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.
The torment upon the people of Noah
According to the holy Qur’an, regarding the life of the prophet Noah; he preached and called his people for monotheism for a long period of time, then he started to build a ship in front of the people in order to warn them of the promised torment and the fact that the divine promise of torment will be fulfilled. The holy Quran says:
حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا وَفَارَ التَّنُّورُ قُلْنَا احْمِلْ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا مَنْ سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ وَمَنْ آمَنَ وَمَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ؛
When Our edict came and the oven gushed [a stream of water], We said, ‘Carry in it a pair of every kind [of animal], along with your family—except those [of them] against whom the edict has already been given—and those who have faith.’ And none believed with him except a few. (Hood, 40)
Commentators have different ideas about the way the animals were placed on Noah’s ship. Some have said that this was because in Noah’s flood all the creatures in the universe were destroyed, and by God’s command it was necessary for any species of male and female animals to board the ship in order to reproduce after the flood. Other commentators have suggested that boarding animals should be used only to feed the ship’s inhabitants during storms, and that not all animals on earth were destroyed during the storm.
Again, Noah threatened not only his followers but also other people to get on the ark. Prophet Noah was hoping that when people saw the signs of the torment, they would believe his words correctly and would get saved. The Qur’an says:
وَقَالَ ارْكَبُوا فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ؛ وَهِيَ تَجْرِي بِهِمْ فِي مَوْجٍ كَالْجِبَالِ…
He said, ‘Board it: In the Name of Allah it shall set sail and cast anchor. Indeed my Lord is all-forgiving, all-merciful.’ And it sailed along with them amid waves [rising] like mountains … (Hood: 41-42)
Noah’s son and his professional pride
The Holy Qur’an says that at this stage, some people believed him and boarded the ark after seeing the truth of the promise of punishment; and when he saw that his son (Canaan) still did not believe and did not board the ark, he directly confronted his son and addressed him. Holy Qur’an says: وَنَادَى نُوحٌ ابْنَهُ وَكَانَ فِي مَعْزِلٍ يَا بُنَيَّ ارْكَبْ مَعَنَا وَلَا تَكُنْ مَعَ الْكَافِرِينَ “And it sailed along with them amid waves [rising] like mountains. Noah called out to his son, who stood aloof, ‘O my son! ‘Board with us, and do not be with the faithless!” (Hood: 42)
Canaan (son of Noah) based on his knowledge of swimming and the pride that was found in this specialty for him answered: قَالَ سَآوِي إِلَى جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِي مِنَ الْمَاءِ “He said, ‘I shall take refuge on a mountain; it will protect me from the flood.’ He said, ‘There is none today who can protect from Allah’s edict, except someone upon whom He has mercy.’ Then the waves came between them, and he was among those who were drowned” (Hood: 43)
Again, in order to guide his son, Noah reminds him that nothing can protect him from divine punishment: قَالَ لَا عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا مَنْ رَحِمَ He said, ‘There is none today who can protect from Allah’s edict, except someone upon whom He has mercy.’ (Hood: 43).
And finally, the same scientific pride of Noah’s son led to his death: وَ حَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُغْرَقِينَ “Then the waves came between them, and he was among those who were drowned” (Hood: 43).
Canaan was so proud and denied boarding,
When we can go to the top of the mountain, why should we board?
Rumi says that he wished that Canaan (Noah’s son) did not have the knowledge and expertise of swimming so that he would not suffer from this pride and perishes, but would join his father’s ark and be saved:
I wish he were not familiar with swimming, so he were not greed in Noah and the ark
I wish he had clung to the mother like a child and was an ignorant child
I wish he was unable to speak and was weak in the science of quoting
The lesson that Rumi learns from the story of Noah’s son and reminds all human beings is that one should not be proud of his intellect and knowledge, one should not resist against divine commands and guidance, which will lead to nothing but destruction:
It is totally odd, there is no arrogance and hatred, this is not Jeyhun, this is not Jo, and this is the sea
Suddenly, a deep, helpless sea swept away seven seas
Love, is like the ship; belongs to a few properties, is often out of pests
Sell cleverly and buy astonishment; cleverness is suspicion and astonishing is a glance
Sacrifice your intellect to Mustafa; say regards to God, who is sufficient
Noah is a father, a compassionate father, and it is not easy for any father to observe the death of a child. All fathers and mothers strive for their children to live in comfort and happiness. The Qur’an says that the prophet Noah witnessed the event of his son’s death so he prayed to God: وَنَادَى نُوحٌ رَبَّهُ فَقَالَ رَبِّ إِنَّ ابْنِي مِنْ أَهْلِي وَإِنَّ وَعْدَكَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنْتَ أَحْكَمُ الْحَاكِمِينَ “Noah called out to his Lord, and said, ‘My Lord! My son is indeed from my family. Your promise is indeed true, and You are the fairest of all judges.” (Hood: 45)
This paternal compassion receives a decisive yet loving response from God: قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ “Said He, ‘O Noah! Indeed, He is not of your family. Indeed, he is [personification of] unrighteous conduct. So do not ask Me [something] of which you have no knowledge. I advise you lest you should be among the ignorant.” (Hood: 46)
And the prophet Noah, on the basis of his monotheistic belief, apologizes for such a request: قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَإِلَّا تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُنْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ “He said, ‘My Lord! I seek Your protection lest I should ask You something of which I have no knowledge. If You do not forgive me and have mercy upon me I shall be among the losers.’” (Hood: 47)