STORIES OF THE PROPHETS (قـصـص الأنـبـيــاء)
PROPHET NUH (نوح)
(Aleyhis Salam – peace be upon him)
Who was he?
- His full name was Noah bin Lamech bin Methuselah bin Idris bin Jared bin Mahalalel bin Kenan bin Enos bin Seth bin Adam. He lived for 950 years.
- Chapter 71 of the Qur’an was named after him, with 28 verses
- Nuh had 3 sons, each has 3 children: (1) Shem: Arabs, Persians, Romans; (2) Japheth: Turk, Saqaliban, Ya’juj and Ma’juj; (3) Ham: Copts, Sudanese, Berbers.
- Nuh’s wife was not a believer so she did not join him; neither did one of his sons, who was secretly a disbeliever but had pretended faith in front of Nuh. Likewise most of the people were disbelievers and did not go on board. Allah sets forth, for an example to the unbelievers, the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: “Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter! [At-Tahrim 66:10]
- Narrated from Abu Umamah: A man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Was Adam a prophet?” He replied: “Yes, a prophet to whom Allah spoke.” He then asked: “How many years were there between Adam and Noah?” The Prophet said: “Ten centuries.” If Qarn (pl. Qurun) means century (100 years), there could be 100 years or more between Adam and Nuh. If Qarn means generation of people), there could be thousands of years between them, as people before used to live a long period of time.
How Shirk started?
- After those pious generations (period between Adam and Nuh), people gradually started to worship idols. “And they have said: ‘Do not forsake your gods, and do not forsake Wadd nor Suwa, neither Yaghuth nor Ya’uq (Nasr).’” [Underlined words were names of their pious people]. After their death, Satan inspired the people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit
- That generation did not worship them but later generation did as they have no idea of how their fathers remembered them, and gradually they took them as their gods. The first idol worshipped was Wadd after Allah.
- Every idol was worshipped by a different group of people. After some time, people started making idols for themselves, so that their authority could be fully recognized
When was Nuh sent?
- He was sent when people fell into the darkness of ignorance and started worshipping idols and false gods. He was the first messenger of Allah and called people to worship none but Him. “O my people! I am for you a clear warner, that you worship Allah, and fear Him, and obey Him.” [Nuh 71:2-3]
- Nuh called them day and night, privately and publicly but no success. They put their fingers on their ears, covered themselves up with their clothes and persisted in their arrogance. “The leaders of his people said we find you in a clear error.” [Al-Araf 7:60]. “O my people! There is no error in me, I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds…” [Al-Araf 7:61-62].
- His people were surprised about how a human could become a messenger. They demeaned him and his followers as the most abject of them. “We do not see you but a human like ourselves, and we do not see your followers but who are apparently most abject of us, nor de we find in you any merit over us, we think of you as liars.’ [Hud 11:27]
- They threatened Nuh and his followers by stoning and expulsion from their town. But Nuh addressed them in all politeness and gentleness. “Invite all to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and reason with them in ways that are most gracious.” [An-Nahl 16:125]
- His people asked him to expel his followers so they would join him but he refused. “I shall not drive away those who believe, indeed they shall meet their Lord, but I see you are ignorant people.” [Hud 11:29]. “They said: ‘How should we believe in you while only the meanest followed you?’ He said: ‘And what they did before is not my concern, surely their account is only the concern of my Lord, if you could understand. And I am not to drive away the believers, I am only a clear warner.” [Ash-Shu’ara 26:111-115]
- Each generation will advised the next generation not to believe Nuh. So disbelief (in Allah) and stubbornness became their characteristics. Nuh said: “And will not beget any but wicked ungrateful ones.” [Nuh 71:27].
- Only Allah can bring punishment and nothing could frustrate Him. “They said: ‘O Nuh! Certainly you have disputed with us, and have prolonged our disputation. So bring now that which you have threatened us with, if you are speaking the truth.’ He said: ‘Allah will bring it to you if He pleases, and you will not be able to frustrate it.’ [Hud 11:32-33]
- Arguments continued between Nuh and his people. After such a long period, only a few believed in him. “…and he lived among them one thousand years less fifty, then the flood seized them…” [Al-Ankabut 29:14]
Nuh asked help from Allah
- Nuh gave up his hope when saw no good in his people. They harmed him by every means and rejected the truth outright. So he prayed to Allah against them to send to them His punishment. “And Nuh when he called Us before, and We listened to his prayer, and rescued him and his family from the great distress.” [Al-Anbiya 21:76]
- Allah’s answer: “And it was revealed to Nuh: ‘No more of your people shall believe in you other than those who have already believed, so grieve no longer at their misdeeds.” [Hud 11:36]. This is a consolation for him for he will no longer grieve. Allah will soon be sending His help and His punishment for the disbelievers. He carried out his duties and his mission is completed.
- Nuh’s prayer against his people: “And Nuh said: ‘My Lord! Leave not even one of the disbelievers upon the earth. For, if you leave them, they will lead astray Your slaves….” [Al-Araf 71:26-27]. All their sins were accumulated, added to that was the prayer of Nuh against them. When it reached this point, Allah commanded Nuh to construct the Ark. “He said: ‘My Lord! Help me for they accused me of falsehood. So We reveal to him: ‘Construct the Ark under Our Eyes and as We reveal.” [Al-Mu’minun 23:26-27]
The construction and description of the Ark
- He will build it as per command from Allah. He will be guided how to construct it in a way that it could cope with the mighty flood. He chose a place outside the city, far from the sea. He collected wood and tools and began working day and night to build it.
- “So he began to construct the Ark, and whenever the leaders of his people passed him by, they jeered at him…” [Hud 11:38]. The people’s mockery continued: “O Nuh! Does carpentry appeal to you more than prophet hood? Why are you building an ark so far from the sea? Are you going to drag it to the water or is the wind going to carry it for you?” Nuh replied: “You will come to know who will be put to shame and suffer.” They ridicule them for making the ark and expecting a flood. They could not believe that a flood will ever going to happen that could drown them all.
- “…He (Nuh) said: ‘If you ridicule us now, we shall jeer at you likewise.’” [Hud 11:38]. But they will ridicule them for not being guided, being persistent in their disbelief and ignorance which will cause them to be drowned. “And you shall soon come to know who will have the chastisement which will disgrace him, and who will be afflicted with the inevitable and lasting calamity.” [Hud 11:39]
- Description of the Ark: Height: 30 yards (unanimous opinion); length and width (300X50 yards (different opinions: 600×300, 1000×600, 2000×100…); painted with tar inside and outside to protect the wood from water (maybe helps in floating); a curved bow for easy sailing in the water. It has a 3-storey deck ship, each deck with a height of 10 yards: bottom deck for animals and cattle; middle for humans, and upper for birds.
The sign of the flood and the embarkment
- The water gushing from his oven is the sign that the flood is starting. “…And then when Our Command comes, and the oven gushes forth, take aboard of each kind 2 (male and female), and your family, except those of them against whom the Word has already been spoken, and do not plead with Me concerning the evildoers for they shall be drowned.” Al-Mu’minun 23:27]
- Majority of opinion: the earth started gushing forth water from everywhere. “Until when Our Command came, and the fountains of the earth gushed forth, We said: ‘Load a pair of every kind in it, and your family, except this one against whom the Word has gone forth already, and take also those who have believed.’ But only a few believed in him.” [Hud 11:40]
- What to take: (1) a pair from every kind of animal (male and female) so that the species could survive; (2) his family except those who rejected his call: Nuh, his 3 sons (Shem, Ham, Japheth), his 4 daughters-in-law (one was Ham’s wife). Yam was a disbeliever. Nuh’s wife, who gave birth to all of his children, died before the flood; (3) the believers: about 72-80 people including their wives.
- Nuh was commanded to praise Allah as He has subjected the Ark for his rescue and the believers. Allah has commanded us to say prayers before we start something so we could gain His blessing and goodness, and reached onto a favorite outcome. “And when you have embarked upon the Ark and those with you, say: ‘Praise be to Allah Who has saved us from the evildoers.’ And say: ‘My Lord! Let my landing be blessed, for You are the Best Who give harbor.” [Al-Mu’minun 23:28-29]
- Not to speak to Allah about the disbelievers when the punishment has arrived. Nuh abided by Allah’s command and said: “Embark in it, in the Name of Allah, it will move and shall cast anchor. Indeed, my Lord is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Hud 11:41]. It meant that the Ark will start in the Name of Allah and will finish its journey in the Name of Allah
- Heavens poured water and earth gushed forth water. “…so We opened the gates of heaven with pouring water, and We caused the ground to gush forth springs, so the water met according to the decree which has been ordained. And We carried him upon a vessel well-planked and nailed; floating before Our Eyes, a recompense for he who was denied.” [Al-Qamr 54:10-14]. The ark sailed in Allah’s security, safety, protection and guardianship.
- Waves like mountains, so huge that the earth had never witnessed before. “And Ark sailed with them upon waves like mountains.” [Hud 11:42]. Water went 15 meters (80 yards) above the highest mountain, encompassed the whole earth from its east to its west, its plains and mountains, its deserts and wilds.
- “And Noah called out to his son who had kept himself at a distance: ‘O my son! Embark with us, and do not be with the disbelievers.’ His son said: ‘I will betake myself to the mountain that will protect me from water.’ …” [Hud 11:42-43]
The end of the flood
- The command was fulfilled and the punishment was inflicted. When all disbelievers were drowned, Allah commanded the earth to swallow its water and the heavens to stop raining. …‘O earth! Swallow your water, and O sky! Cease your rain.!’ And the water abated and the command was fulfilled, and the Ark came to rest upon Mount Judi…” [Hud 11:44]. Mt. Judi is in present-day Botham district near frontiers of Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
- Nuh will descend in peace without fear, with a blessing upon him and his succeeding people. Nuh came out of the Ark after it descended onto the mount and the ground was dried up. “…O Nuh! Descend in peace from Us, and with blessing upon you and upon the nations of those with you, and some nations, We shall give them enjoyment for a time, and then We shall afflict them with a grievous chastisement.” [Hud 11:48]
- New human lineage: He was considered the second father of mankind. Allah did not grant any children to the believers (after the flood), human lineage came from Nuh’s sons. “And We made only his progeny to endure (on the earth).” [As-Saffat 37:77]
- The Prophet ﷺ said: “When the death of Nuh approached, the admonished his sons: ‘Indeed I would give you far reaching advice, commanding you to do two things, and warning you against doing two things, as well. I charge you to believe that there is no god but Allah and that if the seven heavens and the seven earths were put on one side of a scale and the words “there is no god but the one God” were put on the other, the latter would outweigh the former. I warn you against associating partners with God and against pride (Kibr).” [Bukhari]. Kibr means to disregard the truth and encroach upon the rights of people.
[Source: Stories of the Prophets/Darussalam]