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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 71 (Nuh- Noah) > Section 2 (Verses 21 to 28)



Section/Ruku 2 [Verses 21 to 28]: Destruction of transgressors:
Chapter 70: (Al-Ma‘arij: The Ways of Ascent)
(Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections; 44 verses)

1. Translation:

21 Noah said: My Lord, surely they disobey me and follow him whose wealth and children have increased him in naught but loss.

22 And they have planned a mighty plan.

23 And they say: Forsake not your gods; nor forsake Wadd, nor Suwa‘, nor Yaghuth and Ya‘uq and Nasr.a

24 And indeed they have led many astray. And increase Thou the wrongdoers in naught but perdition.a

25 Because of their wrongs they were drowned, then made to enter Fire, so they found no helpers besides Allah.

26 And Noah said: My Lord, leave not of the disbelievers any dweller on the land.a

27 For if Thou leave them, they will lead astray Thy servants, and will not beget any but immoral, ungrateful ones.

28 My Lord, forgive me and my parents and him who enters my house believing, and the believing men and the believing women. And increase not the wrongdoers in aught but destruction!

 2. Commentary:

23a. The names of the idols given here are those which existed in Arabia in the Prophet’s time, and hence some critics call it an anachronism. But it should be noted that the Holy Qur’an, while relating the histories of previous prophets, often introduces the Prophet’s own history. The same is the case here. We have already seen that, while speaking of Noah, the Holy Qur’an addresses the Prophet’s opponents in vv. 13–20. V. 21 again speaks of Noah, beginning with the words, Noah said. Similarly v. 26 begins with the words, Noah said, showing that in the intermediate verses there is a reversion to the Prophet’s own history, and what is related here is with regard to the Arabs. Even if these verses be taken as referring to Noah, there is no anachronism. Look at any idol-worshipping nation; take the Hindus, for example, and you find the same names of idols going on through thousands of years. And yet Arabia was not more distantly situated from the territory of Noah’s people than are any two parts of India from each other. Moreover, there is reason to believe that the Arabs obtained most of their idols from foreign countries. Thus Hubal, the chief Arab idol in the Ka‘bah, "was brought from Belka in Syria into Arabia by ‘Amr ibn Lohay, pretending that it would procure them rain when they wanted it"; Usaf and Na’ilah are also said to have been brought from Syria (Sale’s Preliminary Discourse, sec. 1). There is nothing strange, therefore, in the circumstances, that the Arab idols were imported from some ancient nations. According to I‘Ab, the idols of Noah’s people were worshipped by the Arabs, Wadd being worshipped by Kalb, Suwa‘ by Hudhail, Yaghuth by Murad, Ya‘uq by Hamadan and Nasr by Himyar (B. 65:lxxi, 1). The commentators say that Wadd was worshipped in the form of a man, Suwa‘ in that of a woman, Yaghuth in that of a lion, Ya‘uq in that of a horse and Nasr in that of an eagle (Rz). [Back to verse 23]

24a. They only went on adding wrongs to their wrongs, hence the prayer of the messenger to increase them in naught but perdition. In fact, they were bringing perdition on their heads with their own hands. Dalal means error as well as loss or perdition (LL). [Back to verse 24]

26a. Noah was speaking only of his own people and praying against them only. All his statements and prayers refer to them, and not to the whole world. Hence al-ard simply signifies the land in which they lived. [Back to verse 26]



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Chapter 70: Al-Ma‘arij (The Ways of Ascent)

Chapter 72: Al-Jinn (The Jinn)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 71 (Nuh- Noah) > Section 2 (Verses 21 to 28)

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