for the second time, Allah ordered nuh to sow fresh, date-seeds yet again. he ordered him to strive and adopt patience in this regard and to inform this matter to his believing followers. when hazrat nuh followed these instructions, three hundred of his men turned apostates and they said: 'if what nuh claims happens to be the truth his lord would not have broken his promise'.
each time a group turned apostates, Allah commanded hazrat nuh to sow seeds from the dates of the previous trees. this continued until the number of true believers remained only seventy or above.(100)
Allah revealed to hazrat nuh (a.s.) as such: now, the brightness of dawn has obviated the darkness of night since the truth has been established and faith has been purified except those whose nature are malicious and gloomy. if i had destroyed the un-believers and spared this group who had brought faith in you and then turned apostates, i would not have been true to my previous promise made to your true believers - those whose monotheistic belief was based on sincerity and who had clinged to the rope of your prophethood. my promise is to make them vicegerents over the earth, give strength to their religion and turn their fear and anxiety into tranquility so that doubt and uncertainty is obviated from their hearts and they become sincere in their worship for me.
how could it be for me to make them successors, give them strength and turn their fear into security while being aware of the shaky faith and evil nature of those who had turned apostates. if at the time of giving succession to the disbelievers i had given the kingdom to the believers, pride and discord would have overtaken them. a series of afflictions would have become strong in their hearts and they would have created enmity with their brothers and battled with them for gaining power.
if seditions had arisen and battles had taken place how was it possible for the believers to issue commands and how was it feasible to follow the religion? such was not possible.
now, by our commands you may start building a ship.
mufazzal says: i said: 'o son of messenger of Allah, the navasebs (a group belonging to sunni sect) reckon that this verse (*) has been revealed in honour of abu bakr, omar, osman and ali.
(*) ayat 55, sura nur.
then imam (a.s.) recited this verse:---
(until the time when the apostles despaired and the people became sure that they were indeed told a lie, that our help came to them)