|Nuh complains about his Encounter with His People|
Allah tells about His servant and Messenger, Nuh, and that he complained to his Lord about the response he received from his people, and how he was patient with them for this long period of time -- which was nine hundred and fifty years. He complained due to his explaining and clarifying matters for them and his calling them to guidance and the straightest path. So he (Nuh) said,
﴿رَبِّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِى لَيْلاً وَنَهَاراً﴾
(O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day,) meaning, `I did not abandon calling them night and day, carrying out Your command and in obediance to You.'
﴿فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَآئِى إِلاَّ فِرَاراً ﴾
(But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight.) meaning, `the more I called them to come to the truth, the more they fled from it and avoided it.'
﴿وَإِنِّى كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُواْ أَصَـبِعَهُمْ فِى ءَاذَنِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْاْ ثِيَابَهُمْ﴾
(And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments,) meaning, `they closed up their ears so that they could not hear what I was calling them to.' This is similar to what Allah said about the disbelievers of the Quraysh.
﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لاَ تَسْمَعُواْ لِهَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ وَالْغَوْاْ فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَغْلِبُونَ ﴾
(And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur'an, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome.'') (41:26)
(covered themselves up with their garments,) Ibn Jarir recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "They concealed themselves under false pretences from him so that he would not recognize them.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi both said, "They covered their heads so that they could not hear what he was saying.''
(and persisted,) meaning, they continued in what they were upon of associating partners with Allah and great disbelief.
(and magnified themselves in pride.) meaning, they were turned away from following the truth and submitting to it.
﴿ثُمَّ إِنِّى دَعَوْتُهُمْ جِهَـراً ﴾
(Then verily, I called to them openly.) meaning, openly among the people.
﴿ثُمَّ إِنِّى أَعْلَنْتُ لَهُمْ﴾
(Then verily, I proclaimed to them in public,) meaning, with open speech and a raised voice.
﴿وَأَسْرَرْتُ لَهُمْ إِسْرَاراً﴾
(and I have appealed to them in private.) meaning, in discussions with them. So he tried various types of propagation to be more effective with them.
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