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Mentioning the Destruction of `Ad Print E-mail

After mentioning these people, and their worship and obedience, Allah says,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ ﴾

(Saw you not how your Lord dealt with `Ad) These were people who were rebellious, disobedient, arrogant, outside of His obedience, deniers of His Messengers and rejectors of His Scriptures. Thus, Allah mentions how He destroyed them, annihilated them and made them legends to be spoken of and an exemplary lesson of warning. He says,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ - إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ ﴾

(Saw you not how your Lord dealt with `Ad Iram of the pillars,) These were the first people of `Ad. They were the descendants of `Ad bin Iram bin `Aws bin Sam bin Nuh. This was said by Ibn Ishaq. They are those to whom Allah sent His Messenger Hud. However, they rejected and opposed him. Therefore, Allah saved him and those who believed with him from among them, and He destroyed others with a furious, violent wind.

﴿سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ - فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ ﴾

(Which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown, as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! Do you see any remnants of them) (69: 7-8) Allah mentioned their story in the Qur'an in more than one place, so that the believers may learn a lesson from their demise. Allah then says,

﴿إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ ﴾

(Iram of the pillars.) This is an additional explanation that adds clarification who they actually were. Concerning His saying,

﴿ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ﴾

(of the pillars.) is because they used to live in trellised houses that were raised with firm pillars. They were the strongest people of their time in their physical stature, and they were the mightiest people in power. Thus, Hud reminded them of this blessing, and he directed them to use this power in the obedience of their Lord Who had created them. He said,

﴿وَاذكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِى الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً فَاذْكُرُواْ ءَالآءَ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ﴾

(And remember that He made you successors after the people of Nuh and increased you amply in stature. So remember the graces from Allah so that you may be successful.)(7:69) Allah also said,

﴿فَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَقَالُواْ مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِى خَلَقَهُمْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً﴾

(As for 'Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: "Who is mightier than us in strength'' See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them.) (41:15) And Allah says here,

﴿الَّتِى لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ ﴾

(The like of which were not created in the land) meaning, there had been none created like them in their land, due to their strength, power and their great physical stature. Mujahid said, "Iram was an ancient nation who were the first people of `Ad.'' Qatadah bin Di`amah and As-Suddi both said, "Verily, Iram refers to the House of the kingdom of `Ad.'' This latter statement is good and strong. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿الَّتِى لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ ﴾

(The like of which were not created in the land) Ibn Zayd considered the pronoun of discussion here to refer to the pillars, due to their loftiness. He said, "They built pillars among the hills, the likes of which had not been constructed in their land before.'' However, Qatadah and Ibn Jarir considered the pronoun of discussion to refer to the tribe (of `Ad), meaning that there was no tribe that had been created like this tribe in the land - meaning during their time. And this latter view is the correct position. The saying of Ibn Zayd and those who follow his view is a weak one, because if He intended that, He would have said "The like of which were not produced in the land.'' But He said:

﴿لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ﴾

(The like of which were not created in the land.) Then Allah says,

﴿وَثَمُودَ الَّذِينَ جَابُواْ الصَّخْرَ بِالْوَادِ ﴾

(And Thamud, who hewed (Jabu) rocks in the valley) meaning, they cut the rocks in the valley. Ibn `Abbas said, "They carved them and they hewed them.'' This was also said by Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd. From this terminology it is said (in the Arabic language), "the hewing of leopard skin'' when it is torn, and "The hewing of a garment'' when it is opened. The word `Jayb' (pocket or opening in a garment) also comes from Jabu. Allah says,

﴿وَتَنْحِتُونَ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتاً فَـرِهِينَ ﴾

(And you hew in the mountains, houses with great skill.) (26:149)

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