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Quran Chapter 11 [part 1] - Hud - Message of God, Authenticity of the Quran, The Story of Noah

A Meccan sura named after the prophet Hud whose story is given in verses 50–60. It begins by announcing that the Prophet is sent both to warn and to give good news, and the body of the sura focuses on the warning aspect: God watches over everything and is aware of all that people do (verses 5–6, 111–12, 123). The many stories of past prophets, which serve to warn the disbelievers, also strengthen the heart of the Prophet (verse 120).

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Message of God

1 Alif Lam Ra

[This is] a Scripture whose verses are perfected, then set out clearly, from One who is all wise, all aware. 2 [Say, Prophet], ‘Worship no one but God. I am sent to you from Him to warn and to give good news. 3 Ask your Lord for forgiveness, then turn back to Him. He will grant you wholesome enjoyment until an appointed time, and give His grace to everyone who has merit. But if you turn away, I fear you will have torment on a terrible Day: 4 it is to God that you will all return, and He has power over everything.’

5 See how they [the disbelievers] wrap themselves up, to hide their feelings from Him. But even when they cover themselves with their clothes, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal: He knows well the innermost secrets of the heart. 6 There is not a creature that moves on earth whose provision is not His concern. He knows where it lives and its [final] resting place: it is all [there] in a clear record. 7 It is He who created the heavens and the earth in six Days [a] ––His rule [b] extends over the waters [c] too––so as to test which of you does best.

Yet [Prophet], if you say to them, ‘You will be resurrected after death,’ the disbelievers are sure to answer, ‘This is clearly nothing but sorcery.’

Polar Attitude Towards God’s Favors

8 If We defer their punishment for a determined time, they are sure to say, ‘What is holding it back?’ But on the Day it comes upon them, nothing will divert it from them; what they mocked will be all around them. 9 How desperate and ungrateful man becomes when We let him taste Our mercy and then withhold it! 10 And if We let him taste mercy after some harm has touched him, he is sure to say, ‘Misfortune has gone away from me.’ He becomes exultant and boastful. 11 Not so those who are steadfast and do good deeds: they will have forgiveness and a great reward.

12 So [Prophet] are you going to [d] abandon some part of what is revealed to you, and let your heart be oppressed by it, because they say, ‘Why is no treasure sent down to him? Why has no angel come with him?’? You are only there to warn; it is God who is in charge of everything.

Authenticity of the Quran

13 If they say, ‘He has invented it himself,’ say, ‘Then produce ten invented suras like it, and call in whoever you can beside God, if you are truthful.’ 14 If they do not answer you, then you will all know that it is sent down containing knowledge from God, and that there is no god but Him. Then will you submit to Him? 15 If any desire [only] the life of this world with all its finery, We shall repay them in full in this life for their deeds– they will be given no less– 16 but such people will have nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: their work here will be fruitless and their deeds futile. 17 Can they be compared to those who have clear proof from their Lord, [e] recited by a witness from Him, [f] and before it the Book of Moses, as a guide and mercy? These people believe in it, whereas those groups that deny its truth are promised the Fire. So have no doubt about it [Prophet]: it is the Truth from your Lord, though most people do not believe so.

18 Who could do more wrong than someone who invents lies about God? Such people will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, ‘These are the ones that lied about their Lord.’ God’s rejection is the due of those who do such wrong, 19 who hinder others from God’s path, trying to make it crooked, and deny the life to come. 20 They will not escape on earth, and there will be no one other than God to protect them. Their punishment will be doubled. They could not hear, and they did not see. 21 It is they who will have lost their souls, and what they invented will have deserted them. 22 There is no doubt they will be the ones to lose most in the life to come. 23 But those who believed, did good deeds, and humbled themselves before their Lord will be companions in Paradise and there they will stay. 24 These two groups are like the blind and the deaf as compared with those who can see and hear well: can they be alike? How can you not take heed?

The Story of Noah

25 We sent Noah to his people to say, ‘I have come to you to give a clear warning: 26 worship no one but God. I fear you will have torment on a painful Day.’ 27 But the prominent disbelievers among his people said, ‘We can see that you are nothing but a mortal like ourselves, and it is clear to see that only the vilest among us follow you. We cannot see how you are any better than we are. In fact, we think you are a liar.’ 28 He said, ‘My people, think: if I did have a clear sign from my Lord, and He had given me grace of His own, though it was hidden from you, could we force you to accept it against your will? 29 My people, I ask no reward for it from you; my reward comes only from God. I will not drive away the faithful: they are sure to meet their Lord. I can see you are foolish. 30 My people, who could help me against God if I drove the faithful away? Will you not take heed? 31 I am not telling you that I hold God’s treasures, or have any knowledge of what is hidden, or that I am an angel. Nor do I say that God will not grant any good to those who are despised in your eyes: God Himself knows best what is in their souls. If I did this I would be one of the wrongdoers.’ 32 They said, ‘Noah! You have argued with us for too long. Bring down on us the punishment you threaten us with, if you are telling the truth.’ 33 He said, ‘It is God who will bring it down, if He wishes, and you will not be able to escape. 34 My advice will be no use to you if God wishes to leave you to your delusions: He is your Lord and to Him you will be returned.’

35 If [these disbelievers] [g] say, ‘He has made this up,’ say [Muhammad], ‘If I have made this up, I am responsible for my own crime, but I am innocent of the crimes you commit.’

36 It was revealed to Noah, ‘None of your people will believe, other than those who have already done so, so do not be distressed by, what they do. 37 Build the Ark under Our [watchful] eyes and with Our inspiration. Do not plead with Me for those who have done evil– they will be drowned.’ 38 So he began to build the Ark, and whenever leaders of his people passed by, they laughed at him. He said, ‘You may scorn us now, but we will come to scorn you: 39 you will find out who will receive a humiliating punishment, and on whom a lasting suffering will descend.’ 40 When Our command came, and water gushed up [h] out of the earth, We said, ‘Place on board this Ark a pair of each species, and your own family– except those against whom the sentence has already been passed– and those who have believed,’ though only a few believed with him. 41 He said, ‘Board the Ark. In the name of God it shall sail and anchor. My God is most forgiving and merciful.’ 42 It sailed with them on waves like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who stayed behind, ‘Come aboard with us, my son, do not stay with the disbelievers.’ 43 But he replied, ‘I will seek refuge on a mountain to save me from the water.’ Noah said, ‘Today there is no refuge from God’s command, except for those on whom He has mercy.’ The waves cut them off from each other and he was among the drowned.

44 Then it was said, ‘Earth, swallow up your water, and sky, hold back,’ and the water subsided, the command was fulfilled. The Ark settled on Mount Judi, and it was said, ‘Gone are those evildoing people!’ 45 Noah called out to his Lord, saying, ‘My Lord, my son was one of my family, though Your promise [i] is true, and You are the most just of all judges.’ 46 God said, ‘Noah, he was not one of your family. What he did was not right. Do not ask Me for things you know nothing about. I am warning you not to be foolish.’ 47 He said, ‘My Lord, I take refuge with You from asking for things I know nothing about. If You do not forgive me, and have mercy on me, I shall be one of the losers.’ 48 And it was said, ‘Noah, descend in peace from Us, with blessings on you and on some of the communities that will spring from those who are with you. There will be others We will allow to enjoy life for a time, but then a painful punishment from Us will afflict them.’ 49 These accounts are part of what was beyond your knowledge [Muhammad]. We revealed them to you. Neither you nor your people knew them before now, so be patient: the future belongs to those who are aware of God.


a. See also 22: 47; 32: 4; 41: 9 ff.

b. ‘Rule’ is one of the meanings of the Arabic word arsh, normally translated as ‘throne’ (al-Mujam al-Wasit).

c. Cf. 21: 30.

d. Literally ‘Perhaps you will . . .’, but this is a challenging figure of speech.

e. The Quran.

f. The Angel Gabriel, see 4: 166.

g. In Mecca.

h. Literally ‘the furnace boiled over’.

i. To save Noah’s family; see verse 40.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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