After the death of Adam (a.s), many generations later, idolatry became a common practice in the world. It was at this time that Prophet Nuh (AS), an extremely patient and kind man, was sent by Allah to remind the people of His Oneness and to forbid the act of idolatry.
How did idolatry start?
During those times, whenever a good or noble person would die, people would make a statue of him to remember him. However god this intention was, it was lost and generation after generation, this remembrance turned into making Du’a and ultimately considering these statues as God. People started believing that these gods would bring them good, protect them from evil and fulfil all their needs. They gave their idols names such as Waadan, Nasran and so on. Originally these were the names of good people who had lived among them.
Prophet Nuh (a.s) – The Messenger of Islam
It was then that Allah sent Prophet Nuh (AS) to remind people that idols won’t bring them any good and that their purpose in life is to worship Him. He sent Nuh (a.s) to guide his people back on the right path of Allah.
Now if you read about Nuh, he was an excellent speaker and an extremely patient man. We can testify for his patience because he is known to preach the message of Allah for 900 years of his life. However, his repeated reminders did not benefit his people. It was only the weak and poor people who followed him.
Prophet Nuh (AS) refused to give up and provided logical reasons. The disbelievers would not budge. They either ran away from him or plugged their ears and became too proud to listen to the truth. All in all, he realized overtime that his efforts were surely in vain.
After 900 long years, he became tired and asked Allah (SWT) to destroy the non-believers.
As Quran says:
” And Nuh (Noah) said: “My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth! If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.” (Surah Nuh 71:26-27)
Prophet Nuh’s ark
Allah asked Prophet Nuh (AS) to build an Ark away from the sea with wood and tools. While he was at it, the disbelievers mocked at him, thinking he went mad.
Eventually when the Ark was built, Prophet Noah (AS) and his believers patiently waited for the command of Allah (SWT). The day of punishment arrived and water miraculously rained over the residents, resulting as a heavy rain. Prophet Noah (AS) opened the Ark and allowed the believers and animals to come inside, whereby there were approximately 80 people. The people and animals were in pairs such that their generations could thrive and that they don’t become extinct.
The non-believers, including Prophet Noah’s(AS) wife and one of his sons, did not enter despite his call. Prophet Nuh (AS) said:
…..”O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.” (Surah Hud 13:42)
However, his son did not listen and said:
“I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.”
Eventually, the waves swept all the non-believers, which included Hazrat Nuh’s(AS) son and wife.
Afterwards, when the water was absorbed, Prophet Noah (AS) was sad and cried for the fact that his son and wife did not obey the words of Allah (SWT). Yet, Prophet Noah(AS) sought Allah’s(SWT) mercy. He released everybody from the Ark and life came back to normal practice on Earth.
Also read: Stories of the Prophets – Adam (a.s)