“Remember Noah, when he cried (to Us) aforetime: We listened to his (prayer) and delivered him and his family from great distress. We helped him against people who rejected Our Signs: truly they were a people given to Evil: so We drowned them (in the Flood) all together.” [Qur’an 21:76-77]
Prophet Nuh, or Noah, preached to his people about the Oneness of Almighty Allah for a period of 950 years, but few listened to his words and advice. Allah has revealed an entire chapter of the Holy Qur’an (71st Surah) about the plight and struggle of Prophet Nuh.
“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.” [Qur’an 29:14]
The people were steeped in ignorance, blindly following their forefathers and elders, indulged in pride of wealth and children. They refused to accept the Truth which Prophet Nuh had revealed to them as they were arrogant in their ways. Prophet Nuh repeatedly asked them to seek Allah’s forgiveness, advising them of His Mercy and that it is He who bestows favours upon them, such as rain for their crops and provisions for their families. But they did not heed his call, or respect his knowledge as a Prophet of Allah.
“Indeed, We sent Noah to his people, [saying], ‘Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment.’” [Qur’an 71:1]
“Noah said, ‘My Lord, indeed they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children will not increase him except in loss…” [Qur’an 71:21]
Allah’s Wrath and the Flood
Eventually, the time came when Allah’s Wrath descended upon the stubborn people of Prophet Noah. They had been blessed with great wealth and sustenance but they were ungrateful and their arrogance caused them to ignore Allah’s Warning.
Almighty Allah informed Prophet Nuh of an upcoming flood which would be so great in power and intensity that it would eliminate his people, except those who believed. He ordered Prophet Nuh to build an ark or ship, great in strength and size, to accommodate all the believers, as well as a pair of each kind of animal in that habitation.
“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.” [Qur’an 11:37]
“…We said, ‘Load upon the ship of each [creature] two mates and your family, except those about whom the word has preceded, and [include] whoever has believed.’ But none had believed with him, except a few.” [Qur’an 11:40]
So Prophet Nuh constructed the ark as he was commanded. Whenever the ignorant people passed by and saw him building, they ridiculed him because, as far as they could see, there was neither sea nor river to float the ark on. They said, mocking him in ignorance and doubt, “See, the old man will float the ark on land!” Prophet Nuh replied, “You may laugh now but soon we will be the ones laughing at you.”
“And he constructed the ship, and whenever an assembly of the eminent of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. He said, ‘If you ridicule us, then we will ridicule you just as you ridicule. And soon you will know who will get a punishment that will disgrace him [on earth] and upon whom will descend an enduring punishment.” [Qur’an 11:38-39]
Floods: 40 Days & 40 Nights
The day finally arrived when the Wrath of Allah befell the disbelieving people. Water gushed down from the skies in great force, powerfully bursting through the Earth. Rivers began to overflow and there was a deluge all throughout the land. This continued for 40 days and 40 nights, until everything was submerged in water.
Prophet Nuh was safe aboard the ark along with his righteous companions, and the animals he had rescued. The ark was floating upon the water under the Grace of Allah, while the entire habitation was drowned.
“And [Noah] said, ‘Embark therein; in the Name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.’ And it sailed with them through waves like mountains…” [Qur’an 11:42-43]
For the last time, Prophet Nuh turned to his son who was amongst the disbelievers, saying, “My son, leave the company of these cruel people. Obey Allah’s order and climb onto the ark.” Stubborn as he was, the son of Prophet Nuh ignored his father’s advice, replying that he would save himself from the flood by climbing on top of a mountain. Alas, none can save himself from the Wrath of Allah for Allah’s Promise is true; he was swept away by the crushing waves of the flood, joining the disbelievers in a terrible and doomed death.
“Noah called to his son who was apart from them, ‘O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.’ But he said, ‘I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.’ [Noah] said, ‘There is no protector today from the decree of Allah , except for whom He gives mercy.’ And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.” [Qur’an 11:42-43]
In his sorrow and grief at the loss of his son, Prophet Nuh appealed to Allah saying: “And Noah called to his Lord and said, ‘My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true; and You are the most Just of judges!’”[Qur’an 11:45]
So Almighty Allah consoled him: “He said, ‘O Noah, indeed he is not of your family; indeed, he is one whose work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant.’” [Qur’an 11:46]
Prophet Nuh, understanding the Divine Words and submitting himself in complete humility, begged for Allah’s forgiveness. He realized that each person would be judged, not according to their blood ties or wealth, but according to their faith and deeds.
“[Noah] said, ‘My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers.’” [Qur’an 11:47]
The Flood Ends
All except those who were safe aboard the ark had been drowned. The deluge now began to recede and the rain began to slow down to a halt. The ark stopped at the mount Judi, located in Turkey, and it was here that Prophet Nuh and his noble companions settled for the rest of their lives.
“And it was said, ‘O earth, swallow your water, and O sky, withhold [your rain].’ And the water subsided, and the matter was accomplished, and the ship came to rest on the [mountain of] Judi. And it was said, ‘Away with the wrongdoing people.’” [Qur’an 11:44]
After this great episode, evil began to fade away and virtue began to prosper in the lands. Only the noble servants of Allah had survived and were made owners of the Earth. The flood had cleansed the earth of disbelievers and their ignorance. Allah sent down His blessings and glad tidings upon Prophet Nuh and his people; He was pleased with them for the struggle and determination they had shown for His Cause.
“It was said, ‘O Noah, disembark in security from Us and blessings upon you and upon nations [descending] from those with you…” [Qur’an 11:48]
Some traditions report that the grave of Prophet Nuh us in the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, while others report that he is buried in Baalabak, a city in Iraq. And Allah knows best.