Muslim scholars disagree about the number of people who were with Noah on the ship, ranging from eighty persons with their wives to ten people. Some claim that Noah’s wife, the mother of his five sons, Ham, Shem, Japheth, Yam, (whom the People of the Book call Canaan), and Aaber, died before the flood because of infidelity. Some said perhaps she became an infidel after that. Ibn Kathir stated that it was said that Noah’s three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth, were born after the flood. Then he corrected this information by stating this was not true for Ham, Shem, and Japheth were on the ship with Noah. This shows the amount of chaos concerning the knowledge of Noah by Muslim scholars.
It was also said that Ham had sexual relations with his wife on the ship. Noah cursed him and called on Allah to cause his child to be disfigured. As a result, Ham’s wife had a black child who was named Canaan, son of Ham, the grandfather of the Sudanese people.
Qur’an 11:27-30 states: “So the leaders of those who became infidels from his people said, ‘We do not see you except a human like us, and we do not see any who follow you except they are the lowliest of us at first thought. And we do not see that you have any favor over us, yet we think you are liars.’ He said,…. ‘And, O my people, who will give me help against Allah if I drive them away, do you not remember?’”
This shows Noah was rejected by his people for two reasons: he was just a human and his followers were the lowliest of the people. Noah explained that he could not drive the lowliest away from his ship because, if he did, they would complain to Allah.
Allah asked Noah to take all his family with him on the ship, except the one who Allah said would not be saved. The story is found in Qur’an 11:39-41 with Allah speaking: “So you will know who will receive torment, it will shame him and will dwell on him, a lasting torment...We said, ‘Carry in it…your family, except against whom the word has already gone forth, and those who believed.’ And no one believes in him, except a few. And he said, ‘Embark in it...’”
In verse 40: “…except against whom the word has already gone forth,” who was Allah talking about? The answer is Noah’s son. In verses 42-43: “And it (ship) sailed on with them amid waves like mountains. And Noah called to his son, and he was apart: ‘O my son, embark with us and do not be with the infidels.’ He said, ‘I will take refuge to a mountain that will secure me from the water.’ He said, ‘No one will be secure today from the command of Allah except him on whom he will have mercy.’ And the waves passed between them, so he was among the drowned.”
The water and waves were really high, and Noah called to his son, “O my son, come be with us. Do not be with the infidel.” However, the foolish son said to his father, “No, I will take refuge on top of the mountain.” Then the waves came between them, and the son drowned. Of course, for Muslims who have never read the Bible, that is what happened. That must be it! After all, the Qur’an said so.
Muslim scholars stated that Noah’s son died because he was a product of adultery. This is based on Al Tabari saying that in Ali’s reading of Qur’an 11:42, the reference to Noah’s son as “her son” rather than “his son” is indicating that Noah had not fathered this son. Therefore, neither Noah’s wife nor son survived the flood.
Who were saved in the flood? The Qur’an states that it was Noah and his people. One may say the people were his family, but that is not true according to Qur’an 11:27: “So the leaders of those who became infidels from his people said, ‘… we do not see any who follow you except they are the lowliest of us ….’” In other words, the people told Noah that those who followed Noah were the lowliest.
However, the Bible states that only Noah and his family of eight people were saved from the flood. The eight people were Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their three daughters-in-law.
To learn more about what Muslims believe about Noah, please get our book, Exposing the Truth about the Qur’an, Revelation of Error, Vol 1. Visit us at: