Was Noah’s Flood Global or Local?
According to the Old Testament all humans and living beings perished (Genesis 7:21-22). Only those living in the ark survived. The entire surface was under water. The water covered the highest mountains fifteen cubits [8,4 m.] (Genesis 7:19-20).
According to the Quran, Prophet Noah/Nuh was sent to warn his own people (Al-Aaraf 7:59; Al-Ankabut 29:14; Hud 11:25). The Quran tells us that not the entire human race, but only Noah’s people were punished due to their cruelty (Al-Anbiya 21:77). Anyway, the Quran reminds us that only a community was punished, if a rasul (prophet) was sent to them (Al-Israa 17:15; Ash-Shuara 26:208-209; Al-Qasas 28:59). The people of Lot, Ad and Thamud were punished only locally.
The command, “…Load therein two of every kind, a pair” (Hud 11:40) was given, when “the oven gushed forth water,” which is at the beginning of the same verse. The animals which were taken to the ark could only be those which lived in Noah’s region, not all the animals of the world.
“Leave not one of the disbelievers in the land” (Nuh 71:26). The intent of Prophet Noah’s words are not those of the entire human race, only his people: “And We supported him against the people who rejected Our signs. They were an evil people, so We drowned them all.” (Al-Anbiya 21:77. To learn more about these people see also: Nuh 71:22, 24). After all the Word al-Ard الْاَرْضِ in the verse is used in the Quran sometimes for World or surface, sometimes for a specific area (Al-Israa 17:76; Ar-Rum 30:2-3).
After all this knowledge, destruction occurred only to the people who received messengers and then denied them. Therefore, the flood at the time of Prophet Noah was local, not global.