Noah's Mission on the Earth
23rd October 2004
by Amr Khaled
Translated by [img]daralislamlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)
Today we will start the story of Prophet Nuh (Noah). According to an authentic Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, related by Imam Muslim, ten centuries passed between Adam and Nuh. The Prophet's companions asked him if Adam had been a Prophet, and Muhammad (PBUH) answered that he was a Prophet to whom Allah (SWT) talked, and that ten centuries separated, between him and Nuh's mission. Yet, does the word "century" here mean 100 years or does it mean generation? If it means "100 years", then there passed one thousand years between Adam and Nuh. But, if it means "generation", then this means that there passed more than a thousand years. In fact, it means that there passed more than 8000 years between Adam and Nuh's mission, as the average age of people in that old history was 800 years.
You might think, "Haven't you said that we should not focus on things that make no difference with us?" I know, but this information is of high importance. Do you know why? Because this means that during those thousands of years between Adam and Nuh's mission, Islam was spreading throughout the earth, and worshipping Allah (SWT) was dominating. There was nothing but Islam and worshipping Allah during all these years. Does this mean that whenever man gets elevated in technology and science, he gets away from Allah and denies His (SWT) divinity? Through all those years between Adam and Nuh, man was performing the task and mission he was created for, i.e. reforming the earth and practicing the succession in earth.
What happened to the earth? You know, we are all responsible for what happened and what is happening. Muslims have forgotten their mission. Despite this, if the whole earth gets filled of pride before Allah, we, Muslims, can never be proud, because we know the meaning of humiliation, and we have been stressing it since the beginning of Ramadan.
Hence, throughout those long years there were no Prophets, because life was full of good. Bani israel, the tribe, were proud of having many Prophets sent to them, but actually, having a lot of Prophets in a nation indicates that there have been many problems. This is why the Muslim nation has only one Prophet till the Day of Resurrection, i.e. Prophet Muhammad, the last of Prophets. But there are already a lot of problems now! Well, the Muslim nation were favored by Allah (SWT), as the whole nation is responsible for shouldering the responsibility left by Prophet Muhammad till the Day of Resurrection. Hence, the Muslim nation is highly elevated to the rank of the Prophets. Being responsible for our religion is not restricted only to scholars and religious people. This is the real role to be played by the Muslim nation. This is the purpose Allah has set for us. This is why Muhammad (PBUH) was the last of Prophets.
The Muslims' Mission
O Muslims! You are delinquent, although it is really hard to stand before Allah and be asked to give an account for one's deeds. Reforming the earth and preaching for Allah is our responsibility. Even if you have lack of knowledge, by love and affiliation you can perform your mission. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) knew very little about Islam when he stood defending Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Do you believe that your religious knowledge is much more than what he had then?! Abu Bakr acted through his sense of responsibility and enthusiasm and concern toward Islam. Our responsibility is really a big honor before it being an assignment.
If Muslims do not play their assigned role, everything would be a mess. There are no Prophets any more we are responsible and we have to work on our own. You have to help people and guide them toward the right path:
"You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'aÂ»f (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah" [Qur'an 3:110].
The best nation indicates that the whole nation is assigned to reform, not only scientists and scholars; "you enjoin Al-Ma'aÂ»f and forbid Al-Munkar" means reforming earth and people; reforming was mentioned before having faith in Allah, because reformation increases faith. If you ever think that your faith is complete, this means you are being proud, which signifies that you are lost.
Satan succeeded in making us forget our mission, hence, we got lost, and so was the earth. This is the status of morality nowadays.
Each and every person is responsible and should play his/her assigned role: women in their homes and work, young children at schools, young men among their peers, even the Portman is responsible.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, that we, Muslims, must report to others what the Prophet (PBUH) said. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to end his speeches to Muslims saying, "Let the present tell the absent". He (PBUH) prays to Allah to enlighten your face if you hear his words and report them to others. Try to preach to people for Allah by all means and all of your efforts, yet, with wisdom and peace. Don't ever feel shy! Will you still be shy on the Day of Judgment, when Allah asks you why didn't you play your assigned role using your potentials?
"Say (O Muhammad): "This is my way; I invite unto Allah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge". [Qur'an 12:108].
Ibn Alkayem says that preaching for Allah and reforming the earth is on the highest rank, because it is the rank of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Devil's Plan
Back to Prophet Nuh's storyÂ¦the earth kept in good shape and worship for 10 centuries, following the path of Allah, until something happened which was the reason of Nuh's mission. Usually, when evil started to spread, Prophets were not sent instantly. This was to give reformers a chance to appear and perform their mission, and so, would take great rewards for reforming the earth and people's life. But, when the earth had reached the peak of evil and everything got lost, Allah sent a messenger or a Prophet.
What happened to the earth after the 10 centuries of reforming and worshipping? Satan played his typical role. We have to realize that, though Satan is an unbeliever, he is serious in performing his mission in making people lose the right way. We have to be more serious in worshipping Allah. We have to help people and guide them; send messages (SMS), send mails, do everything you can because our mission is a worldwide one. Do everything you can and Allah will let the hearts be open to this mission.
Whenever there are reformers who work hard to practice their assigned task, Satan keeps away, watching the situation and waiting to find an entrance for himself to mess with such reformers and people. Remember what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, that Allah sends every 100 years a reformer to the Muslim nation. Can you see how Allah (SWT) favors our nation. Long before Nuh, there were five reformers; they were normal people, not Prophets. They kept working hard, but Satan could not affect them or mess with their work. When those five reformers died, no other reformers appeared, hence, it was Satan's opportunity to whisper evil to people. He whispered to people, "The reformers died, and you have to visit their graves regularly". He found an entrance to affect them through the religious aspect. Afterwards, he told them he was afraid that the following generation would forget about those late five reformers, and so they must build statues to embody those reformers. When the generation, who built the statues all died, Satan whispered to the successive generation that their ancestors built those statues so that they would get closer to Allah by praying to those statues. Hence, polytheism started to prevail.
Note that, sometimes you keep doing something wrong for a long time, but without moving to any further step. Satan keeps waiting for the suitable moment, as he knows that it is easy for you to step forward to a worse phase. For example, usually drug addicts start by smoking cigarettes. Most of them kept smoking only for several years, then, at some point they moved to addiction. Also Satan whispers to women, pushing them to smoke the water-pipe (shisha), first at home, then in the streets, implying that is a fashionable habit. Satan knows well that it is the beginning of losing woman's shyness and modesty, which will in turn lead to further corruption.
As for pious people, Satan finds a way to them through the path of religion. Satan doesn't want any reformers or reform actions, so he tries to keep people away from it. He keeps whispering to a pious man, "Dedicate yourself to worshipping Allah. Keep away from such hassles of reforming", and so, such a man keeps away from everything else but worshipping. Satan did the same with the worshipper of Bani israel. Satan whispered evil to him, until he got himself isolated from people, dedicated himself to worshipping Allah, and kept away from reforming. After that Satan kept away from him for 10 years, so as not to distract him from worshipping, and to guarantee that he wouldn't concentrate on anything else.
One day, a group of men were traveling and they wanted to let their only sister live close to the worshipper. At first he refused, but eventually he agreed. Satan came back to him, and started whispering evil, until the worshipper committed adultery with the men's sister. The woman got pregnant and had a baby, but he committed another crime, as he killed her and the baby, and buried them. See how many crimes he committed? When her brothers returned and asked about her, he told them she was dead, but they opened the grave and found her body beside the baby's. They decided to avenge and kill the worshipper. At this moment, Satan appeared to the worshipper and told him that he (Satan) caused all this to happen to him, and that he whispered to him to quit reforming, and to commit all those sins. Satan told him that if he (the worshipper) prostrates before him, Satan would save his life. Surprisingly the worshipper did prostrate to Satan, but at the same moment his soul was taken and he fell dead. Do you see the result of leaving the role of reformation?
We are trying to get the Muslims back to life through reforming the earth and Muslims' life.
Prophet Nuh's Mission
As for Prophet Nuh, he was sent when people worshiped the reformers. Nuh kept inviting his people to believe in the oneness of Allah for 950 years (a thousand years minus fifty years). His life is divided into three stages: the first stage from his birth until his mission; the second stage is the duration of his mission; the third stage is after the flood until his death. Nuh lived more than all the other Prophets, even more than Adam.
But in the Spider chapter in the Holy Qur'an, Allah (SWT) says, "And indeed We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years" [Qur'an 29:14]. In Arabic, Allah says "Alf sana ela Khamseen Aaman", i.e. Allah uses two another synonyms to the word "year". What can this indicate? The old Arabs used the first word "sana" to indicate hard years, while they used "aam" to indicate happy and good years. Hence, Prophet Nuh spent 950 hard years in inviting his people, and only 50 good years with them. Despite the long duration Nuh spent in inviting people to worship Allah, only a few people believed him and responded. According to most of the books, only 80 people believed in Allah with him, which means that every 15 years only one person believed. How patient he was!
Nuh's story is the story of patience. We have to be patient and reform our lives... Nuh didn't give up. He knew his mission well, and so he kept inviting people and reforming. He performed his mission with patience, love, and tenderness.
Allah (SWT) loves patience, and appreciates His patient slaves. In order to make life, we have to be patient when inviting people to play their assigned role in life, "Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning".
Nuh's story was mentioned in several chapters in the Qur'an, most of them were revealed in Makkah. His people tortured him; they used to hit him till he fell unconscious, then they would wrap him in a carpet and throw him, thinking that he would die. The following day he would come to them and invite them again. See how patient he was? They said he was mad, numskull, liar, and deceitful. They used to mock at him, and threatened to kill him. This is not a fairy tale! Do you know that such hurt and harming is nothing when compared to your mission and role? Don't just stand and watchÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ sacrifice with all that you have and can. Don't say, "My dignity allows me not to", sacrifice your time, money and everything. Islam was presented to us on a golden plate. The earliest companions are the ones who really suffered from extreme torture. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was subject to harm and was hit by shoes till he fell unconscious, but when he became conscious again he was so keen to ask about Prophet Muhammad.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself was subjected to a lot of harm from the Arabs. They used to throw dust on him, and called him "Muzamam" (defamed) instead of Muhammad. When hearing this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Leave them. They are insulting "Muzamam" and I am Muhammad".
Wouldn't you sacrifice anything for the sake of your son? If our passion toward Islam is less than that toward our families, then it's all in vain, nothing can be achieved ever!
Let's learn even from the non-Muslims. Nelson Mandella was jailed for 26 years because he believed in the case of Blacks' rights. What could be said then about the case of reforming earth and life?
Let's read the chapter of Nuh in the Holy Quraan tonight and contemplate the meanings of patience, sacrifice, and perseverance. Let's say, "I will do like Prophet Nuh did."
In the Nuh chapter, Allah (SWT) says, "Verily, We sent Nuh(Noah) to his people (saying): "Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment." He said: "O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you". This chapter is very beautiful; it embodies the whole scene, as if Nuh is standing before Allah (SWT), giving Him a report of his mission and tasks. Do you know that Prophet Nuh was called "Nuh" because it is derived from the Arabic verb "weep", as he used to weep because of his fear from Allah? What will you say when you stand before Allah to give your report? Will you find words to speak about your role and mission?
"He said: "O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day (i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism)". In this verse, Nuh said "night" before "day", to show that he kept inviting them all the time, and in the night before daylight, thus, showing that he exerted all his efforts. Imagine yourself entering to speak and report your tasks after Prophet Nuh! What will you say?
"But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight (from the truth)." This shows that Prophet Nuh was very tender with them, and called them to Islam in a merciful way, not like some people who make others repel.
"And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride." Although they thrust their fingers into their ears so as not to hear his voice, he kept inviting them and calling them to believe in Allah using signs, which lead them to cover themselves with their garments in order not to see him.
"Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud). "Then verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private." Prophet Nuh exerted all his efforts with his people, because he feared Allah.
Tomorrow we will discuss what Prophet Nuh told his people.
"Nuh (Noah) said: "My Lord! They have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but loss. "And they have plotted a mighty plot. And they have said: 'You shall not leave your gods: nor shall you leave Wadd, nor SuwÃƒ, nor Yaghth, nor Ya'q nor Nasr' (these are the names of their idols)."
At the end of the chapter, Prophet Nuh said, "My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to the Zan (polytheists, wrong-doers, and disbelievers) grant You no increase but destruction!" He started by praying for himself, and then he gradually widened the circle. He was so organized, even in his prayers.
Imagine yourself standing before Allah, when He asks you why didn't you reform the earth after Muhammad, the last of all Prophets? You were responsible to do whatever you can, according to your potentials and capabilities.
Dear All, come on, you have to start working, so that after Ramadan it is easy for us to keep on the right track: "You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind" and "And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth."
Let's set the project of today. Let every one of us awakens two people every day for the dawn prayer, and each one of the two will awaken other two people, and so on. If this is done in this way, we will all perform the dawn prayer. Let's benefit from Ramadan, while the devils are chained. O Reformers! Start working.
Supplicate to Allah to make us all reformers on earth, and that He (SWT) employs us and does not replace us by other people to do this mission. We are able and we can do it!
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Edited by Zeinab, 16 March 2007 - 01:24 PM.