Monday, November 19, 2012

*The Story of Juda A’aber Hud*

✦●▬▬▬●✦ The Story of Juda A’aber Hud ✦●▬▬▬▬●✦

Many people may be surprised to learn that Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, amongst many others, all figure prominently in the pages of Quran Torah and the (Injeel) Gospels of Jesus.

In the Old Testament reference is made to a descendant of Noah named Eber.  In some traditions, he is called Heber, and known as the father of the Hebrew language.

Sent by God to his brethren, Hud spread the message that God is One and to worship Him alone.  It was the same message spread by all the Prophets of God.  Hud said to his people, “O my people, worship God, you have no other God but Him”(11:50).  Hud belonged to the ancient civilization known asAad, and its capital city is believed to have been the fabled city of Ubar, known in Quran as Iram.  (89:6-7)
Aad is believed to have been situated in the wind swept hills between Oman and Yemen.  The people were known to build lofty towers, and thus the area became known as the land of a thousand pillars.  It was a civilization unlike any other.  God blessed Aad and its people.  He provided them with fertile land and abundant agriculture, many children, an ample supply of livestock and easy access to water resources.  The people themselves were described as tall, strong, and well built. 

In many ways, Aad could be described as a society much like many of the opulent societies that exist today.  There was an excess of wealth and the proud, arrogant people were not satisfied with fulfilling their basic needs.  They began to build towers and dwellings merely to display their wealth and they accumulated worldly possessions as if they were a people destined to live forever.

The rulers and leaders of Aad were powerful tyrants, their wealth did not make them soft, as sometimes happens, but rather they grew strong and dominated the lands around them.  Satan was among them and made their deeds seem fair seeming to them.  Their arrogance and pride grew and the worship of idols became prevalent.

Prophet Hud was also a strong man but he used his strength to confront the problems that abounded in his society, however, the people were too proud to listen.  They did not want Hud to point out their mistakes but he persisted in calling them to righteousness.  He said,
“O my people!  Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as criminals, or  disbelievers in the Oneness of God.”

Hud tried to explain to his people that seeking God’s forgiveness for their rebelliousness and arrogance would only cause an increase in their strength and wealth.  God, he said, would reward their repentance with abundant rain and an increase in strength.  In the manner of arrogant people throughout time the people of Aad looked at Hud with disdain, they then looked around and found that they were the most powerful nation in existence.
The wealthy arrogant people of Aad argued with Hud about the nature of the Day of Judgment.  They believed that after death the body turned to dust and was swept away by the wind.  The people of Aad, much like many people today, believed that the purpose of life was to accumulate wealth, prestige, and possessions.  When Hud made them confront the reality of their lives and pointed out that they were far away from the One God, their arrogant chests swelled with pride and they accused him of being crazy.  They wondered why a man who ate and drank, just like them could have such a different view of life.  With their eyes firmly fixed on wealth and luxury the people of Aad convinced themselves that following Hud would mean that they to were crazy.
“There is nothing but our life of this world!  We die and we live!  We are not going to be resurrected!  He is only a man who has invented a lie against God, but we are not going to believe in him.” (23:33-3)

Eventually the people of Aad looked at Hud and said, “We understand why you are crazy, our god’s (idols) have harmed you because you insulted them”.  (11:53)  Hud turned to God and renounced his people.  He knew that God’s punishment would be swift and severe.  A drought spread throughout the once fertile and abundant land.  The people looked to the sky hoping to see signs of rain.  The punishment was obvious but still the people of Aad mocked and ridiculed Hud.
One fateful day the weather changed.  The burning heat changed to biting cold and the wind began to howl.  The savage wind increased with each new day and the people began to seek shelter.  The windstorm raged for more than a week.  It ripped apart tents and dwellings, it whipped away clothing and tore the skin from the body.
They were destroyed by a furious violent wind which God imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed) as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! (69:6-7)

Ibn Kathir tells us that the violent gale did not stop until the entire region, once lush and green was reduced to ruins and swallowed by the sands of the desert.  Only Hud and his small band of followers were saved and are believed to have migrated to the Hadramaut area of what is today known as Yemen.

Ubar, was said to be a remote desert oasis and a major trading centre inhabited by powerful and wealthy people.  Legend said it was lost in a major sand storm that buried the entire area.  In 1992, the fabled lost city was discovered using remote sensing data.  Satellite imagery exposed a large area of sand dunes, under which lie a major wadi or dry streambed.  Ubar is currently under excavation and evidence has revealed an octagonal fortified city with 30-foot towers and thick walls.
And Allah SWT knows best.

The Grandfather’s Table and the Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in- law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’ s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in- law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about Grandfather, ” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” Therefore, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’ s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb.

If they see us patiently, provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future. Let us be wise builders and role models.

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Say Alhamdullilah

Whatever happens is by the Will of Allah, whether it be good or bad. Sometimes we forget Allah when it comes to happy moments, but immediately turn to Him for the bad. We should always be thanking Allah (SWT) for His infinite blessings, even in the tough times. He still gives and gives and we don’t even ask. The mercy of our Lord is beyond.. Subhna’Allah. “Its better a calamity that turns you to Allah, than a blessing that makes you forget Allah”
Always say Alhamdulillah for everything….