Prophet Nuḥ ibn Lamech ibn Methuselah known as Prophet Noah in the Old Testament, is recognized in Islam as a prophet and apostle of God (Arabic: الله Allah). He is a highly important figure in Islamic tradition, as he is counted amongst the earliest prophets sent by God to mankind. According to Islam, Noah’s mission was to save a wicked world, plunged in depravity and sin. God charged Noah with the duty of preaching to his people to make them abandon idolatry and to worship only the One Creator and to live good and pure lives. Although he preached the Message of God with immense zeal, his people refused to mend their ways, leading to his building of the Ark and the famous event of the Deluge, the Great Flood in which all the evil people of his time perished. The influence of Noah’s preaching and prophet-hood spanned 950 years according to Quran
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, Nuh (Noah).
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. Gradually, however, generations after 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. It was to guide the people that God raised up Prophet Nuh (Noah) to be the next prophet to mankind.
Prophet 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 Allah; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day!” [al-Quran, 7:59]