Discovering the Habitations of “Aad”
Discovering the Habitations of “Aad”
By : Feras Nour Alhak
Revised by : Magdy Abd Al-Shafy
Allahhas mentioned “Aad” ‘s people while talking about His messenger “Hud” (peace be upon him) as He saysin the Holy Quran what means:
(To Aad’s people we sent their brother “Hud” .He said: “O my people, worship Allah. You have no other god but Him. You are but inventing”). (Surat Hud, verse 50)
The Qur’an specified or pinpointed the location of “Aad” in Al-Ahqaaf that means “Dunes”. The Holy Qur’an didn’t tell us about its location but the exegetes said that it is located between Yemen and Oman. Allah says:
(Mention that the brother of Aad warned his people at the Dunes and verily there have been numerous warners before and after him.) (Surat Al-Ahqaaf “The Dunes”, verse 21)
The Qur’an tells us that “Aad” ’s people built a city called “Iram” which is mentioned in the Qur’an as Allah says what can be translated :
(Have you known what your Lord did to Aad. Iram; the city with huge pillars. Like which there is no other city anywhere.) (Surat Al-Fajr “The Dawn”, verses 6,7,8)
Historians said that “Aad” ’s people worshipped three idols; namely, ”sadaa”, “somoud”, “habaa”. This is according to what’s mentioned in the history of Al-Tabari.
“Hud” called his people to worship Allah and give up worshipping idols because this is the only way to avoid Allah’s torment on the doomsday. But what was the effect of this call on the tribe of “Aad”? They despised him and described him as being foolish, reckless and a liar. “Hud” dismissed these false accusations asserting that he was a messenger sent by God ,the Creator , and that he wanted nothing but advising them. Allah says:
(The Leaders who disbelieved among his people said, “Surely we see that you are behaving foolishly, and we think that you are a liar.) (Surat Al- A’raaf “The Purgatory”, verse 66)
The Reminding of Allah’s blessings:
“Hud” kept addressing his people in an attempt to convince them to return to the right path reminding them of Allah’s blessings over them, as he said what could be translated “ Is it too astonishing that Allah guides you through a man from your people who came to warn you of the bad end that will befall you as a result of your infidelity. Don’t you remember that Allah made you the inheritors of the earth after the people of Noah who were perished by their bad deeds, and that He granted you strength in your bodies and in your power? These blessings should make you believe in Allah and thank Him, not to make you infidels.”
Allah says in the Qur’an what means (Is it too much wonder that a reminder has come to you from your Lord through a man like you, to warn you? Call in remembrance that He made you the inheritors after Noah’s people and gave you growth of stature. Remember Allah’s blessings that you may succeed.) (Surat Al-A’raaf “The Purgatory”, verse 69)
The Holy Qur’an tells us that Hud’s people didn’t thank Allah for His blessings, but ,rather, they indulged themselves in the vainglory and allurement of this world and turned haughty. Hence, “Hud” told them (Allah says in the Qur’an what means ):
(Do you build on every height a monument for vain delight! And you make fine buildings as if you will last forever! And when you strike, you strike mercilessly! Rather fear Allah and obey me. Fear Him Who has provided you with what you know. He provided you with livestocks and children. And gardens and springs. Truely I fear for you the retribution of a Great Day.) (Surat Al-Shu’araa “ The Poets”, verses 128 to 135)
When they disobeyed their messenger, Allah punished them by sending a stormy wind that was loaded with sands and dust, and it covered them completely and destroyed them. Allah says in the Qur’an what means :
( And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind.) (Surat Al-Haaqah” The Reality“, verse 6)
The Main Points that Mentioned about Aad in the Qur’an:
1) The people of “Hud” lived in “Al-Ahqaaf” which means “the Dunes”, and the historians say that it is located between Yemen and Oman.
2) “Aad” ‘s people were having groves, livestocks, and springs.
3) “Aad” ’s people built an enormous city called “Iram”, which had tremendous palaces and huge pillars. That is why, Allah has described it in the Qur’an as: “Iram; the city with huge pillars.”
4) When they accused “Hud” of lying, Allah sent a stormy wind loaded with dust that killed them and immersed their city in sands.
The Archaeological Finds of the City of Iram:
At the beginning of 1990, there appeared press-releases in the well-known newspapers of the world declaring "Fabled Lost Arabian city found", "Arabian city of Legend found", "The Atlantis of the Sands, Ubar". What rendered this archaeological finds more intriguing was the fact that this city was also referred to in the Qur’an. Many people who, since then, thought that ‘Ad recounted in the Qur’an was a legend or that their location could never be found, could not conceal their astonishment at this discovery. The discovery of this city, which was only mentioned in oral stories of Bedouins, arouse great interest and curiosity.
It was Nicholas Clapp, an amateur archaeologist, who found this legendary city that was mentioned in the Qur’an (1). Being an Arabophile and documentary film-maker winner, Clapp had come across a very interesting book during his research on Arabian history. This book was Arabia Felix , written by the English researcher "Bertram Thomas "in 1932. Arabia Felix was the Roman designation for the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula which today includes Yemen and much of Oman. The Greeks called this area "Eudaimon Arabia" and medieval Arab scholars called it "Al-Yaman as Al-Said".(2)
All of these names mean "Fortunate Arabia", because the people living in that region in old times were known to be the most fortunate people in their time. Well, what was the reason for such a designation?
Their good fortune was in part due to their strategic location - serving as middlemen in the spice trade between India and places north of the Arabian Peninsula. Besides, the people living in this region produced and distributed "frankincense", an aromatic resin from rare trees. Being highly favoured by the ancient communities, this plant was used as a fumigant in various religious rites. In those times, the plant was at least as valuable as gold.
The English researcher Thomas described these "lucky" tribes at length and claimed that he found the traces of an ancient city founded by one of these tribes(3). This was the city known as "Ubar" by the Bedouins. In one of the trips he made to the region, the Bedouins living in the desert had shown him well-worn tracks and stated that these tracks led toward the ancient city of Ubar. Thomas, who showed great interest in the subject died before being able to complete his research.
Clapp, who examined what the English researcher Thomas wrote, was convinced of the existence of the lost city described in the book. Without losing much time, he started his research. Clapp tried two ways to prove the existence of Ubar:
First, he found the tracks which the Bedouins said existed. He applied to NASA to provide the satellite images of the area. After a long struggle, he succeeded in persuading the authorities to take the pictures of the region(4).
Second, Clapp went on to study the ancient manuscripts and maps in the Huntington library in California. His aim was to find a map of the region. After a short research, he found one. What he found was a map drawn by the Greek-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy in 200 AD. In the map , was shown the location of an old city found in the region and the ways that led to this city.
Meanwhile, he received the news that the pictures had been taken by NASA. In the pictures, some caravan trails became visible which were difficult to identify with the naked eye, but could only be seen as a whole from the sky. Comparing these pictures with the old map he had in hand, Clapp finally reached the conclusion he was looking for: “ the trails in the old map correspond with the trails in the pictures taken from the satellite”. The final destination of these trails was understood to have been once a city.
Finally, the location of the legendary city which had been subject of the stories told orally by the Bedouins was discovered. After a short while, excavations began and remains of an old city started to be uncovered under the sands. Thus, this lost city was described as "the Atlantis of the Sands, Ubar".
Well, what was it that proved this city to be the city of the people
of ‘Ad mentioned in the Qur’an?
Right from the moment remains started to be unearthed, it was understood that this ruined city belonged to ‘Ad and Iram’s pillars mentioned in the Qur’an, because among the structures unearthed were the towers particularly referred to in the Qur’an.
A member of the research team leading the excavation, Dr. Zarins said that since the towers were alleged to be the distinctive feature of Ubar, and since Iram was mentioned as having towers or pillars, this then was the strongest proof so far that the site they had unearthed was Iram, the city of ‘Ad described in the Qur’an. The Qur’an mentions Iram as follows :
( Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the 'Ad (people), - Of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars, The like of which were not produced in (all) the land?) (Surat al-Fajr: 6-8)
The Miracle of Predicting the Unknown:
Long ago, historians misgave about the reality of Aad’s people, as the former did not find any trace of them. By the beginning of the 20th century, the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) made a voyage around the earth by a space shuttle equipped with a radar which was capable of deeply penetrating the soil ability. When the shuttle came across the Void Quarter, it’s been discovered that there was a stream of two dry rivers; one of them running from west to east, and the other running from south to north. That is why the Americans got dazzled because this site is the driest part of the earth, yet it had running rivers till the near past.
A picture of 2 dry rivers near Aad’s habitations taken by satellite.
Later on, the shuttle was equipped with more penetrating radar. It took a photo of a stream of two rivers that flow into a lake with a diameter of 40 Km. At the south of the Void Quarter. Between the two mouths of the river, the shuttle took pictures of a construction that is unexampled in its size. Hence, historians, archeologists, and men of religion were mobilized to determine the nature of this construction. All of them were unanimously agreed that this construction is “ the palaces of the city of “Iram”) which is described in the Qur’an as:
A picture of 2 dry rivers near Aad’s habitations taken by satellite.
( Iram; the city with huge pillars. Like which there is no other city anywhere.) (Surat Al-Fajr (The Dawn), verses 7,8).
A picture of “Iram” ’s castles that were found on a depth of 10 meters under layers of sands. It is characterized by its huge pillars. The picture was taken via an American satellite.
When they began to remove the sands from the city, they discovered an eight-sided castle by the city fences. It was built upon many enormous pillars and is described by Allah as (Iram; the city with huge pillars.)
A picture of “Iram” ’s castles that were found on a depth of 10 meters under layers of sands. It is characterized by its huge pillars. The picture was taken via an American satellite
Who told the prophet Mohammad (the son of Abdullah) about the story of Aad? Who told him exactly its lactation in Al- Ahqaaf (the Dunes) that exists in the Void Quarter; the site which is characterized by its loose sands that occupy most of it? Who told him that the people of Aad had built a colossal city called “Iram” and that it had huge palaces and castles with great pillars. It is He, God , the Creator of the worlds, It is He Who sent the Qur’an on the heart of His dear prophet Mohammad (the son of Abdullah), as Allah (exalted be He) says:
(To Aad’s people we sent their brother Hud. He said, “ O my people worship Allah, you have no other god but Him. You are but inventing (50). O my people I don’t ask you for any reward, my reward is from none but Him who originated me (51). O my people seek your Lord’s forgiveness, and then repent to Him. He will then ask the sky to rain in abundance, and augment your strength and don’t turn back into transgressors (52)”) (Surat “Hud”.)
Allah also says in another position (to his prophet “Hud”):
(If they turn away, then say, “I have warned you of a stunning punishment like that of Aad and Thamoud (13). When the messengers came to them, from before him and behind them saying (worship none but Allah), they said (if your Lord had willed, He surely would have sent down angels, so we are surely unbelievers in that with which you are sent) (14). As for Aad, they turned haughty on earth without right, and said “ who is mightier than us in power?” did they not realize that Allah, Who created them, is mightier than them in power? And they denied our revelations (15). Consequently, we sent upon them a furious wind in ominous days that we might make them taste the torment of humiliation in this life, and verily the torment of the Hereafter will be more humiliating and they will find no help (16). ) (Surat Fussilat (Detailed))
1 Haron Yahya books
1. Afeef Tabara’s “With the Prophets”
2. The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA)
3. Zaghlool Al-Naggar’s “From the Miraculous Signs in the Qur’an”
(1) Thomas H. Maugh II, “Ubar, Fabled Lost City, Found by LA Team”,
The Los Angeles Times, 5 February 1992.
(2) Kamal Salibi, A History of Arabia, Caravan Books, 1980.
(3) Bertram Thomas, Arabia Felix: Across the “Empty Quarter” of Arabia,
New York: Schrieber’s Sons 1932, p. 161
(4) Charlene Crabb, “Frankincense”, Discover, January 1993
Last edited by مطالب السمو; 14-09-2012 at 06:49 AM.
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