STORIES OF THE PROPHETS (قـصـص الأنـبـيــاء)
Prophet Saleh (صالح)
(Aleyhis Salam – peace be upon him)
- Salih Ibn Ubeid Ibn Maseh Ibn Ubeid Ibn Hader Ibn Thamud Ibn Ather Ibn Eram Ibn Noah.
- Known for his wisdom, purity and goodness.
- Greatly respected by his people before Allah’s revelation came to him.
- The tribe of Thamud.
- They succeeded the ‘Ad in power and glory. They erected huge buildings on the plains and hewed beautiful homes out of the hills.
- As their material wealth increased, their virtue decreased. Tyranny and oppression became prevalent as evil men ruled the land.
- They also fell to idol-worship, so Allah sent unto them Salih, from among them.
- He called his people to worship Allah alone. Some believed him but majority of them disbelieved and harmed him by both words and deeds. “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (god) but Him.” [Hud 11:61]
- His people said to him: O Salih! You have been among us as a figure of good hope and we wished for you to be our chief, till this, new thing which you have brought that we leave our gods and worship your God (Allah) alone! Do you now forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped? But we are really in grave doubt as to that which you invite us to monotheism. [Hud 11:62]
- They merely wanted to worship the same gods as their fathers had, with no reason, no proof, no thought.
Thamud’s challenge to Salih
- They doubted his words, thinking he was charmed
- They saw that he would not stop preaching. Fearing that his followers would increase, they asked him a proof if his truthfulness. They challenged him, pointing at a rock, they demanded: “Ask your Lord to make a she-camel, 10 months pregnant, tall, attractive, issue from the rock for us.”
- Salih replied: “Look now! If Allah sends you what you have requested, just as you have described, will you believe in that which I have come to you with and have faith in the message I have been sent with?” They answered: “Yes.”
- So he took a vow from them on this, then prayed to Allah the Almighty to grant their request. Allah ordered the distant rock to split asunder, to bringing forth a great ten month pregnant she-camel. When their eyes set on it, they were amazed. They saw a great thing, a wonderful sight, a dazzling power and clear evidence!
- The people of Thamud gathered on a certain day at their meeting place, and Salih came and addressed them to believe in Allah, reminding them of the favors Allah had granted them.
- At first, the people of Thamud were greatly surprised when the she- camel issued from the mountain rocks, followed by its young offspring.
- It used to drink all the water in the wells in one day, and no other animals could approach the water. It was a blessed camel, and its milk sufficient for thousands of people. If it slept in a place that place was abandoned by other animals. Thus it was obvious that is was not an ordinary camel, but one of Allah’s signs.
- For a while, Salih’s people let the camel graze and drink freely, but in their hearts they hated it.
- The disbelievers began complaining that this huge she camel with its unusual qualities drank most of the water and frightened their cattle.
- Salih feared that they might kill the camel, so he warned them: “O my people! This she camel of Allah is a sign to you, leave her to feed on Allah’s earth, and touch her not with evil lest a near torment will seize you.” [Hud 11:64]
- A number of his people believed, yet most of them continued in their disbelief, stubbornness, and going astray. “Verily the dwellers of Al-Hijr (the rocky tract) denied the Messengers. We gave them Our Signs, but they were averse to them.” [Al-Hijr 15:80-81]
- Their hatred of Salih turned towards the she-camel so they secretly plotted against it. “We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong.” [Al-Isra 17:59]
- They sought the help of their women folk to tempt the men to carry out their commands. Saduq bint of Mahya, who was from a rich and noble family, offered herself to a young man named Masrai Ibn Mahraj on condition that he hamstring the camel. Aniza, an old woman, offered one of her daughters to a young man, Qudar Ibn Saluf, in return for killing the camel. Naturally these young men were tempted and set about finding seven others to assist them.
- They watched the camel closely, observing all its movements. As the she camel came to drink at the well, Masrai shot it in the leg with an arrow. It tried to escape but was hampered by the arrow. Qudar followed the camel and struck it with a sword in the other leg. As it fell to the ground, he pierced it with his sword.
- The killers were given a hero’s welcome, cheered with songs and poetry composed in their praise. In their arrogance they mocked Salih, but he warned them: “Enjoy life for 3 more days then the punishment will descend upon you.” Salih was hoping that they would repent and change their ways
- “Why 3 days?” they asked. “Let the punishment come as quickly as possible.”
- He pleaded with them: “My people, why do you hasten to evil rather than good? Why do not you ask pardon of Allah so that you may receive mercy?”
- They replied: “We see your presence and that of your followers as bringing evil on us.“
- Almighty Allah related their story in An-Naml 27:45-53.
Salih and his followers left
- They also plotted to kill Salih and his household as Almighty Allah stated: “So they planned a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not.” [An-Naml 27:50]
- Allah saved Salih and his followers from their wicked plans.
- Heavy-hearted, they left the evildoers and moved to another place to be safe before the punishment strikes.
Proof from the Qur’an
- To Thamud people We sent their brother Salih. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (god) but Him (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah). Indeed there has come to you a clear sign (the miracle of the coming out of a huge she-camel from the midst of a rock) from your Lord. This she camel of Allah is a sign unto you so you leave her to graze in Allah’s earth, and touch her not with harm, lest a painful torment should size you. Remember when He made you successors after Ad people and gave you habitations in the land, you build for yourselves palaces in plains and carve out homes in the mountains. So remember the graces bestowed upon you from Allah, and do not go about making mischief on the earth.” The leaders of those who were arrogant among his people said to those who were counted weak to such of them as believed: “Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.” They said: “We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.” Those who were arrogant said: “Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.” So they killed the she camel and insolently defied the Commandment of their Lord, and said: “O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allah).” So the earthquakes seized them and they lay dead, prostrate in their homes. Then he (Salih) turned from them, and said: “O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given you good advice but you like not good advisers.” [Al-Araf 7:73-79]
- Thunderbolts filled the air,followed by severe earthquakes which destroyed the entire tribe and its homeland. The land was violently shaken, destroying all living creatures in it.
- There was one terrific cry which had hardly ended when they were struck dead, one and all, at the same time.
- Neither their strong buildings nor their rock-hewn homes could protect them.
[Source: Stories of the Prophets/Darussalam]