Monday 14 August 2023

But those who believe are indeed just a few

Standing alone or with the few is one of the most difficult things to do. By doing so, one not gets isolated but also has to listen to the others in large numbers. Such a bunch of a few is always subjected to criticism, and even sarcasm for not siding with the majority. This generally happens in democracy and one's faith. Whenever a prophet or a messenger called upon its people to follow the Divine Truth, none but a few paid heeds to them. Rather the majority subjected them to intense physical and mental torture for leaving the faith of their forefathers and listening to lunatic, sorcerers, magicians and poets, that is what the named the prophets. However, the few always have been right and flourished despite all odds against them. 

Recently, we have taken upon ourselves to share the same theme based on verses from Qur'an that Only a few are grateful. In doing so, we first listed and wrote about who are the Most. we come to the main theme of Being among the few. Thus, we share the 40the verse from Surah 11. Hud, in which mention is made of Prophet Nuh (Noah, may peace be upon him) who had but a few by his side while the majority abandoned and cursed him. They did not know that whosoever curses or abandons a prophet is untimely himself cursed and condemned by the Lord of the universe. The explanation given in the verse below is only given to put the readers in the right perspective by providing them with just the immediate background when the great deluge started to happen and only the few who believed Prophet Noah survived. even the son of Prophet Noah perished in the water right in front of the eyes of his father.

Note: For our previous posts, please visit our post: Let us be of the few who are grateful. Also read the premise to better understand why we shared a number of posts to be of the few.

Thus, this verse is about the beginning of the Flood and Nuh loading Every Creature in Pairs upon the Ship. This was the promise of Allah to Nuh, when the command of Allah came, the rain was continuous and there was a severe storm which did not slacken or subside.

حَتّٰۤى اِذَا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا وَفَارَ التَّنُّوۡرُۙ قُلۡنَا احۡمِلۡ فِيۡهَا مِنۡ كُلٍّ زَوۡجَيۡنِ اثۡنَيۡنِ وَاَهۡلَكَ اِلَّا مَنۡ سَبَقَ عَلَيۡهِ الۡقَوۡلُ وَمَنۡ اٰمَنَ​ؕ وَمَاۤ اٰمَنَ مَعَهٗۤ اِلَّا قَلِيۡلٌ‏ 
(11:40) Thus it was until Our command came to pass and the oven boiled over. We said: 'Take into the Ark a pair of every species; and take your own family except those who have already been declared (as unworthy); and also take everyone who believes. But those who, along with him, had believed were indeed just a few.
Different interpretations have been given of this, but we are of the opinion that the correct one is the one that is based on the plain words of the Text. The Deluge started from At-Tannur, a particular oven from under which water began to boil up. At the same time heavy rain began to fall and springs began to gush up water from many places in the earth. This is given in detail in vv. 11-12 of Surah AI-Qamar: "We opened the gates of the sky from which it began to rain heavily and constantly, and We tore open the earth and springs began to gush forth water from every side: Thus, the two kinds of water gathered together to fulfill the destined doom."

In this connection, it should also be noted that the prefix (al) (the) before (tannurالتَّنُّوۡرُۙ ), oven, shows that a particular oven had been specifically marked by God for the purpose of starting the Deluge. This began to boil up water as soon as it was commanded to do so, and afterwards it began to be called (The Oven). It has been explicitly stated in v. 7 of XXIII that the said Tannur was specified beforehand. 

(We said: 'Take into the Ark a pair of every species; and take your own family except those who have already been declared (as unworthy)) That is, "Don't embark in the Ark those who had specifically been marked as unbelievers from your household, for they do not deserve to be shown Our Compassion. Most probably there were two people. One was his son who drowned (v. 43), and the other was his wife: (LXVI: 10). And if there were any others, they have not been mentioned in the Qur'an. 

(And also take everyone who believes) Incidentally, this refutes the theory of the historians and genealogists who trace the genealogy of the whole human race to the three sons of Prophet Noah. This wrong theory became prevalent because of the stories in the Bible that none other than Prophet Noah, his three sons and his wife were rescued from the deluge. (Genesis 6: 18, 7: 7, 9, and 9: 19). But the Qur'an contradicts this in many places, saying that besides the people of his own household, sane other people of his community, though small in number, were also rescued along with him. Moreover, the Qur'an declares that the generations which came after Prophet Noah were his descendants and of all those people who were rescued in the Ark: "You are the descendants of those whom We bore in the Ark with Noah-- (XVII: 3) ". . . . they were from the descendants of Adam, and from the seed of those whom we carried in the Ark with Noah...." (XIX: 58). 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir notes that (And none believed with him, except a few) means that only a very small number believed, even after the long period of time that he (Nuh) was among them -- nine hundred and fifty years. It is reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "They were eighty people including their women.'' 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This sentence expresses yearning and sorrow: a vast majority of people continued to evade the truth in spite of several hundred years of warnings delivered to them by Noah (sws) and were finally drowned in the sea. There is also an indirect message of assurance in these words for the Prophet (sws) and his companions: if the arrogant majority of the Quraysh also reaches a similar fate, then this should not be any cause of wonder. Many nations before them have encountered such a fate.

In nutshell, only a few people side with someone who is talking sense and leading people to the truth and trusted path: The path of the blessed ones. Such people endure hardships and backlash from the majority. Yet still they cling to the truth and continue to call others to the truth and to One True God, without any associates. So let us be of the few and stand tall, for our salvation lies in siding with those who truly believe, and let us not be overwhelmed by those who do not believe.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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