Bismillahir rahmenir raheem
Incase we’re not all familiar with the life of Salih (as), I’ll quickly recap. He was sent to the people of Thamud who were known for building their houses out of the mountains. If you go to the North-Western area of the Arabian peninsula, along the route to Al-Sham, you will be able to see their structures still standing today.
Just like the messenger Hud (as), Salih (as) was of the people of Thamud, “And to Thamud, [We sent] their brother Salih” [1:61]. Allah swt always sends a messenger to the people who comes from among them. He swt does this so that whoever he sends from them as a messenger can communicate with the people in their own language and is familiar with their customs. This is one example we can take from the life of Salih (as) and the rest of the messengers (as). If you want to give dawah to a people you have to understand them and where they are coming from to make the message even more relevant to them inshaAllah.
The people of Thamud asked Salih (as) for a very specific miracle to prove that he was in fact the messenger of Allah swt. They asked for a she-camel to be formed from solid rock who was 10 months pregnant, tall and attractive. Salih (as) imposed conditions by saying that the she-camel should be allowed to drink from the wells on one day, to eat and sleep in a particular place and that no other animal should come to those places. The people agreed.
After a while, the people started to resent the camel and plotted to kill it. A group of men struck the camel and killed it. Salih (as) hoped that they would see their error and repent but instead they mocked him and invoked the punishment of Allah swt. Salih (as) gave them 3 days to reconsider their actions. In this time, a further group of 9 disbelieving men from noble families plotted to kill Salih (as). On the 3rd day, Allah swt destroyed the people of Thamud. Despite their houses being built in the mountains from stone, they could not save them.
At this point we should stop and reflect. The number of people who plotted to kill the she-camel and Salih (as) were a small minority, the majority did not partake in the acts but the people were punished collectively. From this we can take that even though you are not proactively taking part in an action, you should not remain silent on it either and allow evil to spread.
How many times have we seen pictures of the children of Syria, Palestine, CAR (Central African Reublic), Mali or Nigeria suffering whether it is from famine, disease or the results of war and we have done nothing? When they say a £1 could change their lives, Wallahi, it’s true. Don’t we think we’ll be asked about them on the Day of Judgement and why we didn’t do anything to help?
Or let’s bring it even closer to home. What about your neighbour? The Prophet (saw) said in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Abu Dharr “when you prepare the broth, add water to that and give that (as a present) to your neighbour.”
Another point of reflection comes from the fact that the people of Thamud invoked the immediate punishment of Allah swt and mocked Salih (as). We should NEVER invoke the punishment of Allah swt, instead we should seek His forgiveness and humble ourselves. We see people mocking Allah swt everyday and we should seek to correct them with the most right adab (character) for their own sakes privately. The lay person may say “only God can judge me” but when that day comes, they’ll wish they could come back to this world for one day, to make one sincere sajdah (prostration), to save themselves from their own bad deeds.
Next we’ll exploring a moment from the life of Ibrahim (as).
Wasalaam – Peace Be With You