|The Story of Salih and the People of Thamud|
Allah, the Exalted, says,
(And) This is an introduction to that which is implied, "Verily, We sent.''
(to Thamud) They were a group of people who were living in cities carved from the rocks, between Tabuk and Al-Madinah (in Arabia). They lived after the people of `Ad, so Allah sent to them,
(their brother Salih.) He (Salih) commanded them to worship Allah alone. He said to them,
﴿هُوَ أَنشَأَكُمْ مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ﴾
(He brought you forth from the earth) This means: `He began your creation from it (the earth). From it He created your father, Adam.'
(and settled you therein,) This means: `He made you prosperous in the earth. You are settled in it and you treasure it.'
(then ask forgiveness) `This is in reference to your previous sins. '
﴿ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ﴾
(and turn to Him in repentance.) `This is in reference to the future.'
﴿إِنَّ رَبِّى قَرِيبٌ مُّجِيبٌ﴾
(Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His knowledge), Responsive.) This is similar to Allah's statement,
﴿وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ﴾
(And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed Near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me.) ﴿2:186﴾
﴿قَالُواْ يصَـلِحُ قَدْ كُنتَ فِينَا مَرْجُوًّا قَبْلَ هَـذَا أَتَنْهَانَآ أَن نَّعْبُدَ مَا يَعْبُدُ ءابَاؤُنَا وَإِنَّنَا لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَآ إِلَيْهِ مُرِيبٍ - قَالَ يَقَوْمِ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِن كُنتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةً مِّن رَّبِّى وَءَاتَـنِى مِنْهُ رَحْمَةً فَمَن يَنصُرُنِى مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنْ عَصَيْتُهُ فَمَا تَزِيدُونَنِى غَيْرَ تَخْسِيرٍ ﴾
(62. They said: "O Salih! You have been among us as a figure of good hope until this! Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped But we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us.'') (63. He said: "O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and there has come to me a mercy from Him, who then can help me against Allah, if I were to disobey Him Then you increase me not but in loss.'')
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