As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 71, Nüh or Noah, verses 21-28. These verses tell of Prophet Noah’s prayer not to leave any unbeliever on the surface of the earth, ie. the Flood.
Tafseer for this selection concerns the reasons why God used the Flood to purge the unbelievers. Also, a short selection on the Arab Pagan Gods named in verse 23.
Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
Finally, Nüh (Noah) submitted: “O Lord! My people have disobeyed me, and followed those chiefs whose wealth and children have added to them nothing but loss. They have devised an outrageous plot, and said to each other: ‘Do not leave your gods; especially Wadd, Suwa, Yaghüth, Ya’üq and Nasr (the names of their idols).’ They have already misled many, so O Lord, do not increase the wrongdoers in anything but deviation.”
Because of their wrongdoings they were drowned in the great flood and made to enter the fire. They found no one besides Allah to help them.
As Noah had prayed: “O Lord! Do not leave a single unbeliever on the surface of the earth. For if You spare any of them, they will mislead your servants and beget none but wicked unbelievers. O Lord! Forgive me, my parents and every true believer who seeks refuge in my house, and all believing men and believing women. As to the wrongdoers, grant them increase in nothing but destruction.”
Concerning the Flood:
The punishment of sin seizes the soul from every side and in every form. Water (drowning) indicates death by suffocation, through the nose, ears, eyes, mouth, throat, and lungs. Fire has the opposite effect; it burns the skin, the limbs, the flesh, the brains, the bones, and every part of the body. So the destruction wrought by sin is complete from all points of view. And yet it is not death (see also 20:74); for death would be merciful release from the penalty, and the soul steeped in sin has closed the gates of God’s Mercy on itself. There they will abide, unless and “except as Allah wills” (6:128). For time and eternity, as we conceive them now, have no meaning in the wholly new world which the soul enters after death or Judgment.
Concerning the Pagan Arab Gods mentioned in verse 23:
Pagan God Shape Quality Represented Wadd Man Manly power Suwa Woman Mutability, Beauty Yaghüth Lion (or Bull) Brute strength Ya’üq Horse Swiftness Nasr Eagle or Vulture or Falcon Sharp Sight, Insight
It is not clear whether these names are to be connected with true Arabic verbal roots or are merely Arabicised forms of names derived from foreign cults, such as those of Babylonia or Assyria, the region of Noah’s flood. The latter supposition is probable. Even in the case of Wadd and Nasr, which are good Arabic words, it is doubtful whether they are not, in this connection, translations or corruptions of words denoting foreign cults.
More information concerning the Pagan Arab Gods can be found in Appendix X of A. Yusuf’s Ali’s translation of the Holy Quran.
This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.
Thank you and be well.