Exposition of the Holy Quran – 71 Nuh (G A Parwez)
Surah 71: Nuh
(1) We sent Noah to his people before the grievous chastisement overcame them, to warn them about the destructive consequences of their erroneous deeds.
(2) So he told them, “O my people! I tell you in very clear and bold words that your present attitude is taking you straight towards destruction.
(3) “If you want to remain safe, then the only one way is for you to obey the divine laws. Be conscious about these directives and guard them. The practical way to do so would be to follow the system that I am striving to establish; and of which I am the first head.
(4) “If you do this, then the Almighty will protect you from the damaging consequences of your previous attitudes and you will get nourishment for a period. In other words, you will remain safe as long as you tread the straight path; but if you do not, then the chastisement, which no one would be able to avert, will come over you. If only you can understand the Law of Mukafat (Law of Requital)! ”
(5) (Noah tried his best to reform his people but they did not listen to him. Ultimately) He said to his Rabb, “I have been inviting this nation, day and night, to Your destined path.
(6) “However, their plight is such that the more I invite them, the farther they run away (from the right course).
(7) “I invite them towards peace and security so that they may avoid destruction, but to begin with they plug their ears with their fingers so that they may not hear me. If they do hear me out, they do so in a very hypocritical way. They appear to be listening but in fact they keep their hearts so wrapped up that not even one word reaches them (11:5). (Despite repeated warnings) They become more and more stubborn and downright arrogant.
(8-9) “I have addressed them in open public gatherings (as well as in private groups). I have tried to make them understand in public as well as in confidence. (In other words, I have left no stone unturned in trying to make them understand; but they just do not want to budge).
(10) “I have repeatedly told them, ‘Your erroneous ways of life will produce destructive results for you. Therefore, you should arrange to keep yourselves safe from these results by obeying the divine laws. The divine laws will protect you.’
(11) “(And He will provide you with comforts and pleasures in this life as well as in the hereafter.) He will send abundant blissful rain over you, which will irrigate your barren lands.
(12) “He will thus increase your wealth and progeny. Lush green gardens will grow around you and canals will flow to irrigate them.” (When a society is established on sound principles its balanced setup results in all sorts of abundance.)
(13) “(I am surprised about) What has happened to you, that you do not aspire to the graceful life which you can enjoy by following the divine law? That life has grace, stability, and balance, is self-growing, is firm on its feet, and is so integrated that it does not whither away. (In it your personality will be so integrated that even after death it will traverse further evolutionary stages.)
(14) “How can you attain this state of life? For this you should ponder over the divine law of creation, according to which you have passed through various evolutionary stages to attain a human form. (In this evolutionary process each step you took forward made you more superior. All this happened without your effort, knowledge or discretion, but the moment you started exercising your discretion, you went astray and slipped back.)
(15) “(You should observe the balance and harmony that is created when the divine laws are followed!) Do you not see how Allah Almighty has created various celestial bodies in outer space and how they move in harmony and discipline? They remain firm in their orbits in spite of the tremendous speed with which they move. This is because they do not exist individually. The pull of one becomes a source of stability for the other and in this way the entire celestial system functions without a clash. On the contrary, visualize your own life and see how your individual interests clash with each other.
(16) “And then how He has positioned the moon amongst them, as a (reflected) light and the sun as a (radiant) lamp. (But look how dark your life is. Should you also choose to follow the divine law, then it would brighten your path and you will also become a beacon for others.)
(17) “(You clash because you consider yourselves different from each other. Individual interests have kept you divided from one another – 2:36. Otherwise) Allah Almighty has created you from the earth, just like vegetation. (A stem emerges from the ground and it develops many branches. However, they are so interdependent that the nourishment the roots obtain from the earth is distributed to each and every branch and to the farthest leaf. Conversely, the energy which the leaves draw from the sun and the moisture obtained from the air are likewise distributed to each tissue of the plant. In this way the whole plant stays fresh. Humanity has also been created like a flourishing tree. The secret of its freshness and greenery is a disciplined mutual relationship. This is the system towards which I invite you.)
(18) “Furthermore, the creation of mankind was initiated from inorganic matter (just like vegetation). Thereafter, by passing through various evolutionary stages, it reached the human level. This same evolutionary process of human life will continue even after death.
(19-20) “(He created you on this earth and at the same time, produced means of subsistence for you.) Just think of the earth which is spherical. In spite of its shape He made it into a wide expanse so that you may go wherever you like on its open and spacious paths.”
(21) (By giving different examples, Noah tried his best to make them understand. But this was to no avail and ultimately he prayed to Allah Almighty) “O my Rabb! You see that in spite of my best efforts they continue to oppose me and are following the one who has no merit except for plenty of wealth and a large progeny. These however, are the very things that prevent him from coming to the right path; and they have become the reason for his destruction (and for his followers).
(22) “They have devised a plot of great magnitude (against my mission).
(23) “And are advising the people never to abandon their deities – Wadd, Suwa, Yaguth, Yatuq or Nasr. (These stone and clay deities are in fact the manifestation of the idols formed in the hearts and minds of these people.)
(24) “They have thus misled the whole nation. Accordingly, you should accelerate the destruction of these rebellious and cruel people.”
(25) Because of their misdeeds they were drowned and were then subjected to the chastisement of jahannam (hell). Thus, they saw with their own eyes that no one other than Allah can help them. (Neither the deities they worshipped nor the leaders they had followed, came to their help.)
(26) (The whole community had transgressed all bounds and their crimes were becoming so destructive that it was necessary to save other people from their effects. With this intent) Noah prayed to his Rabb, “Do not leave any one of these rebels alive to inhabit the country.
(27) “If you let them live they will mislead Your subjects, to an extent that even their offspring, growing up under their guidance, shall become similarly rebellious and disobedient.” (It is therefore better to eradicate them all, so that a better and healthier community can take their place. If a sick person’s disease is contagious and incurable then it is better that he dies before it is transmitted to his progeny.)
(28) Noah said, “O my Rabb! Protect me from the excesses of these rebels. Protect me and my parents (who are momineen); my family members who have professed eiman; and the other momin men and women. As far as these zalimeen are concerned, continue their destruction (for this is the only way to save humanity from their outrageous crimes).”
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