Prophet Nuh (Alayhis salaam)
Nuh (Alaihis salaam) the first messenger,After Adam (Alaihis Salaam). Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) was also the first messenger to be endowed with prophethood (risalat). In a narration of Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu anhu), the following words are explicitly mentioned: “O Nuh, you are the first messenger on earth.” (Muslim)
The experts of lineage have mentioned the lineage of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) as follows:
Nuh, son of Lamik, son of Matushalih, son of Akhnukh or Khanukh son of Yarud, son of Mahleel, son of Qaynaan, son of Anush, son of Shis (alaihis Salaam), son of Adam Salaam).
Although historians and the Torah have considered this to be correct, we have our reservations. In fact it can be said with certainty that there are more stages than above-mentioned between Adam (Alaihis Salaam) and Nuh (alaihis Salaam). In the Torah the time span between the creation of Adam (Alaihis Salaam) and the birth of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) is mentioned as 1056 years and the time span between the demise of Adam (Alaihis Salaam) and the birth of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) is 1026 years. Sheikh Rahmatullah Kiranwi’s magnum opus “Izharul Haq” has an excellent discussion in this regard.
Nuh (Alaihis salaam) in the Quran
The style of the Quran when relating historical incidents is that it only mentions those facts which serve as advice and admonition to people. In accordance with this style, the story of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) has been mentioned in the following 43 verses of the Quran:
3:33; 4:163; 6:84; 7:59,69; 9:70; 10:71; 11:25,32,36,42,45,46,48,89; 14:9; 17:3,17; 19:58; 21:76; 22:42; 23:23; 25:31; 29:14; 33:7; 37:75,79; 38:12; 40:5,31; 42:13; 50:12; 51:46; 53:52; 54:9; 57:26; 66:10; 71:1,21,26
The nation of Nuh (Alaihis salaam)
Before the advent of Nuh (Alaihis salaam), all the people were unaware of the unity of Allah and were unaccustomed to religious illumination. Man-made idols had replaced the true Almighty. Pagan worship had become the norm of the people.
Dawah and the disobedience of his nation
According to the normal procedure which Allah follows, a messenger, Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) was sent to guide them. Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) invited his people to the right path. He encouraged them to accept the true religion. However the people did not accept his message and persisted in rejecting with detestation and mockery. The elite did not leave any stone unturned in ridiculing and rejecting him. Their followers, in obedience to their leaders, tried and tested every method of ridicule and scorn on him. They expressed surprise at the fact that a man who was neither wealthy nor beyond the status of a human being (i.e. he was not an angel) claimed to be their leader. What right did he possess for such a claim?
When they used to see the impoverished and feeble followers of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam), they used to haughtily announce, “We are not like these people. We will not become your disciples and accept you as our leader.” They regarded the disciples of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) as blind followers who could not form their own opinions nor could they understand the situation themselves. If perchance they listened to Nuh (Alaihis Salaam), they would tell him to remove his indigent followers as they detested them and could not sit with them in one place.
Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) used to reply that this was not possible because these were the sincere servants of Allah. He said: “If I have to treat them as you desire, there will be no refuge for me from the chastisement of Allah. I fear his punishment. In his sight, sincerity is the criterion. There is no question of being affluent or poor.” He also used to say that he brought the message of guidance from Allah. He neither claimed to know the unseen nor did he claim to be an angel. He was a chosen messenger of Allah and propagation (dawah) and guidance (hidayah) was his aim. What do these aims have to do with wealth, knowing the unseen and being an angel? “These frail and indigent people who have sincerely believed in Allah are despicable in your sight because they are not affluent. In your opinion they cannot achieve any good because it is dependent on wealth and pomp. Remember the rule of Allah is that good is not dependent on superficial affluence. On the contrary, guidance and good fortune is dependent on the tranquillity of the soul, the pleasure of Allah, independence of the heart and sincerity of intention and action.”
In the eleventh chapter of the Quran (Surah Hud), all the above-mentioned conversations of propagation, debates and messages of truth have been explicitly enumerated.
The leaders of the disbelievers among his people said: “We see nothing in you but a human like us and we see only the most despised amongst us following you without pondering. We do not find any merits in you all above us. In fact we think you are liars.”
He (Nuh alaihis Salaam) replied: “O my nation, Tell me if my Sustainer has granted me a clear proof and a Mercy from Himself, have you become blind to it? Shall we compel you to accept it when you are averse to it? And O my nation! I am not asking you for any wealth as a recompense. My reward is from none but Allah. I will not expel those who have believed, for indeed they are to meet their Cherisher. I regard you as an ignorant nation. And O my nation! Who will assist me against Allah if I drove them away? Will you not take heed? Neither am I telling you that I have the treasures of Allah nor do I know the unseen. I neither claim to be an angel nor am I saying that Allah will never grant those people good whom you despise. Allah knows better what is in their souls. If I speak according to your desires, I will become of the oppressors.” (11:27-31)
Nonetheless, Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) strived tirelessly in trying to convince his people so that the mercy of Allah could encompass them, but they rejected. Whatever energy he spent in propagation, they used the same proportion of energy in creating enmity and hatred. They used all the means at their disposal to cause him harm. The leaders clearly told the masses not to leave the worship of the idols Wadd, Suwaa’, Yaghoos, Ya’ooq and Nasr.
This topic is discussed in the seventy first chapter (Surah Nuh) of the Holy Quran. It undoubtedly expounds the important issues of guidance and misguidance.
“Indeed We sent Nuh (alaihis Salaam) to his nation with the command: “Warn your nation before a grievous punishment afflicts them.”
He said: “O my people! I am a clear warner to you that you should worship Allah, fear him and obey me. In recompense, he will forgive your sins and grant you respite till an appointed time. If only you knew, when the appointed time of Allah comes, it is not delayed.”
He said: “O my Sustainer! I have invited my nation day and night, but my propagation only increases their flight (from Deen). Every time I invited them so that You forgive them, they placed their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their clothes, became obstinate and arrogant. Then I called them aloud. Thereafter I spoke to them in public and private. I said: “Seek forgiveness from your Nourisher. Indeed He is most forgiving.” (71: 1-10)
They said: “Do not abandon your gods. Do not abandon Wadd, Suwaa’, Yaghoos, Ya’ooq and Nasr.” (71:23)
Finally they said: “O Nuh! Do not dispute with us. Bring the punishment of your God upon our rejection (of your faith).”
They said: “O Nuh! You have quarrelled with us and increased your dispute. If you are truthful, bring that which you are promising us.” (11: 32)
On hearing this, Nuh (Alaihis Salaani) replied that the punishment of Allah did not lie in his hands. He who sent him as a messenger has full control over punishing. If He desires, He can punish everyone.
“Say, if Allah wishes, he will bring the punishment and you cannot overcome him.” (11:33)
When he lost complete hope in his nation, their obstinacy and pertinacity became apparent to him and he did not see the result of 950 years of effort on them, he became extremely dejected and dispirited. Allah Ta’ala then revealed the following verse to console him:
“It was revealed to Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) that none of his people will believe except those who have already embraced Islam. So do not grieve any longer on their (evil) actions.” (11:36)
When Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) realised that there was no deficiency in his propagation of the truth and the fault lay in the ability of those who were not accepting the message, their evil deeds affected him and he supplicated to Allah thus:
“O my Sustainer, Do not leave any disbeliever on the surface of the earth. If you happen to leave them, they will mislead your servants and beget only wicked and ungrateful offspring.” (71:26,27)
Allah accepted the supplication of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam). In accordance with his law of retribution, he announced meting out punishment to the rebellious and recalcitrant. As a preparation for the future, he gave instructions to Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) to prepare an ark which would be a means of protection for the obedient believers. When he began constructing the ark, the disbelievers began jeering him. Whenever they passed by him, they used to say, “When we are drowning, are you and your followers going to be saved on this ark? What a foolish thought!” Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) used to observe their negligence of the consequences and their insolence and reply to them in the same manner as they questioned him. Then he would continue with his work. Allah had already apprised him of the reality.
“Construct the ark under Our protection and according to Our revelation. Do not address Me on behalf of the oppressors, for they are about to be drowned.” (11:37)
Finally the ark was constructed and the time of Allah’s promise had dawned. Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) saw the first sign of which he was informed viz. the bubbling of water from the earth. Thereupon he was given the divine command to embark on the ship with his family, followers and a pair of all the animals. When the divine command was obeyed, the sky was ordered to pour forth its rain and the earth was ordered to let the water gush out. While all this was occurring, the ark was floating safely on the water. The rejectors of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) were all drowned and duly suffered the consequences of their atrocious deeds.
The son of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam)
There is a very significant issue to take note of at this point. At the time of the flood, Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) interceded on his son’s behalf for his rescue but Allah prohibited him from doing so. The importance of this incident arises from the following verses of the Holy Quran:
“Nuh (Aaihis Salaam) addressed his Lord and said: “O my Lord, indeed my son is of my family and your promise is true. You are the most just of all sovereigns.” Allah replied: “O Nuh, he is not of your family. His deed is incorrect. Therefore do not ask me that of which you have no knowledge. I advise you, lest you become of the ignorant.”
He (Nuh Alaihis Salaam) said: “O my Lord, I seek refuge in you from that of which I have no knowledge. I will become of the losers if you do not forgive me and have mercy on me.” It was said: “O Nuh, alight with peace from us and blessings upon you and those who are with you.” (11:45-48)
It can be deduced from these verses that Allah Ta’ala had promised Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) that he would save his family. It is for this reason that Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) made dua for his son. Allah Ta’ala reprimanded him from making such a dua. Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) admitted his fault and requested for forgiveness and mercy. He received an answer according to his wish.
Now we have to establish on which promise did Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) make the request and was this promise fulfilled or not. What kind of error did Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) commit in understanding the promise and upon the reprimand of Allah, how did he comprehend the actual matter? One has to ponder over the following verse in order to answer these questions:
“When our command came, and the oven gushed forth, We said: “Carry a pair of every living animal and your family onto the ark except those against whom the command has been issued. (And carry) those who have believed.” Very few believed (in Allah) with him. (11:40)
This verse indicates that Allah Ta’ala had informed Nuh (Alaihis salaam) that he should make his family embark the ark and that all of them were not going to be saved because Allah’s punishment had already been decreed for some. Nuh (Alaihis salaam) had earlier lost hope in his wife embracing the faith because of her kufr beliefs and regarded her to be the touchstone of the above-mentioned verse. Due to the paternal love which he harboured for his son, he expected him to board the ship and embrace the faith after benefiting from the company of the believers. Therefore Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) made dua to Allah on behalf of his son, taking advantage of the words “your family” mentioned in the verse. Allah Ta’ala did not like the deduction of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) by analogy without waiting for divine revelation. His son was a disbeliever and would remain in this condition. The promise of rescue was only for the believers. This request was thus not in keeping with the lofty rank of prophethood. Allah’s address to Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) was in reality not a reproach but a call to witness the reality to which he responded, acknowledged his being human and sought forgiveness. Hence this request was neither a sin nor does it contradict the sinlessness (ismat) of the messengers. Therefore divine revelation has termed it ignorance rather than sin or disobedience.
Nonetheless it became apparent to Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) that the promise of rescue was based on Iman and not family relations. Therefore he turned to his son in order to fulfil his task of dawah so that he could also be saved. Alas, the wretched son answered:
“I will seek refuge on a mountain which will protect me from the water.” (11:43)
Upon hearing this, Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) said:
“Today there is no protector from the command of Allah except the one whom He has mercy on.” A wave intervened and he was drowned. (11:43)
When the divine punishment terminated, the ark settled on Mount Judi. The matter was decided, the ark rested on Judi and the command was issued:
“Away with the oppressors.” (11:44)
Mount Judi is called Ararat in the Torah. Ararat is actually the name of the region between the Tigris and the Euphrates from Diyar Bakr till Baghdad.
The water began drying gradually. The passengers of the ark were now safely able to step onto the land once again. Therefore Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) is also referred to as “The second father of mankind” or “Adam, the second”. It is probably for this reason that he is referred to as the first messenger in the Hadith.
The story of Nuh (Alaihis salaam) terminates at this point. However there are some significant educational and historical issues to note. These will be mentioned hereunder.
Was the deluge general or specific?
Did the great flood encompass the entire earth or was it only confined to a specific area? The scholars of the past and present have two differing views on this issue. A group of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars, some astronomers, geologists and scientists purport the theory that the deluge was confined to the region where Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) and his people lived. The area of this region is 140 000 km’. The reason on which they base this theory is that if the deluge was general, its effects would have been visible in the different areas and on the summits of the world’s mountains. This is not the case. Furthermore the human population at that time was confined to a specific region. The progeny of Adam (Alaihis Salaam) had not as yet expanded beyond this region. Therefore they were entitled to punishment and the flood affected them. The rest of the earth had no relationship to this.
Other scholars and geographers purport that the deluge encompassed the entire earth. They also claim that this was not the only deluge but the earth experienced many floods, one of which was the flood in the era of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam). They reply to the objection of the first group by claiming that the skeletons and bones of many animals were discovered on mountains in regions besides the peninsula and geologists are of the opinion that these are remnants of marine life. They cannot survive out of the water for even a minute. This proves that the summits of these mountains were once covered with water.
After examining both viewpoints, the scholars of research have reached the conclusion that the flood was confined to a particular area. However the Quran has only mentioned those facts which serve as a lesson to mankind and has omitted the irrelevant details. This has left some scope for man to research and increase his knowledge. The Quran merely wants to indicate that people of intelligence should not forget how a nation disobeyed its messenger and was consequently destroyed in a massive deluge. There is a lesson for people of understanding in this.
The lineage of Nuh’s son
Some scholars are of the opinion that he was not the real son of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam). Thereafter some claim that he was the son of Nuh’s wife from the first husband and was brought up by Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) after he married her. Another group accuses his kaafir (disbelieving) wife of committing adultery.
These scholars have reached these far-fetched conclusions merely because they felt it was impossible for the son of a prophet to be a kaafir. However it is surprising how they have forgotten the verses of the Quran which portray Aazar, the father of Ebrahim (Alaihis Salaam) as an idol-maker and worshipper. Therefore, if the kufr (disbelief) of an exalted prophet’s father did not decrease his status, why should the kufr of a prophet’s son debase him. In fact this is a sign of the power of Allah that he produces a rose from barren land and he creates a thorn among fragrant roses. Glory to Allah, the best of Creators! When the Quran has explicitly stated that he was the son of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam), then what need is there for such deficient interpretations?
An important issue of character
At this point, certain scholars like Allamah Abdul Wahhaab Najjaar and others have claimed that when the wife of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) can be a kaafir, then the accusation of adultery can also be levelled against her. However I strongly differ with them. Even though kufr (disbelief) is much more heinous than adultery, how can a woman remain in the nikah of a Nabi and commit fornication while he remains unaware of her evil deed? It is possible for a pious man’s wife to commit such an act without his knowledge and as long as he is unaware of her actions, his piety will not be affected. However, the matter of a prophet is totally different. He receives divine revelation morning and evening. He is blessed with the speech of Allah, the Almighty. Then how can it be possible for an adulteress to live in his house while the divine revelation remains silent? The chosen messengers of Allah, being essentially sent for the guidance of mankind are kept pure from all kinds of internal and external defects so that no finger can be pointed at their lineage, character and morals. Then how can it be permissible for an evil I deed to be perpetrated in the house of one who claims prophethood while he is unaware of it?
The incident of Hadrat Aisha (Radiallahu anha) can serve as a guideline in this matter. How did the slanderers accuse her? Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also heard the accusations. Some days passed until the divine revelation completely clarified the matter.
It is possible for a prophet’s wife to commit fornication because she is not ma’soom (divinely protected from sin), but it is impossible for her to remain his wife after the crime. It is also impossible for him to remain unaware of her misdeed.
Kufr is undoubtedly the greatest sin but socially it is not regarded as a shameless act nor does it constitute evil character. It is a wrong belief. It was for this reason that nikah with a kaafir was permissible in the previous nations and also in the Meccan life of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam). However it was prohibited in Madinah and will always remain so. Adultery on the other hand is neither permissible at any time nor in any condition
Hence the comparison of kufr and adultery is incorrect. The question of maintaining social merit and demerit is at stake. Therefore in my opinion, it was impossible for Nuh (alaihis Salaam) to live with an adulteress. Had she committed the crime just once, divine revelation would have apprized him of the situation and she would have been immediately separated from him or at the least, she would have repented. In fact I go so far as to say that even if any narration indicated to this evil, it would have been our compulsion to give it a correct interpretation and lay bare the reality. Neither the Quran nor the hadith mention anything of this nature. It is therefore extremely harmful to profess such far-fetched interpretations. Nonetheless, Kanaan was the son of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) but instead of his father’s guidance, his kaafir mother’s nurturing and the environment had an evil effect on him and notwithstanding his being the son of a Nabi, he remained a disbeliever.
The task of a prophet is propagation of the truth and the dissemination of guidance. His duty is not to force his children, wife, family, tribe and nation to accept the message.
“You are not an overseer of them.” (88:22)
“You cannot force them to accept the truth.” (50:45)
The historians have mentioned his son’s name as Kanaan. This is in accordance with the Torah. The Quran has not mentioned his name as this was not essential for the narrative itself
Certain implicit issues
(1) Whether the deluge was general or specific, the history of the world and archaeological proofs attest to its occurrence. It is a reality that cannot be denied. Besides the Torah, ancient Hindu scriptures also mention it. Although they are slightly different from the simple and clear narration of the Quran, they are all unanimous in the occurrence of the incident itself. (Moulana Sayyid Abu Nasr Bhopali has mentioned the incident in detail in his book, ‘Tarikhul Adabil Hind’)
(2) The Quran has explicitly stated that Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) propagated for 950 years among his people. “Indeed We sent Nuh to his people. He lived for a thousand less 50 years among them.” (29:14) This age may seem far-fetched when compared to a normal life-span. However it is not impossible because the initial era of the world did not have all the diseases, worries and problems which man faced several thousand years later. Ancient history also bears testimony to the fact that the normal age some thousand years before was much more than the present-day life-span. Furthermore, his life-span is an exception granted by Allah to the prophets, the wisdom of which only He knows.
The Quran has not mentioned the period of propagation of any Nabi explicitly as it has done in the case of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam). Therefore there is ample scope for accepting this lengthy life-span when considering all the historical evidence of a period which was some 7000 years before. Perchance if this historical evidence is regarded as unauthentic for some reason, then too this incident should be regarded as a divine gift under special circumstances. This is the correct view and there is no need to attempt to decrease this life-span with far-fetched interpretations.
The famous poet Abul Alaa Ma’arri states in one of his poems that in the ancient era it was a habit of the people to state the year and refer to months. Because of this statement some historians are of the opinion that the period of Nuh’s propagation was 80 years and his age could not have been more than 150 years.
However this is incorrect because even if Abul Alaa’s statement is accepted, it will be regarded as some uncommon calculation of the Arabs. At the time when the Quran was revealed, it has not been established regarding any Arab tribe that they used the word ‘year’ to mean ‘months’. Therefore this statement cannot apply to the Quranic description.
Furthermore the most important factor to consider here is that the manner in which the Quran has mentioned this period, indicates that it regards the period of propagation of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) as very important, otherwise the normal style of the Quran is that it does not mention any incident unless there is some significance attached to it.
(3) Some exegetists have quoted Jewish narrations which state that Allah Ta’ala made the women of Nuh’s nation barren 40 years prior to the deluge so that a new generation does not come into existence. This narration is mere prattle. It was probably fabricated so that an objection does not arise as to why the children were drowned when they were sinless.
These “cautious” people have perhaps forgotten the law of Allah in this regard, otherwise they would not have resorted to such futile statements which are normally the products of the wrong beliefs of the Jews.
It is the habit of Allah that wherever diseases, plague, floods, earthquakes and similar catastrophes occur, whether in the form of a punishment or as a normal occurrence due to some external cause, there is no distinction between the pious and the impious, the saint and the satan, the worshipper and the sinner. As a normal cause of events in this worldly life, every person becomes the victim of the disaster. However, as far as the hereafter is concerned, there will be a distinction. These causes will be a divine punishment for the sinners and reward and elevation in status for the pious.
Do we not daily observe the consequences of an earthquake? Does it not have the same effect on the pious and the impious? When there is a plague, both the saintly and the evil become victims.
However it should not be forgotten that when such a catastrophe is the consequence of a nation disobeying their prophet, he is informed by revelation to vacate the area of punishment with his followers. He warns the people of the impending punishment. Thus whoever obeys him is saved from doom. Nonetheless it was unnecessary for the mufassireen (exegetists) to resort to Jewish narrations in view of being cautious.
All the men, women, young, old and children fell victims to the deluge. Now the matter rests with the Creator to punish those mature persons who disbelieved and to protect the innocent and sinless children.
(3) Where did the ark of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) eventually settle? The Torah indicates this place to be Ararat. Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) propagated in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Both these rivers have their sources in the mountains of Armenia from where they flow independently until they unite in Iraq. The mouth of these rivers is the Persian gulf. These mountains of Armenia occur in the region of Ararat. Therefore the Torah has referred to them as the mountains of Ararat. However the Quran, instead of mentioning the entire area, only mentions the specific place where the ark rested, namely Judi. The exegetists of the Torah are of the opinion that Judi is the peak that joins the mountain ranges of Ararat and Georgia. They have also purported that Greek writings from the era of Sikandar The Great (Alexander), testify to this. Until the eight century there was a temple in this area which was referred to as the “Temple of the Ark”. This is a historical fact which cannot be denied.
(4) A mufassir (exegetist of the Quran) has made a subtle point concerning the failure of Kanaan, the son of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam). He says that Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) was an esteemed messenger whose supplications were readily answered. He forgot his own son when supplicating and cursing. The obstinacy and rebellion of his disbelieving son emerged in the form of retribution for his actions. He was also drowned as a consequence.
When Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) was unsuccessful in guiding the nation, he first supplicated thus:
“O my Sustainer, do not leave any disbeliever on this earth. If you leave them alive, they will misguide your servants and their progeny will continue procreating disbelieving sinners.” (26:71)
At this occasion he completely forgot to exclude Kanaan and supplicate for his guidance. Perhaps he may not have been aware of his son’s disbelief. On another occasion he supplicated thus:
“O my Sustainer, forgive me, my parents, the believer who enters my house and all the believing men and women.” (28:71)
Here again he forgot to exclude Kanaan or did not supplicate for him to enter his house as a believer. He supplicated thus for a third time:
“Do not increase anything for the oppressors except destruction.” (28:71)
Kanaan was an oppressor (zaalim) because he was a disbeliever. This was an opportunity of making dua for him not to remain an oppressor. If he was unaware of his condition, then this was an eternal stamp of misfortune for the wretched son. When the time for the acceptance of the supplication approached and Kanaan’s obstinacy persisted, the extreme love of the father could not withstand the just decree of Allah. He had to admit his ignorance by making dua for a disbelieving son. Allah forgave him for this error of judgement.
(1) Every person is answerable for his own actions. Neither can the piety of the father be a cure for the son’s disobedience nor can the good fortune of a son replace the father’s defiance. The prophethood of Nuh (Alaihis Salaam) could not form a barrier for Kanaan’s disbelief while the lofty status of Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) could not be a means of salvation for Aazar (Ibrahim’s father). “Each person acts in his own way.” (17:84)
(2) Evil company is more destructive than deadly poison. Its consequence is nothing more than disgrace and perdition. Just as piety is essential for a man, good company is a greater requirement and just as it is compulsory to refrain from evil, so is it all the more necessary to refrain from evil company.
(3) Using means after placing one’s trust in Allah is not contrary to tawakkul (trust). In fact it is the correct method of tawakkul. Therefore it was essential to build the ark for protection from the deluge.
(4) The messengers, notwithstanding their being ma’soom (sinless), can commit slips but they do not persist in remaining at fault. They are immediately warned by Allah and taken away from the error. The incidents of Adam and Nuh (Alaihimus salaam) bear testimony to this. Furthermore they are not knowers of the unseen as the verse, “Do not ask me that which you have no knowledge of.”(11:46) suggests.
(5) Although the divine law of retribution is effective in all areas of the universe, it is not necessary that reward or punishment be meted out for every virtue and sin respectively in this world. This world is a sowing field for actions while the hereafter has been specified for retribution. Nevertheless punishment for oppression and pride is meted out to some extent in this world.
Imam Abu Hanifa used to say that an oppressor and an arrogant person definitely receive some punishment before death. The nations which opposed the true messengers of Allah and the destruction of oppressors is a clear proof of this.