Hud ibn Shalikh

STORIES OF THE PROPHETS (قـصـص الأنـبـيــاء)

Prophet Hud (هود)
 (Aleyhis Salam – peace be upon him)


His name

  • Ibn Jarir reported that he was Hud Ibn Shalikh Ibn Arfakhshand Ibn Sam Ibn Noah.
  • He also reported that he was from a tribe called ‘Ad Ibn Us Ibn Sam Ibn Noah.
  • Chapter named after him: Hud 11 Verses 123.
  • Some traditions claimed that he was the first person who spoke Arabic (others claimed that it was Nuh, others said it was Adam).

His place

  • Place: Al-Ahqaf (the curved sandhills/dunes in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula) between Hadramaut (Yemen) and Oman stretching out into the sea.
  • Their dwelling-place was called Ashar.
  • The valley which they lived was known as Mughith.
  • Their city is called Iram.

His people

  • Tribe: ‘Ad (عاد) who were Arabs. They were one of the Arab Aribah, one of the pure original Arabs before the coming of Ismael.
  • They were physically well-built.
  • Renowned for their craftsmanship especially in the construction of tall buildings with lofty towers. “Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the ‘Ad; of the city of Iram, with lofty pillars; the like of which was never created in any land.” [Al-Fajr 89:6-8]
  • 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.

‘Ad and idolatry

  • 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.
  • They were the first people to worship idols after the flood. They have 3 idols: Samd, Samud and Hara
  • Allah wanted to guide and discipline these people, so He sent Hud from among them to be their prophet.

Hud’s D’awah to his people

  • Hud 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.
  • Hud hoped to instill 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 reward from Allah; he did not demand anything from them except that they let the light of truth touch their minds and hearts. And to Ad people We sent their brother Hud. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other 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 Mujrimin (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).”

‘Ad’s challenge to Hud

  • They said: “O Hud! No evidence have you brought us and we shall not leave our gods for your mere saying! We are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).”
  • His people asked him for a clear sign. They said: “You did not bring us any miracle supporting your claim of being truthful, and so we are not going to leave our idolatry…”

Hud challenged them in return

  • 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:
  • He said: “I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship, and 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.” [Hud 11:50-57]

‘Ad and their arrogance

  • He tried to speak to them and to explain about Allah’s blessings – Nuh’s successors; wonderful physiques; strength and power; Allah sent them rain to revive the soil; blessed them in many ways
  • His people looked about them and found they were the strongest on earth, so they become prouder and more obstinate.
  • Thus they argued a lot with Hud. They asked “O Hud! Do you say that later we die and turn into dust, we will be resurrected?” He replied, “Yes, you will come back on the Day of Judgment and each of you will be asked about what you did.”

Belief in Judgment is important

  • 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 Judgment? Why does the dead return to life? All these questions were patiently received by Hud. He then explained his people that belief in the Day of Judgment is essential to Allah’s justice. Hud explained that justice demands that there be a Day of Judgment. Good is not always victorious in life and sometimes evil overpowers good.
  • Will such crimes go unpunished? If we suppose there is no Day of Judgment, 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 Judgment, a day of accounting for our deeds and being rewarded or punished for them, reveals the extend of Allah’s justice
  • Hud spoke to them about all of these things. They listened but disbelieved him.
  • His people’s attitude towards the Day of Judgment – “The chiefs of his people, whom disbelieved and denied the meeting in the Hereafter, and to whom 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! 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.” [Al-Mu’minun 23:33-38]

Hud’s warning

  • To believe in Him and not to be blind to His favors, or they will have the same fate as Nuh’s people.
  • Their chief 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.” The chief asked, “Who is going to destroy us Hud?” Hud replied, “Allah.” The disbelievers among his people answered: “We will be saved by our gods.”
  • Hud clarified to them that the gods they worshiped would be the reason for their destruction. Allah alone 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 and more obstinate, and more tyrannical and more defiant of their prophet’s message.
  • Aside from accusing him a LIAR, they also accused him 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 become insane.”

Hud renounced them

  • Hud affirmed his dependence on Allah Who had created him.
  • Hud realized 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 are.
  • Hud and his people waited for Allah’s promise. “… then watch and wait, and I will be watching and waiting with you.” [Al-Araf 7:71]

The punishment

  • The 1st stage of punishment: They started suffering from want of rain, drought and famine. A drought spread throughout the land, for the sky no longer sent its rain. They asked Hud: “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 stronger than you are.”They mocked him and became more obstinate, sarcastic and preserve in their unbelief. The drought increased, the trees turned yellow, and plants died.
  • A day came when they found the sky full of clouds. Hud’s people were glad as they came out of their tents. “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!” [46:24-25]
  • The weather changed suddenly from burning dry and hot to stinging cold. The wind shook everything; trees, plants, tents, men and women. The wind increased day after day and night after night.
  • 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 and 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 wind lifted them then let them fall with their heads downwards and dropped them smashing their heads into pieces and their bodies left.
  • The length of punishment: The storm raged for continuous 8 days and 7 nights until the entire region was reduced to ruins and its wicked people destroyed, swallowed by the sands of the desert. And as for ‘Ad, they were destroyed for a furious violent wind which Allah imposed on them for 7 nights and 8 days in succession, so that you could see men lying as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees!” [Al-Haqqah 69:6-7]

Hud and the believers

  • Only Hud and his followers remained unharmed. “So We rescued him and those with him by Our Mercy…” [Al-Araf 7:72] “And when Our Command came, We rescued Hud and those who believed with him, through Our Mercy, and saved them from a severe punishment…” [Hud 11:58]
  • They migrated to Hadramawt and lived there in peace, worshiping Allah, their true Lord.

[Source: Stories of the Prophets/Darussalam]

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