Article appeared Friday, January 16th, 2015 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (362)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

The story of Prophet Noah (pbuh) is reported {1} in the Holy Scriptures of the descendants of
Abraham, i.e., the Torah, the New Testament and the Qur’an. The major details of the events
being similar, the story is repeatedly portrayed in a variety of ways for children and adults as
well as analyzed throughout the world. As examples, for children, cartoon pictures of Noah’s Ark
with paired animals looking out from the sides of the ark are painted on children’s bedcovers.
For adults, as recent as in 2014, the American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky simultaneously
released {2} a new $100 million blockbuster film called Noah in a record 3,936 theaters to a
huge wave of media attention. So, why is so much attention given to the story of Noah? Is the
story of Noah important?
While many accuse the movie {2} of changing the biblical story, some go so far as suggesting
that the Great Flood at the time of Noah is just a myth {3}. At the same time, ABC News reports
{4} on the findings of Robert Ballad, the famous underwater archeologist, that new evidence
suggests a Great Flood took place about 5,000 BC. In addition, the website AstirInch {5}
suggests that the limited number of genetic combinations on earth today provide conclusive
proof that we are all descended from a limited number of people from more recent times. The
Bible independently confirms {6} that we are currently all descended from Noah. Interestingly,
Chapter 17 of the Qur’an also addresses humans as descendents of Noah to deliver its
“O you that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily, he
was a devotee most grateful.” [17.3]
The main point of the message carried by Noah is repeated in the subsequent Verse,
“And We (also) gave (a clear) warning to the Children of Israel in the Book…” [17.4]
And declares the purpose of selecting and guiding Noah was no different from that of Moses
(pbuh) – to give a clear warning,

11.25 “We sent Noah to his people (with a mission): "I have come to you with a
Clear Warning:”
The question is who sent Noah to give a warning? Establishing the answer to this question is
essential as it would provide a theoretical frame for understanding the reported events during
the time of Noah. This frame would also allow evaluating the movie {2} and facilitate putting
what people say about Noah and the events that took place in a proper light. The frame is
created by asking the question, “Why did the Creator create human beings?” There are two
alternatives. One possible answer is that He created human beings for their own pleasure. The
other possible answer is that He created human beings to demonstrate who He is or in other
words establish the truth, i.e., for Himself. How can a human being establish the Creator’s
existence or quality? Just as the quality of a Mercedes Benz car is proof of the ability and quality
of the manufacturer, so is a created human being proof of the ability and quality of the Creator.
So, if a human realizes that the source of life and all blessings is the Creator, he/she would do
things to please the Creator – by acknowledging His Contribution he/she establishes the Truth.
With this purpose in mind, if a human lives his/her life just to please himself/herself, without
consciousness of the Creator, could He be blamed for issuing a warning before disposing such
humans? Therefore, the subsequent Verse warns,

11.26 “That serve none but Allah: (otherwise) verily I do fear for you the Penalty of
a Grievous Day.”
On the Day, those that did not establish the truth and on top displeased the Creator would be
disposed of. However, how did those who received the warning, respond?

11.27 “But the eminent among those who disbelieved among his people said, "We
see (in) you nothing but a man like ourselves, nor do we see that any follow you
except the lowest (poorest) among us in judgment and immature; nor do we see
in you any merit above us: in fact we think you are liars!”
Each individual has adequate intelligence and a free will to acknowledge the Creator and please
Him. Allah does not ask of you anything, just that you acknowledge the truth by serving none but
Allah. The truth is that you exist because He has created you. You enjoy intelligence, living and
wealth because He has given you these things freely. It is your turn to use your intelligence and
accept Him.

11.28 “He said: "O my people! Have you considered that if I have a Clear Sign
(clear evidence) from my Lord and that He has given mercy to me from His own
Presence but it has been made unapparent to you, should we force you to accept
it while you are averse to it?”
11.29 “"And O my People! I ask you for no wealth in return (for delivering the
message): my reward is from none but Allah: but I am not one to drive away those
who have believed: for verily they will meet their Lord but I see that you are
behaving ignorantly.”
11.30 “And O my People! Who would protect me from Allah if I drove them away?
Will you not then be warned?”
No prophet made any claims that there was anything special about him. Each essentially said, “I
am no one special, I have no special qualities nor am I allowed to judge anyone. It is Allah who
will decide as it is only He that knows the hidden secrets of your souls.”

11.31 “And I tell you not that with me are the depositories (containing the
provision) of Allah or that I know what is hidden (from our senses) nor do I claim
to be an angel, nor do I say of those whose eyes look down that Allah will never
grant them any good. Allah knows best what is in within their souls. Indeed, I
would then be among the wrongdoers (i.e., like the unjust).”
11.32 “They replied: "O Noah! You have disputed with (i.e. opposed) us and
(much) have you prolonged the dispute with us: now bring upon us what you
threaten us with, if you should be of the truthful.”
11.33 “He said: "Truly Allah will bring it on you (only) if He wills, and then you will
not be able to cause Him failure.”
11.34 “Of no profit will be my warning to you much as I desire to give you (good)
advise if it be that Allah leaves you astray (wandering in your minds): He is your
Lord, and to Him will you be returned (on the Day of Judgment)!”