Since the dawn of mankind of this earth there have come and gone countless nations. Some of them are still remembered to this day such as the Egyptian, Greek and Roman empires. Some have fallen into mystery and obscurity such as the ancient dynasties of East Asia, and some have been lost to time, forgotten and left behind in the pages of the human history. Yet some of the remains and remnants of these nations still exist to this day for those who are keen to observe and see the signs of our Lord, Allah (SWT). Perhaps one of the nations that even though has been wiped out from not only the face of the earth but from much of the pages of History is the nation of Aad, the people who were sent Prophet Hud (AS) by Allah (SWT). Those that do not learn from history are bound to repeat it and Muslims really should take this saying seriously when it comes to the people of Aad, lest they also not fall into the same sins that lead that ancient nation to destruction.
Always remember one thing however, Quran is not a history book, everything that is mentioned in the Quran regarding the ancient nations of the world are meant for us as guidance so that we can learn from their mistakes which is why these events from the lives of the prophets must not be read as mere stories, but as actually guidance that has come to us from Allah (SWT).
Allah (SWT) the Almighty says in the Quran,
“Then do you wonder that there has come to you a reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you? And remember when He made you successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature extensively. So remember the favors of Allah that you might succeed.” (Quran Surah Al-A’raf Ayah 7:69)
Allah (SWT) mentioned also the words of Prophet Hud (AS),
“Do you build high palaces on every high place, while you do not live in them? And do you get for yourselves palaces (fine buildings) as if you will live therein for ever? And when you seize, seize you as tyrants? So fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me.” (Quran Surah Ash-Shu’ara Ayah 26:128-31)
Related Article: The Lessons of Decree from the Story of Prophet Adam (AS)
Prophet Hud (AS) invited them to righteousness and the truth but the people of ‘Ad chose to turn away from the truth. Allah (SWT) recorded their response in the Quran,
“O Hud! No evidence have you brought us and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).” (Quran Surah Al-Hud Ayah 11:53-54)
Have you come to turn us away from our gods? Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful! (Quran Surah Al-Ahqaf Ayah 46:22)
Even though Aad were a nation Allah (SWT) had given much wealth and prestige, they still denied the truth of their Lord. Prophet Hud (AS) was left with no choice so he prayed to Allah (SWT) as it is mentioned in the Quran,
He said, “O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.”O [Allah] said, “In a little while, they are sure to be regretful.” (Quran Surah Al-Muminun Ayah 23:39-40)
Allah (SWT) however did not punish them immediately rather in His infinite mercy He kept giving the people of Aad one chance after another. He made them go through a period of drought, calamities, diseases and famine but still the people of Aad remained stubborn in their denial.
Then the time of their punishment arrived. Allah says in the Quran,
And when they saw it as a cloud approaching their valleys, they said, “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” Rather, it is that for which you were impatient: a wind, within it a painful punishment. (Quran Surah Al-Muminun Ayah 46:24)
The wind that Allah sent upon them was cold and furious. The closest thing we have to that today is the tornado. If you’ve seen a tornado, you would know that it is a very fast wind with a loud sound, an unbelievable roar! A tornado starts as a funnel in the clouds and then it makes a touchdown. It would stay in one place for a little while, and then keep moving, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind; which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees. (Quran Surah Al-Haqqah Ayah 69:06-07)
Allah (SWT) then mentioned for our benefit in the Quran,
And when Our Commandment came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him by a Mercy from Us, and We saved them from a severe torment. O Such were Aad (people). They rejected the Signs of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers, and followed the command of every proud obstinate tyrant. O And they were (therefore) followed in this world with a curse and (as well) on the Day of Resurrection. Unquestionably, Aad denied their Lord; then away with Aad, the people of Hud. (Quran Surah Al-Hud Ayah 11:58-60)