Lessons from Prophet Noah: His People’s Arrogance and His Patience on Them

 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khalidi

In Surat Hud, Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) warns his folk against the punishment of Hellfire on the Doomsday to those who reject the teachings of Allah and His messenger:

Lessons from Prophet Noah His People’s Arrogance and His Patience on Them

Noah (peace be upon him) has argued with them long enough; yet they are not going to follow him.

O my people! Worship God! You have no other god but Him. I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful day! (Hud 11:8)

Unfortunately, instead of being grateful to Noah for his guidance and advice, his people, out of arrogance, refused his message claiming that he was only followed weak, poor and mean people. They said:

Shall we believe in you when it is the meanest that follow you? (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26:111)

However, Prophet Noah refused their claim and defended the poor believers.

I am not one to drive away those who believe. I am warning plainly in public. (Ash-Shu`arra’ 26:114-115)

Al-Sa`di comments on the above two verses saying that it seems that they requested Noah (peace be upon him) out of haughtiness and tyranny to dismiss the believers if he wants them to believe; hence he said ,”I am not one to drive away those who believe”. (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26:114) “They, indeed, do not deserve dismissing and insulting; on the contrary they deserve both verbal and actual honour.”

Al-Sa`di adds that had they thought well, they would realize that Noah’s followers were the sublime people, the elite of the creatures who enjoyed wise minds and virtuous morals; whereas the meanest people were those who lost the essence of their minds; so they preferred worshipping stones and calling for them and were pleased to prostrate to them while they refused to follow the ideal messengers and attacked them. They said: “If you desist not, O Noah! You will be stoned to death.” (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26:116)

Reminding Them of Allah’s Forgiveness and Generosity

However, forgetting about their warning, our master Noah (peace be upon him) preached his folk about Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, promising them the glad tiding Allah would provide if they lead righteous life and ask forgiveness from their Lord as it is stated in Saying:

Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving; “´He will send rain to you in abundance; “Give you increase in wealth and sons; and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (of flowing water). (Nuh 71:10-12)

Requesting Noah to Hasten the Punishment 

Noah’s people sought to speed Allah’s torment and punishment; this is clear from this verse, “They said: ‘O Noah! you have disputed with us, and (much) have you prolonged the dispute with us: now bring upon us what you threatens us with, if you speak the truth!?” (Hud 71:32)

This means that Noah (peace be upon him) has argued with them long enough; yet they are not going to follow him. However, Prophet Noah told them that it is only Allah who can hasten the punishment for you. He is the One from whom nothing escapes. This is Noah’s answer to his folk: “He said: ‘Truly, Allah will bring it on you if He wills, and then, you will not be able to frustrate it!’” (Hud 71:33)

His Patience on His Foolish People

All the way through Noah’s mission, his tribe disputed a lot with him; they insulted him and called him soothsayer, mad and liar. Moreover, on the authority of Mujahid in (Qurtubi Vol.12:64) that he says, “They used to beat Noah until he fainted and when he woke up, he used to say, “May Allah forgive my folk for they know not.”

At length, his arrogant tribe was bored of him and threatened to stone him if he continued to call them for Tawheed (monotheism) and resurrection.

thus, they were adamant not to follow the Message, preferring to indulge in personal and class concerns.

Moreover, they challenged him to bring down the torture upon them. They said, “O Noah, you have disputed us and been frequent in dispute of us. So bring us what you threaten us, if you should be of the truthful.” (Hud 71:33) Then Prophet Noah told them that it was Allah who could bring them the torture if He would and at that time his advice would not benefit them. He said:

Allah will only bring it to you if He wills, and you will not cause (Him) failure. And my advice will not benefit you – although I wished to advise you – If Allah should intend to put you in error. He is your Lord, and to Him you will be returned. (Hud 71:34-35)

In this climate, we can see that the forces of unbelief that take part in dialogue with Noah are bereft of any meaningful thought or love which they can exchange with his. They paint a picture of a narrow-minded people who seem bent on not giving the words of Noah any chance to sink into their minds.

As a result, Noah, who called his community 950 continuous years, complained to his Lord about his tribe’s denial of His message. “He said: ‘O my Lord! truly my people have rejected me.’” (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26:117)

Noah’s Supplication on His People

Prophet Noah realized through Allah’s revelation that nobody will have faith in him except the earlier ones:

It was revealed to Noah: “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already! So grieve no longer over their (evil) deeds.’ (Hud 11:36)

So, he supplicated to Allah “And Noah, said: ‘O my Lord! Leave not of the unbelievers, a single one on earth!” (Nuh 71:26), and he said “Then he called on his Lord: ‘I am one overcome: do You then help (me)!” (Al-Qamar 54:10)



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