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
worshiped other gods, also, including idols. This is one sin Allah does
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 his
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 'Uus 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 (PBUH) condemned idol worship and admonished his people: "My
people, what is the benefit of these stones that you carve with your own
hands and worship? In reality it is an insult to the intellect. There is
only One Deity worthy of worship and that is Allah. Worship of Him, and
Him alone, is compulsory on you.
"He created you, He provides for you and He is the One Who will cause
you to die. He gave you wonderful physiques and blessed you in many ways.
So believe in Him and do not be blind to His favours, or the same fate
that destroyed Noah's people will overtake you."
With such reasoning Hud hoped to instil faith in them, but they refused
to accept his message. His people asked him: "Do you desire to be our
master with your call? What payment do you want?"
Hud tried to make them understand that he would receive his payment
(reward) from Allah; he did not demand anything from them except that they
let the light of truth touch their minds and hearts.
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, disbelievers 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! 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)."
We said: 'I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free
from that which you ascribe as partners in worship,- 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."" Surah 11:5057
Hud tried to speak to them and to explain about Allah's blessings: how
Allah the Almighty had made them Noah's successors, how He had given them
strength and power, and how He sent them rain to revive the soil.
Hud's people looked about them and found they were the strongest on
earth, so they became prouder and more obstinate. Thus they argued a lot
with Hud. They asked: "O Hud! Do you say that after we die and turn into
dust, we will be resurrected?" He replied: "Yes, you will come back on the
Day of Judgment and each one of you will be asked about what you did."
A peal of laughter was heard after the last statement. "How strange
Hud's claims are!" The disbelievers muttered among themselves. They
believed that when man dies his body decays and turns into dust which is
swept away by the wind. How could that return to its original state? Then
what is the significance of the Day of Judgement? Why do the dead return
All these questions were patiently received by Hud. He then addressed
his people concerning the Day of Judgement. He explained that belief in
the Day of Judgement is essential to Allah's justice, teaching them the
same thing that every prophet taught about it.
Hud explained that justice demands that there be a Day of Judgement
because good is not always victorious in life. Sometimes evil overpowers
good. Will such crimes go unpunished? If we suppose there is no Day of
Judgement, then a great injustice will have prevailed, but Allah has
forbidden injustice to be incurred by Himself or His subjects. Therefore,
the existence of the Day of Judgement, a day of accounting for our deeds
and being rewarded or punished for them, reveals the extent of Allah's
justice. Hud spoke to them about all of these things. They listened but
Allah recounts his people's attitude towards the Day
of Judgement: "And the chiefs of his people, whom disbelieved and denied
the meeting in the Hereafter, and to who We had given the luxuries and
comforts of this life, said: "He is no more than a human being like you,
he eats of that which you eat, and drinks of what you drink. If you were
to obey a human being like yourselves, then verily! You indeed would be
losers. Does he promise you that when you have died and have become dust
and bones, you shall come out alive (resurrected)? Far, very far, is that
which you are promised. There is nothing but our life of this world! We
die and we live! And we are not going to be resurrected! He is only a man
who has invented a lie against Allah, but we are not going to believe in
him."" Surah 23: 33-38
The chiefs of Hud's people asked: "Is it not strange that Allah 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
disbelievers were destroyed, no matter how strong they were."
'Who is going to destroy us, Hud?" the chiefs asked.
"Allah," replied Hud.
The disbelievers among his people answered: "We will be saved by our
Hud clarified to them that the gods they worshiped 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, more obstinate, more tyrannical and more defiant
of their prophet's message.
Furthermore, they started to accuse Hud (PBUH) of being a crazy
lunatic. One day they told him: "We now understand the secret of your
madness: you insulted our gods and they harmed you; that is why you have
Almighty Allah repeated their words in the Qur'an: ""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)."" Surah
Hud had to return their challenge. He had no other way but to turn to
Allah alone, no other alternative but to give them a threatening
ultimatum. He declared to them: ""I call Allah to witness and bear you
witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship
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.""Surah 11:54-57
Thus Hud renounced them and their gods and affirmed his dependence on
Allah Who had created him. Hud realised that punishment would be incurred
on the disbelievers among his people. It is one of the laws of life. Allah
punishes the disbelievers, no matter how rich, tyrannical, or great they
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
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 even stronger than
They mocked him and became more obstinate, sarcastic and perverse in
their unbelief. The drought increased, the trees turned yellow, and plants
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
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 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
eight days and seven 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!" Surah 46: 24-25
Allah the Exalted described it thus: "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 that you could see men lying
overthrown (destroyed) as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees!" Surah
That violent gale did not stop until the entire region was reduced to
ruins and its wicked people destroyed, swallowed by the sands of the
desert. Only Hud and his followers remained unharmed. They migrated to
Hadramaut and lived there in peace, worshipping Allah, their true