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Allah's She-Camel - The Story of Our Prophet Salih

By: Kamal al-Syyed
Translated by: Jasim al-Rasheed


Holy prophet Mohammed (S. A. W.) led the Moslem Army in the year 9 A.H. He headed for Tabuk, for he wanted to meet the Romanian Army in the north of the Arab Peninsula.

The Moslem soldiers walked for miles and miles. They became tired and thirsty. So our prophet Mohammed (S. A. W.) ordered them to stop at the valley of the villages (wadi al-qura) near Tabuk.

The Moslem Army camped near the mountains. There were ruins and wells.

One Moslem asked about the ruins: "Whose ruins are they?" The answer was: "They're Thamud's ruins. The tribe of Thamud lived at this place."

Our prophet Mohammed (S. A. W.) prevented the Moslems from drinking water from the wells. Then he showed them a spring near the mountain. He said to them: "Salih's she-camel drank from this spring."

Our prophet Mohammed (S. A. W.) prevented his soldiers from entering the ruins. He wanted them to learn a lesson from that tribe on which a curse befell and it was destroyed.

Who is the tribe of Thamud? What is the story of prophet Salih (A. S.)?

The tribe of Thamud lived in those wide valleys called Wadi al-Qura, in the north of the Arab Peninsula, in prehistoric times.

The tribe of Thamud is among the forgotten Arab tribes. History has not mentioned it. The Koran has mentioned its story. Prophet Mohammed (S. A. W.) has mentioned it in his traditions.

This tribe appeared after the tribes of 'Ad had died in the valley of al-Ahqaf.

The people of this tribe were farmers. They dug wells and plowed their fields. They built their house in the mountains. Their cattle grazed in the meadows peacefully. Their gardens and farms bloomed and were full of fruits.

The tribe of Thamud led such a life.

The tribe was ungrateful to Allah. Its members did not worship Him. The rich and luxurious became tyrants. The members of the tribe worshipped idols.

Prophet Salih (A. S.) lived in that period of time. He was a good, wise person. The people loved him very much, for they knew his outstanding qualities. Some members of the tribe thought that Salih would have an important position, and that he would be the head of the strong tribe of Thamud.

Prophet Salih (A. S.) knew that worshipping idols was deep-rooted in his people's hearts. For their fathers and grandfathers had worshipped idols. He knew that the chiefs of the tribe were corrupt, and that they disliked good and punished those who prevented people from worshipping idols.

However, Salih (A. S.) was Allah's Apostle. He was not afraid of anyone except Allah, the Great and Almighty.

So our prophet Salih made his message public.

From here the struggle between good and evil began. The believing Prophet began his struggle against the wicked unbelievers.

There were nine strong men among the tribe of Thamud. They were all wrong-doers.

The Sacred Rock

One day the members of the tribe went to a big rock in the mountain. They worshipped the rock for a long time. Children saw their fathers worshipping the rock. So they did as their fathers did. When they grew up, they worshipped the rock also.

The people of the tribe circled the rock. They butchered rams for it. They asked it for blessing.

Prophet Salih (A. S.) saw what his people did. He was sad for them. So he went to the Sacred Rock. He saw his people worshipping it.

Prophet Salih said to them: "People, serve Allah. You have no god other than Him."

One of them said: "Why do you ask us to serve Him only?"

Prophet Salih (A. S.) replied: "Because He has created you. It's He Who provide you with the means of subsistence."

They said: "Allah's far away from us. We're unable to supplicate to Him. We serve some of his honorable creatures. He has entrusted our affair to them. We want Allah to be pleased with us through serving his creatures."

Salih (A. S.) said sadly: "People, it's Allah Who has created you. It's He Who has sent me to you. He wants you to serve Him and not serve anyone other than Him. People, ask Allah's forgiveness. Turn to him in repentance. My Lord is near. He answers (you)."

They said: "O Salih, surely you were one amongst us in whom great expectations were place before this " Then they added: "We thought that we could make use of your reason and wisdom. Now, you've brought us a strange message. Why do you summon us to desert our gods? Why do you summon us to desert what our fathers and grandfathers had served? We doubt your affair. Salih you've become insane!"

Salih (A. S.) said: "Allah has sent me to you so you may serve Him. I don't want any reward from anyone for that. I only serve Allah, Who's created me."

They said: "If you're Allah's Apostle, can you bring a pregnant she-camel out of the center of this rock?"

Prophet Salih replied: "Allah has power over all things. It's He Who created us all from this earth."

They said: "We won't believe you till you bring a she-camel out of the center of this rock." One of them shouted: "Yes, the she-camel should be pregnant!"

Salih said: "I'll ask Allah for that. If He does that, will you believe that there is only one God? Will you believe that I'm His Apostle for you?"

"Yes," they answered. "When will the promise be fulfilled?" they asked.

Prophet Salih (A. S.) replied: "The promise will be fulfilled at this place tomorrow."

This is Allah's She-Camel

At dawn Salih set out to the mountain where a big rock was situated.

Salih's task was difficult because his people asked him to bring a pregnant she-camel out of the rock.

The people of Thamud gathered about the rock. Some of them doubted Salih some of them were looking at the rock; some of them were looking at Salih

They saw Salih looking at the sky humbly. They heard him say some words. They saw his hands pointing to the rock and the tribe of Thamud.

They understood that Salih was praying to his Lord for supporting His message.

Salih asked Allah for a wonderful thing. He asked Allah to bring a pregnant she-camel out of the center of the rock.

All the people looked at Salih and the rock.

Prophet Salih (A. S.) sat down. His eyes were full of tears. He asked Allah for a sign to convince his people. For he wanted his people to return to their own nature and to serve only Allah.

Suddenly, Salih rose. He pointed with his finger to the rock.

All the members of the tribe heard a fearful sound. They heard the rock break. Then they saw it break into pieces. Then a wonderful she-camel appeared.

The she-camel was pregnant.

The people loved it because it was tame.

Prophet Salih (A. S.) prostrated to Allah. He thanked and glorified Him. Allah brought the she camel out of the rock with His absolute power.

The members of the tribe bowed their heads to glorify Allah. Some of them prostrated to Him.

They saw a great sign before their eyes. They said: "What Salih had said was true. Allah is One and Only, there is no partner with Him."

They were few in number. However, their faith was as firm as the rock from which the she-camel came out.

All the members of the tribe looked at that miracle with astonishment.

The she-camel became a symbol for Salih's message.

It became a symbol for the Oneness of Allah.

The Young He-Camel

After three days, the she camel gave birth to a lovely young he-camel. The young he-camel followed its mother. It stayed behind its mother calmly. Its mother looked after it with affection.

The she-camel and its young he-camel became a mark for affection and mercy.

When the people of the Thamud saw the she-camel, they said: "This is Salih's she-camel."

However, prophet Salih (A. S.) said: "This is Allah's she-camel. It's the sign of the sky. Be careful not to hurt it. If you do that, the curse of Allah will befall you."

Days passed. The she-camel lived in those wide valleys. It ate from the plants of the valley. It went to some springs and drank from them.

The she-camel gave milk to all the people. Its milk was blessed and delicious.

Struggle

The tribe of Thamud became divided into two parts: the party of believers and the party of unbelievers.

The unbelievers hurt the believers. They mocked at their beliefs. They asked them: "Do you believe that Salih is a messenger from Allah?"

The believers answered: "Yes, we believe in his message. We believe in what he has brought from Allah. We serve no one except Allah."

They openly denied the message of Allah.

They were rich. The blessings made them ungrateful. They thought that they were very strong.

Nine persons were the haughtiest of them. They had hearts of stone. They felt no pity for anyone.

They knew nothing except their own interests. They knew that Salih was a danger to their beliefs. So they bore malice against him.

They bore malice against the she-camel, for it became a sign for Salih's true prophecy and message.

The Plot

One night, after the people went to sleep, those nine persons met. They ate food till they became full. They drank wine till they became drunk. Their eyes were red. They talked about the dangerous position of Salih among the people. They asked each other: "What will we do? How can we get rid of Salih?''

One of them suggested: "I think we'd better get rid of his she-camel."

Another explained: "Yes, we'd better kill it, for it's the proof for Salih's message. When we kill it, he'll be weak before us."

The third person added: "We'll kill Salih, too."

The fourth person asked: "Who'll kill the she-camel?"

The fifth person asked: "Who can kill it?"

The sixth person answered: "I know the one who'll kill it."

The seventh person asked: "Who is it?"

Then all the persons asked: "Who is it?"

The sixth person replied: "It's Qaydar, the merciless one."

All the persons shouted: "Yes, we agree on Qaydar, the merciless one!"

The Crime

They decided to kill the she-camel. One of them went out to summon Qaydar, the merciless one.

It was midnight. Qaydar came carrying his sword.

He drank wine till his eyes became red. He also bore malice against the she-camel. The she-camel was the mark of good. However, Qaydar hated doing good. He was rude.

When the nine wicked persons tempted Qaydar with money, he rose to kill the she-camel.

The plotters asked Qaydar, "Where are you going, Qaydar?"

"I'm going to kill the she-camel tonight," replied Qaydar

The nine wicked persons said: "Wait till dawn. The she-camel will go to the spring. So you'll kill it easily."

Qaydar spent all that night drinking wine. His face became fearful.

The she-camel and its baby woke. They went to the spring to drink water.

The young he-camel was playing happily. The sun rose. So the green meadows looked like beautiful playgrounds.

The young he-camel loved playing in those green meadows. Its mother took it there every morning.

However, what happened that morning? Why did the young he-camel not go to play?

Qaydar the wicked, suddenly appeared. He prevented the she-camel and its baby from going to the spring.

He was carrying his sword. The she-camel tried to go another way. However, Qaydar hit it and it fell on the ground.

Then Qaydar hit the she-camel in the neck. The she-camel looked at its baby sadly. The young he-camel was afraid. Thus, it escaped towards the mountain.

The nine wicked persons came and began stabbing the she-camel with their knives and daggers. So the she-camel bled till it died.

The Innocent Young He-camel

The criminals, who belonged to the tribe of Thamud, were not satisfied with killing the innocent she-camel. Their hands were stained with the blood of the innocent she-camel. They cut it into piece, like wolves.

They were not satisfied with that. They chased the young he-camel. The young he-camel was frightened. So it climbed the rocks of the mountain.

It looked for a place to hide from those nine wicked persons who more dangerous than wolves.

The young he-camel stopped at the top of the mountain looking at its mother which the criminals had cut into pieces with their knives. It was also looking at the criminals who were carrying daggers in their hands and climbing the mountain to kill it.

The young he-camel found no way to escape. Thus, it looked at the sky and growled three times. Then one of the pagans stabbed it with a sharp knife.

The young he-camel fell on the rocks. It bled and stained the rocks.

Then the criminals attacked the young he-camel with their sharp knives. They savagely cut it into pieces. Wolves were more merciful than those unbelieving killers.

Prophet Salih and the believers woke. They went to see Allah's she-camel. They found nothing except the blood that colored the ground and the top of the mountain.

Black clouds appeared in the horizon. The sky was filled with danger.

All the beautiful things disappeared. For those wicked persons did not like doing good. They killed the tame she-camel that gave them milk every day.

They killed the she-camel, for it was the sign of Allah and the proof of Salih's message.

Prophet Salih said to them: "Enjoy your house for only three days. The punishment will befall you, for you are oppressive people. You have denied Allah's message and killed His she-camel. You do not like doing good."

The people of Thamud did not apologize to Salih for killing the she-camel. They did not turn in repentance to Allah. Rather they intended to kill prophet Salih and his family.

Again they met and decided to attack Salih in his house to kill him. Thus, they would be able to persecute the believers after him.

However, what happened'?

Before they carried out their murder, a fearful thing happened. Black clouds gathered in the sky. They covered the moon and the stars. Valleys and mountains were as dark as night.

At midnight strong heavenly thunderbolts struck and destroyed the tribe of Thamud. No one was safe from those thunderbolts except prophet Salih and the believers.

That was the end of the tribe of Thamud. Four days after the she-camel was killed, the sun rose over the ruins of those oppressive people!


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