(26:123) The Ad gave the lie to the Messengers.88 كَذَّبَتۡ عَادُ اۨلۡمُرۡسَلِيۡنَ ۖ ۚ
(26:124) Recall, when their brother Hud said to them:89 "Have
you no fear?
اِذۡ قَالَ لَهُمۡ اَخُوۡهُمۡ هُوۡدٌ اَلَا تَتَّقُوۡنَۚ
(26:125) I am a trustworthy Messenger to you.
اِنِّىۡ لَـكُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ اَمِيۡنٌۙ
(26:126) So fear Allah and obey me.
فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَاَطِيۡعُوۡنِ ۚ
(26:127) I seek of you no reward for this; my reward is with none but the
Lord of the Universe.
وَمَاۤ اَسۡــَٔـلُكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ مِنۡ اَجۡرٍۚ اِنۡ اَجۡرِىَ اِلَّا عَلٰى رَبِّ
(26:128) What, you build a monument on every hill merely for fun90 اَتَبۡنُوۡنَ بِكُلِّ رِيۡعٍ اٰيَةً تَعۡبَثُوۡنَۙ
(26:129) and erect huge palaces as though you will live for ever,91 وَ تَتَّخِذُوۡنَ مَصَانِعَ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَخۡلُدُوۡنَۚ
(26:130) and when you strike you strike like tyrants?92 وَاِذَا بَطَشۡتُمۡ بَطَشۡتُمۡ جَبَّارِيۡنَۚ
(26:131) So fear Allah and obey me.
فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَاَطِيۡعُوۡنِ ۚ
(26:132) Have fear of Him Who has provided you with all the (good) things
وَاتَّقُوۡا الَّذِىۡۤ اَمَدَّكُمۡ بِمَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَۚ
(26:133) Who has provided you with flocks and children
اَمَدَّكُمۡ بِاَنۡعَامٍ وَّبَنِيۡنَ ۚۙ
(26:134) and with gardens and springs.
(26:135) I fear for you the chastisement of an Awesome Day."
اِنِّىۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيۡمٍؕ
(26:136) They replied: "It is all the same for us whether you admonish us
قَالُوۡا سَوَآءٌ عَلَيۡنَاۤ اَوَعَظۡتَ اَمۡ لَمۡ تَكُنۡ مِّنَ الۡوٰعِظِيۡنَۙ
(26:137) This has been happening all along.93 اِنۡ هٰذَاۤ اِلَّا خُلُقُ الۡاَوَّلِيۡنَۙ
(26:138) We will not be subjected to any chastisement."
وَمَا نَحۡنُ بِمُعَذَّبِيۡنَۚ
(26:139) Eventually they gave the lie to him and We destroyed them.94
Surely there is a Sign in this, but most of them would not believe.
فَكَذَّبُوۡهُ فَاَهۡلَـكۡنٰهُمۡؕ اِنَّ فِىۡ ذٰلِكَ لَاَيَةً ؕ وَ مَا كَانَ
(26:140) Verily your Lord is Immensely Mighty, Most Compassionate.
وَاِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الرَّحِيۡمُ
89. In order to understand this discourse of Prophet Houd fully, we should
keep in mind the various details about the people of Aad which the Quran has
given at different places: For instance, it says:
(1) After the destruction of the people of Noah (Peace be upon him), the
Aad were given power and prominence in the world: Do not forget that after Noah’s
people your Lord made you the successors.
(Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 69).
(3)They had no parallel as a nation in the world: The like of which was not
created in the lands.
(Surah Al-Fajr, Ayat 8).
(4) They were civilized and were well-known in the world for their great
skill and art in erecting lofty buildings with tall columns: Have you not seen
what your Lord did with Aad lram, of lofty columns?
(Surah Al-Fajr, Ayat 6, 7).
(5) This material progress and physical power had made them arrogant and
vain: As for Aad, they deviated from the right path and adopted an arrogant
attitude in the land and said: Who is mightier than us in power?
(Surah Ha Mim Sajdah, Ayat 15) .
(6) Their political power was in the hands of a few tyrants before whom none
could dare raise his voice: And they followed and obeyed every tyrannous enemy
of the Truth.
(Surah Houd, Ayat 59).
(7) They were not disbelievers in the existence of Allah, but were involved
in shirk; they only denied that Allah alone should be worshiped and none else:
They said (to Houd), Have you come to us (with the demand) that we should worship
Allah alone and discard those whom our elders have been worshiping?
(Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 70).
90. That is, you build grand buildings merely to show off your wealth and
power, whereas they have no use and purpose except that they stand as monuments
to your grandeur and glory.
91. That is, though you have built other buildings also for dwelling purposes,
in order to make them grand, beautiful and strong, you expend your wealth and
mental and physical abilities in a manner as if you were going to live forever,
and there was no purpose of life except seeking of comfort and pleasure and
nothing beyond this worldly life which might deserve your attention.
In this connection, one should bear in mind the fact that extravagance in
architecture is not a solitary vice in a people. This happens as a result of
a people’s becoming affluent and then crazy for selfish gains and materialistic
pursuits. When a people reach such a stage, their whole social system becomes
corrupted and polluted. Prophet Houd’s (peace be upon him) criticism of his
people’s extravagant and luxurious architecture was not simply aimed at the
high castles and monuments, but he was actually criticizing their corrupt civilization
and social system, whose glaring symptoms could be seen everywhere in the land
in the shape of castles and monuments.
92. That is, in order to meet the demands of your ever rising standards of
life, you do not rest content with small living quarters but you build castles
and fortresses, and yet being unsatisfied you erect lofty edifices unnecessarily
just for ostentation. But as human beings you have become so depraved that there
is no mercy in your hearts for the weak, no justice for the poor, and all people
of lower social strata, living inside or around your land, are being oppressed
tyrannically and none is safe from your barbarities.
93. This can have two meanings. (1) Whatever we are doing is not new but
has been happening from the time of our elders since centuries: they had the
same creed, the same way of life, the same morality and the same kind of dealings
and yet they remained unharmed and safe from every calamity. If there was any
evil in this way of life, we should have met the doom with which you are threatening
us. (2) The things you are preaching have also been preached and said before
by religious maniacs and so-called moralists, but they could not change the
ways of the world. It has never happened that the world suffered a disaster
only because people refused to listen to preachers like you.
94. According to the Quran, the people of Aad were destroyed by a violent
windstorm. When they saw it advancing towards their valleys, they rejoiced with
the hope that those were dense clouds which would bring much rain for them,
but in reality it was Allah’s scourge. The windstorm continued to rage for eight
days and seven nights and destroyed everything. The people were swept away like
straw and everything on which the hot, dry wind blew was left rotting. The storm
did not abate until the last man of the wicked tribe had met his doom. Only
ruins of their habitations remained to tell the tale of their terrible fate,
and today even the ruins have become extinct. The whole territory of Ahqaf has
turned into dreadful desert dunes. For details, see
(E.N. 25 of Surah Al-Ahqaf).