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Hadrat Hud (Alaihis Salam)

Hadrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) was sent as a messenger of  God to the tribe of ‘Aad.

The Tribe of ‘Aad:  Genealogists and historians divide the Arab people into two categories: Those who are pure or original Arabs. They are called  Arab ‘Aribah. And those who immigrated into Arabia and became Arab.. They are called Arab Musta’ribah. Arab Aribah were divided into different tribes like Thamudd, Tasm, Jadis, Jarham, Umaim, Madyan, Umlaq, Qahtan, BanuYaqtan, etc. The tribe of ‘Aad was one among these. Hadrat Ismael (AS) was married into one of these tribes. The generations which followed from his offspring came to be known as Arab Musta’ribah.

Most tribes of Arab Aribah are now extinct. They are known as Arab Baedah. The tribe of ‘Aad belongs to this category. There is no trace off this tribe nor any individuals who identify themselves as ‘Aad.  The Arabians were quite familiar with them. References to them abound in their poetry and orions.  Their antiquity as well as their destruction was also something well-known. That’s why antiqs  to them are called “Aadi.”

They were magnificent people in body structure as well as physical strength. They have been described in the Quran in these words:

أَلَمْ تَرَى كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ (6) إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ (7) الَّتِي لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِي الْبِلادِ (8) (الفجر: 6-8)

Translation of Meaning : “Saw you (O Muhammad (SAW)) not how your Lord dealt with ‘Ad (people) (6) Of Iram (Who were very tall) like (lofty) pillars, (7) The like of which were not created in the land? (8) (Al-Fajr: 6-8).

In another place it is said about them:

وَإِذَا بَطَشْتُمْ بَطَشْتُمْ جَبَّارِينَ (الشعراء: 130)

Translation of Meaning “And when you seize (some body), seize you (him) as tyrants? (130)  (Ash-Shua’ra: 130).

Region and Nation: In Qur’an their region has been named as “Ahqaf”. Ahqaf is plural of “haqaf” which means large hillock of sands which are smaller in height than mountains. In terminology Ahqaf is a region located at the south western side of Al-Rub’ Al-khali desert. According to Ibn-e-Is’haq region of Aad stretched from Yemen to Oman. They moved outside their centre Ahqaf and overpowered the weak nations around them. At present time at a distance 125 km from Mukla city to the direction of North there is a place named “Hadhramaut”. At this place there is a grave which is known as grave of Hud (Alaihis Salam). People have built grave of Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam). Today this region is a historical site encompassing many lessons in it. When one sees a desert like this he cannot imagine that this had once been the centre of a highly civilized nation. People do not venture inside this region. In 1843 a soldier of Buerea ventured inside this region. According to him, there are white coloured land formations, if something falls inside it, it sinks inside the sand. He says sand at this place is very fine. I threw a piece of iron inside the sand which sink inside the sand after five minute and the head of the rope from which the iron was tied melted.

Distinctive Features of Aad People :

After destruction of people of Nuh the people who were bestowed power and strength were the people of Aad. In terms of their body strength they were very powerful people (Surah Al-Aaraf: 69). They were the most powerful people at that time. They were highly civilized. They were known for erecting  high rise buildings on high pillars (Surah Al-Fajr : 6, 7, 8). Allah (Ta’ala) conferred His countless bounties upon these people. (Surah Al-Shuara : 131, 133)

Moral degradation of People of Aad and Dawah of Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam): People of Aad become arrogant due to what Allah (Ta’ala) had conferred of His favours and their strength. The illusion of their exterior status made them forget their original status of affairs. Instead of giving thanks to Allah (Ta’ala) they ascribed partners to Him.

The people of Aad did not deny the existence of Allah (Ta’ala). They believed in Allah, but committed shirk in attributes of Allah (Ta’ala). They had three idols i.e. samad, samoud and Har. The proof for worshipping these idols was that of blind following in the footsteps of forefathers. When Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) preached them against committing shirk, they replied saying, Allah (Ta’ala) says in the Holy Quran.

قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنتَ مِنْ الصَّادِقِينَ (الأعراف: 70)

Translation of Meaning : They said: “You have come to us that we should worship Allâh Alone and forsake that which our fathers used to worship. So bring us that wherewith you have threatened us if you are of the truthful.”
(Al-Araf: 70)

Their civilization and materialism made them engrossed in the worldly life due to which they maintained high status and extravagant life. Their only aim had been showing off and external outlook, which made them do wrong by the people of the region. Bereft of the fear from Allah (Ta’ala) and accountability in the hereafter, all features of a free life crept in them. Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) called them to pure monotheism and explained their misdeeds. Allah (Ta’ala) says in the Holy Quran:

وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُوداً قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلا تَتَّقُونَ (الأعراف:65)

Translation of Meaning : And to ‘Ad (people, We sent) their brother Hûd. He said: “O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. (Lâilâha ill-allâh: none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh). Will you not fear (Allâh)?” (Al-Araf:65)

The leaders of the people of Aad replied to the calling of Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) in the manner depicted by Allah (Ta’ala) in the Holy Quran in these words:

قَالَ الْمَلأ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنْ الْكَاذِبِينَ (الأعراف:66)

Translation of Meaning : The leaders of those who disbelieved among his people said: “Verily, we see you in foolishness, and verily, we think you are one of the liars.” (Al-Araf:66)

Materialistic people and representatives of polytheistic civilization always react in this manner. They instead of taking heed accuse others. Their hearts testify to the truth of the messenger. They believe that the messenger is calling to straight path, but their worldly interests and selfishness compels them to supress the call of their inner self. The habit of filling bellies and fulfilling sexual desires push them from the heights of respect and seriousness to the lowest status of animals. They then accuse the very person whom they used to regard as a respected and ideal person.

The people of Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) responded to his call to monotheism in the same manner and said “O Hud you are fool, do you think we will believe that this respite of the worldly life which has been given to us to enjoy, are we going to spoil by thinking of paradise and hell? All these blessings and leisure of this world and enjoyment of this world are to enjoy them. It is a sheer foolishness to avoid them.”

Hadrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) criticised their way of thinking and preached them not to forget their original status of affairs. He preached them politely with heavy heart saying “O my people, I am not a fool, I am a messenger of Allah (Ta’ala) and I am passing His message to you; I am your well-wisher  (Surah Al-Aaraf : 67, 68). These messages are not mine, rather they are from the one Who has conferred all these favours upon you. This is not to be taken lightly. If you deny me you will not be denying a person rather it will be a denial of Allah who has sent me as a messenger. Please believe me, lest you may deserve the punishment of Allah. Do not take my words as a words uttered by an ordinary person like you. Use your intellect and decide after insightful thought. Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) preached to them citing references from this history. He drew their attention to the bad end of the previous nations, making references to the blessings conferred upon them and strength given to them. However, these foolish people responded in a manner, which Allah depicts in the Holy Quran:

قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنتَ مِنْ الصَّادِقِينَ (الأعراف:70)

Translation of Meaning : They said: “You have come to us that we should worship Allâh Alone and forsake that which our fathers used to worship. So bring us that wherewith you have threatened us if you are of the truthful.” (Al-Araf:70)

How long would these haughty people tolerate the teachings of dos and don’ts of Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam). They replied that we would not do away with our deeds and our way of life. How can we believe in a single god neglecting our gods whom our fathers and forefathers have been worshiping and because of whose blessings we are maintaining and enjoying this life. They asked Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) to bring the punishment which he threatened to bring. If you are true bring this punishment; we are ready for that.

A prophet is more kind to his people than parents to their children. He sees things which are not seen by his people. He, instead of becoming angry on their deeds, tries to preach them with kindness. Therefore, Hadhrat Nuh (AlaihisSalam) said in his reply to their so called proof of following the footsteps of their fathers and forefathers that those whom you worship besides Allah (Ta’ala) following the footsteps of your fathers and forefathers and ascribe them as partner to Allah, their reality is nothing except that they are only a few names whom you assume partner to Allah.

Whom you deem remover of affliction they have no power to remove affliction. Those whom you call to confer their favour upon you have nothing to confer favours upon others. Whom you think he gives others possesses nothing to give others. Whom you name “Ghareeb Nawaz” (helper of poor) that poor man has no share in the universe of Allah (Ta’ala) to give to poor. Whom you name as “Ghauth” (Redresser of grievances) has no might nor power to help others. In fact they are but a few names of no real persons. You argue with me for these names? What proof do you have for their divinity. Has Allah (Ta’ala) in whom you yourself believe has given some power of removing affliction or fulfilling your needs. You, yourself by your imagination and false belief, have given them the amount of divinity as much as you pleased.

The people of Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) rejected his call to the way of Allah which he gave out of his love to his people and asked him for the punishment of Allah. When Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) had completed his argument and concluded that there is no use of preaching them he said to his people Ok you wait and I will also wait for the punishment.

When Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) received this treatment from his people, he prayed to Allah saying

رَبِّ انصُرْنِي بِمَا كَذَّبُونِ (39)

Translation of Meaning : “O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.”

Allah (Ta’ala) responded to his prayer, helped him and took His decision to destroy them.

قَالَ عَمَّا قَلِيلٍ لَيُصْبِحُنَّ نَادِمِينَ (40)فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ الصَّيْحَةُ بِالْحَقِّ فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ غُثَاءً فَبُعْداً لِلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ (41) (المؤمنون : 40-41)

Translation of Meaning: (Allâh) said: “In a little while, they are sure to be regretful.” (40) So As-Saîhah (torment – awful cry) overtook them in truth (with justice), and We made them as rubbish of dead plants. So away with the people who are Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, disobedient to His Messengers). (41) (Al-Muminoon:40-41)

Punishment of Aad People: The punishment which people of Aad demanded from Hadhrat Hud (Alaihis Salam) finally befell them. The wind continued to blow for seven nights and eight days without cessation. Allah (Ta’ala) sent this storm on them in such a manner that the whole nation was destroyed. Allah (Ta’ala) mentions them and their destruction in the Holy Quran in these words.

At another place Allah (Ta’ala) mentions this storm in these words:

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ (6) سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ (7) فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُمْ مِنْ بَاقِيَةٍ (8) (الحاقة:6-8)

Translation of Meaning : And as for ‘Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind! (6) Which Allâh imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms! (7) Do you see any remnants of them? (8)  (Al-Haqqah:6-8)

Allah (Ta’ala) has depicted the condition of this storm at another place in these words:

وَفِي عَادٍ إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ الرِّيحَ الْعَقِيمَ (41) مَا تَذَرُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ أَتَتْ عَلَيْهِ إِلاَّ جَعَلَتْهُ كَالرَّمِيمِ (42) (الذاريات: 41-42)

Translation of Meaning : And in ‘Ad (there is also a sign) when We sent against them the barren wind; (41) It spared nothing that it reached, but blew it into broken spreads of rotten ruins. (Adh-Dhariyat: 41-42)

Such is Allah’s punishment. When His messenger would call them to the way of Allah (Ta’ala) they would say arrogantly:

وَقَالُوا مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً (فصلت: 15)

Translation of Meaning: “Who is more powerful than us?” (Fussilat: 15)

Allah punished them in a manner they have not imagined. The cloud which they believed as a mercy and favour, the punishment was hidden in the very cloud. The storm blew for seven nights and eight days so severely that all of them died and spread here and there. With this depiction we conclude that the wind would grip them and then throw them on the earth many times before they died. It threw them to mountains smashing their heads. The very heads that were filled with arrogance were broken into pieces. Their bodies without head felt as though they were like trunks of palm trees laid down after cutting their heads. The luxurious dwellings, which were epitome of leisure and extravagance which were signs of their grandeur and high life, became deserted and haunted. The great civilization which they were proud of and which they deemed as a proof of their success all came to a miserable end. They were so destroyed that today nobody remembers them and the people of Aad and their dwellings have become historical structures for the lessons of the mankind.

Facts and Information:

  • People of Aad were successor to the People of Nuh.
  • Allah (Ta’ala) gave them good health and physical fitness and strength and no people were like them at their time.
  • Allah’s favours are in fact a means of test. Those who give thanks to Allah when He showers His mercy and favour, are bestowed more and more favours. On the contrary those who become arrogant upon receiving mercy and blessings of Allah (Ta’ala) and use them unlawfully, these favour are taken away from them and the people are destroyed.
  • The shining of this world, the colourful civilization, materialistic wellbeing are not signs of their piousness and their being on the right path.
  • When a call to reform is given in the society, people’s irresponsible attitude, carelessness and avoidance of treading the right path at last grip the whole society and destroy it completely. After the emergence of right only acceptance of right is the sole way to salvation.
  • No matter how beautiful and attractive is the false, it is bereft of any base and no matter how powerless the right may seem, at last the right will be victorious. This is because Allah is the one who protects and supports the right . Therefore those who are on right path should not fear from their temporary poor status of affairs.
  • Ascribing partners to Allah (Ta’ala) and worshipping of idols are not based on sound intellect or proof, rather they are a net woven by some very wicked persons, which they use to fool the mankind in order to satisfy their lustful desires. This becomes graver that all this done by robbing the right of Allah (Ta’ala).
  • Allah (Ta’ala) is self-sufficient. He destroys the whole community due to his principles without losing the least degree of his grandeur. There is nobody who can hold His hands nor is there anybody who can protest against Him.
  • Allah (Ta’ala) tests individuals, groups and nations by conferring His favours upon them. Therefore nobody should be deceived by His favours thinking that the current status of affairs will last forever. The process of accountability must continue and one should always pray for His help.
  • Things that appear to us as a mercy, the very things turn as calamity to us. Allah (Ta’ala) is almighty. There is no limit for His soldiers. We should see our deeds which if are good they are a means of mercy and if evil they are a matter of great concern. A slave has to worship Allah with sincerity. The shortcoming and misdeeds may be removed only by repenting to Allah (Ta’ala) only. there is no fleeing from Allah (and no refuge) but to Himself. We can seek refuge from His wrath only by seeking His mercy and forgiveness.