from the book, THE PROPHETS OF ISLAM by the late Dr. Syed Haider Hussain
Hazrat Saleh was born in the
ninth generation from Nuh. He was appointed prophet for the Thamud
people who inhabited the mountainous territory between Hejaz and
Palestine. They built their homes by hewing the rocky faces of cliffs.
They lived long lives and worshiped gods made from stone.
They refused to listen to the wisdom of
Saleh and challenged him to show them any sign to prove that an
invisible God existed. They demanded a miracle at their annual festival.
They told Saleh: "You pray to your God and we will pray to ours.
Let us see whose prayer is accepted, yours or ours. That will decide the
matter between us.
They came in drones from around the land
and gathered around their decorated stone gods and brought offerings for
fulfillments of their prayers. Clearly the stone gods were unable to
respond to their prayers. They then turned to Saleh and one of them
asked him to pray to his God and to bring out a pregnant camel from the
large boulder that was lying on the ground, and if this she camel had an
off spring born in front of their eyes, they would accept Saleh's God as
theirs as well.
Saleh prayed to The Almighty Allah and
sure enough a pregnant she camel rose out of the large boulder and gave
birth to a calf as they watched. They were clearly struck with wonder on
In accordance with Allah's Command,
Saleh told the people that they must share their drink with the camel.
It was agreed that the people would use the water from the village well
on all days of the week except one day which was reserved for the camel
and her baby. But they were a disobedient people. They refused the
animals to drink or graze freely in the territory as agreed, and forced
Saleh to assume their full responsibility. Saleh told them that the
camel and her baby were there because they had asked for the miracle,
and they must take care of the animals. They threatened to kill the two
animals. He then reminded them of the benevolence of Allah that
only He could bestow over His creation without asking for it, namely
water, rain, fertility of the land where crops grow, the stone cliffs
where they built their homes, and the clean air that they breathed. They
must refrain from their threatened acts otherwise they would bring down
a disaster over themselves.
One day the people carried out their
threat and slew both the mother and her baby camel. This invited Allah's
Allah instructed Saleh to leave the
territory along with his family and a small group of true believers
before His wrath would strike that insolent people. No sooner the pious
group of believers had crossed over the last of the cliffs, than a
tremendous earth quake shook the land with a blinding lightning and an
ear shattering thunder. The entire people in that territory perished
along with their false gods.
References: al Qur'an: Sura Araf, ]Lud,
Ibrahim, Hajar, Furqan, Shu'ra' Nahl, Ankabooi, Ha-Meem Sajdah, Zariyat,
Qamar, al-Haqah, Fajar, Shams.