Allah tells us that Nuh, peace be upon him, invoked his Lord to help him against his people,

as Allah mentions in another Ayah:

فَدَعَا رَبَّهُ أَنُّى مَغْلُوبٌ فَانتَصِرْ

(Then he invoked his Lord (saying): “I have been overcome, so help (me)!”) 54:10. Here he says:

رَبِّ انصُرْنِى بِمَا كَذَّبُونِ

(O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.) At that point, Allah commanded him to build a boat and to make it strong and firm, and to carry therein of every kind two, i.e., a male and a female of every species of animals, plants and fruits etc. He was also to carry his family,

إِلاَّ مَن سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ مِنْهُمْ

(except those thereof against whom the Word has already gone forth.) meaning, those whom Allah had already decreed were to be destroyed. These were the members of his family who did not believe in him, such as his son and his wife. And Allah knows best.

وَلاَ تُخَـطِبْنِى فِى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ إِنَّهُمْ مُّغْرَقُونَ

(And address Me not in favor of those who have done wrong. Verily, they are to be drowned.) means, `when you witness the heavy rain falling, do not let yourself be overcome with compassion and pity for your people, or hope for more time for them so that they may believe, for I have decreed that they will be drowned and will die in their state of disbelief and wrongdoing.’ The story has already been told in detail in Surah Hud, and there is no need to repeat it here.

فَإِذَا اسْتَوَيْتَ أَنتَ وَمَن مَّعَكَ عَلَى الْفُلْكِ فَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ الَّذِى نَجَّانَا مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّـلِمِينَ

(And when you have embarked on the ship, you and whoever is with you, then say: `All the praise be to Allah, Who has saved us from the people who are wrongdoers.’) This is like the Ayah:

وَالَّذِى خَلَقَ الأَزْوَجَ كُلَّهَا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ الْفُلْكِ وَالاٌّنْعَـمِ مَا تَرْكَبُونَ – لِتَسْتَوُواْ عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَتَقُولُواْ سُبْحَـنَ الَّذِى سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ – وَإِنَّآ إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ

(and has appointed for you ships and cattle on which you ride: In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the favor of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: “Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts). And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!”) 43:12-14 So, certainly, Nuh adhered to what he was commanded, as Allah says elsewhere:

وَقَالَ ارْكَبُواْ فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا

(And he said: “Embark therein: in the Name of Allah will be its (moving) course and its (resting) anchorage…”)11:41 So Nuh mentioned Allah at the beginning of his journey and at the end, and Allah said:

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَنزِلْنِى مُنزَلاً مُّبَارَكاً وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْمُنزِلِينَ

(And say: `My Lord! Cause me to land at a blessed landing place, for You are the Best of those who bring to land.”)

إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لأيَـتٍ

(Verily in this, there are indeed Ayat,) means in this event, which is the saving of the believers and the destruction of the disbelievers there are signs, i.e., clear evidence and proof that the Prophets speak the truth in the Message they bring from Allah, may He be exalted, and that Allah does what He wills, and He is able to do all things and knows all things.

وَإِن كُنَّا لَمُبْتَلِينَ

(for sure We are ever putting (men) to the test.) means, `We try Our servants by means of sending the Messengers.’

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