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)
وَ یٰقَوۡمِ مَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُنِیۡ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ طَرَدۡتُّہُمۡ ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾
وَيَٰقَوۡمِ مَن يَنصُرُنِي مِنَ ٱللَّهِ إِن طَرَدتُّهُمۡۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
Noah says that his opponents wanted him to drive away his followers on account of their humble origin. But he could not displease God in order to win his opponents’ pleasure by repelling away those who had believed in him for His sake. God was his help and support and without Him he could not acquit himself of the great task with which He had entrusted him. He therefore dared not incur God’s displeasure by driving away his followers. (close)
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 ﴿۳۲﴾
وَلَآ أَقُولُ لَكُمۡ عِندِي خَزَآئِنُ ٱللَّهِ وَلَآ أَعۡلَمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبَ وَلَآ أَقُولُ إِنِّي مَلَكٞ وَلَآ أَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ تَزۡدَرِيٓ أَعۡيُنُكُمۡ لَن يُؤۡتِيَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ خَيۡرًاۖ ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا فِيٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ إِنِّيٓ إِذٗا لَّمِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
b. 6:51. (close)
a. 6:51. (close)
In the first part of this verse Noah answers the objections of his opponents about himself in another form. He says that they taunt him for being a mere human being like themselves. But his claim is not inconsistent with his being a human being. He is only a Prophet, and it was not necessary for a Prophet to be different in kind from those to whom he was sent. On the contrary, it is necessary that he should be one of them and similar to them. If he had ascribed divinity to himself and had said that God had delegated His authority to him, then indeed they could have asked how a human being like them could discharge Divine functions. But he has made no such claim. His only claim is that God had chosen him as an instrument for conveying to men the knowledge which He wishes to disclose to them.
The words, Allah will not bestow any good upon them, contain a further answer to the objections of Noah’s enemies about his followers. Noah says that they taunted his followers with being mean and lowly, but who could say what was going to happen in future or how God intended to bestow on these very poor people the blessings of Heaven and the earth. He further reinforces his argument by saying that truly mean is that person whose heart is corrupt, but the condition of the heart or the mind is known to God alone. They judged his followers by their outward condition while God, Who knew the real condition of their hearts, knew that they were not mean but the noblest of men. This is the significance of the words, Allah knows best whatever is in their minds. (close)
قَالُوۡا یٰنُوۡحُ قَدۡ جٰدَلۡتَنَا فَاَکۡثَرۡتَ جِدَالَنَا فَاۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَاۤ اِنۡ کُنۡتَ مِنَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰنُوحُ قَدۡ جَٰدَلۡتَنَا فَأَكۡثَرۡتَ جِدَٰلَنَا فَأۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ
c. 46:23. (close)
a. 46:23. (close)
As in the previous verses Noah had hinted at the future prosperity of his followers and it was evident that they could prosper only if their opponents perished and thus cleared the way for their prosperity, therefore Noah’s enemies realized that the prophecy of the future prosperity of believers implied a prophecy about their own destruction. So they asked him to give up all other discussions and let them know when their threatened destruction would come to pass. (close)
قَالَ اِنَّمَا یَاۡتِیۡکُمۡ بِہِ اللّٰہُ اِنۡ شَآءَ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾
قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَأۡتِيكُم بِهِ ٱللَّهُ إِن شَآءَ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ
d. 46:24 (close)
1311. The verse embodies three important rules about prophecies of punishment: (a) The time of their actual happening is generally not disclosed. (b) They are conditional and can be deferred or revoked as God may please. (c) Whatever changes may take place in regard to prophecies of punishment, God’s immutable purpose never changes, because disbelievers 'cannot frustrate His purpose.' (close)
a. 46:23-24. (close)
This verse embodies three important rules about prophecies foretelling the punishment of the enemies of God’s Messengers: (1) that the time of their actual happening is generally not disclosed, being known only to God; (2) that they are conditional and can be deferred or revoked as God may desire; and (3) that whatever changes may take place in regard to prophecies of punishment, God’s immutable purpose never changes, for disbelievers "cannot frustrate God’s purpose." (close)
وَ لَا یَنۡفَعُکُمۡ نُصۡحِیۡۤ اِنۡ اَرَدۡتُّ اَنۡ اَنۡصَحَ لَکُمۡ اِنۡ کَانَ اللّٰہُ یُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ یُّغۡوِیَکُمۡ ؕ ہُوَ رَبُّکُمۡ ۟ وَ اِلَیۡہِ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۵﴾
وَلَا يَنفَعُكُمۡ نُصۡحِيٓ إِنۡ أَرَدتُّ أَنۡ أَنصَحَ لَكُمۡ إِن كَانَ ٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يُغۡوِيَكُمۡۚ هُوَ رَبُّكُمۡ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ
1312. The verse removes the wrong notion commonly held that being very angry with his people because they did not believe, Noah prayed for their destruction (71:27, 28), for it shows that Noah had prayed for their destruction not of his own accord but God Himself had desired him to do so. (close)
1416. Important Words:
یغویكم (destroy you). See 7:17.
By the words, If Allah desires to destroy you, Noah means to say that though he ardently wishes his people to accept his Message and thus be saved, his love for them cannot exceed God’s love for His creatures; and when God has decreed their destruction, the doom must be accepted as not only inevitable but also justified, and he must submit to His decree.
The verse also explodes the wrong notion commonly held that Noah prayed for the destruction of his people (71:27, 28), for it shows that it was not Noah who had prayed for their destruction but that God Himself had commanded him to do so.
The words, He is your Lord, are intended to hint that God destroys a people only when He finds that their destruction is necessary and is good for others; otherwise, being their Lord and Master, He cannot wish them evil. (close)
اَمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ افۡتَرٰٮہُ ؕ قُلۡ اِنِ افۡتَرَیۡتُہٗ فَعَلَیَّ اِجۡرَامِیۡ وَ اَنَا بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُجۡرِمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۳۶﴾
أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ ٱفۡتَرَىٰهُۖ قُلۡ إِنِ ٱفۡتَرَيۡتُهُۥ فَعَلَيَّ إِجۡرَامِي وَأَنَا۠ بَرِيٓءٞ مِّمَّا تُجۡرِمُونَ
a. 46:9. (close)
a. 46:9. (close)
The words, Say, If I have forged it, on me be my sin, refer to Noah and not to the Holy Prophet, and mean that God commanded Noah to tell his people that if in what he had said to them he had forged a lie against God, he would certainly be punished for it, so they need not worry about it. But if he was speaking the truth and was a true Messenger of God, then they had committed a great sin by rejecting him and would surely be called to account.
By saying, I am clear of the sins you commit, Noah clears himself of the charge of imposture in another way also. He points to his previous spotless life as proof of his truthfulness, for if he was free from the various sins in which his people were involved, he could not be expected to be so depraved as to forge lies against God, which was the most heinous of all sins. (close)
وَ اُوۡحِیَ اِلٰی نُوۡحٍ اَنَّہٗ لَنۡ یُّؤۡمِنَ مِنۡ قَوۡمِکَ اِلَّا مَنۡ قَدۡ اٰمَنَ فَلَا تَبۡتَئِسۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۳۷﴾
وَأُوحِيَ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ أَنَّهُۥ لَن يُؤۡمِنَ مِن قَوۡمِكَ إِلَّا مَن قَدۡ ءَامَنَ فَلَا تَبۡتَئِسۡ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ
1313. The prayer referred to in 71:27, 28 seems to have been uttered after the verse under comment was revealed. According to the verse under comment Noah was informed of God’s decision that no one from among his people would now believe in him. Hence his prayer (71:27, 28) was nothing more than a submission to God’s will and decree. All that the prayer meant was that God might carry out His decree about the destruction of his people. (close)
1418. Important Words:
فلاتبتئس (grieve not therefore). تبتئس is derived from بئس meaning, he was or became in a state of distress, etc. ابتاس منه or ابتاس به means, he was distressed at it; or he grieved at it (Lane). See also 2:178.
This verse throws some light on Noah’s prayer referred to in 71:27, 28. In the verse under comment Noah is told that he would have no more converts from his people but that he should not grieve on that account. This shows that up to the time when this revelation was sent to Noah, he had not despaired of his people and was always worrying over their disbelief. So the prayer referred to in 71:27, 28 must have been offered not prior to, but after, this revelation. In this revelation he was informed of God’s decision that no more persons from among his people would believe in him. All those who deserved to be rightly guided and who sincerely sought after Divine guidance had already been converted. Hence the prayer of Noah was no more than a submission to God’s decree. For, when God Himself had decided to destroy his wicked people, it was meaningless on Noah’s part to pray for their destruction. So all that Noah’s prayer meant was that God might carry out His decree about the destruction of his people, for he was now reconciled to it.
It often happens that a Prophet even after he has come to know of God’s decision to destroy a people, continues to pray for them, hoping that God may alter His decree and the people may yet believe and be saved. Noah also continued to pray for his people until he saw that further postponement of the punishment was prejudicial to the best interests of Faith. He then prayed that God might carry out His decree against his people.
Even if it be admitted that Noah did not merely ask God to carry out His decree but actually prayed for the destruction of his people, such a prayer cannot be held to be inconsistent with the dignity of a Prophet, for a prayer offered under Divine command can in no case be said to be derogatory to his dignity. When the All-Knowing God Himself discloses to a Prophet the perversity of his people and their inevitable doom, then a prayer on his part that such people should remain deprived of Divine guidance is no more than a simple statement of an existing fact. (close)
وَ اصۡنَعِ الۡفُلۡکَ بِاَعۡیُنِنَا وَ وَحۡیِنَا وَ لَا تُخَاطِبۡنِیۡ فِی الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا ۚ اِنَّہُمۡ مُّغۡرَقُوۡنَ ﴿۳۸﴾
وَٱصۡنَعِ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ بِأَعۡيُنِنَا وَوَحۡيِنَا وَلَا تُخَٰطِبۡنِي فِي ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓاْ إِنَّهُم مُّغۡرَقُونَ
b. 23:28. (close)
1314. A‘yun is the plural of ‘Ain which means, eye; look or view; inmates of a house; protection (Lane). (close)
a. 23:28. (close)
1419. Important Words:
باعیننا (under Our eyes). اعین is the plural of عین which has a large variety of meanings. Among other things it means: (1) the eye; (2) look or view, as the Quran says ولتصنع علی عینی i.e. that thou mightest be reared in my view; (3) the people or inmates of a house or dwelling, as they say مابھاعین i.e. there is no one in it (the house); (4) brothers from the same father and mother; (5) one’s protection and honour, as the Arabs say انت علی عینی i.e. thou art entitled to be honoured and protected by me (Lane).
In view of one of the meanings of the word عین the expression باعیننا may mean "with the help of the people of Our house." The people of Noah’s house have been spoken of as "the people of Our house," because those who are near and dear to a Prophet are also dear to God. Noah was bidden to build an ark with the aid of the people of God’s spiritual house (for spiritually the followers of a Prophet belong to God’s own house).
Taking the word عین in the sense of one’s "protection" or "honour," the sentence would mean, "Make thou the Ark under Our protection," meaning that Noah’s adversaries would jeer and mock at the building of the Ark, but he should pay no heed to their mockery, for he would be protected and honoured by God.
The verse may also allude to two kinds of arks, the physical ark which was to be built by Noah with the help of his followers, and the spiritual ark i.e. the ark of righteousness which God had bestowed on Noah’s followers through him. Truly speaking, it is only the spiritual ark that can help to save a person from the punishment of God.
The words, address not Me concerning the wrongdoers, also show that Noah’s prayer for the destruction of his people mentioned in 71:27, 28 was not offered by him at his own initiative, for when he himself was praying for the destruction of the wrongdoers, there was no occasion for God to order him not to pray for their deliverance. (close)
وَ یَصۡنَعُ الۡفُلۡکَ ۟ وَ کُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَیۡہِ مَلَاٌ مِّنۡ قَوۡمِہٖ سَخِرُوۡا مِنۡہُ ؕ قَالَ اِنۡ تَسۡخَرُوۡا مِنَّا فَاِنَّا نَسۡخَرُ مِنۡکُمۡ کَمَا تَسۡخَرُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۹﴾
وَيَصۡنَعُ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ وَكُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيۡهِ مَلَأٞ مِّن قَوۡمِهِۦ سَخِرُواْ مِنۡهُۚ قَالَ إِن تَسۡخَرُواْ مِنَّا فَإِنَّا نَسۡخَرُ مِنكُمۡ كَمَا تَسۡخَرُونَ
Messengers of God are always mocked at because they bring teachings which the people of their time are not prepared to accept. But these people never pause to consider that if heavenly Messengers were not entrusted with extraordinary work, there would be no need for God to send Messengers. It is only because man, in spite of his intellectual attainments, cannot rid himself of his manifold troubles and because the cure which, with the help of his experience and knowledge, he devises brings him no relief that God sends His Messengers for his guidance and deliverance, and as the remedy which they suggest is out of the ordinary, it naturally appears strange to him and he begins to ridicule and mock at it. But despite this jeering and ridicule, Divine Messengers and their followers succeed in attaining their goal, while their opponents make fools of themselves and incur God’s displeasure.
For the meaning of the expression, we shall mock at you, see note on 2:16. (close)