Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 60-62
60. " And they were pursued by a curse in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection. Behold! the 'Ad disbelieved in their Lord: so away with 'Ad, the people of Hud. "
In this verse which ends the story of Hud and the tribe of 'Ad, the Qur'an explains the consequences of their evil acts and falsehood saying that they were damned and cursed in this world for their evil deeds and were made infamous with a notorious history after their death. The verse says:
" And they were pursued by a curse in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection. Behold! the 'Ad disbelieved in their Lord: ..."
It will be said on the Day of Resurrection: "Let it be known on the Day of Resurrection that the people of 'Ad refused to recognize their Lord and lost His favor upon them. " Although the term 'Ad is adequate for describing and introducing these people, the phrase "the people of Hud" has also been mentioned in the above verse which emphasizes and makes allusion to the fact that this group of people is the same one which annoyed their compassionate prophet so much and hence, distanced themselves from Allah's favor. The verse continues saying:
"... so away with 'Ad, the people of Hud. "
Verses number 05 to 06 of this Sura relate to the people of 'Ad. They were of the Arab race and resided in the Jazirat ul Arab or the Arabian Peninsula, but the name of this group of people is not mentioned in the present Torah. They were a people who enjoyed a high standard of living and lived in the magnificent towns according to the suras Al- Qamar, Al Haqqa, Al- A'raf, Al- Sajdah, and Ash- Shu'ara those people were tall, vigorous and had a unique civilization.
As far as their system of belief was concerned, they worshipped idols and followed tyrants. Hud invited them to worship the One and only God, and become monotheist. However, they did not submit and met their doom with Allah's anger which was manifested in the form of furious, burning storms. The people of 'Ad consisted of two groups; the first 'Ad and the second 'Ad. The latter used to live in Ahqaf(a region in the Hijaz)or in the Yemen until seven hundred B. C.
Salih exhorts the people of Thamoud to believe in and worship none but the only - God They disbelieved and were destroyed.
61. " And unto(the people of)Thamoud(We sent)their brother S alih, He said: 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no god other than He. It is He Who produced you from the earth and settled you therein: so ask forgiveness of Him, and turn unto Him in repentance: surely my Lord is Nigh, Responsive'. "
Salih(a.s.) is the third prophet who succeeds Noah and Hud(a.s.) in the Divine mission.
The Qur'anic story of the people of 'Ad ended with all of its instructive lessons and now it is the turn of the people of Thamoud, the people, who, according to historical narrations, lived then in the land of "Wadi al Qurra" which was located between Medina and Damascus.
Here again we note that the Qur'an, when mentioning their prophet, terms Salih as a brother, a compassionate person who had no other aim except wishing his people well. The noble verse says:
" And unto(the people of)Thamoud(We sent)their brother Salih, ..."
The verse also continues:
"... He said: 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no god other than He. ..."
Afterwards, in order to elevate their sense of appreciation and their sense of gratitude, he refers to an example of Allah's favor which, from the point of view of their existence itself, they would not able to deny, he says:
"... It is He Who produced you from the earth ..."
After referring to the blessings of creation, the verse reminds them of all the favors which Allah had bestowed upon them in being enriched in the earth, and implies that Allah is He who has left the development of the earth to you and has empowered you with the means of its exploitation. The verse says:
"... and settled you therein: ..."
It is to be noted here that the Qur'an does not claim that Allah developed the earth and made it available to them, on the contrary, it says that He left the development of the earth to them. Allusion is here made to the fact that all the means of exploitation had been readily available from all points of view, however, it is up to men to develop the land with their own toil, and obtain its resources. And they would not be able to claim any share of it without working and making the required effort.
Since such is the case, they should seek repentance from their sins and return to Him for Allah is always near to His subjects and accepts their requests. The verse concludes:
"... so ask forgiveness of Him, and turn unto Him in repentance: surely my Lord is Nigh, Responsive'. "
62. " They said: 'O Salih! You have hitherto been a source of hope among us. Do you(now)forbid us to worship what our fathers worshipped Truly we are in disquieting doubt as to that unto which you invite us'. "
The idol worshippers told Salih(a.s.) that before he used to be their source of hope and pride and because of this they loved him. They said this so that he might be encouraged to try to preserve the good relationship they used to have, and give up his calling to them towards monotheism.
They told him that he was their source of hope in the past and they used to appeal to him asking his counsel, they used to have faith in his wisdom, insight, and in his intelligence, and they never cast any shadow of a doubt upon his benevolence and compassion.
However, they told him that unfortunately, you made us lose hope in you with your opposition against our way of life which is the worship of idols and icons according to the way of our ancestors. This has been our source of pride and thus indicates that you do not have the slightest respect for our leaders, nor do you have any faith in our wisdom and intelligence nor do you defend our traditions. The verse says:
" They said: 'O Salih! You have hitherto been a source of hope among us. ..."
Do you actually want to dissuade us from worshipping what our fathers used to worship? They declared:
"... Do you(now)forbid us to worship what our fathers worshipped? ..."
The fact of the matter is that we are in doubt as to the way of life to which you are calling us(that is monotheism)and, at the same time, we are also pessimistic about it. They said:
"... Truly we are in disquieting doubt as to that unto which you invite us'. "
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Hud" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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