Prophet Nooh

Prophet Nooh

Prophet Nooh

Prophet Nooh (Noah), may Allah exalt his mention, was one of the eminent Prophets whom Allah Almighty sent to direct people to His Path - that of Monotheism. Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, recited that Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) (may Allah exalt his mention) said: "The period between Aadam and Nooh was ten centuries." [Al-Bukhari]

Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, was therefore born some one thousand years after Aadam's creation, or after he left the Garden of Eden. For many generations, the people of Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, had been worshiping busts that they called gods. They believed that these gods would bring them good, preserved them from evil and supply all their requires . They granted their idols names such as Wadd, Suwaa', Yaghooth, Ya'ooq, and Nasr.

Allah Almighty uncovered vein the Noble Quran (what means): "And [the idolaters] said: 'Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd, nor Suwaa' or Yaghooth and Ya'ooq and Nasr [i.e., the names of their idols]." [Quran: 71:23] Originally, these were the names of good people who had lived among them. After their deaths, busts of them were chosen to keep their memories alive. After some time, however, people started to worship these statues. Later generations did not even know why they had been erected; they only knew their parents had prayed to them. That is how idol worshiping progressed . Since they had no understanding of Allah Almighty who would penalize them for their evil acts , they became severe and immoral.

Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, explained: "Following the death of those righteous men, Satan inspired their people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit. They did this, but these statues were not worshiped until the coming generations deviated from the right way of life. Then they worshiped them as their idols."

In his description of this story, Imaam Ibn Jareer  may  Allah  have  grace upon  him recited : "There were righteous people who lived in the period between Aadam and Nooh, may Allah exalt their mention, and who had followers who held them as models. After their death, their friends who used to emulate them said: 'If we make statues of them, it will be more pleasing to us in our worship and will remind us of them.' So they built statues of them and, after they had died and others came after them, Iblees (Satan) crept into their minds saying: 'Your forefathers used to worship them, and through that worship they got rain.' So they worshiped them."

Imaam Ibn Abu Haatim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him narrated the following story: "Wadd was a righteous man who was loved by his people. When he died, they retreated to his tomb in the land of Babylonia and were immersed by sadness. When Iblees saw their grief caused by his death, he masked himself in the shape of a man saying: 'I have seen your grief because of this man's death; can I make a bust like him which could be placed in your meeting place to make you remember him?' They said: 'Yes.' So he made the statue like him. They placed it in their meeting place in order to be reminded of him. When Iblees saw their interest in remembering him, he said: 'Can I build a bust of him in the home of each one of you so that he would be in everyone's house and you could thereby remember him?' They agreed. Their children learned about and saw what they were doing. They also learned about their remembrance of him instead of Allah. So the first to be worshiped instead of Allah was Wadd, the idol which they named thus."

The substance of this point is that every idol from those earlier mentioned was worshiped by a specific group of people. It was mentioned that people made pictures and, as the ages passed, they made these pictures into statues, so that their shapes could be completely recognized; afterwards they were worshiped instead of Allah.

It was related that Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah, may Allah be pleased with them, who were two of the wives of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) informed him  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) about the church called 'Maria' that they had seen in the land of Abyssinia. They described its beauty and the pictures therein. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Those are the people who build places of worship on the tomb of every dead man who was righteous and then make therein those pictures. Those are the worst of creation in the sight of Allah." [Al-Bukhari]

Worshiping anything other than Allah is a tragedy that consequences not only in the loss of freedom; its serious effect arrived man's mind and devastates it as well. Almighty Allah created man and his mind with its target set on accomplishing knowledge, the most significant of which is that Allah alone is the Creator and all the rest are worshipers (slaves). Therefore, disbelief in Allah, or polytheism, results in the loss of liberty , the devastation of the mind, and the absence of a noble purpose in life. By worshiping anything other than Allah, man becomes enthralled to Satan, who is himself a creature, and becomes harnessed to his own baser qualities.

Into that environment, Allah sent Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, with His message to his people. Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, was the only intellectual not caught in the whirlpool of man's devastation which was caused by polytheism.

Allah, out of His Grace , sent His messenger Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, to direct his people. Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, was an excellent speaker and a very patient man. He pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the universe. He pointed out how the night is regularly followed by the day and that the balance between these opposites was prepared by Allah Almighty for our good. The night grants coolness and rest while the day grants warmth and wakens activity. The sun promotes growth, keeping all plants and animals alive, while the moon and stars help in the reckoning of time, direction and seasons. He indicated  that the ownership of the heavens and the earth belongs only to the Divine Creator.

Therefore, he explained to this people, there cannot have been more than one deity. He clarified to them how the devil had cheated them for so long and that the time had come for this cheat to stop. Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, spoke to them of Allah's exaltation of man, how He had created him and supplied him with sustenance and the blessings of the mind. He told them that idol-worshiping was a suffocating oppression to the mind. He alerted them not to worship anyone but Allah and described the terrible penalty Allah would mete out if they persisted in their evil ways.

The people listened to him in calmness . His words were a shock to their stagnating minds as it is a shock to a person who is asleep under a wall which is about to fall and who is vigorously awakened. This person may be alarmed and may even become furious , although the purpose was only to protect him.

The people of Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, were splited into two groups after his warning. His words touched the hearts of the weak, the poor, and the wretched , and relaxed their injuries with its grace . As for the wealthy , the powerful , the mighty and the rulers, they looked upon the warning with cold distrust. They believed they would be better off if things remained as they were. Therefore, they began their war of words against Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention.

First they accused Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, of being a mere  human, just like themselves, as the verse states (what means): "So the eminent among those who disbelieved from his people said: 'We do not see you but as a man like ourselves'…." [Quran: 11:27]

He, however, had never said anything other than that. He confirmed that, indeed, he was only a human being; Allah had sent a human messenger because the earth was lodged by humans. If it had been lodged by angels, Allah would have sent an angelic messenger.

The contest between the polytheists and Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, persisted . The rulers had thought at first that Nooh's call would soon fade on its own. When they found that his call attracted the poor, the disabled and common laborers, they began to verbally assault and taunt him: 'You are only followed by the poor, the meek and the worthless.'

Allah the Almighty tells us in the Quran (what means): "And We had certainly sent Nooh to his people, [saying]: 'Indeed, I am to you a clear warner. That you not worship except Allah. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a painful day.' 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 a liar.'" [Quran: 11:25-27]

Thus, the struggle between Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, and the heads of his people intensified. The disbelievers attempted to bargain: "Listen Nooh! If you want us to believe in you, then expel your believers. They are meek and poor, while we are elite and rich; no belief can contain us both." Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, listened to the pagans of his community and realized they were stubborn . However, he was gentle in his answer . He demonstrated to his people that he could not expel the believers as they were not his guests but Allah's.

Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, appealed to them saying (what means): "O my people! I ask not of you for it any wealth. My reward is not but from Allah. And I am not one to drive away those who have believed. Indeed, they will meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people behaving ignorantly. And O my people! Who would protect me from Allah if I drove them away? Then will you not be reminded? And I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allah or that I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel, nor do I say of those upon whom your eyes look down that Allah will never grant them any good. Allah is most knowing of what is within their souls. Indeed, I would then be among the wrongdoers [i.e., the unjust].'" [Quran: 11:29-31]

Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, refuted the arguments of the disbelievers with the noble knowledge of the prophets. It is the logic of intellect that purifies itself of personal pride and interests.

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