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Prophet Noah (a.s.)

He is Noah, the son of Lamik son of Mutawshlakh son of Akhnon “Idris”. His lineage goes back to Sheet, the son of Adam (a.s.)

Historians say that Noah (a.s.) is the first apostle Allah sent to the people of Earth. Allah commanded him to forewarn his people and warn them of Allah’s torment: “Surely We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people, saying: Warn your people before there come upon them a painful chastisement.” (71:1) And in another verse, “We never punish until we have sent a messenger” (17:15)

Some stories mentioned that Noah (a.s.) was the first herald and the first apostle as well. But since the following verse says “And the people of Nuh, when they rejected the messengers, We drowned them” (25:37) we deduce that there have been apostles before Noah. Moreover, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Between Adam and Noah there were ten fathers all of whom were prophets.”

Noah’s name has appeared in forty-three locations in the Holy Quran. His story was narrated in details in many Suras (chapters of the Holy Quran), from these: Al-Araf, Hud, Al-Mumenoon, Ash-Shura, and Al-Qamar. There was a special Sura about Noah called “Nuh” that talks about his mission and his story with his people.

The worship of idols


Paganism prevailed among Noah’s people who went too far astray in aberration and infidelity. So Allah sent Noah to his people who remained with them propagating for Allah “a thousand years save fifty years.”(29:14) However, this long period of time did not bring forth any success. Only few of his people have believed in his mission, while most of them kept worshiping idols (the famous of which were: Wid’da, Siwa’a, Yaghouth, Yaouq, Yusra and others).

Noah tried hard to restitute his people to the right path, but in vain his attempts were. On the contrary, his sermons have done nothing but increased their disbelief and tyranny to the extent that a father used to advise his son never to follow Noah for as long as he lives.

Why did Noah’s people turn away from his mission:

Noah warned his people that torment is befalling onto them if they do not believe in One God. He showed to them the path of reason and guidance fearing that destruction might fall on them if they are or become polytheists. Yet his people, instead of listening to his advise and obeying him to obtain Allah’s contentment, turned arrogant and deviated from what is right.

They even disapproved of his prophecy, tortured him, and accused him of lying because he is a man, similar to them, who eats and drinks just as they do. Moreover, they reproached him that, as they claimed, only the common, from among the people, have followed him, referring to the poor, the needy, and the oppressed. In this context the Holy Quran indicates: “But the chiefs of those who disbelieved from among his people said: We do not consider you but a mortal like ourselves, and we do not see any have followed you but those who are the meanest of us at first thought and we do not see in you any excellence over us; nay, we deem you liars.”(11:27)

The chiefs of his people said: Most surely we see you in clear error. He said: O my people! there is no error in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds. I deliver to you the messages of my Lord, and I offer you good advice and I know from Allah what you do not know. What! do you wonder that a reminder has come to you from your Lord through a man from among you, that he might warn you and that you might guard (against evil) and so that mercy may be shown to you?” (7:60-63)

Despite his people’s objection to his mission, Noah persisted on informing his people trying to convince them with whatever means and through dialogue. He did not seek a high rank or money in return for his endeavor, but his only objective was remuneration from Allah.

The chiefs of his people found financial and social differences between them and the poor and oppressed who followed Noah. So they refrained from accepting his mission unless he (Noah) rejects and ousts those poor people. But Noah rejected their demands because those poor people had sought refuge in his mission, and because they found out that it realizes their wishes and restores their rights usurped by the oppressors. Most importantly, he rejected their demands because he was fully aware that if he inclined to them (the chiefs of his people) they would not guard him from the torment thereafter.

So, Noah broke the social differences while promoting integration among people on the basis of piety and rapprochement to Allah 

He said: O my people! tell me if I have with me clear proof from my Lord, and He has granted me mercy from Himself and it has been made obscure to you; shall we constrain you to (accept) it while you are averse from it? And, O my people! I ask you not for wealth in return for it; my reward is only with Allah and I am not going to drive away those who believe; surely they shall meet their Lord, but I consider you a people who are ignorant: And, O my people! who will help me against Allah if I drive them away? Will you not then mind?” (11:28-30)

Noah presented himself to his people as a plain warner (harbinger) “O my people! Surely I am a plain warner to you.”(71:2) He motivated them to worship Allah  “That you should serve Allah and be careful of (your duty to) Him and obey me.” (71:3) He also called upon them to fear Allah and pursue the straight path since he is the leader-apostle who leads to guidance and rightness.

Allah  will also forgive their sins, which they started with infidelity and manifested through mutiny and crimes in their aberrant behavior. So, Allah gives them time and delays his torment to an appointed term “He will forgive you some of your faults and grant you a delay to an appointed term; surely the term of Allah when it comes is not postponed; did you but know!” (71:4)

Noah and the pursuance of the mission:

a) The assimilation method:

Noah pursued his mission to his people despite all the hardships he had faced; he showed the nature of this mission. Yet his people insisted on rejecting it while not taking into account the consequences. They asked him if he were truthful to bring torment down on them. Then Noah turned, with his absolute faith, the issue over to Allah , for He is the only One who lets torment to befallen on them. If Allah is willing to chastise them no one whatsoever can stop Him, and because Noah’s admonition will be useless if Allah wants to misguide them “They said: O Nuh! indeed you have disputed with us and lengthened dispute with us, therefore bring to us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful ones. He said: Allah only will bring it to you if He pleases, and you will not escape: And if I intend to give you good advice, my advice will not profit you if Allah intended that He should leave you to go astray; He is your Lord, and to Him shall you be returned.” (71:32-34)

Noah did not spare any effort nor did he miss any opportunity day and night “He said: O my Lord! surely I have called my people by night and by day!” (71:5) Nonetheless, his supplications have done nothing but made them run away. They even “put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments”(71:7) while persisting on their aberration and “were puffed up with pride.” (71:7)

Noah did not employ one method in his mission, but he even resorted the complex methods he thought would be fruitful. So he called them secretly and publicly “Then surely I called to them aloud: Then surely I spoke to them in public and I spoke to them in secret.” (71:8-9) So he tried to awaken their desire for faith by promising to afford to them sustenance and money if they ask Allah for forgiveness “Then I said, Ask forgiveness of your Lord, surely He is the most Forgiving: He will send down upon you the cloud, pouring down abundance of rain: And help you with wealth and sons, and make for you gardens, and make for you rivers.” (71:10-12)

Noah found out that all his endeavors were in vain, especially after he showed to them the importance of forgiveness and what follows it such as their worldly happiness.

Hence, he turned their attention to Allah’s omnipotence perhaps they believe while emphasizing Allah’s might and domination that He created them through stages: “the seed a clot, then We made the clot a lump of flesh, then We made (in) the lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh” (21:14) and by saying “What is the matter with you that you fear not the greatness of Allah? And indeed He has created you through various grades.” (71:13-14)

He even used perceptible means in his mission by: referring to the creation of stars, planets, and the seven heavens in which Allah “made the moon therein a light, and made the sun a lamp?” (71:16), and by clarifying man’s evolution and nourishment from earth which he (the man) shall inevitably return to and then resurrects for the judgment day “And Allah has made you grow out of the earth as a growth: Then He returns you to it, then will He bring you forth a (new) bringing forth.” (71:17-18)

b) The encounter:

Noah’s mission did not succeed despite adopting the logical method as a mean to clarify it and demonstrate its significance. Yet his people renounced him and accused him of lying and that he is insane while trying to stand between him and his mission by threatening to offend him had he not desisted from that “They said: If you desist not, O Nuh, you shall most certainly be of those stoned to death.”(42:116)

But Noah did not heed to these threats but, on the contrary, faced them with his deep-rooted faith and his reliance on Allah yet on Allah do I rely” that they cannot harm him “then resolve upon your affair and (gather) your associates, then let not your affair remain dubious to you, then have it executed against me and give me no respite: But if you turn back, I did not ask for any reward from you; my reward is only with Allah, and I am commanded that I should be of those who submit.”(10:71-72) By this, he adheres wholly under the divine ensign, which has commanded him to believe in monotheism.

Despite all what happened, Noah’s people did not believe in Allah. And after he found out that he has exhausted all the possible means and that there was no way to guide them, he turned to Allah complaining “He said: My Lord! Surely my people give me the lie! Therefore judge Thou between me and them with a (just) judgment, and deliver me and those who are with me of the believers.” (42:117-118)

This development wide opened the struggle in which there were two parties: the party of faith, and the party of infidelity, and took it to a final showdown. Noah called down destruction upon his people and, even more, he asked Allah that their children be perished after them “My Lord! leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers.”(71:26) If you leave them they will mislead Your servants because they will “not beget any but immoral, ungrateful (children).”(71:27)

Means of salvation. The response:

Allah  responded to Noah’s supplication and facilitated the means of salvation to him, his people. Allah also braced him and called on him not to grief for their disavowal and the hardships they had done to him because they are going to face their inevitable fate, which is drowning.

Allah  commanded Noah to build the Ark, which He surrounded with His care and protection “… We revealed to him, saying: Make the ark before Our eyes and (according to) Our revelation.” (23:27) So, Noah started building the ark and his people, being unaware of the consequences, started mocking at him. They did not know that they would be mocked at soon.

The flood. The drowning of Noah’s people:

As soon as Noah finished building the ark, the signs of torment became evident. Water gushed out of earth and rain fell down. So, Allah commanded Noah to load the ark with every pair (a male and a female) from all kinds of animals so that these animals can multiply later on. He also commanded him to take all his family, relatives, and the believers (who were few) along with him