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The Response of Thamud, Their Demand for a Sign, and Their Punishment Print E-mail

Allah tells us how Thamud responded to their Prophet Salih, upon him be peace, when he called them to worship their Lord, may He be glorified.

﴿قَالُواْ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مِنَ الْمُسَحَّرِينَ ﴾

(They said: "You are only of those bewitched!'') Mujahid said, "They meant he was one affected by witchcraft.'' Then they said:

﴿مَآ أَنتَ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا﴾

(You are but a human being like us.) meaning, `how can you receive Revelation when we do not' This is like the Ayah where they are described as saying:

﴿أَءُلْقِىَ الذِّكْرُ عَلَيْهِ مِن بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ أَشِرٌ - سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَداً مَّنِ الْكَذَّابُ الاٌّشِرُ ﴾

("Is it that the Reminder is sent to him alone from among us Nay, he is an insolent liar!'' Tomorrow they will come to know who is the liar, the insolent one!) (54:26-27) Then they asked him for a sign to prove that what he brought to them from their Lord was the truth. A crowd of them gathered and demanded that he immediately bring forth from the rock a she-camel that was ten months pregnant, and they pointed to a certain rock in their midst. Allah's Prophet Salih made them promise that if he responded to their request, they would believe in him and follow him. So they agreed to that. The Prophet of Allah Salih, peace be upon him, stood and prayed, then he prayed to Allah to grant them their request. Then the rock to which they had pointed split open, revealing a she-camel that was ten months pregnant, excactly as they had requested. So some of them believed, but most of them disbelieved.

﴿قَالَ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةٌ لَّهَا شِرْبٌ وَلَكُمْ شِرْبُ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ﴾

(He said: "Here is a she-camel: it has a right to drink (water), and you have a right to drink (water) (each) on a day, known.) meaning, `she will drink from your water one day, and on the next day you will drink from it.'

﴿وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴾

(And touch her not with harm, lest the torment of a Great Day should seize you.) He warned them of the punishment of Allah if they should do her any harm. The she-camel stayed among them for a while, drinking the water, eating leaves and grazing, and they benefitted from her milk which they took in sufficient quantities for every one to drink his fill. After this had gone on for a long time, and the time for their destruction drew near, they conspired to kill her:

﴿فَعَقَرُوهَا فَأَصْبَحُواْ نَـدِمِينَ فَأَخَذَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ﴾

(But they killed her, and then they became regretful. So, the torment overtook them.) Their land was shaken by a strong earthquake, and there came to them an overwhelming Sayhah (shout) which took their hearts from their places. They were overtaken by events which they were not expecting, so they were left (dead), lying prostrate in their homes.

﴿إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لأَيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴾

﴿وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴾

(Verily, in this is indeed a sign, yet most of them are not believers. And verily your Lord, He is indeed the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.)

﴿كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطٍ الْمُرْسَلِينَ - إِذْ قَالَ لَهُمْ أَخُوهُمْ لُوطٌ أَلا تَتَّقُونَ إِنِّى لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ وَمَآ أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ أَجْرِىَ إِلاَّ عَلَى رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(160. The people of Lut denied the Messengers.) (161. When their brother Lut said to them: "Will you not have Taqwa'') (162. "Verily, I am a trustworthy Messenger to you.'') (163. "So, have Taqwa of Allah, and obey me.'') (164. "No reward do I ask of you for it; my reward is only from the Lord of all that exits.'')

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