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translated by : Engi Hassan Omar
Noah's Ark

 

“And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe.” (Alankbut 51).

I believe that this verse aims at contemplating Allah’s mercy:

“111Behold! the disciples, said: "O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?" Said Jesus: "Fear Allah, if ye have faith.112. "And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Messenger. they said, 'We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims'".113. They said: "We only wish to eat thereof and satisfy our hearts, and to know that thou hast indeed told us the truth; and that we ourselves may be witnesses to the miracle."114. Said Jesus the son of Mary: "O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us - for the first and the last of us - a solemn festival and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs)."115. Allah said: "I will send it down unto you: But if any of you after that resisteth faith, I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on any one among all the peoples."116. And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah.?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.” (Alma’eda)

  After God (SWT) threat in the 115 verse, we do not know what happened afterward to the table that was not mentioned again in the Quran. Whether God granted their wish or not, they were not tortured, as Allah SWT mentioned all who are going to hell by names and categories,

“145. The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them;” (Alnisa 145). 42. "What led you into Hell Fire?" 43. They will say: "We were not of those who prayed; 44. "Nor were we of those who fed the indigent; 45. "But we used to talk vanities with vain talkers; 46. "And we used to deny the Day of Judgment, 47. "Until there came to us (the Hour) that is certain." (Almudather).

10. Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the e wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: "Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter!" (Altahrim).

And God SWT asked us to be like the Disciples “Howarieen”:

14. “O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah. As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah." Said the disciples, "We are Allah.s helpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.” (Alsaff).

Allah SWT mentioned the disciples five times:

 “52. When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: "Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah." Said the disciples: "We are Allah.s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims. 53. "Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Messenger. then write us down among those who bear witness." 54. And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah. 55. Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. 56. "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help." 57. "As to those who believe and work righteousness, Allah will pay them (in full) their reward; but Allah loveth not those who do wrong." 58. "This is what we rehearse unto thee of the Signs and the Message of Wisdom." (Al Umran).

Then why did not Allah SWT mention what happened to them, even it is established they are not infidels?

They were included in Allah’s “concluded mercy,” the one that follows severe threats, then an interruption in the flow of events that forces contemplation. As well as many believers in the Quran, God does not mention that he included them in his mercy, but the it can be concluded that God extended his mercy to them.

27. Then, in their wake, We followed them up with (others of) Our apostles: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of Allah. but that they did not foster as they should have done. Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors. (Alhadid).

As God’s mercy is just like his knowledge:

156. "And ordain for us that which is good, in this life and in the Hereafter: for we have turned unto Thee." He said: "With My punishment I visit whom I will; but My mercy extendeth to all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right, and practise regular charity, and those who believe in Our signs;” (Alaraf)

98. But the god of you all is the One Allah. there is no god but He: all things He comprehends in His knowledge. (Ta HA)

In this age of science, we know that all forms of living is based on scientific rules, but not is always mentioned, it is sometimes concluded. And the angels swear by God’s mercy and knowledge that include all.

7.Those who sustain the Throne (of Allah. and those around it Sing Glory and Praise to their Lord; believe in Him; and implore Forgiveness for those who believe: "Our Lord! Thy Reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance, and follow Thy Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire! (Ghafer).

That is why Allah SWT does not count for us his knowledge in the Quran, it is like his mercy, contains and surrounds all.

12. Allah is He Who created seven Firmaments and of the earth a similar number. Through the midst of them (all) descends His Command: that ye may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah comprehends, all things in (His) Knowledge.(Altalaq).

Yet Allah mentions the destiny of those who exited his mercy repeatedly:

111. There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it,- a detailed exposition of all things, and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe. (Yusuf).

Contemplating this verse, one can see a concluded mercy that was not mentioned. Who are they:

243. Didst thou not Turn by vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (In number), for fear of death? Allah said to them: "Die": Then He restored them to life. For Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but Most of them are ungrateful. (Albaqrah).

73. "And believe no one unless he follows your religion." Say: "True guidance is the Guidance of Allah. (Fear ye) Lest a revelation be sent to someone (else) Like unto that which was sent unto you? or that those (Receiving such revelation) should engage you in argument before your Lord?" Say: "All bounties are in the hand of Allah. He granteth them to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things." 74. For His Mercy He specially chooseth whom He pleaseth; for Allah is the Lord of bounties unbounded.(Al Imran).

Yakoub’s People

133. Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: "What will ye worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship Thy Allah and the Allah of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma'il and Isaac,- the one (True) Allah. To Him we bow (in Islam)." (Albaqrah).

Talout and Those Who Believe They Will Meet Allah (SWT).

249. When Talut set forth with the armies, he said: "(Allah) will test you at the stream: if any drinks of its water, He goes not with my army: Only those who taste not of it go with me: A mere sip out of the hand is excused." but they all drank of it, except a few. When they crossed the river,- He and the faithful ones with him,- they said: "This day We cannot cope with Goliath and his forces." but those who were convinced that they must meet Allah, said: "How oft, by Allah.s will, Hath a small force vanquished a big one? Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere." 250. When they advanced to meet Goliath and his forces, they prayed: "Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against those that reject faith." 251. By Allah.s will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds. (Albaqrah).

The One Passing by A Village:

 Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" but Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: (Perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: And that We may make of thee a sign unto the people, Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was shown clearly to him, he said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things." (Albaqrah).

The Pharaoh’s Magicians:

69. "Throw that which is in thy right hand: Quickly will it swallow up that which they have faked what they have faked is but a magician's trick: and the magician thrives not, (no matter) where he goes." 70. So the magicians were thrown down to prostration: they said, "We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses". 71. (Pharaoh) said: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your leader, who has taught you magic! be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm-trees: so shall ye know for certain, which of us can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment!" 72. They said: "Never shall we regard thee as more than the Clear Sings that have come to us, or than Him Who created us! so decree whatever thou desirest to decree: for thou canst only decree (touching) the life of this world. 73. "For us, we have believed in our Lord: may He forgive us our faults, and the magic to which thou didst compel us: for Allah is Best and Most Abiding." 74. Verily he who comes to his Lord as a sinner (at Judgment),- for him is Hell: therein shall he neither die nor live. 75. But such as come to Him as Believers who have worked righteous deeds,- for them are ranks exalted,- 76. Gardens of Eternity, beneath which flow rivers: they will dwell therein for aye: such is the reward of those who purify themselves (from evil). (Ta Ha).

In Yusuf’s Story, One Feels They Are All Muslims:

50. So the king said: "Bring ye him unto me." But when the messenger came to him, (Joseph) said: "Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, 'What is the state of mind of the ladies who cut their hands'? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare." 51. (The king) said (to the ladies): "What was your affair when ye did seek to seduce Joseph from his (true) self?" The ladies said: "(Allah) preserve us! no evil know we against him!" Said the 'Aziz's wife: "Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I who sought to seduce him from his (true) self: He is indeed of those who are (ever) true (and virtuous). 52. "This (say I), in order that He may know that I have never been false to him in his absence, and that Allah will never guide the snare of the false ones. 53. "Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful." 54. So the king said: "Bring him unto me; I will take him specially to serve about my own person." Therefore when he had spoken to him, he said: "Be assured this day, thou art, before our own presence, with rank firmly established, and fidelity fully proved! 55. (Joseph) said: "Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will indeed guard them, as one that knows (their importance)." 56. Thus did We give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of our Mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good. 57. But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best, for those who believe, and are constant in righteousness. (Yusuf).

Mercy is to be concluded also in Alnaml Chapter, “29. (The queen) said: "Ye chiefs! here is delivered to me - a letter worthy of respect. 30. "It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): 'In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: 31. "'Be ye not arrogant against me, but come to me in submission (to the true Religion).'" 32. She said: "Ye chiefs! advise me in (this) my affair: no affair have I decided except in your presence." 33. They said: "We are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with thee; so consider what thou wilt command. 34. She said: "Kings, when they enter a country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest thus do they behave. 35. "But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors." (Alnaml).

Despite the public approved such approach, but every time one reads their story, one feels they did not approve except after it was suggested. And when you reach to this verse, She was asked to enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she (tucked up her skirts), uncovering her legs. He said: "This is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass." She said: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds." 45. We sent (aforetime), to the Thamud, their brother Salih…(Alnaml), one feels she was saved, although Allah did not mention that his mercy included her.

And try to study this verse, do u find mercy, “48. Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them, and said: "No one among men can overcome you this day, while I am near to you": But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he turned on his heels, and said: "Lo! I am clear of you; lo! I see what ye see not; Lo! I fear Allah. for Allah is strict in punishment." (Alanfal). And compare it with Adam’s son, “27. Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah.: It was accepted from one, but not from the other. Said the latter: "Be sure I will slay thee." "Surely," said the former, "(Allah) doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous. 28. "If thou dost stretch thy hand against me.. (Alma’eda).

The examples are plenty, as the holey Quran in itself is mercy, concluded or stated:

32. Set forth to them the parable of two men: for one of them We provided two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two We placed corn-fields.(Alkahf).

The Companion of the Cave: 9. Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Sign? (Alkahf).

Moses: 60. Behold, Moses said to his attendant, "I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travel." (Alkahf).

Zu ALqranin: 83. They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story." (Alkahf).

The family who took Moses in: 26. Said one of the (damsels): "O my (dear) father! engage him on wages: truly the best of men for thee to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty" (Alqassass).

The believer in Pharaoh’s Egypt:  30. Then said the man who believed: "O my people! Truly I do fear for you something like the Day (of disaster) of the Confederates (in sin)!- (Ghafer).

These Jinn: 29. Behold, We turned towards thee a company of Jinns (quietly) listening to the Qur'an: when they stood in the presence thereof, they said, "Listen in silence!" When the (reading) was finished, they returned to their people, to warn (them of their sins). (Alahqaf).

Ibrahim’s followers: 4. There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: "We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides Allah. we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever,- unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone": But not when Abraham said to his father: "I will pray for forgiveness for thee, though I have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from Allah." (They prayed): "Our Lord! in Thee do we trust, and to Thee do we turn in repentance: to Thee is (our) Final Goal.(Almumtahina).

And the examples are countless.

A Unique Case:

This is a man that God mentioned him in a way was not given even to prophets, God specifically mentions that he is going to heavean: 20. Then there came running, from the farthest part of the City, a man, saying, "O my people! Obey the apostles: 21. "Obey those who ask no reward of you (for themselves), and who have themselves received Guidance. 22. "It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me, and to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back. 23. "Shall I take (other) gods besides Him? If ((Allah)) Most Gracious should intend some adversity for me, of no use whatever will be their intercession for me, nor can they deliver me. 24. "I would indeed, if I were to do so, be in manifest Error. 25. "For me, I have faith in the Lord of you (all): listen, then, to me!" 26. It was said: "Enter thou the Garden." He said: "Ah me! Would that my People knew (what I know)!- 27. "For that my Lord has granted me Forgiveness and has enrolled me among those held in honour!" 28. And We sent not down against his People, after him, any hosts from heaven, nor was it needful for Us so to do.

Noah’s People:

59. We sent Noah to his people. He said: "O my people! worship Allah. ye have no other god but Him. I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful day! 60. The leaders of his people said: "Ah! we see thee evidently wandering (in mind)." 61. He said: "O my people! No wandering is there in my (mind): on the contrary I am an apostle from the Lord and Cherisher of the worlds! 62. "I but fulfil towards you the duties of my Lord's mission: Sincere is my advice to you, and I know from Allah something that ye know not. 63. "Do ye wonder that there hath come to you a message from your Lord, through a man of your own people, to warn you,- so that ye may fear Allah and haply receive His Mercy?" 64. But they rejected him, and We delivered him, and those with him, in the Ark: but We overwhelmed in the flood those who rejected Our signs. They were indeed a blind people!

Here is the first time to mention Noah, and who went along with him, without mentioning mercy. I will concentrate on the end of the next verses, as it shows the concluded mercy:

36. It was revealed to Noah: "None of thy people will believe except those who have believed already! So grieve no longer over their (evil) deeds.37. "But construct an Ark under Our eyes and Our inspiration, and address Me no (further) on behalf of those who are in sin: for they are about to be overwhelmed (in the Flood)." (Hud). In verse 36, God SWT tells Noah that this is it, no one else will join, implying Noah’s son.

40. At length, behold! there came Our command, and the fountains of the earth gushed forth! We said: "Embark therein, of each kind two, male and female, and your family - except those against whom the word has already gone forth,- and the Believers." but only a few believed with him. 41. So he said: "Embark ye on the Ark, In the name of Allah, whether it move or be at rest! For my Lord is, be sure, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful!" 42. So the Ark floated with them on the waves (towering) like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest): "O my son! embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers!" 43. The son replied: "I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water." Noah said: "This day nothing can save, from the command of Allah, any but those on whom He hath mercy! "And the waves came between them, and the son was among those overwhelmed in the Flood.44. Then the word went forth: "O earth! swallow up thy water, and O sky! Withhold (thy rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!" 45. And Noah called upon his Lord, and said: "O my Lord! surely my son is of my family! and Thy promise is true, and Thou art the justest of Judges!" (Hud).

Here Noah calls God SWT saying that God’s promise was indeed true.

10. If any do seek for glory and power,- to Allah belong all glory and power. To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity: It is He Who exalts each Deed of Righteousness. Those that lay Plots of Evil,- for them is a Penalty terrible; and the plotting of such will be void (of result). (Fatir).

46. He said: "O Noah! He is not of thy family: For his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of Me that of which thou hast no knowledge! I give thee counsel, lest thou act like the ignorant!" 47. Noah said: "O my Lord! I do seek refuge with Thee, lest I ask Thee for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless thou forgive me and have Mercy on me, I should indeed be lost!" 48. The word came: "O Noah! Come down (from the Ark) with peace from Us, and blessing on thee and on some of the peoples (who will spring) from those with thee: but (there will be other) peoples to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end will a grievous penalty reach them from Us." 49. Such are some of the stories of the unseen, which We have revealed unto thee: before this, neither thou nor thy people knew them. So persevere patiently: for the End is for those who are righteous.(Hude).

Here Noah ask for God’s help and forgiveness, just like his father Adam

23. They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost." 24. ((Allah)) said: "Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood,- for a time." (Alaraf).

God referred to Noah and people’s safety, and did not mention whether they changed his words, followed the path of the devil or not.

And in Alshu’raa’ (poets) chapter, Allah SWT mentions his name the exalted (do not need anyone), merciful (on those who believe).

115. "I am sent only to warn plainly in public." 116. They said: "If thou desist not, O Noah! thou shalt be stoned (to death)." 117. He said: "O my Lord! truly my people have rejected me. 118. "Judge Thou, then, between me and them openly, and deliver me and those of the Believers who are with me." 119. So We delivered him and those with him, in the Ark filled (with all creatures). 120. Thereafter We drowned those who remained behind. 121. Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. 122. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. (Alshuraa).

One can see the dichotomy of merciful and exalted in the ship, how God gave up the whole earth, but had mercy on a single ark, the ark that is our past, and our future till the end of time.

Finally:

When it comes, God’s mercy are good news to the believers, regardless of their number,  when the world seems too dark. Each time a believer was saved, was because of God’s mercy. And we are in a ship still, just like the Ark, driven by our souls.

52. And thus have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee: thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith; but We have made the (Qur'an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We will; and verily thou dost guide (men) to the Straight Way,- 53. The Way of Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend towards Allah. (Alshura).

 

I thank my mentor Ahmed Mansour for suggesting the structure of this essay, as it was the only suitable way for discussing God’s mercy.

 36. Then Praise be to Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth,- Lord and Cherisher of all the Worlds! 37. To Him be glory throughout the heavens and the earth: and He is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom! (Aljathia).

 

translated by : Engi Hassan Omar


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