Overview - Surah 11: Hud (Hud)

Surah Introduction

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In this Surah we have the stories of Prophets Noah, Salih, Hud, Lot, Shuaib and Moses - peace be upon them all. The basic point is that Allah sent His Prophets and Messengers to mankind out of His grace and mercy, but when people did not listen to the Prophets and rejected their message then Allah's punishment came and came relentlessly. It did not make any difference whether someone was the son of a Prophet or his wife or any one, none could escape Allah’s judgment.


  1. Seek forgiveness from Allah and His bounties will be for you.
  2. Patience and good deeds bring the stability in character.
  3. The story of Prophet Noah -peace be upon him.
  4. The fate of those who disbelieved in Prophet Noah.  The moving description of the fate of Prophet Noah's son.
  5. The Message of Prophet Hud.  'Ad people denied Allah's message and were punished.
  6. The Message of Prophet Saleh, the Sign of the She-Camel, and end of Thamud.
  7. Prophet Ibrahim receives the angles.  The angels then went to Prophet Lot. The punishment of the people of Lot -peace be upon him.
  8. Prophet Shu'aib and his message, his people's denial and their punishment.
  9. Prophet Moses was sent to Pharaoh and his people.  The purpose of these stories.
  10.  Prophets were denied before.  Continue presenting the message with patience.  Had Allah forced His will upon the people, He would have made them all one people.

The mention of Prophet Hud occurs more time in this Surah than any other Surah of the Qur'an. It appears a total of 5 times.

The Prophet refered to this surah as Hud in a number of hadeeth. Abu Bakr once said to the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have become old.’ The Prophet said, ‘I have become old [due to] [Surah] Hud, al-Waqiah [56], al-Murasalat [77], Amma yatasailoon [an-Naba 78] and Waidha ash-Shamsu kuwirat [at-Takweer 81].” [Tirmidhee]

There are 123 Ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat123
Total Words *1917
Root Words *358
Unique Root Words *7
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 52nd (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 12th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
2nd Pledge of Aqabah, 1st Pledge of Aqabah, Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1, 2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam
Events during/after still to occur*
,Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah,Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr,Battle of Uhud,,Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah,Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers,,Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain,Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk,Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation
Names of Prophets Mentioned
Nuh, Hud, Salih, Lut, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Yaqub, Shuaib, Musa
Surah Index
‘Aad, Abraham, Adversity (patience during) , God (ability to do anything) , God (throne rests upon the water) , Angels, Behaviour (each group given a law and way of life) (God could have made them one community), Death (those communities who have no revelation will not be destroyed) , Disbelievers (relationship to belivers) , Earth (creation and recreation of) , Earth (creation of) (in six days), Hell, Hud, Humankind (creation of) (from earth), Isaac, Jacob, Jinn, Judgement (Day) , Lot, Madyan, Moses, Noah, Noah (ark) , Noah (ark) (came to rest on Mt. Judi), Noah (flood) , Pharaoh, Prayer (times of day of) , Prophet (people who are false prophets are wicked) , Qur’an, Religion, Resurrection (Day) , Resurrection (of soul) , Revelation, Salih, Shu’ayb, Thamud, Thamud (she camel) , Thamud (she camel) (killing of), Thamud (she camel) (punishment for), Torah

Central Theme

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Issue 1: Lessons from history regarding those who denied. From the time of Prophet Nuh to the time of the Prophet Muhammad [saw], there is one manifest truth and that this that there is no one who deserved to be worshipped except God alone without any equal and partner.

Issue 2: The stance of the Messengers. Despite these Messengers being rejected, mocked at, belied and denied, they stood firm with Yaqin [certainty], Thabat [steadfastness] and Sabr [patience and perseverance].

Issue 3: Warning and Admonition. The Surah deals with the same subject as Surah 10: Yunus (Jonah) that is invitation to the Message admonition and warning with this difference that the warning is sterner. This is also supported by a hadith: Some time after its revelation, Abu Bakr noted to the Prophet that he had been noticing that he was growing older and older. The Prophet replied, “Surah Hud and the like Surahs have made me old.” This shows that it was a very hard time for the Prophet and these stern warnings added greatly to his anxieties that were caused by the persecution from the Quraysh who were doing their worst to crush down the Message of Islam. For it was obvious to the Prophet that the last limit of the respite given by God was approaching nearer and nearer and he was afraid lest the term of the respite should expire and his people be seized by the torment. The invitation is this: Obey the Messenger of God; discard polytheism (Shirk) and worship God and God alone: establish the entire system of your life on the belief that you shall be called to account in the Hereafter
The admonition is this: Remember that those people who put their faith in the outward appearance of this worldly life and rejected the Message of the Prophets met with dire consequences. Therefore you should consider it seriously whether you should follow the same way that history has proved to be the path to ruin
The warning is this: You should not be deluded by the delay in the coming of the punishment: it is because of the respite that God has granted you by His grace so that you might mend your ways: if you do not make use of this opportunity you shall be inflicted with an inevitable punishment that will destroy you all except the Believers
Instead of addressing the people directly, the Qur’an has used the stories of the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Shu’aib and Moses to achieve the above mentioned objects. What is most prominent in their stories is that when God passes His judgement on the people He does not spare anyone whatsoever even if he be the nearest relative of the Prophet of the time. Only that one is rescued who had believed in the Prophet and none else not even his own son or wife. More than that: the Faith demands from each and every Believer that he should totally forget his relationships when that judgement comes and remember only the relationship of the Faith. For it is against the spirit of Islam to show any regard whatsoever for the relationships of blood and race. And the Muslims demonstrated these teachings practically in the Battle of Badr four years after the revelation of this Surah.

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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  • The mention of Prophet Hud occurs most in this Surah in comparison to any other Surah of the Qur'an. It appears a total of 5 times.

Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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  • The Surah begins with an order to single out Allah for Ibadah (worship), أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّنِي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ "Do not worship except Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a warner and a bringer of good tidings," (11:2)

    The Surah ends with also an order to worship Him, وَلِلَّـهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ ۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ "And to Allah belong the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth and to Him will be returned the matter, all of it, so worship Him and rely upon Him. And your Lord is not unaware of that which you do." (11:123)

  • In the beginning and end of the Surah, the Prophet is advised about staying firm upon the revelation:

     فَلَعَلَّكَ تَارِكٌ بَعْضَ مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيْكَ وَضَائِقٌ بِهِ صَدْرُكَ أَن يَقُولُوا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ كَنزٌ أَوْ جَاءَ مَعَهُ مَلَكٌ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ نَذِيرٌ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ “Then would you possibly leave [out] some of what is revealed to you, or is your breast constrained by it because they say, "Why has there not been sent down to him a treasure or come with him an angel?" But you are only a warner. And Allah is Disposer of all things.”  (11:12)

    فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ وَمَن تَابَ مَعَكَ وَلَا تَطْغَوْا ۚ إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ“So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah], and do not transgress. Indeed, He is Seeing of what you do. And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.” (11:112-113)

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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In the previous Surah, Yunus, there was a brief mention of the Prophet Nuh (10:71) but it was not detailed. In Surah Hud, the first of the stories of the Prophets mentioned is that of Prophet Nuh and this is followed by others.

The Virtues of the Surah

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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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  • Words derived from J-R-M- (crime, criminal) appear 6 times in Surah Hud. This is the highest occurance compared to any other Surah.
  • Words derived from KH-Z-YA (Humiliation) appear 4 times in Surah Hud, the highest compared to any other Surah  
  • (11:122) is the shortest Ayat of this Surah with 3 words,

    وَانتَظِرُوا إِنَّا مُنتَظِرُونَ "And wait, indeed, we are waiting." (11:122)
Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) = 7*

Unique Root Words to this Surah only

7 unique root words that do not appear in any other Surah *

Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah

Root Word Frequency
in Surah
in Qur'an
ق و ل 55 1722
أ ل ه 45 2851
ر ب ب 44 980
ق و م 42 660
ك و ن 33 1390
إِلَىٰ 31 742
إِلَّا 29 663
ٱلَّذِى 25 1464
ع م ل 16 360
أ م ر 16 248

Period of Revelation

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If we consider its theme deeply we come to the conclusion that it was revealed during the same period as Surah 10: Yunus (Jonah) and most probably followed it immediately.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Heavy responsibility affected the Prophet's health

It has been reported that once Abu Bakr  said to the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have become old.’ The Prophet said, ‘I have become old [due to] [Surah] Hud, al-Waqiah [56], al-Murasalat [77], Amma yatasailoon [an-Naba 78] and Waidha ash-Shamsu kuwirat [at-Takweer 81].” [Tirmidhee]


1) Abu Bakr's love for the Prophet - he noticed the changes in his friends face/body - like anyone who loves someone else - We need to be observant on those around us.

2) The Prophet put him looking old down to the weight and responsibility of implementing the Qur'an - The weight of it made the Prophet old, would crumble a mountain - how is our relationship to it? - The early Muslims understood completely that every word of the Qur'an is true - so they felt the pressure/weight of whatever was discussed by Allah [swt] in the Qur'an

3) The Prophet [saw] pointed out 5 Surahs specifically - We should try to read these Surahs and information on the explanation of these Surahs as to why specically these had the effect they did.


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  • Istiqamah [steadfastness] - the stance of the Messengers.
  • Not weakening or inclining to the enemies of the truth.
  • The pain of the disbelievers rejecting the truth, albeit be they love ones, like the son of Prophet Nuh, should not weaken the resolve of the Believer.
  • Allah is the Provider and Sustainer of all creatures.
  • The Qur'an is the pure Message of Allah and is not forged by the Prophet.
  • Story of the Prophet Nuh and his people.
  • Dialogue between Nuh, his son and Allah.
  • Prophets Hud, Saleh, Lut and Shu'aib's addresses to their people and consequences of their people's rejecting their messages.
  • Divine law of virtues removing the evils.
  • Allah has given freedom of choice to mankind (whether to believe or not to believe).

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Miscellaneous Issues

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