The story of Nuh and his son

Allah, سبحانه وتعالى , informs us of the stories of His prophets and righteous slaves throughout His Book, and makes mention of the story of Nuh (Noah) (عليه السلام) in surah Hud, from the 36th ayah until the 49th ayah. Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman writes in explanation of this passage:

وقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَأُوحِيَ إِلَى نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُؤْمِنَ مِنْ قَوْمِكَ إِلَّا مَنْ قَدْ آمَنَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قد قسوا، ‏{‏فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ فلا تحزن، ولا تبال بهم‏,‏ وبأفعالهم، فإن الله قد مقتهم، وأحق عليهم عذابه الذي لا يرد‏.‏

And Allah’s statement, “And it was revealed to Nuh that, ‘No one will believe from your people except those who have already believed‘” – meaning their hearts have hardened – “so do not be distressed by what they have been doing” – meaning, do not be saddened, and do not heed them or their actions, for verily Allah has detested them, and they are most deserving of the His punishment which cannot be turned back.

‏{‏وَاصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بحفظنا، ومرأى منا‏,‏ وعلى مرضاتنا، ‏{‏وَلَا تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا تراجعني في إهلاكهم، ‏{‏إِنَّهُمْ مُغْرَقُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قد حق عليهم القول، ونفذ فيهم القدر‏.‏

And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration” – meaning under Our protection, and in Our sight, and according to Our pleasure. “And do not address Me concerning those who have wronged” – meaning: do come to me (asking) about their destruction. “Indeed, they are [to be] drowned” – meaning: Our word has been justified against them, and Our decree for them accomplished.

فامتثل أمر ربه، وجعل يصنع الفلك ‏{‏وَكُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيْهِ مَلَأٌ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ‏}‏ ورأوا ما يصنع ‏{‏سَخِرُوا مِنْهُ قَالَ إِنْ تَسْخَرُوا مِنَّا‏}‏ الآن ‏{‏فَإِنَّا نَسْخَرُ مِنْكُمْ كَمَا تَسْخَرُونَ * فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيْهِ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ‏}‏ نحن أم أنتم‏.‏ وقد علموا ذلك، حين حل بهم العقاب‏.‏

So he obeyed the command of His Lord, and built a ship, “and whenever an assembly of the eminent of his people passed by him” and they saw what he was constructing “they ridiculed him. He said, ‘If you ridicule us’” now “then we will ridicule you just as you ridicule. And you are going to know who will get a punishment that will disgrace him [on earth] and upon whom will descend an enduring punishment [in the Hereafter]”” us or you. And they knew that, while their condition was one of (impending) punishment.

‏{‏حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا‏}‏ أي قدرنا بوقت نزول العذاب بهم ‏{‏وَفَارَ التَّنُّورُ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أنزل الله السماء بالماء بالمنهمر، وفجر الأرض كلها عيونا حتى التنانير التي هي محل النار في العادة، وأبعد ما يكون عن الماء، تفجرت فالتقى الماء على أمر، قد قدر‏.‏

“Until when Our command came” – meaning: We decreed the time to send the punishment down to them. “And the ovens overflowed” – meaning: Allah sent down rain from the sky, and the whole earth burst into streams, even the baking ovens which were usually places of fire and the farthest places from water, they burst forth with water upon command, as Allah decreed.

‏{‏قُلْنَا‏}‏ لنوح‏:‏ ‏{‏احْمِلْ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ من كل صنف من أصناف المخلوقات، ذكر وأنثى، لتبقى مادة سائر الأجناس وأما بقية الأصناف الزائدة عن الزوجين، فلأن السفينة لا تطيق حملها ‏{‏وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا مَنْ سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ‏}‏ ممن كان كافرا، كابنه الذي غرق‏.‏

We said” to Nuh: “Load upon the ship of each [creature] two mates” – meaning: of all varieties of creatures, male and female, in order to maintain the rest of the species, while the rest of the varieties are in excess of a pair (would be too much), because the ship cannot contain them all. “And your family, except those about whom the word has preceded” from whom there was a kaafir, his son who was drowned.

‏‏{‏وَمَنْ آمَنَ‏}‏ ‏{‏و‏}‏ الحال أنه ‏{‏مَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ‏}‏

And those who believed.“And” the condition was that “none believed with him, except a few.

‏{‏وَقَالَ‏}‏ نوح لمن أمره الله أن يحملهم‏:‏ ‏{‏ارْكَبُوا فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ تجري على اسم الله، وترسو على اسم الله، وتجري بتسخيره وأمره‏.‏

And he saidNuh to those whom Allah had commanded him to gather: “Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage” – meaning: to proceed with the name of Allah, and to (eventually) dock will the name of Allah, and to proceed by seeking His good and His command.

‏{‏إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ‏}‏ حيث غفر لنا ورحمنا، ونجانا من القوم الظالمين‏.‏

Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful” when He forgave us and had mercy on us, and saved us from the wrong-doers.

ثم وصف جريانها كأنا نشاهدها فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَهِيَ تَجْرِي بِهِمْ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بنوح، ومن ركب معه ‏{‏فِي مَوْجٍ كَالْجِبَالِ‏}‏ والله حافظها وحافظ أهلها ‏{‏وَنَادَى نُوحٌ ابْنَهُ‏}‏ لما ركب، ليركب معه ‏{‏وَكَانَ‏}‏ ابنه ‏{‏فِي مَعْزِلٍ‏}‏ عنهم، حين ركبوا، أي‏:‏ مبتعدا وأراد منه، أن يقرب ليركب، فقال له‏:‏ ‏{‏يَا بُنَيَّ ارْكَبْ مَعَنَا وَلَا تَكُنْ مَعَ الْكَافِرِينَ‏}‏ فيصيبك ما يصيبهم‏.‏

Then He described the flow of events as if we were witnessing them, and He said, “And it sailed with them” – meaning with Nuh and those who embarked with him, “through waves like mountains” and Allah protected it and He protected its people. “And Noah called to his son” when he embarked in order that his son might embark with him, “who was” – his son – “separated” from them when the embarked, meaning: he was estranged and rejecting him, that he came closer in order to embark, so Nuh said to him, “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers” such that you are struck with what they are struck with.

فـ ‏{‏قَالَ‏}‏ ابنه، مكذبا لأبيه أنه لا ينجو إلا من ركب معه السفينة‏.‏

So “He said” – his son – disbelieving his father that he would not be saved unless he boarded with him on the ship.

‏{‏سَآوِي إِلَى جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِي مِنَ الْمَاءِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ سأرتقي جبلا، أمتنع به من الماء، فـ ‏{‏قَالَ‏}‏ نوح‏:‏ ‏{‏لَا عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا مَنْ رَحِمَ‏}‏ فلا يعصم أحدا، جبل ولا غيره، ولو تسبب بغاية ما يمكنه من الأسباب، لما نجا إن لم ينجه الله‏.‏ ‏{‏وَحَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ‏}‏ الابن ‏{‏مِنَ الْمُغْرَقِينَ‏}‏

I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water” – meaning: I will elevate myself on the mountain, and safeguard myself from the water. So “he said” Nuh – “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah, except for whom He gives mercy” so there is no protector, neither mountain nor other than that, even though he took all the precautions he could, he is not saved unless Allah saves him. “And the waves came between them, and he” – the son – “was among the drowned.

فلما أغرقهم الله ونجى نوحا ومن معه ‏{‏وَقِيلَ يَا أَرْضُ ابْلَعِي مَاءَكِ‏}‏ الذي خرج منك، والذي نزل إليك، أي‏:‏ ابلعي الماء الذي على وجهك ‏{‏وَيَا سَمَاءُ أَقْلِعِي‏}‏ فامتثلتا لأمر الله، فابتلعت الأرض ماءها‏,‏ وأقلعت السماء، فنضب الماء من الأرض، ‏{‏وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ‏}‏ بهلاك المكذبين ونجاة المؤمنين‏.‏

So when Allah drowned them and saved Nuh and those with him, “And it was said, ‘O earth, swallow your water'” which had come forth from you, and which we sent down upon you, meaning: swallow the water which is on your surface. “And O sky, withhold” so they obeyed the command of Allah. So the earth swallow its water, and the sky withheld, and the water dried from the earth. “And the matter was accomplished” with the destruction of the deniers and rescuing the believers.

‏{‏وَاسْتَوَتْ‏}‏ السفينة ‏{‏عَلَى الْجُودِيِّ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أرست على ذلك الجبل المعروف في أرض الموصل‏.‏

And it came to rest” – the ship – “on Judiyy” – meaning: laid on that mountain known in the land of Mosul [Iraq].

‏{‏وَقِيلَ بُعْدًا لِلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أتبعوا بعد هلاكهم لعنة وبعدا‏,‏ وسحقا لا يزال معهم‏.‏

And it was said, ‘Away with the wrongdoing people.‘” – meaning: a curse and distancing followed them after their destruction, and a remoteness [from Allah] still is with them.

‏{‏وَنَادَى نُوحٌ رَبَّهُ فَقَالَ رَبِّ إِنَّ ابْنِي مِنْ أَهْلِي وَإِنَّ وَعْدَكَ الْحَقُّ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ وقد قلت لي‏:‏ فـ ‏{‏احْمِلْ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَهْلَكَ‏}‏ ولن تخلف ما وعدتني به‏.‏

And Nuh called to his Lord and said, ‘My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true’” – meaning: You had said to me “Load upon the ship of each pair and your family” and You do never change what you promised to me.

لعله عليه الصلاة والسلام، حملته الشفقة، وأن الله وعده بنجاة أهله، ظن أن الوعد لعمومهم، من آمن، ومن لم يؤمن، فلذلك دعا ربه بذلك الدعاء، ومع هذا، ففوض الأمر لحكمة الله البالغة‏.‏

Because he (عليه الصلاة والسلام) had compassion and care for him, and Allah promised him that that He would save his family, so he thought that the promise was general and applicable to both those who believed and those who did not believe. So because of that he made that call to his Lord, and with this he entrusted the affair to Allah completely.

فـ ‏{‏قَالَ‏}‏ الله له‏:‏ ‏{‏إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ‏}‏ الذين وعدتك بإنجائهم ‏{‏إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ هذا الدعاء الذي دعوت به، لنجاة كافر‏,‏ لا يؤمن بالله ولا رسوله‏.‏

So “He said” – Allah said to him: “indeed he is not of your family” which I had promised to what I would save them. “Verily, his work is unrighteous” – meaning: this supplication which you made to me, for the rescuing of a kaafir, who does not believe in Allah or His messenger.

‏{‏فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ما لا تعلم عاقبته، ومآله، وهل يكون خيرا، أو غير خير‏.‏

So ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge” – meaning: what you do not know of his ultimate destination and fate, whether it is good or something other than good.

‏{‏إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أني أعظك وعظا تكون به من الكاملين، وتنجو به من صفات الجاهلين‏.‏

Indeed, I admonish you, lest you be among the ignorant” – meaning: I admonish you with an admonishment in order that by it you may be one of those who perfect [their faith], and to rescue you thereby from the qualities of the ignorant.

فحينئذ ندم نوح، عليه السلام، ندامة شديدة، على ما صدر منه‏,‏ و ‏{‏قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَإِلَّا تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُنْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ‏}‏

Then Nuh repented (عليه السلام) with a strong repentance for what had come from him, and “he said ‘My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers.’

فبالمغفرة والرحمة ينجو العبد من أن يكون من الخاسرين، ودل هذا على أن نوحا، عليه السلام، لم يكن عنده علم، بأن سؤاله لربه، في نجاة ابنه محرم، داخل في قوله ‏{‏وَلَا تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِنَّهُمْ مُغْرَقُونَ‏}‏ بل تعارض عنده الأمران، وظن دخوله في قوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَأَهْلَكَ‏}‏

So with forgiveness and mercy the slave was saved from being among the losers, and this shows that Nuh (عليه السلام) did not have knowledge, because his question to his Lord about the saving of his son was prohibited, falling under Allah’s statement, “And do not address Me concerning those who have wronged; indeed, they are to be drowned” [23:27]. Rather he opposed Him in two matters, and he though that his son fell under Allah’s statement “and your family”.

وبعد ذلك تبين له أنه داخل في المنهي عن الدعاء لهم، والمراجعة فيهم‏.‏

And after that Allah clarified for him that his son was included in those who were prohibited from his supplicating for them or petitioning about them.

‏{‏قِيلَ يَا نُوحُ اهْبِطْ بِسَلَامٍ مِنَّا وَبَرَكَاتٍ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى أُمَمٍ مِمَّنْ مَعَكَ‏}‏ من الآدميين وغيرهم من الأزواج التي حملها معه، فبارك الله في الجميع، حتى ملأوا أقطار الأرض ونواحيها‏.‏

It was said, “O Nuh, disembark in security from Us and blessings upon you and upon nations from those with you” from mankind and other than them from the pairs which He carried with you. So blessing of Allah on all of them until they fill the width of the earth and its environs.

‏{‏وَأُمَمٌ سَنُمَتِّعُهُمْ‏}‏ في الدنيا ‏{‏ثُمَّ يَمَسُّهُمْ مِنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ هذا الإنجاء، ليس بمانع لنا من أن من كفر بعد ذلك، أحللنا به العقاب، وإن متعوا قليلا، فسيؤخذون بعد ذلك‏.‏

But other nations We will grant enjoyment” in this life “then there will touch them from Us a painful punishment” – meaning: this rescue does not prevent us from those who disbelieve after this. Their punishment is allowed for us. And if we grant them a little enjoyment, then we will seize them after that.

قال الله لنبيه محمد ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ بعد ما قص عليه هذه القصة المبسوطة، التي لا يعلمها إلا من منَّ عليه برسالته‏.‏

Allah said to his Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) after He narrated this detailed story to him, which he did not know until Allah blessed him with his risaalah (status of Messengership)

‏{‏تِلْكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهَا إِلَيْكَ مَا كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُهَا أَنْتَ وَلَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْ قَبْلِ هَذَا‏}‏ فيقولوا‏:‏ إنه كان يعلمها‏.‏

That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you. You knew it not, neither you nor your people, before this” for they say, ‘verily he knew this.’

فاحمد الله، واشكره، واصبر على ما أنت عليه، من الدين القويم، والصراط المستقيم، والدعوة إلى الله ‏{‏إِنَّ الْعَاقِبَةَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ‏}‏ الذين يتقون الشرك وسائر المعاصي، فستكون لك العاقبة على قومك، كما كانت لنوح على قومه‏.‏

So praise Allah, and be grateful to Him, and have sabr in your situation – this is from [the qualities of] the upright religion and the straight path – and call to Allah, “indeed, the [best] outcome is for the muttaqoon” those who guard against al-shirk and disobedience, so for them is the outcome over their people, just as Nuh came out over his people.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: Prophet Nuh’s response to his people

See also: Why Allah began listing the prophets with Nuh: Tafsir al-Baghawi

See also: The story of the town by the sea: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The story of the two sons of Adam: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Orator of the Anbiya: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The story of Ilyaas: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Two disbelieving women and two believing women: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The story of Nuh and his son

  1. Pingback: Prophet Nuh’s response to his people | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Story of the Town by the Sea: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The story of the two sons of Adam: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Orator of the Anbiya: Imam al-Sa’di’s tafsir of 7:85-93 | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: The story of Ilyaas: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Why Allah began listing the prophets with Nuh: Tafsir al-Baghawi | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s