Prophet Nuh [Noah] (Peace be upon him)

When the word went forth: "O earth! Swallow up thy water, and O sky! Withhold (thy rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!  (Hud, 44)

 

FIRST IDOLATRY

The Prophet Idris appointed some religious scholars of his ummah to guide people after him. These scholars did their best to guide the people living in various regions of the Arabian Peninsula and to show them the right way. People liked them soon due to their high ethics, nice preaching and advice. They liked talking to and listening to them, and benefited from them.    

As those scholars died one by one, people felt very sorry. They always wanted to remember them and cherish the memory of them. They thought about what to do. In the end, they decided to erect their statues in squares of towns and hang their pictures on the walls of their houses. They started to gather around the statues at certain times. They told one another the words and advice of those scholars called Wadd, Suwa, Yaghus, Yauq, Nasr.

This deed, which started with a good intention, started to deviate from its purpose. The new generations that imitated what they saw from their fathers forgot about the reason why the statues were erected in squares and the pictures were hang on the walls. The pictures and statues ceased to be means and started to be aims. Instead of being a means of worshipping Allah, the pictures and statues started to be regarded as deities to be worshipped.  

Thus, the custom of worshipping idols by forgetting Allah started in the world for the first time. [1]

When people started to move away from worshipping Allah and to worship idols, Allah Almighty sent Hz. Nuh (Noah) as a prophet to them.  

Hz. Nuh was a child in a family that followed the religion of the Prophet Idris. When he was appointed as a prophet by Allah Almighty, he was 40 years old. [2]

 

Hz. NUH'S STRUGGLE OF ONENESS

 

The Prophet Nuh first preferred to act secretly in his struggle against the belief of idolatry. He called his relatives and friends to believe in the oneness of Allah and to worship Him one by one. Then, upon the order of Allah, he started to call people openly. He declared it to everybody. Those who had simple hearts and high ethics accepted his call. They followed Hz. Nuh. Most of them were poor people.

The rich, conceited, ill-natured and cruel people insisted on idolatry. They thrust their fingers into their ears and covered themselves up with their garments so as not to see Nuh's face. [3] Their intention was to demoralize him, to drive him to despair and to make him give up his cause. They sometimes uttered some words that would offend him.

However, the number of those that believed in him increased day by day. This enraged and infuriated the idolaters. They started to seek solutions to prevent him.  

First, they made fun of the believers who followed him. They tried to ridicule them among people. However, they failed. Hz. Nuh showed patience against their bad treatment.

He continued to fulfill his duty and said to them,

"I am a prophet that warns you about the wrath of Allah. Do not worship anybody except Allah. Otherwise, I fear that you will undergo a painful torture." [4]

The notables of the idolaters expressed the following reason for opposing Hz. Nuh:

"O Nuh! You say you are a prophet. How can a person like us be a prophet? Those who follow you are poor and miserable people. If your cause were true, clever and rich people like us would follow you. You ask us to follow you but do you have any superiority over us." [5]

Hz. Nuh answered them as follows: 

"O my people! I am a human being like all of the prophets that came before me. For, only a human being like me can be a guide to human beings. My Lord sent me as a prophet to you and gave me some miracles to affirm my cause. I show them as to you evidence for my cause. If you close your eyes to the truth and overlook it, you will not harm me. For, I cannot force you to believe. [6]

That the people who believe in me are poor does not overshadow the truth of my cause.  Allah does not look at people's ancestry, lineage, wealth and poverty. He looks at their religiousness and fear of Allah in their hearts." [7]

The idolaters who judged everything by matter and power could not understand these words of Nuh's. Some of them even said that Hz. Nuh's purpose was to grab the property of the rich. The Prophet Nuh answered this claim as follows:

"You have wrong thoughts about me. I do not want any material things in return for my duty. My reward is only from Allah. Know it very well that all of my efforts are for your happiness in the world and the hereafter. Give up refuting me by acting upon groundless worries and bad thoughts." [8]

 

AN OFFER FROM IDOLATERS TO THE PROPHET NUH

 

When the idolatrous tribe of Nuh saw that all of their measures failed, they started to seek more insidious tactics. They thought they finally found one. They said to Nuh, 

"O Nuh! Dismiss all of the poor and miserable people around you. We find them contemptible and feel it beneath us to be together with them. If you dismiss them, we will believe in you." 

Their intention was clear. They expected Nuh to accept this offer. Thus, he would fall out with the believers. And they would eliminate him easily.

However, Hz. Nuh disappointed them. He replied to their insidious offer as follows:

"I will never dismiss them. They are people who believe in Allah and the hereafter. The fame of those who believe in Allah is high. Their Lord prepared so many bounties for them in Paradise. However, you think superiority lies in transient and ephemeral property and positions. You are unaware of the richness of the bounties waiting for believers in the hereafter." [9]

When this insidious plan also failed, the idolatrous tribe had only one thing to do: To apply oppression and pressure on the believers. 

When they resorted to this way, Allah Almighty sent them a big trouble. He stopped sending them rain for 40 years. During this period, their goods and animals were destroyed. Their gardens and orchards faded. Their women could not give birth to children. Their generations ceased. Everybody was busy with their own problems. They could not take on with Hz. Nuh and the believers that followed him. 

 

THE PRAYER OF THE PROPHET NUH

 

This famine and drought that hit the tribe of Nuh was a nice means of calling them to the true path.

Hz. Nuh wanted to take advantage of this situation and addressed his tribe as follows: 

"O my tribe! These misfortunes that hit you are due to the sins you committed. They are due to oppressing the believers and worshipping idols. You attracted Allah's wrath. Your rain was stopped as a punishment. Your animals were destroyed. However, do not lose hope. Your Lord is merciful and forgiving. If you beg Him and ask for forgiveness, He will send rain to you in abundance." [10]

He also told them about the majesty of Allah. [11] He explained them the harms of associating partners with Allah by worshipping idols. He finished his address as follows: "O my tribe! One day, you will die and enter graves. Then, your Lord will raise you forth again. He will punish and reward you for what you did in the world. 

Believe in Allah. Give up worshipping idols. Take refuge in Allah from a more terrifying torture awaiting you." [12]

However, the tribe of Noah did not care what he said. They refused him and got very angry. They said, 

"O Nuh! You went too far and prolonged the dispute with us. You have been threatening us since you started this. That is enough. If you are telling the truth, bring that torture." [13]

The tribe of Nuh did not believe in Allah; therefore, they did not think the torture mentioned by Nuh would be possible. They thought what he said was only unreal threat. Hz. Nuh made the following explanation to make them change their minds:

"O my tribe! Allah, who is the Creator of the earth and the sky, will bring torture on you. What do you rely on when His wrath hits you? Do you have any place to take refuge in? Everywhere belongs to Allah. If He has decided to send you His wrath, you will not be able to escape it. No force can stop His wrath." [14]

Hz. Nuh had called his tribe to the true path since the first day of his prophethood. He told them about his cause in an unyielding manner. However, they refused him. They also made fun of him. They sometimes used force. This state continued for 950 years. [15] During this period, Hz. Nuh did his best. He used all of the methods of guidance. The insistence of his tribe on worshipping idols and telling him, "bring this wrath" despite all of his efforts was beyond endurance. 

He opened his hands and started to pray Allah:

"O Lord! Send the help You have promised against this cruel tribe. They have always disobeyed me. They have insisted on worshipping idols and did not agree to worship you. They have never approached the true path.

O Lord! Grant no increase to the wrongdoers but in straying. Do not leave anybody alive among the unbelievers and idolaters on the earth." [16]

Allah Almighty gave every prophet a right of prayer to be accepted. Hz. Nuh used this right by that prayer. He asked Allah to eliminate all of the unbelievers and idolaters on the earth and not leave any of them alive.  

 

NUH'S ARK

 

Allah accepted the prayer of Hz. Nuh. He told Nuh what to do as follows: 

"O Nuh! Build an ark as We reveal you. When the earth and the sky intermingle and oppressors are destroyed, do not ask anything from me by pitying them. They have indeed deserved this wrath." [17]

Hz. Nuh started to build a big ark with the help of Allah. Jibril himself described him how to build the Ark. [18] Hz. Nuh and the believers acted upon his description. 

When the tribe of Nuh passed by him, they threw ridicule on him. [19] They said to Hz. Nuh:

"O Nuh! Have you started carpentry by giving up prophethood? Is carpentry more profitable?"

Days and months passed like that. The construction of the ark was completed in the end. It is narrated that it took 2 or 4 years. [20] It is also narrated that the ark had 3 floors. [21] There are signs in the Quran that this ark had a furnace and a steam boiler. [22] In that case, it can be said that Nuh's Ark was a steamship. [23]

Allah informed Hz. Nuh that a big deluge would start after the construction of the ark ended. He ordered Nuh to embark the believers, their families and a pair (male and female) of each kind of animals. [24]

So he said: "Embark ye on the Ark in the name of Allah, whether it move or be at rest! For my Lord is, be sure, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful!" When the ark was about to be completed, all kinds of preparations had been made. The people and animals that would get on the ark gathered around the ark. When the divine order came, the animals were embarked first. Then, the believers embarked the ark saying, "Bismilah". [25]

It was the tenth of the month of Rajab. About 80 families of the believers embarked the ship. That was the number of the people that believed in Nuh during his prophethood that lasted hundreds of years. [26]

However, Nuh knew that his duty was to convey the message. The result was up to Allah.  He was not responsible for the refusal of his call by his nation. Therefore, he did not feel sorry and never said, "Why did very few people believe in me?" He felt content because he fulfilled his duty perfectly. 

Hz. Nuh's wife called Wahila did not believe in him. She did not believe that the wrath mentioned by him would be sent. Therefore, she did not embark the ship though all of the believers embarked with their families. She opposed Nuh.

Wahila enjoyed a lot of bounties since she was the wife of a prophet. However, she did not appreciate those bounties. She dared to deny the prophethood of her husband instead of supporting and helping him. In addition to her denial, she dared to tell his secrets to the idolaters. She went too far and called her husband "mad". [27] She was drowned during the deluge as a punishment for her denial and arrogance7.

Nuh's wife was not the only person in his family to deny him. His son called Kanan insisted on worshipping idols like his mother. Nuh gave up all hope for his wife but he still hoped that his son would believe.

Thus, Hz. Nuh struggled against the idolatrous people outside, and his wife and son at home for years. This increased his trouble and agony.

It is known by everybody that unrest and disagreement at home wear out man more than the people outside.

However, Hz. Nuh showed great patience that fits a prophet against all of them.

 

THE DELUGE

 

Hz. Nuh and the people who believed in him embarked the ship and started to wait for the deluge.  

They did not wait long. The sky was suddenly covered by black clouds. It started to pour. Besides, water started to gush forth from the ground; the land started to be flooded gradually. The strong wind produced giant waves as big as mountains. 

The idolaters were in panic. Most of them were drowned as soon as the deluge started. Those who survived started to climb up to hills and mountains. 

Once, Kanan, Nuh's idolatrous son, caught Nuh's eye. He was climbing up a mountain. He felt pity for his son. He addressed his son as follows:

-"O my son! Believe in Allah. Embark with us, and be not with the Unbelievers! You see that water is rising continuously. You cannot escape it." [28]

Kanan did not show any signs of regret despite the deluge. He felt hatred against his father. Therefore, he refused his merciful call. He said,

"I prefer going to the top of some mountain to embarking your ship." [29]

Hz. Nuh tried to save his son. He said,

"O my son! There is no salvation for anyone except believers today. Do not be obstinate. Come with me." [30]

However, before Hz. Nuh finished his word, a big wave interrupted between them and dragged his son away.

Nuh's Ark was floating on giant waves. There was peace and security on the ship. The believers were watching the manifestation of the divine justice in tawakkul (reliance on Allah). They spent their days praising and thanking Allah together with Nuh. They were waiting patiently for the deluge to stop. 

When Hz. Nuh was ordered to construct the ship, he was also ordered to embark the believers, their wives and a pair (one male and one female) of animals of different species so that they would not be extinct.

The reason why he wanted to embark his son Kanan while he was embarking people was due to this order and permission of Allah. Hz. Nuh did not understand the wisdom behind it first and prayed Allah Almighty as follows: 

"O my Lord! Surely my son is of my family! And You promised me that my family would be saved. You never break your promise." [31]

Allah answered him as follows: 

"He said: "O Nuh! Know it very well that he is not of your family; for, his conduct is unrighteous. So, ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge!" [32]

Upon this warning of Allah Almighty, Hz. Nuh realized that his request was not appropriate. That is, the bond of kinship on its own had no value in the eye of Allah. Belief was also necessary for kinship to be a means of intercession.

Once Hz. Nuh realized that his request was inappropriate, he said,

"O my Lord! I do seek refuge with Thee from asking Thee for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless Thou forgive me and have Mercy on me, I should indeed be lost!" [33] Thus, he took refuge in Allah Almighty and received mercy and forgiveness from him.

The water of the deluge that started to rise on the 10th of the month of Rajab covered the whole land soon. Even the highest mountains were lost in water and became invisible. The believers survived the deluge on the ship but not one idolater survived it. Thus, the wish of Hz. Nuh came true.

The deluge lasted for 6 months. Then, the rain stopped when Allah said, "O earth! Swallow up thy water, and O sky! Withhold (thy rain)!" [34] The water gushing forth from the ground stopped. The storm lulled and the rain stopped. The water started to ebb. Noah's Ark settled on a mountain called Judi. [35] When the land dried and became suitable for living, Allah Almighty sent the following revelation:

"O Nuh! Come down (from the Ark) with Peace from Us, and Blessings on thee and on some of the Peoples (who will spring) from those with thee: but (there will be other) Peoples to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end will a grievous Penalty reach them from Us." [36]

Hz. Nuh and the believers disembarked on the 10th day of the month of Muharram. [37] They performed fasting on that day as a debt of gratitude. They gathered all of the food and drinks that remained. They cooked a dish called ashura (Noah's pudding).

This tradition is still present. All believers celebrate the salvation of Hz. Nuh and the believers with him by performing fasting and cooking ashura on the 10th day of the month of Muharram. [38]

They remember the deluge again and take lessons from this incidence.

After the deluge, a new life started for the humanity on earth.

 

* * *

According to the view of the most scholars, the deluge occurred only in the Arabian Peninsula and the area around it. For, human beings lived only in that area at that time. Therefore, the deluge was universal in that it included all of the human beings in the world but it was local compared to the whole world since it covered only the area where these people lived. [39] However, there are also some scholars who claim that the deluge covered the whole world. 

 

A NEW LIFE STARTS ON EARTH

 

Hz. Nuh is also called the Second Father of the Humanity and the Second Adam since he caused the number of the human beings to increase again. [40]

Hz. Nuh was a person of exemplary character in terms of patience, perseverance and determination. He always prayed Allah openly and secretly; he never left his heart empty of Allah. He said Bismillah at the beginning of every deed and Alhamdulillah at the end of every deed. He never complained about his situation. He was described as most grateful in the Quran since he thanked Allah a lot. [41]

After Hz. Nuh became a prophet at the age of 40, he fulfilled the duty of prophethood for 950 years fearlessly and continuously. Then, he witnessed the deluge and according to some strong narrations, he died after living sixty years following the deluge. [42] Thus, his whole life is 1050 years.

After the deluge, human beings reproduced from the sons of Hz. Nuh and the believers who were with him. According to a narration, among Nuh's children, SHEM is the father of Arabs, Persians and Byzantines, HAM is the father of the Sudanese and JAPHETH is the father of Turks. 

The nations of the world do not consist only of the nations mentioned above; so, it is certain that the other nations also come from the believers that were rescued from the deluge together with Noah. [43]

 

THE DELUGE OF NOAH AND ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE AND REMAINS OF NOAH'S ARK

 

İsmail Hami Danişmend gives the following information about Noah's Ark in his book called Historical Truths:

“According to the results obtained by the excavations and studies of science today, the deluge really occurred. The Prophet Nuh is the historical hero of the deluge. However, with the excavation carried out by Stephen Langdon, an Assyriology professor of the Cambridge University, in 1929 it was definitely determined that the deluge started in the Sumerian land in South Iraq and moved to the north; even the point where Noah embarked the ship was determined. 

There is another question: Where did Noah's Ark land?

According to the Torah, this place is Mt Ararat (Ağrı); according to verse 44 of the chapter of Hud in the Quran, it is Mt Judi. Judi mountains are located about 40 km north-east of Diyarbakır. Its highest point is four thousand meters. [44]

The following detailed information is given in the periodical called Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology):

"It is part of the mythology and legends of almost all cultures on earth with some variations that a universal deluge flooded the world as it is written in holy books. Even people like the Hopi Indians living far away from the sea in the south-east of America have legends about a terrible deluge that covered their whole land, reached the top of their mountains and eliminated almost all life on earth.   

We have evidence showing that the deluge really occurred. This amazing result comes from two different disciplines that are completely independent from each other: geologists studied the shells of a small sea creature that lived 11.600 years ago and archeologists read some writings by a person who lived 8000 years ago and translated them. 

* * *

First, let us mention the role of archeologists. It started in the ruins of Nineveh, which was the capital city of Assyrians. According to what is written in the Holy Book, it was a place full of disgrace and debauchery. It was a city in Mesopotamia, which is in Iraq now. Sumerians, who are regarded as the first human civilization by some archeologists, lived near Nineveh; they lived there 5.500 years ago. In 1850, an amateur English archeologist called Sir Henry Layard succeeded in finding thousands of clay tablets. The tablets were sent to the British Museum in London. A small group of scientists who devoted their lives to this task managed to decipher the strange cuneiform script engraved on clay tablets. There was also an amateur called George Smith, who was interested in Assyriology. He actually was a banknote engraver. He would come to the museum at night and studied the signs which were no different from the traces of bird in the mud for a novice.  

One night, he took a tablet that had been cleaned during the day and began to read the story of a flood in the Assyrian language in increasing surprise. What he read was the Babylonian version of the Deluge included in "the Epic of Gilgamesh". It mentioned a man called Utnapishtim and his wife; it stated that they built a ship and were the only survivors of the universal deluge. 

Its resemblance to the story of Noah was amazing and it was almost impossible for it to become a coincidence. Since Babylonian people and several other stories existed in the Holy Book, the scientists concluded that both incidents originated from the same local floods maybe due to the overflow of the Euphrates and Tigris that passed through Mesopotamia and flowed into the Persian Gulf. 5 years later. In 1877, Pennsylvania University (USA) decided to fund an excavation in Mesopotamia.  50.000 tablets were removed from the ground in the excavations in the ancient Sumerian city of Nippur. Another story of the deluge recorded in The Epic of Gilgamesh was seen on a tablet 3700 years old among those tablets.

* * *

After that, Sir Leonard Woolley, an English archeologist, started excavations in the middle of the desert between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf in 1922. The broken tower of a magnificent temple indicated the place of the city of Ur, one of the main cities of Sumerians.   Woolley's men made a great discovery as they excavated the sand. They found the graves of the kings of Ur. They found many legendary works of art in this cemetery, where the Sumerian kings and nobles were buried: helmets, swords, musical instruments, and other works of art made of gold, silver and precious stones. There were some other things too: historical recordings engraved onto clay tablets with amazing great skill and mastery, and high technique. 

Before Woolley started his excavation, scholars had the list of Sumerian kings and a scheme of the history of the Sumerian Kingdom. However, they did not believe in it very much. It started with the kings that lived before the deluge and the domination of the 8 kings covered 241.000 years with the addition of the other kings. This chronology looked quite illogical.   

Woolley found writings that included the same names in the list of the kings in Ur; there was even the name of the founder of the first dynasty of Ur. Before this discovery by Woolley, this dynasty was thought to be mythological. After his discovery, it became historical. According to the list of the kings, the first dynasty started after the deluge. Accordingly, many Sumerian kings lived a few times longer than a normal lifespan of man.   

Woolley concluded that the cemetery was established before the first Ur dynasty. Woolley believed that a highly developed civilization existed before the first dynasty. However, no physical evidence except the list of the kings that mentioned the dynasty before the deluge was present showing that Sumerians did not come out like the seeds that explode after some simple rain. 

After examining the evidence thoroughly, Woolley decided to continue the excavation under the cemetery. The workers dug about one meter under the muddy bricks and started to break the pots and pans. Woolley wrote as follows: "Then, everything suddenly stopped. There were no pots, pans or clay, only clean mud brought by water."

The Arab workers who were drilling said there was nothing else to find and wanted to dig somewhere else. However, Woolley was a very stubborn man. He told them to go on digging. After digging a clean layer of clay for about two and a half meters, the workers came across with tools made of emery stone and pieces of pottery. Woolley climbed down and reached the bottom. He took some notes and called two people from his team. He asked them whether they could explain it or not. They could not say anything. Woolley asked his wife the same question. She turned round and said, "It is definitely flood." Woolley confirmed her saying, "That is the right answer." 

A microscopic analysis showed that a thick layer of clean clay had been accumulated by a deluge big enough to eliminate the ancient Sumerian civilization. The ideological evidence of a big flood that was parallel with the tradition in history books and that was too real to be debatable stood out. According to the scientists, the deluge written in the holy books came to light. It took place in Ur, where Hz. Ibrahim (Abraham) started his journey. Thus, Hz. Ibrahim took with him the story of the deluge to the places he visited. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Noah combined in a common source, a well dug in the Mesopotamia Desert. This story of the deluge remained as it was for about 40 years. At the end of 1960s and the beginning of 1970s, two Americans extracted some sediments from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico through long, thin, cylindrical containers. There were some tiny unicellular planktonic organisms called foraminifera in the sediments. When these organisms lived on the surface, they kept the chemical "records" of the temperature and salinity of the water in their shells. During the time of reproduction, the shells were discarded and fell to the bottom of the sea. One section of this ground, which formed the sediment, kept the record of the climates that dated back to 100 million years. Every inch of sediment in the form of a cylinder displayed 100 years of the history of the earth. 

These sediments were studied by two different groups: Cesare Emiliani of Miami University, and James Kennett of Rhode Island University and Nicholas Shackleton of Cambridge University. A dramatic change was determined by both analyses. This proved an enormous fresh (unsalted) water flood into the Gulf of Mexico. Jerry Stipp, a geochemist of Miami University, determined that the flood took place about 11.600 years ago by using radiocarbon dating system.

The last ice age started about 30.000 years ago and reached its peak about 18.000 years ago. At that time, Canada and North America were covered by a thicker layer of ice than the one that covers the South Pole today. A smaller ice layer covered Northern Europe and Siberia. These ice coverings and the glaciers on top of the high mountains had withdrawn the water on earth into these frozen masses. The surface of the seas was about 100 meters lower than today and the primitive immigrant colonies appearing on land were a few fathoms under the sea now. Emiliani said, "11.600 years ago, the North American glacier suddenly broke and started to melt; these enormous masses of water consisting of melting ice started to flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, they caused the sea level to rise. It spread to the whole world with the speed of a tidal wave. That is, it covered the globe in 24 hours. People had to escape inland; this universal migration brought about the memory of a universal deluge."

An image like that pictures a terrifying disaster. Enormous walls of ice break into pieces when the ice layers move forward and they go down to the River Mississippi and then to the Gulf of Mexico. The climate that starts to get warmer causes the glaciers to melt; thus, enormous masses of water flow into both the Atlantic and the Pacific. However, according to Emiliani, most of the water was carried by the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico.

Nevertheless, some scientists do not believe that these discoveries prove the deluge mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Holy Book. Some geologists do not accept Emiliani's view that the melting glaciers flowed into the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi. Other scientists claim that they never flowed into the Gulf of Mexico and that most of the water that melted flowed into the Atlantic through the St. Lawrence or that they were stored in "proglacial lakes".

According to Emiliani, these questions and debates are of no significance because it is a fact that enormous amounts of melting water of glaciers flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. We know it because the oxygen isotope rates of foraminifera shells caused a temporary decrease in the salinity of the water of the Gulf of Mexico. This clearly indicates that the main period of the deluge is between 12.000 and 11.600  years ago. There is no doubt that a deluge took place here and it is a universal deluge. 

The findings of Emiliani are strengthened by the geologists Kennett and Shackleton; they also concluded that melting waters of enormous glaciers flowed into the Gulf of Mexico through the River Mississippi and its tributaries. During the maximum flow of this water, the salinity of the surface water definitely decreased about 10%.   

Naturally, the flow of fresh, unsalted water into the Gulf of Mexico is not the only evidence for the existence of the floodwaters. Emiliani says, "Some South Pole (Antarctica) glaciers must also have melted to provide extra water. The ice sheet covering West Antarctica can do it; it can be shown as evidence that the ice sheet covering West Antarctica is not very stable. It happened before and it can happen again. The studies we made in the Gulf of Mexico show what can happen when an ice sheet breaks off, how fast the process takes place and how fast the sea level rises." According to his estimation, it is about 32 centimeters a year and it is enough to have a big effect on the slightly inclined caps of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is no information on the date of the deluge in the Holy Book. It only states that the deluge happened. The shells of those tiny dead creatures and the earliest recordings of human beings on baked clay tablets definitely prove that the earth once was flooded universally. [45]

 

LESSONS TO BE TAKEN FROM THE STORY OF PROPHET NOAH

 

1. Human will is free to choose the way of belief and guidance:

There are many lessons to be taken from the fact that Nuh's wife and son did not believe in him and died as unbelievers despite all efforts of Nuh. Allah does not place belief in the hearts of people unless they want to believe using their own will. He does not remove the belief from the heart of a person by force without any reason. If a person loses his merit for belief through his own deeds and acts, Allah will extinguish the light of belief in his heart. He will leave that person in the darkness of unbelief.

Yes, the effect of the environment on a person cannot be denied. It is known that those who live in a good environment usually become good people and those who live in a bad environment usually become bad people. However, this quality of being good or bad is only one of the reasons. As a matter of fact, sometimes just the opposite happens. The situation of Nuh, his wife and his son is a good example of it. They lived in the house of a prophet and in a good environment but they did not believe because they used their will in a bad way. So, what matters is a person's choice of belief or unbelief using his own will. In order to obtain belief, man needs to request it, work hard, make efforts and pursue it first of all. Allah will grant it based on these deeds. Thus, a person will be a believer. 

Sa'd Taftazani describes belief as follows: "It is a light placed into the heart of a person by Allah Almighty after that person uses his freewill." [46]

The fact that Noah's wife and son became unbelievers and worked against him and in favor of the unbelievers played an important role in the difficulties he faced during his duty of prophethood that lasted 950 years and in his saying, "O Lord! I am one overcome."

If Noah's wife, Wahila, and his son, Kanan, had helped and supported Noah like Hz. Khadijah helped the Messenger of Allah with might and main, the troubles and agonies suffered by Noah would have decreased.

The unrest at home is more effective and destructive than the unrest outside for man. The unrest outside remains outside when you close the door. If there is peace and tranquility at home, and there is agreement and love among the members of family, all of man's grief, pain and agony decrease. He obtains fresh power and enthusiasm to continue his duty. However, if the troubles and agonies outside continue at home, his pains and agonies increase.

 

2.The religion always protects the poor and the weak; it fills the big gaps between classes:

According to Marxism, which is the basic philosophy of communism, all religions approve the dominant and cruel administrative class and aristocratic group's exploitation of the common people; and they serve the continuation of the system of oppression. Therefore, religion is the opium of the people according to communism. Religion has always supported the oppression of the dominant class and served their imperialistic aims.   

This idea of Marxism about all religions including Islam is a wrong and unjust idea. It might be somewhat true for Christianity, which was distorted after Jesus and became a means of oppressing the people by the clergy, but it is not valid for the true religions, especially Islam. No true religion stood with oppression and exploitation and closed its eyes to the exploitation of the poor people by the minority of the irreligious upper class of the rich and the nobility. 

The emergence of the true religions aims to establish a system based on rights and justice by replacing the wrong systems. 

They aim to fill in the deep precipices between the rich and the poor, the administrators and the people, the nobles and the common people, to make them equal before law and to integrate them in the brotherhood of Islam.

All prophets struggled hard against injustice, the wrong and oppression in order to establish justice. It is clear in the stories of the prophets narrated in the Quran. The upper class always panicked when they saw that the poor and the oppressed believed in the prophets first; they resorted to all kinds of tricks and secret plans in order to prevent this gathering around the prophets: mocking, insulting, slandering, torture, pressure and even attempts to kill. One of those plans is the following offer of them to Noah: "Dismiss all of the poor and miserable people around you. Then, we will believe in you" [47]

 

3.Shirk (polytheism) are a big oppression and murder that causes the earth and the sky to enrage. 

Another important lesson Hz. Nuh's story teaches us is that polytheism and unbelief is a big murder that enrages not only Allah Almighty but also the earth and the sky. [48] For, unbelief and polytheism is a terrible violation of the rights of Allah Almighty and the creatures. It means to accuse the creatures of meaninglessness and to regard the universe as strayed, purposeless and vagrant. It is the biggest insult to the universe and all of the creatures in it.

Because of this murder and sin of man and insult to the creatures, the skies and the earth sometimes enraged and punished the unbelievers and polytheists by destroying them with the permission of Allah. As a matter of fact, the nation of Noah was destroyed by the deluge that occurred as a result of the rising of the seas and continuous heavy rain.

 

STORIES ABOUT NOAH AND SAYINGS

 

According to a narration, Hz. Umar wept for a long time when he heard the death of the Messenger of Allah and he uttered an elegy mentioning the distinguished properties of the Messenger of Allah that had not been given to other prophets. One part of his elegy is as follows:

"May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah!

Nuh prayed as follows: for his nation: 

'O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers, a single one on earth.' (Nuh, 26)

If you had prayed like that, none of us would be alive now.

They ripped your cheek and broke your teeth.

Let alone cursing them, you prayed as follows:  

'O Allah! Forgive my nation because they do not know.'

May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah!

Despite your short life and few real friends, more people than Noah's nation followed you."

 

* * *

 

According to a narration, Jibril said to Nuh:

"O the Prophet with the longest life! How did you find the world?" Noah answered:

"It is like an inn with two doors; I entered into one of them and exited through the other."

 

* * *

When Noah was at his deathbed, he summoned two of his sons and addressed them as follows:

"O my sons! I order you to do two things and prohibit you from doing two things. What I prohibit you from are POLYTHEISM and CONCEITEDNESS. One of the things I order you is to say, "LA ILAHA ILLALLAH (There is no god but Allah)". For, if the earth, skies and all of the creatures in them were to be placed in one scale of a balance and kalima at-tawhid were to put in the other scale, kalima at-tawhid would outweigh. If the earth, skies and all of the creatures in them were brought together and kalima at-tawhid were placed on them, they would collapse and  be broken. I also order you to say "SUBHANALLAHI WA BIHAMDIHI (Glory be to Allah and Praise Him)" because it is the prayer for everything. Everything is given their food thanks to it."

 

* * *

Mujahid narrates: "When Allah drowned the nation of Nuh in the deluge, the mountains felt conceited and elevated. However, Mt Judi showed modesty. For, the other mountains were high but it was not so high. Allah elevated it since it displayed modesty and placed Noah's Ark on top of it.

 

* * *

While explaining the hadith, "The most severe misfortunes hit prophets and after them saints" in his book called Ihya, Ghazzali writes:

"Do not think that the disease that Ayyub suffered was only a bodily illness. A misfortune hits both the body and the spirit. For instance, the biggest misfortune for Nuh was his nation's resistance to his call and denying belief in him despite his call that lasted for centuries. Therefore, when the Messenger of Allah felt irritated by the statements of some people, he said, 

"May Allah show mercy to my brother Moses; he was harassed a lot but he put up with them and showed patience."

That is, prophets were always harassed and tested by deniers; similarly, saints and scholars are harassed and tested by ignorant people. Therefore, saints of Allah were always tested by several troubles like being exiled, being informed against, being witnessed against that they were unbelievers, being decreed that they were unbelievers; very few of them got rid of these troubles.  

 

* * *

Abu Hurayra reports form Hz.  Prophet: "On the Day of Judgment, the Prophet Nuh and his ummah are called first. Hz. Nuh will be asked:

"Did you fulfill the duties you were ordered? Did you convey the message to the people?" Nuh will say,

"Yes, I did. O Lord!"

Then, his nation will be asked:

"Did Nuh convey the message of Allah to you?

The nation of Nuh will say, 

"No. If you had sent us a prophet, we would have obeyed your verses and become believers. He did not convey us what You told him".

Then, Nuh will be asked,

"They claim that you did not convey them the message of Allah. Do you have a witness that you did?" He will say,

"Yes, I do." He will be asked,

"Who?" Hz. Nuh will say,

"The ummah of Muhammad."

Thereupon, the ummah of Muhammad will be called. They will be asked whether Nuh fulfilled the duty of conveying the message of Allah. They will say, 

"Yes he did. We witness that he conveyed the message of Allah to his nation." 

Thereupon, the nation of Nuh will say,

"How can you witness? We lived before you. You lived after us."

The ummah of Muhammad will reply them as follows:

"We witness because Allah sent us a messenger. He sent down a book to that messenger. He narrated us your story in that book"

Abu Hurayra said,

"We are the last ummah that arrived but we will be the first ummah on the Day of Judgment."

This meaning is confirmed by the following verse:

"Thus have We made of you an Ummah justly balanced That ye might be witnesses over the nations and the Messenger a witness over yourselves.” (al-Baqara, 143)

 

FOOTNOTES

1 M. Veh­bi, Hulasatü'l-Beyan, XV, 6168.

2 ibid, X, 4176.

3 Nuh, 7.

4 Nuh, 9.

5 Hud, 28-29.

6 This expression is a clear statement that there is no compulsion in religion.

7 Hud, 28-29; ash-Shuara, 112-113.

8 ash-Shuara, 109.

9 ash-Shuara, 111, 112, 115.

10 Nuh, 11-12.

11 Nuh, 13-16.

12 Nuh, 17-18.

13 Hud, 32.

14 Hud, 33-34.

15 al-An­ka­but, 14.

16 al-Qa­mar,  10;  Nuh,  21,  24,  27,  28.

17 Hud, 37.

18 M. Veh­bi, ibid, VI, 2338.

19 Hud, 38.

20 M. Veh­bi, ibid, IV, 1660.

21 M. Veh­bi, ibid, VI, 2338.

22 Hud, 40.

23 Hak Di­ni Kur'an Di­li, IV, 2780-81.

24 M. Veh­bi, ibid, VI, 2342.

25 Hud, 41.

26 M. Veh­bi, ibid, VI, 2341.

27 Hak Di­ni Kur'an Di­li, VI, 5131.

28 Hud, 42.

29 Hud, 43.

30 Hud, 43.

31 Hud, 45.

32 Hud, 46.

33 Hud, 47.

34 Hud, 44.

35 M. Veh­bi;  ibid, VI.,  2348-2354.

36 Hud, 48.

37 Hak Di­ni Kur'an Di­li, IV, 2786.

38 To perform fasting on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram) was the sunnah of all prophets. Both Jews and Arabs who worshipped idols performed fasting on the day of Ashura. The Prophet performed fasting on the day of Ashura and ordered his Companions to perform fasting on the day of Ashura until the second year of the Migration, when fasting in Ramadan was rendered fard. When fasting in Ramadan was rendered fard, he left his ummah free to perform or not to perform fasting on the day of Ashura.

A person who wants to perform fasting on the 10th of Mu­har­ram needs to perform fasting on the 9th and 10th or on the 10th and 11th days of Muharram. It is makruh to perform fasting only on the 10th of Muharram because Jews performed fasting only on the 10th of Muharram. It is a nice deed to perform fasting before or after the 10th of Muharram too so as not to resemble Jews. (see Tâ­hi­rü’l-Mev­le­vî, Müs­lü­man­lık­ta İba­det Ta­ri­hi, 103-112).

39 M. H. Ya­zır, ibid, IV, 2784.

40 M. Veh­bi, ibid, VI, 2354.

41 al-Is­ra,  3;  ibid, VI­II, 2942.

42 ibid, X, 4176.

43 M. H. Ya­zır, IV, 2758.

44 Ta­ri­hî Ha­ki­kat­ler, 2, 396-398.

45 Bi­lim ve Tek­nik, Nuh, Tu­fan ve Ger­çek­ler,’den, issue 121.

46 İşa­râ­tü’I-î’câz, 41.

47 This insidious offer was made to all prophets. As a matter of fact, the notables of Makkan polytheists made the same offer to the Prophet. The reason why verse 52 of the chapter of al-Anam was sent down is stated as follows in tafsir books:

When some of the notables of the Quraysh stopped by the Messenger of Allah, they saw that some poor Companions like Su­hayb ar-Rumi,  Am­mar b. Yasir, Bi­lal al-Khabashi, Khabbab and Salman were sitting with him. The Qurayshis said, “O Muhammad! Do you prefer being with these people by leaving your tribe? Do you want us to follow these people?  If you dismiss them, we will talk to you and follow you.”

That verse was sent down upon this occasion.

The following is stated in another narration: The Messenger of Allah did not agree to dismiss them. Thereupon, they said, "At least, send them away when we come to you. When we leave, you can call them again. We cannot imagine our people seeing us sitting with these slaves.” The Messenger of Allah accepted it upon the offer of Hz.Umar. The polytheists wanted him to write this on a piece of paper. The Messenger of Allah asked Hz. Ali to bring a piece of paper. Just then, the following verse was sent down:

“Send not away those who call on their Lord morning and evening seeking His Face. In naught art thou accountable for them, and in naught are they accountable for thee, that thou shouldst turn them away, and thus be (one) of the unjust.”

(Ta­bari, Ja­miu’l-Ba­yan, VII, 200-201; al-Wa­hi­di, As­ba­bu’n-Nu­zul, s. 124; Alusi Ru­hu’l-Maani, VII, 160; Hak Di­ni Kur’an Di­li, III, 1941).

48 Lem’alar, 76-77.

Author:
Read 7.415 times
In order to make a comment, please login or register