Nuh (a)

Priority: a, Quality: b
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Nuh (a)
Name in
the Qur'an:
Nuh (a)
Name in
the Bible:
Place of Birth:Mesopotamia
Place(s) of
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:
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).


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.[1] There are different views about the time of his birth. Some believe that he (a) was born when Adam (a) passed away.[2] According to a report, the place of his birth and life was Mesopotamia, in Kufa.[3]

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".[4] 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.[5]


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.[6] 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.[7] According to hadiths, the progeny of Noah (a) continued through Shem.[8]

As a Prophet

Prophet Noah (a) is considered the fourth prophet after Adam (a), Seth (a) (Shayth), and Idris (a).[9] There is a disagreement about when Noah (a) was chosen as the prophet.[10]

According to verse 7 of Quran 33[11] and verse 13 of Quran 42[12], 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[13] 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.[14]

According to most Shi'a scholars and hadiths from the Ahl al-Bayt (a), his invitation and prophethood was worldwide.[15] 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.[16]

When interpreting the verses 19 to 35 of sura Hud, Allama Tabataba'i has referred to the similarities of the warnings and arguments of Noah (a) with his people with those of Prophet Muhammad (s) with pagans of his time through mentioning some of the warnings by Noah (such as warnings against polytheism and idolatry) and the counterarguments by pagans (such as the prophet being a human like them, accusing the prophet of lying) and Noah's response (not asking for a reward for his guidance and prophethood). Tabataba'i believes that since the arguments of both prophets (a) have been similar, God has annexed the story of Prophet Muhammad (s) and accusations against him by the pagans to the story of Noah (a).[17] This similarity has been acknowledged by other exegetes and scholars as well.[18]


In verse 14 of Quran 29[19], 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.[20]22

Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri believes that according to the most of the authentic Shi'a reports, Noah (a) lived 2500 years.24[21] '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.[22]

Long life, delay in prosperity for the believers, elimination of all the pagans and universality of Noah's (a) call are some of the similarities between him and Imam al-Mahdi (a) which have been mentioned in some hadiths.[23] Some scholars have referred to Noah's long life to argue that Imam al-Mahdi's (a) long life is in fact something natural.[24]

In the Qur'an

Prophet Noah (a) is one of twenty-six prophets whose names are mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an.[25] One of the suras of the Qur'an that specifically mentions his story is named after him. His name is also mentioned forty-three times in twenty-eight 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 (s) 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".[26]

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".[27]

Demise and Burialplace

His life after the flood is mentioned from 70 to 600 years.[28]

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


  1. Ibn Kathīr, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 83; Al-Najjār, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 30; Rāwandī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, vol. 1, p. 250-251.
  2. Al-Jazāʾirī, Al-Nūr al-mubīn, p. 117; Ibn Kathīr, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 83; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, p. 187; Nidāʾyī, Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam, p. 39.
  3. Bīāzār Shirāzī, Bāstānshināsī wa jughrāphīā-yi tārīkhī-yi iṣaṣ Qurʾān, p. 22.
  4. Rāwandī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, vol. 1, p. 256-257.
  5. Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ, vol. 1, p. 28; Rāwandī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, vol. 1, p. 256-257.
  6. Ibn Saʿd, Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 125; Mustawfī, Tārīkh guzīda, p. 26; Nidāʾyī, Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam, p. 44.
  7. Ibn Saʿd, Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 125; Mustawfī, Tārīkh guzīda, p. 26; Nidāʾyī, Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam, p. 44.
  8. Nidāʾyī, Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam, p. 44.
  9. Buyūmī Mihrān, Barrasī-yi tārīkhī-yi qiṣaṣ Qurʾān, vol. 4, p. 3; Al-Najjār, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 30.
  10. See: table, about Umar.
  11. [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)
  12. 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)
  13. Qurʾān 71:5-10.
  14. Qurʾān 71:23.
  15. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 10, p. 102 and 260.
  16. Nidāʾyī, Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam, p. 48; Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 10, p. 102 and 262.
  17. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 10, p. 210-219.
  18. Buyūmī Mihrān, Barrasī-yi tārīkhī-yi qiṣaṣ Qurʾān, vol. 4, p. 9-16.
  19. 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.
  20. Ibn Kathīr, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 65.
  21. Al-Jazāʾirī, Al-Nūr al-mubīn, p. 113.
  22. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 10, p. 271.
  23. ʿAlāʾyīnizhād, Shibāhathā-yi Imām Zamān bā aʾimma ma'ṣūmīn wa ʾanbīyāʾ, p. 62-64.
  24. Qazwīnī, Imām Mahdī az wilādat tā zuhūr, p. 134; Raḍawī, Imām Mahdī, p. 33; Riḍwānī, Wujūd-i Imām Mahdī az manzar-i Qurān wa hadīth, p. 79; Nazarī Munfarid, Imām Mahdī az tawallud tā rajʿat, p. 224; Amīnī Gulistānī, Sīmā-yi jahān dar ʿasr-i Imām-i Zamān, p. 218.
  25. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 141.
  26. Jazāʾirī, al-Nūr al-mubīn, p. 117.
  27. Nidāʾyī, Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam, p. 50; Rāwandī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, vol. 1, p. 257-262; Jazāʾirī, al-Nūr al-mubīn, p. 111.
  28. Mustufī, Tarīkh guzīda, p. 24.
  29. Bīāzār Shirāzī, Bāstānshināsī wa jughrāphīā-yi tārīkhī-yi qiṣaṣ Qurʾān, p. 46; Ibn Kathīr al-Dimashqī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 93.
  30. Afrāsiabpūr, Nūh wa Nuhāwand, Farhangān, no 5, p. 118-142.

See Also


  • Al-Jazāʾirī, Niʿmat Allāh. Al-Nūr al-mubīn fī qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ wa l-mursalīn; bi ḍamīma-yi zindigānī-yi chāhārda ma'ṣūm. Edited by Sayyāḥ Aḥmad. Translated to Farsi by Mashāyikh Fāṭima. Tehran: 1381 Sh.
  • ʿAlāʾīnizhād, Amīr Bahāʾ al-Dīn. Shibāhathā-yi Imām Zamān bā aʾimma ma'ṣūmīn wa ʾanbīyāʾ. Edited by Dāwūd Baṣāratī and ʿAbd Allāh. Bahārlūʾyī. Qom: Dār al-Tahdhīb, 1395 Sh.
  • Al-Najjār, ʿAbd al-Wahāb. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. 9th edition. Beirut: Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1406 AH.
  • Amīnī Gulistānī, Muḥammad. Sīmā-yi jahān dar ʿasr-i Imām-i Zamān. Qom: Masjid Muqaddas-i Jamkarān, 1385 Sh.
  • Bīāzār Shirāzī, ʿAbd al-Karīm. Bāstānshināsī wa jughrāphīā-yi tārīkhī-yi qiṣaṣ Qurʾān. Tehran: Daftar-i Nashr-i Farhang wa Ma'arif Islami, 1380 Sh.
  • Buyūmī Mihrān, Muḥammad. Barrasī-yi tārīkhī-yi qiṣaṣ Qurʾān. Translation by Masūd Anṣarī. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Ilmī wa Farhangī, 1383 Sh.
  • Ibn Kathīr al-Dimashqī, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. Edited by Muṣtafā ʿAbd al-Waḥidī. Beirut: Muʾassisa ʿUlūm al-Qurʾān, 1411 AH.
  • Kātib Wāqidī, Muḥammad b. Saʿd. Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā. Translated to Farsi byMaḥmūd Mahdawī Dāmghānī. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Farhang wa Andīsha, 1374 Sh.
  • Māturīdī, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad. Taʾwilāt ahl al-sunna (Tafsīr al-Māturīdī). Edited by Bāslūm Majdī. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1426 AH.
  • Mustufī, Qazwīnī, Ḥamd Allāh b. Abī Bakr b. Aḥmad. Tarīkh guzīda. Edited by ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Nawāʿyī. Tehran: Amīr Kabīr: 1364 Sh.
  • Muqaddasī, Muṭahhar b. Ṭāhir. Āfarinish wa tārīkh. Translated to Farsi by Muḥammad Riḍā Shafīʿyī Kadkanī. Tehran: Āgah, 1374 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Qiṣṣahā-yi Qurʾān. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1380 Sh.
  • Nidāʾyī, Farāmarz. Tārīkh-i anbīyāʾ az Ādam tā khātam. Intishārāt-i Arwand wa Samaʾ, 1389 Sh.
  • Nazarī Munfarid, ʿAlī. Imām Mahdī az tawallud tā rajʿat. Qom: Intishārāt-i Jilwa-yi Kamal, 1389 Sh.
  • Nūrī Mūsawī, Muḥsin. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ wa al-mursalin. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿArabī, 1429 AH.
  • Qazwīnī, Sayyid Muḥammad Kāzim. Musūʿa al-Imām al-Sādiq. Qom: Chāp-i ʿilmīyya, 1417 AH.
  • Qazwīnī, Sayyid Muḥammad Kāzim. Imām Mahdī az wilādat tā zuhūr. Qom: Nashr-i al-Hādī, 1387 Sh.
  • Rāwandī, Saʿīd b. Hibat Allāh. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. Edited by Qom: ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Ḥillī. Qom: Maktabat al-ʿAllāma al-Majlisī, 1430 AH.
  • Riḍwānī. Wujūd-i Imām Mahdī az manzar-i Qurān wa hadīth. Qom: Masjid Muqaddas-i Jamkarān, 1386 Sh.
  • Raḍawī, Rasūl. Imām Mahdī (a). Qom: Markaz-i Mudīrīyat Ḥawza-yi Ilmīya-yi Qom, 1384 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ. Najaf: al-Maktaba al-Ḥaydarīyya, 1380 AH.
  • Ṣādiqī Tihrānī, Muḥammad. Al-Furqān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān bi al-Qurʾān wa al-sunna. 2nd edition. Qom: Farhang-i Islāmī, 1406 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1390 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Tehran: Naṣir Khusraw, 1372 Sh.
  • Thaʿlabī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Kashf wa l-bayān ʿan tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Ibn Āshūr Abī Muḥammad. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1422 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī. Translated by Abu l-Qāsim Pāyandih. 5th edition. Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1375 Sh.