Showing posts with label Iblees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iblees. Show all posts

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Surah Al-Kahf - The Cave: 18th Chapter of Quran - Part IV

Sürah Al-Kahf " الكهف " is the eighteenth surah with 110 ayahs with 12 rukus, part of the 15-16th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. This Surah takes its name from verse 9 in which the word (al-kahf) occurs.

The last Sürah Al Isrāʼ began with singing the glory and praises of Allah: and ended on the same note, concluding the argument. This Sürah takes up the same theme from another point of view, and opens with the same note, "Praise be to Allah".

As already explained in the Overview of the Sürah, the exegesis / tafseer has been divided into four parts, each part containing important historical events as mentioned in the Sürah as under:
  • Part I   : Ruku / Sections 1-4 [Verses 1-31] - Story of Sleepers of the Cave
  • Part II  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 32-53] - Story of two men and their garden
  • Part III : Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 54-82] - Story of Moses and Khidr
  • Part IV: Ruku / Sections 11-12 [Verses 83-111] - Story of Dhul-Qarnain
We have already resented the first three parts of the exegesis of Sürah Al-Kahf. Let us now read the exegesis / tafseer of the last part, i.e., Part IV, in which last of the four stories, that is that of Dhul-Qarnain has been mentioned. The translation and exegesis / tafseer is in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku / Section 11 [83-101]

The 11th Ruku makes an exclusive mention of Dhul Qarnain. In this ruku, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is told that when the people ask about Dhul Qarnayn, he should tell them about him.  He had been given power and the means to achieve many great things.  Once on an expedition he came across a group of people.  God told him to either punish them or show kindness to them.  Dhul Qarnayn chose to punish the ones who had done evil and noted that they would also be punished a second time by God.  He spoke gently to the ones who were not doing evil. 

Then he set out on another expedition.   He came upon another group of people for whom God had not provided any shelter.  And so it was; he traveled on until he came to a point between two mountains.   Dhul Qarnayn could barely communicate with the people there.  The people managed to ask him if they could pay him to build a wall.  The wall was to keep out Gog and Magog who were destroying their land.  Dhul Qarnayn said that what God provided him with was better than any tribute they could pay him but if they provided him with men to help he could put up a fortification.

They filled the gap between the mountains with iron and poured molten copper over it.  Gog and Magog could not scale it or tunnel through it.  This is a mercy from God, Dhul Qarnayn said, but one day God will flatten it to the ground, this is a promise from God.  Know that on that day the two parties, (Gog and Magog) will surge against each other like waves.  This is one of the signs that the Day of Resurrection is near.  On Judgment Day, Hell will be shown to the disbelievers, because they thought they could take God’s servants as their Masters.  They will rest in Hell.

 وَيَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنۡ ذِى الۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ​ ؕ قُلۡ سَاَ تۡلُوۡا عَلَيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡهُ ذِكۡرًا ؕ‏ 
( 83 )   And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say, "I will recite to you about him a report." 
It is quite obvious that the conjunction wao joins this story with the previous story of Khidr. Thus it is a self evident proof that the previous two stories of the sleepers of the cave and Moses and Khidr were also related in answer to the queries of the disbelievers of Makkah who, in consultation with the people of the Book, had put these questions to Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a test of his Prophethood.

The identification of Zul-Qarnain has been a controversial matter from the earliest times. In general the commentators have been of the opinion that he was Alexander the Great but the characteristics of Zul-Qarnain described in the Quran are not applicable to him. However, now the commentators are inclined to believe that Zul- Qarnain was Cyrus, an ancient king of Iran. We are also of the opinion that probably Zul-Qarnain was Cyrus, but the historical facts, which have come to light up to this time, are not sufficient to make any categorical assertion.

Now let us consider the characteristics of Zul-Qarnain in the light of his story as given in the Quran:
(1) The title Zul-Qarnain (the two-horned) should have been quite familiar to the Jews, for it was at their instigation that the disbelievers of Makkah put this question to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Therefore we must turn to the Jewish literature in order to learn who was the person known as the two-horned or which was the kingdom known as the two-horned.
(2) Zul-Qarnain must have been a great ruler and a great conqueror whose conquests might have spread from the east to the west and on the third side to the north or to the south. Before the revelation of the Quran there had been several persons who were such great conquerors. So we must confine our research for the other characteristics of Zul-Qarnain to one of these persons.
(3) This title should be applicable to such a ruler who might have constructed a strong wall across a mountain pass to protect his kingdom from the incursions of Gog and Magog. In order to investigate this thing, we will have to determine as to who were Gog and Magog. We will also have to find out when such a wall was built and by whom and to which territory it was adjacent.
(4) Besides possessing the above mentioned characteristics, he should also be a God-worshiper and a just ruler, for the Quran has brought into prominence these characteristics more than anything else.
The first of these characteristics is easily applicable to Cyrus, for according to the Bible, Prophet Daniel saw in his vision that the united kingdom of Media and Persia was like a two-horned ram before the rise of the Greeks. (Dan. 8: 3, 20). The Jews had a very high opinion of the twohorned one, because it was his invasion which brought about the downfall of the kingdom of Babylon and the liberation of the Israelites Please also refer to (E.N. 8 of Surah Al-Isra).

The second characteristic is applicable to him to a great extent but not completely. Though his conquests spread to Syria and Asia Minor in the West and to Bakhtar (Balkh) in the East, there is no trace of any of his great expeditions to the North or to the South, whereas the Quran makes an explicit mention of his third expedition. Nevertheless, this third expedition is not wholly out of question for history tells us that his kingdom extended to Caucasia in the North. As regards to Gog and Magog, it has been nearly established that they were the wild tribes of Central Asia who were known by different names: Tartars, Mongols, Huns and Scythians, who had been making inroads on settled kingdoms and empires from very ancient times. It is also known that strong bulwarks had been built in southern regions of Caucasia, though it has not been as yet historically established that these were built by Cyrus.

As regards to the last characteristic, Cyrus is the only known conqueror among the ancient rulers, to whom this may be applicable, for even his enemies have been full of praise for him for his justice, and, Ezra, a book of the Bible, asserts that he was a God worshiper and a God fearing king who set free the Israelites because of his God worship, and ordered that the Temple of Solomon should be rebuilt for the worship of Allah, Who has no partner.

In the light of the above, we admit that of all the conquerors, who had passed away before the revelation of the Quran, Cyrus alone is the one to whom the characteristics of Zul-Qarnain are most applicable, but we need more evidence to determine specifically that Cyrus is definitely Zul-Qarnain. Anyhow, there is no other conqueror to whom the characteristics stated in the Quran are as much applicable as to Cyrus.

Historically, it is enough to say that Cyrus was a Persian ruler, whose rise began about 549 B.C. In a few years, he conquered the kingdom of Media and Lydia and afterwards conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. After this no powerful kingdom was left to oppose him. His conquests extended to Sind and the territory known as Turkestan on one side, and to Egypt and Libya and to Thrace and Macedonia and to Caucasus and Khawarzam in the North. In fact, the whole civilized world was under his sway.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Literally, "the Two-horned one", the King with the Two Horns, or the Lord of the Two Epochs. Who was he? In what age, and where did he live? The Qur'an gives us no material on which we can base a positive answer. Nor is it necessary to find an answer, as the story is treated as a Parable. Popular opinion identifies Zul-Qarnain with Alexander the Great. An alternative suggestion is an ancient Persian king, or a pre-historic Himyarite King. Zul-Qarnain was a most powerful king, but it was Allah, Who, in His universal Plan, gave him power and provided him with the ways and means for his great work. His sway extended over East and West, and over people of diverse civilizations. He was just and righteous, not selfish or grasping. He protected the weak and punished the unlawful and the turbulent. Three of his expeditions are described in the text, each embodying a great ethical idea involved in the possession of kingship or power.
( 84 )   Indeed We established him upon the earth, and We gave him to everything a way.
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Great was his power and great were his opportunities ("ways and means"), which he used for justice and righteousness. But he recognized that his power and opportunities were given to him as a trust by Allah. He had faith, and did not forget Allah.
( 85 )   So he followed a way
حَتّٰٓى اِذَا بَلَغَ مَغۡرِبَ الشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغۡرُبُ فِىۡ عَيۡنٍ حَمِئَةٍ وَّوَجَدَ عِنۡدَهَا قَوۡمًا ؕ ​قُلۡنَا يٰذَا الۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ اِمَّاۤ اَنۡ تُعَذِّبَ وَاِمَّاۤ اَنۡ تَتَّخِذَ فِيۡهِمۡ حُسۡنًا‏  
( 86 )   Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it [as if] setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people. Allah said, "O Dhul-Qarnayn, either you punish [them] or else adopt among them [a way of] goodness."
“The setting place of the sun” does not mean the place of the setting of the sun. According to Ibn Kathir, it means that he marched to the west conquering one country after the other till he reached the last boundary of the land, beyond which there was ocean.

“He found it setting in a muddy spring”: If Zul Qarnain was Cyrus, then that place would be the western limit of Asia Minor and the black waters would be the Aegean Sea. This interpretation is supported by the use of the word ain instead of bahr in the Quran.

“We said” does not necessarily mean that Allah directly revealed to him these words, and that Zul-Qarnain was a Prophet or was the one who received inspiration from Allah, and the same is the reasonable conjecture. This concerns the time when Zul-Qarnain had taken possession of the land as a conqueror and the conquered people were utterly at your mercy. Then Allah posed a question before his conscience, as if to say: Now is the time of your trial. These people are utterly at your mercy, and you have the option either to behave unjustly towards them or to treat them generously.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
This is the first of the three episodes here mentioned, his expedition to the west. "Reaching the setting of the sun" does not mean the extreme west, for there is no such thing. West and East are relative terms. It means a western expedition terminated by a "spring of murky water." This has puzzled Commentators, and they have understood this to mean the dark, tempestuous sea. If Zul-Qarnain is Alexander the Great, the reference is easily understood to be to Lychnitis (now Ochrida), west of Macedonia. It is fed entirely by underground springs in a limestone region, where the water is never very clear.

He had great power and a great opportunity. He got authority over a turbulent and unruly people. Was he going to be severe with them and chastise them, or was he going to seek peace at any price, i.e., to wink at violence and injustice so long as it did not affect his power? He chose the better course, as described in the next verse. To protect the weak and the innocent, he punished the guilty and the headstrong, but he remembered always that the true Punishment would come in the Hereafter-the true and final justice before the throne of Allah.
( 87 )   He said, "As for one who wrongs, we will punish him. Then he will be returned to his Lord, and He will punish him with a terrible punishment.
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Though most powerful among kings, he remembered that his power was but human, and given by Allah. His punishments were but tentative, to preserve the balance of this life as he could appraise it. Even if his punishment was capital ("wrong doer sent back to his Lord") it was nothing compared to the dire consequences of sin, in the final Justice of Allah.
( 88 )   But as for one who believes and does righteousness, he will have a reward of Paradise, and we will speak to him from our command with ease."
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
He never said like Pharaoh, "I am your Lord Most High!" (lxxix. 24). On the contrary his punishments were humbly regulated as not being final, and he laid more stress on the good he could do to those who lived normal lives in faith and righteousness. His rule was easy to them: he imposed no heavy tasks because of his power, but gave every opportunity to rich and poor for the exercise of virtue and goodness. Such is the spiritual lesson to be learned from the first episode.
( 89 )   Then he followed a way 
( 90 )   Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had not made against it any shield.
That is, when he advanced towards the east, conquering one country after the other, he reached a territory where the limits of the civilized world had come to an end and beyond which was the territory of barbaric people, who had no shelter at all of tents or buildings.”

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
We now come to the second episode. This is an expedition to the east. "Rising of the sun" has a meaning corresponding to "setting of the sun" in xviii. 86, as explained in n. 2430.

The people here lived very simple lives. Perhaps the climate was hot, and they required neither roofs over their heads, nor much clothing to protect them from the sun. What did he do with them? See next note.
( 91 )   Thus. And We had encompassed [all] that he had in knowledge.
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
They were a primitive people. He did not fuss over their primitiveness, but left them in the enjoyment of peace and tranquility in their own way. In this he was wise. Power is apt to be intolerant and arrogant, and to interfere in everything that does not accord with its own glorification. Not so Zul-Qarnain. He recognized his own limitations in the sight of Allah: man never completely understands his own position, but if he devoutly looks to Allah, he will live and let live. This is the spiritual lesson from the second episode.
( 92 )   Then he followed a way ( 93 )   Until, when he reached [a pass] between two mountains, he found beside them a people who could hardly understand [his] speech.
The “two mountains” must have been parts of that mountain range which runs between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea as stated in (Ayat 96). This must be so because beyond them was the territory of Gog and Magog.

That is, it was difficult to communicate with them: their language was almost foreign to Zul-Qarnain and his companions, and, as they were quite barbaric, none could understand their language, nor were they acquainted with any foreign language.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
It does not mean that they had no speech. It means that they did not understand the speech of the Conqueror. But they had parleys with him (through interpreters), as is evident from the verses following (xviii. 94-98).

The place where this wall was built has bot been mentioned in the Qur'an. There have been many speculations as will be discussed herein under, but these are mere guess work. Please also read another research work on "Where Is The Wall Of Yajuj Wa Majuj (Gog & Magog)" which still gives yet another insight into the matter, though still remaining inconclusive of the exact place.
( 94 )   They said, "O Dhul-Qarnayn, indeed Gog and Magog are [great] corrupters in the land. So may we assign for you an expenditure that you might make between us and them a barrier?"
As has already been pointed out, Gog and Magog were the wild tribes of North Eastern Asia which, from the very early times had been making inroads on settled kingdoms and empires in Asia and Europe and ravaging them. According to Genesis (Chapter 10), they were the descendants of Japheth, the son of Noah, and the Muslim historians have also accepted this. And according to the book of Ezekiel (Chapters 38, 39), they inhabited the territories of Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tubalsek). According to the Israelite historian Josephus, they were the Scythians and their territory spread to the north and the east of the Black Sea. According to Jerome, Magog inhabited the territory to the north of Caucasia near the Caspian Sea.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
What we are mainly concerned with is its interpretation. The Conqueror had now arrived among a people who were different in speech and race from him, but not quite primitive, for they were skilled in the working of metals, and could furnish blocks (or bricks) of iron, melt metals with bellows or blow-pipes, and prepare molten lead (xviii. 96). Apparently they were a peaceable and industrious race, much subject to incursions from wild tribes who are called Gog and Magog. Against these tribes they were willing to purchase immunity by paying the Conqueror tribute in return for protection. The permanent protection they wanted was the closing of a mountain gap through which the incursions were made.
( 95 )   He said, "That in which my Lord has established me is better [than what you offer], but assist me with strength; I will make between you and them a dam.
That is, as a ruler it is my duty to protect you from the ravages of your enemies: therefore it is not lawful for me to levy any extra taxes on you for this purpose. The treasury that Allah has placed in my custody suffices for this purpose. You shall, however, have to help me with your manual labor.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Zul-Qarnain was not greedy and did not want to impose a tribute to be carried away from an industrious population. He understood the power which Allah had given him, to involve duties and responsibilities on his part-the duty of protecting his subjects without imposing too heavy a taxation on them. He would provide the motive force and organizing skill. Would they obey him and provide the material and labour, so that they could close the gap with a strong barrier, probably with well-secured gates? The word radm, translated "Barrier," does not necessarily mean a wall, but rather suggests a blocked door or entrance.
( 96 )   Bring me sheets of iron" - until, when he had leveled [them] between the two mountain walls, he said, "Blow [with bellows]," until when he had made it [like] fire, he said, "Bring me, that I may pour over it molten copper."
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
I understand the defenses erected to have been a strong barrier of iron, with iron Gates. The jambs of the Gates were constituted with blocks or bricks of iron, and the interstices filled up with molten lead, so as to form an impregnable mass of metal. It may be that there was a stone wall also, but that is not mentioned. There was none in the Iron Gate near Bukhara.

Made it (red) as fire. What does "it" refer to? Probably to the iron, either in sheets or blocks, to be welded with the molten lead.
( 97 )   So Gog and Magog were unable to pass over it, nor were they able [to effect] in it any penetration.
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The iron wall and gates and towers were sufficiently high to prevent their being scaled and sufficiently strong with welded metal to resist any attempt to dig through them.
( 98 )   [Dhul-Qarnayn] said, "This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it level, and ever is the promise of my Lord true."
That is, though I have built a very strong iron wall, as far as it was possible for me, it is not ever lasting, for it will last only as long as Allah wills, and will fall down to pieces when the time of my Lord’s promise shall come. Then no power in the world shall be able to keep it safe and secure.

As regards to the time of Allah’s promise, it has two meanings. (1) It may mean the time of the destruction of the wall. (2) It may also mean the time of the death and destruction of everything destined by Allah at the end of the world i.e. the Hour of Resurrection.

Some people have entertained the misunderstanding that the wall attributed here to Zul-Qarnain refers to the famous wall of China, whereas this wall was built between Derbent and Daryal, two cities of Daghestan in the Caucasus, the land that lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian. There are high mountains between the Black Sea and Daryal having deep gorges which cannot allow large armies to pass through them. Between Derbent and Daryal, however, there are no such mountains and the passes also are wide and passable. In ancient times savage hordes from the north invaded and ravaged southern lands through these passes and the Persian rulers who were scared of them had to build a strong wall, 50 miles long, 29 feet high and 10 feet wide, for fortification purposes, ruins of which can still be seen. Though it has not yet been established historically who built this wall in the beginning, the Muslim historians and geographers assign it to Zul-Qarnain because its remains correspond with the description of it given in the Quran. Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Kathir have recorded the event, and Yaqut has mentioned it in his Mu jam-ul-Buldan that when after the conquest of Azerbaijan, Umar sent Suraqah bin Amr, in 22 A.H. on an expedition to Derbent, the latter appointed Abdur Rehman bin Rabiah as the chief of his vanguard. When Abdur Rehman entered Armenia, the ruler Shehrbraz surrendered without fighting. Then when Abdur Rehman wanted to advance towards Derbent, Shehrbraz informed him that he had already gathered full information about the wall built by Zul-Qarnain, through a man, who could supply all the necessary details and then the man was actually presented before Abdur Rehman. (Tabari, Vol. III, pp. 235-239; AIBidayah wan-Nihayah, Vol. VII, pp. 122-125, and Mujamul- Buldan, under Bab-ul-Abwab: Derbent).

Two hundred years later, the Abbasid Caliph Wathiq (227- 233 A.H.) dispatched a party of 50 men under Sallam-ul- Tarjuman to study the wall of Zul-Qarnain, whose observations have been recorded in great detail by Yaqut in Mujam-ul-Buldan and by Ibn Kathir in AI-Bidayah. They write that this expedition reached Samarrah from where they reached Tiflis (the present Tbilisi) and then through As-Sarir and Al-Lan, they reached Filanshah, from where they entered the Caspian territory. From there they arrived at Derbent and saw the wall. (AIBidayah Vol. II, p. 111, Vol. VII, pp. 122-125; Mujam-ul-Buldan: under BabulAbwab). This clearly shows that even up till the third century of Hijrah the Muslim scholars regarded this wall of the Caucasus as the wall of Zul-Qarnain.

Yaqut in his Mujam-ul-Buldan has further confirmed the same view at a number of places. For instance, under Khazar (Caspian) he writes:

This territory belongs to the Turks, which adjoins the wall of Zul Qarnain just behind Bab-ul-Abwab, which is also called Derbent. In the same connection, he records a report by Ahmad bin Fadlan, the ambassador of Caliph Al- Muqtadar-billah, who has given a full description of the Caspian land, saying that Caspian is the name of a country whose capital is Itil (near the present Astrakhan) right through which flows River Itil, which joins the Caspian from Russia and Bulghar.

Regarding Bab-ul-Abwab he says that this city is called both Al-Bab and Derbent, which is a highly difficult passage for the people coming from the northern lands towards the south. Once this territory was a part of the kingdom of Nausherwan, and the Persian rulers paid particular attention to strengthening their frontiers on that side.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
After all the effort which Zul-qarnain has made for their protection, he claims no credit for himself beyond that of discharging his duty as a ruler. He turns their attention to Allah, Who has provided the ways and means by which they can be helped and protected. But all such human precautions are apt to become futile. The time must come when they will crumble into dust. Allah has said so in His Revelation; and His word is true. And so the lesson from the third episode is: Take human precautions and do all in your power to protect yourselves from evil. But no protection is complete unless you seek the help and grace of Allah. The best of our precautions must crumble to dust when the appointed Day arrives.

Here the story of Zul-Qarnain comes to an end. Though this story has been related in answer to the questions put by the disbelievers of Makkah as a test along with the stories of the sleepers of the cave and Moses and Khidr, the Quran has utilized this story, too, for its own aim and object, as if to say: Zul Qarnain, about whose glory you have heard from the people of the Book, was not merely a conqueror, but also a believer of the doctrines of Tawhid and the life after death and acted upon the principles of justice and generosity. He was not a mean person like you who have been puffed up by the possession of petty estates, and give yourselves airs of superiority.
( 99 )   And We will leave them that day surging over each other, and [then] the Horn will be blown, and We will assemble them in [one] assembly.
“That Day”: “The Day of Resurrection”. As if to continue the theme of life after death to which Zul-Qarnain referred as the time of my Lord’s promise, the Quran has added (verses 99-101) to it.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
And so we pass on to the Last Days before the Great Summons comes from Allah. All human barriers will be swept away. There will be tumultuous rushes. The Trumpet will be blown, and the Judgment will be set on foot.
( 100 )   And We will present Hell that Day to the Disbelievers, on display
If men had scoffed at Faith and the Hereafter, their eyes will be opened now, and they will see the terrible Reality.
( 101 )   Those whose eyes had been within a cover [removed] from My remembrance, and they were not able to hear.
Those very men who refused to see the many Signs of Allah which in this world convey His Message and to hear the Word of the Lord when it came to them, will then see without any mistake the consequences fully brought up before them.

Ruku / Section 12 [102-110]

The last ruku of the surah concentrates on the necessity of worship is for God alone. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is told to tell the people that the person who loses the most, by his or her actions, is the one whose efforts are lost even though they think they are doing well.  These people disbelieve in God’s verses and signs, and deny that they will ever come face to face with Him.  This disbelief renders their deeds worthless.  All they will gain is Hell.  On the other hand, those who believe and do good deeds will find themselves in the gardens of Paradise, where they will live forever and never have any desire to leave.

If all the oceans were ink for writing, the ink would run dry before the words of God’s attributes, grandeur, and knowledge were exhausted.   Even if another amount of ink just like it were to be added it would not be enough.  Prophet Muhammad is told to say that he is just a human being, the same as everyone else, and it has been revealed to him that the Lord God is One.  Everyone among the people who fears their meeting with God should do good deeds and never let anyone else or anything share in the worship that is due to God alone.
( 102 )   Then do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants instead of Me as allies? Indeed, We have prepared Hell for the disbelievers as a lodging.
This is the conclusion of the whole Surah and is not connected with the story of Zul-Qarnain only but with the subject matter of this Surah as a whole. That theme was enunciated at the beginning of the (Surah Ayats 1-8): The Prophet (peace be upon him) invited his people. (1) To give up shirk and adopt the doctrine of Tawhid instead. (2) To give up the worship of the world and to believe in the life of the Hereafter. But the chiefs of his people, who were puffed up with their wealth and grandeur, not only rejected his invitation but also persecuted and insulted those righteous people who had accepted his invitation. The discourse deals with the same themes and utilizes in an excellent manner the three stories which were related in answer to the questions put by the opponents of Islam as a test of his Prophethood.

That is, do they still stick to their presumption even after hearing all this and believe that their attitude will be profitable for them?
( 103 )   Say, [O Muhammad], "Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
That is, those who prided themselves on their works in this life, and now find that those works are of no avail. Their loss is all the greater because they had a misplaced confidence in their own deeds or in the assistance of false "protectors". Allah is the only Protector: no one else's protection is of any use.
( 104 )   [They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work."
This verse has two meanings. (1) The one is the same that we have adopted in the translation. (2) The other meaning is this: Those who confined all their endeavors to the worldly life. That is, whatever they did, they did for this world without paying any regard to God and the Hereafter. As they considered the worldly life to be the real life, they made the success and prosperity in this world their sole aim and object. Even if they professed the existence of Allah, they never paid any heed to the two implications of this profession: to lead their lives in a way to please Allah and to come out successful on the Day they shall have to render an account of what they did in this world. This was because they considered themselves to be mere rational animals who were absolutely independent and free from every kind of responsibility and had nothing else to do but to enjoy the good things of the world like animals in a meadow.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Many people have such a smug sense of self-righteousness that while they go on doing wrong, they think that they are acquiring merit. So, in charity, all the elements that make for outward show or selfishness (as to get some worldly advantage) nullify the deed of charity. In the same way hypocrites sometimes affect to be surprised that their declared effort for somebody's good is not appreciated, when they are really seeking some hidden gain or false glory for themselves. The sincere are only those who believe in their spiritual responsibility and act as in Allah's sight.
( 105 )   Those are the ones who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord and in [their] meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless; and We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.
“So worthless will be their deeds” in the sense that they will be of no avail to them in the life after death, even though they might have considered them as their great achievements but the fact is that they will lose all their value as soon as the world shall come to an end. When they will go before their Lord, and all their deeds shall be placed in the scales, they will have no weight at all whether they had built great palaces, established great universities and libraries, set up great factories and laboratories, constructed highways and railways, in short, all their inventions, industries, sciences and arts and other things of which they were very proud in this world, will lose their weights in the scales. The only thing which will have weight there will be that which had been done in accordance with the divine instructions and with the intention to please Allah. It is, therefore, obvious that if all of one’s endeavors were confined to the worldly things and the achievement of worldly desires whose results one would see in this world, one should not reasonably expect to see their results in the Hereafter, for they would have gone waste with the end of this world. It is equally obvious, that only the deeds of the one, who performed them strictly in accordance with His instructions to win His approval with a view to avail of their results in the Hereafter, will find that his deeds had weight in the scales. On the contrary, such a one will find that all his endeavors in the world had gone waste.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
What weight can be attached to works behind which the motives are not pure, or are positively evil? They are either wasted or count against those who seek to pass them off as meritorious!
( 106 )   That is their recompense - Hell - for what they denied and [because] they took My signs and My messengers in ridicule.
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
False motives, pretence, deception, and hypocrisy, flourish because people do not take the higher life seriously. In effect they treat it as a jest. Signs and Messengers are sent as a special and personal Mercy from Allah, and for such things the first person singular is used as in this verse, even when it involves a sudden transition from the first person plural as in the last verse.

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ كَانَتۡ لَهُمۡ جَنّٰتُ الۡفِرۡدَوۡسِ نُزُلًا ۙ‏ 
( 107 )   Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds - they will have the Gardens of Paradise as a lodging,
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Firdaus in Persian means an enclosed place, a park. In technical theological language the word is used for the inner circle of Heaven, or the highest Heaven, the destination of those who perfectly fulfill both requirements, viz.; a sound faith, and perfectly righteous conduct. Small faults in either respect are forgiven; the Mercy of Allah steps in.
( 108 )   Wherein they abide eternally. They will not desire from it any transfer.
“No desire will they have to be removed there from” because they will find no place and no condition better than those in Paradise.
( 109 )   Say, "If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement."
By “words” are meant the marvelous works, the excellences and the wonders of His Power and Wisdom.
( 110 )   Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone."
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Righteousness and true respect for Allah-which excludes the worship of anything else, whether idols, or deified men, or forces of nature, or faculties of man, or Self-these are the criteria of true worship.

With the explanation of verse 110, which strongly condemns shirk (associating someone with status of Allah, we come to the end of Sürah Al-Kahf in which three important stories from the history have been retold to answer the queries of the disbelievers of Makkah. In these there are several lessons for the believers as well. Only if we could pick these and follow these so that we do not have to be embarrassed when we will be raised on the Day of Judgment. 

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Al-Kahf with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
Reading the Holy Quran 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.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy 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. [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources:
In addition the 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.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Friday 18 October 2019

Surah Al-Kahf - The Cave: 18th Chapter of Quran - Part II

Sürah Al Kahf " الكهف " is the eighteenth surah with 110 ayahs with 12 rukus, part of the 15-16th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. This Surah takes its name from verse 9 in which the word (al-kahf) occurs.

The last Sürah Al Isrāʼ began with singing the glory and praises of Allah: and ended on the same note, concluding the argument. This Sürah takes up the same theme from another point of view, and opens with the same note, "Praise be to Allah".

As already explained in the Overview of the Sürah, the exegesis / tafseer has been divided into four parts, each part containing important historical events as mentioned in the Sürah as under:

  • Part I   : Ruku / Sections 1-4 [Verses 1-31] - Story of Sleepers of the Cave
  • Part II  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 32-53] - Story of two men and their garden
  • Part III : Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 54-82] - Story of Moses and Khidr
  • Part IV: Ruku / Sections 11-12 [Verses 83-111] - Story of Dhul-Qarnain
Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English of the Surah segmented into portions as per the subject matter. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku / Section 5 [32-44]

In verses 32–44 the surah discusses a parable of two men, one of whom had been given blessings from God and the other being poor. The rich one wronged his soul and started showing off with his wealth and noble lineage, and was punished. While the poor showed his faith in Allah and was rewarded..
( 32 )   (O Muhammad), propound a parable to them. There were two men of whom We bestowed upon one of the two vineyards, surrounding both of them with date-palms and putting a tillage in between.
In order to understand the significance of this parable we should keep in view( Ayat 28 )in which arrogant chiefs of Makkah were told that the poor companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would not be discarded to please them.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Here is a simple parable of the contrast between two men. One was purse-proud, and forgot that what he had was from Allah, by way of a trust and a trial in this life. The other boasted of nothing: his trust was in Allah. The worldly wealth of the first was destroyed, and he had nothing left. The second was the happier in the end.
( 33 )   Each of the two gardens produced its fruit and did not fall short thereof in anything. And We caused to gush forth within them a river.( 34 )   And he had fruit, so he said to his companion while he was conversing with him, "I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in [numbers of] men."
The two men began to compare notes. The arrogant one was puffed up with his possessions, his income, and his large family and following, and thought in his self- complacency that it would last for ever. He was also wrong in looking down on his Companion, who, though less affluent, was the better man of the two.
( 35 )   And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said, "I do not think that this will perish - ever.
He considered his gardens to be Paradise. Thus he behaved like those mean persons who, when rise to power and wealth, are always involved in the misunderstanding that they are enjoying Paradise in this world, therefore they do not stand in need of any other Paradise.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
It was not wealth that ruined him, but the attitude of his mind. He was unjust, not so much to his neighbour, as to his own soul. In his love of the material, he forgot or openly defied the spiritual. As verse 37 shows, he took his companion with him, to impress him with his own importance, but the companion was unmoved.
( 36 )   And I do not think the Hour will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return."
( 37 )   His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, "Have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you [as] a man?
This shows that unbelief in Allah is not confined to the denial of the existence of God in so many words, but arrogance, pride, vanity and the denial of the Hereafter are also kufr. Although that person did not deny the existence of Allah, he professed it as is apparent from his words (And if I am brought back to my Lord), yet in spite of his profession, his neighbor charged him with unbelief in Allah. This is because the person, who considers his wealth and his grandeur etc. to be the fruits of his own power and capability and not the favors of Allah, and who thinks that they are everlasting and none can take than away from him and that he is not accountable to anyone, is guilty of unbelief in Allah, even though he might profess belief in Him, for he acknowledges Allah as a Being and not as his Master, Owner and Sovereign. In fact, belief in Allah demands not merely the profession of His existence but also the acknowledgment of His Sovereignty, Mastery, Rule and the like.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The three stages of man's creation: first dust, or clay, itself created out of nothing and forming the physical basis of his body; then, out of the produce of the earth as incorporated in the parents body, the sperm drop (with the corresponding receptive element), and then when the different elements were mixed in due proportion, and the soul was breathed into him, the fashioned man. Cf. lxxxvii. 2, and xv. 28-29.
( 38 )   But as for me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I do not associate with my Lord anyone.
( 39 )   And why did you, when you entered your garden, not say, 'What Allah willed [has occurred]; there is no power except in Allah '? Although you see me less than you in wealth and children,
Yousaf Ali Explanation:
The companion's argument divides itself into five parts. (1) He remonstrates against the proud man denying Allah. (2) He, from his own spiritual experience, proclaims that Allah is One and that He is good. (3) He points out to him the better way of enjoying Allah's gifts, with gratitude to Him. (4) He expresses contentment and satisfaction in Allah's dealings with him. (5) He gives a warning of the fleeting nature of this world's goods and the certainty of Allah's punishment for inordinate vanity.
( 40 )   It may be that my Lord will give me [something] better than your garden and will send upon it a calamity from the sky, and it will become a smooth, dusty ground,( 41 )   Or its water will become sunken [into the earth], so you would never be able to seek it."
The punishment was that of thunderbolts (husbanan), but the general meaning of the word includes any punishment by way of a reckoning (hisab), and I think that an earthquake is also implied, as it alters water-courses, diverts channels underground, throws up silt and sand, and covers large areas with ruin.
( 42 )   And his fruits were encompassed [by ruin], so he began to turn his hands about [in dismay] over what he had spent on it, while it had collapsed upon its trellises, and said, "Oh, I wish I had not associated with my Lord anyone."
"Fruits", "spent" , "twisting of the hands", should all be understood in a wide metaphorical sense, as well as the literal sense. He had great income and satisfaction, which were all gone. What resources he had lavished on his property! His thoughts had been engrossed on it; his hopes had been built on it; it had become the absorbing passion of his life. If he had only looked to Allah, instead of to the ephemeral goods of this world!

In this case, in his mind, there was his own Self and his Mammon (wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion) as rivals to Allah!
( 43 )   And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor could he defend himself.
He had built up connections and obliged defendants, and was proud of having his "quiver full". But where were all things when the reckoning came? He could not help himself; how could others be expected to help him!
( 44 )   There the authority is [completely] for Allah, the Truth. He is best in reward and best in outcome.
All else is vanity, uncertainty, the sport of Time. The only hope or truth is from Allah. Other rewards and other successes are illusory: the best Reward and the best Success come from Allah.

The entire Quran is full of reminders to mankind by giving them examples to make them understand, but humankind has always been ungrateful In these two sections, ruckus 6 and 7, it is being said that life of this world is like vegetation that flourishes but then dries up and withers away, blown in the wind.  Here one day gone the next.  Your wealth and your children are only adornments in this life, but your good deeds hold the promise of everlasting reward.

Here the example of prostration of angels to Adam and refusal of Ibless to comply with has also been cited and emphasized that the  wrongdoers will see the Fire and realize what is going to happen.  There is no escape.  

The messengers are sent to bring good tidings and to warn the people, yet there are those who make fun and ridicule these warnings.  There is no one more unjust than the one who is reminded of the verses, proofs and lessons sent by His Lord but turns away from them and forgets the evil he has done.  They will have veils cast over their hearts and their ears are deaf.  There is an appointed time for their punishment.

Ruku / Section 6 [45-49 ]
( 45 )   And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.
Allah has power over everything. He gives life and also death, He causes the rise and the downfall. It is by His command that the seasons change. Therefore, O disbelievers, if you are enjoying prosperity today, you should be under no delusion that this condition will remain forever. That God, by Whose command these things have been bestowed on you, has the power to snatch away all this by another command.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Rain-water is a good thing in itself, but it does not last, and you can build no solid foundations on it. It is soon absorbed in the earth, and produces the flourishing appearance of grass and vegetation-for a time. Soon these decay, and become as dry stubble, which the least wind from any quarter will blow about like a thing of no importance. The water is gone, and so is the vegetation to which it lent a brave show of luxuriance temporarily. Such is the life of this world, contrasted with the inner and real Life, which looks to the Hereafter-Allah is the only enduring Power we can look to, supreme over all.
( 46 )   Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.
Other things are fleeting: but Good Deeds have a lasting value in the sight of Allah. They are best as (or for) rewards in two ways: (1) they flow from us by the Grace of Allah, and are themselves rewards for our Faith: (2) they become the foundation of our hopes for the highest rewards in the Hereafter.
( 47 )   And [warn of] the Day when We will remove the mountains and you will see the earth prominent, and We will gather them and not leave behind from them anyone.
The mountains will begin to move about like clouds when the gravitation of the earth shall be brought to an end. The Quran has described the same thing in ( Surah An- Namal, Ayat 88 ) in this way: When you see the mountains, you consider them to be firmly fixed, but they shall be floating about like clouds at that time.

“You will see the earth as a leveled plain”: You will find no vegetation and no building on it and it will become a barren plain. It is the same thing that has been stated in (Ayat 8) of this chapter.

That is, We will muster together every human being from the first man, Adam, to the last one born in the last moment of the Day of Resurrection: even that child which had breathed the first breath after its birth, shall be resurrected and all shall be mustered at one and the same tune.

Or in other words, on the Day of Judgment none of our present landmarks will remain.
( 48 )   And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say], "You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment."
This thing will be addressed to those who denied the Hereafter, as if to say: Well, now you see that the information given by the Prophets has come out to be true. They told you that Allah would bring you to life again as He first brought you out from the wombs of your mothers but you disbelieved in it. Now say whether you have been brought to life for the second time or not. Or in other words, on the Day of Judgment none of our present landmarks will remain.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
We shall stand as we were created, with none of the adventitious possessions that we collected in this life, which will all have vanished. The sceptics will now at length be convinced of the Reality which will be upon them.
( 49 )   And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, "Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?" And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.
“And your Lord does not do injustice to anyone”: Neither will an evil deed, not committed by someone, have been recorded in his conduct register, nor shall anyone be punished more than one deserved for his crime, nor shall an innocent person be punished at all.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Personal responsibility, for all deeds in this life will then be enforced. But it will be done with perfect justice. Expressed in the forms of this world, it will amount to a clear statement of all we did in this life; the record will be put before us to convince us. As it will be a perfect record, with no omissions and no wrong entries, it will be perfectly convincing. Where there is punishment, it has been earned by the wrong-doer's own deeds, not imposed on him unjustly.

Ruku / Section 7 [50-53]
( 50 )   And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.
The reference to the story of Adam and Iblis has been made here to warn the erring people of their folly. It is an obvious folly that people should discard their Prophets, who were their well wishers, and get entangled in the snare set by their eternal enemy, Iblis, who has been jealous of man ever since he refused to bow down before Adam and became accursed.

It was possible for Iblis to disobey Allah because he was not one of the angels but one of the jinns. It must be noted that the Quran is very explicit that the angels are inherently obedient.
(1) They do not show arrogance; they fear their Lord Who is above them, and do whatever they are bidden. (Surah An-Nahal, Ayat 50).
(2) They do not disobey the command that is given to them by their Lord and do whatever they are bidden to do. (Surah At-Tahrim, Ayat 6).
In contrast to the angels, the jinns have been, like human beings, given the option to obey or not to obey. Therefore they have been given the power to believe or disbelieve, to obey or not to obey. This thing has been made explicit here by saying that Iblis was one of the jinns, so he deliberately chose the way of disobedience. Incidentally, this verse removes all those misunderstandings that are generally found among the common people that Iblis was one of the angels and not an ordinary angel but the instructor of the angels. As regards to the difficulty that arises because of this statement of the Quran: When We said to the angels, bow down before Adam. They bowed down but Iblis did not, it should be noted that the command to the angels was meant for all those on the earth who were under the administration of the angels so that they should also be made submissive to man. Accordingly all these creatures bowed along with the angels but Iblis refused to bow down along with them.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Cf. Surah ii. Al Baqarah: 34, where the story is told of the fall of mankind through Adam. Here the point is referred to in order to bring home the individual responsibility of the erring soul. Iblis is your enemy; you have been told his history; will you prefer to go to him rather than to the merciful Allah, your Creator and Cherisher? What a false exchange you would make!'

Satan's progeny: we need not take the epithet only in a literal sense. All his followers are also his progeny.

Out of the limited free-will that man has, if he were to choose Evil instead of Good, Satan instead of Allah, what a dreadful choice it would be! It would really be an evil exchange. For man is Allah's creature, cared for and cherished by Him. He abandons his Cherisher to become the slave of his enemy!
( 51 )   I did not make them witness to the creation of the heavens and the earth or to the creation of themselves, and I would not have taken the misguiders as assistants.
This thing has been asserted to impress on the disbelievers that the satans were not entitled to their submission and worship, for they had no share at all in the creation of the heavens and the earth, nay, they themselves were the creation of Allah: therefore Allah alone was worthy of worship.

Allah wants man's good: how can He take Evil for His partner?
( 52 )   And [warn of] the Day when He will say, "Call 'My partners' whom you claimed," and they will invoke them, but they will not respond to them. And We will put between them [a valley of] destruction.
This theme has already been stated at several places in the Quran. This is to impress that it is shirk to discard the commandments and the guidance of Allah and to follow the orders and guidance of any other than Allah, though one may not be professing with his tongue that there is any partner of Allah: nay, if one might be cursing others but at the same time following their orders instead of divine commandments, even then that one shall be guilty of shirk. For instance, we see that everyone in this world curses satans but still follows them. According to the Quran, in spite of cursing them, if people follow satans, they shall be guilty of setting up satans as partners with Allah. Though this will not be shirk in so many words, it will be tantamount to the practice of shirk and the Quran denounces this as shirk.

Generally the commentators have assigned two meanings to this. The one is the same that we have adopted in our translation and the other is this: We will cause enmity between them. That is: Their friendship in this world shall be turned into bitter enmity in the Hereafter.

Yousaf Ali Explanation:
Some Commentators construe: "And We shall make a partition between them": i.e., the Evil ones will not even be seen by their misguided followers, much as the latter may go on calling on them.
( 53 )   And the criminals will see the Fire and will be certain that they are to fall therein. And they will not find from it a way elsewhere.
With the explanation of verse 53, we come to the end of Part II of the exegesis of Sürah Al-Kahf. Our next post, that is Part III, (Ruku / Sections 8-10 [Verses 54-82]) will about yet another important story - The story of Moses and Khidr!!

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Al-Kahf with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
Reading the Holy Quran 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.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy 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. [2] 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources:
In addition the 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.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Prophet Nuh (Noah) and the Great Flood

Allah created the universe and people on our earth (there may be people on planets unknown to us so far) so that we could eat and drink from the numerous fruits, vegetables and other eatables, travel on land and sea on camels and horse drawn carriages or ships in the seas and rivers. Allah wanted us to live in peace and harmony while adhering to His commands and guidelines He has been sending on to us through his prophets and messengers.

But man has always been ungrateful and has always violated the code of life revealed unto him and adopted sinful ways to lead his life in utmost leisure and ways described ed to him by Ibless (Satan). And when this happens, Allah sends his prophets and messengers to show the right and enlightened path to those who have gone astray. But if they still digress from what has been chosen for them, wrath of Allah befalls.

The first such wrath came sometimes after Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) when by and by descendants of Prophet Adm started to leave the righteous path and adopted wicked ways to live lives full of sin and transgression and wrongdoings. While they were still good people around, the history books say that Ibless came to the good and pious people and asked them to make idols so that the good deeds and faces of the good and pious remain forever. Unknowing the mala fide intentions of Ibless, the idols were made in good faith. But as time went by, people forgot the reason of making the idols and instead of following the Godly path, they started to worship the idols.

Seeing the transgression of people from Allah's described path and worshiping of the idols, Allah chose Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) to bring back the disbelievers back to the righteous path. While the poor and those who had a fear of Allah chose to follow the path as shown by Prophet Nuh (and that of Allah), the rich and dominant refused to listen to him and taunted him to be a simple human being trying to rob them of their wealth and leisure.

Verily we see you in plain error” (Quran 7:60)

In Quran, Surah Nuh, a chapter exclusive on the people of Prophet Nuh, Allah tells the people of Nuh:
“Indeed We sent Nuh to his people (he said): ‘I have come to you as a plain Warner that you worship none but God, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day.’  The chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: ‘We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they too followed you without thinking.  And we do not see in you any merit above us in fact we think you are liars.’” (Quran 11:25-27)
However, the disbelievers, obsessed with the power of their wealth and position above the poor, tried to negotiate with the prophet and offered wealth of any extreme so that prophet desists from 'misleading' their subjects and let them enjoy their wealth in leisure.  But prophets of Allah are seldom moved with wealth and richness for they have been promised much greater reward in the hereafter. Thus Prophet Nuh responded to their entire dejection of the nonbelievers - here is it how this rejection is mentioned in the Quran:
“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.  O my people!  Who will help me against God if I drove them away?  Will you not then give a thought?  And I do not say to you that the Treasures of Allah are (only) with me or that I know the unseen, nor do I say I am an angel; and I do not say that God will not bestow any good on those whom your eyes look down upon.  God knows what is in their inner selves (in regard to Belief).  In that case, I would indeed be among the unjust.” (Quran 11:29-31)
But this motivational sermon did not have any affect on the the nonbelievers and they rejected and turned down his call outrightly and promised to harm him if he did not stop propagating something that they did not desire. When Prophet Nuh saw his people unmoving to his call for the enlightened path, he finally begged Allah:
“My Lord!  Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth.  If you leave them, they will mislead Your slaves and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.” Quran 71:27
Seeing his prophet in great despair and state of dejection due to the arrogance of the mislead rich and famous people, Allah Almighty listened to Prophet Nuh's SOS call and decided to teach the arrogant people a lesson that would be remembered for time immemorial and till the day of judgment by people who fear Allah and do not transgress. 

Thus Allah asked Prophet Nuh to build a big ark for time was near to teach the mislead and miscreants a big lesson:
“And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Inspiration and address Me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.” Qur'an 11:37
And this is how the making of the ark began. The prophet of Allah chose a high ground and started building as huge ark. It is not mentioned anywhere, however, as to how the prophet was able to make an ark so big to accommodate men and a pair each of all known animals of the time. There must haven been a divine help that would have helped the prophet to undertake this gigantic task, much beyond the capability of a human being. 

While the prophet  was building the ark, the nonbelievers would often mock him and took to be some insane as nowhere near the the ark site was any large body of water where this huge ark could be used. However, the prophet continued undeterred and was finally able to finish the gigantic task. Then the Godly command came:
“Until when Our Command came and the lowlands gushed forth, overflowing,  We said: ‘Load it with two of each kind of animal (male and female), and embark your family, except against whom the Word has already gone forth, and those who believe.’  And none believed him except a few.” (Quran 11:40)
The prophet waited for the water to rise and then as instructed by Allah, he boarded the big boat along with his family and few people who had chosen to listen to him and the divine call, and a pair each of all known animals, reptiles and birds of the time. 

At this juncture I would like to indicate that as per the Jews and Christians, the wife of Prophet Nuh and one his intolerant son boarded the ark and parted ways after the ark had settled down after the flood subsided. But as per Qur'an, Prophet Nuh's unfaithful wife and son did not board the boat and perished when the great flood hit them.
"Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve: the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut, they were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them so they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: Enter both the fire with those who enter." — Qur'an, 66:10
As for his son who was dear to the prophet, the Prophet called upon him to board the boat and be among the believers. But his son refused and said he would head for the high mountains where he would be safe. The Quran talks about this in the following verses:
“And Nuh called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), ‘O my son!  Embark with us and be not with the disbelievers.’  The son replied, ‘I will betake myself to a mountain; it will save me from the water.’  Nuh said: ‘This day there is no saviour from the Decree of Allah except him on whom He has mercy.’  And a wave came in between them so he (the son) was among the drowned.” (Quran 11:42-43)
Nor was Prophet Nuh a delirious man as has been shown the film "Noah" where in he is shown doing acts and dancing, unbecoming of prophets and chosen men of Allah.

So the great flood, or the Deluge as mentioned in the Genesis, came and lifted the big boat and destroyed everything that remained in the world. 
“‘O Earth!  Swallow up your water, and O sky!  Withhold (your rain).’  The water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of God) was fulfilled (the destruction of the people of Nuh).  And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: ‘Away with the people who are wrongdoing.’” (Quran 11:44)
The flood and rain continued for many days till it started to subside and the boat came to rest on a high mountain called Mount Judi, in present day Turkey.

This is the end of mention of Prophet Nuh, his non believing people and their tragic end when they all drowned and perished forever along with their bad deeds, the flood of the floods, the ark and the believing people and animals aboard the ark. It is believed that the believers and family of Prophet Nuh expanded in the world just like the descendants of Prophet Adm multiplied and made this world a peaceful place to live.

However, as usual, the rich and famous surfaced yet again with their non believing approach to life - quite tangent to the commands of Allah. This continued till the wrath of Allah struck next to cleanse the bad people from the earth and made way forward for the good people.

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