Noah in Islam

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Nuh (Noah)1.png
Noah written in Islamic calligraphy followed by Peace be upon him.
Known for Noah's Ark
Predecessor Idris
Successor Hud
Spouse(s) Naamah
Children Shem, Ham, Yam and Japheth

Nuh (Arabic : نُوحٌ, romanized: Nūḥ), [1] also known as Noah , is recognized in Islam as a prophet and messenger of God. He is one of the Ulu'l azm prophets. [2] Noah's mission was to warn his people, who were plunged in depravity and sin. God charged Noah with the duty of preaching to his people, advising them to abandon idolatry and to worship only God and to live good and pure lives. [3] Although he preached the Message of God with zeal, his people refused to mend their ways, leading to building the Ark and the Deluge, the Great Flood. In Islamic tradition, it is disputed whether the Great Flood was a global or a local one. [4] Noah's preaching and prophet-hood spanned 950 years according to the Quran. [5]


Noah's mission had a double character: he had to warn his people, asking them to call for repentance and, at the same time, he had to preach about God's mercy and forgiveness, promising them the glad tidings God would provide if they led righteous lives. References to Noah are scattered throughout the Qur'an, and there is even an entire sura carrying his name, Nūḥ . [6]

In the Quran


Noah is praised by God in the Quran, which shows his great status amongst the prophets. In Quran 17:3, God states: "Verily he was a devotee most grateful." [7] Also, from the Qur'an which states:

(In the days of old), Noah cried to Us, and We are the best to hear prayer.

And We delivered him and his people from the Great Calamity,

And made his progeny to endure (on this earth);

And We left (this blessing) for him among generations to come in later times:

"Peace and salutation to Noah among the nations!"

Qur'an 37:75-79" [8]

And also in Quran 3:33, it states: "Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran above all people,-" [9]


The Durupinar site, argued to be Noah's Ark The Structure Claimed to be the Noah's Ark near the Mount Ararat in Turkey.jpg
The Durupınar site, argued to be Noah's Ark

The Quran states that Noah was inspired by God, like other prophets such as Ibrāhīm (Abraham), Ismā'īl (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya'qub (Jacob), Isa (Jesus), Ilyas (Elijah), Ayyub (Job), Harun (Aaron), Yunus (Jonah), Dawud (David) and Muhammad, and that he was a faithful messenger. Noah had firm belief in the oneness of God, and preached Islam (literally "submission," meaning submission to God). [10] [ non-primary source needed ]

He continuously warned the people of the painful doom that was coming and asked them to accept one God instead of worshipping idols such as Wadd, Suwa', Yaghuth, Ya'uq and Nasr. [11] [ non-primary source needed ] He called the people to serve God, and said that nobody but God could save them. [12] He said that the time of the deluge was appointed and could not be delayed, and that the people had to submit to God. [13] [ non-primary source needed ]

God commanded Noah to build a ship, the Ark, and as he was building it, the chieftains passed him and mocked him. Upon its completion, the ship is said to be loaded with pairs of every animal, and Noah's household, [14] [ non-primary source needed ] and a group of believers who did submit to God. The people who denied the message of Noah, including one of his own sons, drowned. [15] [ non-primary source needed ] The final resting place of the ship was referred to as "Al-Jūdiyy" [16] [ non-primary source needed ] or a "Munzalanm-Mubārakan" (Arabic : مُنْزَلًا مُّبَارَكًا, romanized: Place-of-Landing Blessed). [17] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah is called a grateful servant. [7] [ non-primary source needed ] Both Noah and Abraham were taught the prophethood and the scripture. [18] [ non-primary source needed ] God commanded Noah to take all species that he needed on the ship. The commentary by Prophetic descendants explains the verse to mean eight animals. [19] [20]

Traditional narrative in Islam

According to Islam, he was a prophet, sent to warn mankind of that region and his people to change their ways. He conveyed the message for over 950 years. Islamic literature recounts that in the Generations of Adam, many men and women continued to follow Adam's original teachings, worshiping God alone and remaining righteous. Among Adam's descendants there were many brave and pious men, greatly loved and revered by their respective communities. Exegesis goes on to narrate that, upon the death of these elders, people felt enormous grief and some felt prompted to make statues of these people in remembrance of them. Then gradually, through the generations many forgot what such statues were for and began to worship them, (as the Shaytan (Satan) slowly deceived each generation) along with many other idols. In order to guide the people, God appointed Noah with the duty of being the next prophet to humanity. [21]

Early preaching

According to Islamic belief, Noah began preaching to his people both verbally and by example. He would praise God consistently and he urged his people to do the same, warning his tribe of the punishment they would face if they did not mend their ignorant ways. The Qur'an states that Noah repeatedly told his people:

"O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day!" [22]

Early on, a few were moved by Noah's words but the powerful and wealthy members of the tribe refused to hear his call. The unbelievers at the time were impelled to rebel by various evil motives. Firstly, they were extremely envious and jealous of men superior to them in any way. [23] [ non-primary source needed ] Secondly, the people were ignorant of the weak and lowly, who were frequently superior intellectually, morally and spiritually. [21] As a result of their ignorance, they were arrogant and mocked all who they felt were inferior to them. Saying "Are we to believe you, when those who follow you are the most abject of people?" [24] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah responded: "Their judgment rests only with my Lord, if you could perceive." [25] [ non-primary source needed ] When Noah preached the faith of God to them, all they did was revile the messenger, abuse the message and call the whole warning a lie. [21] He then went on to explain the Message in greater depth, ensuring them that it was not a message of destruction but it was a message with the mercy from God, and that their acts would lead to destruction if they did not accept the faith. He questioned them, asking why they would not accept what would benefit them in the near future. [21] Noah went onto further, and told his community that he asked of no reward from them, telling them his only reward would be from God. But his people threatened him with being stoned. [26] [ non-primary source needed ]


Miniature from Hafiz-i Abru's Majma al-tawarikh. "Noah's Ark" Iran (Afghanistan), Herat; Timur's son Shah Rukh (1405-1447) ordered the historian Hafiz-i Abru to write a continuation of Rashid al-Din's famous history of the world, Jami al-tawarikh. Like the Il-Khanids, the Timurids were concerned with legitimizing their right to rule, and Hafiz-i Abru's "A Collection of Histories" covers a period that included the time of Shah Rukh himself. 16 2-8-2005-Noahs-ark-Hafis-Abru-2.jpg
Miniature from Hafiz-i Abru's Majma al-tawarikh. "Noah's Ark" Iran (Afghanistan), Herat; Timur’s son Shah Rukh (1405-1447) ordered the historian Hafiz-i Abru to write a continuation of Rashid al-Din's famous history of the world, Jami al-tawarikh . Like the Il-Khanids, the Timurids were concerned with legitimizing their right to rule, and Hafiz-i Abru's "A Collection of Histories" covers a period that included the time of Shah Rukh himself.

As time passed, Noah became firmer in his preaching. [21] When the unbelievers began insulting those who accepted God's message, believing that Noah would send those faithful away to attract the wealthy unbelievers, Noah revealed that they - the arrogant and ignorant rich - were the wicked and sinful ones. [27] His people accused him of being soothsayer [28] or diviner. Noah declared that he was by no means a mere fortune-teller, pretending to reveal secrets which are not worth revealing. Noah also denied accusations claiming he was an angel, always maintaining that he was a human messenger. When the people refused to acknowledge their sinfulness Noah told them that it was not Noah, but God that would punish them - however God pleased. [21]


A depiction of Noah in a Mughal miniature from the 16th century Noah's Ark by Miskin.jpg
A depiction of Noah in a Mughal miniature from the 16th century

The Quran states that Noah prayed to God, [29] telling him that his preaching only made his people disbelieve further. [30] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah told God how they had closed their minds to accepting the message, so that the light of the truth should not affect their thinking. [31] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah told God how he had used all the resources of the classical preacher, conveying the message both in public places and with individuals in private. [32] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah spoke of how he had told the people the rewards they would receive if they became righteous, namely that God would supply plentiful rain [33] [ non-primary source needed ] as a blessing, and that God would also guarantee them an increase in children and wealth. [34] [ non-primary source needed ]

Building of the Ark

Noah's ark and the deluge from Zubdat-al Tawarikh Noah's ark and the deluge.JPG
Noah's ark and the deluge from Zubdat-al Tawarikh

According to the Quran, one day, Noah received a revelation from God, in which he was told that no one would believe the message now aside from those who have already submitted to God. [35] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah's frustration at the defiance of his people led him to ask God to not leave even one sinner upon earth. [29] Although there is no proof that God accepted his prayer [36] [ non-primary source needed ] (as there is many examples of accepted prayers, such as in case of Yunus, [37] [ non-primary source needed ] Lut (Lot), [38] [ non-primary source needed ] Suleyman (Solomon) [39] [ non-primary source needed ] etc., even Noah's prayer in some other shape was accepted [40] [ non-primary source needed ]), God decreed that a terrible flood would come (and yet, Qur'an doesn't say it came to cover whole Earth) and He ordered Noah to build a ship (Fulk) which would save him and the believers from this dreadful calamity. [41] Ever obedient to God's instructions, Noah went out in search of material with which to build the vessel. When Noah began building the Ark, the people who saw him at work laughed at him even more than before. Their conclusion was that he was surely a madman – they could not find any other reason why a man would build a huge vessel when no sea or river was nearby. [29] Although Noah was now very old, the aged patriarch continued to work tirelessly until, at last, the Ship was finished.


Little is known of Noah's personal history before his call to prophecy. However, Ibn Kathir records him to have been the son of Lamech and grandson of Methuselah, [29] one of the patriarchs from the Generations of Adam. Noah was neither the leader of the tribe nor a very rich man but, even before being called to prophecy, he worshiped God faithfully and was, in the words of the Qur'an, "a devotee most grateful". [42] [ non-primary source needed ]

Noah was married to a woman whose name is not mentioned in the Quran. Some Islamic historians such as Al-Tabari have suggested that the name of Noah's wife was Umzarah bint Barakil but this cannot be confirmed. Most Muslims simply call her by her midrashic name Naamah.[ citation needed ] Islamic scholars agree that Noah had four sons whose names were Ham, Shem, Yam and Japheth. According to the Quran, one of Noah's sons was a disbeliever who refused to come aboard the Ark, instead preferring to climb a mountain, where he drowned. It is agreed among most Islamic scholars that Yam was the one who drowned; the other three remained believers. [43] [ better source needed ]

The Quran states that Noah's wife was not a believer with him so she did not join him; neither did one of Noah's sons (Yam), who was secretly a disbeliever but had pretended faith in front of Noah. The sons of Noah are not expressly mentioned in the Qur'an, except for the fact that one of the sons was among the people who did not follow his own father, not among the believers and thus was washed away in the flood. [44] Also the Qur'an indicates a great calamity, enough to have destroyed Noah's people, but to have saved him and his generations to come. [45] [ non-primary source needed ] Noah's wife (Naamah) is referred to in the Qur'an as an evil woman. When God emphasizes upon the notion that everyone is for themselves on the Day of Judgement and that marital relations will not be to your aid when the judgement takes place, the Qur'an says:

Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: "Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter!

Qur'an 66:10 [46]

In contrast, the wife of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, Asiya, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are referred to as among the best of women. This adds to the notion that, on the Last Day, everyone will be judged according to their own deeds. [47] [ non-primary source needed ] The "Stories of The Prophets" explain that the son who declined to embark [48] [ non-primary source needed ] was a non-believer.

In culture


An Ashure made of Grains, fruits and nuts Asure (1).JPG
An Ashure made of Grains, fruits and nuts

In remembrance of Noah, Ashure, also called "Noah's Pudding", a Turkish dessert, is made out of grains, fruits, dried fruits and nuts. These are believed to be the few ingredients left on the ark, used by Noah and his family to celebrate the end of the flood. [49]

Tomb of Noah

There are several sites that are claimed to be the Tomb of Noah:

References in the Quran

See also

Related Research Articles

Noah Biblical figure

In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah features as the tenth and last of the pre-Flood patriarchs. His story appears in the Hebrew Bible and in the Quran. The Genesis flood narrative is among the best-known stories of the Bible. Noah is also portrayed as a "tiller of the soil" and as a drinker of wine.

Abraham in Islam Prophet from the Islamic perspective.

Abraham, known as Ibrahim or Ibraheem in Arabic, is recognized as a prophet and messenger of God in Islam. Abraham plays a prominent role as an example of faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Muslim belief, Abraham fulfilled all the commandments and trials wherein God nurtured him throughout his lifetime. As a result of his unwavering faith in God, Ibrahim was promised by God to be a leader to all the nations of the world. The Quran extols Ibrahim as a model, an exemplar, obedient and not an idolater. In this sense, Abraham has been described as representing "primordial man in universal surrender to the Divine Reality before its fragmentation into religions separated from each other by differences in form". The Islamic holy day 'Eid al-Adha is celebrated in memory of the sacrifice of Abraham, and each able bodied Muslim is supposed to perform the pilgrimage to pay homage at the Kaaba in the Hejazi city of Mecca, which was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael as the first house of worship on earth.

Hud (prophet)

Hud was a prophet of ancient Arabia mentioned in the Qur’an. The eleventh chapter of the Quran, Hud, is named after him, though the narrative of Hud comprises only a small portion of the chapter.

Lot in Islam One of the prophets in Islam

Lut, known as Lot in the Old Testament, is a prophet of God in the Quran. According to Islamic tradition, Lot was born to Haran and spent his younger years in Ur, later migrating to Canaan with his uncle Abraham. He was sent to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as a prophet, and was commanded to preach to their inhabitants on monotheism and the sinfulness of homosexuality and their lustful and violent acts.

Shuaib One of the prophets in Islam

Shuaib, Shoaib or Shuʿayb, was an ancient Midianite Nabi (Prophet), sometimes identified with the Biblical Jethro. He is mentioned in the Quran a total of 11 times. He is believed to have lived after Ibrahim (Abraham), and Muslims believe that he was sent as a prophet to a community: the Midianites, who are also known as the Aṣḥāb al-Aykah, since they used to worship a large tree. To the people, Shuʿayb proclaimed the faith of Islam and warned the people to end their fraudulent ways. When they did not repent, Allāh (God) destroyed the community. Shuʿayb is understood by Muslims to have been one of the few Arabian prophets mentioned by name in the Qur'an, the others being Saleh, Hud, and Muhammad. It is said that he was known by Muslims as "the eloquent preacher amongst the prophets", because he was, according to tradition, granted talent and eloquence in his language. Shuaib (Jethro) is revered as the chief prophet in the Druze religion.

Moses in Islam

Mūsā bin ʿImrān known as Moses in Judaeo-Christian theology, considered a prophet and messenger in Islam, is the most frequently mentioned individual in the Qur'an, his name being mentioned 135 times. The Quran states that Musa was sent by Allah to the Pharaoh of Egypt and his establishments and the Israelites for guidance and warning. Musa is mentioned more in the Qur'an than any other individual, and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet. According to Islam, all Muslims must have faith in every prophet (nabi) and messenger (rasul) which includes Musa and his brother. The Qur'an states:

And mention in the Book, Moses. Indeed, he was chosen, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And We called him from the side of the mount at [his] right and brought him near, confiding [to him]. And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron as a prophet.


Al-Ma'idah is the fifth chapter (sūrah) of the Quran, with 120 verses (āyāt). Regarding the timing and contextual background of the revelation, it is a "Medinan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Medina, instead of Mecca.

Yunus (surah) 10th chapter of the Quran

Yunus, is the 10th chapter (surah) of the Quran with 109 verses (ayat). Yunus is named after the prophet Yunus (Jonah). According to tafsir chronology, it is believed to have been revealed before the migration of the Islamic prophet Muhammed and his followers from Mecca to Medina (Hijra), as such, it is known as a Meccan surah.

Hud (surah) 11th chapter of the Quran

Hud, is the 11th chapter (Surah) of the Quran with 123 verses (ayat). It is about the prophet Hud. Regarding the timing and contextual background of the revelation, it is an earlier "Meccan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Mecca, instead of later in Medina. Verses 105-112 are preserved in the Ṣan‘ā’1 lower text.

Al Hejr 15th chapter of the Quran

Al-Ḥijr is the 15th Quranic chapter (sūrah). It has 99 verses (āyāt).

Al-Anbiya 21st chapter of the Quran

Al-Anbiyaʼ, is the 21st chapter (sūrah) of the Quran with 112 verses (āyāt). Regarding the timing and contextual background of the supposed revelation, it is an earlier "Meccan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Mecca, instead of later in Medina. Its principal subject matter is prophets of the past, who also preached the same faith as Muhammad.

Ash-Shuara 26th chapter of the Quran

Ash-Shu‘ara’ is the 26th chapter (sūrah) of the Qurʾan with 227 verses (āyāt). Many of these verses are very short. The chapter is named from the word Ash-Shu'ara in ayat 224.

Nūḥ 71st chapter of the Quran

Nūḥ is the seventy-first chapter (surah) of the Quran with 28 verses (ayat). It is about the Islamic prophet Nūḥ and his complaint about his people rejecting all warning Allah gave them through Nuh. Nuh's themes include: belief in Allah, signs of Allah, and punishment of denying Allah's message.


at-Tīn is the ninety-fifth sura of the Qur'an with 8 ayat.

Islamic view of miracles

A number of terms are used in Islam to refer to the claims of events happening that are not explicable by natural or scientific laws, subjects where people sometimes invoke the supernatural. In the Quran the term āyah refers to signs in the context of miracles of God's creation and of the prophets and messengers. In later Islamic sources miracles of the prophets were referred to by Muʿjiza, while miracles of saints are referred to as karamat (charismata). I'jaz al-Quran – literally the inimitability of the Quran – refers to the Quranic claim that no one can hope to imitate its perfection, this quality being considered the primary miracle of the Quran and proof of Muhammad's prophethood. In recent decades, "I'jaz" has also come to refer to the belief that the Quran contains what believers call "scientific miracles", i.e. prophecies of scientific discoveries. Kharq al`adad – "a break in God's customary order of things" – was a term used in "theological or philosophical discussions" to refer to miraculous events. Karamat – "gifts or graces" – was usually used for miraculous performances of Sufi saints often used to convert unbelievers to Islam.

Biblical and Quranic narratives Comparison between the texts of the Bible and the Quran

The Quran, the central religious text of Islam, contains references to more than fifty people and events also found in the Bible. While the stories told in each book are generally comparable, there are also some notable differences. Knowing that versions written in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament predate the Quran's versions, Christians reason the Quran's versions as being derived directly or indirectly from the earlier materials. Muslims understand the Quran's versions to be knowledge from an omnipotent God. As such, Muslims generally hold that the earlier versions are distorted through flawed processes of transmission and interpretation over time, and consider the Quran's version to be more accurate.

Idris (prophet) Ancient Islamic prophet

ʾIdrīs is an ancient prophet and patriarch mentioned in the Quran, whom Muslims believe was the third prophet after Seth. He is the second prophet mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition has unanimously identified Idris with the biblical Enoch, although many Muslim scholars of the classical and medieval periods also held that Idris and Hermes Trismegistus were the same person.

There are many Biblical figures which the Qur'an names. Some, however, go unnamed in the Qur'an, but are referenced or referred to in the hadiths, tafsirs, literature or seerah. Other figures are mentioned elsewhere in tradition and in the sunnah and sayings of Muhammad. Such figures which are not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, are included below.

Prophets and messengers in Islam Individuals who Muslims believe were sent by Allah to various villages and towns in order to serve as examples of ideal human behavior and to spread Gods message on Earth

Prophets in Islam are individuals who were sent by God to various communities in order to serve as examples of ideal human behavior and to spread God's message on Earth. Some prophets are categorized as messengers, those who transmit divine revelation, most of them through the intercession of an angel. Muslims believe that many prophets existed, including many not mentioned in the Quran. The Quran states: "There is a Messenger for every community". Belief in the Islamic prophets is one of the six articles of the Islamic faith.

Peter in Islam Apostle of Jesus Christ

Simon Peter, known in Arabic as Shamoun as-Safa or Shamoun ibn Hammoun, was one of the original disciples of Jesus according to Muslim tradition and exegesis. Although Jesus's disciples have not played a major role in Islamic theology, the disciples of Jesus are notable in that they are the only group of disciples specifically identified in the Qur'an. Peter's figure, especially in Shia theology, is important as he is generally regarded as the successor of Jesus who led the faithful after the crucifixion, and therefore is similar to the Christian view of Peter as the 'Prince of the Apostles'.


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  6. Quran   71:1–28
  7. 1 2 Quran   17:3
  8. Quran   37:75–79
  9. Quran   3:33
  10. Quran   4:163, Quran   26:105–107
  11. Quran   11:25, Quran   29:14, Quran   71:1–5
  12. Quran   23:23
  13. Quran   7:59–64, Quran   11:26, Quran   26:105–110
  14. Quran   11:35–41
  15. Quran   7:64
  16. Quran   11:44
  17. Quran   23:23–30
  18. Quran   57:26
  19. Quran   11:40
  20. Tafsir Bahrani
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lives of the Prophets, Leila Azzam, Noah and The Ark
  22. Qur'an 7:59
  23. Quran   11:27
  24. Qur'an 26:111
  25. Qur'an 26:113
  26. Qur'an 26:116
  27. Quran   11:29
  28. Quran   11:31
  29. 1 2 3 4 Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Noah
  30. Quran   71:6
  31. Quran   71:7
  32. Quran   71:9
  33. Quran   71:11
  34. Quran   71:12
  35. Qur'an 11:36
  36. Qur'an 71:26
  37. Qur'an 21:87
  38. Qur'an 26:168
  39. Qur'an 38:35
  40. Qur'an 54:10
  41. Lives of the Prophets, Leila Azzam, Noah and the Ark
  42. Qur'an 17:3
  43. "Noah's Four Sons -". Archived from the original on 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
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  45. Quran 37:75-77
  46. Quran   66:10  (Translated by  Yusuf Ali)
  47. Quran   66:11
  48. Quran   11:42
  49. Liz Miles (14 July 2016), Celebrating Islamic Festivals, Raintree, p. 12, ISBN   978-1-4062-9774-4