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Offline Adil Husain

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Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« on: August 12, 2012, 06:17:50 PM »
Salaam alaikum all group members ,
I have been thought since childhood that it was a global flood .
But carrying a pair of each  living species who live on land  on a ship is not possible.
On the other hand , Noah's son took refuge on mountain but still he drowned.
Or was it global flood or a local flood or like a tsunami ?
Thank you.
'I must strive for reformation of myself and the world'

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 05:27:23 AM »
Salamun Alaikum Adil,

I find no unequivocal cogent proof that the flood inflicted at Prophet Noah's time was a universal flood. In line with God's way (Sunnat Allah 33:62, 40:85, 48:23 [1]), wrath has fallen on those / communities that have denied clear warnings and when the Word has been fulfilled against them.

Unless humans had spread / migrated across the entire planet and despite the clear message to them by Prophet Noah or other patriarchs which they denied and transgressed, a world-wide flood would be difficult to support. It is quite likely that the human population had spread across a certain contained area, albeit not necessarily small.

I hope that helps, God willing,
Joseph.

RELATED ARTICLE

[1]   UNDERSTANDING THE TERM 'SUNNA' FROM A QURAN'S PERSPECTIVE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/understanding%20the%20sunna%20from%20a%20quran's%20perspective%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 11:06:41 PM »
w/salaam,

In addition:

I checked this in the past. If memory serves me correctly, the word in question is "ard" and it can mean earth or ground/land, context will determine which. The word itself does not specify the extent of land/ground however.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 02:52:46 AM »
w/salaam,

In addition:

I checked this in the past. If memory serves me correctly, the word in question is "ard" and it can mean earth or ground/land, context will determine which. The word itself does not specify the extent of land/ground however.

Absolutely correct Wakas. In my humble opinion, your memory serves you absolutely correctly.

The context of 'al-ard' determines whether it is the planet or a particular land mass. One humble example should suffice. When Prophet Moses's people were asked by God to locate a cow that was not trained to plough the earth (al-arda) 2:71, it didn't mean that the intention was to locate a cow that was not trained to plough every inch of land mass on the planet!

There is no conclusive evidence in the Quran that the flood was global and based on a theological argument (as shared above), I feel the best conclusion in my humble opinion seems to be to the contrary.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Peace and regards,
Joseph.

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Adil Husain

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 01:57:25 PM »
Salamun alaikum ,
Thanks for answering.

Quran 17:3
Sahih International translation -
"O descendants of those We carried [in the ship]
with Noah. Indeed, he was a grateful servant.

 Pickthall's translation- (They were) the seed of those whom We carried
(in the ship) along with Noah. Lo! he was a
grateful slave.

The flood cant be global because Allah will not destroy any community in another part of the world before sending messengers to them , and it seems unreal while imagining that Noah would have carried all species (Elephants , tall trees , micro organisms  etc) on his Ark .

In 17:3 , I think Pickthall's Interpretation is more correct.

Salaam.
'I must strive for reformation of myself and the world'

Offline sahibul

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 05:20:35 AM »
Salam,

Suggest you read these books. It might help to shed some light about the deluge.

1) Days of Peleg by Richard D. Lanser
2) When the Earth Nearly Died: Compelling Evidence of a World Cataclysm 11500 Years Ago by DS Allan, JB Delair


Offline Zack

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2016, 12:14:00 AM »
Quote
This version of the story can be found in The Bible [see Genesis 6:13, 6:17, 7:19-21, 8:9, 9:16, 2 Peter 3:5-7). The story told in The Quran is a little different.

Hello Wakas & Joseph,

I want to respond to the approach concerning these sort of questions... The primary historical source seems to be consistently the Qur'an when referring to the Prophets. I believe it should be the Old Testament as the primary source, then the New Testament, then the Qur'an. This is in no way devaluing the Qur'an. The reasons are:

- From my understanding, the Function of the Qur'an is NOT a systematic historical record. It IS an oral recitation using oral stories to call Arabia to repent.
- The Hebrew Bible is over 1,000 years closer to the event, and relates the historical records of its own Prophets.

When dealing with events of history with the emphasis upon the Qur'an, in my mind, this is the result of hundreds of years of tensions between Islamic dynasties and Jews and Christians. This is an area where there needs to be a major new approach within Islam.

Nevertheless, I think this site is fantastic!

Wasalam
Zack

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 08:18:42 AM »
- The Hebrew Bible is over 1,000 years closer to the event, and relates the historical records of its own Prophets.

Hello Zack,

It is how one approaches the Quran.

If one simply views the Quran as a historical text and nothing else, then indeed the argument that the text closer to the event would seem most accurate.

However, if one has reached the conclusion that the Quran is the word of God, then the Quran would be the most accurate source or closest to the event as a living God would be narrating what actually transpired. Therefore, the latest text direct from the word of God would be devoid of any misinterpretation / accretion by the hands of fallible human writers of previous texts. It remains noteworthy that the Quran seeks to confirm (musaddaqan) Biblical narratives but also seeks to clarify where it deems necessary.

It also recognises human accretions within the Book

002:079
"Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands (Arabic: Bi-Aydihim), and then say: "This is from God," so that they may take from it a small price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby"

The Quran also seeks to discern:

005:015
"O People of the Book, surely there has come to you our Messenger, making clear to you much of what you used to conceal (Arabic: tukh'funa) of the scripture and overlooking / forgiving much (Arabic: wa-ya'fu an kathiran). Surely has come to you from God a light and a clear book"

The Arabic word 'tukh'funa' comes from the root KHA-FA-YA which carries the meaning of what is unapparent / has become imperceptible / has become dim to the sight / or suppressed, or obscured to the mind. It also carries the meaning of something which has become 'concealed'.
 
Therefore, the Quran within context of its Arabic usage clearly recognised that certain aspects of the previous scriptures had become gradually concealed and deemed it fit to expound on some of them. It was also not the intention of the Quran to deal with each and every narrative of the Bible hence the term 'wa-yafu an kathiran' (forgive, pardon, pass over, relinquish or remit a whole or part or indeed pardon much).
 
The Quran also positions itself as a guard over the Biblical narratives.

005.048
“ To thee We revealed the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that is between the hands (coexistent Torah and Bible), and guarding it by determining what is true and false (Arabic: wa-muhayminan): so judge between them by what God has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute”

To reiterate then, it is how one approaches the Quran which will determine how they interpret which text is closest to the event. As a believer or simply as a historian / interested academic.

Regards,
Joseph


RELATED:

[1] LAMBASTING THE BIBLE
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=146.msg370#msg370
[2] 'BETWEEN HIS HANDS' OR 'BEFORE IT' (MA BAYNA YADAYHI)
http://quransmessage.com/articles/between%20hands%20or%20before%20it%20FM3.htm

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Zack

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 12:20:36 PM »
If one simply views the Quran as a historical text and nothing else, then indeed the argument that the text closer to the event would seem most accurate.

Dear Br Joseph,

I don't think I was referring to the Qur'an as "only a historical text and nothing else." For someone who sees the Qur'an fully as the divine word of God, it still clearly doesn't present itself as a "Systematic history" of the prophets, when compared to the Hebrew Bible. This is evident with the lack of chronology and flow. I would think a more accurate way to approach the Qur'an for the Qur'ans believers is to view it as a call to repentance, where it is utilising the oral stories of that time, to communicate this message of repentance.

With this the stories are not intended to be necessarily for the purpose so its listeners would know history, but so the stories would help people to repent and turn to God.

For me personally, a Muslim can take this approach without doubting its divine origin in any way, yet stand in harmony with previous books, as well as standing firm from an academic perspective.

Wasalam
Zack

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Was the flood on Noah's people global or local ?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 02:27:03 PM »
Dear brother Zack,

As-salamu alaykum

I understood your response to be in the primary context of the thread's subject matter where it was being suggested that the two accounts, one Biblical and the other Quranic, shared different perspectives regarding the flood during the time of Prophet Noah.

It appeared to me at least, that you were inferring that the narrative closer to the event (i.e. the Biblical perspective) would be the more accurate, it being closest to the source and representative of its prophets. Please kindly forgive me / ignore if this is not your position, however it is a position I have often encountered in academic discourses, so I thought it apt to address. Hence why I utilised the generic term 'one'.

It is the Quran's perspective that it presents history so that listeners can take thought, lessons, extract wisdom and instructions (7:176; 12:111; 14:9; 79:15) in the widest sense possible, but it does not simply narrate knowledge that was only known at the time of revelation to the primary audience. It also seeks to elaborate on information unknown (For example, details of the cave sleepers 18:9ff) and furthermore, clearly stands to correct the view of the Biblical writers. if it deems appropriate. I have already shared supporting verses in my previous post.

For example, the Quran clearly states that Prophet Solomon did not disbelieve (2:102) but narratives were falsely attributed to him and this stands in stark contrast to the Biblical perspective in 1 Kings 11:1-13 where allegedly Prophet Solomon's love of women caused him to disbelieve, or at least caused his heart to stray. Which is historically correct? One even notes slight differences in the narratives of stories that are comprehensively captured in both texts such as the story of Prophet Joseph. Yes indeed, the underlying message / wisdom is quite the sine qua non of the Quranic approach as to why it narrates such stories, but this does not infer we simply dismiss / ignore the subtle differences and as some would argue, for good reason.

I have shared clear references from the Quran how the Quran sees itself and presents its position both in terms of an overarching confirmation of the Bible, to discern between truth / falsehood and remain a guard.

Therefore, I would respectfully disagree with your oft cited position that implies that the Quran did not necessarily want the listeners to know history. I believe it did for a number of reasons (elaboration / clarification / seeking wisdom, lessons such as how the ancients of old had been dealt with (18:55; 15:11-13; 8:38; 33:62; 40:85; 48:23; 35:43 etc.)) but I do agree with your intimation that there was also the reason that through these narratives, people would understand and repent.

May I also kindly request that in the future, if you do have a theological position / understanding that you do share, if you could please kindly share with me / readers corroborating verses / evidence from the Quran.  This will also assist me so much to understand your position better and how you derive your position, God willing, particularly from the Quran. It is only a humble, respectful request  :)

As you can see, I do also try to evidence my position and thoughts with verses if I can.  :)

Thanks for your input as always.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell