26.158. So the retribution came on them. Lo! herein is indeed a portent, yet most of them are not believers. (Pickthall)
26.158. Also ergriff sie die Strafe. Hierin ist ja bestimmt ein Zeichen, und die meisten von ihnen waren keine Gläubigen, (Ahmad v. Denffer)
26.158. Da ergriff sie die Strafe. Darin ist wahrlich ein Zeichen, doch sind die meisten von ihnen nicht gläubig. (Bubenheim)
26.158. Da erfasste sie eine qualvolle Strafe. Darin ist ein Zeichen. Doch die meisten unter ihnen glauben nicht. (Azhar)
26.158. Dann richtet sie die Peinigung zugrunde. Gewiß, darin ist doch eine Aya. Und viele von ihnen waren keine Mumin. (Zaidan)
26.158. Und die Strafe kam über sie. Darin liegt ein Zeichen (das den Menschen zur Warnung dienen müßte). Doch die meisten von ihnen sind (eben) nicht gläubig. (Paret)
26.158. Allein die Strafe ereilte sie. Hierin ist wahrlich ein Zeichen, jedoch die meisten von ihnen glauben es nicht. (Rasul)
Tafsir von Maududi für die Ayaat 141 bis 158
Thamud rejected the Messengers. ( 95 ) Remember the time when their brother Salih said to them, "Do you not fear? I am a Messenger to you worthy of full trust ( 96 ) : so fear Allah and obey me. I do not ask of you any reward for this duty, for my reward is with the Lord of the worlds. Will you be left in security amidst all that is around you here? ( 97 ) -in the gardens and the water-springs? in the corn-fields and the date-groves laden with juicy fruit? ( 98 ) You proudly carve out dwellings in the hills. ( 99 ) Fear Allah and obey me, and do not follow the transgressors who spread mischief in the land and reform nothing." ( 100 ) They replied, "You are , only an enchanted person : ( 101 ) you are 'no more than a man like us: bring forth a sign if you are truthful." ( 102 ) Salih. said, "Here is a she-camel. ( 103 ) One day will be for her to drink, and one day for you all to take water. ( 104 ) Do not at all molest her; otherwise you will be overtaken by the torment of a dreadful day. ". Yet they hamstrung her, ( 105 ) and then became regretful, for the torment overtook them. ( 106 )
Desc No: 95 For comparison, see Al-A'raf: 73-79, Hud: 61-68, AI-Hijr: 80-84, Bani Isra'il 59; and for further details, see An-Naml . 45-53, Az-Zariyat: 43-45, AI-Qamar: 23-31, AI-Haqqah: 4-5, Al-Fajr: 9, and Ash-Shams: 11. _Thamud achieved power and glory after the destruction of 'Ad and as far as progress in civilization is concerned, they followed in the footsteps of their predecessors. In their case, too, the standards of living went on rising higher and higher and the standards of humanity continued to fall lower and lower, suffering one deterioration after the other. On the one hand, they erected large edifices on the plains and hewed beautiful houses out of the hills like those in the caves of Ellora and Ajanta in India, and on the other, they became addicted to idol-worship and the land was filled with tyranny and oppression. The worst men became leaders and rulers in the land. As such, Prophet Salih's message of Truth only appealed to the weak people belonging to the lower social strata and the people of the upper classes refused to believe in him.
Desc No: 96 According to the Qur'an, the people of Prophet Salih themselves admitted that he was a man of great integrity and extraordinary calibre: "They said, 'O Salih, till now you were such a person among us of whom we had great expectations." (Hud: 62)
Desc No: 97 hat is, "Do you consider that your life of indulgence and pleasure is everlasting, and you will never be asked to account for Allah's favours to you and for your own misdeeds?"
Desc No: 98 Hadim. heavy bunches of ripe, juicy and soft date-palm fruit hanging from trees -
Desc No: 99 Just as the most prominent feature of the 'Ad civilization was that they built large edifices with high pillars, so the most prominent feature of the _Thamud civilization for which they were known among the ancient peoples was that they carved out dwellings in the hills. That is why in Surah Fajr, the `Ad have been referred to as "(people) of the illars", and the _Thamud as "those who hewed rocks in the valley". These people also built castles on the plains, the purpose and object of which was nothing but display of wealth and power and architectural skill as there was no real necessity for them. These are, in fact, the ways of the perverted people: the poor among them do not have proper shelters, and the wealthy members not only have sufficient fine dwellings but over and above those they raise monuments for ostentation and display. Some of these Thamudic works exist even today, which I have seen in December, 1959. (See pictures. This place is situated between AI-Madinah and Tabuk, a few miles to the north of Al-'Ula (Wad-il-Qura of the Holy Prophet's time) in Hejaz. The local inhabitants call it AI-Hijr and Mada'in Salih even today. AI-'Ula is still a green and fertile valley abounding in water springs and gardens, but AI-Hijr appears to be an abandoned place. It has thin population, little greenery and a few wells one of which is said to be the one at which Prophet Salih's shecamel used to drink water. This well is now dry and located within a deserted military post of the time of the Turks. When we entered this territory and approached AI-'Ula, we found hills which seemed to have been shattered to pieces from top to bottom as if by a violent earthquake. (See pictures on the opposite pages). We saw the same kind of hills while travelling to the east, from AI-`Ula to Khaibar, for about 50 miles, and towards the north inside Jordan, for about 30 to 40 miles. This indicated that an area, stretching well over 300 to 400 miles in length and 100 miles in width, had been devastated by the terrible earthquake. A few of the _Thamudic type monuments that we saw at AI-Hijr were also found at Madyan along the Gulf of 'Aqabah and at Petra in Jordan. At Petra specially the Thamudic and Nabataean works stand side by side, and their styles and architectural designs are so different that anyone who examines them will find that they were neither built in the same age nor by the same nation. (See pictures for contrast). Doughty, the British orientalist, in his attempt to prove the Qur'an as false, has claimed that the works found at Al-HIijr were not carved out by Thamud but by the Nabataeans.I am of the view that the art of carving houses out of the rocks started with the _Thamud, and thousands of years later, in the second and first centuries B.C., it was considerably developed by the Nabataeans and it reached perfection in the works of the caves of Ellora, which were carved out about 700 years after Petra.
Desc No: 100 That is, "You should give up obedience to your chiefs, guides and rulers under whose leadership you are following an evil way of life. These people have transgressed all bounds of morality: they cannot bring about any reforms and they will corrupt every system of life that they adopt: The only way for you towards success and well-being is that you should inculcate fear of God, give up obedience to the misguides and obey me, because I am God's Messenger: you are fully aware of my honesty and integrity: I have no personal interest and motive for undertaking the work of reform. " This was in short the manifesto which Prophet Salih presented before his people: it not only contained the religious message but invitation to cultural, moral and political revolution as well.
Desc No: 101 "Enchanted person": Mad and insane person who has lost reasoning power. According to the ancient conceptions, madness was either due to the influence of a jinn or magic. That is why a mad person was either called majnun (one under the influence of a jinn) or one enchanted by magic.
Desc No: 102 That is, "We cannot believe you to be a Messenger from God because you are just like us and we see no distinction in you. However, if you are true in your claim that God has appointed you as His Messenger, you should present such a clear miracle as should make us believe that you have really been sent by the Creator and Master of the universe.
Desc No: 103 From the context it appears that it was not a common she-camel, but it was brought about in a supernatural manner because it was presented in response to the demand for a miracle. Prophet Salih. could not have produced before the people an ordinary she-camel as a proof of his Prophethood because that would not have satisfied them. Ai other places in the Qur'an it has been clearly referred to as a miracle. In Surah Al-A`raf and Hud it has been said: "....here is Allah's she camel, a Sign for you." (VII: 73) In Surah Bani Isra'il the same thing has been stated more emphatically: "And nothing has hindered Us from sending Signs except that the former people refused to acknowledge them as such. (For example) We sent the she-camel as an open Sign to Thamud but they treated her with cruelty; whereas We send Signs only by way of warning." (v. 59) Moreover, the challenge given to the wicked people of Thamud, after presenting the she-camel before them, was such that it could only be given after presenting a miracle.
Desc No: 104 That is, "One day the she-camel will drink water all alone at your wells and springs, and one day you and your animals will take water, and this arrangement will not be violated in any way." There could hardly be a greater challenge for the people of Arabia, for taking of water had been the foremost cause of feuds and fights among them, which mostly resulted in bloodshed, even loss of life. As such, the challenge given by Prophet Salih was indeed a challenge to the whole nation, which could not be acceptable unless the people were sure that the challenger had a great power at his back. But Prophet Salih threw this challenge all by himself without any worldly power behind him, and the whole nation not only received it quietly, but also abided by it submissively for quite some days. In Surahs Al-A`raf and Hud there is an addition to this: "Here is Allah's she-camel, a Sign for you. So let her graze at will in Allah's land, and do not touch her with an evil intention." (XI: 64) That is, the challenge was not only this that the she-camel would drink water all alone every alternate day, but, in addition, she would freely move about and graze at will in their fields and gardens and palm groves and pastures and was not to be touched with an evil intention.
Desc No: 105 This dces not mean that as soon as they heard the challenge, they attacked the she-camel at once and hamstrung her. Actually, when the she-camel became a problem for the whole nation, the hearts of the people were filled with rage, and they began to hold lengthy consultations as to how to get rid of her. At last, a haughty chief undertook the task of putting an end to her, as mentioned in SurahAsh-Shams thus: "When arose the most villainous of the people.. ." (v. 12) and in Surah Al-Qamarthus: "They appealed to their companion; so he took up the responsibility and hamstrung (her)." (v. 29).
Desc No: 106 As stated at other places in the Qur'an, when the she-camel was killed, Prophet Salih declared: "You have only three more days to enjoy yourselves in your houses." (Hud: 65) When this time limit came to an end, a shocking explosion took place in the night at about dawn, followed by a violent earthquake, which destroyed the whole nation completely. In the morning their dead bodies lay scattered here and there like dry pieces of bush trampled down by animals around an enclosure. Neither their stony castles nor their rock-hewn caves could protect them against the calamity. "We sent against them a single blast and they became as the trampled twigs of the fence of a fold-builder." (AI-Qamar: 31). "Consequently a shocking catastrophe overtook them and they lay lifeless in their dwellings" (Al-A'raf: 78). "At last a violent blast overtook them with the approach of the morning, and all that they had achieved proved of no avail to them." (AIHijr: 83, 84). "