The nine wicked persons killed the camel on a Wednesday, and that night, they conspired to kill Salih. They said, "If he is truthful, we should finish him before we are finished. If he is a liar, we will make him follow his camel.''
﴿قَالُواْ تَقَاسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيِّهِ مَا شَهِدْنَا مَهْلِكَ أَهْلِهِ وَإِنَّا لَصَـدِقُونَ - وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْراً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴾
(They said: "Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and thereafter we will surely say to his near relatives: `We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily, we are telling the truth.''' So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not.) ﴿27:49-50﴾ When they conspired to kill Salih and gathered at night to carry out their plot, Allah, to Whom belongs all might and Who protects His Messengers, rained down stones that smashed the heads of these nine people before the rest of the tribe. On Thursday, the first of the three days of respite, the people woke up and their faces were pale (yellow), just as Prophet Salih had promised them. On the second day of respite, Friday, they woke up and found their faces had turned red. On the third day of the respite, Saturday, they woke up with their faces black. On Sunday, they wore the fragrance of Hanut ﴿the perfume for enshrouding the dead before burial﴾ and awaited Allah's torment and revenge, we seek refuge with Allah from it. They did not know what will be done to them or how and from where the torment would come. When the sun rose, the Sayhah (loud cry) came from the sky and a severe tremor overtook them from below; the souls were captured and the bodies became lifeless, all in an hour.
﴿فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ﴾
(And they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.) They became dead and lifeless and none among them, whether young, old, male or female, escaped the torment. The scholars of Tafsir said that none from the offspring of Thamud remained, except Prophet Salih and those who believed in him. A disbelieving man called Abu Righal was in the Sacred Area at the time and the torment that befell his people did not touch him. When he went out of the Sacred Area one day, a stone fell from the sky and killed him. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Isma`il bin Umayyah said that the Prophet passed by the gravesite of Abu Righal and asked the Companions if they knew whose grave it was. They said, "Allah and His Messenger know better.'' He said,
«أَتَدْرُونَ مَنْ هَذَا؟»
قالوا الله ورسوله أعلم، قال
«هَذَا قَبْرُ أَبِي رِغَالٍ رَجُلٍ مِنْ ثَمُودَ كَانَ فِي حَرَمِ اللهِ فَمَنَعَهُ حَرَمُ اللهِ عَذَابَ اللهِ، فَلَمَّا خَرَجَ أَصَابَهُ مَا أَصَابَ قَومهُ فَدُفِنَ هَاهُنَا وَدُفِنَ مَعَهُ غُصْنٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَنَزَلَ الْقَوْمُ فَابْتَدَرُوهُ بِأَسْيَافِهِمْ فَبَحَثُوا عَنْهُ فَاسْتَخْرَجُوا الْغُصْن»
(This is the grave of Abu Righal, a man from Thamud. He was in the Sacred Area of Allah and this fact saved him from receiving Allah's torment. When he went out of the Sacred Area, what befell his people also befell him. He was buried here along with a branch made from gold.) So the people used their swords and looked for the golden branch and found it. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said that Abu Righal is the father of the tribe of Thaqif.
﴿فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَـقَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّى وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ وَلَكِن لاَّ تُحِبُّونَ النَّـصِحِينَ ﴾
(79. Then he ﴿Salih﴾ turned from them, and said: "O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given you good advice, but you like not good advisers.'') These are the words of admonishment that Salih conveyed to his people after Allah destroyed them for defying Him, rebelling against Him, refusing to accept the truth, avoiding guidance, and preferring misguidance instead. Salih said these words of admonishment and criticism to them after they perished, and they heard him (as a miracle for Prophet Salih from Allah). Similarly, it is recorded in the Two Sahihs that after the Messenger of Allah defeated the disbelievers in the battle of Badr, he remained in that area for three days, and then rode his camel, which was prepared for him during the latter part of the night. He went on until he stood by the well of Badr (where the corpses of the disbelievers were thrown) and said,
«يَا أَبَا جَهْلِ بْنَ هِشَامٍ يَا عُتْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ يَا شَيْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ وَيَا فُلَانَ بْنَ فُلَانٍ هَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا،؟ فَإِنِّي وَجَدْتُ مَا وَعَدَنِي رَبِّي حَقًّا»
(O Abu Jahl bin Hisham! O `Utbah bin Rabi`ah! O Shaybah bin Rabi`ah! Did you find what your Lord has promised you (of torment) to be true, for I found what my Lord promised me (of victory) to be true.) `Umar said to him, "O Allah's Messenger! Why do you speak to a people who have rotted'' He said,
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا أَنْتُمْ بِأَسْمَعَ لِمَا أَقُولُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِنْ لَا يُجِيبُون»
(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You do not hear what I am saying better than they, but they cannot reply.) Similarly, Prophet Salih, peace be upon him, said to his people,
﴿لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّى وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ﴾
("I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given you good advice,'') but you did not benefit from it because you do not like the Truth and do not follow those who give you sincere advice,
﴿وَلَكِن لاَّ تُحِبُّونَ النَّـصِحِينَ﴾
("but you like not good advisers.'')
﴿وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَـحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾
﴿إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَآءِ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴾
(80. And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people: "Do you commit lewdness such as none preceding you has committed in all of the nations) (81. "Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds.'')