Lessons from the Stories of the Prophets in the Quraan by Mufti Menk – Nuh AS #2
This Ramadan 2011 Tafseer series is originally posted by Du’aa a Day on Facebook. – A transcript of Mufti Ismail Menk’s post Taraweeh Series in Cape Town, South Africa
Shared on 11 August 2011 – See original
Nuh AS Part ii
الحمد لله و كفى و صلى الله و سلّم و بارك على عباده الذين اصطفى و بعد
All praise is due to Allah Subhana Wa ta’aala, Blessings and salutations upon Muhammad SAW
Today we recited some powerful verses in Suratul I’raaf during the taraweeh salaah. Allah tells us of how the people of Jannah called out to the inmates of hell whilst they were burning in it, that “We have found the promise of our Rabb to be true, so have you also found what your Rabb promised you to be true?” They reply, “Yes” Then a caller calls out between them that may the curse of Allah be upon the oppressors.” In another aayah Allah says that these people of hell-fire, every time there skin peels off we will replace it with another skin. Death will not come to them. The hadeeth speaks about how they’ll be roasting in it and blood and pus will come out of their bodies. They will have nothing to eat or drink.
So Allah continues to say that the inmates of the fire will then call out to the people of paradise saying, “Please can you pour on us a little water or whatever else Allah has provided you with!” The people of paradise will say, “Surely Allah has prohibited it from those who disbelieve.” So they will be forced to drink the same extract from their wounds. What about us? What do we do to protect ourselves?
In another verse we recited today Allah says that those who did not take their religion seriously, who took it as play and amusement, today we will forget them just as they had forgotten the meeting of this day.”
So those who deny the meeting with Allah, deny the resurrection, Allah will not look at them with the gaze of mercy on the Day of Reckoning. An incident comes to mind, once an atheist was debating with me and told me that no one has yet convinced him about the resurrection and he does not believe in it! I said to him, ‘Say for e.g., I tell you, that if you are going to Japan then there is nuclear contamination there so you need to take this space suit with you. What would you do?” he said he would take it with him. I said and what if when you got there, there was nothing. He said, well at least I took the suit to be on the safe side, I didn’t lose anything. I told him so this is exactly our belief, someone came and told us that this is what will happen after death and this is what you have to do in order to save yourself, another person says that noooo, nothing will happen to you after death you will just disintegrate into the soil. So all we do is we are going to take the suit with us! If the man was right we will be happy at taking our precautions, and if he was wrong then too, we have lost nothing!” It made him think but he said he still does not believe! :-/
Anyway carrying on with the story of Nuh AS, recall yesterday how after much patience and perseverance, praying for the guidance of His people, calling them by day and night to no avail, after they mocked at him and threatened him, he raised his hands and called called out to Allah, firstly telling Him all he has been through with his people, saying He said: “O my Lord! Verily, I have called my people night and day (secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism), but all my calling added nothing but to their flight from the truth. Verily! Every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears,”
When the message comes to us let us not turn away. Allah says,”When the Quraan is recited then listen to it attentively and remain silent so that you may be shown mercy!.”
He continues saying, “ They covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud), then verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private, I said to them: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, Verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance, and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.”
We also hear time and time over again to seek Allah’s forgiveness but how many of us turn. Only one who is rejected will not turn. Everyday we hear, Alhamdulillahi rabbil ‘aalameen. AR RAHMANIR RAHEEM” Allah is the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful. Why then do we still hesitate to turn and seek repentance? In this verse we are told of the numerous benefits of seeking forgiveness:
1. Allah will send down beneficial rain. The economy of any country is based on the produce. If it flourishes the economy flourishes. Too much of rain is a punishment and too little of it is also a punishment.
2. Allah will increase your wealth. No point seeking wealth through gambling and other haraam means. Seek it through asking Allah’s forgiveness. You might go gamble with six rand and come back with 60 rand, so the next time you take 10 million rand, Allah will send you back home with your six rand! The blessing of contentment is you will spend from six rand and still come back home with two rand change. A poet says, ‘I am astonished by one who seeks sustenance from anyone besides the Supreme Owner of Sustenance.’
3.You will be granted a pure progeny for as long as you, yourself have been an exemplary role-model for your own children. Allah will guide them as well.
4. He will grant you gardens and rivers. Allah will open up the doors of Dunya and Aakhirah for you.
The Prophet PBUH has said in a clear cut hadeeth:
طوبى لمن وجد في صحيفته إستغفارا كثيرا
“Glad-tidings to the one in whose book of deeds a lot of istighfaar is found”
Nuh AS said to his people: “What is the matter with you, that you fear not Allah (His Punishment), and you hope not for reward from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness. While He has created you in different stages. See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, and has made the moon a light therein and made the sun a lamp? And Allah has brought you forth from the dust of earth. Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth), and bring you forth (again on the Day of Resurrection) Allah has made for you the earth wide spread (an expanse) that you may go about therein broad roads.
But no one believed or listened to his message.
He further said, “My Lord! They have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but only loss. They have plotted a mighty plot. They have said: ‘you shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor ya’uq nor Nasr (names of the idols). Indeed they have led many astray. O Allah! Grant no increase to the Zalimeen (polytheists, wrongdoers, and disbeliveers etc) save error. ”
So they kept plotting and telling their children not to leave the idols. So their children became more venomous than them! May Allah protect us. If a person is evil his kids will overtake him in evil unless they are guided. May Allah us and our children goodness Aameen.
Then He raised his hands and made a Ssssoliddd duaa of destruction against his people. He said, “Oh Allah do not leave a SINGLE non-believer on earth for if you leave them they will only lead your servants astray and they will only give birth to disobedient disbelievers”. Allah immediately says, فاستجبنا له so we responded to him, verily we are the best of those who respond!
Those who earn the pleasure of Allah, they just have to raise their hands once and its over! If your life is in shambles you should ask yourself, “Have I harmed a scholar of deen? Have I slandered or back-bitted any scholar?” Because one du’aa he makes against you your life is doooomed! Remember that he works for Allah so his boss will sort you out! 😉 If you can’t benefit from him then at least do not harm him!
So this was his plea, that do not keep not even ONE of them on the earth. If you do, they will lead others astray and if they don’t they will not give birth to anyone except those who are worse than them!
In response to Nuh AS’s plea Allah Almighty revealed the following revelation to him, “Oh Nuh, none shall believe, from your people, besides those who have already believed, so do not lose hope regarding what they do. “ Meaning it’s over now, we gave them a chance. What about us, we get soooo many chances. Allah accepts the repentance of a slave, ‘ma lam yugharghir’ – as long as he is not in the throes of death. For taubah, imaan and belief is required and we all have that inshaAllah so let’s turn before it’s too late. Allah Almighty gives us so many chances in life to turn to Him. If we continue to ignore these chances we will regret one day when it is too late. Let us not think that if we are enjoying life then it means Allah is happy with us. Allah Almighty allowed the people of Nuh AS to enjoy themselves, but only for a fixed time. Then suddenly they were taken by surprise. May Allah guide us all!
Allah told Nuh AS: “”Build an ark through our guidance and assistance and do not say anything to me about those who have oppressed for they will all be drowned.”
Nuh AS did not know how to build an ark. He was neither a ship builder nor a carpenter. However, Allah sent Jibreel AS to guide him in this regard. The wooden planks were not available so Allah Almighty ordered him to plant trees. When one tree grew long enough he cut it and took it to start making the ark. Each time he returned after fitting a tree with nails to the ark, he would find that the next tree was ready. As he returned to the ark each time with his plank of wood he would find that it would just fit into the previously placed plank in the ark like when when we build a jigsaw puzzle that when we are done mashaAllah we have this biiiiig beautiful Map of Africa! 🙂
He built the ark on the top of a mountain and every time people saw him they would laugh at him telling him that he was mad. They were surprised that he had given up his call and had now become a carpenter. They told him that if he really wanted to sail he would have to get nearer to the waters. It is reported that the ark took almost 100 years to build. It was longer than 900 meters, about 150 meters wide and its height was about 90 meters. The ark had three levels, each with a separate door and it was closed from the top.
Allah had given Nuh AS a sign which meant that the floods were drawing near. He was commanded that when the water gushes out of the hot earthen oven near his homestead, he should take his family members, the believers and two each of all creatures with him, board the ark and seal it. Not many believed, according to some narrations the maximum number of believers was eighty. This shows us that the majority isn’t always on the correct path. Allah says in a verse, “If you follow the majority on earth they would lead you astray.”
The sign of gushing water from the oven appeared and the order of Allah was fulfilled. Amazingly a pair of all creatures on earth had gathered near the ark and were waiting to enter it. Allah says, when they boarded the ark they recited the du’aa: “”Bismillahi majrehaa wa mursaahaa inna rabbee laghafoorur raheem”. This is one of the du’aas we are encouraged to recite when boarding any conveyance. It means, “In the name of Allah it moves and in His name it stops, surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving most merciful!” No matter what car you have, be it a lexus or anything, it moves and it stops onnnnly by Allahs will. Just the other day I read in the ‘arabnews’ that a mans brakes failed at 200 km/h. Luckily he had a phone with him and phoned the police, told them I am in cruise control and cant slow down. This was between Rabitah and Jeddah. They quickly opened up all the road blocks for him and cleared the roads until the vehicle finally stopped when I ran out of fuel! Allahu Akbar! About 3 days ago. You can google this and check it up.
Another du’aa we recite is, “Subhanallathee sakh-khara lana haatha wa maa kunna lahu muqrineen. Wa inna ila rabbinaa la munqaliboon!” ‘Glory to the One who subjugated this conveyance for us whereas we had no power over it. Certainly we are going to return to our Lord.’
So, the sky literally opened up with a downpour of rain and water which was underground gushed out. Nuh AS’s son Canaan, who had disbelieved, told his father that he would not join them. Nuh AS pleaded with him saying that nothing would remain on earth unless Allah willed. The son said that he is a mountain climber lol and he will be save himself from the floods, Allah says, “لا عاصم اليوم من أمر الله” Today there is no protector from the command of Allah save those upon whom Allah’s bestows His mercy! Then suddenly a huuuuuge wave came and swallowed his son out of sight and he was drowned.
The waters from the sky and the earth met together and destroyed everything. All life was destroyed and nothing remained. The mountains were covered and Allah has described the waves as being as huge as mountains.
Whilst the floods were going on outside, those inside the ark were very safe. The ark began to move after the water reached the top of the mountains because it was built on the mountaintop.
After this Allah ordered the earth to swallow its’ water and the sky to withhold in order to stop the flooding. Slowly the water began to subside. Allah ordered Nuh AS to dock saying that he will be granted Allah’s Protection and Blessings. The ark docked on Mount Judee. Where it is we don’t know, some people say in Turkey but that is not proven by any authentic narration. Allah knows best!
“O Earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain).” The water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of Allah) was fulfilled (the destruction of the people of Noah). And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: “Away with the people who are Zalimeen (polytheists, and wrongdoing)!”
Nuh AS called out to Allah asking Him about his son, saying that Allah had promised to save his entire family. Allah responded saying, “He is not from your family”. This is because of his disbelief and rejection of Allah’s message. The strength of common belief is much greater than the strength of blood relations that exist without it.
Nuh AS suddenly felt he had committed a grave sin. The reason is he felt it was disrespect to ask Allah about His Divine Decisions. This is why Nuh AS immediately asked for forgiveness saying, “Oh Allah! I seek Your Protection from asking You that which I have no knowledge about and if you do not forgive me and have Mercy upon me, I will be from amongst the losers”.
From this we learn that guidance is in the Hands of the Almighty. If the family members or relatives of a pious man have rebelled, it does not reduce his rank and status in any way. Though he is ordered to make every effort to convince his family members to accept the guidance, he cannot impose guidance upon them. Even in the case of the Prophets, it is Allah who grants guidance to their followers and not the Prophets AS themselves. They are only ordered to convey the message of guidance. This is why we must constantly call out to Allah Almighty to guide us and our offspring.
Also, sometimes, the best gift we can give our children is to not interfere when they are in trouble. If he committed a crime and deserves to be jailed, then let it be. That might be the BEST way to reform him! Don’t defend him and get him out of jail. If he is a crimanl, he is a criminal! Don’t defend crime. We know that people in prison are not always guilty, look at the case of Yusuf AS. He was innocent. But sometimes, if he really is guilty then the best rehab for him is the prison, it will give him time to think and reflect over his condition. Infact, I got an sms from some brothers in the prison saying they are listening to the tafseer Alhamdulillah. We make du’aa for them. Allah make there time there easy and a means of reformation and goodness for them. Also, when they are released for the community to accept them without that stigma being attached to them. Aameen!
Nuh AS and his people disembarked from the ark. In a verse Allah says, and this verse is a very Beauuuuutiful verse, it is the verse with the most ‘meems’( م ) in the Qur’an, 16 meems to be precise. Listen to the meems: (Read it aloud 🙂
قيل يا نوح اهبط بسلام منا وبركات عليك وعلى أمم ممن معك ، وأمم سنمتعهم ثم يمسّهم منا عذاب أليم
Sooooo many meems imagine 🙂 Obviously that’s just an item of interest 🙂 Allahs says, “O Noah! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the people who are with you (and on some of their offspring), but (there will be other) people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.”
There was no life on earth at all. When Nuh AS and his followers stepped out together with the other animals and creatures, they were the only creatures existing at the time. They multiplied and spread across the world over a period of time. Miraculously, from amongst those who were in the ark, besides Nuh AS’s wife, no other woman gave birth. This means that their family lineages ended there and only Nuh AS’s continued. Allah Almighty has mentioned this in the Qur’aan in more than one place. This is why Nuh AS is known as the “second father of man” or the “second Adam” or the “closest common forefather” of man. Subhanaallah!
That is the story of Nuh AS. Is there anyone from among you who would take a lesson from it?
و صلّى الله و سلّم و بارك على نبيّنا محمّد و آله و أصحابه أجمعين ، سبحان الله و بحمده سبحانك اللهم و بحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت أستغفرك و أتوب إليك ، والسلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته