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.
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)
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
(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
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.