Don’t be like the people of Nuh
As we approach the end of our ‘Journey Through The Qur’an’ series we must know that this is not the end of our journey through the Qur’an! The Qur’an lives in the hearts of mankind and jinne and it must emanate throughout our thoughts and actions and speech. We must return often to the Book of Allah so that we may learn new lessons. When we read the same ayat over again we can gain something new each time we return to that same verse. Our life experiences make us look differently at the verses of Allah’s Book as we travel through life, learning new things and tackling obstacles and overcoming problems. Allah has made His Message clear to us. We are blessed to have the unchanged Word of God. Many people turn away from it. We must not be like those people. Allah tells us about the people of The Prophet Nuh, as, who rejected and mocked the Message and turned away from Allah’s Signs, refusing to hear;
“He (Nuh) said: “Oh my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day. But all my calling added nothing to their flight (from the truth). And verily, every time I called to them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted and magnified themselves in pride.” (71:05-07)
In the following verses Allah tells us how the Prophet Nuh, as, called to them in private and in public, openly and quietly to return back to Allah and seek His Forgiveness but they refused to even hear his words and advise. He warned them about the impending punishment and eventually when he began building the Ark that could save them, they made fun of him, claiming how ridiculous it was to build an Ark out in the desert.
Now lets take a minute to reflect on all the warnings we received during our addiction and time of sinfulness. Those who loved us, our parents, spouses, friends etc told us we were heading for danger. They called us back and tried to prevent us from sinning. They told us Allah is Merciful and He Forgives all sins. They told us we could return back to Him. They offered us help and gave us solutions to our problems. But we stopped listening. We could not face the truth! We hid beneath our blankets of denial and eventually the shame of our sins caused us to hide our faces from the ones we loved. We could not bear the truth and we ran away from it. We did not realise at the time how precious of a gift their words were. But now we see. And now we know the importance of seeking Forgiveness from Allah. And now we are ready to hear the Message.
The Purpose of Istighfar – Seeking Forgiveness
In the following Verse, Allah tells us how Nuh, as, called his people to Istighfar and teaches us there are two main purposes to seeking Forgiveness from our Lord. Let us reflect;
“I (Nuh) said: Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Repeatedly Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on your rivers”. What is the matter with you, that you hope not for reward? (71:10-13)
This verse makes us realise that there is more to just asking for forgiveness than meets the eye. We think that all we will gain from seeking forgiveness is to be forgiven. And that really is enough for us! Without the Forgiveness of Allah we will bear the load of heavy sins on our backs. Not only will we earn the forgiveness of Allah, benefiting us in the Hereafter, but Allah will also shower down on us the blessings of this world. The people of Nuh lived in a dry, arid land. In this verse, the prophet Nuh, as, told them that if they seek forgiveness Allah will send a blessed rain to them that will give life to the earth and provide them with rivers. This would have brought them all the fruits and vegetation. As we know from the story, on account of them turning away, the very thing that could have been a blessing for them, became their destruction and Allah sent down a heavy rain that wiped them all out.
So, this is a great lesson for us. If we want to increase our blessings in this world, we must seek forgiveness from Allah. This will brings us fruits in this life and in the next. Many of us, as we emerge from a state of sinfulness and embrace our recovery, are in a state of loss. Perhaps we have debts, we have lost family members through severed ties, we have lost our homes, our dignity, our friends. Most of all, we have lost Allah. Istighfar is the means to get back all these lost fruits from our lives. By turning to Allah in sincere repentance and begging of His Forgiveness we are owning up to our mistakes, acknowledging we have done wrong and making a commitment to change. That is the pinnacle turning point for someone who really does want to change. But it does not start and stop there. The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, would make istighfar 100 times a day and he was the closest to perfection. So what about us? We must never stop seeking Forgiveness until we die!