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)
فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ۙ مَنۡ یَّاۡتِیۡہِ عَذَابٌ یُّخۡزِیۡہِ وَ یَحِلُّ عَلَیۡہِ عَذَابٌ مُّقِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۰﴾
فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ مَن يَأۡتِيهِ عَذَابٞ يُخۡزِيهِ وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيۡهِ عَذَابٞ مُّقِيمٌ
a. 11:94; 39:40, 41. (close)
a. 11:94; 39:40-41. (close)
Punishments are of various kinds. There are some misfortunes which excite pity for their victims, while others, besides causing pain, bring their victims into disgrace and also serve as a warning to others. Such was the punishment which overtook the people of Noah, for it constituted a disgrace and an humiliation which is remembered to this day.
The words, a lasting punishment, signify a punishment which will not end with the present life but will continue in the life to come.
Scoffers are here told by Noah that their scoffing can do him no harm nor can it bring him into disgrace. Therefore he does not feel humiliated on account of their mockery, but it is they who have a real cause to feel humiliated, for they are about to be overtaken by a punishment which will not end in this life but will continue in the life to come and will be attended by a lasting disgrace. (close)
حَتّٰۤی اِذَا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا وَ فَارَ التَّنُّوۡرُ ۙ قُلۡنَا احۡمِلۡ فِیۡہَا مِنۡ کُلٍّ زَوۡجَیۡنِ اثۡنَیۡنِ وَ اَہۡلَکَ اِلَّا مَنۡ سَبَقَ عَلَیۡہِ الۡقَوۡلُ وَ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ ؕ وَ مَاۤ اٰمَنَ مَعَہٗۤ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلٌ ﴿۴۱﴾
حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا وَفَارَ ٱلتَّنُّورُ قُلۡنَا ٱحۡمِلۡ فِيهَا مِن كُلّٖ زَوۡجَيۡنِ ٱثۡنَيۡنِ وَأَهۡلَكَ إِلَّا مَن سَبَقَ عَلَيۡهِ ٱلۡقَوۡلُ وَمَنۡ ءَامَنَۚ وَمَآ ءَامَنَ مَعَهُۥٓ إِلَّا قَلِيلٞ
b. 23:28; 54:13. (close)
1315. The Deluge was not merely due to the gushing forth of the water from springs. But, as is clear from 54:12, 13, its real cause was the bursting of the clouds. Rain fell in torrents and there was water everywhere and, as generally happens during heavy rain, water also began to gush forth from the depths of the earth, and springs and fountains began to sprout, and thus water, both from the heavens and the earth, flooded the whole land. Noah lived in a mountainous country where springs were found in large numbers. (close)
c. 23:28. (close)
1316. The words 'of every kind' do not here mean all the animals, but all such animals as were needed by Noah. Surely, the Ark was not big enough to carry a pair of all kinds of animals found in the world. The addition of the word 'two' also shows that as many animals were to be taken as were absolutely necessary. (close)
b. 23:28; 54:13. (close)
1422. Important Words:
فار (gushed forth). They say فارت القدر the kettle boiled or estuated. فارت نفسه means, his stomach heaved; or he became agitated by a tendency to vomit. فار الماء means, the water gushed forth and flowed. فار العرق means, the vein became excited and flowed forth with blood (Lane & Aqrab).
تنور (fountains of the earth) is derived from the root تنر and means, a sort of fire-place or oven in which bread is baked; the surface of the ground; the highest part of the earth; any place from which water pours forth, i.e. a fountain etc.; a place where the water of a valley collects; the shining of the dawn (Lane).
It should be remembered that the punishment which overtook the people of Noah was not merely due to the gushing forth of the water from a spring. But, as is clear from other passages of the Quran, the real source of the Deluge were the clouds. Rain fell in such abundance that there was water everywhere and as sometimes happens during heavy rain, water also began to gush forth from the depths of the earth, and springs and fountains began to sprout, and thus water, both from the heavens and the earth, flooded the whole land. In 54:12, 13, we read, Then We opened the gates of heaven with water pouring down; and We caused the earth to gush forth with springs; so the waters met for the purpose that had been decreed. Similarly v. 45 below also speaks of water from both the heavens and the earth. In fact, it appears from the Quran that Noah lived in a mountainous country where springs were found in abundance, for in v. 44 Noah’s son is represented as saying, I shall soon betake myself to a mountain which will shelter me from the water, which shows that Noah lived at the foot of a mountain. Obviously when floods were rising fast on all sides, his son could not think of going to a far off mountain and taking shelter there.
The word کل (all) does not here mean all the animals of the earth. It only means all such animals as Noah needed. It has been similarly used in a restricted sense in other verses of the Quran as well. For instance, in 27:24, which speaks of the Queen of Sheba, we read, "She has been given everything." But all commentators are agreed in holding that by "everything" is here meant all that the Queen of Sheba needed and not everything in the literal sense of the word. If she had possessed "everything" in the literal sense of the word, she would have had in her possession everything existing in the world and Solomon dared not have said to her ambassador, Go back to them, for we shall surely come to them with hosts, against which they will have no power, and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace, and they will feel abased (27:38). Moreover, the Ark certainly was not big enough to carry a pair of all kinds of animals found in the world. The addition of the word "two" also shows that it was meant that as few animals were to be taken as were absolutely necessary.
The words, except those against whom the word has already gone forth, do not mean "except those of whom thou hast been informed," but "except those against whom God’s judgement has already been passed." (close)
وَ قَالَ ارۡکَبُوۡا فِیۡہَا بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ مَجۡؔرٖٮہَا وَ مُرۡسٰٮہَا ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۲﴾
۞وَقَالَ ٱرۡكَبُواْ فِيهَا بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ مَجۡرٜىٰهَا وَمُرۡسَىٰهَآۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
وَ ہِیَ تَجۡرِیۡ بِہِمۡ فِیۡ مَوۡجٍ کَالۡجِبَالِ ۟ وَ نَادٰی نُوۡحُ ۣ ابۡنَہٗ وَ کَانَ فِیۡ مَعۡزِلٍ یّٰـبُنَیَّ ارۡکَبۡ مَّعَنَا وَ لَا تَکُنۡ مَّعَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾
وَهِيَ تَجۡرِي بِهِمۡ فِي مَوۡجٖ كَٱلۡجِبَالِ وَنَادَىٰ نُوحٌ ٱبۡنَهُۥ وَكَانَ فِي مَعۡزِلٖ يَٰبُنَيَّ ٱرۡكَب مَّعَنَا وَلَا تَكُن مَّعَ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
Commentators differ as to whether the person referred to in this verse as Noah’s son was his real son or only a near relative. According to some, he was his stepson. Ibn Mas‘ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Jubair and many other commentators, however, are inclined to view that he was Noah’s own son. But discussion of this subject seems to be super-fluous and unnecessary.
Christian annotators have question-ed the authenticity of this incident on the ground that it does not agree with the Biblical account. But the authenticity of the Bible itself as a historical record is open to doubt and it is unreasonable to accept or reject an incident on its authority alone. (close)