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  • نُوح
  • Noah
A depiction of Noah and the ark in a Mughal miniature from the 16th century
Known forNoah's Ark
ChildrenSam, Ham, Yam and Yafith

Noah, also known as Nuh (Arabic: نُوْحٌ, romanizedNūḥ),[1] 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 prophethood spanned 950 years according to the Quran,[5] Ahadith and Tafsir.[6]

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.[7]

In the Quran


See also: Ulu-l-‘Azm

Noah is praised by God in the Quran, which shows his great status amongst the prophets. In the Quran 17:3, God states: "Verily he was a devotee most grateful."[8] 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"[9]

And also in the Quran 3:33, it states: "God did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran above all people,-"[10]


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).[11][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.[12][non-primary source needed] He called the people to serve God, and said that nobody but God could save them.[13] He said that the time of the deluge was appointed and could not be delayed, and that the people had to submit to God.[14][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,[15][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.[16][non-primary source needed] The final resting place of the ship was referred to as "Al-Jūdiyy"[17][non-primary source needed] or a "Munzalanm-Mubārakan" (Arabic: مُنْزَلًا مُّبَارَكًا, romanizedPlace-of-Landing Blessed).[18][non-primary source needed] Noah is called a grateful servant.[8][non-primary source needed] Both Noah and Abraham were taught the prophethood and the scripture.[19][non-primary source needed] According to a Shia tafsir (exegesis), 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.[20][21]

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.[22]

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 God; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day!"[23]

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.[24][non-primary source needed] Secondly, the people were ignorant of the weak and lowly, who were frequently superior intellectually, morally and spiritually.[22] 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?"[25][non-primary source needed] Noah responded: "Their judgment rests only with my Lord, if you could perceive."[26][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.[22] 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.[22] 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.[27][non-primary source needed]


As time passed, Noah became firmer in his preaching.[22] 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.[28] His people accused him of being soothsayer[29] 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.[22]


The Quran states that Noah prayed to God,[30] telling him that his preaching only made his people disbelieve further.[31][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.[32][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.[33][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[34][non-primary source needed] as a blessing, and that God would also guarantee them an increase in children and wealth.[35][non-primary source needed]

Building of the Ark

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.[36][non-primary source needed] Noah's frustration at the defiance of his people led him to ask God to not leave even one sinner from the people he was sent to; not the whole earth like in the Bible.[30] Although there is no proof that God accepted his prayer[37][non-primary source needed] (as there are many examples of accepted prayers, such as in case of Yunus,[38][non-primary source needed] Lut (Lot),[39][non-primary source needed] Suleyman (Solomon)[40][non-primary source needed] etc., even Noah's prayer in some other shape was accepted[41][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.[42] 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.[30] 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,[30] 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".[43][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 had pretended faith in front of Noah and 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.[44]

The Quran states that Noah's wife was not a believer with him so she did not join him. 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.[45] 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.[46][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:

God 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 God on their account, but were told: "Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter!

— Qur'an 66:10 [47]

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.[48][non-primary source needed] The "Stories of The Prophets" explain that the son who declined to embark[49][non-primary source needed] was a non-believer.

In culture


Main article: Searches for Noah's Ark

See also: Armenian highlands, Mountains of Ararat, Taurus Mountains, and Zagros Mountains

Interest in Noah's ark has led to a number expeditions being made to find it in the modern age (or "arkeology" as they are informally known), even though it is not confirmed by the scientific community to have been found, as of now. These expeditions have been made in the Anatolian region, in what is now the Republic of Turkey,[50] and the following sites are where the ark is thought to have landed:

Place Description Image
Karaca Dağ, Taurus Mountains Near the city of Diyarbakır, between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, is a volcano with Neolithic remains, including a tomb. In late 2021, researchers Griffith and White argued that this was possibly the site where Noah's ark landed, and where his tomb is located, after exploring the area in October 2019.[51]
Karapınar Field, looking east on Karaca Dağ
Between Iran and Turkey A Chaldean Archbishop of Babylon, that is Prince Nouri, had travelled from Kochanis in Turkey to Urmiah in Persia. In Urmiah, he met with Dr. Frederick B. Coan, and told him that during the journey, after making three attempts to find the ark, he went to it on the 25th of April, 1887. Accounts collected by Dr. Lee Spencer and Dr. Jean Luc Lienard of the Southwestern Adventist University in the U.S.A., regarding a number of those who claimed to have seen the ark, point to the ark being in south-eastern Turkey, in a mountainous region with swamps, lakes and oil fields, south of Lake Van and west of Lake Urmia.[52]
Mountains near Qudshanis, in the district and province of Hakkâri, southeast Turkey
Cudi Dağı Based on an interpretation of the Qur'an (11:44). It is believed that after coming down from the ark on this mountain, Noah and the survivors of the flood (who are thought to have numbered around 80) built a settlement to the south of the mountain, named Thamanin[53] or Themanin,[54] (meaning "Eighty") after the number of survivors. It is located east of Cizre (at the headwaters of the Tigris River, near the modern border with Syria, and that of Iraq), southeast of Şah (Çağlayan), and northwest of the Iraqi city of Zakho.[55][52]
The mountain range, as seen from Şırnak in the north
The Durupınar site on Mount Tendürek On one hand, the structure was thought by people to be the ark, due to its ship-like appearance and its size (with its length of 538 ft (164 m) roughly corresponding to the ark's estimated length of 515 ft (157 m), based on the Biblical measurement of 300 cubits, and the royal Ancient Egyptian cubit of 20.62 in (0.524 m)).[56][57] On the other hand, it was found to be made of volcanic material, rather than wood or petrified wood, so a number of scientists do not accept that this is the ark itself, or even a fossil of the ark.[58][59][60]
The volcanic structure in eastern Anatolia, which looks similar to a ship
Mount Ararat[61][62][63] This is based on an interpretation of Genesis 8:4, which states that the ark landed in the "Mountains of Ararat", though a number of scholars contend that this Biblical phrase does not refer to a specific mountain, but a broader region, with "Ararat" being Hebrew for Urartu.[64][65][66][67]
The greater and lesser peaks of Mount Ararat, north of the Durupınar site


Ashure or "Noah's pudding"

There is a Turkish dessert in remembrance of Noah, which is called Ashure or "Noah's pudding". It is made out of grains, nuts, and dried and fresh fruits. 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.[68]


Main article: Tomb of Noah

A claimed mausoleum of Noah in Cizre, southeast Turkey, near Cudi Dağı

There are several sites that are claimed to be the Tomb of Noah:[69]

References in the Quran

See also


  1. ^ Hughes, Thomas Patrick (1995). Dictionary of Islam : being a cyclopaedia of the doctrines, rites, ceremonies, and customs, together with the technical and theological terms of the Muhammadan religion (Reprint ed.). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. p. 435. ISBN 9788120606722.
  2. ^ NÛH - TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (in Turkish).
  3. ^ Lalljee, compiled by Yousuf N. (1981). Know your Islam (3rd ed.). New York: Taknike Tarsile Quran. p. 73. ISBN 9780940368026.
  4. ^ Stephen J. Vicchio (2008), Biblical Figures in the Islamic Faith, Wipf and Stock Publishers, p. 94, ISBN 978-1-556-35304-8
  5. ^ Khan, Saniyasnain (2014). The Quran Explorer for Kids. Goodword Books. ISBN 978-8-1789-8907-5.
  6. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Quran 71:1–28
  8. ^ a b Quran 17:3
  9. ^ Quran 37:75–79
  10. ^ Quran 3:33
  11. ^ Quran 4:163, Quran 26:105–107
  12. ^ Quran 11:25, Quran 29:14, Quran 71:1–5
  13. ^ Quran 23:23
  14. ^ Quran 7:59–64, Quran 11:26, Quran 26:105–110
  15. ^ Quran 11:35–41
  16. ^ Quran 7:64
  17. ^ Quran 11:44
  18. ^ Quran 23:23–30
  19. ^ Quran 57:26
  20. ^ Quran 11:40
  21. ^ Tafsir Bahrani
  22. ^ a b c d e f Lives of the Prophets, Leila Azzam, Noah and The Ark
  23. ^ Qur'an 7:59
  24. ^ Quran 11:27
  25. ^ Qur'an 26:111
  26. ^ Qur'an 26:113
  27. ^ Qur'an 26:116
  28. ^ Quran 11:29
  29. ^ Quran 11:31
  30. ^ a b c d Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Noah
  31. ^ Quran 71:6
  32. ^ Quran 71:7
  33. ^ Quran 71:9
  34. ^ Quran 71:11
  35. ^ Quran 71:12
  36. ^ Qur'an 11:36
  37. ^ Qur'an 71:26
  38. ^ Qur'an 21:87
  39. ^ Qur'an 26:168
  40. ^ Qur'an 38:35
  41. ^ Qur'an 54:10
  42. ^ Lives of the Prophets, Leila Azzam, Noah and the Ark
  43. ^ Qur'an 17:3
  44. ^ Hazrat Nuh
  45. ^ Kathir, Ibn. "Story of Nuh (Noah), The -". Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  46. ^ Quran 37:75-77
  47. ^ Quran 66:10 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
  48. ^ Quran 66:11
  49. ^ Quran 11:42
  50. ^ Montgomery, John Warwick (1972-01-07). "Arkeology 1971". Christianity Today. Vol. XVI, no. 7. pp. 50–51. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  51. ^ Griffith, Kenneth; White, Darrell K. (December 2021). "A Candidate Site for Noah's Ark, Altar, and Tomb" (PDF). 35 (3). Journal of Creation: 50–63. ISSN 1036-2916. Retrieved 2023-01-10. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  52. ^ a b Spencer, Lee; Lienard, Jean Luc (2009). "The Search For Noah's Ark". Southwestern Adventist University. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  53. ^ Sale, George (1734). The Koran. Posner Memorial Collection.
  54. ^ Montgomery, J. (1972). The quest for Noah's Ark. Minneapolis, Minnesota, the U.S.A.: Bethany Fellowship. pp. 1–335.
  55. ^ Compton, S. C. (2021). "Locating The City Of Thamanin (Thamanin Şehrının Konumu)". 1–13. Retrieved 2021-07-15. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  56. ^ Fasold, David (1988). The Ark of Noah. New York, the U.S.A.: Wynwood. ISBN 978-0-9220-6610-0.
  57. ^ Pockley, Peter (1994-11-06). "Theory blown out of the water". Australian Sun-Herald.
  58. ^ Noorbergen, Rene (2004). The Ark File. TEACH Services, Inc. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-5725-8266-8. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  59. ^ Avci, Murat (2007). ""Noah's Ark": its relationship to the Telçeker earthflow, Mount Ararat, Eastern Turkey". Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment. 66 (3): 377–380. doi:10.1007/s10064-007-0084-3. S2CID 129721550.
  60. ^ Collins, Lorence G. (2011). "A supposed cast of Noah's ark in eastern Turkey" (PDF).
  61. ^ Spar, Ira (2003). "The Mesopotamian Legacy: Origins of the Genesis tradition". In Aruz, Joan (ed.). Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 488. ISBN 978-1-58839-043-1. Archived from the original on 2015-11-29. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  62. ^ Bailey, Lloyd R. (1990). "Ararat". In Mills, Watson E.; Bullard, Roger Aubrey (eds.). Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Mercer University Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-86554-373-7. Archived from the original on 2019-01-28. Retrieved 2016-11-03. ...the local (Armenian) population called Masis and which they began to identify as the ark's landing place in the eleventh-twelfth centuries.
  63. ^ Avagyan, Ṛafayel (1998). Yerevan—heart of Armenia: meetings on the roads of time. Union of Writers of Armenia. p. 17. The sacred biblical mountain prevailing over Yerevan was the very visiting card by which foreigners came to know our country.
  64. ^ Morgenstern, Julian (1941). "Psalm 48". Hebrew Union College Annual. 16: 1–95. JSTOR 23502992. Note the plural, hare 'Ararat; not "Mt. Ararat," as traditionally translated and interpreted, but rather "(one of) the mountains of Ararat," i. e. of Urartu or Armenia.
  65. ^ Dummelow, John, ed. (1909). "Genesis". John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible. Ararat is the Assyrian 'Urardhu,' the country round Lake Van, in what is now called Armenia… and perhaps it is a general expression for the hilly country which lay to the N. of Assyria. Mt. Masis, now called Mt. Ararat (a peak 17,000 ft. high), is not meant here. view online
  66. ^ Kurkjian, Vahan (1964) [1958]. A History of Armenia. New York, the U.S.A.: Armenian General Benevolent Union of America. p. 2.
  67. ^ Room, Adrian (1997). Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings. McFarland. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7864-0172-7.
  68. ^ Liz Miles (14 July 2016), Celebrating Islamic Festivals, Raintree, p. 12, ISBN 978-1-4062-9774-4
  69. ^ "Tomb of Noah". Madain Project. Archived from the original on 14 April 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.