus supplements and perfects its own store of knowledge. This is why the Quran has not only collected in itself all such teachings of other divinely inspired religions as are fundamentally good and beneficial but has also added to them such new truths as are not to be found in any other Faith.
The epithets "hearing" and "deaf" point to another contrast also. In Islam, the door of Divine revelation is open, and spiritually speaking only such an ear can be said to be gifted with the faculty of "hearing" as listens to the voice of God. In fact, it is for the purpose of hearing the sweet voice of God that the ear has been primarily created. So the ear which does not hear the voice of
God is a deaf ear. Similarly, it is to point to this great difference that believers and disbelievers have been respectively likened to "the seeing" and "the blind." In Islam the door of heavenly signs and miracles is ever open and he alone can be truly said to be "seeing" who sees the fresh signs of God. The eye which refuses to see the signs of God is indeed a blind eye. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوۡحًا اِلٰی قَوۡمِہٖۤ ۫ اِنِّیۡ لَکُمۡ نَذِیۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۲۶﴾
وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦٓ إِنِّي لَكُمۡ نَذِيرٞ مُّبِينٌ
e. 7:60; 23:24; 71:3. (close)
a. 7:60; 23:24; 71:3. (close)
1407. Important Words:
مبین (plain) is derived from ابان which again is derived from بان for which see 2:169. مبین gives three meanings: (1) plain and clear; (2) he who or that which makes a thing clear by giving reasons and arguments; (3) he who or that which cuts something asunder.
In the previous verse it was stated that disbelievers did not care either to ponder over the inglorious end to which false prophets and their followers came or to the great success attained by true Prophets. The former class of people were likened to the blind and the deaf and the latter to the hearing and the seeing. With the present verse begin some illustrations of these two classes of men. The first illustration is that of Noah, who was one of the great Prophets of God.
All Prophets of God are نذیر مبین (plain Warners) i.e. (1) there is no secrecy about their teaching and manner of work. Unlike false pretenders, they do not conceal their teaching. With them everything is fair and above board. (2) Their teaching is also based on reason and argument. Thus, unlike the warning of the false prophets, the warning of the true Prophets causes no despair or despondency among their followers. The Holy Prophet has strongly condemned warnings which occasion despair. He is reported to have said: من قال ھلك القوم فھو اھلکھم i.e. "He who says that the people have perished, it is really he himself who causes them to perish by so saying" (Muslim, ch. on Birri Was-Silah). Such a person, in fact, makes people lose faith and confidence in themselves and makes them despair of their future. Lost in the slough of despond, they begin to think lightly of sin and iniquity and feel hopelessly discouraged and disheartened. It is the function of a divine reformer to tell people that he has with him the remedy of their corruption. Thus when Noah said that he was نذیر مبین i.e. a plain Warner, he meant that all his work was above suspicion and that his warning was based on reason; that he had come not to dishearten his people, but to make them realize their true condition. He also meant that he not only warned them of impending punishment but also pointed out to them the way in which they could escape that punishment. It was to "worship none but Allah." (close)
اَنۡ لَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلَّا اللّٰہَ ؕ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ عَذَابَ یَوۡمٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۲۷﴾
أَن لَّا تَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَۖ إِنِّيٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ أَلِيمٖ
f. 7:60; 71:4. (close)
1309. 'A grievous punishment' is different from 'the punishment of a grievous day.' The latter expression implies greater intensity. Certain punishments are very grievous, but there are 'certain days' the remembrance of which continues to haunt and cause pain even after the lapse of hundreds of years. Whereas the actual 'punishment' causes pain only to those on whom it falls, remembrance of the 'days of a grievous punishment' terrifies even those who come after. (close)
a. 7:60; 71:4. (close)
"A grievous punishment" is different from "the punishment of a grievous day." The latter expression implies greater intensity. Certain punishments are very grievous, but there are certain "days" the remembrance of which continues to cause great pain even after the lapse of hundreds of years. The actual "punishment" causes pain only to those on whom it falls, but remembrance of the "days" of a terrible punishment frightens even those who come after. Thus, by using the expression, the punishment of a grievous day, the Quran points to the fact that the threatened punishment was to be such as would be long remembered and would strike terror into the hearts of coming generations. This expression aptly describes the grievous nature of the punishment which overtook the people of Noah, for the great Deluge is remembered even to the present day as a terrible catastrophe the very thought of which inspires fear. (close)
فَقَالَ الۡمَلَاُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنۡ قَوۡمِہٖ مَا نَرٰٮکَ اِلَّا بَشَرًا مِّثۡلَنَا وَ مَا نَرٰٮکَ اتَّبَعَکَ اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ اَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِیَ الرَّاۡیِ ۚ وَ مَا نَرٰی لَکُمۡ عَلَیۡنَا مِنۡ فَضۡلٍۭ بَلۡ نَظُنُّکُمۡ کٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾
فَقَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦ مَا نَرَىٰكَ إِلَّا بَشَرٗا مِّثۡلَنَا وَمَا نَرَىٰكَ ٱتَّبَعَكَ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ أَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِيَ ٱلرَّأۡيِ وَمَا نَرَىٰ لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡنَا مِن فَضۡلِۭ بَلۡ نَظُنُّكُمۡ كَٰذِبِينَ
a. 23:25. (close)
b. 26:112. (close)
1310. The expression Badiyur-Ra’yi meaning, at first thought; apparently; without proper consideration (Lane), the words Aradhiluna Badiyar-Ra’yi signify that the followers of Noah (a) are mean to all outward appearance; (b) their faith is insincere; (c) it is the result of only superficial thinking. It is a pity that men test the claims of a Heavenly Messenger by their self-devised standards and, when he does not satisfy those standards, they deceive themselves with the idea that they had weighed his claims dispassionately and with an open mind and had found them to be false. (close)
b. 23:25. (close)
c. 26:112. (close)
1409. Important Words:
بادی الرأی (to all outward appearance) is made up of two Arabic words بادی and الرأی. The word بادی has two possible derivations. It may be derived from بدأ (bad’a) which means, he or it began or he or it came into existence. بدأ به means, he began with it; he made it to be the first. Or the word بادی may be derived from بدأ (of which the aorist is یبدو) which means, it appeared or it showed itself. According to these two different roots the word بادی would mean: (1) that which or he who is first or that which or he who begins; (2) that which or he who appears. And the word الرأی means sight or perception or opinion. So the compound expression بادی الرأی would mean: (1) at first thought or on the first opinion; (2) at the appearance of opinion or according to the appearance of opinion, which may mean either inconsiderately or insincerely (Lane, under بدا & بدأ).
The Arabic expression بادی الرأی (to all outward appearance) is capable of three interpretations according to the rules of Arabic grammar. First, it may be taken as referring to the words ونراك (and we see). In this case, the verse would mean that the followers of Noah appear to us to be the meanest of us at first thought or on the first opinion, i.e. so far as our opinion is concerned we consider them to be mean. If, however, there is any hidden good in them, it may be known to Noah only.
Secondly, the expression بادی الرأی may be taken to refer to the words اراذلنا (the meanest of us). In this case the verse would mean that the followers of Noah were apparently low and mean.
Thirdly, the expression بادی الرأی may be taken as qualifying the words اتبعك (have followed thee). In this case the verse would mean that those who have accepted Noah have done so only outwardly or without proper thinking i.e. their faith was either insincere or inconsiderate, being based on mere cursory thinking.
To sum up, the words اراذلنا بادی الرأی mean: (1) the followers of Noah are mean to all outward appearance; or (2) their faith in Noah is insincere; or (3) their faith is the result of only superficial thinking.
The words, We see in thee nothing but a man like ourselves, mean, "There is nothing extraordinary in your outward appearance to distinguish you from us. You are just a human being like any other mortal. When therefore, there is nothing extraordinary in your outward appearance, how should we know that inwardly you have been endowed with exceptional powers which have helped you to gain access to Divine presence, while we cannot ?"
This is the common objection raised by the opponents of the Prophets. The enemies of Noah purported to say that if he possessed some special inward power from God, that ought to have caused some difference in his outward appearance and as a result of it he should have acquired knowledge of some worldly sciences also, but they saw no evidence of this. How could they then believe that his internal powers were different from, and superior to, theirs. In support of this argument the opponents of Noah might possibly have shown to him pictures of their holy men having extraordinary exteriors, such as the Hindu saints are believed to possess, for instance, a number of heads and several hands. In olden days, men could not conceive that a Prophet was like ordinary mortals in appearance. So the enemies of Noah, arguing that the outward must correspond with the inward and that there must be harmony between the two, raised against him the objection that if he was really a true Prophet, his outward appearance must have been different from theirs. Silly though the argument is, it must have won endorsement from the contemporaries of Noah.
The enemies of Noah further reinforce their argument by saying that while he himself possessed no special powers, and was a mortal like themselves, his followers were even worse than him. What success could he achieve, they asked, with adher-ents who, to all outward appearance, were the meanest of the society? The enemies of Noah thus argued that neither his own personal qualities nor those of his followers gave him the appearance of "superiority" over them.
The words, we believe you to be liars, embody the result of the arguments brought forward by Noah’s opponents, which is that he was a liar, for he had asserted his truth and superiority without any basis or proof.
It is a pity that men test the claims of a heavenly Messenger by their self-devised standards and, when he does not satisfy those standards, they deceive themselves with the idea that they had weighed up his claims dispassionately and with an open mind and had found them to be false. Even in the present age when man has made great progress in knowledge, science and culture and has known many Prophets, he presumes to test the claims of God’s Messengers’ not by criteria laid down by Him but by his own false standards. (close)
قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّیۡ وَ اٰتٰٮنِیۡ رَحۡمَۃً مِّنۡ عِنۡدِہٖ فَعُمِّیَتۡ عَلَیۡکُمۡ ؕ اَنُلۡزِمُکُمُوۡہَا وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَہَا کٰرِہُوۡنَ ﴿۲۹﴾
قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٖ مِّن رَّبِّي وَءَاتَىٰنِي رَحۡمَةٗ مِّنۡ عِندِهِۦ فَعُمِّيَتۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ أَنُلۡزِمُكُمُوهَا وَأَنتُمۡ لَهَا كَٰرِهُونَ
c. 11:64; 47:15. (close)
a. 11:64; 47:15. (close)
1410. Important Words:
انلزمکموھا (shall we force it upon you) is derived from الزم which is derived from لزم. They say لزم الشیء i.e. he kept close or held fast to the thing. لزم الامر means, the order became binding. الزمه الشیء means, he made him cleave to the thing. الزمه العملmeans, he obliged or compelled him to do the deed (Lane).
The words, which has been rendered obscure to you, mean that "the clear proof" and the "great mercy" have come to me in such a form that you cannot see them unless you ponder over them in the right spirit and on the right lines.
It is clear from this verse that in order to understand truth, one should think over it on right lines. Disbelievers cannot understand the truth because they reject it at the outset, without giving it the least consideration. In such circumstances, there can be no possibility of the truth being accepted except under compulsion. But compulsion, as the last portion of the verse makes clear, cannot be resorted to. (close)
وَ یٰقَوۡمِ لَاۤ اَسۡئَلُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ مَالًا ؕ اِنۡ اَجۡرِیَ اِلَّا عَلَی اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا بِطَارِدِ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ مُّلٰقُوۡا رَبِّہِمۡ وَ لٰکِنِّیۡۤ اَرٰٮکُمۡ قَوۡمًا تَجۡہَلُوۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾
وَيَٰقَوۡمِ لَآ أَسۡـَٔلُكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ مَالًاۖ إِنۡ أَجۡرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱللَّهِۚ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ بِطَارِدِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْۚ إِنَّهُم مُّلَٰقُواْ رَبِّهِمۡ وَلَٰكِنِّيٓ أَرَىٰكُمۡ قَوۡمٗا تَجۡهَلُونَ
d. 10:73; 26:110. (close)
a. 26:115. (close)
a. 10:73; 26:110. (close)
b. 26:115. (close)
After referring to the prejudiced attitude of his opponents, Noah now proceeds to defend himself and his followers. In the first place, he asks what purpose he could possibly have in fabricating lies. Was it self-interest or personal aggrandizement that he was seeking? They knew that he asked for no reward from them. Then why should he have resorted to the abominable practice of forging lies? It might be argued that though Noah asked for no reward, he at least commanded the allegiance of his followers and that in itself constituted sufficient motive for his activities. But this objection, too, stands on no solid ground, because the Prophets of God are always the first to act upon the commandments which they enjoin upon others and they subject themselves to a greater discipline than they demand from their followers. They do not exult in the authority they enjoy. Theirs is only a life of sacrifice and service and not of dictatorial authority over others.
After having defended himself, Noah goes on to defend his followers. He repudiates the strictures of his opponents against them by saying that, as they had professed to believe in him, he had no right to drive them away merely on the basis of groundless mistrust and suspicion. Again, as he asked for no reward or recompense from anybody, the distinction of rich and poor did not exist for him and therefore he could not reject or spurn his followers on account of their being of humble origin. Only true and sincere faith carried weight with him, and that his followers possessed in abundance. Therefore, the objection that those who believed in him were poor and lowly was, besides being absurd, quite irrelevant.
Another objection which Noah’s opponents levelled at his followers was that their faith was insincere. Noah rebutted this charge by saying that just as he did not demand any material benefit from them, they also did not demand anything from him. They only sought the favour of God Whom they were sure to meet, and He to Whom nothing is hidden would deal with them according to their faith. So, why should he question or doubt their sincerity?
The words, They shall certainly meet their Lord, also contain an answer to the taunt of disbelievers that Noah’s followers had acquired no superiority over them by believing in him. Noah asked what greater superiority there could be than that his followers had attained nearness to God and had made great moral and spiritual progress, so much so that heavenly light shone in their faces. If in their ignorance his enemies could not see so patent a fact, the fault was their own.
The clause, But I consider you to be a people who act ignorantly, may refer to the sacrifices which the followers of Noah made in the cause of truth, for to believe in a Prophet in the beginning is not an easy matter. It is like plunging into fire. So Noah drew the attention of his opponents to the sacrifices of his followers and pointed out how unreasonable it was to hold their faith to be insincere in view of their great sacrifices for the sake of their faith. (close)