The World’s First ship

A bright future

The world's first ship

Mohammad Bilal Raza Attari Madani

Do you know who built the world's first ship? If you do not know, let me tell you.

Thousands of years ago, Allah sent a prophet to earth whose name was Sayyidunā Nū عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام. For 950 years, this eminent prophet tried to guide people to the right path, the Path of Allah. However, only 80 people accepted his message.

Eventually, Allah Almighty informed him that a powerful storm would sweep away the evil people and that he should build a ship to save himself and the believers. Two-hundred years still remained before the arrival of the storm, and he needed wood to build a special ship called an ark. To obtain wood, he planted some trees called Sagwan whose wood is very durable. These trees took 100 years to grow, after which he and the believers started building the world's first ship. Throughout this time, the evil people persecuted him in various ways. However, he remained patient and persevered in preparing the ship without paying attention to what they said.

Do you know how long it took to make the world's first ship? You may think it took one or two years. However, it took around 100 years to build this ship. You may be wondering why it took so long to build a ship? The answer will become clear once we learn some facts about the ship:

*   According to one opinion, this boat was 300 yards long, 50 yards wide, and 300 yards in height.

*   The front part of the ship was like the head of a rooster.

*   The rear part was like the tail of a rooster.

*   The lower part was like the stomach of a bird.

*   The ship was coated with tar.

*   It had three doors, which were affixed to the ship using iron nails.

*   Three decks were built for the ship: the bottom deck for wild animals, birds, and terrestrial insects; the middle deck for cattle and other animals, whereas the top deck was built for humans. 

You have heard how magnificent and extraordinary this ship was. However, the storm that was about to come was also extremely dangerous. The sign of this storm arriving was that water would begin to boil and overflow from the oven in Sayyidunā Nū's house. Hence, when he saw the oven overflowing one day, he ordered the birds, animals and believers to board the ship. The storm continued to grow bigger and more powerful. It started raining so heavy that the ground cracked open in many places and water began coming out of it too. This rain lasted for 40 days. Even the peaks of mountains that were 40 yards tall were submerged in the water. No one survived besides those on board.

The ship continued to travel for about 150 days, during which time when the ship reached Arabia, it also circumambulated the Kaʿba seven times. Eventually, the storm stopped. On 10th Muharram, the day of Ashura, the ship reached Mount Judi in Iraq. All the people fasted on that day as a form of gratitude. This is how the journey of the world's first ship came to an end.[1]

We learn the following from this incident:

1.   We should regularly call people towards good.

2.   Regardless of whether someone accepts what we say, we should continue calling people to Allah.

3.   We should not mock the people of Allah or hurt their feelings.

4.   We should obey Allah.

5.   We should fear His punishment.

6.   We should accept what the people of Allah say.

7.   We should have complete trust in Allah.

8.   We should be thankful upon receiving a blessing from Allah.

9.   Worship is an excellent way of being thankful to Allah Almighty.

[1] Part 12, Surah al-Hud, verses 36 – 44; al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 4, pp. 419 – 437; Tafsīr al-āwi, vol. 3, pp. 913 – 914; Ajaaib al-Quran ma’a Gharaib al-Quran, pp. 316 - 321




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