Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 28
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
71: Nooh - نوح

71:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنْذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We sent Noah to his People (with the Command): "Do thou warn thy People before there comes to them a grievous Penalty."
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We sent Noah to his people, [saying], "Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment."
Tafseer Commentary

5705 Noah's mission is referred to in many places. See specially 11:25-49 and notes. His contemporaries had completely abandoned the moral law. A purge had to be made, and the great Flood made it. This gives a new starting point in history for Noah's People - i.e., for the remnant saved in the Ark.


71:2
[ Original ]
قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He said: "O my People! I am to you a Warner, clear and open:
[ Saheeh International ]
He said, "O my people, indeed I am to you a clear warner,
Tafseer Commentary

5706 His Warning was to be both clear (i.e., unambiguous) and open (i.e., publicly proclaimed). Both these meanings are implied in Mubin. Cf. 67:26. The meaning of the Warning was obviously that if they had repented, they would have obtained mercy.


71:3
[ Original ]
أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاتَّقُوهُ وَأَطِيعُونِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"That ye should worship Allah, fear Him and obey me:
[ Saheeh International ]
[Saying], 'Worship Allah, fear Him and obey me.
Tafseer Commentary

5707 Three aspects of man's duty are emphasised: (1) true worship with heart and soul; (2) God-fearing recognition that all evil must lead to self-deterioration and Judgement; (3) hence repentance and amendment of life, and obedience to good men's counsels.


71:4
[ Original ]
يَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ مِنْ ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَيُؤَخِّرْكُمْ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ۚ إِنَّ أَجَلَ اللَّهِ إِذَا جَاءَ لَا يُؤَخَّرُ ۖ لَوْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"So He may forgive you your sins and give you respite for a stated Term: for when the Term given by Allah is accomplished, it cannot be put forward: if ye only knew."
[ Saheeh International ]
Allah will forgive you of your sins and delay you for a specified term. Indeed, the time [set by] Allah, when it comes, will not be delayed, if you only knew.' "
Tafseer Commentary

5708 Allah gives respite freely; but it is for Him to give it. His command is definite and final; neither man nor any other authority can alter or in any way modify it. If we could only realise this to the full in our inmost soul, it would be best for us and lead to our happiness.


71:5
[ Original ]
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِي لَيْلًا وَنَهَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He said: "O my Lord! I have called to my People night and day:
[ Saheeh International ]
He said, "My Lord, indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day.

71:6
[ Original ]
فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَائِي إِلَّا فِرَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"But my call only increases (their) flight (from the Right).
[ Saheeh International ]
But my invitation increased them not except in flight.
Tafseer Commentary

5709 When convincing arguments and warnings are placed before sinners, there are two kinds of reactions. Those who are wise receive admonition, repent, and bring forth fruits of repentance, i.e., amend their lives and turn to Allah. On the other hand, those who are callous to any advice take it up as a reproach, fly farther and farther from righteousness, and shut out more and more the channels through which Allah's healing Grace can reach them and work for them.


71:7
[ Original ]
وَإِنِّي كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُوا أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْا ثِيَابَهُمْ وَأَصَرُّوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا اسْتِكْبَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And every time I have called to them, that Thou mightest forgive them, they have (only) thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, grown obstinate, and given themselves up to arrogance.
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance.
Tafseer Commentary

5710 The literal meaning would be that, just as they thrust their fingers into their ears to prevent the voice of the admonisher reaching them, so they covered their bodies with their garments that the light of truth should not penetrate to them and that they should not even be seen by the Preacher. But there is a further symbolic meaning. "Their garments" are the adornments of vanities, their evil habits, customs, and traditions, and their ephemeral interests and standards. They drew them closer round them to prevent the higher Light reaching them. They grew obstinate and gave themselves up to the grossest form of selfish arrogance.


71:8
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُهُمْ جِهَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"So I have called to them aloud;
[ Saheeh International ]
Then I invited them publicly.

71:9
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِنِّي أَعْلَنْتُ لَهُمْ وَأَسْرَرْتُ لَهُمْ إِسْرَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Further I have spoken to them in public and secretly in private,
[ Saheeh International ]
Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly
Tafseer Commentary

5711 Noah used all the resources of the earnest preacher: he dinned the Message of Allah into their ears; he spoke in public places; and he took individuals into his confidence and appealed to them; but all in vain.


71:10
[ Original ]
فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Saying, 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving;
[ Saheeh International ]
And said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.

71:11
[ Original ]
يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'He will send rain to you in abundance;
[ Saheeh International ]
He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers
Tafseer Commentary

5712 They had perhaps been suffering from drought or famine. If they had taken the message in the right way, the rain would have been a blessing to them. They took it in the wrong way, and the rain was a curse to them, for it flooded the country and drowned the wicked generation. In the larger Plan, it was a blessing all the same; for it purged the world, and gave it a new start, morally and spiritually.


71:12
[ Original ]
وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ أَنْهَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'Give you increase in wealth and sons; and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (of flowing water).
[ Saheeh International ]
And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.
Tafseer Commentary

5713 Each of these blessings- rain and crops, wealth and manpower, flourishing gardens, and perennial streams-are indications of prosperity, and have not only a material but also a spiritual meaning. Note the last point, "rivers of flowing water". The perennial springs make the prosperity as it were permanent; they indicate a settled population, honest and contented, and enjoying their blessings here on earth as the foretaste of the eternal joys of heaven.


71:13
[ Original ]
مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'What is the matter with you, that ye place not your hope for kindness and long-suffering in Allah,-(5713- A)
[ Saheeh International ]
What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur
Tafseer Commentary

5713-A An alternative translation would be ". . . that ye fear Allah's Message", i.e., why don't you fear Allah's Majesty, His greatness, and consequent punishment for your sinfulness; and hope for His mercy, kindness, and reward for your faith and good deeds? The words of the verse contain the twin strands�fear and hopesimultaneously. (R).


71:14
[ Original ]
وَقَدْ خَلَقَكُمْ أَطْوَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'Seeing that it is He that has created you in diverse stages?
[ Saheeh International ]
While He has created you in stages?
Tafseer Commentary

5714 Cf. 22:5, and notes n. 2773-2777; also 23:12-17, and notes n. 2872-2875. The meaning here may be even wider. Man in his various states exhibits various wonderful qualities or capacities, mental and spiritual, that may be compared with the wonderful workings of nature on the earth and in the heavens. Will he not then be grateful for these Mercies and turn to Allah, Who created all these marvels?


71:15
[ Original ]
أَلَمْ تَرَوْا كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another,
[ Saheeh International ]
Do you not consider how Allah has created seven heavens in layers
Tafseer Commentary

5715 See n. 5559 to 67:3.


71:16
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُورًا وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'And made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (Glorious) Lamp?
[ Saheeh International ]
And made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp?
Tafseer Commentary

5716 Cf. 25:61, where the sun is referred to as the glorious Lamp of the heavens: "Blessed is He Who made the Constellations in the skies, and placed therein a lamp, and a moon giving light."


71:17
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ أَنْبَتَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ نَبَاتًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'And Allah has produced you from the earth growing (gradually),
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth.
Tafseer Commentary

5717 Cf. 3:37, where the growth of the child Mary the Mother of Jesus is described by the same word nabat, ordinarily denoting the growth of plants and trees. The simile is that of a seed sown, that germinates, grows, and dies, and goes back to the earth. In man, there is the further process of the Resurrection Cf. also 20:55.


71:18
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ يُعِيدُكُمْ فِيهَا وَيُخْرِجُكُمْ إِخْرَاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'And in the End He will return you into the (earth), and raise you forth (again at the Resurrection)?
[ Saheeh International ]
Then He will return you into it and extract you [another] extraction.

71:19
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ بِسَاطًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"'And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out),
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has made for you the earth an expanse
Tafseer Commentary

5718 Cf. 20:53.


71:20
[ Original ]
لِتَسْلُكُوا مِنْهَا سُبُلًا فِجَاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
" 'That ye may go about therein, in spacious roads.' "
[ Saheeh International ]
That you may follow therein roads of passage.' "
Tafseer Commentary

5719 Fijaj implies valley roads or passes between mountains. Though there are mountain chains on the earth, Allah's artistry has provided even in such regions, valleys and channels by which men may go about. Mountain roads usually follow the valleys.


71:21
[ Original ]
قَالَ نُوحٌ رَبِّ إِنَّهُمْ عَصَوْنِي وَاتَّبَعُوا مَنْ لَمْ يَزِدْهُ مَالُهُ وَوَلَدُهُ إِلَّا خَسَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Noah said: "O my Lord! They have disobeyed me, but they follow (men)(5719-A) whose wealth and children give them no increase but only Loss.
[ Saheeh International ]
Noah said, "My Lord, indeed they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children will not increase him except in loss.
Tafseer Commentary

5719-A Sinners always resent it as a reproach that righteous men should speak to them for their own good. They prefer smooth flatterers, and they worship power even though the depositories of power are selfish men, who neither profit themselves nor profit others by the wealth and manpower that they collect round themselves. They forget that mere material things may be a delusion and a snare unless the moral and spiritual factor behind them sanctifies them.


71:22
[ Original ]
وَمَكَرُوا مَكْرًا كُبَّارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And they have devised a tremendous Plot.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they conspired an immense conspiracy.
Tafseer Commentary

5720 Having got material resources the wicked devise plots to get rid of the righteous whose presence is a reproach to them. For a time their plots may seem tremendous and have the appearance of success, but they can never defeat Allah's Purpose.


71:23
[ Original ]
وَقَالُوا لَا تَذَرُنَّ آلِهَتَكُمْ وَلَا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّا وَلَا سُوَاعًا وَلَا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And they have said (to each other), 'Abandon not your gods: Abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa', neither Yaguth nor Ya'uq, nor Nasr';-
[ Saheeh International ]
And said, 'Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa' or Yaghuth and Ya'uq and Nasr.
Tafseer Commentary

5721 For an account of how these Pagan gods and superstitions connected with them originated, and how they became adopted into the Arabian Pagan Pantheon, see Appendix X at the end of this Surah.


71:24
[ Original ]
وَقَدْ أَضَلُّوا كَثِيرًا ۖ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا ضَلَالًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"They have already misled many; and grant Thou no increase to the wrong- doers but in straying (from their mark)."
[ Saheeh International ]
And already they have misled many. And, [my Lord], do not increase the wrongdoers except in error."
Tafseer Commentary

5722 Such Pagan superstitions and cults do not add to human knowledge or human well-being. They only increase error and wrongdoing. For example, how much lewdness resulted from the Greek and Roman Saturnalia! And how much lewdness results from ribald Holy songs! This is the natural result, and Noah in his bitterness of spirit prays that Allah's grace may be cut off from men who hug them to their hearts. They mislead others: let them miss their own mark! See also verse 28 below.


71:25
[ Original ]
مِمَّا خَطِيئَاتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُوا فَأُدْخِلُوا نَارًا فَلَمْ يَجِدُوا لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنْصَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Because of their sins they were drowned (in the flood), and were made to enter the Fire (of Punishment): and they found- in lieu of Allah. none to help them.
[ Saheeh International ]
Because of their sins they were drowned and put into the Fire, and they found not for themselves besides Allah [any] helpers.
Tafseer Commentary

5723 The Punishment of sin seizes the soul from every side and in every form. Water (drowning) indicates death by suffocation, through the nose, ears, eyes, mouth, throat, and lungs. Fire has the opposite effects; it burns the skin, the limbs, the flesh, the brains, the bones, and every part of the body. So the destruction wrought by sin is complete from all points of view. And yet it is not death (20:74); for death would be a merciful release from the Penalty, and the soul steeped in sin has closed the gates of Allah's Mercy on itself. There they will abide, unless and "except as Allah willeth" (6:128). For time and eternity, as we conceive them now, have no meaning in the wholly new world which the soul enters after death or Judgement.


71:26
[ Original ]
وَقَالَ نُوحٌ رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ دَيَّارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And Noah, said: "O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers, a single one on earth!
[ Saheeh International ]
And Noah said, "My Lord, do not leave upon the earth from among the disbelievers an inhabitant.
Tafseer Commentary

5724 The Flood was sent in order to purge all sin. The prayer of Noah is not vindictive. It simply means, "Cut off all the roots of sin". See next note.


71:27
[ Original ]
إِنَّكَ إِنْ تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا عِبَادَكَ وَلَا يَلِدُوا إِلَّا فَاجِرًا كَفَّارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"For, if Thou dost leave (any of) them, they will but mislead Thy devotees, and they will breed none but wicked ungrateful ones.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, if You leave them, they will mislead Your servants and not beget except [every] wicked one and [confirmed] disbeliever.

71:28
[ Original ]
رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِمَنْ دَخَلَ بَيْتِيَ مُؤْمِنًا وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَارًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"O my Lord! Forgive me, my parents, all who enter my house in Faith, and (all) believing men and believing women: and to the wrong-doers grant Thou no increase but in Perdition!"
[ Saheeh International ]
My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whoever enters my house a believer and the believing men and believing women. And do not increase the wrongdoers except in destruction."
Tafseer Commentary

5725 Indeed he prays for himself, his parents, his guests, and all who in earnest faith turn to Allah, in all ages and in all places. Praying for their forgiveness is also praying for the destruction of sin.

5726 This is slightly different in form from verse 24 above, where see n. 5722. See also last note.


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