Sūra Nūḥ (Arabic: سورة نوح) is seventy first sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' twenty nine. Naming this sura is because it contains the story of Prophet Noah (a). This sura illustrates the constant fight between advocates of the truth and falsehood and the plans the advocates of the truth should follow in their path. This sura is among Mufassalat suras which are relatively short suras of the Qur'an.
Two verses of "Ta'khir Ajal" (delay of death) and asking forgiveness for oneself and believers are among famous verses of this sura. About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is transmitted that whoever recites Sura Nuh, will be among believers for whom Prophet Noah (a) prayed.
Naming this sura as "Nuh" is considered because of the story of Prophet Noah (a) from the beginning of this sura until its end.
- Order and Place of Revelation
- Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura Nuh has twenty eight verses, 227 words and 965 letters. Regarding volume, it is among Mufassalat suras (relatively short suras of the Qur'an). This sura is also mentioned among Mumtahinat suras which are said to be related with Sura al-Mumtahana (Qur'an 60) regarding messages.
- Main article: Prophet Noah (a)
Story of Noah (a) and destiny of his people have been mentioned in different suras of the Qur'an, but, what is mentioned in Sura Nuh is a special part of his life which is not mentioned this way elsewhere. In this sura, the Prophet Noah's (a) constant invitation towards monotheism, his method and the way he encountered his stubborn people who did not accept to believe are discussed.
In this sura, other issues related with the story of Prophet Noah (a) are also mentioned.
- Quotation of counsels of Prophet Noah (a)
- Emphasis on God-wariness and obedience of God and His Prophet (s)
- Counting the blessings of God and the signs of His Oneness
- Mentioning theological, jurisprudential, moral and social principles
Some exegetical points are mentioned under some verses of this sura.
Three Principles in Prophet Noah's (a) Invitation
Verse three of Sura Nuh, "Worship Allah and be wary of Him, and obey me" is considered to contain three principles in Prophet Noah's (a) invitation. Allama Tabataba'i considered the first part of the verse "Worship Allah" suggesting that people of Noah knew about God, but instead of worshipping Him, they worshipped idols as intercessors before God; therefore, he introduces the first principle of Noah's invitation, inviting to monotheism.
The second principle which is adopted from the phrase "and be wary of Him" is to avoid greater and lesser sins, referring to polytheism and sins less than that and on the other hand performing righteous deeds which should not be abandoned. The third principle is adopted from the third part of the verse "and obey me" which is obeying Noah, approving his prophethood and acquiring teachings of religion from him.
Achieving Mercy and Blessings
Verses ten to twelve of Sura Nuh  have introduced repentance among the ways of achieving God's mercy and blessings. Some hadiths are transmitted about this verse which have considered attracting God's mercy and blessings depending on asking His forgiveness.
Two verses of four and twenty eight of Sura Nuh about delay of death and asking forgiveness for oneself and believers are among famous verses of this sura.
Verse of Delaying Death
|“||"that He may forgive you some of your sins and respite you until a specified time. Indeed when Allah’s [appointed] time comes, it cannot be deferred, if you know.’"||”|
|— Quran 71:4|
Delay in death is among theological discussions made under the fourth verse of Sura Nuh. In this verse, polytheists are addressed that if they believe in the three principles of the invitation of Prophet Noah (a), their sins will be forgiven and their deaths will be delayed.
According to the message of the verse, many Shi'a exegetes categorized "ajal" to "ajal musamma" (a specified time) and "ajal niha'i" (final time) or in other words, near and "far ajal" (times), or "conditional" and "absolute" times; according to which, "ajal musamma" (a specified time) can be postponed using some methods including repentance and "ajal niha'i" (ultimate time) which is also called "ajal Allah" (God's time) is definite and cannot be altered. Allama Tabataba'i considered delay of the death until a specified time in this verse, a result of worshipping God, God-wariness and obeying the Messenger (s) and that disbelievers are promised that if they have faith, God-wariness and obedience, their near time of death will be delayed until a specified later time.
Delay of the death is also confirmed by hadiths. It is mentioned in a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), "those who die due to sins are more than those who die due to divine death, and those who achieve long lives are more than those who achieve long lives due to natural causes."
Verse of Asking for Forgiveness
|“||"My Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and whoever enters my house in faith, and the faithful men and women, and do not increase the wrongdoers in anything but ruin.’"||”|
|— Quran 71:28|
Verse twenty eight of Sura Nuh is about asking for forgiveness for oneself, one's parents and believers and is among famous Qur'anic supplications which is also recited in qunut.
Asking for forgiveness by Prophet Noah (a) is considered due to the possibility of abandoning the prior which he possibly committed, similar to the friends of God who consider themselves blameworthy so that they never find conceit after all the efforts they make in the way of God. Allama Tabataba'i considered the phrase "and whoever enters my house" referring to the relatives of a believer, and the phrase "and the faithful men and women" referring to all believer men and women until the Day of Judgement. In his view, the word "tabar" refers to a destruction which causes punishment in the hereafter and destruction in this world.
Merits and Benefits
About the merits of recitation of Sura Nuh, it is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura Nuh, will be among believers for whom Prophet Noah prayed. Also, it is transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that whoever believes in God and recites His book, should not give up reciting Sura Nuh. Any servant who recites Sura Nuh in his obligatory and recommended prayers patiently in the way of God and hopeful to receive divine rewards, God will accommodate him in the abode of the righteous. In some hadiths, some benefits are mentioned for recitation of this sura, including freedom from captivity, safety in the journey, improvement of financial status and also fulfillment of requests.
- This sura has 28 verses according to Kufa reciters, 29 verses according to reciters of Basra and Sham and 30 verses according to some others reciters, but the first view is more famous.
- Mumtahinat are 16 suras of the Qur’an and it is said that Suyuti called them Mumtahinat.
- In suras al-Shu'ara, al-Mu'minun, al-A'raf, al-Anbiya' and especially in 25 verses of Sura Hud, the story of Noah (a) is mentioned.
- Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
- Qur'an 71: 3
- telling [them]: ‘‘Plead to your Lord for forgiveness. Indeed, He is all-forgiving. He will send for you abundant rains from the sky, and aid you with wealth and sons, and provide you with gardens and provide you with streams.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره نوح in Farsi WikiShia.