nuh, peace be upon him, like all the other prophets, summoned his people to the true path. he told them that they must have faith in allah, that he is the creator of everything, that they must worship none but him, otherwise they would be punished. this is related in the qur'an as follows: we sent nuh to his people: "i am a clear warner to you.
worship none but allah. i fear for you the punishment of a
painful day." (surah hud: 25-26)
despite all his warnings, only a few people believed in nuh. upon this, allah commanded nuh to build a great ship. allah informed him that the people of faith would be saved in that ship.
nuh's building a ship despite there being no sea in that area surprised those people who had no faith in allah, and they therefore ridiculed him. those who had no faith did not know what would happen to them, but allah did. when the ship was built, heavy rain poured for days and water rose over the land, flooding everything. this historical disaster has been confirmed by scientists. in the middle east , much evidence has been uncovered revealing that many of today's mountains were once covered with water. on television, you have probably seen many floods in different corners of the world. in the face of such a disaster, people generally get up on roofs and wait for help. in such a situation only helicopters or boats can rescue them. in the time of the prophet nuh, peace be upon him, however, it was only the ark that could have saved them. this disaster, which is called "nuh's flood," was actually a punishment specially created by allah to punish people who did not believe in nuh. because they expected help from other than allah, none of the insolent people who turned a deaf ear to allah's warnings embarked on nuh's ark. they did not put their trust in allah, but relied on other beings.
unless allah wills it, nothing can protect us. the people at that time who denied this, climbed mountains or moved to higher regions, but stil could not save themselves from drowning. a very few people believed in allah and put their trust in him, which led them to embark on the ship with nuh and save themselves. complying with allah's command, they took a pair from each animal species with them. this is related in the qur'an as follows: before them the people of nuh denied the truth. they denied
our slave [i.e., nuh], saying, "he is a madman," and he was
driven away with jeers.
he called upon his lord: "i am overwhelmed, so help me!" so we opened the gates of heaven with torrential water and made the earth burst forth with gushing springs. and the waters met together in a way which was decreed. we bore him on a planked and well-caulked ship, which ran before our eyes—a reward for him who had been rejected.
we left it as a sign. but is there any rememberer there? how terrible were my punishment and warnings! (surat al qamar: 9-16)
all the prophets who were sent to their individual communities communicated basically the same teaching and summoned their people to worship allah and to obey the prophets. in return for their services, they asked for no wages since those people sent by allah to communicate his
words do not do so. they render their services only because they love allah and fear him. meanwhile, they face many difficulties: their people slander them and subject them to cruel treatment. furthermore, some peoples plotted to kill the prophets sent to them, and some even dared to do so. yet because the prophets feared only allah and no one else, no hardship daunted them. they never forgot that allah would reward them bountifully both in this world and beyond.