Allah had sent Hz Hud (AS) to the people of ‘Ad. The people of ‘Ad lived in a land called al-Ahqaf (Sand Dunes). Now, it is a desert, but that wasn’t the case always.
The people of ‘Ad used to worship idols. They were arrogant, highly unfair in conduct, and misused the Blessings of Allah. Thus, they invited the Wrath of Allah on themselves.
In this article, we discuss the case of the people of ‘Ad in the light of the Quran.
Lessons from Hz Hud (AS) and the People of ‘Ad
Allah says in The Quran 07:69
Then do you wonder that there has come to you a reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you? And remember when He made you successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature extensively. So remember the Favors of Allah that you might succeed.
And further in The Quran 26:128-31, the words of Hz Hud (AS) are mentioned:
Do you build high palaces on every high place, while you do not live in them? And do you get for yourselves palaces (fine buildings) as if you will live therein for ever? And when you seize, seize you as tyrants? So fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me.
Hz Hud (AS) told the people of ‘Ad not to worship false idols, but to obey the One True Lord. He invited them towards truth and righteousness. However, the people of ‘Ad chose to turn away from the truth. The Quran 11:53-54 records their response as:
O Hud! No evidence have you brought us and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).
And also in The Quran 46:22
Have you come to turn us away from our gods? Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!
So blinded were the people of ‘Ad in their pride that they ignored the Message of Allah. Not only that, they even challenged Allah’s Prophet Hz Hud (AS) to bring to them the Punishment of Allah! Indeed, the people of ‘Ad were a nation whom Allah had given immense strength and prestige. But instead of being humble and thanking Allah for His Rewards, they chose the corrupt path and indulged in excessive arrogance.
Since his people refused to use reason, Hz Hud (AS) was left with no choice but to pray to Allah, as says The Quran 23:39-40
He said: “O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.”
Allah said: “In a little while, they are sure to be regretful.”
But Allah did not immediately punish them. He kept giving the people of ‘Ad one chance after another. He made them go through a period of drought, calamities, diseases and famine. But the people of ‘Ad refused to understand that they were mere human beings, weak and vulnerable.
They refused to turn to Allah and repent. Eventually, they were left with no further chances. As per Allah’s Command, black clouds started approaching the horizon. The Quran 46:24 states:
And when they saw it as a cloud approaching their valleys, they said, “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” Rather, it is that for which you were impatient: a wind, within it a painful punishment.
The wind that Allah sent upon them was cold and furious. The closest thing we have to that today is the tornado. If you’ve seen a tornado, you would know that it is a very fast wind with a loud sound, an unbelievable roar! A tornado starts as a funnel in the clouds and then it makes a touchdown. It would stay in one place for a little while, and then keep moving, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
And the wind did not stay there for a few minutes, rather for seven nights and eight days! Allah says in The Quran 69:06-07
And as for ‘Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind; which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees.
Similarly, in The Quran 11:58-60
And when Our Commandment came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him by a Mercy from Us, and We saved them from a severe torment. Such were ‘Ad (people). They rejected the Signs of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers, and followed the command of every proud obstinate tyrant. And they were (therefore) followed in this world with a curse and (as well) on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, ‘Ad denied their Lord; then away with ‘Ad, the people of Hud.
What can we learn from the fate of the people of ‘Ad?
The Quran narrates several such cases as the people of ‘Ad so that we can learn from their mistakes. As such, the Quran guides us to stay away from pride and self-indulgence. It encourages us to follow the path of righteousness, as opposed to the path of falsehood that the people of ‘Ad chose.
We know that Allah is the Most Merciful and Oft-Forgiving. However, that does not give us a license to disobey the truth and indulge in arrogance. Pride, arrogance and self-indulgence are disastrous vices that we, as Muslims, should avoid. Rejecting the truth and blindly following falsehood is surely the most incorrect path to tread on.