اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
Praise is to God with all his praises, for all his blessings. . . Praise is to God, the owner of the property, the operator of the orbit, the bender of the wind, the glory of the morning, the religion of the beliefs, lord of the worlds; praise is to God for his dream after his knowledge and thank God for forgiveness after his power, and praise be to God for his long patience in his wrath and he is capable to do what he wills
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
And we bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, he sent him with guidance and the religion of truth, that he might proclaim it over all religion, even if the polytheists hated it.
Violence and stubbornness of the people of the Prophet Noah
The people of Noah were a rebellious and violent people. It is easy to guide mild-tempered people, but it is not easy to guide rebellious and stubborn people. The story of the prophet Noah and the cruel and irrational reaction of his people have been instructive for all human beings at all times. There are always people who stubbornly resist religious logic. The Holy Qur’an says about the people of Noah and its compares them with the tribes of the other prophets:
وَأَنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ عَادًا الْأُولَى؛ وَثَمُودَ فَمَا أَبْقَى؛ وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ مِنْ قَبْلُ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا هُمْ أَظْلَمَ وَأَطْغَى؛
that it is He who destroyed the former ‘Ad; and Thamud, sparing none [of them]; and the people of Noah before that; indeed they were more unjust and rebellious; (Najm 50-52)
The prophet Noah had conversation with God and talked about the opposition and misguidance of his people:
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِي لَيْلًا وَنَهَاراً؛ فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَائِي إِلَّا فِرَاراً؛ وَإِنِّي كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُوا أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْا ثِيَابَهُمْ وَأَصَرُّوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا اسْتِكْبَاراً؛
He said, ‘My Lord! Indeed, I have summoned my people night and day; but my summons only increases their evasion. Indeed whenever I have summoned them, so that You might forgive them, they would put their fingers into their ears and draw their cloaks over their heads, and they were persistent [in their unfaith], and disdainful in [their] arrogance. (Noah: 5-7)
Noah did not get tired and continued to reasoning his people, logically and understandably. These simple arguments are understandable to human beings today. And of course, with new scientific discoveries, more areas of the greatness of divine creatures are available to humans. It is enough for someone to pay attention to the world and God’s creatures by thinking. Noah tells his people:
أَلَمْ تَرَوْا كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقاً؛ وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُوراً وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجاً؛ وَاللَّهُ أَنْبَتَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ نَبَاتاً؛ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُكُمْ فِيهَا وَيُخْرِجُكُمْ إِخْرَاجاً؛ وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ بِسَاطاً؛ لِتَسْلُكُوا مِنْهَا سُبُلًا فِجَاجاً؛
Have you not seen how Allah has created the seven heavens in layers, and has made therein the moon for a light and the sun for a lamp? Allah made you grow from the earth, with a [vegetable] growth. Then He makes you return to it, and He will bring you forth [without fail]. Allah has made the earth a vast expanse for you; so that you may travel over its spacious ways. (Noah: 15-20)
In the same way, the prophet Noah remained among this stubborn, rebellious and violent people for nine hundred and fifty years, and continued to guide them. The holy Qur’an says: وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَلَبِثَ فِيهِمْ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ إِلَّا خَمْسِينَ عَامًا Certainly We sent Noah to his people, and he remained with them for a thousand-less-fifty years. Then the flood overtook them while they were wrongdoers. (Ankaboot: 14)
During this long period, Noah endured persecution, ridicule, and denial and sought refuge in God: قَوْمُ نُوحٍ فَكَذَّبُوا عَبْدَنَا وَقَالُوا مَجْنُونٌ وَازْدُجِرَ؛ فَدَعَا رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَغْلُوبٌ فَانْتَصِرْ The people of Noah impugned before them. So they impugned Our servant and said, ‘A crazy man,’ and he was reviled. Thereat he invoked his Lord, [saying,] ‘I have been overcome, so help [me].’ (Ghamar: 9-10) And so the Qur’an says about Noah إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُوراً descendants of those whom We carried [in the ark] with Noah. Indeed, he was a grateful servant. (Asra: 3) so it becomes more understandable to us.
For nine hundred years, Noah invited and his people’s denial increased
Did he withdraw of insisting? Did he choose any silence?
Did he say that there is no way for the caravan from the shouts of the dogs?
Or does the moonlit night weaken the dog’s roar in the full moon?
The moon shines light and the dog howls; everyone is on their own creation
The persecution of Noah’s people bothers him so much that he takes their complaint to the almighty God and curses them:
قَالَ نُوحٌ رَبِّ إِنَّهُمْ عَصَوْنِي وَاتَّبَعُوا مَنْ لَمْ يَزِدْهُ مَالُهُ وَوَلَدُهُ إِلَّا خَسَاراً؛ وَمَكَرُوا مَكْرًا كُبَّاراً؛… وَقَدْ أَضَلُّوا كَثِيراً وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا ضَلَالاً؛
and they have devised an outrageous plot. They say, ‘‘Do not abandon your gods. Do not abandon Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, Ya‘uq and Nasr,’’ and already they have led many astray. Do not increase the wrongdoers in anything but error.’ (Noah: 22-24)
To build a ship
It is at this time that God commands Noah to build the ship. Building a ship is both effective in guiding the people and prepares the ground for the divine punishment:
فَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِ أَنِ اصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا وَفَارَ التَّنُّورُ فَاسْلُكْ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا مَنْ سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَا تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِنَّهُمْ مُغْرَقُونَ؛
So We revealed to him: ‘Build the ark before Our eyes and by Our revelation. When Our edict comes and the oven gushes [a stream of water], bring into it a pair of every kind [of animal], and your family, except those of them against whom the decree has gone beforehand, and do not plead with Me for those who are wrongdoers: they shall indeed be drowned.’ (Momenoon: 27)
Noah’s people fooled him as they watched the building of the ship: إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا رَجُلٌ بِهِ جِنَّةٌ فَتَرَبَّصُوا بِهِ حَتَّى حِينٍ He is just a man possessed by madness. So bear with him for a while.’ (Momenoon: 25). This shows that the land where Noah and his people lived was not close to the sea and an area suitable for building a ship. The Qur’an says:
وَيَصْنَعُ الْفُلْكَ وَكُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيْهِ مَلَأٌ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ سَخِرُوا مِنْهُ قَالَ إِنْ تَسْخَرُوا مِنَّا فَإِنَّا نَسْخَرُ مِنْكُمْ كَمَا تَسْخَرُونَ؛ فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيْهِ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ.
As he was building the ark, whenever the elders of his people passed by him, they would ridicule him. He said, ‘If you ridicule us [today], we shall ridicule you [tomorrow] just as you ridicule us [now]. (Hood: 38)