Overview - Surah 71: Nuh (Noah )

Naming Convention of the Surah

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Surah Nuh is mainly about the Prophet Nuh and his mission. He is mentioned from the very first Ayat, إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ "Indeed, We sent Noah to his people, [saying], "Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment." [71:1].

There are 28 Ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat28
Total Words226
Root Words91
Unique Root Words1
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 71st (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation*
Events during/before this Surah*
Events during/after still to occur*
Names of Prophets Mentioned
Surah Index
Astronomy (celestial mechanics) (moon), Astronomy (celestial mechanics) (sun), Children, Earth, Evolution, gods of pre-Islamic Arabs by name, Heaven (several) , Hell, Humankind (creation of) , Humankind (grows gradually from the earth) , Materialism, Noah (ark) , Noah (flood) , Prayer (of Noah) , Resurrection (of humans) ,

Central Theme

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Theme 1: Dedication in giving Dawah.

In this Surah the story of the Prophet Noah has not been related only for the sake of storytelling, but its object is to warn the disbelievers of Makkah, so as to say: “You, O people of Makkah, are adopting towards Muhammad the same attitude as the people of the Prophet Noah had adopted towards him; if you do not change this attitude, you too would meet with the same end.” This had not been said in so many words anywhere in the Surah, but in the background of the conditions under which this story was narrated to the people of Makkah, this subject itself became obvious. Verse 2-4 briefly explain how he began his mission and what he preached. Then after suffering hardships and troubles in the way of preaching his mission for ages the report that he made to his Lord has been given in v. 5-20. In it he states how he had been trying to bring his people to the right path and how his people had stubbornly opposed him. After this, the Prophet Noah’s final submission has been recorded in v. 21-24, in which he prays to his Lord, saying: “These people have rejected my invitation: they are blindly following their chiefs, who have devised a tremendous plot of deceit and cunning. Time now has come when these people should be deprived of every grace to accept guidance.” This was not an expression of impatience by the Prophet Noah, but when after having preached his message under extremely trying circumstances for centuries he became utterly disappointed with his people, he formed the opinion that no chance whatever was left of their coming to the right path. His opinion fully conformed to God’s own decision. Thus, in the next verse (25), it has been said: “The torment of God descended on those people because of their misdeeds.”

In the concluding verse, the Prophet Noah’s supplication that he made to his Lord, right at the time the torment descended, has been recorded. He prays for his own and for all the believers’ forgiveness and makes a submission to God to the effect: “Do not leave any of the disbelievers alive on the earth, for they have become utterly devoid of every good: they will not beget any but disbelieving and wicked descendent.” While studying this Surah one should keep in view the details of the Prophet Noah’s story which have been given in the Qur’an. For this see the following Surah 7: al-A’raf (The Elevations) 59-64, Surah 10: Yunus (Jonah) 71,73, Surah 11: Hud (Hud) 25-49, Surah 23: al-Mu’minun (The Believers) 23-31, 26: ash-Shu’ara’ (The Poets) 105-122, Surah 29: al-‘Ankabut (The Spider) 14,15, Surah 37: as-Saffat (Those Lined Up) 75-82, Surah 54: al-Qamar (The Moon) 9-16.

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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Only the story of Prophet Nuh is discussed in this Surah and not anything else.

Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • In Surah al-Ma'arij [70:5], Allah advises the Prophet to have beautiful patience. The following Surah is on the Prophet Nuh who had much patience with this people for the great of time he spent in their midst. 
  • Surah Nuh [71] and Jinn [72] both have 28 Ayat.

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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Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat)

Unique Root Words to this Surah only

1 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
أ ل ه 8 2851
ق و ل 6 1722
ج ع ل 6 346
إِلَّا 5 663
ر ب ب 5 980
غ ف ر 5 234
ز ي د 4 61
و ذ ر 4 45
ق و م 4 660
د ع و 4 212

Period of Revelation

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This also is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah, but the internal evidence of its subject matter shows that it was sent down in the period when opposition to the Prophet’s message of Islam by the disbelievers of Makkah had grown very strong and active.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • The Prophet Nuh's preaching and submission to Allah after exhausting all his efforts.
  • The Prophet Nuh's prayer not to leave any unbeliever on the surface of the earth and Allah granted his prayer.
  • Giving Dawah night and day.
  • The benefits ijn this world and after-life for seeking Istighfar [forgiveness] (71:10) (71:12)
  • TheProphet Nuh is the second father of all humanity, as it was from his lineage that all men descended from after the flood.  

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Miscellaneous Issues

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