NUH'S FLOOD

We (once) sent Nuh to his people, and he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty: but the Deluge overwhelmed them while they (persisted in) sin. (Surat al-Ankaboot: 14)

Referred to in nearly all cultures, Nuh's Flood is one of the instances most widely alluded in the Qur'an. The indifference of the prophet Nuh's people to his advice and warnings, their reactions and how the event took place are told in detail in many verses.
The prophet Nuh was sent to warn his people who had turned away from Allah's verses and were associating partners with Him and to urge them to worship Allah only and abandon their rebellion. Despite the messenger Nuh advising his people many times to submit to Allah's commands and warning them of the wrath of Allah, they still denied him and continued associating partners with Allah. In Surat al-Mumenoon, how the affair developed is described as follows;

(Further, We sent a long line of prophets for your instruction). We sent Nuh to his people: He said, "O my people! worship Allah! Ye have no other god but Him. Will ye not fear (Him)?"

The chiefs of the Unbelievers among his people said: "He is no more than a man like yourselves: his wish is to assert his superiority over you: if Allah had wished (to send messengers), He could have sent down angels; never did we hear such a thing (as he says), among our ancestors of old." (And some said): "He is only a man possessed: wait (and have patience) with him for a time."

(Nuh) said: "O my Lord! help me: for that they accuse me of falsehood!" (Surat al-Mumenoon: 23-26)

As told in these verses, the chiefs of the community tried to accuse the prophet Nuh of trying to assert his superiority over them, that is, of seeking personal interests such as status, leadership and wealth, and they tried to identify him as "possessed", and they decided to bear with him for a while, and keep him under pressure.

Upon this, Allah told the messenger Nuh that those who rejected faith and did wrong would be punished by drowning and that those who believed would be saved.

Indeed when the time of punishment came, waters and overflowing springs burst from the ground and which, together with excessive rains, caused a huge flood. Allah told Nuh to "take on board pairs of every species, male and female, and his family- except those of them against whom the Word has already gone forth". All the people in that land were drowned in water - including Nuh's "son" who thought that he could be saved by taking refuge in a nearby mountain. All were drowned except those who embarked on the Ark with the prophet Nuh. When the waters abated at the end of the Flood, and "the matter was ended", the Ark came to rest on Judi - that is, on a high place - as the Qur'an informs us.

Archaeological, geological and historical studies show that this incident took place just as it is related in the Qur'an. The Flood is also very similarly described in many records of past civilisations and in many historical documents, although character and place-names vary, and "all that happened to an astray people" is presented to contemporary people as a warning.

Apart from the Old and New Testaments, the account of the Flood is told in a very similar manner in Sumerian and Assyrian-Babylonian records, in Greek legends, in the Shatapatha, Brahmana and Mahabharata epics of India, in some Welsh legends of the British Isles, in the Nordic Edda, in Lithuanian legends and even in some Chinese-rooted stories.

How could such detailed and pertinent information be gathered from such geographically and culturally distant lands, which are quite far from each other and from the flood region?

The answer is clear: the fact that the same incident is related in the records and inscriptions of all those communities which have little possibility of communicating with each other, is in fact a clear evidence that these people received knowledge from a divine source. It seems that the Flood, one of the biggest and most destructive events in history, was narrated by many prophets sent to various civilisations for the purpose of setting an example. Thus news about the Flood has spread out to various cultures.

Besides, despite being narrated in many cultures and religious sources, the story of the Flood incident and of the prophet Nuh have been greatly altered and so have diverged from the original version because of falsification of sources, or incorrect transmission and maybe even wrong intentions. Research reveals that, among all the Flood narrations which relate basically the same event with various differences, the only consistent description is the one in the Qur'an.

 

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