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Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 36-38

Noah directed to make an Ark - People of Noah scoff at Noah - The Deluge - Noah's people drowned - Noah and his companions in the Ark saved.

36. " And it was revealed unto Noah: 'None of your people will believe except those who have already believed, so do not grieve as to what they used to do'. "

Commentary

The previous holy verses thoroughly covered the stage of inviting the people to the religion on Divine unity and Noah's indefatigable propagation and dissemination of the Divine message which he accomplished using all the devices he had available. This verse deals with the second stage of the campaign; the final stage of the propagation phase.

Here, the second phase of the campaign has not been dealt with, it is the end of the propagation stage, and the second stage is the preparation for the Divine purge.

At first, we read that it was revealed to Noah that no one else except those who had already adhered to him would become believers. The verse says:

" And it was revealed unto Noah: 'None of your people will believe except those who have already believed, ..."

Reference is here made to the fact that alignments had already been made and finalized and no further call or reformation would have been useful, hence a state of readiness for the upheaval and the purge must be declared.

Towards the end of the verse, consoling Noah, the Qur'an implies that he should not despair at all despite whatever wrongful deeds they used to do. The verse says:

"... so do not grieve as to what they used to do'. "

In the meantime, one can infer from this verse that Allah made those aspects of the knowledge of the secrets of the Unseen that He had deemed necessary, accessible so that His prophet should know.

37. " And make you the Ark under Our eyes, and as We reveal; and address Me not about those who are unjust; verily they shall be drowned. "

Commentary

At any rate, this unruly and obstinate group must be punished with the kind of punishment that would remove their polluting existence from the entire world, thus liberating the faithful believers from their yoke.

At first, the Qur'an implies that Allah commanded Noah to build an Ark according to His order and in His presence. The verse says:

" And make you the Ark under Our eyes, and as We reveal; ..."

Towards the end of the verse, Noah is warned against any form of mediation on behalf of the oppressors. Saying to him that he should not ask for any amnesty or clemency for they are certainly condemned to chastisement and to be drowned as soon as they are convicted. The verse says:

"... and address Me not about those who are unjust; verily they shall be drowned. "

One can very easily infer from this sentence that taking up the act of mediation requires certain preconditions which, when they are lacking in someone, even Allah's prophet is not rightful to mediate on his behalf.

38." And he began making the Ark; and whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him they scoffed at him. He said:'If you scoff at us, we(too)shall surely scoff at you, as you scoff '."

Commentary

Let us briefly discuss the situation of Noah's People. Instead of taking Noah's call seriously for a moment, and allowing some room for accepting the probability of the truth of his repeated calls which might have had their origins in Divine Providence and that the subject of punishment through storms might be serious, Noah's people went on mocking and ridiculing as is the case with all arrogant and vainglorious people, however he went on building the Ark. Whenever some of his people passed by him they would watch Noah and his companions struggle to prepare the timber, nails and other ship- building instruments, and they would laugh and ridicule them. The verse says:

" And he began making the Ark; and whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him they scoffed at him. ..."

However, Noah pursued his goal with an extraordinary persistence whose origins lay in his faith, and paying no attention to what they said, he made rapid progress in his efforts. Day after day, the structure of the ship came closer and closer to completion. Noah would sometimes raise his head, and told them this short out expressive statement: "You ridicule us today, but we will surely do the same thing to you soon, the day when you are caught, lost and wandering in the storm, terrified, running in all directions with no shelter, crying in the midst of the waves, begging for mercy, the believers then and there will laugh at your negligence, and ignorance. " The verse says:

"... He said: 'If you scoff at us, we(too)shall surely scoff at you, as you scoff '. "

Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Hud" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"

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