Chapter 11, Hood (Hud) (part 2 of 2)
Verses 61-68 Story of Salih
The dwelling places of Salih’s people, Thamud, are situated somewhere between Hijaz and Syria in the southeastern part of Madyan which is situated east of the Gulf of Aqaba. Chiseled out of stone, their dwellings are still preserved.
Salih’s message was similar to that of Noah and Hud. In addition, he produced a female camel from the neighboring hills to prove that he was God’s true prophet but warned people not to harm it. Nevertheless, they killed it, thereby inviting God’s wrath in the form of a heavenly scream that left them dead, face down in their homes.
Verses 69-76 Story of Abraham
Born in Iraq, Abraham settled in the city of Ur. He traveled to Harran in the north of the Arabian Peninsula and then to Palestine with his wife, Sarah, and his nephew, Lot. Due to a drought, he then moved to Egypt. Lot returned with Abraham from Egypt, but parted ways because the land was not enough for both their herds. Lot settled towards the Dead Sea near Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham had three beautiful character traits: forbearing, repentant, and soft-hearted.
He was quick to serve unannounced guests - angels of God - who brought two news. One, destruction was forthcoming to the people of Lot. Two, the birth of Abraham’s son, Isaac, from Sarah, his aged wife, and his grandson, Jacob. Abraham makes a futile attempt to turn away the angels from Lot.
Verses 77-83 Story of Lot
As hospitable as his uncle, Lot is distressed to see young, attractive guests who people immediately wanted to sodomize. Lot tries to reason with the people by pointing to available women for marriage and not to disgrace him. Feeling powerless to protect his guests, the angels comfort Lot that he will be unharmed. He was to leave town at nightfall with his family except his wife who would stay behind as she had informed people of the angelic guests. God destroys them by lifting up the city, throwing it upside down, and raining them with stones due to their wickedness.
Verses 84-95 Story of Shu’ayb
He was sent to the people of Madyan who lived in the land of Hijaz, next to Syria and east of the Gulf of Aqaba. According to some historians, that land is the site of the modern Saudi city of Tabuk.
· Worship God.
· Give full measure, do not give people less than what they pay for.
· Do not spread corruption on earth.
· Seek forgiveness from the Most Merciful, Most Loving Lord.
· Fear the punishment of a Day that will surround all.
They make fun of Prophet Shu’ayb’s prayer, saying does it instruct him that they should leave ancestral gods or change how they dispose of their money.
Shu’ayb reminds them that he only wishes reformation and God is his strength on Whom he relies. His compassionate pleading to look at the ruins of Noah, Hud, Salih, and Lot does not convince them. Shu’ayb and fellow believers are rescued when a scream destroys them as if they never existed.
Verses 96-99 Story of Moses
Moses left Egypt, and traveling through Sinai, he headed towards Madyan. On his return journey he met his wife, the daughter of Shu’ayb. God spoke to Moses at Mt. Tur (Mt. Horeb in Sinai). Moses returns to Egypt.
God sent Moses with clear proofs to Pharaoh and his ministers, but the latter followed the misguided orders of their ruler instead. Cursed in both worlds, just as they followed him in the cold water that drowned them, they will follow him into the Fire.
Verses 100-102 Injustice
They wronged themselves, God did not wrong them. The gods they called upon besides God were of no use to them.
Verses 103-109 Scenes from the Day of Resurrection and divine solace to the Prophet
The above narratives of the prophets are ‘signs’ related to Prophet Muhammad for the benefit of those who fear the punishment of the afterlife.
God will gather all the people on the Last Day, no one will be able to absent himself, and everyone will receive their full share. On that Day a soul will speak only by God’s permission. The unfortunate ones will enter the Hellfire on that Day for eternity. The fortunate ones will be in Paradise forever.
Verses 110-111 Warning against differing in the books of God
People treat their prophets the same. Some accept their call, and others reject it. Casting doubt, people denied Moses and the Torah like the pagans of Mecca denied Prophet Muhammad. Those who rejected the prophets shall face the same fate.
Verses 112-115 Means of achieving success in the world and the Hereafter
Prophet Muhammad and the repentant believers with him are instructed by God to remain determined, establish regular prayer, and exercise patience. Do not cross the boundaries and do not become partners with wrongdoers or else the Fire will touch you.
Verses 116-119 God’s way in destroying unjust nations
God does not unjustly destroy cities while the residents are trying to reform. Had God wanted, He could have made people follow a single religion, but He did not intend so for reasons known to Him. Thus, people will continue to have differences except those upon whom the Lord has mercy: who follow the teachings of the prophets. As for the rest, God will fill Hell with them and jinn.
Verse 120 The objectives of Quranic stories
1. Consoling Prophet Muhammad.
2. Sending truth to Prophet Muhammad.
3. Advice and a reminder to the believers.
Verses 121-123 Practical benefits from the stories of messengers
1. God has absolute and complete knowledge of time and space - what is observable and what is hidden in the heavens and the earth and of the past and the present.
2. Everything returns to God in the life to come. The creation cannot interfere in it.
3. Therefore, God must be worshipped and relied upon.
4. God knows our actions and our statements. The good of the obedient shall not go to waste and rejection of the stubborn will not be forgotten.