Saleh and the Naaqat

Saleh NabiAS was sent to the people of Thamood. Thamood was a prosperous tribe that lived in the valley of Hijr between Hijaz and Tabook. They were skillful people who carved their houses out of huge rocks in the mountains, but the houses did them no good and did not save them from Allah’s wrath when they disobeyed Allah and his messenger.

The tribe of Thamood is also known as the second ‘Aad. Allah had favored them with wealth and bounties but they forgot Him and began worshipping idols.

Saleh NabiAS preached to the people for a long time urging them to abandon their idols and worship Allah. They challenged Saleh NabiAS to bring them a sign or a miracle from Allah to prove his righteousness. They asked him to bring out a naaqat (she-camel) with all the characteristics they described, from a particular rock.

Saleh NabiAS asked the people to pledge that they would obey him and accept him as the Messenger of Allah if he did bring out the naaqat they demanded.

Saleh NabiAS prayed to Allah to give them what they asked for. Allah commanded the rock to split and from within the rock came out a naaqat that had all the characteristics that the people of Thamood had described.

Allah sums up this incident in Sura tul Araaf (‘Ayat 73): “To the Thamood people we sent Saleh, one of their own brethren, he said: O my people! Worship Allah; ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear Sign from your Lord! This naaqat of Allah is a sign unto you: so leave her to graze in Allah’s land, and let her come to no harm, or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment.”

Saleh NabiAS also informed the people that they would have to share the water of the village with the naaqat alternately: they would drink from the water one day and the next day only the naaqat would drink from it. It is said that the people of Thamood accordingly drank form the water one day and the next day they would milk the naaqat and drink from its milk instead of water.

Except for a very few, the people remained defiant and arrogant towards Saleh NabiAS. They debated killing the she-camel, but the fear of torment prevented them from taking action. However, a few young men were provoked by a couple of women to kill the naaqat.

One day while the camel was drinking water, they shot it with an arrow which hit it in the leg and caused it to fall down. They then attacked it with their swords, and killed it.

They came to Saleh NabiAS and said “O Saleh, bring to us what you threatened us with if you are one of the messengers” (Araaf 77).

Saleh NabiAS warned them: “Enjoy yourselves in your houses for three days for you will have a terrible death after that. This is a certain and precise promise that will not be belied or delayed.” (Hud 65).

Even then, they did not heed Saleh Nabi’s warning and instead schemed to kill him. Allah foiled their plan by pelting them with stones.

On the morning of the fourth day there was a thunder bolt from the sky and an earthquake that killed the disbelievers of Thamood.

Saleh NabiAS and his followers left the disbelievers saying: “O my people! I did indeed convey to you the message for which I was sent by my Lord, I gave you good counsel, but ye love not good counselors!”

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