The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ask an Alim

Flood during Prophet Nuh occur all over the world or in a specified town


Did the flood at the time of Prophet Nuh only occur in the town or was it in the entire world?


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

The Flood of Prophet Nooh(as) is a definite issue between the divine and even the non-divine religions, but the difference is in how it happened and where did it take place. Some have considered this incident to be universal, citing what is said in the Torah, as well as the appearance of some verses of the Qur’an, but there is another view that considers the flood to be limited to the people and the limits of Prophet Nooh (as). In any case, the purpose of the Qur’an in telling this instructive story is to express the important educational points that lie in it, whether it is global or regional.[1]

The possibility that Noah’s flood was in a specific region and not in the whole universe is stronger than any other possibility and is more consistent with the current evidence. [2]

Some say that it appears from the appearance of the Holy Qur’an that the flood swept across the earth and that all the human beings on earth were drowned except those who were in the ark and were saved, but there is no definite reason to understand this from the apparent verse. According to this view, verse 27 of Surah Nooh indicates the universality of the flood in the time of Prophet Nooh(as).[3]

But the same interpretations given in the verses can be applied to the flood being regional because the word ارض (earth) in the Holy Qur’an is applied to a region of the world, as we read in the story of the Bani Israel:

So, there are two opinions regarding the flood, one group believes the flood to be universal whereas the other believes it to be at a specific place.

Allamah Tabatabai author of Tafsir Al-Mizan and Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi author of Tafir Namoona accept the first opinion, i.e. flood to be universal.

Purpose of Qur’an in telling the story of the previous tribes is to teach lessons. Therefore, in many cases, we don’t find the side issues related to it such as in the case of Ashab al-Kahf(the companions of the cave), we don’t know the exact number but mentioning these stories are for gaining lessons. Same is the case regarding the flood to be universal or at a specified place. accepting any of the opinions neither contradicts the occurrence nor destroys the purpose of Allah(swt) mentioning these stories and incidents in the Holy Qur’an.

[1] Tafsir Numoona, vol 9, page 104

[2] Tafsir Numoona, vol 9, page 102

[3] Translation of Al-Mizan, vol 10, page 393

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider