Imam Ahmad narrated in the Musnad (his book of Hadith) through the route of Abu Hurayrah that once the Prophet passed by a group of Jews in Madinah. The Prophet realized that they were fasting the 10th day of Muharram. The Prophet asked, “Why are you fasting this day?” They said this was the day when God rescued Prophet Moses and the Children of Israel from Pharaoh who drowned as well on that day. It was also the day the ark of Prophet Noah landed on Mount al-Judiyy. Noah and Moses fasted that day as an indication of their thankfulness to God. Then the Prophet said, “I am the one to fast that day ” and told his followers to fast the 10th of Muharram as well. He justified the reason for fasting that day by saying, “We associate with Moses more than others do”. The Prophet said this because Moses was Muslim as all the prophets, and we are more deserving of rejoicing his victory.
Dear brothers in Islam,
After the death of Prophet Enoch (Idris) several events occurred over time that led humans to commit blasphemy for the first time. There were five pious people whose names are mentioned in Surat Nuh, verse 23. They were Wadd, Suwa^, Yaghuth, Ya^uq, and Nasr. After their death, Satan came to the people in the shape of a man and told them to build statues of these five men. The people responded to the whispers of the devil and built these statues to remember and honor these five good men. After a long period of time Satan reappeared. Ignorance had spread widely and many tribulations had occurred among the people. The statues had become very common among the people.
When Satan came again, to a later generation, he ordered the people to worship these statues and told them falsely that their ancestors had worshipped these statues too.
God sent Prophet Noah (Nuh) to these people and ordered him to warn them against a severe torture that would befall them if they do not return to Islam.
The time span between Enoch (Idris) and Noah is one thousand years, known as the first era of ignorance. In these years, the first blasphemy was committed and became widespread spread among humans. Noah was the first Prophet and Messenger sent to the blasphemers.
Prophet Noah said to his people, “O my people worship God for He is the only One Who deserves to be worshipped.” He said, “if you do not repent and leave out blasphemy, then await for a day in which a severe torture will come upon you,”. He constantly reminded them of the great rewards of being Muslims. Unfortunately, most people did not respond to his call and consequently did not come back to Islam.
Prophet Noah spent 950 years calling the people to come back to Islam. Only about 80 believed in Prophet Noah. The people were extremely harsh to Prophet Noah, and inflicted a lot of harm on him. They were so nasty that they once tried to strangle him, until he fainted. Each century exercised more enmity to Prophet Noah and his followers than the previous one.
Prophet Noah told his people, “My role is to convey, but God is the only One Who creates the guidance in the hearts of the people.” Prophet Noah did not get despaired even though only a few people responded to his call. But when God revealed to Prophet Noah that no one else of his people would believe he supplicated to God to destroy all those who did not believe, a supplication which was fulfilled by Allah.
God ordered Prophet Noah to build an ark. Prophet Noah gathered the wood, tar, and iron for that ark. The people mocked Prophet Noah for building an ark on a dry land and away from water. God ordered Noah that when he sees a sign to start loading the ark. The sign was seeing water flowing out of an oven made of stones that belonged to Lady Eve.
God sent the rain from the sky and as a result the beasts gathered near the ark. Prophet Noah took a pair of male and female of each kind of animal. The believers also went on the ark. Water sprang out of Earth in large quantities causing the Ark to rise. The rain fell in great masses like mountains as described in the Qur’an. After six months the rain stopped and the Earth started swallowing the water after which the Ark rested on Mount al-Judiy in Iraq.
God protected Prophet Noah and his believing followers, and inflicted the punishment on the blasphemers. All the blasphemers drowned including the son of Noah, Kan^an.
It was narrated that when Prophet Noah was about to die, he was asked the following question by the angels, “How did you feel your stay on earth for so many years?” Prophet Noah replied, “I saw this life on Earth like a house with two doors. I entered through one door and I left through the other.” He meant that it went so quickly.