Qur'an talks of Prophet Noah's age in 29:14 as follows.

And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years, and the flood seized them while they were wrongdoers.

Why does it say thousand years minus fifty years rather than directly saying 950 years? More precisely, what I'd like to ask is how should we understand this verse ? Does it literally mean Prophet Noah lived for 950 years or might it have a figurative meaning?

  • 2
    Maybe it is just a more poetic way of saying it.
    – The Z
    Apr 29 '18 at 19:28
  • 5
    "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." - its not that weird. You're just too used to the decimal system. There have been many ways of counting through history if you look into it. Apr 29 '18 at 20:14
  • Numbers aren't usually figurative. Qur'an is being precise. Knowing that after so many years of preaching a prophet of Allah only had enough people to put in a single ship gives is fascinating in the sense of religion ie that a prophet of Allah and his people were heavily outnumbered. But ultimately as to why not just say 950. I don't know. Just as @MoziburUllah said it could be a figure of speech, because it's really close to a thousand and Allah wants us to ponder that people will get tested over and over. Don't complain for 950 days of test as others have been tested for 950 years
    – Thaqalain
    Dec 8 '20 at 13:43
  • @Honey: The Qu'ran and the Bible can be read in many ways and numbers can be figuarative. After all, they are figures. Dec 12 '20 at 4:31

Why is the age of Noah strangely mentioned in Qur'an 29:14? Verse 14 of Surah Al-Ankabut is mentioned. God says: (We sent Noah to his people and he stayed among them for a thousand years except fifty years); “And We sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years, minus fifty.” The interpretation of "a thousand years but fifty years" - while it might have said 950 years from the beginning - refers to the greatness and length of this time; Because the number "thousand", in the form of "thousand years", is a very large number for the "period of propaganda".

The appearance of the above verse is that this amount was not the whole life of Noah (pbuh) - although the current "Torah" mentions this number for the whole period of the life of Noah (pbuh), (1) but after the flood there is another period of life According to some commentators, it was three hundred years. Of course, this long life is very large on the scale of the lives of our time and never seems natural, the amount of life in those days may be different from today, in principle, the people of Noah, as some evidence shows, life They had a long life, and in the meantime, the life of Noah (pbuh) himself was extraordinary, which also shows that the structure of human existence allows him to live a long life. (2) (1): "Torah", Genesis, Chapter 9.

Ref.: https://makarem.ir/main.aspx?lid=0&typeinfo=42&catid=29285&pageindex=215&mid=318279


the same way when the quran mention the duration of the people of the cave. the quran mention 300 added 9 instead of 309 years straight away. from what i read, it is due to the intercalation months when we use unisolar calendar. About the same way as the jew and chinese calendar

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