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.


48 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.

    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

    13. Doesn’t 14:45 talk about there dwellings were standing tall untouched

    If you could get back to me that would be great jazzakkallah

    14. 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

    15. Also what time do you think noah ad and thamud came

    • 1. Al does not make anything past or present or future. It makes it specific but is not related to time. So they used to carve and not they still carve. Is their carved construction still there today? I’ve discussed this more below.

      2. They used to carve in the past and their present structure is not described in this Ayah.

      3. It is north of Madina.

      – Thamud were destroyed
      – Their dwellings remained but very partially
      – Nabateans replaced them and built on them/around them

      4. 27:52 is in present tense. 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


      5. Nabateans built over them means in general sense; it does not mean that each and every building was replaced by the Nabateans. When they came here, there would have been many buildings and they made their buildings alongside them and eventually, theirs outgrew the previous ones. Previous ones may have fallen and replaced by Nabateans but during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), there did remain buildings of Thamud and who knows, they might still be there today but undiscovered by archaeologists.

      6. Could be.

      7. No, not at all. Revisionists are conspiracy theorists and conspiracy theories sell so in order to make quick money and get fame, some western pseudo scholars propagate this absurd conspiracy theory.

      8. This one has been dealt with above.

      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

        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.

      9. I don’t understand this question and how it is relevant to our topic at hand. I feel there may be some misconception about how to view Qur’an. We do not take it as a science book and neither should we take it as a book of archaeology. Archaeologists should do their job the way they do and in case of any finding, they can confirm whether it conflicts with the Qur’an or not; if it does not, then there is nothing wrong to proceed with it further but if it does, then archaeology needs to be further examined – however, such an occurrence would never happen since the Qur’an is from God.

      10. No.

      11. We do not believe in the Bible the way it is today. It is not a revealed book any more and hence, we are not bound to believe in a few thousand year old civilization – our scriptures do not mention any such thing. As for their dates, I do not know and it is not necessary that they would have to be very close to each other. Suppose if Nuh (عليه السلام) came 40,000 years ago or even 100,000 years ago and the few hundred or a few thousand people were destroyed by the flood, then it would not be difficult to believe that human population reached in millions, further subdividing into nations, communities, and tribes, after thousands of years.

      12. The ruined abandoned wells and ruined lofty palaces were present at the time of the Prophet (ﷺ). As for now, we don’t know.

      13. It doesn’t speak about being touched or untouched.

      14. By not on the surface, I mean that they did not exist like a proper city or open to any passer by and were deep inside some unvisited territory.

      15. I don’t know and this is a good aspect of the Qur’an; it does not go into such things and instead instructs us to focus on the message and not the nitty gritty.

      • Assalamualaikum the ruined abandoned wells may possible be referring to those belonging to the People of Ar-Rass (i.e. well) who killed their Prophet AS and hung him inside a well. They’re mentioned in 25:38 and 50:12. The pagan Arabs were acquainted with their existence but nothing more is known about them.

  18. Assalam alikum forget the rest of what I’ve put down but I was just wondering does 36:41 prove that every one on the earth comes from the people of tge ark if yes then how does that work because people could still see thamud dwellings so that means they could only come thousands of years of go but we know noah had to come near them but we know humans have been here at least 40 thousand bc so how do we explain this

  19. Assalam alikum thanks for the answers but thamud had to be destroyed no lesser than 3000 bc not 800 bc jazzakallah because thamud came before Abraham jazzakallah but thanks

  20. Also if the quran says the area is wadi al qura then madian al saleh is not wadi al qura jazzakallah but thanks

  21. But of course in there empire day they would of probably built in wadi al qura and al ula and madian al saleh and else where in there area because they would of had a large population any where between 20 thousand to 50 thousand people because mekkah and median together came to 20-40 thousand people in the prophets day and 40:21 says these people were more in population so they had to be more than mekkah and median

  22. Assalam alikum also dies 7:74 mean that Thamud were the descendents of ad or not or were they they descendents of ad jazzakallah

  23. Salam. This is an article I recently wrote. Since I don’t have my own blog currently, I will post it here, in case it helps anyone.

    While certain online Christian communities are abuzz with elation and glee, some Muslims are faced with difficulties in formulating a proper response to the latest Christian accusation. The Christians are claiming that the Qur’an’s statement about Thamud carving structures in the hills and mountains is demonstrably false as the structures are built not by the Thamud but by the Nabateans, who came much later. As is the usual case, the Christians are, 1. Jumping the gun, 2. Have not read their own bibles. 3. Have not invested any considerable time investigating the actual archeological claims. I’d hate to be the one to rain on the “holy” Christian parade, but this inanity has to be responded to.

    The Bible
    As we’re dealing with an allegation that is mostly Christian in origin, I am going to start with what the Bible says about the topic. I do understand why most Christians are unaware of the fine details interspersed within the ponderous and drawn-out book. It’s not an easy read, especially as most of the stories leave the reader perplexed in terms of their relevancy to one’s personal life or attainment of anything didactic that enriches or nurtures a relationship with God. But I digress. The Bible does contain verses about a particular nation known as the Edomites, who did carve out structures on mountains and who were destroyed by God. These verses can be found in multiple books, we will focus on Obadiah and Jeremiah. The following are four verses from Obadiah:

    1 The vision of Obadiah.
    This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom—
    We have heard a message from the LORD:
    An envoy was sent to the nations to say,
    “Rise, let us go against her for battle”—
    2 “See, I will make you small among the nations;
    you will be utterly despised.
    3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rocks[a]
    and make your home on the heights,
    you who say to yourself,
    ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’
    4 Though you soar like the eagle
    and make your nest among the stars,
    from there I will bring you down,”
    declares the LORD.
    A similar narrative can be found in Jeremiah 49:16
    The terror you inspire
    and the pride of your heart have deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rocks,
    who occupy the heights of the hill.
    Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s,
    from there I will bring you down,”
    declares the LORD.

    The following commentary on the verses from Obadiah, found in biblestudytools.com, is rather revealing.
    Obadiah 1:3
    The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee
    The Edomites were proud of their wealth and riches, which they had by robberies amassed together; and of their military skill and courage, and of their friends and allies; and especially of their fortresses and fastnesses, both natural and artificial; and therefore thought themselves secure, and that no enemy could come at them to hurt them, and this deceived them: thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock;
    their country was called Arabia Petraea, the rocky; and their metropolis Petra, the rock: Jerom says that they that inhabited the southern part of the country and dwelt in caves cut out of the rock, to screen them from the heat of the sun: or, “thou that dwellest in the circumferences of the rock” F16; round about it, on the top of it, in a tower built there, as Kimchi and Ben Melech. Aben Ezra thinks that “caph”, the note of similitude, is wanting; and that the sense is, thou thoughtest that Mount Seir could secure thee, as they that dwell in the clefts of a rock: whose habitation [is] high; upon high rocks and mountains, such as Mount Seir was, where Esau dwelt, and his posterity after, him. The Targum is,“thou art like to an eagle that dwells in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is in a high place;”this they were proud of, thinking themselves safe, which deceived them; hence it follows: that saith in his heart, who shall bring me down to the ground?
    what enemy, ever so warlike and powerful, will venture to invade my land, or besiege me in my strong hold? or, if he should, he can never take it, or take me from hence, conquer and subdue me.

    Thus, from the aforementioned verses we have gleaned the following: 1. There existed a nation called the Edomites. 2. They lived in the kingdom of Edom, which is about 200 or so miles from Madian Saleh, where, supposedly, the Qur’anic Thamud lived, although the Thamud could have lived in multiple areas, including Petra 3. They carved-out habitations on the hills and mountains–caves constructed on high places. 4. They felt that their habitations would, somehow, secure them from destruction. 5. God destroyed them.

    The Edomites and Thamud
    What we do know about the Edomites, historically, is that they lived in and around Petra before the Nabateans came. If the Nabateans carved out the structures on the hills and mountains of Petra and Median Saleh, as the Christians allege, then both the Qur’an and the Bible are in error, which I don’t agree with. I believe carving out structures in hills and mountains may have been a common practice within the ancient Arabia and its surroundings based on both the Biblical and Quranic accounts. However, as the Christians have proposed an objection to the notion of any other people carving structures in hills and mountains prior to the Nabateans, this leaves the Christians with the following options: (1). Amend their accusation to now include the Bible also. (2). Claim that the Edomites are not Thamud thus the verses are irrelevant. However, that does not solve the dilemma of who carved out the hills and mountains in Petra because the Edomites existed prior to the Nabateans, who according to the Christians were the ones who carved out the mountains and hills of Petra and Madian Saleh in 1st or 2nd century B.C. (3). Ignore the entire thing and continue to spread their deception and lies. As for option 2, we know next to nothing about the Thamud. They very well could be the predecessors of the Edomites as they lived around the same area, and according to the Bible, they practiced the tradition of carving dwellings into the rocks. The Thamud were Arabs, and the Bible tells us in Genesis 28:9 that Esau—the father of the Edomites– married into the Ishmaelites, so that makes Edomites half Arabs also. The Edomites can also be a separate nation and through the passage time they shared history, tradition, and custom with the remnants of the Thamud. They may have even intermingled to the point of losing any distinction along ethnic lines as there is no good reason or evidence to preclude the idea that the Thamud also ventured and lived in Petra and the surrounding areas. Thus, the possibility exists that the Edomites copied the mountainous dwellings of the Thamud, just as the Nabateans may have copied—or took over– the architectural style of the Edomites or the Thamud and added their own flavor.

    The Nabateans
    Now we come to the archeological matters concerning the Nabateans. What do we know about the Nabateans? Well, next to nothing. According to Dr. Nehme, a senior research scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, the Nabateans have left us with almost no written material that would shed any light on their origins or even daily affairs. She states that all we have are “A few papyri, which are mainly private contracts, and thousands of graffiti scattered on the rocks, 90% of which contain only the name of the individual who wrote it, his father’s name, and a formulaic greeting”. What we do know is that the Nabateans lived a nomadic life style. According to the Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, the Nabateans “have a law neither to sow corn nor to plant any fruit-bearing plant, nor to use wine, nor to build a house. This law they hold because they judge that those who possess these things will be easily compelled by powerful men to do what is ordered them because of their enjoyment of these things”.
    It becomes rather implausible that a people who a “had a law” against building a house, would then start constructing breathtakingly massive structures from the rocks of the mountains themselves. It’s also implausible that a people who would be at the helm of such epic architectural and engineering achievements would not even make mention of it, or at least keep a record of it. Although, implausible, but not impossible. Because we’re left with no records which can help in our archeological inquiry, even dating the structures becomes a difficult, and perhaps, an impossible task. How archeologists date the tombs and other structures is primarily based on the inscriptions found in them. This poses problematic. Imagine if in a thousand years, the United States is a completely different landscape, much of it devoid of inhabitants and all of the history associated with its people are lost. Now imagine if people arrive from Latin America, find Mount Rushmore, and make a few inscriptions on it. An archeologist studying Mount Rushmore 2000 years after the inscriptions may well deduce that the statues of Mount Rushmore were made by Latin Americans and even guess the date incorrectly. It is possible that Edomites and or Thamud did carve out structures in the region, Nabateans, who came later, were inspired at some point during their history by the structures and proceeded to make a few of their own. They also could have written inscriptions on the many structures that already existed. The Nabatean inscriptions are the ancient equivalent of graffiti, which humans even today have a predilection for. It’s almost impossible to know for certain that the many tombs with Nabatean inscriptions are indeed constructed by them, especially when we know that only 15% of the area in Petra has been excavated and examined. 85 percent of the region is still untouched, and hidden. What the hidden 85 percent will reveal remains to be seen. The same can be said of Median Saleh, much of the area is still hidden under sand.

    Certain objections can and may arise with the above narrative. 1. What is uncovered thus far reveal that the structures are not dwellings, but tombs. 2. The hadith reports the prophet (pbuh) as having passed Median Saleh and described the ruins as “their dwellings” referring to the Thamud. As for objection number one, as far as my research has shown, the only reason that the carved-out structures are considered tombs is due to various rectangular carved out niches inside them where the dead bodies were to be placed. I have yet to find a shred of evidence of a dead body that was placed in any of the recesses in the walls. If they were made for dead bodies, it stands to reason that we should find at least one dead body in them. If anyone has evidence of at least one dead body having been found in the recesses, I’m open to change my mind. There is no good reason to suggest that these “tombs” never served as a place of dwelling, as they are large enough to do so. This structure is not only large enough to house several individuals, but contains benches which suggests that it served some social function, hence it can qualify to be called a place of dwelling. According to Saudi-archeology website, an academic website aimed at archiving the rock images and providing archeological information on them, the structure may have been used for holding “sacred feasts.” We have a good perspective of the size of these supposed tombs in this picture, as the façade has been destroyed. It is large enough to house individuals, should they have chosen to live inside them. We have to be open to the idea that a person living thousands of years ago will have a different concept of a place of dwelling than we, in the 21st century, do. It must also be kept in mind that not all of the structures have been found as of yet. We cannot preclude the notion that structures that are completely different from what has been found so far, will be found in the future. Objection number 2 is not a major problem once we consider the various factors involved. It may very well be that during the time of the prophet, certain structures were still apparent to them that are now hidden due to natural occurrences, such as earthquakes, accretion of sand and erosion with time. Even if the prophet saw these exact structures which are visible today and we can, hypothetically, prove beyond a shadow of doubt that no one ever lived in them, and he took them to be the dwellings of the Thamud, that isn’t a major problem. The prophet was a man of his times and of his own personal experiences, he could have attributed what he saw to the Thamud due to the fact that the Thamud lived on the exact region as these ruins. Not every opinion that he held was necessarily a divine revelation. But given the possibility that these ruins could have once been created, either completely or partially, by the Thamud and taken later by the Edomites in Petra and then the Nabateans, who inscribed graffiti on them—their inscriptions are exactly that—or even carved out recesses inside of them, there isn’t an unsurmountable problem.
    So, in summary, The Qur’an makes a claim that in a particular time in history, a people known as Thamud built structures on the hills and mountains. These people incurred the wrath of God and were destroyed. The Bible makes a claim that a particular time in history, a people who lived in in the kingdom of Edom—Edomites predate the Nabateans or the current historically accepted date of the structures carved from the mountains—carved out structures in the hills and mountains. These people incurred the wrath of God and were destroyed. We hardly know anything about the Nabateans aside of their nomadic life-style, which is not consonant with building these incredible structures. The Nabateans have not left us with any records, thus inscriptions become the primary dating of these structures. Because inscriptions cannot be relied upon with 100 percent certainty, it’s possible that the inscriptions are Nabatean while the structures are not. In my research, I did discover that the tombs do contain “pre-Nabatean inscriptions”. It does not state, however, who made the inscriptions. Like Petra, much of the ruins are still hidden, we can’t make absolute conclusions unless and until we have access to all of the monuments, tombs, structures, which are still hidden. Thus, if the Qur’an is in error about the identities of whoever carved out the structures in Madian Saleh—or wherever else the Thamud lived–the Bible is also in error when it claims a pre-Nabatean people carved out structures in the mountains of Edom. I believe neither are in error. Based on the Quranic and Biblical evidence, and the lack of archeological evidence which can conclusively show that every single structure that is excavated, and those that will be excavated in the future, are all Nabatean in origin, I believe carving out structures on hills and mountains originated with the Thamud, which was later adopted by the Edomites, which later still, was adopted by the Nabateans. If the Bible tells us nothing more, at least it illustrates that carving out structures on mountains predated the Nabateans, and that is all we need to refute the Christian allegation against the Quran. God knows best.
    I hope the Christians, after having read this, will decide to do what’s ethical and moral. I hope they remove whatever articles they have written on this topic, as it’s beyond question that the Qur’an did not make an error on this topic, given that the Bible makes similar claims, and given that we know almost nothing about the Nabateans, and that the majority of the structures—85 percent in Petra, and a major portion in Median Saleh—are still hidden under ground.

    The above article contained links to images which do not show up in here after I copied and pasted them from my ms word. The sentence, “This structure is not only large enough…” and a couple more contained links. I will post the links here for now.

    • Assalamualaikum what do u think of the carbon dating and the presence of wells? Archeologists have put these ruins from the first century BCE and the first century CE. So they concluded that the Nabateans did constructed them. As for the wells, studies have shown that the Nabateans were experts in the field of irrigation and a lot of wells was attributed to them. The hadiths show that there were wells present in that particular spot attributed to the Thamud. Can it be said that the Thamud made wells and their successors i.e. Edomites, Lihyanites and Nabateans inherited this skill?

      • Assalamualaikum thnx for the link. I guess it can be said that the Nabataeans can be considered one of the nations succeeding the people of Thamud. Yet how can we prove that there was a Prophet sent to them since Allah SWT does not punish a nation without sending one? Also there were no prophets between Isa AS and Muhammad SAW which is another issue to clarify. The Nabataean kingdom existed from the 3rd or 2nd century BC, could it be that their punishment was a long one after a prophet was sent to them sometime before Prophet Isa AS? Again the burden of proof is on us that this was the case. What do u think?

  24. Thanks for the article and yea I see no problem. that that Thamud did it then the edomites took over then the nabteaons but all I know is that Thamud existed before 3000 bc so 3000 bc is probably when they were destroyed then the edomites revamped them made them look new then the nabteaons did the same and I believe the tribe of ad was destroyed weather 5-8 thousand bc and I believe noah’s flood was around the ending off the ice age what was between 10-13 thousand bc became the population of the world was only 1 million at 10 thousand bc and no more than 20 million people at 5000 bc what makes stuff interesting but as a side note if the quran does say that noah’s people was the first to commit shirk then ad then thamud but none at the same time or between then thamud had to come before 9000 bc so that was when they would be destroyed because the gobeki tepe was built then and that was definitely pagan shirk but this is my opion but thanks

  25. Assalamualaikum I don’t believe 27:50-53 is necessarily referring to their houses existing at the time of the Prophet SAW when they tell us to behold the sign therein. I think it’s just like 43:47, 21:12, 32:26 and 37:73. Also, 28:40 is referring to Pharaoh and the verse tells us to BEHOLD how Allah SWT dealt with him without us being present to see it. The same can be said about 7:84 where Allah SWT is telling us to SEE the end of Sodom and Gomorrah. In addition, when the verses talk about ‘Verily there is a sign in this’, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to see the sign i.e. the fate and remains of past generations with our eyes bcuz verse 25:37 speaks about the people of Nuh AS and it tells us that Allah SWT left a sign for mankind. Now we don’t see the remains of Nuh’s AS people now do we? They could either mean that we can see the remains and consider the signs and warnings or they’re giving HISTORICAL lessons and portents for us to take note.

  26. 15:75 can also be interpreted as a HISTORICAL sign/reminder when referring to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

  27. There is a popular historical show in Saudi Arabia with Eid Al-Yahya where they visit the area of Madain Saleh and he definitely makes a credible case showing that Madain Saleh has indications of being built by Thamud, but being used and completed by the Nabateans. Like some of the ”tombs” have window openings and some of the niches are not much more wide than a hand, which hardly can serve as a resting place for a human body. See the video here (arabic): https://youtu.be/yjRjkjQ-VEA

    Me however I lean towards that Madain Saleh is not the place for the Quranic Thamud like Dr Thiaeb (linguist of ancient arabic and archeologist) has been repeatedly saying at least since 1995, because among other reasons that Madain Saleh lacks all the marks of Gods wrath, the earth quake levelling Thamud etc. The video (arabic): https://youtu.be/0XIPP6vsDmA

    I am also writing an text on this that I inshaAllah will put up online.

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