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The Response of the People of Hud, and Their Punishment Print E-mail

Allah tells us how the people of Hud responded to him after he had warned them, encouraged them, and clearly explained the truth to them.

﴿قَالُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْنَآ أَوَعَظْتَ أَمْ لَمْ تَكُنْ مِّنَ الْوَعِظِينَ ﴾

(They said: "It is the same to us whether you preach or be not of those who preach.'') meaning, `we will not give up our ways.'

﴿وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَارِكِى ءالِهَتِنَا عَن قَوْلِكَ وَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾

(And we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you) (11:53). This is how it was, as Allah says:

﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴾

(Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe) (2:6).

﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴾

(Truly, those, against whom the Word of your Lord has been justified, will not believe) (10:96-97). And they said:

﴿إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ خُلُقُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ ﴾

(This is no other than Khuluq of the ancients.) Some scholars read this: "Khalq''. According to Ibn Mas`ud and according to `Abdullah bin `Abbas -- as reported from Al-`Awfi -- and `Alqamah and Mujahid, they meant, "What you have brought to us is nothing but the tales (Akhlaq) of the ancients.'' This is like what the idolators of Quraysh said:

﴿وَقَالُواْ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا فَهِىَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً ﴾

(And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.'') (25:5) And Allah said:

﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ إِفْكٌ افْتَرَاهُ وَأَعَانَهُ عَلَيْهِ قَوْمٌ ءَاخَرُونَ فَقَدْ جَآءُوا ظُلْماً وَزُوراً وَقَالُواْ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ﴾

(Those who disbelieve say: "This is nothing but a lie that he has invented, and others have helped him in it. In fact, they have produced an injustice and a lie.'' And they say: "Tales of the ancients...'') (25:4-5)

﴿وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ مَّاذَآ أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُواْ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ ﴾

(And when it is said to them: "What is it that your Lord has sent down'' They say: "Tales of the ancient!'') (16:24). Some other scholars recited it,

﴿إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ خُلُقُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ ﴾

(This is no other than Khuluq of the ancients,) "as Khuluq,'' meaning their religion. What they were following was the religion of the ancients, their fathers and grandfathers, as if they were saying: "We are following them, we will live as they lived and die as they died, and there will be no resurrection and no judgement.'' Hence they said:

﴿وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ ﴾

(And we are not going to be punished.) Allah's saying;

﴿فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَهْلَكْنَـهُمْ﴾

(So they denied him, and We destroyed them.) meaning, they continued to disbelieve and stubbornly oppose Allah's Prophet Hud, so Allah destroyed them. The means of their destruction has been described in more than one place in the Qur'an: Allah sent against them a strong and furious wind, i.e., a fiercely blowing wind that was intensely cold. Thus the means of their destruction was suited to their nature, for they were the strongest and fiercest of people, so Allah overpowered them with something that was even stronger and fiercer than them, as Allah says:

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

(Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with `Ad of Iram Possesors of the pillars) (89:6-7). This refers to the former `Ad, as Allah says:

﴿وَأَنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ عَاداً الاٍّولَى ﴾

(And that it is He Who destroyed the former `Ad) (53:50). They were descendents of Iram bin Sam bin Nuh,

﴿ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ﴾

(Possesors of the pillars) They used to live among pillars. Those who claim that Iram was a city take this idea from Isra'iliyyat narrations, from the words of Ka`b and Wahb, but there is no real basis for that. Allah says:

﴿الَّتِى لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ ﴾

(The like of which were not created in the land) (89:8). meaning, nothing like this tribe was created in terms of might, power and tyranny. If what was meant was a city, it would have said, "The like of which was not built in the land.'' And Allah says:

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

(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. And they used to deny Our Ayat!) (41:15) And Allah says:

﴿وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُواْ بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ ﴾

(And as for `Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind!) until His saying:


(in succession) (69:6-7) meaning, consecutively (i.e., seven nights and eight days).

﴿فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ﴾

(so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date palms!) (69:7) means, they were left as headless bodies, because the wind would come and carry one of them, then drop him on his head, so that his brains were spilled out, his head was broken and he was thrown aside, as if they were uprooted stems of date-palms. They used to build fortresses in the mountains and caves, and they dug ditches half as deep as a man is tall, but that did not help them against the command of Allah at all.

﴿إِنَّ أَجَلَ اللَّهِ إِذَا جَآءَ لاَ يُؤَخَّرُ﴾

(Verily, the term given by Allah, when it comes, cannot be delayed) (71:4). Allah says here:

﴿فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَهْلَكْنَـهُمْ﴾

(So they denied him, and We destroyed them.)

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

(141. Thamud denied the Messengers.) (142. When their brother Salih said to them: "Will you not have Taqwa'') (143. "I am a trustworthy Messenger to you.'') (144. "So, have Taqwa of Allah, and obey me.'') (145. "No reward do I ask of you for it; my reward is only from the Lord of Al-`Alamin.'')

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