of the People of Thamud
After the destruction of the Ad, the tribe of Thamud
succeeded them in power and glory. They also fell to idol-worshipping.
As their material wealth increased so, too, did their evil ways while
their virtue decreased. Like the people of Ad, they erected huge
buildings on the plains and hewed beautiful homes out of the hills.
Tyranny and oppression became prevalent as evil men ruled the land.
Description of Salih
So Allah sent unto them His Prophet Salih (PBUH), a
man from among them. His name was Salih Ibn Ubeid, Ibn Maseh, Ibn
Ubeid, Ibn Hader, Ibn Thamud, Ibn Ather, Ibn Eram, Ibn Noah. He called
his people to worship Allah alone, and to not associate partners with
Him. While some of them believed him, the majority of them disbelieved
and harmed him by both words and deeds. Salih directed them:
people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (god) but Him." (Ch
Salih was known for his wisdom, purity and goodness
and had been greatly respected by his people before Allah's revelation
came to him. Salih's 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." (CH 11:62
Salih's People Demand
They merely wanted to worship the same gods as their
fathers had, with no reason, no proof, no thought. The proof of Salih's
(PBUH) message was evident, but despite this it was obvious that most
of his people did not believe him. They doubted his words, thinking he
was charmed, and they saw that he would not stop preaching. Fearing
that his followers would increase, they tried to put him off by
assigning him an important task; to prove that he was a messenger of
Allah by performing a miracle. Let a unique she camel issue from the
Allah granted Salih this miracle and a huge, unique,
she camel appeared from the direction of the mountain. The Quranic
commentators said that the people of Thamud gathered on a certain day
at their meeting place, and the prophet Salih (PBUH) came and addressed
them to believe in Allah, reminding them of the favors Allah had
Then pointing at a rock, they demanded: "Ask your Lord
to make a she camel, which must be 10 months pregnant, tall and
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
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!
A number of Salih's people believed, yet most of them
continued in their disbelief, stubbornness, and going astray. Allah the
"We sent the she camel to Thamud as a clear sign,
they did her wrong. (Ch 17:59)
"Verily the dwellers of
Al Hijr (the rocky tract) denied the Messengers. We gave them Our
Signs, but they were averse to them. (Ch 15:80-81 Quran)
There are a number of ancient accounts of this camel
and its miraculous nature. It was said that the she camel was
miraculous because a rock in the mountain split open and it came forth
from it, followed by its young offspring. Other accounts said that the
she camel used to drink all the water in the wells in one day, and no
other animals could approach the water. Still others claimed that the
she camel produced milk sufficient for all the people to drink, on the
same day that it drank all the water, leaving none for them.
At first, the people of Thamud were greatly surprised
when the she camel issued from the mountain rocks. It was a blessed
camel, and its milk sufficient for thousands of men, women and
children. 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. It lived among Salih's people, some of whom believed
in Allah while the majority continued in their obstinacy and disbelief.
Their hatred of Salih turned towards the blessed she
camel and became centered on it. A conspiracy started to be hatched
against the camel by the disbeliveers, and they secretly plotted
Salih feared that they might kill the camel, so he
"O my people! This she camel of Allah is a sign to
leave her to feed on Allah's earth, and touch her not with evil lest a
near torment will seize you." (Ch 11:64 Quran)
For awhile, Salih's people let the camel graze and
drink freely, but in their hearts they hated it. However, the
miraculous appearance of the unique camel caused many to become Salih's
followers, and they clung to their belief in Allah.
Stories About the
The disbeliveers now began complaining that this huge
she camel with its unusual qualities drank most of the water and
frightened their cattle.
They laid a plot to kill the camel, and 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
They watched the camel closely, observing all its
movements. As the she camel came to drink at the well, Masarai 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 see
the folly of their ways and change their attitude before the three days
"Why three days?" they asked. "Let the punishment come
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:
"And indeed We
sent to Thamud their brother Salih, saying "Worship Allah Alone and
none else." Then look! They became two parties (believers and
disbeliveers) quarreling with each other.
He said: "O my people! Why do you seek to hasten the
evil (torment) before the good (Allah's Mercy)? Why seek you not the
Forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy?" They said: We augur
till omen from you and those with you." he said: "Your ill omen is with
Allah; nay, but you are a people that are being tested."
And there were in the city nine men (from the sons
of their chiefs), who made mischief in the land, and would not reform.
They said: "Swear to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night
attack on him and his household, and afterwards we will surely say to
his near relatives: "We witnessed not the destruction of his household,
and verily! We are telling the truth.""
So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan,
while they perceived not. Then see how was the end of their plot!
Verily! We destroyed them and their nation, all together. These are
their houses in utter ruin, for they did wrong. Verily, in this is
indeed an Ayah (a lesson or a sign) for people who know. We saved those
who believed, and used to fear and obey Allah. (Ch 27:45-53 Quran)
They also plotted to kill Salih and his household as
Almighty Allah stated:
"So they plot, and We planned a plan,
while they perceived not." (Ch 27:50 Quran) Allah saved Salih and
his followers from their wicked plans. Heavy hearted, they left the
evil doers and moved to another place.
Three days after Salih's warning, 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 the disbeliveers of Salih's people were struck dead, one and
all, at the same time. Neither their strong buildings nor their rock
hewn homes could protect them.
Allah the Exalted said:
"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 give you good advise
but you like not good advisers." (Ch 7:73-79 Quran)
All were destroyed before they realized what was
happening. As for the people who believed in the message of Salih
(PBUH), they were saved because they had left the place.
Ibn Umar narrated that while the Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH) was passing by Thamud's houses on his way to the battle of
Tabuk, he stopped together with the people there. the people fetched
water from the wells from which the people of Thamud used to drink.
They prepared their dough (for baking) and filled their water skins
from it (the water from the wells). The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) ordered
them to empty the water skins and give the prepared dough to the
camels. Then he went away with them until they stopped at the well from
which the she camel (of Salih) used to drink. He warned them against
entering upon the people that had been punished, saying "I fear that
you may be affected by what afflicted them; so do no enter upon them."