Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 48-50
48. " It was said: 'O Noah! Debark in peace from Us, and blessings upon you and on the nations of those with you; and nations whom We shall afford provision, then there shall afflict them from Us a painful chastisement'. "
Noah disembarked from the Ark safely. In this verse allusions are made to Noah's disembarkation, as well as to the regeneration of the earth.
Firstly, the holy Qur'an implies that Noah was addressed saying: that he should disembark from the Ark safely with Blessings from Allah to him and to those with him. The verse says:
" It was said: 'O Noah! Debark in peace from Us, and blessings upon you and on the nations of those with you; ..."
Obviously, the storm had devastated all signs of life, it destroyed cultivated lands, green pastures, and the orchards that had once flourished, and everything had been rendered infertile and arid. At this time, Noah and his companions were in grave narrowness as far as their lives and nutrition were concerned. However, Allah reassured this group of believers that the Divine blessings would not be withheld from them and therefore, they should stop worrying about their livelihood because an appropriate and a blissful environment awaited them.
Then it adds that there would descend from this faithful group, nations of people on whom We Allah would bestow different kinds of Blessings although some of them would become arrogant and negligent, and consequently a grave punishment would be inflicted upon them. The verse says:
"... and nations whom We shall afford provision, then there shall afflict them from Us a painful chastisement'. "
49. "(O Prophet!)these are of the tidings of the Unseen which We reveal unto you. Before this, neither you nor your people knew them. Therefore, be you patient, verily the end is for the pious ones. "
This verse, by which ends the story of Noah in this Sura, sums up what had been covered previously. It implies that all this comes from the world beyond your powers of perception that Allah has revealed to the Prophet which neither he nor his people knew of before. The verse says:
"(O Prophet!)these are of the tidings of the Unseen which We reveal unto you. Before this, neither you nor your people knew them. ..."
The gist of what was revealed to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) about Noah was that amidst all those difficulties he had encountered in the course of his calling, still he persevered. The Prophet too, should persevere because the final victory is reserved for those who are pious. The verse says:
"... Therefore, be you patient, verily the end is for the pious ones. "
One can infer from this verse that contrary to what some people think, the prophets were aware of the invisible world with condition that their knowledge had its source in the Divine will, and was confined to the extent that Allah wanted.
We shall now leave the story of Noah at this point, despite all the wonders and didactic lessons that can be drawn from it, and take up another great prophet, that is Hud, in whose name this Sura has been entitled.
The feature of Noah in the Qur'an
The story of Noah(a.s.)is mentioned in six of the suras of the Qur'an: Al- A'raf, Hud, Mu'minoun, Shu'ara, Qamar, and Nouh but, it is most extensively discussed in the current Sura, Hud. The appointment of Noah to prophecy was made after Adam(a.s.)and during the time of the spread of unbelief, idol worship and oppression, his agenda consisted of enforcing and spreading monotheism and the daily prayers, encouraging people to decent conduct, dissuading them from committing the forbidden, and preaching justice, honesty and remaining faithful to one's own words.
The duration of Noah's prophecy extended for 059 years. When, at the end of his period, Allah told him that no one would accept his faith, he was discouraged and cursed the people. As a result, his wife and son, who did not belong to his school of thought, were drowned along with the other unbelievers.
He was the first prophet with a universal mission, a Book and a shari'ah(a specific religious law). The story of Noah(a.s.)has also been mentioned in the Torah, as well in the Books of the Chaldeans, the Hindus, the Chinese, the Greeks and the Zoroastrians. They have all regarded the Flood of Noah as a sign of Allah's anger because of people's oppression and corruption.
Noah's mission was universal. As the planet earth cannot remain without a savior, the drowning of all the people was due to Noah's(a.s.)curse when he said: " My Lord! Leave not upon the earth any dweller from among the unbelievers." 30
The holy Qur'an testifies to the fact that the flood did occur. On the other hand, if that great man's mission had been regional and the area where the flood occurred was also limited to that region, there would have been no need for putting a pair of each animal onto the Ark in order to preserve generations of the animal kingdom on the earth.
The Story of Noah(a.s.): Noah's story is that of a life spanning a one thousand year history embodying the story of a world- devastating flood, the account of the extermination of an entire generation of man and the beginning of a new chapter in human history on this earth. It reflects the victory of truth against 'untruth' and Allah's acceptance of the prophets' curses.
It is an example of how the relationship between a father and son can be broken for ideological reasons and it is a sign of the submission of existence in its entirety with respect to Allah's command. It shows the importance of the conservation and preservation of animal life and also indicates the extent to which man may be so despicable that he may not be moved by the admonitions of the prophets, on the contrary, he can disrespect their followers as villains, and think he could escape Allah's wrath by taking refuge in physical structures like mountains.
The people had been exhorted by Hud, to believe in and serve none but Allah - They rejected Hud's admonition and thus they were destroyed.
50. " And unto(the people of)'Ad(We sent)their brother Hud; he said: 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no god other than He. You are only forgers(of calumnies)'. "
Hud(a.s.)succeeded Noah(a.s.)as a prophet. The story of this prophet of Allah is recorded in verses 56 to 27 of the Sura Al- A'raf.
At first, the Qur'an recounts:
" And unto(the people of)'Ad(We sent)their brother Hud; ...
" There is a point worth further clarification here. It provides us with the connotation, 'brother, ' in the case of Hud, which reflects the fact that Arabs refer to all the individuals of a tribe as 'brothers'. Another connotation signifies that the behavior of Hud had been very much like that of a brother in keeping with the other prophets' relationships with their fellow tribesmen. They did not behave as 'emirs', as commanders or as fathers with respect to their children, but they related just like brothers irrespective of every privilege and superiority.
Hud's first call was like that of all the other prophets, it was the call to monotheism and the negation of idol worship in all its respects. Hud called inviting them to worship Allah since there is no other worth worshipping except Him. The verse says:
"... he said: 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no god other than He. ..."
He told them that in worshipping the idols and believing in them, they were wrong. They only attributed falsity to Allah and claimed that those idols were His partners. The verse continues saying:
"... You are only forgers(of calumnies)'. "
These idols should neither have been considered His partners nor could they have been sources of good or evil. They were of no use. No false accusation could have been more humiliating than considering such worthless things as significant!
(30)- Sura Nouh, No. 71, verse 26
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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