After a long hard struggle, Prophet Nuh-AS prayed to Allaah-SWT in utter disappointment that his people had refused to heed what he said and had instead resorted to such actions as were certain to bring them havoc and loss. They indulged in vicious conspiracies against him and the law he had brought. They stressed upon each other not to desert their idols namely Wadd, Suwa, Yagh'uth, Ya'uq and Nasr. These were the names of virtuous people gone by whose idols they had carved. They crossed all limits in their waywardness. He beseeched Allaah-SWT to plunge them deeper into the ignominy of this waywardness, (being informed of the impossibility of their reformation by Him-SWT ). They were drowned as a result of their sins and were pushed into Fire. And could find no helper against Him-SWT .
Water and Fire
Apparently they were drowned in water, yet the Ayah declares that they ended up in Fire whereas the condemnation to Hell will take place after the Day of Reckoning. So the Commentators, with reference to a consensus of the Ummah, assert that the retribution is awarded in the grave itself or the reprisal in Barzakh is a reality. It is the Fire of Barzakh that they entered upon drowning. Barzakh being a waiting place, each person is lodged there commensurate with his conduct.
Prophet Nuh-AS prayed to Allaah-SWT to spare no infidel on the face of earth. He said that if any of them survived, he would not only keep spreading evil himself, but his progeny will also be wicked and stubborn. It means that the effect of their misdeeds had affected their genes. As a result the punishment of inundation was let loose upon all of them, probably the only nation then inhibiting the globe.
Forgiveness must be Sought under all Circumstances
O’ Allaah-SWT ! Forgive me. I am not proud of the day and night struggle spreading over nine hundred and fifty years. This is the very way of the Prophets-AS. And he prayed for the believing men and women, for his family, and those who entered his house as believers and for the total destruction of the infidels. Allaah-SWT had informed him that they would never be guided.