إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Verily, We sent Nûh (Noah) to his people (saying): “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.”
In this Surah Allah Ta’ala is informing the believing men and women regarding the people of Nûh عليه اسلام and how they reacted towards him when he came to them with the message of Allah Ta’ala.
The Surah begins with a verse within which Allah informs us that He sent Nûh عليه اسلام to his nation to warn them before a calamity and painful torment befalls them.
This is one of the greatest mercies of Allah Ta’ala that He never destroyed a nation without sending them a Prophet, a sign or a warning. So much so that not even a single person is punished without being sent a warning or a sign.
In the Qur’an Allah has mentioned many verses informing the believing men and women that He is Just and that He will not punish people without having informed them before hand and that His punishment will come upon those who have been warned beforehand and thus they will have no excuse once in His presence:
قَالَ لَا تَخْتَصِمُوا لَدَيَّ وَقَدْ قَدَّمْتُ إِلَيْكُم بِالْوَعِيدِ
مَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ
“His Companion (Satan -devil) will say: “Our Lord! I didn’t make him transgress. But he (himself) was far astray.” He will say: “Dispute not with each other in My presence: I had already in advance sent you warning. The Word changes not before Me, and I do not the least injustice to My servants.”
In another verse Allah mentions that He sent Prophets to guide us, and further mentions their qualities and that we will have no plea against Allah once He has sent them:
رُّسُلاً مُّبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا
“Apostles who gave good news, as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should have no plea against Allah.
So from all these verses, and from the first verse of Surah Nûh we can deduce that Allah Ta’ala is merciful because He chose to send us Prophets as well as warnings and despite being able to and not being answerable to anyone He gave us an opportunity to better ourselves and choose the right path before sending down upon us His wrath and punishment.
It is the nature of mankind to find excuses, even if it is in front of Allah Himself, and Allah knowing this made sure He left us no excuses:
“And if We had destroyed them with a torment before this (i.e. sending Muhammad Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم and the Qur’an), they would surely have said: “Our Lord! If only You had sent us a Messenger, we should certainly have followed Your Ayat (verses, signs and warnings), before we were humiliated and disgraced.”
May Allah give us all the ability to recognise His signs and warnings and the inclination to follow the teachings of His Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم and may He save us from being like the people of Nûh عليه اسلام. Aameen