60. The dignitaries among his people said, “We see that you are in obvious error.”
61. He said, “O my people, I am not in error, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.”
62. “I deliver to you the messages of my Lord, and I advise you, and I know from God what you do not know.”
63. “Do you wonder that a reminder has come to you from your Lord, through a man from among you, to warn you, and to lead you to righteousness, so that you may attain mercy?”
64. But they called him a liar. So We saved him and those with him in the Ark, and We drowned those who rejected Our revelations. They were blind people.
65. And to Aad, their brother Hud. He said, “O my people! Worship God; you have no god other than Him. Will you not take heed?”
66. The elite of his people who disbelieved said, “We see foolishness in you, and we think that you are a liar.”
67. He said, “O my people! There is no foolishness in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.
68. “I convey to you the messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy adviser to you.”
69. “Are you surprised that a reminder has come to you from your Lord, through a man from among you, to warn you? Remember how He made you successors after the people of Noah, and increased you greatly in stature. And remember God’s blessings, so that you may prosper.”
70. They said, “Did you come to us to make us worship God alone, and abandon what our ancestors used to worship? Then bring us what you threaten us with, if you are truthful.”
Muhammad is being told that in the past other messengers have warned their people before. Noah was the warner of his nation, but nobody listened. They were not spared when the flood came. God guided him to build an ark to save himself and his family alone while leaving the others out in the rain-literally.
I don’t see God as deliberately drowning these people. But what happened is Noah was the only one who was listening and receiving the warnings and the Signs from God of a great flood coming. Perhaps God also tried to warn others in dreams, angelic visions, downloading information into the brains of others, but these people refused to be open to the messages. So when the rain came they were not prepared as Noah was. To me disbelief is never a story about punishment, it is about cause and effect.
Hud of the people of Aad, which will be explained more in later verses to Muhammad, also tried to warn the people of the upcoming disaster to cleanse the earth and terraform new terrains.
An artist’s interpretation of Noah warning everyone of the flood coming.