Shared Prophets


Shared ProphetsThe Prophet Hud is believed to be Noah's great-grandson, Eber of the Old Testament. Both accounts of the story of Eber/Hud follow the storyline of the typical messenger: a kin sent by God to an unbelieving people—in this instance, the people of ‘Ad, believed to be a pre-Islamic Arabic tribe that Allah wiped out for the usual reason.


Hud I

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 a 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 gods the people of ‘Ad worshipped, whose name Allah does not acknowledge, included Allah.

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.

Hud II

In the second account, Hud not only insists that the people of ’Ad worship only Allah, but quit lying 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].

Like Noah, and all the prophets to come, Hud asks for no reward for telling his people about Allah.

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?

The promised rain in Revelation 11:52 would be a beneficial rain that would make them stronger if they repented, unlike the rain that drowned the people of Noah.

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 your strength. And do not turn away guilty.”

The people of ‘Ad could not be swayed to abandon their gods in favour of this Allah without proof. They also suspected Hud to be under some evil influence.

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.

All creatures that crawl have forelocks?!

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. My Lord is truly on a Straight Path.

I have delivered the message I was given, and if you do not 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.

Away with another civilization!

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.

The Great Calamity

‘Ad was destroyed by what appears to have been hot hurricane-force winds. For the people of Thamud, thought to have lived in Southern Arabia, the cause may have been an earthquake.

69:1 The Certain Hour (Judgement Day);

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 (a violent catastrophe such as an earthquake); 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 stump of hollow palm trees.

69:8 Do you see now any vestige of them?

Then there was, of course, Pharaoh, and before him, the Overturned Cities (Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible).

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.

And before that were the people of Noah:

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, Judgement Day, 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. 

Scare Tactics

God tried to scare the Meccans into submitting with the story of the destruction of ‘Ad, to which He returns here.

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 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).

 In case it is necessary, we are reminded that ‘Ad was not the only city in the vicinity that God obliterated.

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 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, God again recalls the many people He has destroyed, including the citizens of ‘Ad for refusing to worship Him, ending this recollection with a reminder that He has made the Koran ‘easy to remember’. Stories of mindless destruction do have a tendency to be memorable.

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?

God admits that ‘Ad was one-of-a-kind, as was another city He destroyed: Thamud, i.e., Petra.

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 or power or grandeur)?

89:11 Who waxed proud 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.

Hud the Archetypal Messenger

 Hud, like all God’s Messengers, would be accused of deception.

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.

Like every messenger, Hud demanded obedience.

26:126 “So, fear Allah and obey me.

Like every messenger, Hud insisted it was not about the money.

26:127 “I do not ask you for it (my Message) any wage; my wage is with the Lord of the Worlds.

Like every messenger, Hud was not known as a fun-loving guy.

26:128 “Do you build upon every elevation an edifice for amusement?

26:129 “And acquire castles perchance you may live forever.

26:130 “And when you attack, you attack like giants?

Again with the “obey me or else”!

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.

Like every messenger, Hud would remind his people of Judgement Day and the horrible punishment that the god for whom he claimed to speak had in mind.

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.