In the Qur’an
The Qur’an mentioned the People of Rass beside the People of ‘Ad, the People of Thamud and the People of Noah (AlahisSalam),
“The people of Noah denied before them, and [so did] the people of Rass and Thamud,” (Qur’an 50:12)
According to the Qur’an, the People of Rass refused to worship God and were afflicted by His punishment. Some exegetic references related the story of the People of Rass with the verse 45 of Qur’an 22 and “Bi’r Mu’attala” (the Abandoned Wells).
Allah Almighty revealed: Noah’s people, when they denied the Messengers We drowned them, and We made them as a sign for mankind. We have prepared a painful torment for the Zalimeen (polytheists and wrongdoers) Also Ad and Thamud and the dwellers of Ar Rass and many generations in between. For each of them We put forward examples (as proofs and lessons etc), and each of them We brought to utter ruin (because of their disbelief and evil deeds). (Ch 25:37-39 Quran)
Allah the Exalted revealed: Denied before them (these pagans of Mecca who denied you, O Muhammad) the people of Noah and the dwellers of Ar Rass, and Thamud and Ad and Pharaoh, and the brethren of Lot, and the dewellers of the Wood, and the people of Tubba, everyone of them denied their Messengers so My Threat took effect. (Ch 50:12-14 Quran).
Cause of Naming
“Rass” is a Semitic word and in Aramaic and Hebrew, it means “to split and to break”. In Arabic too, it means “to penetrate” and “to dig” and “well”. It is said that in the Qur’an it means “well” and the People of Rass were the people who threw their prophet into a well.
Also, “Rass” is mentioned as a name for a region, mountain, river and people.
The Story of the People of Rass
There are different reports about who were the People of Rass,
The First Report
The Second Report
The Third Report
Some exegetes considered the people of Rass to be actually the people of Ukhdud and considered “Rass” as “Ukhdud”. It is said that some people, including Ka’b al-Ahbar and Maqatil considered Rass, the name of a well in Antioch where people of Mu’min Al Yasin killed Habib Najjar and Mu’min Al Yasin and threw them into the well.
People of Rass have also been considered a branch of Thamud tribe and Bedouins of Hadura tribe whose prophet was Shu’ayb b. Dhi Mahra’.In some hadiths, the people of Rass have been introduced as nomads and stockbreeders whose prophet was Shu’ayb (AlahisSalam).
Time and Place of Living
Different places have been mentioned as the place the people of Rass lived. The region of Aras river, Hadramaut in Yemen and Yamama. It is said that Dhu l-Qarnayn was the first person who visited their city.
The time of the people of Rass is considered an era after Prophet Noah (AlahisSalam), Prophet Solomon (AlahisSalam), or between the prophethood of Jesus (AlahisSalam) and Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) or even at the time of Khalid b. Sanan. The Qur’an used the word “qurūn” to refer to the period between the people of Rass and other nations in the verse,
“And ‘Ad and Thamud, and the inhabitants of Rass, and many generations between them.” (Qur’an 25:38)
These verses indicate that the dwellers of Ar Rass were destroyed as they were the other people who refused to believe in the prophets of Allah
Ibn jarir stated that the dwellers of Ar Rass were the people of one of Thamud’s villages. Allah sent a prophet to them called Huzlah Ibn Safwan. They denied and killed him, so Allah destroyed them.
Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Al Hassan narrated: “The dwellers of AR Rass had a well sufficing them and their land. They also had a just and good-hearted king. When he died, they were much grieved for him. After four days Satan took his form and said: “I was not dead, but I kept absent from you to see your reaction.” They were very joyful. He commanded them to set up a curtain between him and them and told them that he would never die. A great number of them believed him and were fascinated with and worshiped him. Then Allah sent them a prophet telling them that it was only Satan who was addressing them from behind the curtain. He forbade them to worship him and commanded them to worship only Allah and no partner with Him. In spite of that, they killed their prophet and threw his body into a well. Therefore Allah destroyed them and their homes.”
Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ al-aḥkām, Azharī, Tahdhīb al-lugha, Jawharī, al-Ṣiḥāḥ,Miybudī, Kashf al-asrār, Hamidānī, al-Aklīl, Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār,