Allah Instructed to Construct the Ark

After a long period (seriously long) of rejection, humiliation and threats, and it was clear that no one (except a few) will accept Islam.

Allah Doesn’t Send Guidance to those who Refuse Guidance

Allah said in Surah Al Hood 11: 36

And it was revealed to Nûh (Noah): “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already. So be not sad because of what they used to do. (36)

This verse comforts Nuh alaihi salam and provide consolation for him. It informs him that the one who did not believe will not even believe. Also he was assured that he has conveyed the message to his best ability and that guidance comes from Allah.

Allaah says also in the Qur’aan that the disbelievers will never believe, regardless of you warning them, because Allaah has sealed their hearts, ears, and sight. Similarly He says that whomever He wills to misguide can never be guided.

Guidance belong to Allah but Allah doesn’t randomly choose among His slave who is to be guided and who is to be left astray. Allah is Most Fair. He does not create any of us and leave us alone to fend to ourselves. Not only has he sent to us Messengers along with His Books. But He continuously gives guidance to all of us.

This guidance is called Hidayah Al Bayaan. A guidance that is for all. He sends it through His signs in His creation. He sends it through people’s speech or actions, through the first insight that people have in their heart when they observe Allah’s greatness in any form. Everyone receives this guidance. It is our freewill that will make you take this guidance or otherwise.

For those who take this guidance, Allah will continue to bestow to them Hidayah At Tawfiq of which through Allah’s mercy He bestows ilham to the person to do more good and to be steadfast. .

However there are among those who continuously reject the signs both on their tongue and in their heart. Despite the guidance given to them they keep on rejecting them until Allah will finally seals their hearts, ears and sight from any form of guidance and Allah will allow them to continue to be in the state of disbelieve until the end of their life. And these people will be the ones Allah will put in the fire.

May Allah not make us among these people.

Frequently make du’a that Allah gives us tawfiq to be able to do more deeds. Without Allah’s help, we won’t be able to achieve anything.

Can you give examples of the things you need to ask for Allah’s tawfiq?

– memorise quran

– being steadfast in the deen

– praying at night

Allah Answers Prophet Nuh’s Du’a

Allah continued the verses by giving his an instruction to build an ark.

“And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Revelation, and call not upon Me on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.” (37)

Prophet Nuh alaihi salam did his utmost effort in presenting Islam to his people. It was hard work. After a long 950 years, receiving endless mocks and being ignored and the next generation only became worse than the earlier ones. The people were pushing him for the punishment, finally Prophet Nuh alaihi salam call upon Allah and poured his heart out concerning his people.

As Saffat 37: 75-76 

And indeed Nûh (Noah) invoked Us, and We are the Best of those who answer (the request). (75) And We rescued him and his family from the great distress (i.e. drowning), (76)

Prophet Nuh invoked Allah in Surah Ash Shuara 26: 117-118 

He said: “My Lord! Verily, my people have belied me. (117) Therefore judge You between me and them, and save me and those of the believers who are with me.” (118)

Al Qamar 54: 10 

Then he invoked his Lord (saying): “I have been overcome, so help (me)!” (10)

Al Mu’meenoon 23: 39 

He said: “O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.” (39)

An Nuh 71: 26-27 

And Nûh (Noah) said: “My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth! (26) “If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.” (27)

A number of points accumulated against them that led to their destruction, such as their disbelief, their evilness and also the supplication of their prophet against them.

Among the du’a that is accepted by Allah, is the du’a made by the one who is being oppressed. Indeed Prophet Nuh alaihi salam and the believers who were with him were oppressed and mocked by the wrongdoers

Allah said in surah An naml 27: 62

Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilâh (god) with Allâh? Little is that you remember! (62)

Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam said

‘The prayer of the oppressed is answered, even if he is a sinner as his sinning is only against his own soul (Saheehul-Jam’i, no. 3377.)

So Beware that you don’t become among those who are oppressors. Oppressor does not necessarily mean if you are a leader of a country, you can be a boss oppressing the employee beneath you, a parent oppressing the rights of the children, or anyone oppressing anyone.

Even the du’a of the non muslim is answered if he is oppressed. So beware!

Do you remember the events about intercession in the yaumul akhirah? That people will go from Prophet Adam to prophet Nuh to Prophet Ibrahim to Prophet Musa to Prophet Isa and finally to prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam to ask them to ask intercession from Allah that He start the judgment day because everyone has been standing for so long.

Narrated Abu Huraira: 

Some (cooked) meat was brought to Allah Apostle and the meat of a forearm was presented to him as he used to like it. He ate a morsel of it and said, “I will be the chief of all the people on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know the reason for it? Allah will gather all the human being of early generations as well as late generation on one plain so that the announcer will be able to make them all-hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see all of them. The sun will come so close to the people that they will suffer such distress and trouble as they will not be able to bear or stand. Then the people will say, ‘Don’t you see to what state you have reached? Won’t you look for someone who can intercede for you with your Lord’

Some people will say to some others, ‘Go to Adam.’ So they will go to Adam and say to him. ‘You are the father of mankind; Allah created you with His Own Hand, and breathed into you of His Spirit (meaning the spirit which he created for you); and ordered the angels to prostrate before you; so (please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are? Don’t you see what condition we have reached?’ Adam will say, ‘Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. He forbade me (to eat of the fruit of) the tree, but I disobeyed Him . Myself! Myself! Myself! (has more need for intercession). Go to someone else; go to Noah.’

So they will go to Noah and say (to him), ‘O Noah! You are the first (of Allah’s Messengers) to the people of the earth, and Allah has named you a thankful slave; please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ He will say.’ Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become nor will ever become thereafter. I had (in the world) the right to make one definitely accepted invocation, and I made it against my nation. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Abraham.’

They will go to Abraham and say, ‘O Abraham! You are Allah’s Apostle and His Khalil from among the people of the earth; so please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ He will say to them, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. I had told three lies (Abu Haiyan (the sub-narrator) mentioned them in the Hadith) Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Moses.’

The people will then go to Moses and say, ‘O Moses! You art Allah’s Apostle and Allah gave you superiority above the others with this message and with His direct Talk to you; (please) intercede for us with your Lord Don’t you see in what state we are?’ Moses will say, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will become thereafter, I killed a person whom I had not been ordered to kill. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Jesus.’

So they will go to Jesus and say, ‘O Jesus! You are Allah’s Apostle and His Word which He sent to Mary, and a superior soul created by Him, and you talked to the people while still young in the cradle. Please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ Jesus will say. ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before nor will ever become thereafter. Jesus will not mention any sin, but will say, ‘Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Muhammad.’

So they will come to me and say, ‘O Muhammad ! You are Allah’s Apostle and the last of the prophets, and Allah forgave your early and late sins. (Please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?” The Prophet added, “Then I will go beneath Allah’s Throne and fall in prostration before my Lord. And then Allah will guide me to such praises and glorification to Him as He has never guided anybody else before me. Then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad Raise your head. Ask, and it will be granted. Intercede It (your intercession) will be accepted.’ So I will raise my head and Say, ‘My followers, O my Lord! My followers, O my Lord’. It will be said, ‘O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through such a gate of the gates of Paradise as lies on the right; and they will share the other gates with the people.” The Prophet further said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the distance between every two gate-posts of Paradise is like the distance between Mecca and Busra (in Sham).”

Prophet Nuh alaihi salam mentioned that he had used up the du’a quota against his people and he is ashamed to make another major du’a at the time of yaumul akhirah. And the du’a that Nuh alaihi salam was referring to was the one that he asked Allah to destroy his people.

Allah Commanded to Build the Ark

Allah responded to Nuh’s du’a by instructing him to build an ark. Allah commanded the construction of the ark. It was probably the biggest project ever build in that time. It was said there was no ship build before and afterwards. Allah knows best.

Allah informed Nuh that when the punishment come upon his people, there is no one who can stop it. There won’t be any ransoming or speech at that time.

Allah informed this in advance because perhaps when the punishment came, Nuh might have leniency to his people upon seeing it.

Allah said,

Hud 11: 37 

“And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Revelation, and call not upon Me on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.” (37)

Now, couldn’t Allah just send an azab to the people of Nuh? Rather Allah make them work! Allah has decreed an order, and He did not give them immediately in the human sense of alatul. In fact, according to some of the pious predecessors said that when Allah answered the prayer of Nuh, He ordered him to plant a tree that the wood will be used to make the ship. Thus Nuh waited for one hundred years for it to grow. He then made the ship during the next hundred years. Another opinion was that he build it for forty years. Allah knows best.

There are lessons that we may explore from these

– Nothing comes easily without working for it. This is the group that will inherit the earth, the handful of Muslims left on earth, they need to work hard to be the progeny of earth so they must know how to work.

– They also need to work as a community. This is the biggest project any of them, or probably anyone in the world have ever embarked. What better team building session can there be than this?

– They had to build the ark on the mountains, far from the water source. This is a test of eemaan for them because to the plain mind of the ignorants, this is ridiculous. Only those with eemaan will obey the orders of Allah with the leadership of their Prophet.

The Believers Were Continuously Mocked

So there was prophet Nuh alaihi salam building an ark in the middle of nowhere far from any form of water source. Imagine what his people would say? Especially the leaders of the people. Those who were mocking him all these while. Those who did not believe in him. They have been calling Nuh a mad man, and now it seems (to them) that Prophet Nuh alaihi salam is proving himself to be mad.

Hud 11: 38-39 

And as he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mocked at him. He said: “If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking (38) “And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and on whom will fall a lasting torment.” (39)

Allah will deal with those unbelievers who mock he believers, if not in this world, it will be worse in the Hereafter

Al Muzammil 73: 10-13

 And be patient (O Muhammad SAW) with what they say, and keep away from them in a good way. (10) And leave Me Alone to deal with the beliers (those who deny My Verses), those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little while. (11) Verily, with Us are fetters (to bind them), and a raging Fire. (12) And a food that chokes, and a painful torment. (13)

Mocking is really a despicable behaviour. Allah forbids us mocking others. Allah says in Surah Hujurat 49: 11

O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn (wrong-doers). (11)

Think again when we call others by names or laugh at their nature which may seem unfamiliar to us. May Allah forgive.

The Ark’s Size

In terms of size some scholar said Allah ordered Nuh to build the ark eighty dhira’ long, to paint it inside and outside with tar, and to make its bow curved so it can easily sail in water.

Some said the ark’s length was three hundred Dhira’ with a width of fofty Dhira’ (yards). Qatadah said that was mentioned in Torah as well according to what he has read.

Hassan al Basri said the length was six hundred Dhira and the width is three hundred Dhira’.

Ibn Ababs said the length was one thousand and two hundred dhira’ with teh width six hundred dhira’.

The consensus is the height was thirty Dhira’. It was a three story deck ship, with every deck ten Dhira’ high. The bottom deck was for animals and cattle, the middle deck was for the people, and the upper deck was for birds. Its door was on its side and there was a multi layer cover on top of it.

It was build by the guidance of Allah.

Al Mu’mineen 23 : 27

So We revealed to him (saying): “Construct the ship under Our Eyes and under Our Revelation (guidance).

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