Prophet Nuh (AS) was a messenger and prophet of Allah. He was the first messenger and is mentioned among some of the most highly regarded prophets in the Quran. The story of Prophet Nuh (AS) begins at the death of Prophet Idris (AS).
The Muslims were left stranded following the death of Prophet Idris (AS). Since, no other man from amongst them was chosen as a Prophet, people began to look to the pious companions of Idris (AS) for guidance. They respected and followed these righteous men and consulted them every time they were faced with a problem. Eventually, as time passed by, the pious men also had passed away leaving the Muslims again with no leader for guidance. They feared and were worried that they would stray from the path of Allah.
Satan, who had been watching the situation with keen eyes, approached the wailing men and women disguised as a man and whispered in their ears: “If we make statues of these righteous men, it will be more pleasing to us in our worship and will remind us of them.” The Muslims, desperate for guidance and support, agreed to this suggestion, believing that the statues would help them remember Allah and encourage them to do good.
However, Satan had a hidden agenda. He knew that getting people to worship these statues would be a slow process, so he waited patiently. As the generations changed and the people forgot the original purpose behind the statues, Satan whispered to them, "Your forefathers used to worship these idols. These statues brought them goodness." And so, idolatry took root in the hearts of man.
Centuries later, Allah decided to send Prophet Nuh (AS) to guide the idolaters back to the truth. He gave Nuh (AS) eloquent speech and immense patience to help him carry out his mission. Nuh (AS) preached to his people about the mysteries of the universe and the oneness of Allah, explaining that Satan had misled them into worshiping idols and warning them of the punishment that would come if they continued. Some of the people, especially the poorest and most desperate, found hope in Nuh's (AS) words and converted to Islam, while the wealthy watched with anger.
The wealthy masters of the city told Nuh (AS), "If you want us to believe in you, then dismiss your believers. They are meek and poor, while we are elite and rich; no faith can include us both." Nuh (AS) knew he had to remain calm and explain to them that material possessions were meaningless to Allah and it was what was in their hearts that mattered. He replied, "I ask for no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are ignorant people."
Despite Nuh's (AS) efforts to persuade them, the people refused to listen and continued with their idol worship. Frustrated and saddened by their disobedience, Nuh (AS) prayed to Allah for guidance and help. In response, Allah decided to punish the people for their refusal to repent and listen to Nuh's (AS) teachings. He decided to send a great flood to wipe out the idolaters and spare only those who had converted to Islam and followed Nuh's (AS) guidance.
To prepare for the flood, Nuh (AS) was instructed to build an ark, a large boat that would serve as a refuge for him and a few believers. Nuh (AS) worked tirelessly to build the ark, using the best materials he could find and following the instructions given to him by Allah. The people watched in amazement as the ark took shape, but they still did not understand the purpose of it. They laughed and mocked Nuh (AS), saying, "What is this strange thing you are building? Do you really believe that a flood is coming?"
Despite their mockery, Nuh (AS) remained steadfast in his faith and continued to work on the ark. When it was finally completed, he gathered a few believers and entered the ark, leaving the idolaters behind. As Nuh (AS) waited inside the ark, he could hear the people outside mocking him and saying, "Surely, Nuh (AS) is mad. He thinks he can save himself and a few believers from the flood by building this small boat."
However, Nuh (AS) knew that he had the protection of Allah and that the ark would serve as a safe haven for him and the believers. And as predicted, a great flood came and wiped out the idolaters who had refused to repent and listen to Nuh's (AS) teachings. The ark floated on the water, carrying Nuh (AS) and the believers to safety.
When the flood subsided, the ark landed on a mountaintop, and Nuh (AS) and the believers emerged from it, safe and sound. The survivors of the flood saw the truth of Nuh's (AS) words and converted to Islam, recognizing the power and mercy of Allah. And so, through his patience and dedication to his mission, Nuh (AS) was able to guide many people back to the path of righteousness and bring them closer to Allah.
Prophet Nuh (AS) was truly a righteous man, he preached for over 950 years. He is mentioned in various verses in the Quran and is described as among the righteous and the most patient.