- Published on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 05:43
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Long, long ago in the land of Mesopotamia, there was a town of people who lived wild and evil lives. Even though their ancestors had been good Muslims, they no longer believed in Islam. Instead, they prayed to idols which they made themselves. They would decorate wood and stone idols and ask them for everything they desired.
The chiefs and leaders of the town were very wealthy people. They were rude and arrogant, and they thought of nothing but money. They controlled the town, and the poor people lived in fear of them and their evil ways.
Allah (SWT) was very angry with the wealthy people in the community. He had blessed them with wealth, land and beautiful houses, but they didn’t thank Him or share it with the poor people. This was wrong. So Allah (SWT) decided to send them a messenger to teach them Islam, like their ancestors had been taught. Allah (SWT) felt that the best way to turn the unfaithful people to the goodness of Islam was to send them a person from among themselves. He knew that the people would pay more attention to a person they knew than to a stranger. Allah (SWT) chose a man named Nuh(A).
Nuh (A) was a very humble and gentle man. He was pious and kind, and he always spoke the truth. He was so trustworthy and wise that people would come to him for advice. His reputation as a truthful and gentle person helped him when he was chosen to be a Prophet, and he gained a few followers. All of his followers were poor people, because the wealthy people were too proud to listen to what Prophet Nuh (A) has to say. Prophet Nuh (A) told his people, "Worship only Allah (SWT). There is no God but Him. Otherwise, I fear that you will see the punishment of a painful day." (7:59)
The chiefs of the people laughed at Prophet Nuh (A). One of their leaders stepped forth and said, "You are nothing but a man like ourselves. We don’t see anything special about you. You have only a few followers and they are the poorest and the lowest from among us. We do not think that you are better than we are. In fact, we think you are a liar!" (11:27) The chiefs thought that just because they had a lot of money, they were better than Prophet Nuh (A) and his followers. They used this as an excuse not to believe in Islam.
Prophet Nuh (A) said, "I have been sent with a message of mercy, but if you refuse to see the truth in it, I cannot force you to accept it. Oh, my people! I do not ask you for your wealth, for my reward will come from Allah (SWT)." (115:23-29) Prophet Nuh (A) made it clear that he didn’t want the people’s money, and that neither he nor Allah (SWT) was impressed by how much money a person had. He told them "I will never turn away a believer who has little money. I will never tell my poor followers that Allah (SWT) will not reward them. Surely, Allah (SWT) knows best what is in their hearts. I see that you are very ignorant people." The leaders of the town became upset and angry because Prophet Nub(A) had made a very good point- One of them finally said, "0, Nuh! You have argued with us so many times and we still don’t care what you say. We don’t believe you.
If what you say is true, then bring upon us the punishment you warn us about!" (11:32) Prophet Nuh (A) calmly replied, "Only Allah (SWT) will bring the punishment upon you, and when he does, there will be no escape. None of my advice will help you if Allah (SWT) wills that you remain ignorant. Allah (SWT) is your Lord, and to Him you shall return." (11:33-34)
After some time, Allah (SWT) revealed to Prophet Nuh (A) that no more people would join him. Allah (SWT) told him not to worry about those .who didn’t believe. Instead, he should make plans to build -of all things - an ark!
Prophet Nuh (A) and his followers knew Allah was wise and powerful. They knew that Allah only commanded what was good for them even if they didn’t understand. And Prophet Nuh (A) and his followers quickly began working to build the Building an ark was a big job. An ark not just an ordinary boat. It was a fi boat. It had to be strong enough to carry everything Allah wanted to put it Prophet Nuh (A) and his people worked hard. They used long, wooden planks nailed them together. They worked for many, many days under the hot :which burned like a bright lamp in the middle of the clear desert sky.
Sometimes the townsfolk would walk by and make fun of Prophet Nuh (A) and his people. They would say, "You must be crazy to build an ark in the middle of the desert. There is no sea in this area! Do you plan to sail on the sand? Maybe you will pull the ark across the desert!" The people would point and Prophet Nuh (A) and his followers and laugh at them. Sometimes they threatened to hurt them. Even Prophet Nuh’s wife did not agree with him. Prophet Nuh (A) was patient. He would reply "Though you are laughing at us, we are laughing you in the same manner. You will soon know who will face the punishment of Allah (SWT)." (11:39) He would then return to building the ark, and he didn’t let the people’s insults stop him. As they were working Allah was watching them.
By working hard and working together, Prophet Nuh (A) and his followers soon finished the ark and waited for Allah’s next command. What did Allah (SWT) have in mind? Allah (SWT) ordered Prophet Nuh (A) to gather a male and female of each type of animal and put them in the boat. He and his followers gathered pairs of Frogs, hippos, bears, sheep ostriches, Giraffes, elephants and every animal they could find. Then the pious company loaded the animals in the ark, pair by pair. Prophet Nuh’s (A) followers and their children gathered their belongings and boarded the ark.
Prophet Nuh (A) and his children, except for one son, boarded the arc after all were aboard. The sky darkened to black as storm clouds rolled in from all over. The clouds seemed to swallow up the light, and thunder began to boom like cannons. Lightning streaked across the sky like crooked snakes, but when they disappeared, the town was once again under a blanket of darkness. People came out of their homes and began wondering why it was going to rain after such a long drought. They would soon find out. Then Allah (SWT) unleashed the storm clouds. Rain came down furiously from the sky. There was so much rain that the ground couldn’t absorb it. But it kept pouring, becoming deeper and deeper. Then, water started to gush out from the ground! The people were terrified. There was water coming from every-where! Where could they go?
As the water level rose, a wind developed and powerful waves crashed all around, crushing the houses and trees like toothpicks.Though everyone else had drowned Allah(SWT) kept Prophet Nuh (A) and his people safe. Then Allah gave his commandment.
"0 Earth; swallow up your water! 0 sky, be clear of clouds!" (11:44) A!lah (SWT) stopped the rain and brought the sun out. The ground swallowed up the water as if there had never been a flood, and the ark came to rest on Mount Judi. Prophet Nuh (A) and his brave followers were now safe from the danger of the nonbelievers. Prophet Nuh (A) cried to Allah (SWT), "Oh Allah! My son is of my family, and now he is dead. Why did you refuse to save him? You are the most just of judges." (11:45-46) Allah (SWT) replied, "0, Nuh! He is not a part of your household. He was a person of evil conduct.
He refused to see the truth. Do not question my decisions on subjects about which you do not know." It didn’t make a difference that he was related to Prophet Nuh (A). Prophet Nuh (A) realized what Allah (SWT) was saying and apologized, "My Lord, I seek refuge in you. I am sorry for asking you about a decision you made. You know better than anyone. If you don’t forgive me, I shall be amongst the lost people."
Allah (SWT) forgave Prophet Nuh (A) and told him to lead his followers and the animals off the ark. Down came Prophet Nuh (A) and down came the followers. Then came the animals in pairs. The animals spread out across the land. Some went to the jungle, some went to the forest, some went to the desert, and some went to the mountains. The fish went to the oceans, the sea and the lakes, while the birds mountain in peace. They prayed together without fear of being beaten or ridiculed. They thanked Allah (SWT) for saving them and wept with tears of joy. They knew that now they could start a new life without being bothered by other people. They were free to pray to Allah (SWT) and live as He wanted them to live.
Through time, Prophet Nuh’s followers grew in number. They spread out far and wide across the face of the Earth They went across land and many went across water. They built new homes and towns wherever they went They put masajid and schools in these towns to teach the young. For many decades they lived happily and Allah (SWT) sent among them Prophets to keep His Message alive.