Description of the People of Ad
The people of ‘Ad lived many years in the windswept hills of an area between Yemen and Oman.They were physically well built and renowned for their craftsmanship especially in the construction of tall buildings with lofty towers. They were outstanding among all the nations in power and wealth, which, unfortunately, made them arrogant and boastful. Their political power was held in the hand of unjust rulers, against whom no one dared to raise a voice.They were not ignorant of the existence of Allah, nor did they refuse to worship Him. What they did refuse was to worship Allah alone. They worshipped other gods, also, including idols. This is one sin Allah does not forgive.
Description of Hud
Allah wanted to guide and discipline these people so He sent a prophet from among them. This prophet was Hud (PBUH), a noble man who handled this task with great resoluteness and tolerance. Ibn Jarir reported that he was Hud Ibn Shalikh, Ibn Arfakhshand, Ibn Sam, Ibn Noah (PBUH). He also reported that Prophet Hud (PBUH) was from a tribe called Ad Ibn Us Ibn Sam Ibn Noah, who were Arabs living in Al Ahqaf in Yemen between Oman and Hadramaut, on a land called Ashar stretching out into the sea. The name of their valley was Mughiith Some traditions claimed that Hud (PBUH) was the first person who spoke Arabic while others claimed that Noah (PBUH) was the first. It was also said that Adam was the first.
Hud’s Appeal to His People – Quranic
Allah the Almighty states:
“And to Ad people We sent their brother Hud. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Ilah (god) but Him; Certainly, you do nothing but invent (lies)! O my people I ask of you no reward for it (the Message). My reward is only from Him Who created me. Will you not then understand? And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimeen (criminals, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah).”
They said: “O Hud! No evidence have you brought us and we shall not leave our gods for your mere saying! We are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).” HE said: “I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship, and with Him (Allah). SO plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but HE has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth). SO if you turn away, still I have conveyed the Message with which I was sent to you. My Lord will make another people succeed you, and you will not harm Him in the least. Surely, my Lord is Guardian over all things.”(Ch 11:50-57 Quran)
The Disbelievers Question Hud
The chiefs of Hud’s people asked: “Is it not strange that Allah’s chooses one of us to reveal His message to?”
Hud replied: “What is strange in that? Allah wants to guide you to the right way of life, so HE sent me to warn you. Noah’s flood and his story are not far away from you, so do not forget what happened. All the disbeliveers were destroyed, no matter how strong they were.”
“Who is going to destroy us Hud?” the chiefs asked.
“Allah.” replied Hud.
The disbeliveers among his people answered: “We will be saved by our gods.”
Hud clarified to them that the gods they worshipped would be the reason for their destruction, that it is Allah alone Who saves people, and that no other power on earth can benefit or harm anyone.
The conflict between Hud and his people continued. The years passed, and they became prouder and more obstinate, and more tyrannical and more defiant of their prophet’s message.
Thus Hud renounced them and their gods and affirmed his dependence on Allah Who had created him. Hud realized that punishment would be incurred on the disbeliveers among his people. It is one of the laws of life. Allah punishes the disbeliveers, no matter how rich, tyrannical or great they are.
Hud and his people waited for Allah’s promise. A drought spread throughout the land, for the sky no longer sent its rain. the sun scorched the desert sands, looking like a disk of fire which settled on people’s heads.
Hud’s people hastened to him asking: “What is that drought Hud?”
Hud answered: “Allah is angry with you. If you believe in Him, He will accept you and the rain will fall and you will become stronger than you are.”
They mocked him and became more obstinate, sarcastic and preserve in their unbelief. The drought increased, the trees turned yellow, and plants died.
A day came when they found the sky full of clouds. Hud’s people were glad as they came out of their tents crying: “A cloud, which will give us rain!”
The weather changed suddenly from burning dry and hot to stinging cold with wind that shook everything; trees, plants, tents, men and women. The wind increased day after day and night after night.
Hud’s people started to flee. They ran to their tents to hide but the gale became stronger, ripping their tents from their stakes. They hid under cloth covers but the gale became stronger and still and tore away the covers. It slashed clothing and skin. It penetrated the apertures of the body and destroyed it. It hardly touched anything before it was destroyed or killed, its core sucked out to decompose and rot. The storm raged for 8 days and 7 nights.
Almighty Allah recounts:
“Then when they saw it as a dense cloud coming towards their valleys, they said: “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” Nay but it is that torment which you were asking to be hastened! a wind wherein is a painful torment! Destroying everything by the command of its Lord! (Ch 46:24-25 Quran)
Allah the Exalted described it thus:
“And as for Ad, they were destroyed for a furious violent wind which Allah 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 palm trees! (Ch 69:6-7 Quran)