Prophet Nuh-AS was blessed with a very long life and conveyed Allah-SWT's Message for centuries together Many generations went by before his eyes, but his nation failed to accept the truth. Finally, Allaah-SWT informed him that these people would never accept faith. Because of their misdeeds, they had lost the capacity to accept it and their hearts had been sealed, except those few who had believed with him earlier. So Prophet Nuh-AS had no need to be aggrieved over what they did, for they would soon meet their deserved end. It was then that he invoked a curse upon them as mentioned in the Quran: O’ Allaah-SWT ! Eliminate all the non believers from the face of the earth, for disbelief had become rampant in their successive generations, and nothing good could be expected of them.
Industry and Muslims
So Prophet Nuh-AS‘s was commanded to build a ship according to the Divine Revelation under Allah-SWT ’s direct supervision. It meant that the construction should be meticulous, in terms of measurements and assembly. This indeed was the beginning of the ship building industry. According to the Commentators all the inventions were taught through Revelation and were initiated by one of Allah-SWT's Messengers-AS. Quite a large number of these inventions have been mentioned in the Quran. However, people following in latter times certainly improved upon them to suit their requirements. The believers must, therefore, concentrate on industry and acquire knowledge of latest technology, this being Sunnah of the Prophets-AS. In it also lies the key to success in the world as well as supremacy over other nations. It was also revealed to Prophet Nuh-AS that a great Deluge would engulf the land and destroy all the non believers. He was forbidden to intercede for them, as he was likely to do so due to his overwhelming kindness. This makes one thing clear that disobeying Allah-SWT not only ruins the hearts but also results in deprivation from the intercession of Allah-SWT ’s friends.
The people and their chieftains continued to mock at their Prophet-AS as he built the vessel. They laughed at the idea of building a ship in a place which was arid, taunting that the old man was going to sail his ship on the sand. Although every action of the people of Allah-SWT is based on wisdom, yet to those deeply indulgent in this world it appears as absurd. Prophet Nuh-AS announced that those who were making fun of him that day did not realize that they would be mocked at by destiny the next day. And they would be reminded of when they had laughed and would also see for themselves what he already knew through Revelation. When the catastrophe would befall they too would know as to who would be seized by Allah-SWT ’s Wrath and condemned to an eternal doom. This humiliation is not temporary. Those who are destroyed by Allah-SWT ’s Wrath are constantly tormented.
So when the appointed hour struck, water began to gush out of the Tanoor. The Commentators explain that Tanoor denotes the surface of earth; though literally it means height or a special type of oven for baking bread. All the three versions appear proper because water gushed out from the entire surface of the earth, from the heights and even from the hot ovens, which turned into springs. Another explanation can also be deemed correct. Prophet Nuh' -AS had been informed that when water gushes out of the ovens, it would be a sign of the promised Deluge, whence he should board the Ark along with his followers and a pair of each of the species. Now as soon as the water began to gush out, he gathered the believers from his own household, his followers as well as pairs of animals and birds unable to survive in water and were important for man, and boarded the Ark. Those destined to perish were left behind. The number of people accompanying the Prophet-AS was very small. According to Hadhrat 'Abdullah ibn-e 'Abbas'-RAU they were eighty people, men and women put together. Amongst them were his three sons while the fourth son and a wife perished with the non believers.
Prophet Nuh-AS told his fellow passengers to embark the Ark, which sailed and stopped as ordered by Allah-SWT , the Provider, Who is Most Gracious and Forgiving. In fact the smooth functioning of things is only because of Allah-SWT's planning. He created a variety of things in the universe and blessed man with the intellect and wisdom. Man carves out bits and pieces from various metals and joins them together to make amazing inventions which serve mankind. Nevertheless, these inventions remain within the supreme control of the Omnipotent. When He-SWT Commands them to stop functioning, they obey. Rather, when He-SWT Commands them to reverse their normal actions, they readily comply and cause damage instead of benefit. These facts are borne out by the great inventions of the modern world. The difference between Islam and disbelief is that a non believer gives the credit for every invention to himself while a believer attributes it to Allah-SWT and displays gratitude over His-SWT Rewards. The Muslims must, therefore, pay greater attention to exploiting all resources made available by the Creator.
Relationship with a Prophet-AS
As the ship began to sail amid waves as high as mountains, those left behind began to run around in search of shelter. Amongst them was also his son who had not embraced faith. Prophet Nuh-AS, called out to him asking him to accept the faith and come on board, as the condition for boarding the ship was faith, not lineage. So it is a Divine Law that the only credible relationship with a Prophet-AS is the bondage of faith. However, if it is incidental to lineage, it is simply marvellous. On the contrary without faith the bond of lineage carries no weight.
Prophet Nuh-AS tried to persuade his son till the very last moment to renounce the company of the non believers, but the unfortunate soul said that he would find shelter from the Deluge on the top of a mountain and would certainly survive. The Prophet-AS informed him that no tangible means could offer any protection against Allah-SWT ’s Grip. Mountains and heights can safeguard people against routine storms, but this was a manifestation of His-SWT Fury and only His-SWT Mercy could avert it, which can be invoked only by accepting His-SWT Message. As this conversation was going on a gigantic wave washed him away. The mountains which the non believers considered as refuge were also swept over, with water rising above the highest of peaks.
When the non believers had perished and no one except those aboard the Ark survived, Allah-SWT Commanded the earth to swallow its water, and the sky to halt its downpour. Mark here that the earth and the sky were ordered directly, which shows that everything in the universe has a certain level of understanding though different from that of human beings. Each creation enjoys its individual relationship with Allah-SWT and is always ready to execute any Divine Command it may receive. The normal flow of events is, of course, programmed, but when Allah-SWT plans to display His-SWT Omnipotence, a direct Command is given to that particular component of the universe in the heavens or the earth-and it is complied with. In fact each and every atom ceaselessly remembers Allah-SWT . According to the Quran there exists no such thing, which is heedless of praising Allah-SWT . In short, the earth and the heavens obeyed the Command and Prophet Nuh-AS‘s Ark came to rest upon Mount Al-Judi, while the non believers were eternally deprived of Allah-SWT ’s Mercy.
A mountain named Judi stands todate in Iraq and is part of a mountainous range, part of which is known as Ararabat. According to the scholars, it was months before the Deluge subsided, the land dried up and the Ark came to a halt.
Basis of Relationships and Nationality, and the Etiquettes of Prayer
When Prophet Nuh-AS invited his son to accept the faith, and board the Ark and he refused. Prophet Nuh-AS prayed. Allah-SWT ! You-SWT had promised to save my household and Your-SWT Promises are always true. Then how is it that my son, a member of my household is drowning? You-SWT are Omnipotent and can bless him with the capacity to accept faith and board the ship. And if You-SWT so desire, even the waves can serve as a shield for him. Allah-SWT answered: "O’ Nuh-AS! He does not belong to your household, being evil in his conduct." This highlights the fact that a believer has no relationship with a non believer even if they are the nearest of kin. From the Islamic point of view such relationships carry no weight. The manifestation of this rule may be seen in the lives of the Companions'-RAU who fought against their fathers and sons in the early battles of Islam. The non believers are declared as a separate nation from the believers even if thev be blood relations, while the believers are termed as brothers even if they be strangers to one another. Therefore, any classification based on nationality, colour, caste or language is incorrect. Tribes only provide an identity to people but division and animosity based on provincialism is not permissible. Muslims are Muslims in the first place and then anything else. The authority to choose the path of life has been delegated to man. Allah can but does not use compulsion in matters of faith, as this would be unjust. But anyone seeking guidance with sincerity shall be duly reciprocated by Divine Mercy.
In case of Prophet Nuh-AS, Allaah-SWT ’s decision refers to the evil conduct of his son, whereby his heart had lost the capacity to accept the faith. This was in Allaah-SWT ’s Knowledge, as every individual holds a personal and private relationship with Him-SWT . Even the Messengers-AS ', the Angels-AS or the Aulia' have no knowledge of the details of the link of a person with his or her Creator unless they are informed by Allaah-SWT . So He-SWT advised Prophet Nuh"-AS not to pray for matters of which he had no knowledge. Therefore, unless something is known, it is not proper to pray on the request of just anybody. Moreover, if it is known or even suspected that the cause for which one is praying is not good, one should not pray, lest he too becomes a wrongdoer. Similarly, praying for the progress or rise to power of some people is also risky, as no one knows how they shall behave thereafter. Nevertheless, it is recommended to pray for their reformation and welfare. So Prophet Nuh-AS was told that he was far too exalted to put forth such a request and an un-awareness of this kind did not befit him. This indeed is typical of the innocence blessed to Prophets' -AS that Allaah-SWT instantly informs them over the slightest probability of an error.
Here the innate paternal love had compelled Prophet Nuh"-AS to speak, but he was immediately warned by Allaah-SWT . Hence he pleaded and sought Allaah-SWT ’s Protection against all such actions. He begged Allaah-SWT to protect and forgive him, for without His-SWT Mercy no human being can avert a mistake. Thus a code of action has been laid down that to err is nothing unusual but one must seek forgiveness from Allaah-SWT with a firm resolve of never repeating the mistake and beg Him-SWT for the capacity to stand by one's resolve. He must never rely on his determination alone. Human beings are often compelled by their natural instincts and emotions to break their pledge. Therefore, Allaah-SWT ’s help must be sought.
When water receded and the land became habitable, Allaah-SWT Commanded Prophet Nuh -AS to land on the mountain. On that very earth which had once been inundated because of disbelief, Allaah-SWT was promising His Prophet-AS provisions, safety and blessings. He was being guaranteed protection against calamities and an increase in wealth and progeny. According to the Commentators, here it is proved that all those who came to inhabit the earth after the Deluge were the descendants of Prophet Nuh-AS and his fellow believers, and that is why he is also termed as Adam the Second. Here Allaah-SWT promises peace and Barakah to all the believers and the obedient until the end of time. But from the fate of Prophet Nuh-AS‘s son, it must be clearly noted that the promised bounties and protection is subject to faith and good conduct.
All those amongst his posterity who revert to disobedience shall meet a similar fate as his own son. They will enjoy worldly pleasures within a given respite but will eventually be caught up in punishment afflictive. "O’ My-SWT Beloved Prophet-SW ! These are the ancient stories which were neither in your knowledge nor were known to your nation. Neither did you attend any school, nor hear about it from any priest or rabbi. It is indeed the information revealed to you from the unseen with the minutest details of the events." The Holy Prophet-SW’s narrating this event with such authenticity endorses the fact that he receives Divine Revelations. However, if inspite of such clear Signs some unlucky ones choose to reject the Message conveyed by him, he must persevere, as did the Prophets-AS before him. Prophet Nuh-AS, too, endured for more or less a millennium. The Divine Law is that eventual success belong to the righteous and those who fear Him-SWT .