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Sectiuon 8: The Ministry of Noah

Noah's exhortations to his people to serve Allah alone – The people belied him and were drowned

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verses 59 - 60

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

قَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ

59. "Indeed We sent Noah to his people, so he said: 'O my people! Serve Allah. You have no god other than Him. Verily I fear for you the chastisement of a grievous day."
60. "The chiefs of his people said: 'Verily we do see you in manifest error."

The example of 'that which is bad springs up nothing', which was referred to in the previous verse, was the people of Noah, to whom whatever he (as) advised he got nothing.

The story of the people of Noah has been mentioned in the Qur'an in Suras: Al-' A'hqaf, As-Saffat, Al-'Isra', al-A'hzab, Yunus, Al-Mu'minun, Al-Ghamar, and Noah.

However, the beginning thing that prophets invite to, is the invitation to Unity and theology. This is in common for the believers in all Divine religions.

"Indeed We sent Noah to his people, so he said: 'O my people! Serve Allah you have no god other than Him. ..."

Prophets are the true sympathizers of human beings. The verse continues the statement of Noah, saying:

"...Verily I fear for you the chastisement of a grievous day."

Anyhow, this fact should be pointed out that the invitation of Noah was worldly, since all the people of the world in that time were the people of Noah. Then when he cursed, all the disbelievers throughout the world were involved in his curse, and they were drowned entirely.

The Qur'an narrates the supplication of Noah, thus:

" And Noah said: My Lord! leave not upon the earth any dweller from among the unbelievers'." 1

The opponents of prophets have always been some groups of notable ones among the chiefs of the rich whose dazzling glare has filled the eyes of people.

"The chiefs of his people said. ..."

To know prophets as the misguided ones is worse than to disbelieve in them. When the nature of some people is transformed, they consider a true guide as a misguided one.

Now, in twenty first century, the world of atheism imagine themselves as the ones of a sound and serene mind, while they introduce the adherents of divine religions and prophets as some reactionists and simple-minded people.

He who pursues the theical system and tries to root out the system of paganism, should expect to face with any slunder, accusation, and affront.

"... 'Verily we see you in manifest error'."

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verses 61 - 62

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي ضَلاَلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

61. "He said: ' O' my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the worlds."
62. "I deliver to you the Messages of my Lord, and I advise you sincerely, and I know from Allah what you do not know."

In response to the affront and harshness of the opponents, Noah, with a calm, firm, and tender tone, said that not only he was not misguided, but also there was no sign of misguidance in him. He added that he was a messenger of Allah, the Lord of the worlds. The verse says:

"He said: 'O' my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the worlds."

This phrase is a hint to the fact that all the different gods they believed in were in vain.

The Lord of the whole people and the things of the world is Allah, the only One God, Who is the Creator of all of them.

Noah (as) continued saying that his aim was to perform the mission of his Lord perfectly and to convey His revealed Messages to them. The holy verse says:

"I deliver you the Messages of my Lord....."

He told the opponents that he would do his best for them in the path of benevolence.

"... and I advise you sincerely....."

Then, finally Noah added that:

".... and I know from Allah what you do not know."

This phrase may be a threat against their oppositions, indicating that he knew some painful punishments for the evil doers that they were not aware of yet. And also it points to the grace and mercy of Allah that if they paved the way of obedience he would know some blessings and rewards from him that they did not know, as well as the greatness and vastness of them.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 63

أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَاءكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَلِتَتَّقُواْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

63. "What! do you wonder that an admonition has come to you from your Lord through a man from among you, that he might warn you so that you might keep from evil and so that (His) mercy may be shown to you?"

The Divine statement inquires:

"What! do you wonder that an admonition hay come to you from your Lord through a man from among you, that he might warn you so that you might keep from evil and so that (His) mercy may be shown to you?"

The verse implies that you should not surprise that the Divine statement, the prophet hood and the messenger ship have been sent down upon a man who is from among yourselves in order that he warns you of the divine retribution if you do not believe.

When the verse implies that you should not surprise, it is for the reason that .if a person sincerely and sympathetically arises for the guidance and improvement of a community, it is not surprising.

The wonder is in this that people do not have pity on themselves, and they supply the means of their own wretchedness. Moreover, prophet hood is assigned for the interest of people. It adapts the wisdom and common good, and besides that intellect confirms it, too.

However, the purpose of coming Noah was that those people to avoid infidelity and sinning, so that they be shown mercy to.

Surah Al-‘A’raf, Verse 64

فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً عَمِينَ

64. "But they belied him, so We delivered him and those with him in the Ark, and We drowned those who belied Our Signs. Verily they were a blind people."

As a result of the very undue wonder, the people of Noah rejected him. Therefore, Allah delivered him and those believers who were in Noah's Ark from being drowned, and, thereafter, He drowned all those who belied Noah and the Divine revelations. They were some blind-hearted people, and they were misguided.

"But they belied him, so We delivered him and those with him in the Ark, and We drowned those who belied Our Signs. Verily they were a blind people."

The Arabic word / 'amin / is the plural form of / 'amy /. It is applied upon a person whose insight and innate vision are unable to do their functions.2

  • 1. Surah Noah, No.71, Verse 26
  • 2. Al-Mizan, the commentary

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