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THE FIRST OFFENCE
Let us begin with the very first offence when the Satan caused Adam and Eve to deflect from obeying the command of God by tempting them to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. This was a test (or demonstration) to indicate man's weakness and how capable the Satan was to lure man to disobeying God's instructions. As a punishment, Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 Verse 36), "Then the Shait'an (Satan) made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: 'Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On Earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time' (36). Then Adam received from his LordWords. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful (37)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
فَأَزَلَّهُمَا ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ عَنۡہَا فَأَخۡرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيهِۖ وَقُلۡنَا ٱهۡبِطُواْ بَعۡضُكُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ۬ۖ وَلَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مُسۡتَقَرٌّ۬ وَمَتَـٰعٌ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ۬ (36)فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَـٰتٍ۬ فَتَابَ عَلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ (37)
The following four observations can be made from this verse:-
· Adam (including his off-springs) and Satan were declared enemies as long as they lived in this world.
· Although Adam (Peace be on him) was pardoned by Allah, as a result of his repentance, the offence did not pass completely without punishment since both Adam and Eve (Hawa) were removed from their abode in Paradise, which was the best possible place. However, because of their sincere repentance and obedience to God they will, thereafter, enter Paradise once again.
· Another observation is that, God told Adam and Eve, "Get down 'ALL' of you" and not 'BOTH' of you. Although the word 'All' here could mean 'Adam, Eve and Satan', some scholars such as Anwar Al-Awlaqi in his 'Lives of the Prophets', explains that the word 'ALL' here means 'all the descendants of Adam rather than just Adam and Eve.' In this case, therefore, all humans were affected because of this sin. This, in fact, was the beginning of life on Earth. People have lived, and continue to live in it, either by following the right way as God directed us to, or by following the earthly temptations, as the Satan lures us into.
· The final observation is that the earth will remain in existence only for 'an appointed time'. This is the period during which all generations come and go, from Adam to the last one to be born in this world. When the 'appointed time' comes to an end, life in this world will also come to an end. What will follow is the eternal life in the Hereafter.
Life in the Hereafter will start with everyone, from Adam to the last person, having been resurrected and brought to life again, and presented before Allah for the final judgment. This is the Day of Resurrection when every body's fate will be decided. Those who followed God's guidance and lived a good and clean life will be awarded with a happy life in Paradise; and those who went astray and followed Satan's misguidance and lived a sinful life will be awarded with a miserable life in Hell.
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The first sin to be committed on Earth was that of Adam's son Qabil (Cain) killing his brother Habil (Abel). Allah tells us in Surah Al-Maida (Chapter 5 Verses 27-31), "And (O Muhammad) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: 'I will surely kill you.' The former said: 'Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttqu'n (the pious) (27). 'If you do stretch your hand against me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah, the Lord of the Al-Alami'n (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)' (28). Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire; and that is the recompense of the Dha'limu'n (polytheists and wrongdoers)' (29). So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers (30). Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: 'Woe to me! Am I not even able to be like this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?' Then he became one of those who regretted (31). (Study the Noble Qur'an Word-for-Word).
وَٱتۡلُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ نَبَأَ ٱبۡنَىۡ ءَادَمَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ إِذۡ قَرَّبَا قُرۡبَانً۬ا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنۡ أَحَدِهِمَا وَلَمۡ يُتَقَبَّلۡ مِنَ ٱلۡأَخَرِ قَالَ لَأَقۡتُلَنَّكَۖ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ (27)لَٮِٕنۢ بَسَطتَ إِلَىَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقۡتُلَنِى مَآ أَنَا۟ بِبَاسِطٍ۬ يَدِىَ إِلَيۡكَ لِأَقۡتُلَكَۖ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (28)إِنِّىٓ أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوٓأَ بِإِثۡمِى وَإِثۡمِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنۡ أَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلنَّارِۚ وَذَٲلِكَ جَزَٲٓؤُاْ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (29)فَطَوَّعَتۡ لَهُ ۥ نَفۡسُهُ ۥ قَتۡلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ ۥ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ (30)فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ غُرَابً۬ا يَبۡحَثُ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ لِيُرِيَهُ ۥ كَيۡفَ يُوَٲرِى سَوۡءَةَ أَخِيهِۚ قَالَ يَـٰوَيۡلَتَىٰٓ أَعَجَزۡتُ أَنۡ أَكُونَ مِثۡلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡغُرَابِ فَأُوَٲرِىَ سَوۡءَةَ أَخِىۖ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلنَّـٰدِمِينَ (31)
From these verses we can make the following deductions:-
· That God accepts offerings, charity or good deeds of only those who fear Him – 'Al-muttaqin' (the pious). There will be no reward for anything which is not done on the basis of fearing Allah, for the doer has done it not for the sake of Allah.
· That anyone who kills a human being without a just cause will be laden with the victim's sins as well as his own.
· Envy/Jealousy is always misguiding and ends up in regret and loss.
MAJOR SINS OF THE PAST
The People of Noah
The people of Noah were the first race to drift away from the right way of life as followed by Adam and his immediate descendants. It is believed that the people of Noah inhabited the Kurdistan, which is in the present day Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
The main sin which the people of Noah committed was to associate God with false gods. This basic error gave rise to a number of evils among them. God sent Noah to give them guidance to the right path. For a long time Noah strove with patience and wisdom to bring about changes, but all his efforts were in vain. Surat Nuh (Noah) (Chapter 71 Verses 5-7) says, "He said: 'O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day (i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism) (5); but my call only added nothing but to (their) flight (from the Truth) (6). And verily, every time I have called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride' (7)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى دَعَوۡتُ قَوۡمِى لَيۡلاً۬ وَنَهَارً۬ا (5)فَلَمۡ يَزِدۡهُمۡ دُعَآءِىٓ إِلَّا فِرَارً۬ا (6)وَإِنِّى ڪُلَّمَا دَعَوۡتُهُمۡ لِتَغۡفِرَ لَهُمۡ جَعَلُوٓاْ أَصَـٰبِعَهُمۡ فِىٓ ءَاذَانِہِمۡ وَٱسۡتَغۡشَوۡاْ ثِيَابَہُمۡ وَأَصَرُّواْ وَٱسۡتَكۡبَرُواْ ٱسۡتِكۡبَارً۬ا (7)
The Holy Qur'an also tells us in Surat Hud (Chapter 11 Verse 32), "They said, `O Nu'h (Noah)! You have disputed with us, and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with if you are of the truthful!' (32)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قَالُواْ يَـٰنُوحُ قَدۡ جَـٰدَلۡتَنَا فَأَڪۡثَرۡتَ جِدَٲلَنَا فَأۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن ڪُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ (32)
In Verses 36-37 of the same Surat, it says, "and it was revealed to Nu'h (Noah), 'None of your people will believe except those who have believed already! So be not sad because of what they used to do (36). And construct the ship under Our care and Our Revelation, and call not upon Me on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned ' (37)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَأُوحِىَ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَن يُؤۡمِنَ مِن قَوۡمِكَ إِلَّا مَن قَدۡ ءَامَنَ فَلَا تَبۡتَٮِٕسۡ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ (36)وَٱصۡنَعِ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ بِأَعۡيُنِنَا وَوَحۡيِنَا وَلَا تُخَـٰطِبۡنِى فِى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓاْۚ إِنَّہُم مُّغۡرَقُونَ (37)
And in Su'rat Nuh (Noah) (Chapter 71 Verse 25) it says, "Because of their sins they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire. And they found none to help them instead of Allah. (25)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
مِّمَّا خَطِيٓـَٔـٰتِہِمۡ أُغۡرِقُواْ فَأُدۡخِلُواْ نَارً۬ا فَلَمۡ يَجِدُواْ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَنصَارً۬ا (25)
According to Su'rat Hud (Chapter 11 Verse 44), the Ark settled on Mount Judi. This mountain is situated to the north-east of the island Ibn Umar in Kurdistan. Mount Judi is part of this range and is known even today by the same name. Verse 44 says, "And it was said: 'O Earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain).' And the water was made to subside and the Decree of (Allah) was fulfilled [i.e. the destruction of the people of Nu'h (Noah)] (44)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَقِيلَ يَـٰٓأَرۡضُ ٱبۡلَعِى مَآءَكِ وَيَـٰسَمَآءُ أَقۡلِعِى وَغِيضَ ٱلۡمَآءُ وَقُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ وَٱسۡتَوَتۡ عَلَى ٱلۡجُودِىِّۖ وَقِيلَ بُعۡدً۬ا لِّلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (44)
According to the Bible, The Ark's resting place was Ararat, which is a name of a range of mountains in Armenia. Ararat extends from Armenian plateau to southern Kurdistan.
In connection with this great event, one is faced with the question of whether the Flood was universal or whether it was limited to the area inhabited by the people of Noah. According to the Bible (Genesis 7: 18-24), the Flood was universal. The Qur'an, however, does not explicitly say so; but indicates that subsequent generations of mankind are descendants of those who were saved from the Ark. But this does not necessarily mean that the Flood covered the whole world. The Qur'an only says in Surat Al-Qamar (Chapter 54 Verse 12), "And We caused springs to gush forth from the Earth. So, the waters (of the heaven and the Earth) met for a matter predestined (12)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَفَجَّرۡنَا ٱلۡأَرۡضَ عُيُونً۬ا فَٱلۡتَقَى ٱلۡمَآءُ عَلَىٰٓ أَمۡرٍ۬ قَدۡ قُدِرَ (12)
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The Thamud and the A'ad
The A'ad and the Thamud were people of some other races after Noah, and were also punished severely by The Almighty in this world because of their rejection of the teachings of Islam as brought down to them by God through their respective prophets, Saleh and Hud, peace be on them. It says in Surat Al-Ha'qa (Chapter 69 Verses 4-7), "Thamud and A'ad people denied the 'Qa'riah (the striking Hour of Judgement)! (4). As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the awful cry! (5). And as for A'ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind! (6), which Allah 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! (7).Do you see any remnants of them? (8)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
كَذَّبَتۡ ثَمُودُ وَعَادُۢ بِٱلۡقَارِعَةِ (4) فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهۡلِڪُواْ بِٱلطَّاغِيَةِ (5) وَأَمَّا عَادٌ۬ فَأُهۡلِڪُواْ بِرِيحٍ۬ صَرۡصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ۬ (6)سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ سَبۡعَ لَيَالٍ۬ وَثَمَـٰنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومً۬ا فَتَرَى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ فِيہَا صَرۡعَىٰ كَأَنَّہُمۡ أَعۡجَازُ نَخۡلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ۬ (7) فَهَلۡ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّنۢ بَاقِيَةٍ۬ (8)
The A'ad were an ancient Arab people who were well known for their glory. It is understood that they lived in the region which is situated to the south-west of the Empty Quarter which lies between Hijaz and Yemen. They worshipped a number of idols such as Wudd, Suwa, Yaghuth and Nasr. The people of A'ad then wandered to the west coast and established themselves in Oman, and then to as far as Iraq. The Qur'an says in Surat Hud (Chapter 11 Verses 50-53, and 58-60), "And to the A'ad (people We send) their brother Hud. He said, 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other ila'h (god) but Him. Certainly, you do nothing but invent lies! (50). O my people! I ask of you no reward for it (the Message). My reward is only from Him Who created me. Will you not then understand? (51). And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and then repent to Him. He will send you (from the skies) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength; so do not turn away as Mujrimu'n (criminals) disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah)' (52). They said, 'Oh Hu'd! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you' (53)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمۡ هُودً۬اۚ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَڪُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤۖ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا مُفۡتَرُونَ (50)يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَآ أَسۡـَٔلُكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ أَجۡرًاۖ إِنۡ أَجۡرِىَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلَّذِى فَطَرَنِىٓۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ (51)وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡڪُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا وَيَزِدۡڪُمۡ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمۡ وَلَا تَتَوَلَّوۡاْ مُجۡرِمِينَ (52)قَالُواْ يَـٰهُودُ مَا جِئۡتَنَا بِبَيِّنَةٍ۬ وَمَا نَحۡنُ بِتَارِكِىٓ ءَالِهَتِنَا عَن قَوۡلِكَ وَمَا نَحۡنُ لَكَ بِمُؤۡمِنِينَ (53)
And in Verses 58-60, "And when Our commandment came, We saved Hu'd and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and We saved them from a severe torment (58). Such were the A'ad (people). They rejected the A'yat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers, and followed the command of every powerful, obstinate (oppressor of the Truth from their leaders) (59). And they were pursued by a curse in this world and (so will they be) on the Day of Resurrection. No doubt! Verily, A'ad disbelieved in their Lord! For the A'ad rejected their Lord and Cherisher! So away with A'ad, the people of Hu'd (60)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا نَجَّيۡنَا هُودً۬ا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ بِرَحۡمَةٍ۬ مِّنَّا وَنَجَّيۡنَـٰهُم مِّنۡ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ۬ (58)وَتِلۡكَ عَادٌ۬ۖ جَحَدُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ وَعَصَوۡاْ رُسُلَهُ ۥ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَ كُلِّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ۬ (59)وَأُتۡبِعُواْ فِى هَـٰذِهِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا لَعۡنَةً۬ وَيَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ عَادً۬ا كَفَرُواْ رَبَّہُمۡۗ أَلَا بُعۡدً۬ا لِّعَادٍ۬ قَوۡمِ هُودٍ۬ (60)
There is very little archaeological evidence about the A'ad, as it says in the Qur'an, Su'rat Al-Ha'qah (Chapter 69 Verse 8), "Do you see any remnants of them?" (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
فَهَلۡ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّنۢ بَاقِيَةٍ۬ (8)
Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil, in his book, 'Atlas of the Qur'an', says, "The people of Hadhramawt say that, after A'ad were destroyed, Prophet Hud lived In the land of Hadhramawt until he died in the western part of their land, not too far from the city of Taryam, which is near the valley of Barhut".
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The Thamud lived in the north-western part of Arabia which is still called al-Hijr. Madain Saleh, which is still in existence today, was the capital town of Thamud.
It says in Su'rat Hud (Chapter 11 Verse 61-68), "And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih (Saleh). He said: 'O my people! Worship Allah; you have no other ila'h (god) but Him. He brought you forth from the Earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is near (to all by His Knowledge), responsive' (61). They said: 'O Salih (Saleh)! You have been among us as a figure of good hope (and we wished for you to be our chief) till this [new thing which you have brought that we leave our gods and worship your God (Allah) alone]! Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped? But we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us to (Monotheism)' (62). He said: 'O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and there has come to me a mercy (Prophethood) from Him, who then can help me from Allah, if I were to disobey Him? Then you increase me not but in loss' (63). 'And O my people! This she camel of Allah is a sign to you, so leave her to feed (graze) in Allah's land, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment should seize you' (64). But they killed her. So he said: 'Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (i.e. a threat) that will not be belied' (65). So when Our Commandment came, We saved Salih (Saleh) and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord — He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty (66). And As-Sa'iha (torment — awful cry) overtook the wrongdoers, so they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes (67), as if they had never lived there. Verily, Thamud disbelieved in theft Lord. So away with Thamud! 68)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمۡ صَـٰلِحً۬اۚ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۖ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱسۡتَعۡمَرَكُمۡ فِيہَا فَٱسۡتَغۡفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى قَرِيبٌ۬ مُّجِيبٌ۬ (61)قَالُواْ يَـٰصَـٰلِحُ قَدۡ كُنتَ فِينَا مَرۡجُوًّ۬ا قَبۡلَ هَـٰذَآۖ أَتَنۡهَٮٰنَآ أَن نَّعۡبُدَ مَا يَعۡبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا وَإِنَّنَا لَفِى شَكٍّ۬ مِّمَّا تَدۡعُونَآ إِلَيۡهِ مُرِيبٍ۬ (62)قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِن ڪُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّى وَءَاتَٮٰنِى مِنۡهُ رَحۡمَةً۬ فَمَن يَنصُرُنِى مِنَ ٱللَّهِ إِنۡ عَصَيۡتُهُ ۥۖ فَمَا تَزِيدُونَنِى غَيۡرَ تَخۡسِيرٍ۬ (63)وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ هَـٰذِهِۦ نَاقَةُ ٱللَّهِ لَڪُمۡ ءَايَةً۬ فَذَرُوهَا تَأۡڪُلۡ فِىٓ أَرۡضِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوٓءٍ۬ فَيَأۡخُذَكُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ قَرِيبٌ۬ (64)فَعَقَرُوهَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُواْ فِى دَارِڪُمۡ ثَلَـٰثَةَ أَيَّامٍ۬ۖ ذَٲلِكَ وَعۡدٌ غَيۡرُ مَكۡذُوبٍ۬ (65)فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا نَجَّيۡنَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ بِرَحۡمَةٍ۬ مِّنَّا وَمِنۡ خِزۡىِ يَوۡمِٮِٕذٍۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ ٱلۡقَوِىُّ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ (66)وَأَخَذَ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ فِى دِيَـٰرِهِمۡ جَـٰثِمِينَ (67)كَأَن لَّمۡ يَغۡنَوۡاْ فِيہَآۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ ثَمُودَاْ ڪَفَرُواْ رَبَّہُمۡۗ أَلَا بُعۡدً۬ا لِّثَمُودَ (68)
While Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was travelling to Tabuk, he showed the Muslims the monuments which were the remains of Thamud and urged them to learn lessons of a people who were destroyed because of their evil-doing.