When I heard the story of prophet Nuh (AS) I always assumed it was only him and his sons left in the whole entire world, but recently I've heard theories that only Nuh's tribe was drowned and other parts of world consisted of other people. Assuming only him and his sons were left, we would all be descendants of Nuh.

But is it possible that there were other people existing in other parts of the world? does the Quran ever explicitly say that only prophet Nuh and his sons stayed alive?

  • It basically depends on how we interpret the event of the flood of Noah, was it global or local?
    – Kilise
    Aug 15 '17 at 14:33

You can read the story of Noah (AS) in these six chapters of Qur'an in detail:

  1. Al-'A`raf(7)
  2. Hud(11)
  3. Al-Mu'minun(23)
  4. Ash-Shu`ara'(26)
  5. Al-Qamar(54)
  6. Nuh(71)

And the most detailed one is the Hud chapter in which you can read about Noah (AS) in 25 verses ( 25 to 49 ).

In verse 11:40, Quran states:

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَ أَمْرُ‌نَا وَفَارَ‌ التَّنُّورُ‌ قُلْنَا احْمِلْ فِيهَا مِن كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا مَن سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ وَمَنْ آمَنَ ۚ وَمَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ

[So it was], until when Our command came and the oven overflowed, We said, "Load upon the ship of each [creature] two mates and your family, except those about whom the word has preceded, and [include] whoever has believed." But none had believed with him, except a few.

so from the part "whoever has believed" we can understand that some other people were also in Noah's(AS) ship and they did survived, so one may think even if there were no people living in other parts of the world, we may be descendents of those other believers.

But in verses 37:75 to 37:82, Quran explicitly states that all of us are descendents of Noah(AS) :

وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ الْمُجِيبُونَ

And Noah had certainly called Us, and [We are] the best of responders.

وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ مِنَ الْكَرْ‌بِ الْعَظِيمِ

And We saved him and his family from the great affliction.

وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّ‌يَّتَهُ هُمُ الْبَاقِين

And We made his descendants those remaining [on the earth]

وَتَرَ‌كْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِ‌ينَ

And left for him [favorable mention] among later generations:

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِين

"Peace upon Noah among the worlds."

إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Indeed, he was of Our believing servants.

ثُمَّ أَغْرَ‌قْنَا الْآخَرِ‌ينَ

Then We drowned the disbelievers.


And about Noah's(AS) son, in verses 11:42 and 11:43, Qur'an proves his drowning:

وَهِيَ تَجْرِ‌ي بِهِمْ فِي مَوْجٍ كَالْجِبَالِ وَنَادَىٰ نُوحٌ ابْنَهُ وَكَانَ فِي مَعْزِلٍ يَا بُنَيَّ ارْ‌كَب مَّعَنَا وَلَا تَكُن مَّعَ الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ

And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], "O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers."

قَالَ سَآوِي إِلَىٰ جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِي مِنَ الْمَاءِ ۚ قَالَ لَا عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ‌ اللَّـهِ إِلَّا مَن رَّ‌حِمَ ۚ وَحَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُغْرَ‌قِين

[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.


  • 1
    +1 Great first answer mashaAllah. Salaam and welcome to Islam.SE! Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with the guidelines on this Q&A website - take a look at the FAQ as well as highly upvoted questions and answers to get a sense of what we're all about here. I was going to answer with the verses from Surat Saffaat but you beat me to it :)
    – Ansari
    Aug 9 '12 at 4:39
  • +1 Nice answer. Can you please include the information also that, Nuh's son was not in the ship as he was a disbeliever. That will make this answer Perfect.
    – Anwar
    Aug 9 '12 at 6:28
  • @Ansari: Salaam, thank you very much.I hope I'll be able to help more and more here enshaAllah. Aug 9 '12 at 18:45
  • @Anwar Shah: done! hope that helps Aug 9 '12 at 18:46
  • @ZahraEzati Sorry but I'm a bit confused. Quran 11:40 states that a few people did believe Nuh (a.s.). But 37:75-82 states that we are descendants of Nuh? So does that mean that even Nuh's followers didn't survive the flood? Did Allah not save his followers (except for his family)?
    – user16329
    Dec 1 '16 at 18:10

Allah calls us, the humans, "banu Adam" (sons of Adam). If we were all descendants of Nuh, He would call us "Banu Nuh", "Banu Abi Nuh" (sons of the father of Nuh), or something like that.

Also, Allah doesn't punish people without sending a messenger/prophet. Nuh was not sent to the whole humanity at that time, but only to his own people. Only prophet Muhammad was sent for the entire humanity (and also to the jinn).

  • 1
    So we are not all descendants of Nuh, but of Adam. And the flood of Nuh was locally. Proven by islamic and scientific proofs.
    – user2990
    Aug 6 '13 at 19:31
  • 1
    Can you edit your comment into your answer? Comments are for seeking explanation on your post. If you have more to add, you can simply add it to what you have already written.
    – Daniel
    Aug 6 '13 at 20:05

A group of great commentators, including “And We made his offspring the ones who remained.” (We made the descendants of Noah survivors on earth), (1) have used the fact that the entire human race after Noah (pbuh) came from his descendants, and now all are descendants of Noah. From Imam Baqir (as) in the explanation of the above verse, we read: «Truth and prophecy and the book and faith in the heel, and not all of the land of the sons of Adam, who was born Noah (peace be upon him) God Almighty said in his book I carry them from each couple two and Ahlک only from the above AS say of them, and from a safe and Only a few believed with him, and God the Mighty and Sublime also said: The offspring of those whom We bore with Noah.” God means this verse “And We made his offspring the ones who remained.” That is, truth and prophecy and the scripture and faith remained in the lineage of Noah, but not all of the children of Adam who live on earth are descendants of Noah; For God Almighty says in his book: We commanded Noah to ride on every ark of every pair of animals, as well as your family members, except those who had already been promised destruction [referring to Noah's wife and one He says of his descendants, as well as the believers, who did not believe in Noah except a small group, and [O Muhammad], the sons of those who boarded the ark with Noah. (2) Thus, what is known about the end of all the races on earth to the descendants of Noah (pbuh) is not certain. (3) (1). Surah Saffat, verse 77. (2). Where is the hadith of leather 4 “Nur al-Thaqalayn”, page 405, Amdah Hamchanin, ed. Tafsir “Safi” under the verses of a research resource. (3). Read Ori Is Book: Interpretation of Namouna, Grand Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, Chap Best and Shesham, vol. 19, pg. 97.

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