Blossoming Deen

Islam For Enlightenment

Life of Prophet Nuh (a.s)

Posted by JHR on December 16, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Prophet Nuh (Noah)

Variation on the Birth of Noah

He was Noah Ibn Lamik, Ibn Mitoshilkh, Ibn Enoch, Ibn yard, Ibn Mahlabeel, Ibn Qinan, Ibn

Anoush, Ibn Seth, Ibn Adam the Father of Mankind (PBUH). According to the history of the

People of the Book, (refers to the Jews, and Christians, so called by Allah because they received

...Revealed Books, Taurat, Zabur and Injeel. These names are translated 'Torah, Psalms, and

Gospels' respectively, but the books that are extent are corrupt. Of the Revealed Books, ONLY

the Quran remains exactly as it was revealed).

The period between the birth of Noah and the death of Adam was 146 years. (According to

Genesis 5 (new Revised Standard Version), Noah was born one hundred and twenty six years

after the death of Adam. Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "The

period between Adam and Noah was ten centuries." (Sahih Bukhari, Noah was born 1056 years

after Adam's creation (or after he left the Garden of Eden). Thus, this hadith does not contradict

the previous statement from the People of the Book as it may first appear to do. The reader

should keep in mind, however that any statement or narratives taken from the People of the Book

are not necessarily credible. This was taken from Genesis 5).

Noah's People - Idolaters

For many generations Noah's people had been worshipping statues that they called gods. They

believed that these gods would bring them good, protect them from evil and provide all their

needs. They gave their idols names such as Waddan, Suwa'an, Yaghutha, Ya'auga, and Nasran,

(These idols represented, respectively, manly power; mutability, beauty; brute strength, swiftness,

sharp sight, insight) according to the power they thought these gods possessed.

Allah the Almighty revealed:

"They (idolaters) have said: "You shall not leave your gods nor shall you leave Wadd, nor

Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya uq nor Nasr (names of the idols)." (CH 71:23 Quran).

Originally these were the names of good people who had lived among them. After their deaths,

statues of them were erected to keep their memories alive. After sometime, however, people

began to worship these statues. Later generations did not even know why they had been erected;

they only knew their parents had prayed to them. That is how idol worshipping developed. Since

they had no understanding of Allah the Almighty Who would punish them for their evil deeds,

they became cruel and immoral.

 

Various Hadith describing the Origin of Idolatry

Ibn Abbas explained: "Following upon the death of those righteous men, Satan inspired their

people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit. They did this, but these statues were

not worshiped until the coming generations deviated from the right way of life. Then they

worshipped them as their idols."

In his version, Ibn Jarir narrated: "There were righteous people who lived in the period between

Adam and Noah and who had followers who held them as models. After their death, their friends

who used to emulate them said: 'If we make statues of them, it will be more pleasing to us in our

worship and will remind us of them.' So they built statues of them, and , after they had died and

others came after them, Iblis crept into their minds saying:'Your forefathers used to worship them,

and through that worship they got rain.' So they worshipped them."

Ibn Abi Hatim related this story: "Waddan was a righteous man who was loved by his people.

When he died, they withdrew to his grave in the land of Babylonia and were overwhelmed by

sadness. When Iblis saw their sorrow caused by his death, he disguised himself in the form of a

man saying: 'I have seen your sorrow because of this man's death; can I make a statue like him

which could be put in your meeting place to make you remember him?' They said: 'Yes.'

So he made the statue like him. They put it in their meeting place in order to be reminded of him.

When Iblis saw their interest in remembering him, he said: 'Can I build a statue of him in the home

of each one of you so that he would be in everyone's house and you could remember him?'

They agreed. Their children learned about and saw what they were doing. They also learned about

their remembrance of him instead of Allah. So the first to be worshipped instead of Allah was

Waddan, the idol which they named thus."

The essence of this point is that every idol from those earlier mentioned was worshipped by a

certain group of people. It was mentioned that people made picture sand as the ages passed they

made these pictures into statues, so that their forms could be fully recognized; afterwards they

were worshipped instead of Allah.

It was narrated that Umm Salmah and Umm Habibah told Allah's Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

about the church called "Maria" which they had seen in the land of Abyssinia. They described its

beauty and the pictures therein. He said: "Those are the people who build places of worship on

the grave of every dead man who was righteous and then make therein those pictures. Those are

the worst of creation unto Allah." (Sahih al Bukhari).

Commentary - Idolatry

Worshipping anything other than Allah is a tragedy that results not only in the loss of freedom; its

serious effect reaches man's mind and destroys it as well. Almighty Allah created man and his

mind with its purpose set on achieving knowledge the most important of which is that Allah alone

is the Creator and all the rest are worshippers (slaves). Therefore, disbelief in Allah, or

polytheism, results in the loss of freedom, the destruction of the mind, and the absence of a noble

target in life. (By worshipping anything other than Allah, man becomes enslaved to Satan, who is

himself a creature and becomes harnessed to his own baser qualities).

Into this environment Allah sent Noah with His message to his people. Noah was the only

intellectual not caught in the whirlpool of man's destruction which was caused by polytheism.

Noah's Reasoning with his People

Allah in His Mercy sent His messenger Noah to guide his people. Noah was an excellent speaker

and a very patient man. He pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the

universe. He pointed out how the night is regularly followed by the day and that the balance

between these opposites were designed by Allah the Almighty for our good. The night gives

coolness and rest while the day gives warmth and awakens activity. The sun encourages growth,

keeping all plants and animals alive, while the moon and stars assist in the reckoning of time,

direction and seasons. He pointed out that the ownership of the heavens and the earth belongs

only to the Divine Creator. Therefore, he explained to this people, there cannot have been more

than one deity. He clarified to them how the devil had deceived them for so long and that the time

had come for this deceit to stop. Noah spoke to them of Allah's glorification of man, how HE had

created him and provided him with sustenance and the blessings of a mind. He told them that idol

worshipping was a suffocating injustice to the mind. He warned them not to worship anyone but

Allah and described the terrible punishment Allah would mete out if they continued in their evil ways.

Division Among Noah's People

The people listened to him in silence. His words were a shock to their stagnating minds as it is a

shock to a person who is asleep under a wall which is about to fall and who is vigorously

awakened. This person may be alarmed and may even become angry although the aim was to save

him.

Noah's people were divided into two groups after his warning. His words touched the hearts of

the weak, the poor, and the miserable and soothed their wounds with its mercy. As for the rich,

the strong, the mighty and the rulers they looked upon the warning with cold distrust. They

believed they would be better off if things stayed as they were. Therefore they started their war of

words against Noah.

The Disbelievers' Arguments

First they accused Noah of being only human like themselves.

“The chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: "We see you but a man like ourselves."'

(Ch 11:27 Quran)

He, however, had never said anything other than that. He asserted that, indeed, he was only a

human being; Allah had sent a human messenger because the earth was inhabited by humans. If it

had been inhabited by angels Allah would have sent an angelic messenger. The contest between

the polytheists and Noah continued. the rulers had thought at first that Noah's call would soon

fade on its own. When they found that his call attracted the poor, the helpless and common

laborers, they started to verbally attack and taunt him: 'You are only followed by the poor, the

meek and the worthless.'

Allah the Almighty told us:

"Indeed We sent Noah to his people (he said): "I have come to you as a plain Warner that you

worship none but Allah, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day." the chiefs of the

disbeliveers among his people said: "We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any

follow you but the meanest among us and they too followed you without thinking. And we do not

see in you any merit above us in fact we think you are liars." (CH 11:25-27).

The Disbelievers Attempt to Bargain

Thus the conflict between Noah and the heads of his people intensified. The disbeliveers tried to

bargain: "Listen Noah, if you want us to believe in you, then dismiss your believers. They are

meek and poor, while are elite and rich; no faith c an include us both." Noah listened to the

heathens of his community and realized they were being obstinate. However, he was gentle in his

response. He explained to his people that he could not dismiss the believers as they were not his

guests but Allah's. Noah appealed to them:

"O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to

drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you

are a people that are ignorant. O my people! Who will help me against Allah, if I drove them

away? Will you not then give a thought? And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures

of Allah nor that I know the unseen, nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom

your eyes look down upon that Allah will not bestow any good on them. Allah knows what is in

their inner selves (regards to Belief). In that case, I should, indeed be one of the Zalimeen

(wrongdoers, oppressors etc)." (Ch 11:29-31 Quran)

Noah refuted the arguments of the disbelievers with the noble knowledge of the prophets. It is the

logic of intellect that rids itself of personal pride and interests.

The Disbelievers Remain Ignorant

The rulers were tired of Noah's arguments. Allah the Exalted related their attitude:

They said: "O Noah! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with

us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful." He said: "Only Allah

will bring it (the punishment)on you, if He will, and then you will escape not. And my advice will

not profit you, even if I wish to give you counsel, if Allah's Will is to keep you astray. He is your

Lord! And to Him you shall return." (Ch 11:32-34 Quran)

The battle continued; the arguments between the disbeliveers and Noah became prolonged. When

all the refutations of the disbeliveers collapsed and they had no more to say, they began to be rude

and insulted Allah's prophet:

 

“The leaders of his people said: "Verily, we see you in plain error." (Ch 7:60 Quran)

Noah responded in the manner of the prophets:

"O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Alamin

(mankind, jinn and all that exists)! I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere

advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not." (CH 7:61-62 Quran)

Noah continued appealing to his people to believe in Allah hour after hour, day after day year

after year. He admonished his people and called them to Allah day and night, in secret and openly.

HE gave them examples, explained Allah's signs and illustrated Allah's ability in the formation of

His creatures. But whenever he called them to Allah, they ran away from him. Whenever he urged

them to ask Allah to forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears and became too proud to

listen to the truth.

Noah's Appeal to His People

Allah the Almighty related what Noah faced:

"Verily, We sent Noah to his people saying: "Warn your people before there comes to them a

painful torment." He said: "O my people! Verily, I am a plain Warner to you, that you should

worship Allah alone, be dutiful to Him and obey me, He (Allah) will forgive you of your sins and

respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if

you but knew."

He said: "O my Lord! Verily, I have called my people night and day (secretly and openly to

accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism), but all my calling added nothing but to their flight

from the truth. Verily! Everytime I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust

their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their

refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud); then

verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private, I said to them:

'Ask forgiveness from your Lord, Verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in

abundance, and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and

bestow on you rivers."

What is the matter with you, that you fear not Allah (His Punishment), and you hope not for

reward from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness. While He has created you in different

stages. (Ch 23:13-14 Quran)

See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, and has made the moon

a light therein and made the sun a lamp? And Allah has brought you forth from the dust of

earth. Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth), and bring you forth (again on the Day of

Resurrection) Allah has made for you the earth wide spread (an expanse) that you may go about

therein broad roads.

Noah said: "My Lord! They have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children

give him no increase but only loss. They have plotted a mighty plot. They have said: 'you shall

not leave your gods, nor shall you leave wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor ya'uq nor Nasr

(names of the idols). Indeed they have led many astray. O Allah! Grant no increase to the

Zalimeen (polytheists, wrongdoers, and disbeliveers etc) save error."

Because of their sins they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire and they found none

to help them instead of Allah. (Ch 71:1-25 Quran).

The Length of Noah's Preaching

Noah continued to call his people to believe in Allah for nine hundred fifty years. Allah the

Almighty said: Indeed We sent Noah to his people and he stayed among them a thousand years

less fifty years (inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allah (Monotheism) and discard the

false gods and other deities). (Ch 29:14 Quran)

It happened that every passing generation admonished the succeeding one not to believe Noah

and to wage war against him. the father used to teach his child about the matter that was between

himself and Noah and counsel him to reject his call when he reached adulthood. Their natural

disposition rejected believing and following the truth.

Noah saw that the number of believers was not increasing, while that of the disbeliveers was. He

was sad for his people, but he never reached the point of despair.

Noah Prays for the Disbeliever's End

There came a day when Allah revealed to Noah that no others would believe. Allah inspired him

not to grieve for them at which point Noah prayed that the disbeliveers be destroyed. He said:

"My Lord! Leave not one of the disbeliveers on the earth. If you leave them, they will mislead

Your slaves and they will beget none but wicked disbeliveers." (Ch 71:27 Quran)

Allah accepted Noah's prayer. The case was closed, and He passed His judgment on the

disbeliveers in the form of a flood. Allah the Exalted ordered His worshipper Noah to build an ark

with His knowledge and instructions and with the help of angels. Almighty Allah commanded:

"And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Inspiration and address Me not on behalf

of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned." (Ch 11:37 Quran)

Noah Builds the Ark

Noah chose a place outside the city, far from the sea. HE collected wood and tools and began to

day and night to build the ark. The people's mockery continued: "O Noah! Does carpentry appeal

to you more than prophethood? 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?" Noah replied: "You will come to

know who will be put to shame and suffer."

Allah the Almighty narrated:

"As he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a

mockery of him. He said : "If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking.

And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and

on whom will fall a lasting torment." (Ch 11:38-39 Quran)

The Flood begins

The ship was constructed, and Noah sat waiting Allah's command. Allah revealed to him that

when water miraculously gushed forth from the oven at Noah's house, that would be the sign of

the start of the flood, and the sign for Noah to act.

The terrible day arrived when the oven at Noah's house overflowed. Noah hurried to open the ark

and summon the believers. He also took with him a pair, male and female, of every type of animal,

bird and insect. Seeing him taking these creatures to the ark, the people laughed loudly: "Noah

must have gone out of his head! What is he going to do with the animals?" Almighty Allah

narrated:

“So it was till then there came Our Command and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains

from the earth). We said: "Embark therein, of each kind two (male and female), and your family,

except him against whom the Word has already gone forth, and those who believe." And none

believed him except a few.(Ch 11:40 Quran)

The Number of Believers

Noah's wife was not a believer with him so she did not join him; neither did one of Noah's sons,

who was secretly a disbeliever but had pretended faith in front of Noah. Likewise most of the

people were disbeliveers and did not go on board.

The scholars hold different opinions on the number of those who were with Noah on the ship. Ibn

Abbas stated that there were 80 believers while Ka ab al Ahbar held that there were 72 believers.

Others claimed that there were 10 believers with Noah.

Description of the Flood

Water rose from the cracks in the earth; there was not a crack from which water did not rise. rain

poured from the sky in quantities never seen before on earth. Water continued pouring from the

sky rising from the cracks; hour after hour the level rose. The seas and waves invaded the land.

The interior of the earth moved in a strange way, and the ocean floors lifted suddenly, flooding

the dry land. The earth, for the first time was submerged.

Noah Appeals to his Son

Allah told the story thus: He (Noah) said:

"Embark therein in the Name of Allah will be its moving course and its resting anchorage.

Surely, my Lord is Oft Forgiving, most Merciful."

So it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and Noah called out to his son,

who had separated himself (apart), "O my son! Embark with us and be not with the disbeliveers."

The son replied, "I will betake myself to a mountain, it will save me from the water." Noah said:

"This day there is no savior from the Decree of Allah except him on whom He has mercy." And a

wave came in between them so he (the son) was among the drowned." (Ch. 11: 41-43)

The Flood Ends

It was said:

"O Earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain)." The water was diminished

(made to subside) and the Decree (of Allah) was fulfilled (the destruction of the people of Noah).

And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: "Away with the people who are Zalimeen

(polytheists, and wrongdoing)!"

And it was said:

"O Noah! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the

people o\who are with you(and on some of their offspring), but (there will be other) people to

whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach

them from Us." (Ch 11:41-48 Quran)

With the issue of the divine command, calm returned to earth, the water retreated, and the dry

land shone once again in the rays of the sun. The flood had cleansed the earth of the disbeliveers

and polytheists.

The Believers Disembark

Noah released the birds, and the beats which scattered over the earth. After that the believers

disembarked. Noah put his forehead to the ground in prostration. The survivors kindled a fire and

sat around it. Lighting a fire had been prohibited on board so as not to ignite the ship's wood and

burn it up. None of them had eaten hot food during the entire period of the floor. Following the

disembarkation there was a day of fasting in thanks to Allah.

Noah's Death

The Quran draws the curtain on Noah's story. We do not know how his affairs with his people

continued. All we know or can ascertain is that on his deathbed he requested his son to worship

Allah alone, Noah then passed away. Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al as narrated that the Prophet

Muhammad (PBUH) said: "When the death of the Messenger of Allah Noah approached, he

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 Allah" were put on the other, the latter would outweigh the

former. I warn you against associating partners with Allah and against pride." (Sahih al Bukhari)

Some traditions said that his grave is in the Scared Mosque in Mecca, while others said that he

was buried in Baalabak, a city in Iraq

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