Prophet Nuh alaihi salam : The reaction of his people.

They begin to threathen him by stoning and expulsion

Al Aaraf 7: 60

The leaders of his people said: “Verily, we see you in plain error.” (60)

Noah answered them saying,

[Nûh (Noah)] said: “O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)! (61)

“I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allâh what you know not. (62)

Then they replied to Noah which is found in  Surah Hud 11: 27

The chiefs who the disbelieved among his people said: “We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking. And we do not see in you any merit above us, in fact we think you are liars.” (27)

The points that you must looked at in this verse are

i. It’s the chief who are answering and addressed to

ii. The mocking that Noah is only human thus incapable of relaying the message

iii. their observation that the followers are among the lower class deeming that this is not in their class

iv. Accusing the Messenger as liars and has nothing special against them

You will see that this very points are among the points that most disbelievers would use against the Messengers. Time and time again history will repeat. Even now these are still the remarks made by the disbelievers against our religion and our messenger sallallahu alaihi wasalam.

Let us hear the story of Heraclius that describe to us among the signs of a Prophet

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas:

Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah’s Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius’s question said to them, “Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?” Abu Sufyan replied, “I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group).”

Heraclius said, “Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him.” Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me.” Abu Sufyan added, “By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was:

‘What is his family status amongst you?’

I replied, ‘He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.’

Heraclius further asked, ‘Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?’

I replied, ‘No.’

He said, ‘Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?’

I replied, ‘No.’

Heraclius asked, ‘Do the nobles or the poor follow him?’

I replied, ‘It is the poor who follow him.’

He said, ‘Are his followers increasing decreasing (day by day)?’

I replied, ‘They are increasing.’

He then asked, ‘Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?’

I replied, ‘No.’

Heraclius said, ‘Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?’

I replied, ‘No. ‘

Heraclius said, ‘Does he break his promises?’

I replied, ‘No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.’ I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.

Heraclius asked, ‘Have you ever had a war with him?’

I replied, ‘Yes.’

Then he said, ‘What was the outcome of the battles?’

I replied, ‘Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.’

Heraclius said, ‘What does he order you to do?’

I said, ‘He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our Kith and kin.’

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man’s statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I, then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.’ Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah’s Apostle

which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows: “In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah’s Statement:)

‘O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).’ (3:64).

Abu Sufyan then added, “When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha) (the Prophet Muhammad) has become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it).”

The sub narrator adds, “Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya’ (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius was visiting ilya’ (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer. He replied, ‘At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?’ The people replied, ‘Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews).

‘Just Issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.’

While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah’s Apostle to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, ‘Arabs also practice circumcision.’

(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the ‘Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs. (a town in Syrian and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, ‘O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).’

(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.

(When they returned) he said, ‘What already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it.’ The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraclius’s story (in connection with his faith).

Back to the story of Nuh

The Quran tells us what nuh said to his people in Surah Hud 11: 28-31

He said: “O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and a Mercy (Prophethood) has come to me from Him, but that (Mercy) has been obscured from your sight. Shall we compel you to accept it (Islâmic Monotheism) when you have a strong hatred for it? (28)

And O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allâh. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant (29) 

“And O my people! Who will help me against Allâh, if I drove them away? Will you not then give a thought? (30) 

“And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allâh, “Nor that I know the Ghaib (unseen);”nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allâh will not bestow any good on them. Allâh knows what is in their inner-selves (as regards belief, etc.). In that case, I should, indeed be one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, oppressors).” (31)

When we read the verses on how Prophet Nuh alaihi salam addressed the non believers, you can see how Prophet Nuh addressed them with politeness and gentleness. This is the way to make daawah.

When Allah told Prophet Musa alaihi salam to make daawah, He said in Taha 20: 44

And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allâh).” (44)

and in An Nahl 16: 125

Invite (mankind, O Muhammad SAW) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’ân) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided. (125)

Many people are willing to argue and will resort to bad words and actions. Avoid responding in similar ugly ways and try your best to have patience. May Allah make us among the sabr.

Also Prophet nuh stressed to them that he is not seeking any reward or status or power  by anyone by conveying this message. His reward is from Allah whose reward is the best and more lasting than the one that any human can give.

In Surah Hud 11: 27 which I have put up earlier, the chiefs did not like it that the followers of Prophet Nuh were mostly among the people of lower” class. They asked him to expel these people then only would they follow Prophet Nuh alaihi salam. Nuh refused to do so.

At the time of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam, the disbelievers of quraysh also asked him to expel the low and weak Muslims like Ammar bin Yassir, Suhayb, Bilal, Khabab and others. Islam is not about “class” and social status of people. There is no difference between us except our taqwa.

Next in ayah 11: 31, Prophet Nuh alaihi salam declared that he does not own treasure, nor is he an angel  nor he knows things thatare unseen except that he is merely a slave of Allah who is given some knowledge that Allah has taught him. He also does not have any power to make harm on them.

His people continue to argue with him, raising up petty issues.

As Shuara 26: 111-115

They said: “Shall we believe in you, when the meanest (of the people) follow you?” (111) 

He said: “And what knowledge have I of what they used to do? (112) 

“Their account is only with my Lord, if you could (but) know. (113) 

“And I am not going to drive away the believers. (114) 

I am only a plain warner.” (115)

The arguments went on for a long time and only a few people believed in Nuh. He made daawah for 950 years.

Al Ankabut 29: 14

And indeed We sent Nûh (Noah) to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years [inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allâh (Monotheism), and discard the false gods and other deities], and the Deluge overtook them while they were Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, polytheists, disbelievers). (14)

Whenever a generation passed, they would advised the newer ones not to believe in Huh. To disagree and fight him. Thus they all become blind followers who only follow what their parents and forefathers worship and it has become the nature for them not to follow the way of the truth.

This is among the cries of Prophet Nuh alaihi salam to Allah in Surah Nuh 71: 27

If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.” (27)

This went on  and on and on until his people said to him as mentioned in Surah hud 11: 32-34

They said: “O Nûh (Noah)! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.” (32) 

He said: “Only Allâh will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He wills, and then you will escape not. (33)

“And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allâh’s Will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return.” (34)

If Allah wills a person astray, no one can guide  them. And if Allah wishes him to be guided, no one can make him astray. And Allah does not do this by random pick. He sent all of us guidance through many of his signs. As for the people of Nuh, they even have the chance to meet a prophet before them. They had the chance to listen to him. They are the one who insisted in upholding the tradition of worshiping idol. Insisted on shirk. Continuously rejected the sign. Mocking it on their tongue and hating it in the heart. After a long time of the insistence of kufr and they actually said, bring on what the torture that Allah has for them, in arrogance. Allah finally seals their  senses faculties and their heart to any form of hidayah and will leave them astray.

may we be protected from that.

Among the lessons
1. prophets never asked for wealth nor status
2. they only await for reward from Allah.
3. meaning dunya wise, there is really nothing for them to gain.
4. Prophets are Messengers, not an angel or anything unseen. They also do not own treasures of the world except for knowledge that Allah tells them so.
5. Daawah is to bemade in good words and politely
6. prophet Nuh alaihi salam made du’a for 950 years.
7. Generations come in these years even more wicked than before
8. Prophet Nuh alaihi salam asked Allah to destroy these people because of their continuous disbelieving to Allah

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