Prophet Noah

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Did God  not reproach the Prophet Noah because of his Son?

The Prophet Noah called his people to the religion of God for nine hundred and fifty years. When his people insisted on unbelief and persisted in their wrongdoings, God ordered him to build an ark. After completing the construction of the ship, Noah embarked in it, upon God’s command, of each kind two, male and female, and his family – except those against whom the Word (of punishment) had already gone forth, – and the believers (Hud, 11.40).

When the Ark was floating through the waves towering like mountains, Noah saw one of his sons separated from the believers and called out to him to get into the Ark, but his son rejected his call, saying: “I will betake myself to some mountain and it will save me from the water” (Hud, 11.43). When Noah saw his son drowning, he called out to God, saying:

My Lord! My son is of my family! And Your promise is true and You are the Most Just of Judges! (Hud, 11.45)

God Almighty replied to Noah:

O Noah! He is not of your family. For his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of me that of which you have no knowledge! I give you counsel lest you should act like the ignorant! (Hud, 11.46)

Some scholars have regarded the appeal of Noah to God as a sin. However, it is difficult to agree with them. For the Prophet Noah, who is mentioned in the Qur’an as one of the five greatest Prophets, described as being resolute and steadfast, thought his son to be a believer. It is well known that in the religion of God, it is essential to judge according to outward appearances. That is, if a man professes belief and apparently performs the religious duties of primary importance like the prescribed prayers and alms-giving (zakat), he is treated as a believer. It is for this reason that our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, treated the hypocrites as if they were Muslims. So, the son of Noah was most probably one who succeeded in hiding his unbelief until the Flood, for it was Noah himself who had prayed God beforehand that He should forgive him, his parents, and all who entered his house in faith, and all believing men and believing women, and grant to the wrongdoers no increase but perdition (Nuh, 71:28).

God had accepted his prayer and ordered him to embark in the Ark also his family, except those against whom the Word (of punishment) had already gone forth. Noah’s wife was among those who were drowned, but Noah did not appeal to God to save her, as he knew, or was informed beforehand, that she was an unbeliever. He must have thought his son to be a believer so that he felt the need to express, in a manner becoming to a Prophet, his astonishment that God had let him drown. To this, God replied, saying:

He is not of your family. For his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of me that of which you have no knowledge! I give you counsel lest you act like the ignorant! (Hud, 11.46)

The Prophet Noah, upon him be peace, was, like every other Prophet, kind-hearted and caring. Every Prophet sacrificed himself for the good of humanity and made tireless efforts so that they could be guided to truth and attain true happiness in both worlds. God says concerning the Last Prophet’s attitude in this respect:

You would nearly kill yourself to death, following after them, in grief, if they believe not in this Message. (al-Kahf, 18.6)

The Prophet Noah, upon him be peace, called his people to that Message for 950 years. He never showed signs of tiredness during this long period. It is natural for a Prophet, a father, to show disappointment when he comes to know that his son is among the unbelievers who have been condemned to punishment in both worlds. But, since God Almighty is the Most Just of Judges and the Most Compassionate of the Compassionate, the Prophet Noah immediately turned to Him and sought refuge with Him, lest he should ask Him for that of which he had no knowledge:

O my Lord! I do seek refuge with you, lest I should ask You for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy on me, I should indeed be lost! (Hud, 11.47)


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