After Prophet Nuh
Allah blessed the descendants of Nuh who spread over the earth, and one community from them was Aad. These were ancient Arab people who were very well known throughout Arabia for their glory and greatness.
According to the Quran, the people of Aad lived mainly in the Ahaaaf region, which is situated to the southwest of the Empty Quarter, between Hijaz, Yemen and Yamamah. It was from there that the people of Aad spread to the western coast of Yemen and established themselves in Oman, Hadramawt and Iraq.
Acid was a strong nation. They came immediately after Prophet Nuh. They were huge and very strong. They conquered everyone, but no one was able to conquer them. They did not fear anyone, but everyone was afraid of them. Allah blessed the Aad with everything. Their sheep and camels filled the valleys and the hills. Their horses filled the streets of their cities. The land of Aad was a fertile land. It was full of gardens and springs.
The Aad’s Ungratefulness to Allah
But the Aad were not grateful to Allah for all these blessings. They forgot about the incident of the great flood, which they had heard about from their fathers. Although they still saw its traces in the land, they forgot why Allah had sent the flood as a punishment for the disbelievers.
The Aad began to worship idols instead of Allah, just as the people of Nuh had done before them. They carved idols out of stones with their hands and then prostrated themselves before them and worshipped them. They offered sacrifices to them. They did not believe in the life after death. They were tyrants and oppressed people. They did not fear any punishment for the wrong they were doing. The powerful and the rich among them wronged the weak and the poor.
The poor and the weak were terrified of their evil. They fled from their wickedness. Their strength was a curse for them and for others. People who do not fear Allah and do not believe in the life after death always have such a terrible end.
The Castles of the Aad
The Aad competed with each other in building high castles and spacious dwellings. They wasted their wealth on mud and stones. Whenever they came across an empty place or some high ground, they built a fortress on it. They built houses as if they were going to live forever and never die. They did nothing else. They ate, drank and amused themselves. They were content with the life of this world.
Hud, the Messenger of Allah
It was in this extremely bad situation that Allah raised among them His Messenger Hud, who started calling them to Allah the Almighty. He asked them to worship Allah alone and to stop being cruel to the weak amongst them. But the Aad did not listen to him. They rejected his call and showed pride and arrogance.
Hud said to them, “My people, worship Allah. There is no other god for you other than He. Do you not fear Allah?” The leaders of his people who did not believe said, “We see you in foolishness and we think you are one of the liars.”
He said: “My people, there is no foolishness in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds. I bring you the messages of my Lord. I am a sincere and a trustworthy advisor to you. Remember the benefits of Allah that you might prosper.” They said, “Cause to us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful.”
Hud said, “Punishment and wrath have already befallen you from your Lord. Wait, I am waiting with you. My people, I do not ask you for recompense. My recompense is only from the One Who created me. Do you not understand? My people, ask your Lord for forgiveness, and then turn to Him. He will send upon you pouring rain, and add strength to your strength. Do not turn your back as sinners.” They said, “Hud, you have not brought us any sign, and we are not going to leave our gods on your word. Nor are we believers in you; we only say that some of our gods have possessed you with evil.”
Hud replied, “Indeed, I call upon Allah to witness, and witness [yourselves] that I am free from whatever you associate with Allah. So plot against me all together, then do not give me respite. Indeed, I trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is no moving creature whose forelock He does not hold. Indeed, my Lord is on the Straight Path… If you turn away, then I have brought you that with which I was sent to you. My Lord will create a people other than you and you will not harm Him at all. Indeed, my Lord has watch over all things… I fear for you the punishment of an awful day.”
Hud told them again and again that he did not seek any reward from them. He said his reward was with Allah. This is the hallmark of a Prophet’s life. They do not crave wealth, honour or position.
Only a few among the Aad followed the truth, but most of them were stubborn and arrogant. The time for punishment to descend on the people of Hud had arrived.
Almighty Allah imposed a drought on the Aad for three years, and they suffered, so they sent a party to pray for rain.
The Aad looked at the sky for the rain. They looked for it everyday but did not see any rain clouds at all.
One day they saw a huge black cloud coming towards them. They were very happy. They cried out joyfully, “Here is a rain cloud! This is a rain cloud!” People danced with joy. They called out at one another, “A rain cloud! A rain cloud!”
But Hud understood that the punishment had come. He told them, “This is not a cloud of mercy. It is a wind with a painful punishment.”
So it was! A terrible fierce wind blew, the like of it people had never seen before. This wind uprooted trees and destroyed houses. It carried up animals and flung them far away. They saw the camels and men that the wind was causing to fly about. When they saw this, they returned to their houses. The wind followed them and destroyed them all. The wind continued to be a punishment upon them for seven days and eight nights in a row!
It destroyed everything in its path, driving the people from their houses and uprooted them as if they were the roots of hollow palm trees torn up. The desert sands blew into the air and blocked out everything. No one could see anything. Terror filled people’s hearts. They began to pray and begged for help. The once arrogant people were now dead bodies scattered everywhere! Their grand houses were now in ruins.
Allah saved Hud and his followers for their belief, and destroyed the arrogant among the Aad people for their disbelief.