All accounts of the story of Eber/Hud follow the storyline of the typical messenger: a kin is sent by Allah to an unbelieving people; in this instance the people of ‘Ad who are believed to be a pre-Islamic Arab tribe which Allah wiped out for the usual reason.
I - The Ramparts
7:65 And to ‘Ad, [We sent] their brother Hud. He said: “O my people, worship Allah; you have no other god but He. Will you not fear [Allah]?”
7:66 The dignitaries of his people, who were unbelievers, said: “We see that you are foolish and we believe that you are liar.”
7:67 He said: “O my people, I am not foolish but am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds;
7:68 “Delivering to you the Revelations of My Lord, and I am a sincere advisor of yours.
The people of ‘Ad may have been taller than your average descendant of Noah.
7:69 “Do you wonder that a Reminder from your Lord has come to you through a man of your own people, in order to warn you? Remember how He made you successors (that is, possessors of a vast kingdom) after the people of Noah and increased you in physical stature. Remember then Allah’s Bounties, that perchance you may prosper.”
7:70 They said: “Have you come to us, so that we may worship Allah alone and forsake what our fathers used to worship? Bring us then what you promise us, if you are one of the truthful.”
There may have been some discussions as to whether the god (or gods) the people of ‘Ad worshipped included Allah – the dispute over "names" in the following:
7:71 He said: “A scourge and wrath have descended on you from your Lord. Do you dispute with me over names which you and your fathers have invented, and for which Allah has sent down no authority? Wait [for the punishment] then. Surely I shall be, along with you, among those who wait.”
7:72 We delivered him thereupon, with those of his company, by a Mercy from Us, and cut off the roots of those who denied Our Revelations and were no believers.
II - The Prophet Hud
In the second account of his life and times, in a surah named after him, Hud not only insists that the people of ’Ad worship only Allah, but quit saying bad things about the one and only god.
11:50 And [We sent] to ‘Ad their brother Hud. He said: “O my people, worship Allah; you have no other god but He. You are only lying [about Allah].
Hud asks for no reward for telling his people about Allah. As to the promised rain in 11:52, it will be a beneficial rain that will make them stronger because they repented, and not like the rain that came down on the people of Noah.
11:51 “O my people, I ask you no reward for it; my reward is only with Him who created me. Do you not understand?
11:52 “O my people, ask forgiveness from your Lord, then repent unto Him, for He will send you torrents of rain from the sky and add strength to you strength. And do not turn away guilty.”
Without proof of what Hud said, the people of ‘Ad will not be swayed to abandon their gods in favour of this Allah. They also think he is under some evil influence, therefore, it is evil what he proposes they do when he insists they worship and only worship this Allah. Hud then calls as witness the god the people of ‘Ad don’t believe in and his people to witness that he has not been smitten by some evil.
11:53 They said: “O Hud, you have not brought us any clear proof, and we will not abandon our gods because of what you say, and we will not believe in you.
11:54 “We only say that some of our gods have smitten you with some evil.” He said: “I call Allah to witness and call you to witness that I am innocent of what you associate,
11:55 “With Him. So try your guile on me, all of you; then do not give me any respite.
Something similar to what Jesus said in Luke 12:7 about his father keeping track of every strand of hair on your head.
11:56 “I have put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature which crawls, but He takes it by the forelock (that is, He controls it). My Lord is truly on a Straight Path.
I have delivered the message I was given. Allah knows this, and if you don’t heed it, you have no future.
11:57 “Then, if you turn away, I have actually delivered to you what I was sent forth to you with, and my Lord will raise up as successors a people other than you, and you will not cause Him any harm. My Lord watches over all things.”
11:58 And when Our Decree came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him, by a Mercy of Ours, and delivered them from a harsh punishment.
11:59 Such were the [people of] ‘Ad; they denied the signs of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers and followed the command of every obstinate tyrant.
11:60 And they were pursued by a curse in this world and [shall be cursed] on the Day of Resurrection. Surely, ‘Ad disbelieved their Lord. Away with ‘Ad, the people of Hud.
III - The Poets
Hud, like Allah’s archetypal Messenger, wants to be obeyed and like Noah, will twice demand, in this version of the destruction of ‘Ad, to be obeyed, and like Noah and other Messengers including the greatest of them all, the Prophet Muhammad, Hud asks for no wages for telling his people what to do.
26:123 ‘Ad called the Messengers liars,
26:124 When their brother Hud said to them: “Do you not fear God?
26:125 “I am truly a faithful Messenger to you.
26:126 “So, fear Allah and obey me.
26:127 “I do not ask you for it (my Message) any wage; my wage is with the Lord of the Worlds.
26:128 “Do you build upon every elevation an edifice for amusement?
26:129 “And acquire castles perchance, that you may live forever?
26:130 “And when you attack, you attack like giants?
26:131 “So fear Allah and obey me;
26:132 “And fear Him, Who imparted to you whatever knowledge you have.
26:133 “He granted you cattle and children;
26:134 “And gardens and springs.
26:135 “I certainly fear for you the punishment of a Great Day.”
26:136 They said: “It is the same to us whether you exhort or are not one of those who exhort.
26:137 “This is only the manner of the ancients.
26:138 “And we shall not be punished.”
26:139 They denounced him as a liar, and so We destroyed them. There is in that a sign, but most of them would not believe.
26:140 Your Lord is surely the All-Mighty, the Merciful.
The Destruction of Ad and the Great Calamity
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
The Prophet said, "I have been made victorious with the Saba (i.e. easterly wind) and the people of 'Ad were destroyed with the Dabur (i.e. westerly wind)."
The people of ‘Ad were destroyed by what appears to have been hot hurricane-force winds, as were the people of Thamud, a people thought to have lived in southern Arabia.
69:1 The Certain Hour;
69:2 And what is the Certain Hour?
69:3 If only you knew what the Certain Hour is.
69:4 The people of Thamud and `Ad have disbelieved in the Great Calamity.
69:5 As to the people of Thamud, they were destroyed by the overwhelming Cry;
69:6 But ‘Ad were destroyed by a violent, gusty wind,
69:7 Which He unleashed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession; so you could see the people during that time prostrate, as though they were the stumps of hollow palm trees.
69:8 Do you see now any vestige of them?
And then, of course, there was Pharaoh, and before him, the Overturned Cities in revelation 69:9 (Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible) and before that, Noah again, if the cruising ship in revelation 69:11 is the Ark.
69:9 Then Pharaoh came, and those before him, and the Overturned Cities, steeped in sin.
69:10 They disobeyed the Messenger of their Lord and so He seized them with an overpowering grip.
69:11 Indeed, when the water rose, We carried you along in the cruising ship.
69:12 So as to make it a reminder for you and to be grasped by an attentive ear.
Which brings us to the Great Calamity in which the people of ‘Ad did not believe.
69:15 Then, on that Day the terrible Calamity shall come to pass;
69:16 And the heavens shall be rent asunder, so that on that Day it shall be tottering;
69:17 And the angels shall be ranged around its borders, eight of whom will be carrying above them, on that Day, the Throne of your Lord.
Allah tried to scare His Messenger’s Meccan kin and neighbours into submitting with the story of the destruction of “Ad and other cities near and far from Mecca.
46:21 And remember the brother of ‘Ad, when he warned his people upon the sand-dunes, warners having gone before him and after him, saying: “Do not worship any one but Allah. I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.”
46:22 They said: “Did you come to divert us from our deities? Brings us then what you are promising us if you are truthful.”
46:23 He said: “Knowledge is only with Allah and I am conveying to you the message I was charged with, but I see that you are an ignorant people.”
46:24 Then, when they saw it (the punishment) as a cloud-burst coming towards they valley, they said: “This is a cloud-burst raining upon us.” No, it is what you sought to hasten, a wind wherein is a painful punishment;
46:25 Destroying everything at the behest of its Lord. Then when they woke up, there was nothing to be seen except their dwellings. Thus do We reward the criminal people.
46:26 We had established them firmly in a manner We did not establish you (Meccans), and We gave them hearing, eye-sight and hearts; but their hearing, eye-sight and hearts availed them nothing, as they repudiated the Signs of Allah; and so they were overwhelmed by that they used to mock (the punishment).
46:27 We have also destroyed the cities surrounding you and expounded the Signs, that perchance they might return.
46:28 Why, then, were they not supported by those (other gods) they took apart from Allah, as favourite deities? No, they abandoned them. That was their fabrication and what they used to allege.
‘Ad again, shed a tear:
51:41 And in ‘Ad, when We loosed (sic) upon them the barren wind;
51:42 It left nothing it came upon, but reduced it to rubble.
In the surah The Moon, Allah recalls the many people He has destroyed, including the people of “Ad for not believing in Him and after every recollection reminds the believers that He has made the Koran “easy to remember” This is seen as an encouragement for the believers to memorize the Koran in its entirety, as many have been doing since the time of the Prophet.
54:18 “Ad denounced; how, then, were My Punishment and My Warnings?
54:19 We have loosed upon them a mighty wind, on a day of constant misfortune;
54:20 Uprooting people, as though they were the stump of fallen palm trees.
54:21 How, then, were My Punishment and Warnings?
54:22 We have made the Qur’an easy to remember. Is there, then, any one who will remember?
Allah, in destroying ‘Ad, admits in another surah that He destroyed a city that was one-of-a-kind (as was Thamud).
89:6 Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with ‘Ad?
89:7 Iram (the ancient city of ‘Ad in central Arabia) of the many pillars;
89:8 The like of which was not created in the land?
89:9 And Thamud, who burrowed the rock in the valley?
89:10 And Pharaoh of the many tent-pegs (a metaphor for power or grandeur)?
89:11 Who waxed arrogant in the land;
89:12 And compounded corruption in it.
89:13 Then your Lord unloosed upon them a scourge of punishment.
89:14 Your Lord is, indeed, Ever-Observant.