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The Response of Nuh

Allah says, informing about the response of Nuh to his people,

﴿ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّى

(Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord,) Bayyinah means certainty, a clear matter, and truthful prophethood. That is the greatest mercy from Allah upon him (Nuh) and them (his people).

﴿ فَعُمِّيَتۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ

(but that (mercy) has been obscured from your sight.) "Obscured from your sight'' in this verse means, `it was hidden from you and you are not guided to it. Thus, you (people) did not know its importance so you hastily rejected and denied it.'

﴿ أَنُلۡزِمُكُمُوهَا

(Shall we compel you (to accept) it) This means, "Should we force you to accept it, while you actually detest it.''

﴿ وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ لَآ أَسۡـَٔلُڪُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ مَالاً‌ۖ إِنۡ أَجۡرِىَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَمَآ أَنَا۟ بِطَارِدِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّهُم مُّلَـٰقُواْ رَبِّہِمۡ وَلَـٰكِنِّىٓ أَرَٮٰكُمۡ قَوۡمً۬ا تَجۡهَلُونَ وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ مَن يَنصُرُنِى مِنَ ٱللَّهِ إِن طَرَدتُّہُمۡ‌ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَڪَّرُونَ

(29. And O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant.) (30. And O my people! Who will help me against Allah, if I drove them away Will you not then give a thought) Nuh says to his people, "I do not ask you for any wealth in return for my sincere advice to you.'' Wealth (Mal) here means, "payment that I take from you.'' Nuh means, "I am only seeking the reward from Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.'' Concerning the statement,

﴿ وَمَآ أَنَا۟ بِطَارِدِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ‌ۚ

(I am not going to drive away those who have believed.) This alludes to the fact that they (the disbelievers) requested Nuh to disassociate himself from the believers, because they were averse to them and felt themselves too important to sit with them. This is similar to the request of disbelievers to the seal of the Messengers to disassociate himself from a group of the people who were considered weak in their social status. They wanted the Prophet to sit with them in a special gathering of the elite. Therefore, Allah revealed,

﴿ وَلَا تَطۡرُدِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلۡغَدَوٰةِ وَٱلۡعَشِىِّ

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Allah also says,

﴿ وَڪَذَٲلِكَ فَتَنَّا بَعۡضَہُم بِبَعۡضٍ۬ لِّيَقُولُوٓاْ أَهَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِم مِّنۢ بَيۡنِنَآ‌ۗ أَلَيۡسَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَعۡلَمَ بِٱلشَّـٰڪِرِينَ

(Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: "Is it these (poor believers) whom Allah has favored from among us'' Does not Allah know best those who are grateful) (6:53)

﴿ وَلَآ أَقُولُ لَكُمۡ عِندِى خَزَآٮِٕنُ ٱللَّهِ وَلَآ أَعۡلَمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبَ وَلَآ أَقُولُ إِنِّى مَلَكٌ۬ وَلَآ أَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ تَزۡدَرِىٓ أَعۡيُنُكُمۡ لَن يُؤۡتِيَہُمُ ٱللَّهُ خَيۡرًا‌ۖ ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ‌ۖ إِنِّىٓ إِذً۬ا لَّمِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

(31. And I do not say to you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor that I know the Ghayb; nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allah will not bestow any good on them. Allah knows what is in their inner selves. In that case, I should, indeed be one of the wrongdoers.) Nuh is informing them that he is a Messenger from Allah, calling to the worship of Allah alone, without any partners and he is doing this by the permission of Allah. At the same time, he is not asking them for any reward for this work. He invites whomever he meets, whether of nobility or low class. Therefore, whoever responds favorably, then he has achieved salvation. He also explains that he has no power to manipulate the hidden treasures of Allah, nor does he have any knowledge of the Unseen, except what Allah has allowed him to know. Likewise, he is not an angel, rather, he is merely a human Messenger aided with miracles. Nuh goes on to say, "I do not say about these people whom you (disbelievers) detest and look down upon, that Allah will not reward them for their deeds. Allah knows best what is in their souls. If they are believers in their hearts, as their condition appears to be outwardly, then they will have a good reward. If anyone behaves evilly with them after they have believed, then he is a wrongdoer who speaks what he has no knowledge of.

﴿ قَالُواْ يَـٰنُوحُ قَدۡ جَـٰدَلۡتَنَا فَأَڪۡثَرۡتَ جِدَٲلَنَا فَأۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن ڪُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَأۡتِيكُم بِهِ ٱللَّهُ إِن شَآءَ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ وَلَا يَنفَعُكُمۡ نُصۡحِىٓ إِنۡ أَرَدتُّ أَنۡ أَنصَحَ لَكُمۡ إِن كَانَ ٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يُغۡوِيَكُمۡ‌ۚ هُوَ رَبُّكُمۡ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ

(32. They said: "O Nuh! You have disputed with us, and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.'') (33. He said: "Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He wills, and then you will escape not.) (34. "And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah's will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return.'')

The People's Request of Nuh to bring the Torment and His Response to Them

Allah, the Exalted, informs that the people of Nuh sought to hasten Allah's vengeance, torment, anger and the trial (His punishment). This is based on their saying,

﴿ قَالُواْ يَـٰنُوحُ قَدۡ جَـٰدَلۡتَنَا فَأَڪۡثَرۡتَ جِدَٲلَنَا

(They said: "O Nuh! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us...'') They meant by this, "You (Nuh) have argued with us long enough, and we are still not going to follow you.''

﴿ فَأۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ

(now bring upon us what you threaten us with,) What he (Nuh) promised is referring to the vengeance and torment (from Allah). They were actually saying, "Supplicate against us however you wish, and let whatever you have supplicated come to us.''

﴿ إِن ڪُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَأۡتِيكُم بِهِ ٱللَّهُ إِن شَآءَ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ

("...if you are of the truthful.'' (In reply to this,) He said: "Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He wills, and then you will escape not.)(11:32-33) This means, `It is only Allah Who can punish you and hasten your punishment for you. He is the One from Whom nothing escapes. '

﴿ وَلَا يَنفَعُكُمۡ نُصۡحِىٓ إِنۡ أَرَدتُّ أَنۡ أَنصَحَ لَكُمۡ إِن كَانَ ٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يُغۡوِيَكُمۡ‌ۚ

(And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah's will is to keep you astray.) This means: something that could be useful to you (in acceptance) of my preaching to you, warning you and advising you.

﴿ إِن كَانَ ٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يُغۡوِيَكُمۡ‌ۚ

(if Allah's will is to keep you astray.) This means: your deception and your ultimate destruction.

﴿ هُوَ رَبُّكُمۡ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ

(He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return.) He is the Owner of the finality of all matters. He is the Controller, the Judge, the Most Just and He does not do any injustice. Unto Him belongs the creation and the command. He is the Originator and the Repeater (of the creation). He is the Owner of this life and the Hereafter.

﴿ أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ ٱفۡتَرَٮٰهُ‌ۖ قُلۡ إِنِ ٱفۡتَرَيۡتُهُ ۥ فَعَلَىَّ إِجۡرَامِى وَأَنَا۟ بَرِىٓءٌ۬ مِّمَّا تُجۡرِمُونَ

(35. Or they (the pagans of Makkah) say: "He has fabricated it.'' Say: "If I have fabricated it, upon me be my crimes, but I am innocent of (all) those crimes which you commit.)

An Interruption to verify the Truthfulness of the Prophet

This is presented in the middle of the story to affirm the story itself. It is as if Allah, the Exalted, is saying to Muhammad, "Or do these obstinate disbelievers say that he fabricated this and invented it himself''

﴿ قُلۡ إِنِ ٱفۡتَرَيۡتُهُ ۥ فَعَلَىَّ إِجۡرَامِى

(Say: "If I have fabricated it, upon me be my crimes...'') This means: such sin would be mine alone.

﴿ وَأَنَا۟ بَرِىٓءٌ۬ مِّمَّا تُجۡرِمُونَ

(but I am innocent of (all) those crimes which you commit.) This story is not invented, or fabricated falsely. Because he (the Prophet) knows better the punishment of Allah for one who lies on Allah.

﴿ وَأُوحِىَ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَن يُؤۡمِنَ مِن قَوۡمِكَ إِلَّا مَن قَدۡ ءَامَنَ فَلَا تَبۡتَٮِٕسۡ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ وَٱصۡنَعِ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ بِأَعۡيُنِنَا وَوَحۡيِنَا وَلَا تُخَـٰطِبۡنِى فِى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّہُم مُّغۡرَقُونَ وَيَصۡنَعُ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ وَڪُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيۡهِ مَلَأٌ۬ مِّن قَوۡمِهِۦ سَخِرُواْ مِنۡهُ‌ۚ قَالَ إِن تَسۡخَرُواْ مِنَّا فَإِنَّا نَسۡخَرُ مِنكُمۡ كَمَا تَسۡخَرُونَ فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ مَن يَأۡتِيهِ عَذَابٌ۬ يُخۡزِيهِ وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيۡهِ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّقِيمٌ

(36. And it was revealed to Nuh: "None of your people will believe except those who have believed already. So be not sad because of what they used to do.) (37. "And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our revelation, and address Me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.'') (38. And as he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they mocked at him. He said: "If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking.'') (39. "And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and on whom will fall a lasting torment.'')