Qur’an and Hadith on Thamud and their Dwellings

It is argued that the Qur’an and the Prophet (ﷺ) made an error in history and facts[1]. Here is how their argument goes:

The Quran describes prophet called Salih (عليه السلام), who lived in the Thamud tribe. The Thamud did not worship God, and were disobedient. God sent Salih to warn them, then after they ignored him and murdered a she-camel that God sent, He killed them and left only Salih and those who followed him alive. The Qur’an states regarding them:

وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَـلِحًا قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ ءَايَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِى أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِى الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِن سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُواْ ءَالآءَ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

And to the Thamūd [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. This is the she-camel of Allah [sent] to you as a sign. So leave her to eat within Allah’s land and do not touch her with harm, lest there seize you a painful punishment. And remember when He made you successors after the ‘Aad and settled you in the land, [and] you take for yourselves palaces from its plains and carve from the mountains, homes. Then remember the favors of Allah and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” [7:73. 74]

وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ أَصْحَـبُ الحِجْرِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ – وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ ءَايَـتِنَا فَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضِينَ – وَكَانُواْ يَنْحِتُونَ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا ءَامِنِينَ – فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّيْحَةُ مُصْبِحِينَ – فَمَآ أَغْنَى عَنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

And certainly did the companions of Thamūd deny the messengers. And We gave them Our signs, but from them they were turning away. And they used to carve from the mountains, houses, feeling secure. But the shriek seized them at early morning. So nothing availed them [from] what they used to earn. [15:80-84]

We find a Hadith as follows:

أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ، أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ النَّاسَ نَزَلُوا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى الْحِجْرِ أَرْضِ ثَمُودَ فَاسْتَقَوْا مِنْ آبَارِهَا وَعَجَنُوا بِهِ الْعَجِينَ فَأَمَرَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ يُهَرِيقُوا مَا اسْتَقَوْا وَيَعْلِفُوا الإِبِلَ الْعَجِينَ وَأَمَرَهُمْ أَنْ يَسْتَقُوا مِنَ الْبِئْرِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ تَرِدُهَا النَّاقَةُ

Abdullah b. ‘Umar reported that the people encamped along with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) in the valley of Hijr, the habitations of Thamud, and they quenched their thirst from the wells thereof and kneaded the flour with it. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) commanded that the water collected for drinking should be spilt and the flour should be given to the camels and commanded them that the water for drinking should be taken from that well where the she-camel used to come. [Sahih Muslim, Book 55, Hadith 49]

The arguments against the Qur’an and Hadith are as follows:

  1. The structures were not built by the Thamud but by the Nabateans. They were built not before the time of Musa (عليه السلام), but during the first century BC and the first century CE. During this time, the Nabateans built structures out of rock throughout their Kingdom
  1. The buildings are not homes but are actually tombs

Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Mad̢in S̢lih) РUNESCO World Heritage Centre

The argument is summarised as follows:

Most of the monuments and inscriptions of the archaeological site of Al-Hijr date from the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE. But the inscriptions in Lihyanite script and some recently discovered archaeological vestiges are evidence for human settlement as early as the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.

One-third of the tombs, which are amongst the largest, are clearly dated to between 0-75 CE.

Mostafa Badawi, in his book Ancient Prophets of Arabia says that the people of Thamūd lived in the 8th century BCE in the al-Hijr region and were destroyed. However, not all of them were destroyed; Salih and his followers continued to live on.[2] We do not know where they went, but they carried on the practice of stone carvings in the mountains. The Nabateans who made the carvings in Mada’in Saleh and Petra, as well as other Arab groups like the Dedanites/Lihyanites, are their successors. This implies that the carvings in Mada’in Saleh (which in fact date to the first century CE) are not from the Thamudians, but rather their successors many centuries later in the same area. Badawi writes:

[Ṣāliḥ] and his followers left the doomed area just before God’s punishment befell them. We have no firm textual evidence as to where they went, but their pattern of rock carving survived for millennia among their successors in the area such as the Nabateans, the Dedanites, the Lihyanites who supplanted the Dedanites in Dedan in the last century BCE and 1st century CE and others. [pp. 62-63]

Al-Ḥijr is now a vast plain, interspersed with hills into which what looks from the outside like houses or tombs have been carved. This bears enough similarity to the description of the Thamūd dwellings in the Qur’ān to induce certain authors to claim that they are the houses of the Thamūd. The Qur’ān says and remember how he made you succeed ʿĀd and lodged you in the land.  You built mansions on the plains and hewed the hills into houses [7:74].

The Prophet (ﷺ)’s custom was always to point out to his Companions the geographical locations and landmarks connected with previous Divine Envoys. Had the Prophet (ﷺ) thought that the rock carved structures in al-Hijr were those of Thamūd, he would have pointed them out. The fact that he showed them the well of the she-camel and confirmed the area as geographically related to Thamūd but made no comment on the tombs shows that he knew they were unrelated to any previous Prophet.

What the visitor sees there today are hewn hills; no mansions remain on the plain. The facades vary in height and in the richness of their decorations. However, inside most of them is only a small room about three to four square meters in size. Some have shelves carved into the rock; one has a large room, possibly big enough to house a council. Nothing but solid rock underlies the rest of the facades. There is no possibility that these were houses. In fact, they are no recognised as Nabatean tombs, resembling the earlier more primitive ones among those to be seen at Petra in present day Jordan, not the late elaborately carved Greco-Roman facades. They are related to Thamūd only in being much later structures sharing the same geographical location. However, there survived long after that, people who still called themselves Thamūd.

Nigel Groom said that Sargon II recorded his subjugations of the tribe of Tamud in 715 BCE, that Agatharchides refers to the “land of the Thamoudenian Arabs”, Diodorus Sicilus refers to the Thamudeni, Pliny speaks of the “Tamudaei”, Ptolemy mentioned the “Thamudiatea” and also the Thamydeni and a Nabatean inscription dated to 166-169 CE refers to the “nation or “federation” of the Thamudeans.[3][4]

Syed Suleman Nadvi discusses this in Tarikh Ard al-Qur’an vol.2. Here is the summary of his opinion:

  1. The inscriptions in al-Hijr are not those made by Thamud “as generally believed.” (2/434)
  2. At 26 instances in the Qur’an Thamud are mentioned by name and in none of those contexts they have been called “People of al-Hijr”
  3. Where the carvings done by Thamud are mentioned the place of it is also mentioned, Qur’an 89:9 where the places is mentioned as al-Wad which means “Wad l’Qura”
  4. The carvings made by the people of al-Hijr are mentioned in 15:82 and the “people of al-Hijr” is a title of the Nabateans. (2/380-381)
  5. The inscriptions of al-Hijr are the remnants of the Nabateans. (2/434)
  6. As for the related Hadith reports related to the incident during the Tabuk expedition they either do not mention Thamud by name or say

(أن الناس نزلوا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أرض ثمود الحجر) which only proves that al-Hijr was also the land of the Thamud which is not a problem.

Summary: The cravings that Qur’an says were done by Thamud were in Wad l-Qura. Whereas the people who did cravings in al-Hijr were Nabateans. The title “People of al-Hijr” was, therefore, that of Nabateans who came much late in history and their period overlapped with Thamud-II, the remnants of Thamud-I, the subject of Qur’an.[5]

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

References and Footnotes:

[1] Anti-Islamic argument

[2] The Qur’an endorses this fact; they were not outright destroyed and the believers survived:

فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِيقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

Then look! They became two parties quarreling with each other. [Qur’an 27:45]

[3] Nigel Groom, Frankincense and Myrrh, A Study of the Arabian Incense Trade, Longman, London and New York; Librairie du Liban, Beirut, 1981, p. 189, pg. 63-65.

[4] This entire passage has been sent by Sharif.

[5] This entire passage has been sent by Waqar.


37 thoughts on “Qur’an and Hadith on Thamud and their Dwellings

  1. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    As I mentioned in our discussion on your post regarding Gog and Magog, I was very interested to read your reply to the missionary accusation regarding Thamud, because the argument seems to be rather recent and it seems to at least on its surface have good argumentation and hence we as Muslims must develop countermeasures.

    I will present some comments below:

    As for the conclusion that Ashab al-Hijr were not Thamud, I think this is rather unwarranted. Why? For a few reasons. Firstly, Ashab al-Hijr seem to be Thamud (15:80-85) because although this is the only time they are called this name, commentators unanimously agree that they are Thamud.

    Secondly, 15:81 makes it clear that they denied a Messenger sent to them and were destroyed as a consequence. If we say Allah sent Nabateans a Messenger, then we would have to say that Allah sent them a Messenger WAY back (since there were no Prophets or Messengers between ‘Isa and Muhammad (sall Allahu ‘alayhim wa sallam) and only destroy them hundreds of years later. This is an odd conclusion. We have no concrete evidence that Nabateans were destroyed. Though one could argue that they knew of Salih and hence Allah could hold them responsible, but this is speculation.

    Thirdly, the hadith you quoted isn’t the only hadith on the topic. Other ahadith mention that this was the land of Thamud ie. where they used to live.

    Also, the Prophet (ﷺ) did in fact mention the dwellings in a separate hadith. He said:

    لاَ تَدْخُلُوا عَلَى هَؤُلاَءِ الْقَوْمِ إِلاَّ أَنْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مِثْلُ مَا أَصَابَهُمْ ‏‏.‏

    “Do not enter (the dwelling places) of these people unless you enter weeping, but if you weep not, then do not enter upon them, lest you be afflicted with what they were afflicted with” [Bukhari]

    This also makes it clear that the people were punished.

    In light of these points, in my opinion the only reasonable conclusion is one of the following:

    1) That the dwellings of Thamud were destroyed some time between The Expedition of Tabuk and today. The Quran itself says that the dwellings of Thamud were khawiyatan during the time of the Quran’s revelation. Khawiya seems to mean destroyed/overturned but the term could possibly mean ruined too.

    2) The dwellings of Thamud are elsewhere in the valley of Hijr. You mentioned that there are many house-like structures in the valley today, so perhaps they are one of those.

    3) The tombs were in fact built by Thamud as houses and the Nabateans simply inscribed them later.

    4) That the ORIGINAL dwellings in the valley were Thamud’s but Nabateans built them further. However this would not explain why the Prophet (ﷺ) referred to the houses as Thamud’s dwellings.

    Overall, in my opinion the response could/should be revised in light of some of the points mentioned here.

    I look forward to your response my dear brother.

    • واعليكم السلام ورحمة الله و براكته

      Hud (عليه السلام) was sent to ‘Ad and after their destruction, Thamud inherited the land. We don’t have remains of ‘Ad, do we? If not, then why do we need to find the remains of Thamud? The leftover of ‘Ad were taken and built over by Thamud. Similarly, much later, Thamud were wiped out and their remains were taken over by Midianites of which we see the pictures and they constructed over them as per their methods. They may have later acquired Hellenistic techniques and applied them on their structures. So what we see are Hellenistic structures built by Midianites taken over from the Thamud.

      • So you’d then say that the buildings at Mada’in Salih were indeed originally Thamudic and then after that built upon by other nations?

        While I think that’s a response one could muster the fact is that we have no evidence whatsoever for that and it does not explain why the Prophet (ﷺ) would have referred to them as punished people. It’s like me living in a house, then someone tears it down and then builds another house and says “Abdullah used to live in that house” while the fact is that I did not. Hence I clearly mentioned in my original comment that this seems to be the weakest of all interpretations.

        I would be interested in your response to my other points as well. In my opinion this is an argument that Muslims have to tackle thoroughly due to its ease of presentation by non-Muslims and (hypothetical) explanatory power.

  2. Salamun alaikum,
    In sura 15, there seems to be a chronological order: At first the story of Adam (as) is mentioned (26-50), then the story of Abraham (as) and Lot (as) (51-77), then the story of the people of al-Rass,i.e. the nation of Shuayb (as) is mentioned (78-79). Thus, at the end, the people of al-Hijr are mentioned. There’s no real reason to mention them lastly, except they came after al-Rass and they are also included in this chronological order as well. Thus, we can say that perhaps this ones were the Nabataeans. One may argue that they existed until 106 CE, i.e. after Isa (as), the period there were no prophets aynmore- how they could then deny their messenger? Possible answer: Their messenger lived before or even during the time of Isa (as), this also the time where this site flourished, but when they denied him, Allah did not destroy them immidiantely. As we know, he gave the nations some period until the determined day of punishment. And God knows best.

  3. Otherwise, it could be also the Lihyanites, who disappeared some time before Isa (as), they also had some kind of rock art. Thus, Nabataeans later reused the rocks and made them to graves. As regarding to the Ahadith from Ibn Umar (as), they seem to be a interpretation of him itself, the prophet (as) says nothing about them. Also two Saheeh reports are contradicting each other: One the one hand, they are resting at al Hijr, while on the other hand it is said that they didnt rest at all and kept riding away faster from Hijr. It seems we gonna have some proper analysis on this case, and Allah (as) knows best!

  4. Assalam alie kum, it is a good attempt to answer the criticism of the of the people who have always found some crookedness to stand their point against Islam. The points raised by alfinlandi are very reasonable to counter the points of the article. From some understanding, it is derived that Thamud were an ancient Arab people well before Musa (as) and possibly well before Ibrahim (as) and hence the tombs (no dwellings to be seen in the present day ruins) must be very ancient and not recent like the Nabataeans. The expedition of Tabuk does identify the dwellings and ruins of a destroyed nation of Thamud and this area is between Madeenah and Shaam/Syria. It is possible that the dwelling areas are no longer visible in the last 1400 years as these are just small rooms and tombs with no space inside. Thamud scripts and finds are noted in the area as well as possible signs of the ancient people before Thamud. Point by Ismail about the order of the messengers from earliest to latest also is something to ponder over and maybe the people of the Hijr are different from the Thamud. It sure is something to ponder over and come up with a hujja to explain. Is there a possibility that these remaining tombs (around 1400 years back, were more in number and had dwellings as well) were inscribed upon by the Nabataeans as has already been proposed and I came across a while back

    • Walikum Assalam,
      these 2 ayat that have been repeated elsewhere are a beautiful reminder of the lessons to be learned and ibra from the civilizations that have long gone and their signs remain for those that follow and there are many such examples of these very beautiful and instructive verses.
      Here our discussion lies around the location of the thamud people and the houses/tombs they carved out of the stones and mountains. Are these tourist sites now identified at Madian Saleh the same as those we see discussed in the saheeh ahadith during the Tabuk expedition or is that a different location because these sites are identified as built by Nabataens and not Thamud and are considered much later than Thamud people (if we consider the finds to be absolutely authentic that these are Nabataens who built them. Based on some of the artifacts and writing, there are several civilizations at play here and they consider that the stone carvings were the work of Nabataens)

  5. Assalam alikum but mu point is it make it sound like these 2 verses mean that thamud and AD buildings were still standing tall my point is on the arabic word atharan because does this mean that this verses are saying midian al saleh are thamud because that would be wrong

    Does atharan mean we have to see it or does it just mean they made marks witch we don’t have to see

    • Walikum asalam
      The 2 verses are very generic in that they describe the general civilizations over time that have been destroyed or have perished but their signs remain behind. It is not specific to the 2 Arab tribes. Regardless, the thamud tribes structures remained for people to see according to Quran. Now are they fully destroyed now over the 1400 years or are mixed with the newer nabataens

  6. True but many people say when it says travel the land it is normally speaking about ad and thamud because they are the closest can’t atharan mean just marks not marks left behind like 30:50 when it says effects it doesn’t mean left behind effects because allah would mean left behind so what can atharan thanks for replying back all the time

    Because even if these verses are saying thamud and AD it is saying there better than there houses but how can they if they were in advance state of decay because we can’t see ad houses left so they had to be in advance stat of decay so if they were how could they be better then there houses because these verse would be more talking about ad more than thamud any hence in the verse they were mightier because ad called them self’s mightier

    • Arabic language has been heavily borrowed from by the Urdu language spoken widely in Pakistan and India. The word atharan or assar as loosely written in Urdu literally means effects or reactions or remnants left behind as an escape of a crime scene where clues or signs point to. We should look at the original Arabic for word though to fully understand. The verses are fairly generic as there has been mention of people of Lut and Shoaib that are also very close proximity. Yes both Ad and thamud left dwelling places as opposed to some other Nations mentioned in the Quran but again the reference is generic to many other Nations not mentioned in the book that came to other parts of the world etc. due to the belief as mentioned in the Quran that warners were sent to all Nations. They were often stronger than you in signs or athar left behind has been oft repeated. This generally means that despite very weak appearance now they one were very well established from the remanats. I think some more research is needed to establish where the ruins are that are clearly mentioned in the Tabuk expedition hadith. JazakAllah. Continue the discussion

  7. Ok thanks so what does atharan mean in classical arabic or can it mean effects and results in classical arabic as well can it mean made as well as left jazzakkallah

    And you said that there remains will show they once we’re better then you do you mean like if throw there might only be a few bricks left those bricks will still show they once we’re better because of the size of those bricks and how they were carved and the same with broken pillars even this they are broken the size of the circle shaped and the way they are cut they show that they were once supier and still are by the relics than you is that what you mean jazzakkallah by there relics show they once we’re better even there not that great now like old roman and egyptian bricks not standing but lieing down decaying but we can still tell they built better stuff like all I have to do is find one large bone of a dinosaur to know they are big that I don’t need to find a lot of bones to know that is that what you mean jazzakkallah

    I mean witch of these sound more like what the verses are saying 1. That they were better than you in building these fallen down relics 2. Or there fallen down relics are still better than you houses now 3. or there fallen down relics show they are/were better than you 4. Or there fallen down relics were better than yours in the past but not better now. Witch of these sound more like what the verse is meaning

    5. Or just left relics in land 6. Or just left a lot of material in the land 7. Or symbolic it’s talking about the left more of a legacy in there story. Witch out of these 7 does it sound more what the verses are saying or does it mean something other than these 7
    (sorry for all the writting just answer the atharan bit and the 7 things I just wrote Down it doesn’t matter about that long paragraph in the middle)

    Or bonus it just means they were better in building houses on past witch you can’t see anymore like effects in 30:50

    Any thoughts Bro sorry to keep bothering you with this

    • Aoa
      What do we intend to get out of the statement that they were more in number and strength in what they left behind. Certainly many of these ancient civilizations were advanced for their times and certainly more advanced than the Arabs as they had very little structures and civilization development and they were tribal societies and not big cities. Compared to modern civilizations of this time that we live in, these were still archaic and that is just sign of the times but compared to those who came after them in the lands, these destroyed civilizations were e definitely stronger.
      I am unsure if the root word but atharan can mean impact. What else do you have in mind
      Jazak Allah

  8. Ok thanks jazzakkallah that about it thanks but out of the 8 theory’s I put down before witch one would you pick to be the best interpretation thanks and when you say (archaic) do you mean that are civilization is better then the people of AD relics or the other way round that there relics are better than are houses or do you just mean there relics are better then the mekkahans houses and madian houses etc I didn’t really understand you by that bit but thanks for your helping jazzakkallah

  9. Sorry for such a late response. I just had the chance to look at the comments now and I don’t seem to understand the problem here.

    – Thamud were destroyed
    – Their dwellings remained but very partially
    – Nabateans replaced them and built on them/around them
    – What the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Sahaba went through during Tabuk was overall the joint place of Thamud and Nabateans and more specifically the exact well from where the she-camel drank. From the overall area of a few miles, that particular area of a few feet had Thamudic remains. The buildings of Thamud may or may not have remained but the well did exist then
    – Now today, Thamudic ones have not remained and what is preserved are the Nabatean ruins

    Where is the problem?

  10. Assalam alikum I think what the people are trying to say is if I got this right is that the hadith says don’t enter the homes houses of thamud so the verses makes it sound like the houses were still standing tall back then and some non muslims use this hadith to say the muhammad peace be upon him thought that these houses that were built by the thamud but that he got it wrong because these tombs were built by the nabtions not thamud and Ibn Kathir thought the same this is what I think they mean

    • Yes, I understood but if you read my comment, you’ll see that this problem is addressed.

      – Thamud were destroyed
      – Their dwellings remained but very partially
      – Nabateans replaced them and built on them/around them
      – What the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Sahaba went through during Tabuk was overall the joint place of Thamud and Nabateans and more specifically the exact well from where the she-camel drank. From the overall area of a few miles, that particular area of a few feet had Thamudic remains. The buildings of Thamud may or may not have remained but the well did exist then
      – Now today, Thamudic ones have not remained and what is preserved are the Nabatean ruins

  11. Meaning ibn kathir thought these tombs were built by thamud as well but got it wrong

    I agree also I’m of the opion the hadith witch says don’t enter the dwellings I think the prophet said don’t enter the lands not houses because there are only 4 hadith witch mention that and 3 of them doesn’t have the arabic word for dwelling there any way that’s why dwelling is in brackets also the one hadith what does mention dwelling in arabic misken can mean land any way because it is used in the quran and there are some places it is translated as dwelling places not literally houses so I’m of the opion the prophet was saying don’t enter the land and even if it did mean houses it could be that there were a few bricks in the valley plain there and that is what he meant because if it was the same area then that is why some people think the prophet meant the nabateans buildings jazzakkallah also in verse 40:21 out of the 8 theory’s I have put down witch one do you think is the right one what does atharan mean to you jazzakkallah because if it means remains then it just means there were just a bit of large bricks broken pillars there witch just shows they were better than the Arabs jazzakkallah what could be what the prophet meant don’t enter the fallen down houses what ever left of there builds like a few large bricks and broken pillars

    Also those 4 hadith don’t mention thamud by name in just says the land of al hijr or the people of al hijr or region of al hijr but never thamud but yes I agree with the well but there are Wells all over the region of al hijr like al ula and such also al hijr might be anywhere with a rocky area like yemon or jordan also there is a place in oman called al hijr so could be anywhere like yemon also there is a place called thamud in yemon near where ad lived near hadramawt so you see what I mean could be there

  12. Assalam alikum I was just wondering how do we explain 28:58 witch nation is it talking about and is it talking in past or present tense because this verse sounds like it’s talking about thamud those buildings witch were built by nabtions

    • Wa’alaykumusSalaam wr wb,

      What is the issue here? The Ayah is general [And how many a city have I (Allah) destroyed]? We find ruins of so many past civilisations such as Indus Valley (Mohenjodaro, Harappa), Sodom, and so on.

      • Asalam Alie Kum
        Good reply Adeel. It is generic for multitude of civilizations
        When some one has a keen desire to understand logically or has questions, there is nothing wrong I think. Replying by always staying what is the problem or what is the issue seems to have a rebuking or shaming tone that appears very harsh to the questioner. I am sure that is not the intention but it may appear like that.

  13. That’s fine I know that is just the way some people talk I talk to the point because I’m using a mobile so I have to keep as short as possible my problem with the verse was normally when it says travel the land or as such it’s talking about nations close and the nation’s close to the Arabs were ad and thamud so some say that this verse is saying the quran thinks these buildings were built by thamud but we know they were built by the nabtions not thamud but we know the quran is not wrong so how do we explain that verse jazzakkallah because it makes it sound like that is this verse speaking in the present tense or past like til’ka arabic and lam arabic jazzakkallah thanks for the help

    It’s like the same problem with 40:21 40:82 it sounds like thamud and pointing to these tombs etc but we know it can’t be so how do we explain this as well jazzakkallah

    And 27:52 because people say this sounds like it as well the kawatan arabic means empty so it sounds like it saying these tombs as well but it is mainly 28:58 I have the problem with jazzakkallah

    • You may look at any tafsir, these Ayaat are general and simply refer to destroyed civilisations which may be Indus Valley (Mohenjodaro, Harappa), Sodom, and Pompeii among many others. Secondly, the Ayaat are not only meant for the Sahaba, they are also for us and for all times and so when the Qur’an asks the readers to look at what happened to those before, it is meant for us as well. We must look at them, ponder over the signs of Allah and take heed. Q.28:58 is general: And how many a city have We destroyed that was insolent in its [way of] living, and those are their dwellings which have not been inhabited after them except briefly. And it is We who were the inheritors. The wordings themselves state so and all the tafaseer also state this.

  14. Ok thanks jazzakkallah but do you think the verse can be in past tense and the verse you quote above in your article 89:9 is it talking about homes on the plains or homes in mountains and the verse makes it sound like they could see these houses in the mountions so it makes it sound like this verse is saying the tombs are thamud dwellings so how do we explain this verse or is it just saying they used to do that like ad used too do pillars in the verse before or is that verse saying as well they could still see those pillars jazzakkallah sorry to keep bothering you

    • 28:58 appears to be in past tense.

      The Qur’an and quoted Hadiths indicate that the buildings of the Thamud were visible at the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) as signs to the Arabs.

      A. Yusuf Ali wrote: “The Thamud people were destroyed by a dreadful earthquake which threw them prone on the ground and buried them with their houses and their fine buildings.”

      “A terrible earthquake came and buried the people [of Thamud] and destroyed their boasted civilization. The calamity must have been fairly extensive in area and intense in the terror it inspired for it is described as a ‘single mighty blast,’ the sort of terror inspiring noise which accompanies all big earthquakes.”

      So, basically during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), their remains were not on the surface and only some of them were visible. However, now none may be visible and what is visible now are those made centuries later. Saudi Arabia, in terms of archaeology, is really “untouched”. The absence of evidence here is no evidence of absence. In other words either the evidence no longer exists (no problem) or Thamudic dwellings in North West Arabia are yet to be discovered.

  15. Ok thanks jazzakkallah last questions and ill leave it at that what do you mean not on the surface and is 89:9 saying the Arabs could still see those buildings because it says (the rocks it uses al the why not just say rocks and what does it mean by rocks does it mean houses or mountains thanks
    Or is that verse just saying what they used to do in the vally
    And does the verses before say the Arabs could see the Arabs loft pillars or just saying what they used to do 89:6-8
    I’m trying to understand the arabic like why do some arabic words have al before some words when we don’t use them like in verse 2:36 (But Satan caused both of them to deflect from obeying Our command by tempting them to the tree and brought them out of the state they were in, and We said: “Get down all of you; henceforth, each of you is an enemy of the other,50 and on earth you shall have your abode and your livelihood for an appointed time.”) in this verse in arabic it says al Shatan why doesn’t just say satan instead of if translated the satan because that would sound weird
    Also you said 89:9 means a valley is not Madain al saleh a vally or is it not
    Is al ula walid al qura
    Can someone please answer 89:9 because I’m really stuck on this verse

  16. Assalam alikum so is 89:9 present tense or past tense the altheana jabbu al sakrah bilwadi bit and you are saying that the thamud dwellings have gone destroyed after the prophets time

    And Is mada’in al saleh wadi al’Qura or is wadi al’qura some where else

    And do you think there houses were destroyed before or after ibn kathir and could the land of thamud be petra ir yemon because there is a town called thamud in yemon

    And does 27:52 mean there dwellings were destroyed or empty and could 89:9 mean there dwellings just of been caves in the prophets the outside gone fallen if you know what I mean and can

    Like does 89:9 mean what thamud used too do like example pharoh killed people on stakes or does it mean what they have done like example the pyramids.

    • Wa’alaykumusSalaam wr,

      Honestly I don’t understand the confusion at and all of it has been dealt with above. Think over this in detail. Take your time and let it sink in:

      – Thamud were destroyed
      – Their dwellings remained but very partially
      – Nabateans replaced them and built on them/around them
      – What the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Sahaba went through during Tabuk was overall the joint place of Thamud and Nabateans and more specifically the exact well from where the she-camel drank. From the overall area of a few miles, that particular area of a few feet had Thamudic remains. The buildings of Thamud may or may not have remained but the well did exist then
      – Now today, Thamudic ones have not remained and what is preserved are the Nabatean ruins

      Here are answers to your questions:

      1. 89:9 is in past tense. Thamud used to carve out rocks in the valley
      2. Re. Wadi al-Qura, refer to the article above. It is addressed there
      3. Doesn’t matter if they were destroyed before or after Ibn Kathir and the land is not in Yemen. There is a place called Khyber at Pakistan/Afghanistan border but that is NOT the Khyber of Madina. Having similar names doesn’t mean much
      4. 27:52 means that their dwellings were destroyed but visible to the onlookers and the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Sahaba saw them but we cannot see them today
      5. Both. It describes what they used to do i.e. what they used to build and what they have built.

  17. Thank you for answering my questions thanks I just have 2 more questions then I’m done then ill leave it jazzakkallah
    1. Can you explain how 89:9 is in the past tense (used to carve) because the AL (the) before the mountions bit makes it sound like in the preasent like specific if you know what I mean jazzakkallah
    2. Also if it is in the present it makes it sound there buildings were like brand new like not destroyed etc

    This is it then I’m done but thank you very much for answering my questions jazzakkallah

    3. Also sorry with wadi al’Qura where is that place because you mention in your article that is the place and it is different but where is it in saudia Arabia like how far from mada’in saleh and where is it near because they don’t show it on the maps

    4. Also is 27:52 past tense or present sorry to keep bothering you but these are it

    Because you said 27:52 said they are destroyed fallen buy 89:9 makes it sound like there still standing clean and like brand new etc

    5. And you said the nabteons built over them so if they built over them all then how could the prophet see them or the quran describe them when they were built over by them and by the time the prophet came because the nabateans came before jazzakkallah

    But these are the last 5 questions and that’s it sorry to keep bothering you it is that I’m getting all the information I can so if I’m ever questioned then I can answer them jazzakkallah

    Sorry just 2 more but that’s it most of these questions are yes or no
    6. Do you think that there inside of there buildings had to of caved in
    7. Some people think petra was thamud do you think so jazzakkallah

    But the main question for me is the first one number 1 the rest are just side questions but number 1 is the main one for me what I would like a detailed response the rest are more of yes or no qustions jazzakkallah sorry to keep bothering you

    But I do agree with your article it’s just getting more information that’s all jazzakkallah so I know how to answer this question jazzakkallah

    This is part of qustion 4 do you think 27:52 is talking about there dwellings in the mountions or on the plains or both and does 27:52 mean there dwellings collapsed fallen because if yes 89:9 makes it sound like it is standing that there are more of the buildings showing then just partially but more showing of the buildings so how do we explain this jazzakkallah

    Sorry for them being spaced out just put them together but 8. also if there buildings were very big there had to be more left of the buildings remains in the time of the prophet then just partially shouldn’t there or not because if they were big there should of been more left or not do you think jazzakkallah how would we explain this jazzakkallah but like I said question 1 is the main one

    9. And you said the inside has to be bigger how big do you think it has to be inside like the inside of petra or smaller or bigger and how many rooms do you think there should of been or do you think the inside of madion al saleh is the right size sorry for all the questions but these are it then I won’t ask any more questions I’m justin putting them all so then that’s it jazzakkallah

    This is also part of 4. How destroyed do you think the buildings were and does the hadith mean that there inside were not destroyed or could of they been destroyed as well or not

    10.can al hijr be somewhere else like al ula
    11. What timeline do you think thamud and AD and noah came because they would of have to be closed together and if noah nation was the first to commit shirk then they will have to of come 10 thousand bc because of the gobekli temple in Turkey because they commit shirk 9500 bc.

  18. 12. Does 22:45 say thamud castles and palaces are empty in the present tense with the well or is this verse talking about something else

  19. Also bonus when you say there buildings were not on the surface what do you mean do you mean the outside was gone but you could see the inside like a cave do you mean that

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