The disbelievers remain ignorant
Prophet Nooh (Noah) firmly continued his efforts in calling his people to the way of Allah Almighty. The rulers were tired of Nooh’s arguments. Allah, the Exalted, related their attitude in the following verses (which mean): “They said: ‘O Nooh! You have disputed [i.e., opposed] us and been frequent in dispute of us. So bring us what you threaten us with, if you should be of the truthful.’ He said: ‘Allah will only bring it to you if He wills, and you will not cause [Him] failure. And my advice will not benefit you – although I wished to advise you – if Allah should intend to put you in error. He is your Lord, and to Him you will be returned.'” [Quran: 11:32-34]
The battle continued; the arguments between the disbelievers and Nooh became prolonged. When all the refutations of the disbelievers collapsed and they had no more to say, they began to be offensive and insulted Allah’s prophet as in the verse (which means): “Said the eminent among his people: ‘Indeed, we see you in clear error.'” [Quran: 7:60]
Nooh responded in the manner of the prophets; he said (what means): “…’O my people! There is not error in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds. I convey to you the messages of my Lord and advise you; and I know from Allah what you do not know.’” [7: 61-62]
Nooh continued appealing to his people to believe in Allah hour after hour, day after day and year after year. He admonished his people and called them to Allah day and night, in secret and openly. He gave them examples, explained Allah’s signs and illustrated Allah’s ability in the formation of His creatures. But whenever he called them to Allah, they ran away from him. Whenever he urged them to ask Allah to forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears and became too proud to listen to the truth.
Allah, the Almighty, relates what Nooh faced, Saying (what means): “Indeed, We sent Nooh to his people, [saying]: ‘Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment.’ He said: ‘O my people! Indeed I am to you a clear warner, [Saying]: ‘Worship Allah, fear Him and obey me. He [i.e. Allah] will forgive you of your sins and delay you for a specified term. Indeed, the time [set by] Allah, when it comes, will not be delayed, if you only knew.” He said: ‘My Lord! Indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day. But my invitation increased them not except in flight [i.e. aversion]. And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments [in refusal], persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance.
Then I invited them publicly. Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly. And said: ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur, while He has created you in stages? Do you not consider how Allah has created seven heavens in layers, and made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp? And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth. Then He will return you into it and extract you [another] extraction. And Allah has made for you the earth an expanse.
That you may follow therein roads of passage.” Nooh said: ‘My Lord! Indeed they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children will not increase him except in loss. And they conspired an immense conspiracy, and said: ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwaa’ or Yaghooth and Ya’ooq and Nasr [i.e., the names of their idols]’ And already they have misled many. And, [my Lord], do not increase the wrongdoers except in error.’ Because of their sins they were drowned and put into the Fire, and they found not for themselves besides Allah [any] helpers.” [Quran: 71:1-25]
Nooh continued to call his people to believe in Allah for nine hundred and fifty years. Allah, the Almighty, Says (what means): “And We certainly sent Nooh to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years…” [Quran: 29:14]
Insistence on disbelief
It happened that every passing generation admonished the succeeding one not to believe Nooh and to wage war against him. The father would teach his child about the matter that was between himself and Nooh and counsel him to reject his call when he reached adulthood. Their inclination rejected believing and following the truth.
Nooh saw that the number of believers was not increasing, while that of the disbelievers was. He was sad for his people, but he never reached the point of despair.
There came a day when Allah revealed to Nooh that no others would believe. Allah inspired him not to grieve for them, at which point Nooh prayed that the disbelievers be destroyed, saying (which means): “…’My Lord! Do not leave upon the earth from among the disbelievers an inhabitant. Indeed, if you leave them, they will mislead Your servants and not beget except [every] wicked one and [confirmed] disbeliever.'” [Quran: 71:26-27]
Allah accepted the prayer of Nooh . The case was closed, and He passed His judgment on the disbelievers in the form of a flood. Allah the Exalted ordered His worshipper, Nooh to build an ark with His knowledge and instructions and with the help of angels. Almighty Allah commanded (what means): “And construct the ship under Our Eyes and Our inspiration and do not address Me concerning those who have wronged; indeed, they are [to be] drowned.” [Quran: 11:37]