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DURDONDate: Payshanba, 24-Yan-2013, 13:21 | Message # 1
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Prophet Adam (AS) – Part I
In approaching Adam’s AS story, it is important to keep in mind that his story begins in the spiritual world, in the timeless, spaceless realm of Allah and His angels. And While Adam AS is obviously the most important character in his own story, there is another character who is also of great importance, Iblees or Shaytan, the arch-villain.

Adam’s AS story is a history of our species. He is both the first man and ancestor of the human race. At a deeper level, his story is also a subtle allegory concerning mankind and the human condition, both before and after the Fall.

We hope this summary of his story serves to give us a deeper insight of our true origin, nature and identity, so that we can know who we truly are and where we belong in the divine scheme of things.

THE CREATION OF PROPHET ADAM

Before the creation of mortals, Almighty Allah directed all the angels to assemble. Thousands upon thousands of angels (created from light) and Jinns (created from fire) gathered in groups. They bowed respectfully in the presence of Almighty Allah. The Creator of the universe declared that he intended to create Man.

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” (Qur’an 2:30)

[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay. (Qur’an 38:71)

The angels and Azazil or Iblees (Shaytan) reacted with surprise and concern. They quickly pointed out that human beings would cause disorder on the earth. They would make mischief and shed blood indiscriminately. The Qur’an gives a description of this event in the following verses:

They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” (Qur’an 2:30)

Allah, the Subtle, the All-Aware, knew with perfect knowledge that the angels neither intended to contradict Him nor express enmity towards His new creation. Rather, out of their boundless love for Him and protectiveness of His sanctity and majesty, they were simply asking to be informed about what they did not understand. Hence, Allah Most High, was not angry, but merely said to them,

“Indeed, I know that which you do not know.” (Qur’an 2:30)

In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad SAW said,

Allah created Adam from a handful of clay which He took from the whole of the earth; so the children of Adam are in accordance with the earth, some red, some white some black, some a mixture, also smooth and rough, bad and good. (Mishkat)

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “I will create a human being out of clay from an altered black mud. (Qur’an 15:28)

The clay was brought to Allah at His command by the Angel of Death and from this clay Allah created the first human being, Adam. Adam AS, the first prophet, the father of all mankind.

Several hadith mention the day on which Adam AS was created.

The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday. On it, Adam was created and on it he was made to enter Paradise on it he was cast out of it. And the Last Hour will not take place on any day other than Friday. (Muslim)

And what more blessed day for the most perfect and developed of Allah’s creations!

Describing the creation of Adam AS, Prophet Muhammad SAW said,

Allah created Adam AS in his finished form and his height was sixty cubits (about 41 meters or 126 feet)…. Therefore, all who enter Paradise will be of the form of Adam, and the people have not stopped decreasing in stature up to the present. (Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad SAW also said,

When Allah had fashioned Adam in Paradise, He left him as he willed to leave him. Then Iblees went around him to see what he was. And when he found him hollow, he recognised he has been created with an uncontrolled disposition. (Muslim)

Allah then breathed life into His creation. The breath came from the front of Adam’s head, narrated Ibn Abbas RA, and everything that flowed from it within his body became flesh and blood.

[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.” (Qur’an 38:71-72)

Prophet Muhammad SAW informs us, as recorded in Mishkat, when the breath in Adam’s AS body was complete, he sneezed and by divine inspiration he said, “Alhamdu lil Lahi Rabbil Alamin (All praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds), words which became the opening verses of the Holy Qur’an.

Thus Adam AS praised Allah by His own permission. And Allah replied to him, “Yarhamak-Allah, Adam (may Allah have mercy on you).”

The Prophet SAW further said that when Allah created Adam, He to him, “Go and greet that group of seated angels and then listen to what they will greet you with, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your descendants.”

So Adam said to the angels, “As-salamu ‘alaikum (peace be upon you all),” to which they replied, “As-salamu ‘alaika wa rahmat-Allah (peace be upon you, and Allah’s mercy).” (Bukhari)

ADAM IS TAUGHT THE NAMES

And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, “Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.” (Qur’an 2:31)

Allah taught Adam the names of all things and inculcated into his mind the knowledge of their properties.

What were these names that Allah taught Adam AS? There are various interpretations of this by Qur’an commentators. Some affirm that Adam was taught the names of angels, others say that the names were names of his own descendants, and others say that the names were holy names of Allah Himself, by which Adam AS was granted knowledge of his Lord. Majority agree that the names taught to Adam were the names of all things living and non-living.

Allah’s words, “Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful” according to most interpretations, refer to the truthfulness of the angels’ claim of possessing knowledge that their Lord’s new creation would cause corruption and shed blood on earth, and that they themselves, as the most obedient and worshipful among his creations, were the most deserving of filling the role of His khalifah. Allah was making clear to the angels that Adam AS possessed certain characteristics and knowledge which they themselves did not possess, and that because of this, he would have a very different role and destiny from theirs.


 
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Allah most High, informed the angels that He was aware of their reservations, at the same time reminding them of the limitations of their knowledge, while assuring them that, according to His infinite knowledge and wisdom, the creation of Adam was entirely good, right and proper.

The angels then understood Allah’s wisdom and voiced their submission to His Glory:

“Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.” (Qur’an 2:32)

Allah then addressed His new creation.

He said, “O Adam, inform them of their names.” And when he had informed them of their names, (Qur’an 2:33)

And then Adam AS did so. From the special knowledge Allah had granted him, he told the angels the names of the things that Allah had presented to them, names which the angels themselves did not know. And when Adam AS had finished, Allah Almighty again addressed the angels,

“Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.” (Qur’an 2:33)

In a broader sense, this may refer to Allah’s perfect knowledge, which the angels were not privy to, of the final destiny of His creation, in which Adam and his descendants would play a major role.

THE COMMAND TO HONOUR ADAM

Allah asked all the angels to bow as a mark of respect to Adam who was created so miraculously. The order to prostrate was obviously not so that the angels would worship Adam AS, for no one may be worshipped except Allah, the Creator of all things. Rather, the prostration was a mark of respect to the one whom their Lord in His infinite wisdom had created in a special manner who as a result would have a special destiny, as the father of mankind who carried within himself the seeds of all his descendants to come.

And We have certainly created you, [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated. (Qur’an 7:11)

And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.” So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely, Except Iblees, he refused to be with those who prostrated. (Qur’an 15:29-31)

IBLEES REBELS

When Allah Most High, the All-Powerful, the Glorious, the Majestic, had given this order, all those who heard it, obeyed without question except one among them – Iblees. When this occurred, the previously unsuspecting angels became aware of had been concealed in Iblees’ heart. The arrogant, stubborn, proud Iblees who thought his being as Jinn made of fire was far superior to Allah’s creation from clay.

Allah in his divine Mercy, gave Iblees a hearing for his blatant rebellion. Instead of showing remorse, the wretched Iblees attempted to justify his disobedience and shamelessly said,

“Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud.” (15:33)

“Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?” (Qur’an 17:62)

“Do You see this one whom You have honoured above me? If You delay me until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely destroy his descendants, except for a few.” (Qur’an 17:63)

Allah then condemned Iblees and banished him from Paradise.

Allah said, “Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.” (Qur’an 15:34-35)

“Get out of Paradise, reproached and expelled. Whoever follows you among them – I will surely fill Hell with you, all together.” (Qur’an 7:18)

The arrogant Iblees, not to be outdone, goes on unabashedly, challenging Allah that as he had been let to fall into error, he would make evil and disobedience attractive for those on earth and mislead all mankind.

“Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. (Qur’an 7:16)

“By your might, I will surely mislead them all, Except, among them, Your chosen servants.” (Qur’an 38:82-83)

Allah in all His powerful grace, declares,

This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight. Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators. And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all. (Qur’an 15:41-43)

But Iblees being Iblees, is not moved at all by the prospects of Hell, inflamed and determined to destroy the race of the one on whose account he had gone astray.

The transition from a devoted worshipper and teacher of the angels, excelling in divine knowledge and the praise of his Lord, to the abased, accursed Tempter of mankind was now complete. Stripped of all the high honours, Iblees stands accursed, outlawed, and now known as Shaytan, leader of the forces of evil whose sole purpose is to entice and incite Allah’s slaves to wrong-doing and disobedience to Him.

HAWWA

With that, Iblees was cast out of Paradise, an abode filled with blessings and favours beyond imagination. Our forefather Adam AS was settled in Paradise, with everything he could desire, every kind of pure pleasure and wholesome satisfaction was his. No hunger or thirst, fatigue or boredom, cold or heat, just comfort and pleasure. No burdens or responsibilities, no sufferings, pain or sadness.

In Ibn Abbas’ narrations, Adam AS fell asleep in Paradise. And when he woke, he found a woman, whom Allah had created from his rib, sitting beside his head.

It is He who created you from one soul and created from it its mate that he might dwell in security with her. (Qur’an 7:189)

To test the extent of Adam’s AS knowledge, the angels asked him, “What is her name, O Adam?”

“Hawwa,” he replied

“Why is she called Hawwa?” the angels asked

“Because she was created from something living (hayy),” Adam AS replied, meaning that she been created from his own living self.

And thus Adam and Hawwa began their life together in the blessed Garden, like innocent new‑borns, they knew nothing of evil or sin. They hadn’t the slightest idea of what lay ahead, that their Lord would soon be testing them and that their lives would change dramatically.

In Part II of Adam’s AS story, we will follow them into Paradise, where they will fall prey to Shaytan’s evil connivery in tasting from the Forbidden Tree, their subsequent banishment from Paradise to Earth, their lives together on Earth, their first descendants, their sons Qabil (Cane) and Habil (Abel) and the first bloodshed, concluding this amazing journey with Adam’s AS death.

Acknowledgement: Most of the information for this work has been obtained from:
“A History of the Prophets of Islam”, Volume I, by Suzanne Haneef
“Stories of the Prophets”, by Ibn Kathir (Translation by Rashad Ahmad Azami)



 
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Part I of this beautiful story took us from the creation of Adam AS to creation of Hawwa as his companion. Let’s now follow them into the Garden of Paradise, through the dramatic turn that their lives are about to take, unknown to them, through their journey on Earth.

Adam and Hawwa dwelt in tranquility in Paradise. The Qur’an does not reveal the exact location of where this Paradise was; however, commentators agree that it is not on the earth, and that the knowledge of the location is of no benefit to mankind. The benefit is in understanding the lesson from the events that took place there.

Allah most Exalted, warned Adam AS of the vulnerability of their position.

“O Adam,” He said, “dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise, and eat therefrom in ease and abundance, from wherever you will. But,” Allah said, imposing a single condition for their continuance in their present state, “do not come near this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers” (Qur’an 2:35)

THE FORBIDDEN TREE

What was that Tree? This is not revealed in the Qur’an. Early commentators differed widely concerning it. Some considered it a plant rather than a tree; in the opinion of Ibn Abbas, it was a wheat plant. However, Allah did not specify its name. Had there been any benefit for us in mentioning it, He would have specified it.

Allah Almighty issued a second warning, designed to make the new couple aware of the existence and enmity of Iblees.

O Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove you from Paradise so you would suffer. Indeed, it is promised for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed. And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun. (Qur’an 20:117-119)

A clear, direct warning.

But the disgraced, debased Iblees had formulated a plan, a simple plot actually. Having noted that Adam was hollow inside, he awaited to exploit the weakness of mankind. He had already made up his mind that Adam could be easily overcome and ruined. The intelligence that he previously used for good deeds, Iblees now employed to destroy his new enemy.

His evil intention was therefore to trick the two into eating from the Tree, resulting in their losing their heavenly innocence. Disobeying Allah would render them unfit to dwell in Paradise forever putting an end to their high station and bliss life, and their Lord would cast them out, Iblees assumed, as disgraced and accursed as himself.

The guardians of Paradise prevented Iblees’ entry to the Garden. He then approached different animals, proposing to them that they should take him into the Garden so that he could speak to Adam AS and his wife, but they all refused. He finally managed to persuade the snake. Permitting Iblees to enter it by the side of its mouth, the snake passed the guardians of Paradise, and as Allah willed, Iblees got in without them noticing.

The wicked, cunning Iblees approached the innocent couple with craftiness and deceit.

“O Adam,” he whispered, “shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” (Qur’an 20:120)

“He said, “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.” And he swore [by Allah] to them, “Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.” (Qur’an 7:20-21)

As Adam AS listened to Shaytan’s evil suggestions and false promises, they forgot Allah’s clear warnings about the forbidden Tree and about their enemy Iblees. Completely pure and free of ill intentions, they could have no suspicion of the intense envy and enmity that burned in the heart of the Arch Deceiver, concealed from all except his Lord.

Iblees continued mercilessly in his attack on the unsuspecting pair till they fell headlong into his trap. By being forgetful and heedless, they were tricked and slipped into disobedience to their Lord’s command,

And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We found not in him determination. (Qur’an 20:115)

The ultimate catastrophe then occurs.

And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred. (Qur’an 20:121)

Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. (Qur’an 2:36)

So he made them fall, through deception. (Qur’an 7:22)


 
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EXPULSION FROM PARADISE

By disobeying their Lord, the couple had made an abrupt transition from pure spiritual beings, dwelling with the Holy One and His blessed angels in Paradise, to humans with wills of their own.

Obviously, none of the lying promises Shaytan had made to them, came true. They had not become gods or angels by eating from the Tree and there was no question of them living forever.

Just as planned by Shaytan, once they had eaten from the Tree, “their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise.” (Qur’an 7:22)

Thus originated the virtually universal habit of covering private parts of the body, suggesting that modesty and sense of shame are an inherent part of the basic nature that Allah has endowed mankind.

And Allah called to the pair, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?” (Qur’an 7:22)

Deeply remorseful, they said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” (Qur’an 7:23)

While Iblees disobeyed Allah willfully with full understanding of the consequences, Adam AS and Hawwa did so through simple forgetfulness and heedlessness and were intensely sorry, humbly repenting and beseeching Allah for forgiveness.

Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. (Qur’an 2:37)

Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, turned to Adam AS and accepted Adam’s AS repentance.

In spite of their repentance and Allah’s acceptance of it, once they had disobeyed Allah, there was no easy way back for them. Just as Iblees had been cast out of Paradise for his disobedience, so were they.

Allah pronounced his divide judgment on the first of mankind and expelled them from Paradise.

He commanded,

Go down from it, all of you. (Qur’an 2:38)

Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time. He said, “Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.” (Qur’an 7:24-25)

And at the same time, Allah the most Merciful, issued a promise which softened His judgment and made it more bearable,

And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Qur’an 2:38)

This statement of mercy was followed by a stern warning,

And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs – those will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally. (Qur’an 2:39)

The seriousness of the consequences of our first parents’ sin both for themselves and for each one of us, does not require comment. It was their own individual sin for which each was personally responsible, and which Allah also forgave individually. This is a central point in Islamic teachings that each one is responsible and will bear their own burdens. This is reiterated several times in the Qur’an:

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. (Qur’an 2:286)

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (Qur’an 4:110)

And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. (Qur’an 6:164)

The true, original homeland of Adam AS and Hawwa was Paradise. And whilst it was their destiny to leave it and dwell on earth, the earth was a temporary sojourn for them, from which they would be returned to their place of origin. By giving them a taste of Paradise, Allah the All-Knowing established an unbreakable connection between their hearts and the spiritual world from which they had come and which would be their eternal home.


 
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THE NEW HOMELAND – LIFE ON EARTH

Allah accepted Adam’s AS repentance and forgave him. He then sent him to the earth as His first messenger.

There are many reports by Qur’anic commentators about the descent and settling in of Adam AS and Hawwa upon this earth.

Several hadith report that Adam AS came to earth on a Friday, the same day of the week that he was created and the most excellent day of the seven days. Ibn Abbas RA and other commentators report that Adam AS was sent down on a mountain called Budh or Nudh in India. He brought with him the scent of Paradise, which clung to India’s trees and river valleys, filling them with perfume. (Tabari)

Other traditions hold that Adam AS came down to earth in Serendib i.e. Sri Lanka. According to local traditions, Adam AS descended from Paradise to Mount Budh, at whose summit there is a depression in the rock, roughly shaped like a foot. It is believed to be Adam’s footprint.

As we read earlier, Adam AS was immensely tall. It is said that when Allah sent him from Paradise, his feet were upon the mountain while his head was in Paradise. He heard the speech and glorification of the angels. In his sorrow, he did not eat or drink for forty days, and for two hundred years he mourned bitterly for all he had lost because of this sin.

As for Hawwa, some commentators assert that she came down with Adam AS to Mount Budh. Others say that she came down to near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Later, Adam AS went in search of her and eventually they were united at Arafat in the vicinity of Mecca.

On earth they had to face conflict and struggle. No sooner had one ended than another began. Adam AS also had to toil to sustain himself. He had to protect himself with clothes and weapons and protect his wife and children from the wild beasts. Above all he had to struggle with the spirit of evil.

Shaytan the cause of his expulsion from Paradise, continued to beguile him and his children in an effort to have them thrown into the eternal hellfire. The battle between good and evil is continuous, but those who follow Allah’s guidance and should fear nothing while those who disobey Allah and follow Iblees will be damned along with him.

There were many trials and hardships as were benefits and blessings. All this had been implied in their Lord’s earlier warning.

O Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove you from Paradise so you would suffer. Indeed, it is [promised] for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed. And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun. (Qur’an 20:117-119)

From this experience, Adam learned the great lesson that Shaytan is cunning, ungrateful and the avowed enemy of mankind. Adam, Hawwa and their descendants learned that Shaytan caused their expulsion from Paradise. Obedience to Allah and enmity towards Shaytan is the only path back to Heaven.

Adam grasped all of this and with the knowledge of this suffering he started his life on the earth. The only thing that allowed his grief was that he was master of the earth and had to make it yield to him. He was the one who had to perpetuate, cultivate and construct and populate the earth. He was also the one who had to procreate and raise children who would change and improve the world.

Allah had prepared them in many ways. He gave them the experience of struggling against the whisperings and schemes of Shaytan. He taught Adam AS the names of everything and instructed him in its properties and usefulness. Adam took up his position as caretaker of the earth and Prophet of Allah. Adam AS, the first Prophet of Allah, was responsible for teaching his wife and offspring how to worship Allah and seek His forgiveness. Adam established the Laws of Allah and set about trying to support his family and learning to subdue and care for the earth. His task was to perpetuate, cultivate, construct and populate; he was to raise children who would live according to Allah instructions and care for and improve the earth.

Thus was the home of Adam AS and Hawwa established on this earth. On this green, living planet, they and all the human beings who would come from them would live and strive and carry on the struggle between good and evil until the end of the world. On it they would die. Their mortal bodies would be buried in its soil and from it they would be raised on the Last day. May Allah’s mercy, blessings and peace be upon our first parents.

The first husband and wife then established the first family.

Ibn Abbas RA states each boy born to Adam was born together with a girl twin. Adam would marry the boy of one pregnancy to the girl of another, and vice versa. However, his children were forbidden to marry their own twins.

Mankind then multiplied and scattered throughout the land, they grew in their number and went farther and farther in the land. Allah says,

O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. (Qur’an 4:1)

QABIL AND HABIL

Among all these children of Adam AS and Hawwa, only two are mentioned in the Qur’an, although not by name. Islamic tradition gives them the names of Qabil and Habil.

The family enjoyed the bounties and fruits of the earth provided by their Lord. The children grew up to be strong and healthy young adults. Qabil tilled the land while Habil raised cattle.

The time arrived when the two young men desired life partners. This was part of Allah’s plan for mankind, to multiply and form nations with different cultures and colours. Adam instructed his children according to Allah’s command, that is to marry each other’s twin, but Qabil was displeased with the partner chosen for him, for Habil’s twin sister was not as beautiful as his own. Qabil rebelled against Allah’s command.

The brothers then offered a sacrifice to Allah. According to major commentators, the purpose of the sacrifice was to determine which of the two brothers had more right to Qabil’s sister. Habil sacrificed a plump young sheep, while Qabil offered a bundle of the worst crops he had grown. Fire then came down from Heaven, consuming Habil’s offering leaving Qabil’s according to Allah’s words,

They both offered a sacrifice to Allah, and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. (Qur’an 5:27)

This infuriated Qabil. “I will surely kill you.” (Qur’an 5:27), he threatened, impelled by envy and hatred, kindled by his brothers desire to marry his twin or by the rejection of his sacrifice, or both.

Habil replied,

Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. If you should raise your hand against me to kill me – I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds. (Qur’an 5:27-28)

Habil continued, reminding Qabil that if he killed him wrongfully, he would assume the burden of all of Habil’s sins,

Indeed I want you to obtain [thereby] my sin and your sin so you will be among the companions of the Fire. And that is the recompense of wrongdoers. (Qur’an 5:29)

Qabil pursued while Habil trying to escape from him. It is said that one Qabil came upon Habil while he was asleep.

And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers. (Qur’an 5:30) i.e. among those who have lost all good in this world and the Hereafter.

Not knowing what to do with Habil’s body, Qabil let it lie there naked.

Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. (Qur’an 5:31)

It is said that this crow was one of two brother crows. The two fought, and when killed the other, it dug a hole for its body and covered it with earth.

Seeing this, Qabil cried out,

He said, “O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?” And he became of the regretful. (Qur’an 5:31)

Following this, Allah the Exalted, added,

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. (Qur’an 5:32)

And so, the first blood was spilled on earth by one of its second generation of human inhabitants, the first criminal act, carrying out the angels’ prediction and setting the precedent for all future bloodshed.



 
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ADAM AS, THE FIRST PROPHET

In addition to granting him rule and authority on the earth Allah Most High made him His first prophet and messenger.

Abu Dharr RA asked Prophet Muhammad SAW, whether Adam AS was a prophet sent by Allah. The Prophet SAW replied that he was messenger to his children, who were forty in number consisting of pairs of male and female twins. (Ayoub)

Abu Dharr RA also reported asking the Prophet SAW which of the prophets was first, to which he replied, “Adam.” Abu Dharr RA then asked, “Was he a prophet?” to which he replied, “Yes, a prophet who was addressed (that is through divine revelation).” (Mishkat)

Thus Adam AS was the first in a great, unbroken chain of prophets and messengers which continued up to the last and greatest of them, Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and upon them all. While some details certainly differed, each of these prophets and messengers brought the same Message – the religion which Allah Most High perfected for mankind, to which He gives the name of Islam, meaning “peace through submission and surrender”:

Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. (Qur’an 3:19)

And derived from the word Islam, Allah called its followers “Muslims”, meaning those who have voluntarily surrendered to Him:

Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation]. (Qur’an 22:78)

THE DEATH OF ADAM AS

Adam AS lived for a full thousand years. Before dying, he made his son Shiith his heir. Shiith means the Gift of Allah. They named him that because they were given him after Habil’s death.

Ibn Ishaq narrated that when death approached Adam, he made a covenant with his son Shiith, and taught him the hours of the day and night, and the acts of worship for those hours. He also informed him about the Flood to come after him.

According to hadith, Adam AS died on a Friday (Abu Dawoud, Mishkat). Prophet Muhammad SAW is reported to have said that when Adam AS was near death, Allah sent from Paradise embalming materials and a shroud. Angels washed Adam several times with extract of lote tree and water, and wrapped him in layers of shrouds. Then they prepared a grave, offered their prayer upon him and buried him, saying,

“This shall be the custom of the children of Adam after him.” (Tabari).

Ibn Ishaq says, The sun and moon eclipsed for seven days and seven nights when Adam AS passed away.

Qur’anic commentators differed concerning Adam’s AS burial place. Some said that he was buried in the cave of Mount Abu Qubays, one of the mountains of Mecca. According to others, he died upon Mount Budh, the mountain which he was sent upon from Paradise. It is also said that in the time of the Flood, Nuh AS carried him and Hawwa in a coffin and buried them at Bait-ul-Maqdis in Jerusalem.

It is said that Hawwa lived only a year after his death, and she was buried with him in the cave of Mount Abu Qubays.

May Allah’s best blessings and peace be upon our father Adam AS and mother Hawwa.

Acknowledgement: Most of the information for this work has been obtained from:
“A History of the Prophets of Islam”, Volume I, by Suzanne Haneef
“Stories of the Prophets”, by Ibn Kathir (Translation by Rashad Ahmad Azami


 
DURDONDate: Dushanba, 25-Fev-2013, 02:13 | Message # 7
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Prophet Hud (AS)

And to Aad [We sent] their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. You are not but inventors [of falsehood]. (Qur’an 11:50)

AFTER NUH AS

Allah blessed the descendants of Nuh AS and they spread over the earth. One community from them was called Aad. They were the first after Nuh’s AS people to be mentioned in the Qur’an.

The Aad of the time of Prophet Hud AS are referred to as the “first of Aad”. They were the original Arabs and Semites, tracing their ancestry back to Nuh’s AS son Shem.

The Aad were a people of great power and wealth, who rule over a vast area in the southeastern part of the Arabian peninsula. Their centre of civilisation was between Yemen and Oman, however, their authority extended over a large area, from the coast of the Persian Gulf to the borders of present day Iraq.

It is believed that during the time of the Aad, their lands were well-watered, green, fertile and beautiful, adding to the splendour of their civilization. Their most valuable crop was frankincense, a precious and costly aromatic resin extracted from rare trees that grew in their area.

During their own time, the fame of the Aad spread far and wide because of their power and wealth – and afterwards, because of their destruction. They were often mentioned in Arabic poetry. In fact, it is reported that a man once came to Prophet Muhammad SAW and related to him certain details of the story of the Aad that had evidently passed down through oral tradition over the centuries.

The people of Aad were also known for their physical strength. Moreover, they were famed for their craftsmanship in stone masonry and building. They developed grand stone houses, palaces and temples with pillars. The splendour of their physique, civilization and architecture is reflected in the Qur’an.

And remember when He made you successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature extensively. (Qur’an 7:69)

With Iram – who had lofty pillars, the likes of whom had never been created in the land? (Qur’an 89:7-8)

It may be hard for us to imagine such a highly-developed civilization flourishing in what is now a bleak region of sand and dunes, but it was. The Aadites were so powerful that it has been said that they were the super power of their time. But at the same time, they were extremely proud of their power and used it oppressively and unjustly.

As for Aad, they were arrogant upon the earth without right and said, “Who is greater than us in strength?” Did they not consider that Allah who created them was greater than them in strength? But they were rejecting Our signs. (Qur’an 41:15)

During the long interval that passed since Nuh’s AS time, the memory of the Flood had remained keenly alive, among the people of the area, for their own forefathers had been the chief actors in that drama. Nevertheless, despite this, its people had lost all traces of the God-centred faith of their predecessors. The beliefs and practices that Nuh AS had taught had been all but forgotten.

To them, Allah was unquestionably the Creator. However, they conceived of Him as an impersonal deity, too remote to have anything to do with the affairs of human beings. Consequently, in His Place they had set up and worshipped various other deities, each of whom had a special role or function. Unfortunately, the fabricated religion of these gods encouraged the Aad to be proud, cruel, unjust and tyrannical.

Then, in keeping with His divine plan, Allah Almighty, appointed Hud AS to call to his people to Him and to warn them of His punishment.

The 11th surah in the Qur’an is named for Hud AS and he is mentioned by name seven times in the Qur’an, and his people the Aad, are mentioned sixteen additional times as an example of a community doomed itself by its refusal to turn back to Allah.


 
DURDONDate: Dushanba, 25-Fev-2013, 02:15 | Message # 8
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HUD CALLS TO HIS PEOPLE

As with Nuh AS and many other prophets, Hud’s AS story opens when he calls his people, who were so gravely abusing the power and wealth they had been granted, to their Lord.

And to Aad [We sent] their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. You are not but inventors [of falsehood]. (Qur’an 11:50)

Like the people of Nuh AS, the Aadites reacted with contempt and put Hud AS down with insults and taunts.

Said the eminent ones who disbelieved among his people, “Indeed, we see you in foolishness, and indeed, we think you are of the liars.” (Qur’an 7:66)

Hud AS replied,

“O my people, there is not foolishness in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds. I convey to you the messages of my Lord, and I am to you a trustworthy adviser.” (Qur’an 7:67-68)

Hud AS pleaded to his people over and over again.

“Will you not fear Allah? Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger. (Qur’an 26:124-126)

Then do you wonder that there has come to you a reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you? And remember when He made you successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature extensively. So remember the favors of Allah that you might succeed. (Qur’an 7:69)

The chiefs of Aad responded with a course of opposition and enmity against Hud AS, undermining any influence he might have on their society. In spite of being familiar with the account of the Flood, they were unwilling to acknowledge the similarities between their situation and that of Nuh’s AS. They refused to consider giving up their false religion, with all the advantages it gave them. They put Hud AS down with every argument, logical or illogical, they could think of to defeat and humiliate him.

Their prophet continued to proclaim his Lord’s message as the inspirations came to his pure, receptive heart.

They replied scornfully,

“O Hud, you have not brought us clear evidence, and we are not ones to leave our gods on your say-so. Nor are we believers in you. We only say that some of our gods have possessed you with evil.” (Qur’an 11:53-54)

Appalled at their suggestion that their imaginary deities might have power over his mind or anything else in existence, Hud AS took a decisive stand and declared,

“Indeed, I call Allah to witness, and witness [yourselves] that I am free from whatever you associate with Allah other than Him. So plot against me all together; then do not give me respite. Indeed, I have relied upon Allah , my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature but that He holds its forelock. Indeed, my Lord is on a path [that is] straight.” (Qur’an 11:54-56)

He added,

“I have already conveyed that with which I was sent to you. My Lord will give succession to a people other than you, and you will not harm Him at all. Indeed my Lord is, over all things, Guardian.” (Qur’an 11:57)

The Aad continued to deny and oppose Hud AS, arrogantly rejecting the guidance that Allah was sending them. Hud AS preached patiently. He tried every possible way of reaching to the hearts of his people, warning them of the punishment was certain to come upon them if they continued to deny their Creator.

And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. And do not turn away, [being] criminals.” (Qur’an 11:52)

Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a terrible day.” (Qur’an 26:135)

The unbelievers replied coldly, full of pride, challenging Allah himself.

“It is all the same to us whether you advise or are not of the advisors. This is not but the custom of the former peoples, and we are not to be punished.” (Qur’an 26:136-138)

“Who is greater than us in strength?” (Qur’an 41:15)

Eventually, a few thinking, feeling individuals among Hud’s AS people accepted their prophet’s Message and joined him. We have not been told how many these were. Their existence is mentioned in the Qur’an:

And when Our command came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him, by mercy from Us; and We saved them from a harsh punishment. (Qur’an 11:58)

DROUGHT

Hud AS and his people waited for Allah’s promise. After some time, Allah sent a severe drought upon the Aad to arouse them from their indifference to His warnings.

It is said that Allah withheld rain from them for three years and they began to suffer because of it. Their green, fertile land, well-watered with canals, was becoming dead and dry, gradually turning into a wasteland, scorched by the sun.

All the while Hud AS had continued to preach and warn, hoping his people might take heed. But they continued to refute him with all kinds of arguments and excuses.

“Have you come to us that we should worship Allah alone and leave what our fathers have worshipped? Then bring us what you promise us, if you should be of the truthful.” (Qur’an 7:70)

Hud AS retorted,

“Already have defilement and anger fallen upon you from your Lord. Do you dispute with me concerning [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has not sent down any authority? Then wait; indeed, I am with you among those who wait.” (Qur’an 7:71)

He said,

“Do not worship except Allah. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a terrible day.” (Qur’an 46:21)

His people demanded and repeated shamelessly,

“Have you come to delude us away from our gods? Then bring us what you promise us, if you should be of the truthful.” (Qur’an 46:22)

Hud AS simply replied,

Knowledge [of its time] is only with Allah, and I convey to you that with which I was sent; but I see you [to be] a people behaving ignorantly.” (Qur’an 46:23)

His words meant that they were neither intelligent nor wise to understand the command is for Allah who can send them punishment when and how He wills, nor could they read the obvious signs of His anger in the terrible drought which was draining them of their fertile, productive land.

As the drought continued, so did the suffering of the Aad.


 
DURDONDate: Dushanba, 25-Fev-2013, 02:16 | Message # 9
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THE CLOUD

Allah the most High then sent a cloud. Seeing the approaching cloud, the Aadites rejoiced, saying,

“This is a cloud bringing us rain!” (Qur’an 46:24)

Little did they imagine that it contained the doom that they had earlier challenged their prophet to hasten by their taunting words.

Then, from that cloud, Allah sent against the Aad a violent deadly wind, described in words that strike a chord of fear in our hearts:

Rather, it is that for which you were impatient: a wind, within it a painful punishment, destroying everything by command of its Lord. And they became so that nothing was seen [of them] except their dwellings. Thus do We recompense the criminal people. (Qur’an 46:24-25)

Indeed, We sent upon them a screaming wind on a day of continuous misfortune, extracting the people as if they were trunks of palm trees uprooted. And how [severe] were My punishment and warning. (Qur’an 54:18-21)

And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind which Allah imposed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees. (Qur’an 69:6-7)

Throughout those terrible days and nights, the wind howled and hammered at the Aadite communities, snatching the people out of their well-constructed dwellings and smashing everything in its path. The wind produced such a complete destruction that:

It left nothing of what it came upon but that it made it like disintegrated ruins. (Qur’an 51:42)

The Aad had been completely destroyed.

Destroying everything by command of its Lord. And they became so that nothing was seen [of them] except their dwellings. (Qur’an 46:25)

All those fine homes and magnificent columned palaces and temples that had been their pride and delight were destroyed and could not defend and protect them against Allah’s punishment.

The Aadites had acted like blind, deaf people, denying the Giver of these favours, using them to oppress others, striving against their Lord’s signs and revelations, rejecting his prophet.

And [We destroyed] Aad and Thamud, and it has become clear to you from their [ruined] dwellings. And Satan had made pleasing to them their deeds and averted them from the path, and they were endowed with perception. (Qur’an 29:38)

And We had certainly established them in such as We have not established you, and We made for them hearing and vision and hearts. But their hearing and vision and hearts availed them not from anything [of the punishment] when they were [continually] rejecting the signs of Allah; and they were enveloped by what they used to ridicule. (Qur’an 46:26)

But what happened to Hud AS and the believers? It is said that they went into an enclosed space, where nothing of the wind reached them except what was gentle to their bodies and pleasing to their souls. And Allah says,

So We saved him and those with him by mercy from Us. And We eliminated those who denied Our signs, and they were not [at all] believers. (Qur’an 7:72)

And when Our command came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him, by mercy from Us; and We saved them from a harsh punishment. And that was Aad, who rejected the signs of their Lord and disobeyed His messengers and followed the order of every obstinate tyrant. And they were [therefore] followed in this world with a curse and [as well] on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, Aad denied their Lord; then away with Aad, the people of Hud. (Qur’an 11:58-60)

Hud AS and the believers are said to have migrated to the Hadramaut valleys and lived in peace, worshipping their Lord, Allah. It is said that Hud AS lived for 150 years and that his grave can be found in a place called Mukalla in southern Arabia.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Hud AS, the prophet of the Aad.

Acknowledgement: Most of the information for this work has been obtained from:

“A History of the Prophets of Islam”, Volume I, by Suzanne Haneef
“Stories of the Prophets”, by Ibn Kathir (Translation by Rashad Ahmad Azami)


 
DURDONDate: Juma, 01-Mar-2013, 16:11 | Message # 10
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Prophet Saleh (AS)
After the Aad, the Thamud were the best known of the ancient Arabian tribes, a powerful people with a well-developed civilisation. The Thamud are mentioned in the stories, poetry and speeches of the Arabs prior to Islam and on tablets found in Assyria. Al-Tabari says that among the Arabs both before and during the time of Islam, the repute of Hud and Saleh AS and their people was like that of Ibrahim AS and his people.

Nothing is known of Saleh’s AS life before prophethood was granted to him. However, like Nuh AS and Hud AS, Saleh AS began his mission by calling his people, the people of Thamud, to faith.

As expected, his words which challenged the Thamud’s false belief system, were received with the same hostility as was shown by the people of the earlier prophets. But not to be deterred from carrying out his mission, Saleh AS continued to address his people, using the arguments and evidences granted to him by Allah.

Saleh AS tried to assure them that he had no interest in acquiring any material benefit for himself. The leaders of the Thamud taunted Saleh AS and fabricated arguments against him.

Saleh AS earnestly explained that as Allah had granted him both clear evidence and special favours from Himself, no one would be able to save him from Allah if he obeyed their wishes instead of Allah. Rather he would lose everything.

He called the people’s attention to the fact that well-being and prosperity were not something to take for granted, nor the fact that their Lord had provided them with both the rocky cliffs in which they lived and the skill to shape into dwelling places. Did they have no fear of the One who created them and could they not understand that these favours might be snatched away from at any moment as recompense for their sins and disobedience?

The leaders of the unbelievers had ready answers for anything. They taunted Saleh AS. Allah the All-Knowing then revealed to His faithful prophet a hint of what was to come.


 
DURDONDate: Juma, 01-Mar-2013, 16:13 | Message # 11
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THE SHE-CAMEL

No indication exists of how many months or years Saleh AS spent preaching to his people. According to the narrative of Ibn Kathir, one day while the unbelievers were gathered in a meeting place, Saleh AS came in among them. They began to fling their taunts and accusations to him and asked him for a sign that he had indeed been sent by Allah.

For a while they talked among themselves about what this sign could be. Then they put forward their demand: Saleh AS should call upon his Lord to produce before them a she-camel with unique characteristics. According to their description, she should be tall and pregnant. Only if Saleh could bring them such a sign would they believe him.

Saleh AS, being a prophet, was a compassionate man. Fearing Allah’s punishment towards his people, he longed to save them. As impertinent as their demand was, he earnestly hoped that its fulfilment might be the means of their salvation. And he prayed to Allah.

All at once a pregnant camel matching his people’s description merged out of a rock on a hill. Saleh AS called her “Naqat-Allah”, Allah’s She-Camel, adding “Allah” to the word “naqah” to give her respect and honour.

What was this She-camel? The fact that Allah Himself speaks of the she-camel came as a sign suggests that she was His miracle to Saleh AS. Indeed, her sudden appearance in the same form as demanded by the unbelievers, was a decisive sign and proof, that as a result a number of people accepted faith.

The Thamud had demanded that Allah send them a sign as a proof of Saleh’s AS truthfulness, and the sign had been sent. Moreover this sign was a living, feeling creature. How they would react to and treat Allah’s living sign would soon determine their fate.

Saleh AS then addressed his people, ordering them not to harm the she-camel and to allow her to graze freely. This order did not pose a problem, since the camel’s grazing would not lessen his people’s own food supply. But her drinking was a different matter, for due to the she-camel’s size, she would consume a great quantity of water from their wells. However, the divine order now came to Saleh AS to inform his people that the water that was given to them by Allah is to be shared between them and the she-camel.

Saleh AS reminded his people of Allah’s abundant favours and blessings and he reminded them not to commit abuse nor spread corruption.

For a time the she-camel enjoyed complete freedom of movement among the people, grazing freely. And as they been ordered, they also allowed her access to their water supply.

She gave a huge amount of milk. It is narrated that this was in exchange for the water. Ibn Kathir cites a hadith stating that they used to drink their water one day and her milk the alternate day. And soon she gave birth to a male calf, who trailed along her side on long, unsteady legs.

During this period, Saleh AS continued to preach and warn. But the majority of the unbelievers remained unmoved. In spite of Allah’s messenger or any sign He might send them, they had no intention of ever abandoning their many fabricated gods or submit to Saleh’s AS instructions.

There was a group however, of followers, who followed the inspired prophet, while another group followed the worst people in their society. Still Saleh AS continued to try to reach the unbelievers’ hearts and warn them that they were being tested by Allah. But, as before, his people’s only response was rejection.


 
DURDONDate: Juma, 01-Mar-2013, 16:15 | Message # 12
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MURDER

Burning with anger at having to follow the despised Saleh’s AS orders, the leaders of Thamud now met to resolve the issue of the she-camel once and for all.

They decided that by killing her, they would again have all their water for themselves. In their evil plotting against an innocent creature, they completely forgot that the she-camel had been sent to them by Allah in response to their demands for a sign. They also disregarded that the water, their Lord’s free grant, did not belong to any of them. They also overlooked that in return for the water, the she-camel gave plentiful milk to them, giving them more than she took of their resources.

Disregarding their prophet’s warning not to harm Allah’s sign, out of malice and hatred towards the she-camel and Saleh AS, the chiefs of the unbelievers decided to strike.

It may be difficult to imagine people so hardened and vicious so as to conspire to cruelly kill a creature that had done them no harm. It may be even more difficult to imagine people who were so bold and fearless before Allah to attack the sign He sent them. Nevertheless, this is precisely what happened.

They ganged and stalked the she-camel. It is said that a companion chosen by them drew his sword and slashed the tendons of one of her legs and killed her. As she fell to the ground, wounded, terrible cry came from her throat. Seeing his mother’s dreadful fate, the calf ran toward a nearby mountain, uttering loud cries and disappeared inside the rock. The cruel murderer then finished his job by slitting the she-camel’s throat. And so Allah’s sign to the Thamud, died a terrible, painful death.

The fact that this was a crime of unimaginable viciousness is reflected in a comment of Prophet Muhammad SAW. It is reported he SAW asked Ali RA, “Shall I not tell you about the most wicked people?”. When Ali RA replied, “Yes.”, the Prophet SAW said, “The ruddy Thamudite, who hamstrung the she-camel, and the one who will strike, O Ali, here,” and he pointed to his head, “until it reaches here,”, indicating his beard. (Ibn Kathir)


 
DURDONDate: Juma, 01-Mar-2013, 16:16 | Message # 13
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THE PLOT

After insolently rebelling against the command of Allah and brutally murdering the she-camel, the unbelievers confronted their prophet. According to Ibn Kathir, all of them young and old, had taken a vow of allegiance to the killer, and as he had killed the she-camel with the support and agreement of all his people, they all shared in the collective guilt.

No longer could Saleh’s AS great, wide prophet heart hold any compassion for his people, nor could he hope for Allah’s mercy upon them. He admonished them, warning them of a punishment to come after three days of enjoyment.

Not concerned about any divine retribution, the leaders deliberated as to their next move. They reached a decision: that they would make Saleh AS follow the she-camel in death. They had had more than enough of him.

As they slipped silently through the night, heading for Saleh’s AS house, divine retribution overtook them. It is reported that a huge boulder, carried by angels, fell upon them from the sky, smashing their skulls, and they all died together, their punishment preceding that of their people.

After this catastrophe and overcome by guilt over the vicious murder of the she-camel, the remainder of Saleh’s AS people were stunned over the sudden, terrible fate of the conspiring leaders. They were in a state of absolute terror concerning the nameless calamity which they knew would descend upon them.

THE BLAST

As day dawned on the third day, the Thamud still waited in numb, dumb terror for the punishment of their Lord to strike.

What was that punishment? The devastating catastrophe that came upon the Thamud is described in the Qur’an in several different ways in different verses.

(Refer to verses: 11:67-68; 15:83-84; 54:30-31; 7:78; 69:5; 41:13)

It is clear from the various Qur’anic verses that a single word is not sufficient to describe the terrible calamity that came upon the Thamud. Evidently it consisted of a tremendous, shattering roar form the depths of the earth, accompanied by a frightful, devastating, quaking. And the Thamud were destroyed inside their own cliff homes, in which they felt so invincible and secure.

But what of Saleh AS and the believers? Although no details are given, their fate is mentioned in the Qur’an as being saved through Allah’s divine mercy, for they believed in and feared Allah.

And in safety and in peace among his believing companions, Saleh AS turned away from the remains of the formerly proud and prosperous Thamud.

Nothing is known with certainty about the remainder of Saleh’s AS life. But local traditions around the holy mountain Sinai, suggest that Saleh AS together with the believers, fled to it and that he ended his days there as a recluse. It is said that his grave is in a valley called “al-Sheikh” or “al-Sheikh Nabi Saleh” at the foot of Mount Sinai, where, each year on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW, the Sinai tribesmen gather to honour the one who is buried there.

It is also reported that the imprint of a camel’s foot can be seen in a rock near the summit of Mount Sinai. But whose camel it was – whether of Saleh AS or Musa AS, who was to come to the holy mountain centuries later – only Allah knows.

May Allah’s best blessings be upon Saleh AS.

Acknowledgement: Most of the information for this work has been obtained from:
“A History of the Prophets of Islam”, Volume I, by Suzanne Haneef
“Stories of the Prophets”, by Ibn Kathir (Translation by Rashad Ahmad Azami)


 
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