Dua of Prophet Nuh (as) Asking for Help (54:10)
All the Prophets fought and struggled against perversion and deviation. They faced constant ridicule, torture, and banishment and came into harm’s way for being vocal in what they believed. We hear the word Prophet and imagine a person of high status, respected, and beloved, and there is some truth to this, but this admiration was earned. Their mission was to guide and help people and they worked tirelessly towards this mission. Imagine the critics that would show up today if you, by yourself, told an entire community their current beliefs and practices were wrong. This is something Prophet Nuh (as) had to personally deal with.
After the death of Prophet Adam (as) the people over the years began to drift away and commit shirk (i.e. worshipping idols, statues, and creating associations with Allah). Allah, in His Mercy, sent guidance to the people through Nuh (as). The Qur’an tells us the people who were receptive to this message were the poor. The others were said to have plugged their ears, some even became hostile towards Nuh (as) and took it upon themselves to berate and humiliate him.
‘The people of Noah denied before them, and they denied Our servant and said, “A madman,” and he was repelled.’ (54:9) They even threatened Nuh (as) “They said, ‘If you do not desist, O Noah, you will surely be of those who are stoned.’” (26:116). From the tafseer Maarif-ul-Quran 54:9, “Abd Ibn Humaid reports from Mujahid that when some of his people found him somewhere, they would choke him, as a result, he would become unconscious. But when he recovered, he would pray to Allah, ‘O Allah! Forgive my people, for they do not know the truth.’”
In Sahih Bukhari 6929 and Sahih Muslim 1792, it was narrated by Abdullah: As if I am looking at the Prophet (ﷺ) while he was speaking about one of the prophets whose people have beaten and wounded him, and he was wiping the blood off his face and saying, “O Lord! Forgive my, people as they do not know.” Although the Prophet goes unnamed in this hadith the belief is that it could be referencing Prophet Nuh (as), and Allah knows best.
They were obsessed and showed no quit in them even though faced many setbacks. In the end, nothing could deter them from doing what was required of them. They kept plugging away, day after day, without losing hope or faith. In the Qur’an, it says, Nuh (as) endured patiently and preached Islam for 950 years. In the Qur’an it tells us, Nuh (as) endured patiently and preached Islam for 950 years. In that time the numbers of believers did not increase, “and We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years, and the flood seized them while they were wrongdoers” (29:14) (remember this next time you want to quit because you haven’t seen progress in the first 2 weeks of starting something new).
One generation after the next they waged war against Nuh (as) fighting back against what he taught. Even his own son rejected his call, when the city was being flooded Nuh (as) cried out, “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers. [But] he said, ‘I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.’ [Noah] said, ‘There is no protector today from the decree of Allah, except for whom He gives mercy.’ And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.” (11:42-43)
Having this context allows us to understand the emotional pain Prophet Nuh (as) must have experienced when he recited the du’a, Rabbi inni maghlubun fan-tass-ssir, “My Lord, Indeed, I am overpowered, so help.” This is also a perfect example for us to learn how we could use our emotional state to call for Allah’s help. Allah responded to Nuh’s prayer and closed the case for all those who disbelieved and denied. The following ayah in the Qur’an reads, “Then we opened the gates of the heaven with rain pouring down” (54:11).