Stories of the Pious: Hazrat Nuh (as)
Hazrat Nuh (a.s.)
‘Surely We sent Nuh to his people, saying : Warn your people before there comes upon them a painful chastisement. He said : O my people! Surely I am a plain warner to you that you should serve Allah and be careful of (your duty to) Him and obey Him.’
It is a well-acknowledged fact that the dwellers of the earth belonging to this age, owe their existence to the children of Hazrat Nuh (a.s.). This is because after the deluge that afflicted Hazrat Nuh’s nation, everyone save those aboard the ark were destroyed. And the population multiplied only with the descendants of Nuh (a.s.) . The Quran testifies to this fact thus,
‘And We made his offspring the survivors.’
(Saffaat : 77)
Hazrat Nuh’s nation worshipped idols for centuries. They took these idols as their Allah and creator. They sought their demands and requests from them and worshipped them in their quest for bliss and satisfaction. They had even christened their idols with names like, ‘Dudsu’aa’ and ‘Yaook-wa-nasr’.
Allah sent Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) for the reformation of this nation. To assist Nuh (a.s.) in his mission, He blessed His Apostle with eloquence, a sweet tongue, intelligence, patience, expertise in debate and unusual powers of persuasion while contending with the adversary.
Armed with these traits, Nuh (a.s.) called the nation towards Allah and warned them of His chastisement. He gave them glad tidings of Paradise and its untold bounties. But all his exhortations were in vain. Yet Nuh (a.s.) did not lose heart, and persevered with his appeals. Perhaps for this monumental patience Allah decorated him with the words "Abd-e-Shakoor". (Surah Isra’) Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) used to say, ‘These dark nights, these stones and plants, all glorify Allah in a most eloquent manner and reiterate His Unity and His awesome Majesty and His amazing Power.’
Pride : The Cause of Deviation
Hazrat Nuh’s (a.s.) admonitions had the desired effect on only a few people. The majority however, entrenched in obstinacy, refused to heed his exhortations. The latter not only ignored his entreaties, but also dissuaded others from embracing the Unity of Allah (Tauheed). They not only mocked at his disciples but also persecuted them. They even ridiculed and denounced them. (Indeed this was not strange, as believers of every age have to confront such oppression and suffering)
They began telling Hazrat Nuh (a.s.), ‘You are one of us. If Allah had to send an apostle, he would have sent an angel. Then we would certainly have heeded him and accepted his call. These few who have attested to your claims, are indeed the lower class of our society. They are a bunch of simpletons who have acknowledged your beseeching without any reflection and deliberation. Indeed if the truth was really with you, then intellectuals and scholars like us, would have been the first to testify to your Lord.’
Allah Despises the Haughty Ones
These antagonists were so egoistic and conceited that they used to tell him, ‘Nuh, we don’t consider you and your companions superior to us in any way. In fact, we find all of you devoid of the intelligence and acumen with which we have been endowed.’
All these taunts and censure did not influence Nuh (a.s.) in the least. He performed his duties with the same patience and forbearance that were invested in him. He used to exhort the deniers thus, ‘I have proofs to endorse the veracity of my claims. Besides, Allah’s Mercy and Grace is always with me to aid me in my mission. But you have turned blind and your hearts can not discern the truth which you try to obliterate and mask reality. But you will never succeed in your objectives.’
When they could not reply to Hazrat Nuh (a.s.), they began saying, ‘If you want us to affirm your claims then you must first disown your companions. For we do not wish to be associated with the proletariat. How can we accept your religion if it accords the same status to everyone? Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) replied, ‘My invitation extends to one and all. I have come for the guidance of humanity. Hence the benefit of my guidance should be imparted to the rich as well as the poor, the scholars and the simpletons, the illustrious and the obscure, the king and the subjects. If I accede to your demands and drive away all the poor from my company, then who will attest to my petition? Also how can I trust you all to subscribe to my claims? All along you have waged a war against me and attempted to deride and disgrace me. My appeals have had their effect on these companions, however you do not seem to desist from your disbelief and skepticism. If I forsake these people (for you), then certainly they shall complain to my Lord that I acted with ingratitude and was not benevolent upon them. Then what shall be my position?’
All his exhortations could draw only a few followers, while the rest persisted in their disbelief and ignorance. And this lasted till Hazrat Nuh’s nation was overcome by the deluge. Nuh (a.s.) raised his hands towards the heavens and beseeched Allah, ‘O my Lord! Do not spare a single disbeliever on the earth. For, even if one of them survives, then he shall deviate all the others and their progeny shall be corrupted.’ Allah responded to Hazrat Nuh’s invocation and ordered him to begin constructing an ark and to raise the intensity of his admonitions, since, soon his people were to be drowned.
Then, as is well known, Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) finished constructing the ark. Water began gushing forth from the earth. The skies opened up to release a heavy downpour. Gradually, water levels started rising. A few from Hazrat Nuh’s (a.s.) nation boarded the ark. Besides, there were some pairs of animals and some plants, that Allah had ordered Nuh (a.s.) to take along with him. The ark began sailing over the water. The deluge claimed all the deniers in its wake. Even Hazrat Nuh’s son, Kin’aan who was among the disbelievers, was a victim of the deluge. The spectacle of his drowning son moved Nuh (a.s.), kindling his paternal instincts. Nuh (a.s.) raised his hands heavenwards and entreated, ‘O my Lord! My son is from my family. You had promised to deliver me and the believers from my house, and You never turn from Your promise. Indeed You are the best Judge.’
Allah, the Almighty, replied, ‘O Nuh! Your son is not from your progeny. He is from the evil doers and he persisted in his denial. His actions were steeped in sin and corruption. Nuh, only those from your nation who have believed in Me and in your Prophethood are worthy of being from your progeny. Rescuing the believers is Our responsibility. Then one who has denied your Prophethood and refuted My commands shall never benefit from your recommendation and My Grace, regardless of who he may be.’
Instantly, Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) thanked Allah.
Finally, the storm subsided and the water level waned. The ark halted at the foot of a mountain called ‘Joodee’. Allah ordered the people to disperse in the land and use His bounties, thanking Him profusely. Hazrat Nuh’s (a.s.) total span of propagation as disclosed by the Holy Quran was nine hundred and fifty years. His age however, far exceeded this. It is roundly acknowledged that he lived for approximately two thousand five hundred years. Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) have narrated that Nuh (a.s.) used to recite the following supplication every morning and night,
‘O my Lord! I hold You Witness that You Alone are responsible for all bounties that I receive morning and night. You are One and Unique, without any associate. To You Alone belongs all adulation and exaltation. Till such a time that You are satisfied after (this) satisfaction.’
(Behaar, vol. 11, p. 290)
Before partaking of meals, Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) used to say Bismillah and after finishing he used to say Alhamdolillah
There is a pit in the center of Masjide Kufa. It is generally believed that the water of the deluge began gushing forth from this point. Later, it flowed all over the place and turned into a deluge.
Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) is buried in Najaf, Iraq, along with Ameerul Momineen, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).