Ancient nation of Ad: Qawm Ad

Qawm(nation) of Ad is an ancient Arabic tribe which settled today’s Yemen and Oman. They are mentioned in several suras of Holy Quran to set an example of a society that has rejected Allah’s(j.j) prophets’ messages and their call for faith. Allah(j.j) sent Prophet Hud(a.s) to people of Ad, where they did everything they could to block him from transmitting the holy message. Eventually this nation was destroyed by an extremely loud storm.

In Fussilat Sura, it is mentioned as “As for ‘Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: Who is mightier than us in power? Could they not see that Allah Who created them, He was mightier than them in power? And they denied Our revelations.”(41/15)

Indeed, mufassirs like Qurtubi discussed the physical shape of this nation’s people, and concluded that they were very tall and hulk. During the era of Prophet Hud(a.s) their leader’s name was Sheddad. Turkish mufassir Ali Kucuk notes in his Quran tafsir, Besariul Quran, that this Ad nation has superior technology compared to other nations in their times. There are many narrative interpretations of Sheddad and details of socio-cultural aspects of Ad nation but it is more important to realize why this nation created their own demise. Mufassir Fakhr al-Din al-Razi lists in his Quran interpretation “Tafisr Al-Kabir” the three demeanors that led Ad nation to their own destruction:

1)      Denial of Allah’s(j.j) ayats( messages in verses)

2)      Rebellion to Allah’s(j.j) prophets

3)      Obedience and loyalty to tyrannical leaders

In Omar Nasuhi Bilmen’s Quran tafsir, Ad nations is mentioned as being exposed to severe draught that lasted for three years. During that time, Prophet Hud(a.s) tried to preach them to obey and worship Allah(j.j) only and promising them to cast away the draught and other bad conditions that imperiled their survival, but they insisted on adhering to their man-made ideology, which was symbolized through “showing respect to statues of human figures”

They were so sure of themselves that when the ultimate end arrived, they still had nothing to fear of…as revealed in Sura Al Ahqaf(46/24-27)

Then, when they beheld it as a dense cloud coming toward their valleys, they said: Here is a cloud bringing us rain. Nay, but it is that which ye did seek to hasten, a wind wherein is painful torment,

Destroying all things by commandment of its Lord. And morning found them so that naught could be seen save their dwellings. Thus do We reward the guilty folk.

And verily We had empowered them with that wherewith We have not empowered you, and had assigned them ears and eyes and hearts; but their ears and eyes and hearts availed them naught since they denied the revelations of Allah; and what they used to mock befell them.

And verily We have destroyed townships round about you, and displayed (for them) Our revelations, that haply they might return. (46/24-27)

Sura Al Hud (11/58) tells us about the survivors from Ad nation who followed upon the call of Prophet Hud(a.s)

And when Our commandment came to pass We saved Hud and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us; We saved them from a harsh doom. (11/58)






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