Hud was the Prophet sent to the Bani 'Ad for their reformation. His lineage genealogy joins with the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) and his sons. Nuh had 3 sons who were saved from the flood-- Sam, Ham, and Yafith. The children of Sam were scattered in the Arabian Peninsula. Sam had a son named Iram. And one of Iram's sons was 'Ad. So they named the town after his son--the city was named 'Ad. The town of 'Ad was very dusty and located near Ahqaf, near Hadramout in Yemen.
Who were these people of 'Ad? They were the people that God sent to them the Prophet Hud. They lived near Hadramout, which is now in Yemen. There they built palaces, erected temples and worshipped deities and stars.
"Seest thou not how Thy Lord dealt with the 'Ad (people), of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars, the like of which were not produced in (all) the land?" (Qur'an 89:6-8)
The names of their chief deities were Saqi'ah, Salimah, Raziqah and Hafizun. This worshipping of statues came after a time when the people of 'Ad once believed in the one God.
"(Remember also) the 'Ad and the Thamud (people): clearly will appear to you from (the traces) of their buildings (their fate) Satan made their deeds alluring to them, and kept them back from the Path, though they were Keen-sighted." (Qur'an 29:38)
The people of 'Ad were tall in stature and were skillful masons. God had given them abundance of wealth, cattle, children and gardens. They had attained a considerable degree of civilization. Among them flourished the famous king Shaddad. He built a magnificent palace near 'Aden. It was known as the Garden of Iram. He was a mighty king and his conquests extended to Syria, Iraq and the frontier of Sub- continent of Indo-Pakistan. These people were proud of their achievements and considered themselves to be invincible. They were indulged in sins and committed acts of injustice and violence. Instead of expressing a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty God for the favors He had bestowed upon them, they became transgressors and showed disobedience to Him.
God sent to these people and to the city of 'Ad a man named Hud. Since he was a man from amongst them, it was certain that they would be more inclined to listen to him. The people of 'Ad used to call Hud a crazy man. There was one man in particular, named Abu Thamud, who used to call the people to listen to Hud speak. He wanted to prove to the people that Hud had indeed become crazy. The people asked Abu Thamud, "We know that Hud does not come to our gatherings nor does he believe in our gods. What has happened to him that he does not mingle with us?" Abu Thamud replied (mocking) that Hud declares that God sent him as a prophet and as a warner to the people of 'Ad. And unless they stop believing in statues, that a grievous punishment from God would occur.
The people of the city then decided to go to Hud and hear what he wanted from them. Hud replied that he did not want anything from them except that they believe in the One God. The people of the city refused to believe and began to say that Hud had indeed gone crazy. Since they were so strong in body size, they used to believe that no one was more powerful than they. They insisted that they will not leave their gods. They also claimed that since Hud did not come with any signs, that he must be lying. Still another person said that if Hud wants them to leave their gods, then he must come with the punishment that he is talking about.
"To the 'Ad People (We sent) Hud, one of their own brethren. He said: "O my people! Worship God! Ye have no other god but Him. You are only forgers. "O my people! I ask of you no reward for this (Message). My reward is from none but Him who created me: Will ye not then understand? "And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him (in repentance): He will send you skies pouring abundant rain, and add strength to your strength: So turn ye not back in sin!" They said: "O Hud! No clear (Sign) hast thou brought us, and we are not the ones to desert our gods on thy word! Nor shall we believe in thee! "We say nothing but that (perhaps) some of our gods may have seized thee with evil." He said: "I call God to witness, and do ye bear witness, that I am free from the sin of ascribing to Him, "Other gods as partners!" (Qur'an 11:50-55)
However, Abu Thamud began to slowly listen to what Hud was talking about. He began to believe in what Hud was saying about the one God and about how man would be resurrected after death. When the people of the city began to hear what Abu Thamud was saying, they claimed that Hud must have put a spell on him. Abu Thamud insisted that Hud had put no spell on him but that he now believed that which Hud was saying. Abu Thamud further claimed that it is ridiculous to believe that statues that were made by man could have made the earth and all that it contained, along with the sky, stars, moon, and sun. He said that there surely had to be a higher being--One God.
Abu Thamud was now very happy and told the people that he was now going to look for Hud. Before he left, he reminded the people that they should take a close look at the way they were living and believing in statues. He stated that the statues have no power and were of no use. He further stated that they should look at their lives and how wasteful they were with gambling, intoxicants, and luxuries. Abu Thamud then proceeded to find Hud so that Hud could tell him more about God, the One, who created man with bounties and who will make man die and resurrect again. He then went to Hud and declared his faith in the one God.
Abu Thamud was then called Abdullah (the servant of God). He would get angry if anyone would call him by his previous name. The people of 'Ad still would come to Abdullah and try to convince him that Hud had put a spell on him. Each time Abdullah would declare his faith in the One God. Finally the people gave up on Abdullah. They gave him a message to give to Hud. They wanted to relate to Hud that they would continue to believe in their gods. And that they would never believe in what Hud was preaching. They also wanted Hud to come with the punishment he was talking about if what he said was true. Then the people of 'Ad returned to their homes laughing and mocking.
Abdullah went to Hud to relate to him what had happened. Hud said woe to them. Will they argue about the deities that they and their forefathers made with their own hands? Let them just wait. They deserve the punishment of God. He then stood up and prayed: "Give me victory on what they called me a liar." Then the order of God came - The punishment of no more rain. There was a terrible drought for three years. The grass and cattle were destroyed. Then a huge black cloud appeared. The people of 'Ad were very happy when they saw this cloud because they assumed that it contained much rain. They declared that this cloud would bring back the land and the rivers would flow again. Little did they know what was in store for them. Instead, this black cloud brought a terrible wind that would lift men up and then drop them with such force that they would crush. Many men even tried to escape this wind by hiding in the mountain caves. However, there was no escape from this wind. This wind would even follow them in the caves. The Holy Qur'an describes:
"And the 'Ad,-they were destroyed by a furious Wind, exceedingly violent: He made it rage against them seven nights and eight days in succession: so that you couldst see the (whole) people lying overthrown in its (path) as if they had been roots of hollow palm-trees tumbled down!" (Qur'an 69:6-7)
The people of 'Ad used to boast that there was none stronger than they. God surely proved them wrong for their disobedience. God destroyed not only the people of 'Ad, but the entire city as well.
"Now the 'Ad behaved arrogantly through the land, against (all) reason, and said: "Who is superior to us in strength?" What! Did they not see that God, Who created them, was superior to them in strength? But they continued to reject Our Signs!" (Qur'an 41:15)
Hud and his faithful followers who had left to another place, were the only ones who survived this terrible punishment from God.
"We saved him and those who adhered to him, by Our Mercy and We cut off the roots of those who rejected Our Signs and did not believe." (Qur'an 7:72)
Afterwards the remnant who survived established themselves in Yemen. The grave of the Prophet Hud (AS) is in Hadramaut. It is visited by the Muslims in the month of Rajab.
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