The Conversation between Salih and the People of Thamud
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

The Conversation between Salih and the People of Thamud

Allah, the Exalted, mentions what transpired in the discussion between Salih and his people. Allah informs of their ignorance and obstinacy in their statement,

[قَدْ كُنتَ فِينَا مَرْجُوًّا قَبْلَ هَـذَا]
(You have been among us as a figure of good hope till this!) They were saying in this, "We had hope in your strong intellect before you began saying what you have said.''

[أَتَنْهَانَآ أَن نَّعْبُدَ مَا يَعْبُدُ ءابَاؤُنَا]
(Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped) "what those who were before us were upon.''

[وَإِنَّنَا لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَآ إِلَيْهِ مُرِيبٍ]
(But we are really in grave doubt as to that which you invite us.) This alludes to the great amount of doubt that they had.

[قَالَ يقَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كُنتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّى]
(He said: "O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord...'') `In reference to what He (Allah) has sent me with to you, I am upon conviction and sure evidence.'

[وَءَاتَـنِى مِنْهُ رَحْمَةً فَمَن يَنصُرُنِى مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنْ عَصَيْتُهُ]
(and there has come to me a mercy from Him, who then can help me against Allah, if I were to disobey Him) `and abandon calling you to the truth and the worship of Allah alone. If I did so, you would not be able to bring me any benefit, nor increase me

[غَيْرَ تَخْسِيرٍ]
(but in loss.)' This means loss and ruin.

[وَيقَوْمِ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ ءَايَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِى أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ قَرِيبٌ - فَعَقَرُوهَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُواْ فِى دَارِكُمْ ثَلَـثَةَ أَيَّامٍ ذلِكَ وَعْدٌ غَيْرُ مَكْذُوبٍ - فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا صَـلِحاً وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَمِنْ خِزْىِ يَوْمِئِذٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ الْقَوِىُّ الْعَزِيزُ - وَأَخَذَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دِيَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ - كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَآ أَلاَ إِنَّ ثَمُودَ كَفرُواْ رَبَّهُمْ أَلاَ بُعْدًا لِّثَمُودَ ]
(64. "And O my people! This she-camel of Allah is a sign to you, so leave her to graze in Allah's land, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment should seize you.'') (65. But they slaughtered her. So he said: "Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (a threat) that will not be belied.'') (66. So when Our commandment came, We saved Salih and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord -- He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.) (67. And As-Sayhah (awful cry) overtook the wrongdoers, so they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.) (68. As if they had never lived there. No doubt! Verily, Thamud disbelieved in their Lord. So away with Thamud!) A discussion of this story has already preceded in Surat Al-A`raf and it is sufficient without having to be repeated here. Allah is the Giver of success.

[وَلَقَدْ جَآءَتْ رُسُلُنَآ إِبْرَهِيمَ بِالْبُـشْرَى قَالُواْ سَلَـماً قَالَ سَلَـمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَن جَآءَ بِعِجْلٍ حَنِيذٍ - فَلَمَّا رَأَى أَيْدِيَهُمْ لاَ تَصِلُ إِلَيْهِ نَكِرَهُمْ وَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً قَالُواْ لاَ تَخَفْ إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَى قَوْمِ لُوطٍ - وَامْرَأَتُهُ قَآئِمَةٌ فَضَحِكَتْ فَبَشَّرْنَـهَا بِإِسْحَـقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ - قَالَتْ يوَيْلَتَا ءَأَلِدُ وَأَنَاْ عَجُوزٌ وَهَـذَا بَعْلِى شَيْخًا إِنَّ هَـذَا لَشَىْءٌ عَجِيبٌ - قَالُواْ أَتَعْجَبِينَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ رَحْمَتُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَـتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ إِنَّهُ حَمِيدٌ مَّجِيدٌ ]
(69. And verily, there came Our messengers to Ibrahim with the glad tidings. They said: "Salaman (greetings or peace!)'' He answered, "Salamun (greetings or peace!),'' and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf.) (70. But when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he mistrusted them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: "Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lut.'') (71. And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed. But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq, and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub.) (72. She said (in astonishment): "Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband an old man Verily, this is a strange thing!'') (73. They said: "Do you wonder at the decree of Allah The mercy of Allah and His blessings be on you, O the family [of Ibrahim]. Surely, He (Allah) is All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.'')

The Conversation between Salih and the People of Thamud

Allah, the Exalted, mentions what transpired in the discussion between Salih and his people. Allah informs of their ignorance and obstinacy in their statement,

[قَدْ كُنتَ فِينَا مَرْجُوًّا قَبْلَ هَـذَا]
(You have been among us as a figure of good hope till this!) They were saying in this, "We had hope in your strong intellect before you began saying what you have said.''

[أَتَنْهَانَآ أَن نَّعْبُدَ مَا يَعْبُدُ ءابَاؤُنَا]
(Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped) "what those who were before us were upon.''

[وَإِنَّنَا لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَآ إِلَيْهِ مُرِيبٍ]
(But we are really in grave doubt as to that which you invite us.) This alludes to the great amount of doubt that they had.

[قَالَ يقَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كُنتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّى]
(He said: "O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord...'') `In reference to what He (Allah) has sent me with to you, I am upon conviction and sure evidence.'

[وَءَاتَـنِى مِنْهُ رَحْمَةً فَمَن يَنصُرُنِى مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنْ عَصَيْتُهُ]
(and there has come to me a mercy from Him, who then can help me against Allah, if I were to disobey Him) `and abandon calling you to the truth and the worship of Allah alone. If I did so, you would not be able to bring me any benefit, nor increase me

[غَيْرَ تَخْسِيرٍ]
(but in loss.)' This means loss and ruin.

[وَيقَوْمِ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ ءَايَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِى أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ قَرِيبٌ - فَعَقَرُوهَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُواْ فِى دَارِكُمْ ثَلَـثَةَ أَيَّامٍ ذلِكَ وَعْدٌ غَيْرُ مَكْذُوبٍ - فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا صَـلِحاً وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَمِنْ خِزْىِ يَوْمِئِذٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ الْقَوِىُّ الْعَزِيزُ - وَأَخَذَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دِيَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ - كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَآ أَلاَ إِنَّ ثَمُودَ كَفرُواْ رَبَّهُمْ أَلاَ بُعْدًا لِّثَمُودَ ]
(64. "And O my people! This she-camel of Allah is a sign to you, so leave her to graze in Allah's land, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment should seize you.'') (65. But they slaughtered her. So he said: "Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (a threat) that will not be belied.'') (66. So when Our commandment came, We saved Salih and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord -- He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.) (67. And As-Sayhah (awful cry) overtook the wrongdoers, so they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.) (68. As if they had never lived there. No doubt! Verily, Thamud disbelieved in their Lord. So away with Thamud!) A discussion of this story has already preceded in Surat Al-A`raf and it is sufficient without having to be repeated here. Allah is the Giver of success.

[وَلَقَدْ جَآءَتْ رُسُلُنَآ إِبْرَهِيمَ بِالْبُـشْرَى قَالُواْ سَلَـماً قَالَ سَلَـمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَن جَآءَ بِعِجْلٍ حَنِيذٍ - فَلَمَّا رَأَى أَيْدِيَهُمْ لاَ تَصِلُ إِلَيْهِ نَكِرَهُمْ وَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً قَالُواْ لاَ تَخَفْ إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَى قَوْمِ لُوطٍ - وَامْرَأَتُهُ قَآئِمَةٌ فَضَحِكَتْ فَبَشَّرْنَـهَا بِإِسْحَـقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ - قَالَتْ يوَيْلَتَا ءَأَلِدُ وَأَنَاْ عَجُوزٌ وَهَـذَا بَعْلِى شَيْخًا إِنَّ هَـذَا لَشَىْءٌ عَجِيبٌ - قَالُواْ أَتَعْجَبِينَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ رَحْمَتُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَـتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ إِنَّهُ حَمِيدٌ مَّجِيدٌ ]
(69. And verily, there came Our messengers to Ibrahim with the glad tidings. They said: "Salaman (greetings or peace!)'' He answered, "Salamun (greetings or peace!),'' and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf.) (70. But when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he mistrusted them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: "Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lut.'') (71. And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed. But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq, and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub.) (72. She said (in astonishment): "Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband an old man Verily, this is a strange thing!'') (73. They said: "Do you wonder at the decree of Allah The mercy of Allah and His blessings be on you, O the family [of Ibrahim]. Surely, He (Allah) is All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.'')