Prophet Nuh (Noah)
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 -
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Division Among Noah's
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.
First they accused Noah of being only human like
themselves. 'The chiefs of the disbeliveers 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
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 disbeliveers with the
noble knowledge of the prophets. It is the logic of intellect that rids
itself of personal pride and interests.
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:
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
Allah the Almighty related what Noah faced:
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
Noah continued to call his people to believe in Allah
for nine hundred fifty years. Allah the Almighty said: Indeed
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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:
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 owho 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
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.
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
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
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.