Nooh was the second father of all mankind, and the first of the Messengers (Rusul) to the people of the Earth. This great Prophet lived a very long life: he called his people for nine hundred and fifty years to the tawheed of Allaah and to making all worship purely for Him. He did not become weary of this, nor lose interest. He called them night and day, in private and in the open. Allaah, the Most High, says,
So what did the da'wah of this noble Messenger comprise of, and Allaah has told us the summary of his noble da'wah which continued for nine hundred and fifty years?! Indeed it was an earnest and painstaking call to the tawheed of Allaah and to make all worship purely for Him. It was a tireless effort and he used every possible means available to him to convince them of his call. He called them privately and individually, and he called them openly. He encouraged them and warned them, informing them of the promise of good for the obedient, and evil for the disobedient. He gave them practical and intellectual proofs, from themselves and their lives, and what they saw before them with regards to the heavens and the earth, and the clear signs and lessons contained in them. All of this failed to benefit them and did not cause them to accept. Rather they persisted in their disbelief and error, and they rejected all this obstinately and arrogantly. They persisted in their adherence to the idols and false and futile objects of worship. So the result of this persistence and obstinancy was destruction and annihilation in this world, and everlasting torment in the Hell-fire in the Hereafter.
At this point we may ask: why did this great Prophet continue for such an extremely long period of time, expending huge efforts, untiringly and without languidness, calling to the starting point of tawheed?! Why did Allaah praise him so highly, and cause him to be remembered, and make him one of those Messengers who were the firmest of all in their determination (oolul-'adhm)? Does the call to tawheed deserve all this esteem? Is this methodology an establishment of this procedure for this noble Prophet in opposition to logic, wisdom and intellect? Or is it pure and certain wisdom, and what is demanded by correct logic and sound and perceptive intellect? Why did Allaah approve of following this methodology in da'wah for 950 years, and commend him, and cause his name and his story to endure, and impose it as a duty upon the greatest of the Messengers and the one having the greatest intellect of all the people, that he should take him as an example to follow in his da'wah and his perseverance?
The just answer, established upon intellect and wisdom, and upon understanding the status and position of Prophet hood, and having the greatest trust in it and giving it its due respect, is that the call to tawheed and striving to wipe out shirk and to purify the earth from it, does indeed deserve all of this. It is indeed wisdom itself and is demanded by natural inclination and intellect. It is furthermore, a binding obligation upon every caller to Allaah that they understand this methodology, this great and divinely inspired da'wah and great goal, and that they devote all their effort and energy to its attainment and its being propogated throughout all of Allaah's earth. Furthermore that they work together, cooperate and unite, and sincerely attest to each others' truthfulness. Just as the Messengers, the callers to tawheed, were: the earlier ones telling of the coming of the later ones and the later ones attesting to the truthfulness of the previous ones and promoting their call, and following the same way. It is also binding upon us to believe that if there was any other methodology better and more correct than this methodology, that Allaah would have chosen that for His Messengers and would have favoured them with it. So is it fitting for any Believer to turn away from it and choose a different methodology for himself, and to arrogantly seek to attack this divinely laid down methodolgy and its callers?!
At-Tabaree reports from Qataadah, "It has reached us that a man would take his son to Nooh and say to his son, 'Beware of this man, don't let him lead you astray, for I remember when I was your age, my father brought me to him and warned me against him just as I am warning you.'"
This supplication of Nooh against them came after he was informed by Allaah that they were not going to be Believers, as explained by al-Baghawee.
Soorah Nooh (71):1-24.
Author: Shaykh Rabee' Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: Manhajul-Anbiyaa fid-Da’wah illAllaah feehil-Hikmah wal-’Aql
Translator: Abu Talhah Dawood Burbank (rahimahullaah)