قَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
Said the eminent among his people, "Indeed, we see you in clear error."
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(He it is Who did create you from a single soul…) [7:189] up to (… but are themselves created) [7:191].Said Mujahid: “Initially, all the children of Adam and Eve died in their infancy. And so, Satan whispered tothem: 'If a boy is born to you, call him 'Abd al-Harith [the slave of al-Harith]'. The name of Satan was, priorto that, al-Harith. Adam and Eve did as he asked them to do, hence the words of Allah, exalted is He: (Butwhen He gave unto them aright, they ascribed to Him partners in respect of that which He had giventhem…)”.
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّى أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ - قَالَ الْمَلأ مِن قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ - قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِى ضَلَـلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَـلـتِ رَبِّى وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
(59. Indeed, We sent Nuh to his people and he said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!'')
(60. The leaders of his people said: "Verily, we see you in plain error.'')
(61. Nuh said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!)
(62. I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.'')
After Allah mentioned the story of Adam in the beginning of this Surah, He started mentioning the stories of the Prophets, the first then the latter of them. Allah mentioned the story of Nuh, because he was the first Messenger Allah sent to the people of the earth after Adam. His name was Nuh bin Lamak bin Matushalakh bin Khanukh. And Khanukh was, as they claim, the Prophet Idris. And Idris was the first person to write letters using pen, and he was the son of Barad bin Mahlil, bin Qanin bin Yanish bin Shith bin Adam, upon them all be peace. This lineage is mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaq and other Imams who document lineage. `Abdullah bin `Abbas and several other scholars of Tafsir said that the first idol worship began when some righteous people died and their people built places of worship over their graves. They made images of them so that they could remember their righteousness and devotion, and thus, imitate them. When time passed, they made statues of them and later on worshipped these idols, naming them after the righteous people: Wadd, Suwa`, Yaghuth, Ya`uq and Nasr. After this practice became popular, Allah sent Nuh as a Messenger, all thanks are due to Him. Nuh commanded his people to worship Allah alone without partners, saying,
يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّى أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
("O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!'') the torment of the Day of Resurrection, if you meet Allah while associating others with Him.
قَالَ الْمَلأ مِن قَوْمِهِ
(The leaders of his people said) meaning, the general public, chiefs, commanders and great ones of his people said,
إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ
("Verily, we see you in plain error'') because of your calling us to abandon the worship of these idols that we found our forefathers worshipping. This, indeed, is the attitude of evil people, for they consider the righteous people to be following misguidance. Allah said in other Ayat,
وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّ هَـؤُلاَءِ لَضَآلُّونَ
(And when they saw them, they said: "Verily, these have indeed gone astray!'') 83:32 and,
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْ كَانَ خَيْراً مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيْهِ وَإِذْ لَمْ يَهْتَدُواْ بِهِ فَسَيَقُولُونَ هَـذَآ إِفْكٌ قَدِيمٌ
(And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been a good thing, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!'' And when they have not let themselves be guided by it (this Qur'an), they say: "This is an ancient lie!'') 46:11 There are several other Ayat on this subject.
قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِى ضَلَـلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(Nuh said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!'') meaning, there is nothing wrong with me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists, Lord and King of all things,
أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَـلـتِ رَبِّى وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
("I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.'') This is the attribute of a Messenger, that he conveys using plain, yet eloquent words, offers sincere advice and is knowledgeable about Allah; indeed, no other people can compete with the Prophets in this regard. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to his Companions on the Day of `Arafah, when their gathering was as large as it ever was,
«أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَسْؤُولُونَ عَنِّي فَمَا أَنْتُمْ قَائِلُونَ؟»
(O people! You will be asked about me, so what will you say) They said, "We testify that you have conveyed and delivered (the Message) and offered sincere advice.'' So he kept raising his finger to the sky and lowering it towards them, saying,
«اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَدْ اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَد»
(O Allah! Bear witness, O Allah! Bear witness.)