Noah, the Long-Forbearing Prophet

Get aboard the Noah’s Ark

Noah is one of Allah’s chosen Messengers whom He sent to set the path of people aright when they lost His way and turned their backs to Monotheism.

Noah is one of Allah’s chosen Messengers, who are called Ulu Al-`Azm. Before his coming, people worshiped idols and statues and forsook the worship of their Almighty Creator, Allah, Glory be to Him. Noah (peace be upon him) was sent to lead them back to the religion which their father Adam (peace be upon him) followed. Yet, people refused to respond to his advice and continued in their transgression and arrogance. They told him that they will never leave the worship of idols. Almighty Allah says,

And they said, ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa’ or Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr. (Nuh 71:23)

Noah continued on treating them kindly and calling them on every occasion, in night and day, and in secret and open. He would never miss any opportunity to call them to Allah and His religion but he utilized it. Let see how the Qur’an expresses this; Almighty Allah says,

Noah said, “My Lord, indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day. But my invitation increased them not except in flight. And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance. Then I invited them publicly. Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly. (Nuh 71:5-9)

Not only this, Noah (peace be upon him) also adopted all the ways of persuasion, but nothing happened. He asked them to look around in the Universe and contemplate on the creation of heavens, earth, moon, sun and themselves and no doubt they will ascertain the truthfulness of his message. The Qur’an relates this to us,

And I (Noah) said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur. While He has created you in stages? Do you not consider how Allah has created seven heavens in layers. And made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp? And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth. Then He will return you into it and extract you [another] extraction. And Allah has made for you the earth an expanse. That you may follow therein roads of passage.’ (Nuh 71:10-20)

Nevertheless, only a few number followed him while most of the people accepted not his call. Instead, they mocked him, accused him of insanity and threatened to stone him if he did not stop. God says,

They said, “If you do not desist, O Noah, you will surely be of those who are stoned.”  (Ash-Shu`ara‘ 26:116)

But Noah paid no heed to their threats, and continued inviting them to Allah’s religion for one thousand years less fifty (i.e., 950 years) as the Qur’an says,

And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years, and the flood seized them while they were wrongdoers. (Al-`Ankabut 29:14)

However, they kept on their mockery and accused him and his followers of lying. They were proud of themselves and made little of Noah and his followers saying that they are mostly poor, weak and of less understanding. Allah says:

So the eminent among those who disbelieved from his people said, ” We do not see you but as a man like ourselves, and we do not see you followed except by those who are the lowest of us [and] at first suggestion. And we do not see in you over us any merit; rather, we think you are liars.” (Hud 11:27)

Almighty Allah told Noah that his people would not accept his call anymore and none of them would believe in him. Allah commanded him to build a ship so that he and the believers could ride in it because all he disbelievers would be drowned:

And it was revealed to Noah that, “No one will believe from your people except those who have already believed, so do not be distressed by what they have been doing. And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration and do not address Me concerning those who have wronged; indeed, they are [to be] drowned.” (Hud 11:36-37)

In his book Usul Ad-Din Al-Islami, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim At-Tuwayjri says “When Noah (peace be upon him) had finished building the ship, and the signs of the beginning of the punishment appeared, with water springing up from the ground and water falling from the sky, Allah commanded Noah to take onto the ship one pair, male and female, of every living creature and animal, so that they might continue to survive. He also commanded him to take with him his family, except for those among them who disbelieved – who were one of his wives and one of his sons. And Allah also commanded him to take with him those who believed, who were few in number. When Allah had destroyed them by drowning, He commanded the earth to swallow up the water and He commanded the sky to withhold its rain. Then the ship came to rest on Mount Judi in Mosul. The matter was settled and the wrongdoers were destroyed. Thus, Allah helped Noah and those who believed with him, and He destroyed those who disbelieved, and made them a lesson for mankind.”

Read also:

Noah: Between Russell Crowe, Biblical Noah and Qur’anic Noah

From Adam to Noah: The Need for Guidance

Prophet Noah between Hollywood and the Qur’an

Mohamed Okasha is a graduate of Al Azhar University, Faculty of Languages and Translation, Department of Islamic Studies in English. He is a former editor in the Shari`ah section at Currently, he is an editor at the EDC (E-Da`wah Committee) in Kuwait.
Contact: [email protected]

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