After Prophet Adam
Allah blessed the descendants of Adam. His children and grandchildren spread and multiplied. Adam’s descendants founded many villages. They built houses, ploughed the land, grew crops and lived in comfort. They worshipped only Allah. They did not worship anything else besides Him.
Satan refused to bow down to Adam when Allah commanded him to do so. So he was cast out and damned forever. He, therefore, decided to take revenge on the progeny of Adam so that they would go to the Fire with him.
Because people were worshipping Allah alone, he decided to call them to worship idols, so that they would go to the Fire and never get to Paradise. He knew that Allah never forgives people worshipping other things besides Him. So he started calling them to associate other things with Allah. People fell into his trap. He inspired them to erect statues of the pious men among them in the places where they used to sit and to name these statues after them. They did so, but they did not worship them.
However, after that generation had gone, the following generations did not know the reason behind the erection of such statues. Satan tried to convince them by saying to them, “Your forefathers used to worship them and through them they sought rain.” So they began worshipping them.
They bowed down and prostrated themselves before them. They even asked these lifeless statues that can do neither harm nor good for things. They sacrificed animals to them.
They had plenty of these idols. Allah mentions some of them in Surat Nuh: “And said, ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa’ or Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr.” (Quran, 71:23)
Nuh, the Messenger
Allah willed to send them a Messenger and so He chose Nuh who was among them, to speak and give them good advice. There were wealthy people and leaders among the sons of Adam, but Allah alone knows who should carry His Message and who could bear His Trust, Nuh was a pious and generous man. He was intelligent. He had patience. He was compassionate and sincere. He was truthful and trustworthy, He was well known for giving good advice.
Allah revealed to Prophet Nuh, “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment.” (Quran, 71:1) So Nuh stood up among his people and declared, “Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger.” (Quran, 26:107)
What Answer did Nuh Receive?
When Nuh began to call his people to Allah, some of them answered back. They said, “When did this man become a Messenger of Allah? Until yesterday he had been one of us. Today he says, “I am Allah’s Messenger to you.” They also said, “He used to play us when we were young. He used to sit among us everyday. When did he become a prophet?” The wealthy and the proud said, “Could Allah not find anyone else? He found only a poor man from among us to become a prophet?”
Nuh and His People
Nuh’s people wrongly believed that worshipping idols was the truth. They considered anyone who did not worship idols as stupid. They argued, “Our fathers worshipped idols. Why does this man tell us not to worship them?” Nuh told them, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day.” (Quran, 7:59) ”I convey to you the messages of my Lord and advise you; and I know from Allah what you do not know.” (Quran, 7:62)
Only a Few Ordinary People Believed Him
Nuh tried very hard to make his people give up idol-worship, but only a few ordinary people believed him.
The wealthy among his people were too proud to believe. Their false pride kept them from listening to Nuh. Their wealth and their children turned them away from thinking about the next world. When Nuh called them to Allah, they said, “Should we believe you while you are followed by the lowest [class of people]?” (Quran, 26:111) They asked him to drive the poor away, but he refused and said, “And I am not one to drive away the believers. I am only a clear warner.” They said, “If you do not desist, O Noah, you will surely be of those who are stoned.” He said, “My Lord, indeed my people have denied me. Then judge between me and them with decisive judgement and save me and those with me of the believers.”” (Quran, 26:114-118)