Friday, 25 July 2008

The Destruction of Nations (part 2) 'Aad

The Sublime had fulfilled His promise to Nuh (peace be upon him) and once again the world renounced polytheism. Then the people of ‘Aad came into being. They were the first people to worship idols after the punishment faced by the people of Nuh (peace be upon him). They had three main idols: Samd, Samud and Hara (Qasas al Anbiya). The people of ‘Aad were given immense favours by Allah. They were huge in their stature and their bodies were like steel. They lived a life of great splendour and pomp and would rejoice in their own evil doings. They would put terror into the hearts of others and would do things which are against the essence of humanity. Allah had blessed them with beautiful lands, lush with greenery and he had placed them in an area (Yemen) which had great, natural bounties. They had mass cattle and due to their huge figures, they would construct houses in the mountains (top right)! It was a great display of strength and might but these houses would be left empty. It was then when this nation steeped into complete disobedience that Allah sent a messenger among them by the name of Hud (peace be upon him).

Hud (peace be upon him) said to his people,

قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَڪُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤ‌ۖ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا مُفۡتَرُونَ (٥٠) يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَآ أَسۡـَٔلُكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ أَجۡرًا‌ۖ إِنۡ أَجۡرِىَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلَّذِى فَطَرَنِىٓ‌ۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ (٥١) وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡڪُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا وَيَزِدۡڪُمۡ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمۡ وَلَا تَتَوَلَّوۡاْ مُجۡرِمِينَ (٥٢)

“He (Hud) said, ‘O my people, worship Allah. You have no god other than Him. You are nothing but fabricators. O my people, I ask you no reward for it. My reward is only on the One who created me. Do you, then, not understand? O my people, seek forgiveness from your Lord, then turn to Him in repentance, and He will release the heavens pouring upon you, and will add strength to your strength, and do not turn away like sinners.’”

The people of ‘Aad were indulged in eating, drinking, fun and games; they had no reason to stop this ‘lavish’ style of living. Thus they turned to Hud (peace be upon him) and said,

قَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِنَّا لَنَرَٮٰكَ فِى سَفَاهَةٍ۬ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ ٱلۡكَـٰذِبِينَ (٦٦

Said the chiefs of his (Hud's) people who disbelieved, ‘Indeed, we see you in folly, and we believe you are one of the liars.’”

After a lengthy encounter which is mentioned in Surah Hud and Surah A’araf. Allah had stopped giving the people of ‘Aad bounties and had stopped the rain from falling upon their lands. Consequently, the people of ‘Aad suffered from poor harvest and became in dire need of rainfall but their arrogance prevailed and they did not place belief in Allah.

Hazrat Mufti Ahmad Sa’eed Palanpoori Saheb damat barkatuh mentions in his tafseer, ‘Hidayatul Qur’an’ the following:

“In the beginning of this Surah, Rasulullah's (may peace and blessings be upon him) blessed tongue is made to emphasise the very same message, ‘Turn towards your Lord in repentance and attend to Him. He will give you a good, blissful life.’ Hazrat Hud (peace be upon him) informed his tribe that if they inclined towards Allah, He would remove all their problems away from them; and that Allah will increase them in their property and their strength. He advised them that Allah would bless their offspring and that their harvest will also improve. However they will only attain this once they stop their ignorance.”

And so a long commentary can be written about the arrogance and pride of the people of ‘Aad but the outstanding issue is this that they did not take heed of the punishment of the people that came before them and they too were on the brink of being destroyed. The people of ‘Aad would continue to build their extravagant houses up in the mountains and Hud (peace be upon him) would continue to admonish them and say,

أَتَبۡنُونَ بِكُلِّ رِيعٍ ءَايَةً۬ تَعۡبَثُونَ (١٢٨) وَتَتَّخِذُونَ مَصَانِعَ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَخۡلُدُونَ (١٢٩) وَإِذَا بَطَشۡتُم بَطَشۡتُمۡ جَبَّارِينَ (١٣٠) فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ (١٣١) وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَمَدَّكُم بِمَا تَعۡلَمُونَ (١٣٢) أَمَدَّكُم بِأَنۡعَـٰمٍ۬ وَبَنِينَ (١٣٣) وَجَنَّـٰتٍ۬ وَعُيُونٍ (١٣٤) إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ۬ (١٣٥

“Do you erect on every height a monument, having no sound purpose, and take the objects of architecture as if you are going to live forever, and when you seize (someone) you seize as tyrants? So fear Allah and obey me. And fear the One who has supported you with what you know. He has supported you with cattle and sons, and with gardens and springs. In fact I fear for you the punishment of a horrible day.”

This wisdom encapsulated in the speech of Hud (peace be upon him) is a lesson for us today. We find ourselves adhering to the same principles of the people of ‘Aad. We are never satisfied with what we have and we always want to have more. My beloved Shaykh mentions all the time, “When you are not satisfied with a Ni’mat (bounty) that Allah has given to you and you keep on trying to get more and more... Allah will remove that Ni’mat altogether and you will be left with nothing.” We like ‘Aad oppress people like tyrants; forget the sustenance and family we are blessed with along with our properties and wealth. Soon the punishment of Allah may come upon us the way it came upon the people of ‘Aad. As it is mentioned...

One day, the people of ‘Aad looked towards the sky and saw clouds materialising. The people had an intense need for rain and the people began to scream and dance chanting,

ﺮﻄﻤ ﺔﺒﺎﺤﺳﻩﺬﻫﺮﻄﻤ ﺔﺒﺎﺤ


And like Nuh (peace be upon him), Hud (peace be upon him) called out to his Lord and said,

قَالَ رَبِّ ٱنصُرۡنِى بِمَا كَذَّبُونِ (٣٩) قَالَ عَمَّا قَلِيلٍ۬ لَّيُصۡبِحُنَّ نَـٰدِمِينَ (٤٠) فَأَخَذَتۡہُمُ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ بِٱلۡحَقِّ فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ غُثَآءً۬‌ۚ فَبُعۡدً۬ا لِّلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (٤١)

“He (Hud) said, ‘My Lord, help me, for they have rejected me.’ He (Allah) said, ‘In a little while they will have to be remorseful.’ So the Cry seized them according to the true (promise), and We turned them in to scum. So, away with the wrongdoers.”

The people began to taunt Hud (peace be upon him) and say, “Where is the punishment of your Lord? We await it with great eagerness!” and they began to deride him to a great degree. They were not just taunting a prophet...they were challenging the Creator of Mankind. They had now pronounced imminent, inevitable destruction upon themselves...

Allah’s punishment upon these people began by stopping their bounties and then placing drought and famine upon them as well as the intense desire for rain. This proved to be a mental block for the people of ‘Aad for when they saw the clouds form they began to scream and dance with a lot of joy, however this was not a cloud of mercy but a cloud of immense torment. It was contrary to their desire and hope... it was a rain of destruction, punishment and death! A flurry of fire balls came crashing down upon them. Ibn Kathir mentions,

“This is why Allah has said: ‘Now this is that you were asking to be hastened!’”

A huge wind overtook them and the world became darkened and gloomy. Children began to hold onto their mothers and men began to hold onto the mountains that served them so well. The mountains they used to make a show out of were being held onto as they themselves were becoming the 'show'. This wind raged against them for seven nights and eight days continuously. Allah says,

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ۬ فَأُهۡلِڪُواْ بِرِيحٍ۬ صَرۡصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ۬ (٦) سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ سَبۡعَ لَيَالٍ۬ وَثَمَـٰنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومً۬ا فَتَرَى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ فِيہَا صَرۡعَىٰ كَأَنَّہُمۡ أَعۡجَازُ نَخۡلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ۬ (٧)

“And as for Ad, they were destroyed by a violent windstorm that He imposed on them for seven nights and eight consecutive days; so you could see them thrown on the ground, as if they were trunks of hollow palm-trees.”

In this verse the people of ‘Aad are compared with the stumps of palm trees. The wind was so severe that it would seize them and then hurl them so that they land with their heads downwards. When they eventually landed, these huge people with bodies likened to steel would have their heads smashed into pieces and their bodies left with no heads. Thus they would resemble the stumps of palm trees and this is why Allah gives this analogy.

These people had proclaimed, “Who is the mightier than us?”... He who is in the heavens duly replied.

Next up in part 3, the people of Saleh (peace be upon him).


Anonymous said...

beautiful reminder... waiting for part 3 now

your brother from another mother :)

Anonymous said...

are you doing stories on each prophet?

Abu Huzayfa said...

Assalamu Alaykum,

no, we are discussing the ways in which previous nations were destroyed. The reasons for their destruction etc.