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Lessons from the Destruction of Fir`awn, `Ad, Thamud, and the People of Nuh Print E-mail

Allah the Exalted said,

﴿وَفِى مُوسَى إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَـهُ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ بِسُلْطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴾

(And in Musa, when We sent him to Fir`awn with a manifest authority.) meaning, with clear proof and plain evidence,

﴿فَتَوَلَّى بِرُكْنِهِ﴾

(But he turned away along with his hosts,) meaning, in rebellion and arrogance, Fir`awn turned away from the plain truth that Musa was sent with,

﴿ثَانِىَ عِطْفِهِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾

(Bending his neck in pride, and leading (others) too (far) astray from the path of Allah.)(22:9 ), meaning turning away from truth in arrogance,

﴿وَقَالَ سَـحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ﴾

(and said: "A sorcerer, or a madman.'') meaning Fir`awn said to Musa, "With regards to the message that you brought me, you are either a magician or a madman.'' Allah the Exalted replied,

﴿فَأَخَذْنَـهُ وَجُنُودَهُ فَنَبَذْنَـهُمْ﴾

(So We took him and his armies, and dumped them), meaning `We threw them,'

﴿فِى الْيَمِّ﴾

(into the Yamm), into the sea,

﴿وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ﴾

(for he was blameworthy.) meaning, Fir`awn was a denying sinner and a stubborn disbeliever worthy of blame. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

﴿وَفِى عَادٍ إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّيحَ الْعَقِيمَ ﴾

(And in `Ad when We sent against them the barren wind) that destroys everything and produces nothing. This was said by Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and others. Allah's statement,

﴿مَا تَذَرُ مِن شَىْءٍ أَتَتْ عَلَيْهِ﴾

(It spared nothing that it reached,) meaning, everything that the wind could destroy,

﴿إِلاَّ جَعَلَتْهُ كَالرَّمِيمِ﴾

(but blew it into broken spreads of rotten ruins.) meaning, made it just like a rotten and destroyed. Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib and others commented on:

﴿إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّيحَ الْعَقِيمَ﴾

(when We sent against them the barren wind),"Southerly winds.'' However, there is a Hadith in the Sahih from Shu`bah bin Al-Hakam, from Mujahid, from Ibn `Abbas, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«نُصِرْتُ بِالصَّبَا وَأُهْلِكَتْ عَادٌ بِالدَّبُور»

(I have been made victorious with the Saba (easterly wind), and the people of `Ad were destroyed with the Dabur (westerly wind).) Allah saying,

﴿وَفِى ثَمُودَ إِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَمَتَّعُواْ حَتَّى حِينٍ ﴾

(And in Thamud, when they were told: "Enjoy yourselves for a while!'') is just as He said in another Ayah,

﴿وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّواْ الْعَمَى عَلَى الْهُدَى فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ صَـعِقَةُ الْعَذَابِ الْهُونِ﴾

(And as for Thamud, We guided them to the path of truth, but they preferred blindness to guidance; so the Sa`iqah of disgracing torment seized them.) (41:17) Allah said here,

﴿وَفِى ثَمُودَ إِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَمَتَّعُواْ حَتَّى حِينٍ - فَعَتَوْاْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ وَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ ﴾

(And in Thamud, when they were told: "Enjoy yourselves for a while!'' But they insolently defied the command of their Lord, so the Sa`iqah overtook them while they were looking.) Thamud were given a respite for three days, during which they await the torment. In the early morning of the fourth day, the torment overtook them,

﴿فَمَا اسْتَطَـعُواْ مِن قِيَامٍ﴾

(Then they were unable to rise up,) they were unable to escape and run away from it,

﴿وَمَا كَانُواْ مُنتَصِرِينَ﴾

(nor could they help themselves.) nor could they save themselves from the torment that befell them. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

﴿وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ مِّن قَبْلُ﴾

((So were) the people of Nuh before them.) meaning, `We destroyed the people of Nuh before these people (Fir`awn, `Ad and Thamud).'

﴿إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً فَـسِقِينَ﴾

(Verily, they were a people who were revellious.) We mentioned these stories in details before in the Tafsir of several other Surahs.

﴿وَالسَّمَآءَ بَنَيْنَـهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ - وَالاٌّرْضَ فَرَشْنَـهَا فَنِعْمَ الْمَـهِدُونَ - وَمِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ - فَفِرُّواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنِّى لَكُمْ مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ وَلاَ تَجْعَلُواْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهاً ءَاخَرَلَكُمْ مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ﴾

(47. With Hands We constructed the heaven. Verily, We are able to expand the vastness of space thereof.) (48. And We have made the earth a Firash; how excellent spreader (thereof) are We!) (49. And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember.) (50. So, flee to Allah. Verily, I am a plain warner to you from Him.) (51. And set not up any other god along with Allah. Verily, I am a plain warner to you from Him.)

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