(THE PROPHET OF THAMUD)
Thamud were a famous tribe. They got their name from their forefather, Thamud, brother of Jadees. Thamud and Jadees were sons of ‘Aathir bin Irum bin Sam bin Nuh.
They were the Arabs Al-‘Aribah and lived in Hijr between the Hijaz and Tabook. The Messenger of Allah dengan passed by this place while he was going with other Muslims to Tabook. The Thamud came after the ‘Aad and were worshippers of idols just like their predecessors,
Salih AlahisSalam advises them to seek forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him for He is Responsive. When they slew the camel in spite of his warnings, he told them that they had three days before they would be punished. And when Allah’s command came, He saved Salih and the believers but the transgressors were seized by a thunderous Cry. It seemed as if they had never existed.
The Surali Al-Hijr, reiterates the narration in its verses 80 to 84. They are addressed as the dwellers of Al-Hijr, and they are blamed for belying the Messengers. So a ‘Shout’ seized them and what they used to earn availed them not.
The story of Thamud is recalled in Surah Ash-Shu’ara (verses 141 – 159). Prophet Salih presented his da’wah to his people, the Thamud, and assured them that he sought no recompense from them.
In the verses 45 to 53 of Surah An-Naml, Prophet Salih AlaihisSalam asks his people why do they hasten to evil and not seek forgiveness of Allah. But they threatened him. There were nine people in that city who did corruption in the land and they contrived to attack Prophet Salih AlaihisSalam and his household by night and then to assure his heirs that they knew nothing of it. But, Allah destroyed them before they could do anything, and their people with them.
The adamancy of the people of Prophet Salih, the Thamud, is again recalled in Surah Al-Qamar. There is a reference in Surali ash-Shams too,
Most of the time we find in the Qur’an that ‘Aad and Thamud are mentioned together. Examples are Surah At Tawbalı, Ibrahim, Al-Furqan, Sad, Qaf An Najm, and Al-Fajr. .
The exegetes tell us that the Messenger of Allah Salih AlaihisSalam one day went to the Thamud while they were gathered in their assembly hall. He preached to them and warned them. They interrupted him and asked him to produce from
rock, which they pointed out a she-camel ten (metres) long and of a particular description Prophet Salih asked them, “” I get you what you want, will you believe in what I have brought you and confirm what I have been sent with? They exclaimed, “Yes!” And he got from them an assurance and a promise that they will believe
Sayyidina Salih stood up to pray to Allah and offered his prayer as Allah had ordained for him and then he made a supplication to Allah to let them have what they demanded. So, Allah commanded the rock to split up and produce a she-camel ten (metres) long and answering to the specifications the Thamud had demanded.
When they saw the great sign and undeniable evidence, many of them believed but most of them persisted on disbelief and error. He said that it was a sign for them so they should let her graze in the land of Allah and not hurt her otherwise they would be punished. When she came to a well she drank all the water and the people had to get it for themselves the next day. And they drank her milk to their full.
However, these people could not endure the situation for long and their scholars decided among themselves that they should hamstrung the she-camel They would thus get rid of the camel and have plenty of supply of water. The devil made this decision seem ideal for them. Allah says:
So they hamstrung the she-camel and they defied their Lord’s commandment and said, “O Salih, bring upon us that with which you threaten us, if you are the Messenger.” (Al-A’raf, 7:77)
They had placed the responsibility of killing the camel on their chief Qidar bin Salif bin Junda’ and it was said that he was the son of a bastard. Because he was their chief and had done the killing on a unanimous decision so the whole community was held responsible.
Ibn Jarir and other commentators of the Qur’an have narrated that two women instigated their people to commit the act. One of them offered to marry anyone who perpetrated the act while the other offered any one of her four daughters to the man doing the killing. Apart from the chief, eight other men volunteered and they tried to enlist others. They waited for the camel and when she came out of the watering place one of them ambushed her and shot his arrow at her and Qidar bin Salil did the rest. Women had also gathered
It is transmitted by Abdur Razzaq from Al-Hasan that the young of the e-camel looked for its mother and then crying aloud disappeared in the suntains. It is said that these people pursued it and killed it too.
Hadith is narrated by ‘Ammar bin Yasir Radiallahu anhoo. He said that the Messenger of Allahﷺ said, “Shall I not tell you about the most hard-hearted cruel man?” He said, “Yes, do tell me.” The Prophet ﷺsaid, “There are two men, one of them is the Thamud who killed the she-camel, and the one who hit you, O Ali…”
As we have seen Qidar was the first to attack the camel and kill her. Whe she fell on the ground, the others rushed forward and cut her to pieces. The young of the she-camel fled to the mountain and howled three times.
That is why Prophet Salih AlahisSalam said to them that they may enjoy three more days excluding the day on which they killed the she-camel. But they did not believe in that warning either. Rather, when it was evening they conspired to kill Prophet Salih AlaihisSalam.
And they devised a device, and We devised a device, while they perceived not. So behold, how was the end of their device! For We destroyed them and their people all together. So those are their houses, fallen down, because they did evil. Surely in that is a sign for a people who know. And We delivered those who believed and used to fear (Allah). (An-Naml, 27:50-53)
Their device was overridden by Allah when Allah sent on this group of people who had planned to kill Sayyidina Salih a rock that smashed them before the others of their tribe were destroyed. The Thamud got up on Thursday – the first of the three days their faces pale yellow just as Prophet Salih had warned them. When it was evening, they called out together, “Has not passed away a day of the limit?”
Then they woke up the next day, the second of the days limit and it was a Friday, their faces had become red. In the evening, they again called out to one another, “Have not two days of the limit passed away?”
On the third morning of the respite allowed to them – a Saturday, their faces had turned black. In the evening they called out, “Has the limit expired?”
When it was morning of Sunday, they readied themselves and sat down waiting for something to happen. They could not guess how they would be punished, what would happen and from which side the punishment would descent on them. .
When the sun rose, a terrible cry from the sky above them and a quake from beneath their feet destabilised them. So, their souls left their bodies, all movement ceased, every sound was silenced and the truth was upheld. They became in their houses lifeless statues. Their bodies were without souls and there was no movement in them. None of them survived except a young girl, Kalbah daughter of Aș-Salq. She was nicknamed Az-Zari’ah. She was a fanatical disbeliever and a strong enemy of Prophet Salih . When she saw the punishment she dashed off like the wind. She ran as fast as she could until
reached an Arab settlement and informed them of what she had seen and
had transpired with her people. They gave her water when she asked for and barely had she drunk it, she died.
Imam Ahmad has transmitted a Hadith from Jabir: When the Messenger of Allahﷺ passed by Al-Hijr, he said, “Do not ask for signs. Indeed the people of Salih had asked for a sign and it-the she camel-returned from this track and went from this track. They transgressed the limits of their Lord and slew her. She used to drink their water one day while they drank her milk one day but they killed her so that a Shriek from the sky above shook them and by it Allah silenced all of them except one man who was in the Haram of Allah. Someone asked, “Who was that man,O Messenger of Allahﷺ?” He said, “He was Abu Righal. But when he came out of Haram, he was afflicted with what had afflicted his people.(Ahmad 3296)
Abdur Razzaq has transmitted from Isma’il bin Umaiyyah that the Prophet ﷺ passed by the grave of Abu Righal. He asked, “Can you surmise who he is?” His Companions said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “This is the grave of Abi Righal, a man from Thamud. He was in the Haram of Allah and the Haram of Allah hindered punishment from descending on him. But when he came out the same thing seized him as had his people. So, he is buried here. A piece of gold was buried with him. The people descended on the grave and searched with their swords and looted the gold. Musannal Abdur Razzaq.
Muhammad bin Ishaq has transmitted in his Sirah, a Hadith from Abdullah bin Umar who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, when we were with him on our way to At-Taif and we passed by a grave; “This is the grave of Abu Righal. He was the father of Thaqif and belonged to Thamud. He was in this sacred mosque protecting himself. When he came out, he
suffered the same punishment which his people suffered at this place and he was buried in it. Evidence of that is a golden bough which was buried with him. If you dig out the grave you will find it with him.”
When the people were punished Prophet Salih in turned from them and said as the Qur’an tells us:
So Salih turned away from them, and said, “O my people, I have indeed delivered to you the messages of my Lord, and advised you sincerely, but you love not the advisers. (Al-A’raf, 7:79)
This was his address to his people after they had expired when he was on the point of departure from their surroundings to another place. And, he was saying:
O my people! I have indeed delivered to you the message of my Lord, and advised you… (Al-A’raf, 7:79)
But you love not the advisers. (Al-A’raf,7:79) But it was not your sad fortune that you accept the truth, I did my duty and tried my best but Allah does what He likes.
The Holy Prophetﷺ similarly addressed the dead bodies of the idolaters in the well killed during the Battle of Badr.
“O people of the well! Have you found true what your Lord had promised you?” For, indeed, I have found what my Lord promised me as true.” He continued, “How bad a people you were for your Prophet. You rejected me while other people confirmed me. You expelled me when other people protected me. You fought against me while other people helped me. How bad a tribe you were for your Prophet!”
So, Umar lavet said, “Messenger of Allahﷺ! Do you address a people whose bodies have decayed?” He said, “By Him Who has my soul in His hand, you do not hear me better than they but they cannot reply.”
Abu Dawud. Hadith # 3082, Bukhari Hadith # 1370 3980, 4026.
It is said that Prophet Sayyidina Salih still moved over to the Haram of Allah. He stayed there until he passed.