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Story of the Emissary of `Ad Print E-mail

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Harith Al-Bakri said: "I went to the Messenger of Allah to complain to him about Al-`Ala bin Al-Hadrami. When I passed by the area of Ar-Rabdhah, I found an old woman from Bani Tamim who was alone in that area. She said to me, "O servant of Allah! I need to reach the Messenger of Allah to ask him for some of my needs, will you take me to him'' So I took her along with me to Al-Madinah and found the Masjid full of people. I also found a black flag raised high, while Bilal was holding a sword before the Messenger of Allah . I asked, "What is the matter with the people'' They said, "The Prophet intends to send `Amr bin Al-`As (on a military expedition) somewhere.'' So I sat down. When the Prophet went to his house, I asked for permission to see him, and he gave me permission. I entered and greeted him. He said, "Was there a dispute between you and Bani Tamim'' I said, "Yes. And we had been victorious over them. I passed by an old woman from Bani Tamim, who was alone, and she asked me to bring her to you, and she is at the door''. So he allowed her in and I said, "O Allah's Messenger! What if you make a barrier between us and (the tribe of) Bani Tamim, such as Ad-Dahna' (Desert)'' The old woman became angry and opposed me. So I said, "My example is the example of a sheep that carried its own destruction. I carried this woman and did not know that she was an opponent. I seek refuge with Allah and His Messenger that I become like the emissary of `Ad.' So the Prophet asked me about the emissary of `Ad, having better knowledge in it, but he liked to hear the story again. I said, "Once, `Ad suffered from a famine and they sent an emissary ﴿to get relief﴾, whose name was Qayl. Qayl passed by Mu`awiyah bin Bakr and stayed with him for a month. Mu`awiyah supplied him with alcoholic drinks, and two female singers were singing for him. When a month ended, Qayl went to the mountains of Muhrah and said, `O Allah! You know that I did not come here to cure an ill person or to ransom a prisoner. O Allah! Give `Ad water as You used to.' So black clouds came and he was called, `Choose which one of them you wish (to go to `Ad)!' So he pointed to one of the black clouds and he heard someone proclaiming from it, `Take it, as ashes that will leave none in `Ad.' And it has been conveyed to me that the wind sent to them was no more than what would pass through this ring of mine, but it destroyed them.'' Abu Wa'il said, "That is true. When a man or a woman would send an emissary, they would tell him, `Do not be like the emissary of `Ad (bringing disaster and utter destruction to them instead of relief).,'' Imam Ahmad collected this story in the Musnad. At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for it, as did An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

﴿وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَـلِحًا قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ ءَايَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِى أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ - وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِى الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِن سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُواْ ءَالآءَ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ - قَالَ الْمَلأ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِمَنْ ءَامَنَ مِنْهُمْ أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صَـلِحاً مُّرْسَلٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ قَالُواْ إِنَّا بِمَآ أُرْسِلَ بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ - قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا بِالَّذِى ءَامَنتُمْ بِهِ كَـفِرُونَ - فَعَقَرُواْ النَّاقَةَ وَعَتَوْاْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُواْ يَاصَـحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ - فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ ﴾

(73. And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Indeed there has come to you a clear sign from your Lord. This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you; so you leave her to graze in Allah's earth, and touch her not with harm, lest a painful torment should seize you.) (74. And remember when He made you successors (generations) after `Ad and gave you habitations in the land, you build for yourselves palaces in plains, and carve out homes in the mountains. So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah, and do not go about making mischief on the earth.) (75. The leaders of those who were arrogant among his people said to those who were counted weak -- to such of them as believed: "Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.'' They said: "We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.'') (76. Those who were arrogant said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.'') (77. So they killed the she-camel and insolently defied the commandment of their Lord, and said: "O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allah).'') (78. So the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.)

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