The difference in the outcome of infidelity and faith can be witnessed in this very world and is even endorsed by history. When Prophet Nuh-AS was sent unto his people, he told them that he had been entrusted with the task of warning them against the horrifying consequences of disbelief and wrongdoings. He told them that the very thought of the logical outcome of their conduct gave him the shudders, for indeed it was a painful doom to which their ungodly beliefs would lead them on the Day of Judgement.
Humanity and Prophethood
The chieftains of his nation were infuriated by the Message conveyed by him. They were in power because of infidelity, for they enjoyed a pivotal position in the ungodly rites and rituals. When they saw their status being threatened, they resorted to defiance and raising foolish objections against Prophet Nuh-AS. They refused to accept him as Allah-SWT's Messenger, and said that he was only a human being. How could they believe in him as Allah-SWT ’s Prophet-AS, they said, when he too slept, ate and drank like them. In their opinion, a Prophet-AS should not have been human, whereas amongst all the creations only the human race has been honoured and crowned with Prophethood. A Prophet-AS is an exemplary human being. If people begin to compare him with themselves and judge him by their own standards it is certainly not correct. Secondly, to deny his being human is indeed a denial of the Prophethood, for Allah-SWT sent Prophets’-AS unto mankind to convey His-SWT Barakah, and for this purpose He-SWT selected His-SWT Messengers –as from the same species.
The other objection raised by the chieftains of Prophet Nuh-AS ‘s nation was that all those who believed with him belonged to the poor and the downtrodden segment of the society whose opinion carried no weight. The word ArzaI means an abject person. In other words, for them the criterion for nobility and sagacity was affluence, though the real yard stick of nobility is the conduct of a human being, based on the beliefs he holds. In this context, the abject or mean will be the one with ungodly beliefs. Imam Malik-RUA was once asked who was the meanest amongst people. He said: "the one who abuses the Companions-RAU, the benefactors of mankind, for having conveyed to it the true faith. The mundane affluence can never be a measure of honour for it can be attained even by the non believers and practically by artful people, while the light of faith drives out mean character traits. Ironically in today's corrupt society, the same standards of honour have crept in. The affluent is always right and his opinion carries weight, though this criterion is necessarily of the infidels.
The Islamic criterion is piety and adherence to Islam. The more a person adheres to Islam the more respect he deserves, irrespective of the fact whether he is rich or poor. This was also one of the factors that restrained the infidels from accepting the Message conveyed to them by Prophet Nuh-AS. They could not reconcile with the idea of intermingling and worshipping along with the downtrodden class. It is generally seen that the pride of affluence mars human thinking, whereas the less privileged can often make better judgements. This is why the initial followers of all the Prophets-AS were generally poor. The rich often tend to gather over worldly gains. The Roman Emperor Hercules on receipt of the Holy Prophet-SW‘s letter had enquired whether his followers were the rich or the poor people. Apprised of the facts he is reported to have remarked that it was a historical fact that the first to believe in the Messengers-AS of Allaah-SWT had always been the poor.
The third argument given by the People of Prophet Nuh-AS was that those who embraced faith had not acquired any visible edge over them. Nor had they been blessed with wealth or power or any other worldly favour. So why should they accept the faith? They further asserted that whatever the Prophet-AS said was, in their opinion, not true, This attitude prevails even today, and most people believe that by offering Salat and fasting one rises above everyday needs and should never face any worldly trouble. Whereas the gain and loss of this world is distinct from and independent of faith and practices. This indeed is the real trial. One is free to accept the faith or reject it while living within the framework of this universal system. Had the acceptance of faith yielded the results generally desired by the people, none would ever have resorted to denial. But what value can be attached to such an acceptance, which is not motivated by Allah-SWT's love but cupidity?
Prophet Nuh-AS told his people that whatever he said was substantiated by miracles and evidences both logical and historical, and he was blessed by Allah-SWT . The light of Prophethood is indeed a treasure of Divine Mercy. Whoever is blessed with faith, his heart becomes engulfed by Prophetic lights and the ecstasy he experiences is unique, unknown to the deniers. Either they had shut their eyes to the truth or because of their misdeeds Allah-SWT had denied them the capacity to see. Hence there was no reason for him to impose the ideology against their liking.
He further clarified that had he been putting up a hoax it would have surely been motivated by some temporal gains and not for Allah-SWT , so had he demanded any wealth or donations from them? It was certainly not so because his reward was with Allah-SWT , Whom he served and Who is the Provider of everyone. It was He-SWT Who had given them much wealth, but they opted to deny. How was it proper then to drive away those who despite being poor had embraced faith? The criterion for Allah-SWT to accept someone is not affluence but piety. Those who have believed will return to His-SWT Court on the Day of Judgement rejoicing, whereas the arrogant would lament their choice.
The Treasures of Allah-SWT
Prophet Nuh-AS made it very clear to his people that he was only claiming to be Allaah-SWT ’s Prophet-AS; a fact supported by evidence and logic. He did not claim to share any of His-SWT Attributes nor did he say that the Divine treasures were at his disposal. He would never make such a claim being Allah-SWT ’s servant and His-SWT Prophet-AS. He-SWT Alone controls His-SWT universal system. This also refutes the misconception held by many today that the Aulia' possess the treasures of Allaah-SWT and can do what they want. The truth is just the opposite; the Aulia' do only what pleases Allah-SWT and are contented with what Allah-SWT does. They pray only to Him-SWT , regardless of whether their supplication is answered or not.
Knowledge of the Unseen
Neither did he claim to have knowledge of the unseen, which cannot be acquired through any means and is the exclusive domain of Allah-SWT . The Prophets-AS are only informed by Allah-SWT through Revelation, Ilham or llqa'. Hence their knowledge cannot be termed as knowledge of the unseen. What they receive is information from the unseen. A Wali receives it because of his devotion and adherence to the teachings of a Prophet-AS. And a Prophet-AS need not possess the knowledge of the unseen for he has to only convey the words of Allah-SWT , and He-SWT Alone suffices as the Omniscient.
Aulia are Human Beings
Prophet Nuh-AS further declared that he had never claimed to be an angel, above human needs or emotions. He was only Allaah-SWT ’s servant and Prophet-AS. This also controverts the assumptions held by the ignorant that the Aulia'-RUA belong to a different species and are beyond human needs of food and shelter; therefore, they dwell in jungles. This is utter nonsense, for Aulia are the people who lead a balanced life and are certainly not supernatural.
Prophet Nuh-AS did not agree with the affluent, who claimed that the less privileged people whom they were not willing to pay any heed would also be ignored by Allaah-SWT .Allaah-SWT knows the secrets of the hearts and blesses accordingly. He-SWT examines as to who holds Him-SWT near his heart. Those who have accepted His-SWT Message have at least established the basic connection with Him-SWT . Now the strength of that connection varies with each individual and is known to Allaah-SWT Alone. It would be indeed unfair if he agreed to their assumption that Allaah-SWT would also deprive the poor believers. They should not expect such injustice from him.
When they finally ran out of all arguments, they admitted that centuries had gone by, but neither had he given up his propagation nor had they yielded to his Message. Therefore, the only course open to decide as to who was on the right path was to bring upon them the doom he had been warning them about. He said that it was not within his jurisdiction for he was only assigned the task to forewarn them over the good or bad results of their conduct. However, if they had decided to invoke Allah-SWT's Punishment it would certainly strike and they would not be able to reverse it. Hence Prophet Nuh-AS invoked Allaah-SWT ’s curse on them and his nation was destroyed by the Deluge.
He said that even if he was to keep on trying, his advice would not be of any avail to them. They had reached an optimum level of disobedience whereby Allaah-SWT had incapacitated them to turn to Him-SWT . Indeed Allaah-SWT is the Rabb Whose Providence allows each tree to bear its own peculiar fruit. They also have to stand in His-SWT Mighty Court for accountability. In other words, there remains no room for reformation once the relationship between an individual and Allaah-SWT is severed. The same age-old allegation that the Holy Prophet'-SW had fabricated everything was repeated by the polytheists of Makkah. This is usual with all infidels, probably because of the resemblance of their hearts with each other. So the Holy Prophet-SW is being instructed to give a similar answer to the polytheists, that if his-SW Message is fabricated they are at no loss by rejecting it. Whereas he-SW takes full responsibility for his-SW actions, they must remember that they too will have to bear the consequences of their deeds and he will have nothing to do with it.
Innovations and Rituals
This proves that the rituals and innovations widely spread amongst the ignorant have no roots in Shari'ah. The Holy Prophet-SW has nothing to do with them. Nor will he-SW ever endorse such actions. On the contrary those who fabricate and practise these innovations shall have to face dire consequences.