50 To the Ad, We sent their brother, Hud. He said, ‘My people, worship God. You have no god other than Him; you are only making up lies. 51 I ask no reward from you, my people; my reward comes only from Him who created me. Why do you not use your reason? 52 My people, ask forgiveness from your Lord, and return to Him. He will send down for you rain in abundance from the sky, and give you extra strength. Do not turn away and be lost in your sins.’ 53 They replied, ‘Hud, you have not brought us any clear evidence. We will not forsake our gods on the strength of your word alone, nor will we believe in you. 54 All we can say is that one of our gods may have inflicted some harm on you.’ He said, ‘I call God to witness, and you too are my witnesses, that I disown those you set up as partners with God. 55 So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. 56 I put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no moving creature which He does not control. [a] My Lord’s way is straight. 57 But if you turn away, then I have conveyed the message with which I was sent to you, and my Lord will bring along another people in your place. You cannot do Him any harm: it is my Lord who protects everything.’ 58 And so, when Our judgement came to pass, by Our grace We saved Hud and his fellow believers. We saved them from a severe punishment. 59 These were the Ad: they rejected their Lord’s signs, disobeyed His messengers, and followed the command of every obstinate tyrant. 60 They were rejected in this life and so they shall be on the Day of Judgement. Yes, the Ad denied their Lord– so away with the Ad, the people of Hud!
Story of Salih
61 To the Thamud, We sent their brother, Salih. He said, ‘My people, worship God. You have no god other than Him. It was He who brought you into being from the earth and made you inhabit it, so ask forgiveness from Him, and turn back to Him: my Lord is near, and ready to answer.’ 62 They said, ‘Salih, We used to have such great hope in you. Will you forbid us to worship what our fathers worshipped? We are in grave doubt about what you are asking us to do.’ 63 He said, ‘My people, just think: if I did have clear proof from my Lord, and if He had given me mercy of His own, who could protect me from God if I disobeyed Him? You would only make my loss greater. 64 My people, this camel belongs to God, a sign for you, so leave it to pasture on God’s earth and do not harm it, or you will soon be punished.’ 65 But they hamstrung it, so he said, ‘Enjoy life [b] for another three days: 66 this warning will not prove false.’ And so, when Our command was fulfilled, by Our mercy We saved Salih and his fellow believers from the disgrace of that day. [Prophet], it is your Lord who is the Strong, the Mighty One. 67 The blast struck the evildoers and they lay dead in their homes, 68 as though they had never lived and flourished there. Yes, the Thamud denied their Lord– so away with the Thamud!
Story of Abraham
69 To Abraham Our messengers brought good news. They said, ‘Peace.’ He answered, ‘Peace,’ and without delay he brought in a roasted calf. 70 When he saw that their hands did not reach towards the meal, he found this strange and became afraid of them. But they said, ‘Do not be afraid. We have been sent against the people of Lot.’ 71 His wife was standing [nearby] and laughed. We gave her good news of Isaac and, after him, of Jacob. 72 She said, ‘Alas for me! How am I to bear a child when I am an old woman, and my husband here is an old man? That would be a strange thing!’ 73 They said, ‘Are you astonished at what God ordains? The grace of God and His blessings be upon you, people of this house! For He is worthy of all praise and glory.’ 74 Then, when the fear left Abraham and the good news came to him, he pleaded with Us for Lot’s people, 75 for Abraham was forbearing, tender-hearted, and devout. 76 ‘Abraham, cease your pleading: what your Lord has ordained has come about; punishment is coming to them, which cannot be turned back.’
Story of Lot
77 And when Our messengers came to Lot, he was anxious for them, feeling powerless to protect them, and said, ‘This is a truly terrible day!’ 78 His people came rushing towards him; they used to commit foul deeds. He said, ‘My people, here are my daughters. [c] They are more wholesome for you, so have some fear of God and do not disgrace me with my guests. Is there not a single right-minded man among you?’ 79 They said, ‘You know very well that we have no right to your daughters. You know very well what we want.’ 80 He said, ‘If only I had the strength to stop you or could rely on strong support!’ 81 They [the messengers] said, ‘Lot, we are your Lord’s messengers. They will not reach you. Leave with your household in the dead of night, and let none of you turn back. Only your wife will suffer the fate that befalls the others. Their appointed time is the morning: is the morning not near?’ 82 And so when what We had ordained came about, We turned their town upside down and rained down stones of baked clay on it, layer upon layer, 83 marked from your Lord. It is not far from the evildoers. [d]
Story of Shu’ayb
84 And to Midian, We sent their brother Shu'ayb. He said, ‘My people, worship God. You have no god other than Him. Do not give short measure nor short weight. I see you are prospering, but I fear you will have torment on an overwhelming Day. 85 My people, in fairness, give full measure and weight. Do not withhold from people things that are rightly theirs, and do not spread corruption in the land. 86 What lasts with God is best for you, if you are believers: I am not your keeper.’ 87 They said, ‘Shu'ayb, does your prayer tell you that we should abandon what our forefathers worshipped and refrain from doing whatever we please with our own property? Indeed you are a tolerant and sensible man.’ 88 He answered, ‘My people, can you not see? What if I am acting on clear evidence from my Lord? He Himself has given me good provision: I do not want to do what I am forbidding you to do, I only want to put things right as far as I can. I cannot succeed without God’s help: I trust in Him, and always turn to Him. 89 My people, do not let your opposition to me bring upon you a similar fate to the peoples of Noah or Hud or Salih; the people of Lot are not far away from you. [e] 90 Ask forgiveness from your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance: my Lord is merciful and most loving.’
91 They said, ‘Shu'ayb, we do not understand much of what you say, and we find you very weak in our midst. But for your family, we would have stoned you, for you have no great status among us.’ 92 He said, ‘My people, is my family stronger in your estimation than God? And have you put Him behind you? My Lord surrounds everything you do. 93 My people, do whatever is within your power, and I will do likewise. Soon you will know who will receive a disgraceful punishment and who is a liar. Watch out, and so will I.’ 94 When what We had ordained came about, in Our mercy We saved Shu'ayb and his fellow believers, but a mighty blast struck the wrongdoers. By morning they lay dead in their homes, 95 as if they had never lived and flourished there. Yes, away with the people of Midian, just like the Thamud!
a. Literally ‘grasp by its forelock’.
b. Literally ‘continue to live in your homes’.
c. Some commentators interpret this to refer to the daughters of his people, rather than the prophet’s own daughters.
d. This town is not far from the evildoers of Mecca, within their trading range (see 37: 137–8), nor is the punishment far from them.
e. In time or place. See 7: 85; 7: 93.
The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)
The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.