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Nuh (a)

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Nuh (a)
Name in
the Qur'an:
Nuh (a)
Name in
the Bible:
Noah
Place of Birth: Mesopotamia
Place(s) of
Residence:
Mesopotamia
Burial place: Najaf (?)
Name of People: People of Nuh (a)
Before: Sam (a)
After: Idris (a)
Age: 2500 (?)
Era: 2000 years after Fall of Adam (a)
Repeat in
the Qur'an:
43
Important
Events:
Flood of Nuh (a)

Noah (a) (Arabic: نوح) was the first Ulu al-'Azm prophet. He is the third prophet after Adam (a) and the first prophet, at whose time the punishment of God was sent. By the order of God, Noah (a) built an ark to rescue believers from the flood. The Qur'an mentioned Noah (a) the first prophet who brought sharia to humanity. He is mentioned in Quran multiple times and one of the suras that is specifically about his story is named after him. Because of his long life, he (a) is known as Shaykh al-Anbiya' (elder of the prophets). His long life is used as an evidence for the long life of Imam al-Mahdi (a).

Birth

According to Islamic traditions, Noah (a) was the ninth generation in descendants of Adam (a). He is the son of Lamak, son of Mattushalkh, son of Idris, son of Yard, son of Mahlayil, son of Qaynan, son of Anush, son Shayth, son of Adam. There are different views about the time of his birth. Some believe that he (a) was born when Adam (a) passed away. According to a report, the place of his birth and life was Mesopotamia, in Kufa.

His name is not certain, in some hadiths, the name of Noah (a) is mentioned as " 'Abd al-Ghaffar", " 'Abd al-Malik", and " 'Abd al-'Ali". The reason for naming him as Noah, is his crying and mourning for himself and his mourning for saving and guidance of his people for 500 years.

Children

Islamic traditions have mentioned children of Noah (a) before the flood, yet, some sources mention that children of Noah (a) were born after the flood. Noah (a) had four sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan, all of whom except Canaan believed in Noah (a) and went in the ark with Noah (a), but Canaan is that son of Noah (a) who did not believe in his father and was drowned in the flood. According to hadiths, the progeny of Noah (a) continued through Shem.

As a Prophet

Prophet Noah (a) is considered the fourth prophet after Adam (a), Seth (a) (Shayth), and Idris (a). There is a disagreement about when Noah (a) was chosen as the prophet.

According to verse 7 of Quran 33[Note 1] and verse 13 of Quran 42[Note 2], he (a) was the first Ulu al-'Azm prophet. Many exegetes believe that the five prophets mentioned in the two mentioned verses have great positions because they brought sharia.

According to the glorious Qur'an, during his prophethood before the the flood, Noah (a) invited and warned people and invited people to worship One God and was very much harassed by disbelievers. According to verse 23 of Sura Noah, his people worshiped idols such as Wadd, Suwa', Yaghuth, Ya'uq, and Nasr.

According to most Shi'a scholars and hadiths from the Ahl al-Bayt (a), his invitation and prophethood was worldwide. Some Sunni scholars believe that his invitation was not worldwide and he (a) was chosen only for his people. Noah (a) lived in Palestine, Syria, and Iraq and was chosen for Chaldea and Assyria.

Prophethood of Noah (a) is very similar to the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s). Similar to him, at the beginning of his prophethood, Prophet Muhammad (s) invited people to monotheism in secret. According to the glorious Qur'an, another similarity between them was their day and night efforts for inviting people to worship God and their passion for it. They were both very patient and tolerant against excessive harassment of their people. Additionally, in the interpretation of verses 36 to 49 of Sura Noah (a), 'Allama Tabataba'i explained disbelievers arguments for rejecting Noah's (a) invitation and mentioned the similarity between Noah's (a) arguments against them with prophet Muhammad's (s) arguments against disbelievers of his time.

Lifetime

In verse 14 of Sura al-'Ankabut[Note 3], the glorious Qur'an mentions that Noah (a) was inviting his people for 950 years before flood, but it did not mention his whole lifespan. So the length of Noah's (a) life is one of the disputed issues in Noah's (a) life.

Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri believes that according to the most of the authentic Shi'a reports, Noah (a) lived 2500 years. 'Allama Tabataba'i believed that according to the explicit text of the Qur'an about Noah's (a) invite for 950 years before the flood, Noah (a) had a very long life; and, contrary to what some sources mentioned, it was neither a miracle, nor their years were different from the present years. He continues saying that it seems that Noah (a) lived a naturally long life, and no reason for the impossibility of having a long life is mentioned so far.

In the Qur'an

Prophet Noah (a) is one of 26 prophets whose names are mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an. One of the suras of the Qur'an that specifically mentions his story is named after him. His name is also mentioned 43 times in 28 suras of the glorious Qur'an. In the Qur'an, only general issues about the story of Noah (a) are mentioned and there are no details about his life.

Story of Noha in Quran
Sura No. Name of Sura Verse(s) Sura No. Name of Sura Verse(s)
3 Al 'Imran 23 29 al-'Ankabut 14
4 al-Nisa' 163 33 al-Ahzab 7
6 al-An'am 84 37 al-Saffat 75, 79
7 al-A'raf 59, 69 26 al-Shu'ara' 105, 106, 116
9 al-Tawba 70 38 Sad 12
10 Yunus 71 40 al-Ghafir 5, 31
11 Hud 25, 32, 36, 42, 45, 46, 48, 89 42 al-Shura 132
14 Ibrahim 9 50 Qaf 12
17 al-Isra' 3, 7 51 al-Dhariyat 46
19 Maryam 58 53 al-Najm 52
21 al-Anbiya' 76 54 al-Qamar 9
22 al-Hajj 42 57 al-Hadid 26
23 al-Mu'minun 23 66 al-Tahrim 10
25 al-Furqan 37 71 Nuh 1, 21, 26

The story of Noah (a) is mentioned in some suras in general and with details in some others. In Quran 7, his story is mentioned in verses 59 to 69, in Quran 11, verses 25 to 49, Quran 23, verses 23 to 30, Quran 26, verses 105 to 122, Quran 54 verses 9 to 17 and in details in Quran 71 (Sura Nuh). The general message about the story of Noah (a) in different parts of the glorious Qur'an is as follows:

  • Gradual deviation of human being from his God-given nature and emergence of class differences after Adam (a) and giving Noah (a) the mission
  • Noah's (a) sharia and his position among Prophets (a)
  • Noah's (a) forbearance and tolerance against difficulties in his invitation
  • The Life of Noah (a) among his people
  • Building the Ark
  • Coming of the punishment and the flood
  • Story of Noah's (a) son who was drowned
  • Ending the flood and Noah (a) getting off the ark together with his companions

Differences of the Story in the Torah and the Qur'an

According to 'Allama Tabataba'i, there are several differences between the story of Noah (a) in the Torah and the Qur'an:

  • In the Qur'an it is mentioned that the wife of Noah was deviant from the religion of Noah, but in the Torah, there is no mention of her deviation; but, the Torah says that she entered the ark with Noah (a). Some justified it saying that maybe Noah (a) had two wives, one of whom was deviant and another was saved.
  • In the Torah, there is no mention of Noah's son; while, the glorious Qur'an has mentioned his story.
  • In the Torah, there is no mention of the people who believed in Noah (a) and only Noah (a), his family, wife and children are mentioned.
  • In the Torah, the life of Noah (a) is mentioned 950 years in total; while, it can be understood from the glorious Qur'an that the period Noah (a) invited people to his religion before the flood was 950 years.

Some of the issues which are mentioned in the Torah but are not mentioned in the Qur'an are the rainbow which reminded Noah (a) about God, sending crow and pigeon to bring the news about subsidence of the flood, features of the ark such as its width, length and height, having three stories, the period of time the flood lasted and the height of water. Some of these issues is thought to be impossible such as the rainbow that God pledged by it. 'Allama Tabataba'i said that there are many issues similar to these in narrations about the story of Noah (a) transmitted by the companions of the Prophet (a) and their followers and they seem to be forged.

Moral Characteristics

In Shi'a hadiths, some of Noah's (a) moral characteristics are mentioned such as being a grateful servant who praised God, the Almighty, whenever he (a) put on clothes, ate food or drank water. It is narrated from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) that in the mornings and in the evenings, Noah (a) said: "O God, I take You as witness that any blessing which exists in my religion or in the world in the mornings and in the evenings is from You. You are One and have no partner. Gratitude and praise belongs to You, as much as You are pleased with me".

Also, it is mentioned in many narrations that even though Noah (a) had a long life and that he (a) was known as Shaykh al-Anbiya' (elder of the prophets), when the angel of death approached him to take his soul, he (a) was sitting in the Sun; so, he (a) asked permission to go to the shadow. The angel of death asked him how was the world to him. Noah (a) answered: "what happened to me in this world was like I go from the sun to the shadow".

Demise and Burialplace

His life after the flood is mentioned from 70 to 600 years.

There are different hadiths about the place of Noah's (a) burial:

Notes

  1. [Recall] when We took a pledge from the prophets, and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary, and We took from them a solemn pledge, (Quran 33:7)
  2. He has prescribed for you the religion which He had enjoined upon Noah and which We have [also] revealed to you, and which We had enjoined upon Abraham, Moses and Jesus, declaring, 'Maintain the religion, and do not be divided in it.' Hard on the polytheists is that to which you summon them. Allah chooses for it whomever He wishes and He guides to it whomever returns penitently. (Quran 42:13)
  3. Certainly We sent Noah to his people, and he remained with them for thousand-less-fifty years. Then the flood overtook them while they were wrongdoers. (Qur'an 29:14)

See Also

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from نوح in Farsi WikiShia.