Surah Nuh

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Name of Chapter and Reason for its Name

This chapter is called Surah Nuh and it discusses the story of Prophet Nuh, his people’s refusal to follow him, and their subsequent punishment. This story begins with the very first verse of the chapter. Nearly this entire chapter is an examination of the story of Nuh and naturally because of this, some scholars have mentioned that this is the reason for the chapter being named ‘Nuh.’ [1], Volume 10, Page 541)) [2], Volume 8, Page 245))

Chapter Number

This Surah is the 71st chapter of the Quran.

Number of Verses

This chapter has 28 verses in it.

Place of Revelation

Surah An-Nuh is a Makki chapter. [3] [4] [5], Volume 4, Page 615))


Important Concepts in this Chapter

Verses 1-24

The story of Prophet Nuh and the sinful people of his time up until the Divine punishment was sent down upon them.

Verses 25-28

The end result and consequences of the people of Nuh; their drowning in the flood which was caused by their own sins; Nuh’s invitation under the right of servitude; and their cursing under the right of the oppressors.

Discussions on this Chapter

According to the Sunni Traditions

Verse 28: “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 except ruin.”

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِمَنْ دَخَلَ بَيْتِيَ مُؤْمِنًا وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَارًا٢٨ عن أبی الهیثم، عن أبی سعید أنه سمع رسول اللّه صلّی اللّه علیه و سلّم یقول: «لا تصحب إلا مؤمنا و لا یأکل طعامک إلا تقی»

Abu al-Haytham narrates from Abi Saeed that he heard the Prophet of Allah say: “Do not make friends [with anyone] except a believer; and do not eat your food [with anyone] except [with] a pious person.” [6]

According to the Shia Traditions

Benefits of Reciting this Surah

عَنْ أَبِی عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَالَ: مَنْ کانَ یؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَ یقْرَأُ کتَابَهُ لَا یدَعُ قِرَاءَةَ سُورَةِ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنا نُوحاً إِلی قَوْمِهِ فَأَی عَبْدٍ قَرَأَهَا مُحْتَسِباً صَابِراً فِی فَرِیضَةٍ أَوْ نَافِلَةٍ أَسْکنَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَی مَسَاکنَ الْأَبْرَارِ وَ أَعْطَاهُ ثَلَاثَ جِنَانٍ مَعَ جَنَّتِهِ کرَامَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَ زَوَّجَهُ مِائَتَی حَوْرَاءَ وَ أَرْبَعَةَ آلَافِ ثَیبٍ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ

Abu Abdillah narrates: “Whoever believes in Allah and reads His book, will not refrain from reciting Surah al-Nuh. So, a servant who recites it in an obligatory or recommended prayer, reciting it for Allah with a sincere intention, anticipating a reward, Allah the Exalted will give him a place to live in the places where the pious ones stay, and He will give him 3 gardens with his heaven as a token of generosity from Allah. He will also be married to 200 houris and 4000 widows, by the will of Allah.” [7]

Verses 10-12: “Telling [them]: ‘Plead to your Lord for forgiveness. Indeed He is All-Forgiver. 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.”

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا١٠ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا١١ وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ أَنْهَارًا١٢ فی نهج البلاغه: و قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ الِاسْتِغْفَارَ سَبَباً لِدُرُورِ الرِّزْقِ وَ رَحْمَةِ الْخَلْقِ فَقَالَ سُبْحَانَهُ- اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّکمْ إِنَّهُ کانَ غَفَّاراً یرْسِلِ السَّماءَ عَلَیکمْ مِدْراراً وَ یمْدِدْکمْ بِأَمْوالٍ وَ بَنِینَ وَ یجْعَلْ لَکمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَ یجْعَلْ لَکمْ أَنْهاراً فَرَحِمَ اللَّهُ امْرَأً اسْتَقْبَلَ تَوْبَتَهُ وَ اسْتَقَالَ خَطِیئَتَهُ وَ بَادَرَ مَنِیتَه

In Nahj al-Balagha it says: “And Allah had made asking for forgiveness a cause for sustenance to abundantly flow and a cause for mercy on the creation. He, glorified be He has said ‘Plead to your Lord for forgiveness. Indeed He is All-Forgiver. 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.’ So, may Allah show mercy on the person who adopts repentance, asks for forgiveness for their mistakes, and prepares for death [before death comes to him].” [8], Volume 20, Page 34))

Verse 13: “What is the matter with you that you do not look upon Allah with veneration.”

مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقَارًا١٣ وَ فِی رِوَایةِ أَبِی الْجَارُودِ عَنْ أَبِی جَعْفَرٍ ع فِی قَوْلِهِ لا تَرْجُونَ لِلَّهِ وَقاراً قَالَ لَا تَخَافُونَ لِلَّهِ عَظَمَة

In a narration from Abu Jarood from Abu Jafar regarding this verse ‘do not look upon Allah with veneration,’ he said: “[What is the matter with you that you] do not fear Allah due to His greatness.” [9]


  1. Fadhl ibn Hasan Tabrisi, Majma al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran (Beirut: Muassasa al-Ilmi li al-Matbuat, (1988
  2. Ismail ibn Umar ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyya, (1998
  3. Tabrisi, Majma al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Page 541
  4. Ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim, Page 245
  5. Mahmud Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf an Haqaiq Ghawamid al-Tanzil (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi (1986
  6. Ibn Kathir Damishqi, Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim, Page 250
  7. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Page 540
  8. Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran (Beirut: Muassasa al-Ilmi li al-Matbuat, (1997
  9. Ibid., Page 35