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Aboo Mohammad

Lost Cities and Perished Nations (From an Islamic Perspective)
By Jamal Dookhy (Aboo Mohammad)
Jan 6, 2005 - 4:24:00 PM

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Introduction

In the wake of the events that are taking place at the moment (the earthquakes and the tsunamis), we ask ourselves why a thing like this would happen; others may even go as far as asking why GOD would allow such things to happen? When we look back we find the answers in the ancient scriptures as history often repeats itself. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have a stand on this issue. Let us use the evidence of these ancient scriptures to find why these things happened. There are reasons behind all things, so the answers could be found. In the Holy Quran Allah is telling us in

Chapter 103 (Al Asr)
1. By Al-'Asr (the time).
2. Verily! Man is in loss,
3. Except those who believe (in Islmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'rf)which Allh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allh's Cause during preaching His religion of Islmic Monotheism or Jihd, etc.).

Verily man is at a loss, we see the world around us, and we see how man has become materialistic, greedy, and evil. He has forgotten who his lord is. He is running after the pleasures and desires of this world and has made that his lord. Man has turned towards Idol worship rather than worshipping the one GOD. So GOD in this short chapter is reminding us that we are at a loss and he is giving us the way out of this, except those who believe in (Islamic monotheism), why Islamic? You may ask. Because Monotheism in Islam is pure 100% monotheism. There is none other worthy of worship but GOD. Period, he does not have any partners nor children. He is one and only one. Every thing is done by him, His will only is done. Although this is mentioned in Christianity too, but then GOD is part of a trinity and has a son and in Judaism there were beliefs that Ezra was the son of GOD and the rabbis (according to the Talmud) are equal to the level of GOD so the concept of the Unity, the oneness of GOD is not there. GOD is telling us that we need to come back to pure Monotheism, Do good deeds, invite others to good and forbid evil and invite to truth and have patience. Some would say that even Muslims along with others too perished in the recent tragedies, true but if you look at the verse of the Quran above Allah is addressing mankind in general and not just disbelievers, so we can see that Muslims have too strayed away from the straight path and Allah is calling all man back to the right way. Man has to come back to the 4 things mentioned in the verses above in order to receive salvation from GOD and not incur his anger. We must bear in mind too that a lot of children died in these incidents. Allah will not punish them because in Islam a child is born sinless and all children up to the age of Puberty are innocent and Allah will not take them to task. They will be leaving this world of evil, hatred and short to a better world for eternal Paradise by the mercy of the Almighty Allah.

These tragedies that have been taking place are reminders to man of how Allah destroyed nations and cities of the past, those who incurred his wrath. Reminders that we should look back and take lessons from the nations of the past as to why and how God destroyed them, and not allow ourselves to incur the wrath of Allah what happened to those past nations that together with their cities perished. Allah these are tests on the people to see what they resort to in the times of Calamity and despair, do they turn to GOD and ask for forgiveness and mercy and repent test to increase our faiths. Allah, said in the Holy Quran (chapter al-Baqara: 66).

So we made it an example to their own time and to their posterity and a lesson to those who fear Allah.

Let us embark on journey through time and to far away places and analyze through scripture what happened to these nations and why. The main thing here is why GOD destroyed them. Both the Quran and the Bible mention about some of these calamities. Some are found only in the Quran. Here starts a series of 6 articles in which I will try to shed light on how and why these nations were destroyed and with scriptural and archaeological evidence. We shall start with the story of Noah and his people, a story which is shared by the Bible and the Quran. Noah will be referred to here most of time as NUH his Arabic name.

Chapter 9
70. Has not the story reached them of those before them? - The people of Nh (Noah),

The story of NUH

He was Noah Ibn Lamik Ibn Mitoshilkh, Ibn Enoch, Ibn Yard, Ibn Mahlabeel, Ibn Qinan, Ibn Anoush,
Ibn Seth, Ibn Adam the Father of Mankind (PBUH). This comes form the ancient scriptures of the Bible.(Ibn here is the Arabic for son of).

Genesis 6:
9 . Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. {perfect: or, upright}

The Old Testament focuses mainly on the family, lineage, the building of the Ark and how God dealt with the people of Nuh. What is does not explain is his mission, why he was sent to his people what did they do to incur GODs anger. The Old Testament refers to the people of Noah as being violent and corrupt and nothing more.

Genesis 6:
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

It is however only in the apocrypha (Dead Sea Scrolls) that there is any mention of Idolatry of the people post Enoch (Idris) and pre Noah (NUH), other than the breaking of other commandments like eating of Blood and sexual taboos. But the OT itself does not mention anything of the idolatry. As I mentioned in my previous article, What is Islam, all prophets came to teach the total submission to one GOD alone and rejected idolatry.

Note:

The Laws (the commandments) were in force long before the coming Moses, since it is mentioned in the Books of the earlier prophets Enoch and Noah (apocrypha).That the people of Noah were breaking the commandments by killing and their sexual taboos. (Since it is the breaking of a commandment, the tradition referred to in the text of the Damascus Document is an example of both: of the disobedience to the commandments and of twnz.)(NARRATIVE EXEGESIS' IN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS by Ida Frhlich) Many Christians I have spoken to in the past have made out the commandments to be Mosaic Law only since the tablets were given to Moses, that was why it was seen as no harm in Paul changing them, but the proof is in the Genesis Apocryphon in the Scrolls that  they date from the beginning even before Moses.

However the people of NUH were indulging in idolatry (among other sins), the gravest sin against GOD since he ordained that we worship him alone and none to be worshipped but him. For many generations Noah's people had been worshipping statues that they called gods. They believed that these gods would bring them good, protect them from evil and provide all their needs.

Some descriptions of the origins of idolatry

Ibn Jarir narrated: "There were righteous people who lived in the period between Adam and Noah and who had followers who held them as models. After their death, their friends who used to emulate them said: 'If we make statues of them, it will be more pleasing to us in our worship and will remind us of them.' So they built statues of them, and, after they had died and others came after them, Satan crept  into their minds saying:
'Your forefathers used t o worship them, and through that worship they got rain.' So they worshipped them. They gave their idols names such as Waddan, Suwa'an, Yaghutha, Ya'auga, and Nasran,

Ibn Abbas explained: "Following upon the death of  those righteous men, Satan inspired their people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit. They did this, but these statues were not worshiped until the coming generations deviated from the right way of life. Then they worshipped them as their idols."

The essence of this point is that every idol from those earlier mentioned was worshipped by a certain group of people. It was mentioned that people made picture sand as the ages passed they made these pictures into statues, so that their forms could be fully recognized; afterwards they were worshipped instead of Allah. (Stories of the prophets, By Ibn Kathir)

Allah knows very well of their affairs and mentions the names of those idols in the Quran

Chapter 71
23. "And they (the idolators) have said: `You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa`, nor Yaghuth, and Ya`uq and Nasr.' '') (24. "And indeed they have led many astray.

NUH sent to warn his people

For this purpose GOD sent NUH to warn his people and bring them back to the worship of the one GOD alone and to save them from the wrath of GOD. It is said in the Quran.

Chapter 11
25. And indeed we sent Nh (Noah) to his people (and he said): "I have come to you as a plain warner."
26. "That you worship none but Allh, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day."
Chapter 71
1. Verily, We sent Nuh to his people (saying): "Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment."
2. He said: "O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you,''
3. "That you should worship Allah

NUH served his lord and warned his people for years,

Chapter 29
14. And indeed We sent Nh (Noah) to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years [inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allh (Monotheism), and discard the false gods and other deities], and the Deluge overtook them while they were Zlimn (wrong-doers, polytheists, disbelievers, etc.).

He was a good man very eloquent and patient too. He used to tell his people about the greatness of the One GOD, how he created all that is around them, how Allah created the night and the day each in perfect balance with one another. He pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the universe. He taught them how GOD was the owner of the earth and what is in it and also of the universe. He taught them how Satan deceived them and made them believe that their ancestors worshipped idols.

Chapter 11
28. He said: "O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and a Mercy (Prophet hood, etc.) has come to me from Him, but that (Mercy) has been obscured from your sight. Shall we compel you to accept it (Islmic Monotheism) when you have a strong hatred for it?
Although his people listened but they did not all take heed to his message, they divided themselves into two groups His words touched the hearts of the weak, the poor, and the miserable and soothed their wounds with its mercy, whereas the rich, the strong and the rulers opposed him  and they thought that soon he will give up,

Chapter 11:
27 The chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: "We see you but a man like ourselves."
Chapter 26:
111 They said: "Shall we believe in you, when the meanest (of the people) follow you?"
But when they saw that the poor followed him they started to verbally taunt him saying. They said: 'You are only followed by the poor, the meek and the worthless.' They decided to bargain with NUH and tell him to dismiss his followers if the rich and rulers were to follow him. They claimed that: They are meek and poor, while we are elite and rich; no faith can include us both." NUH knew that they were not serious but he was polite to them and answered them nicely telling them that he could not do such a thing because they were GODs guests and not his. He reassured them:

Chapter 11 (verses 29 -31)
"And O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allh. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant. "And O my people! Who will help me against Allh, if I drove them away? Will you not then give a thought? "And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allh, "Nor that I know the Ghaib (unseen); "nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allh will not bestow any good on them. Allh knows what is in their inner-selves (as regards belief, etc.). In that case, I should, indeed be one of the Zlimn (wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.)."

 

The disbelievers still remained stubborn and unwilling to listen they continued to argue with the prophet NUH and when they had no more arguments they started becoming insolent and rude and insulting NUH:

Chapter 11:
32 They said: "O 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."

Chapter 26
116. They said: "If you cease not, O Nh (Noah)! You will surely be among those stoned (to death)."

Chapter 7:
60 The leaders of his people said: "Verily, we see you in plain error."

But NUH being a prophet answered with wisdom from GOD

Chapter 7:
61-62 "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)! I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not."

Nevertheless NUH carried on his mission appealing to his people, all the time explaining about God to them, but it came to the point where they refused to listen to his talks and used to put their fingers in their ears in order not to hear him.

As generations came and generations went messages were passed down from father to son of the disbelievers not to listen to take heed of NUHs message of truth. However the number of people disbelieving in him was getting more and those believing in him were not. It came to a point where the almighty revealed to NUH that no others would believe in him and that he should not be sad about them, NUH supplicated to the Lord to destroy these people:

Chapter 71:
27 "My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth. If you leave them, they will mislead your slaves and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers." Allah accepted NUHs prayer and decide to send punishment on those who disbelieved .The punishment would be in the form of a flood. Allah requested NUH to build and ark with the help of the angels and the knowledge given to him by Allah. It is said in the Quran.

Chapter 11:
37"And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Inspiration and address me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned." (ark here has been translated as ship)

NUH builds his ark

After NUH had been warned by Allah that those people were a lost cause and that Allah was going to send punishment, he was advised to build his ark, which he chose to do far away from the sea outside the city. Since he was building the ark from the sea all the disbelievers started to mock him telling him that he was a better carpenter than a prophet, the Quran says:

Chapter 11:
As he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mockery of him.

Note:

From this point great detail is given in the Bible as to the Size of the Ark and where the windows and doors are to be placed and what wood the ark is to be made of etc:

Genesis 6
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 
15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
While he was building his ark Allah was informing him on the signs of who will be saved and who will perish and how he will know when the punishment comes. Allah had informed him that the signal for him to embark on the ark would be water gushing from the oven. (In those days they had clay ovens in the ground).

Chapter 11
39. "And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and on whom will fall a lasting torment."

The flood begins

The sign had been shown to NUH:

Chapter 11
40. (So it was) till then there came Our Command and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said: "Embark therein, of each kind two (male and female), and your family, except him against whom the Word has already gone forth, and those who believe. And none believed with him, except a few." And he was to take every creature in pairs, two by two and enter the ark.

Note: A very important point to bear in mind here. The Bible and the Quran share the point of view that he was ordered to take the animals in by pairs, male and female.

The Bible says in

Genesis 6
19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

This we all agree upon, however a few verses down in the Old Testament it says in

Genesis 7:
2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. {by sevens: Heb. seven seven}
3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. {by sevens: Heb. seven seven}

Chapter 7:
9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

Let us stick with the version that we agree with, that is they were all taken in pairs male and female. The disbelievers in the mean time were saying that NUH had gone out of his mind that he built an ark away from the sea and there was no rain. After water had gushed for the oven it started flowing form every crack in the earth too. There was not a crack in the earth from which water did not flow.  It rain like it had never done before. The waves and the seas converged on to the land and the earth was submerged for 40 days and 40 nights.Not many of NUHs people believed. Ibn Abbas stated that there were 80 believers. So the people who accompanied him on board the ark were not many.

Note:

Another very important point to bear in mind is the according to Islam prophet NUH had four sons (Yam, Sam, Ham, and Yafeth). According to Judeo/Christianity he had only 3 sons:

Genesis 6:
10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
According to Islam these were the 3 who were guided but Yam refused to believe and he perished. He thought that if he went and hid on the mountain he would be saved from the anger of GOD But the flood rose up to 300 metres above the mountain. Quran says:

Chapter 11

42. So it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and Nh (Noah) called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), "O my son! Embark with us and be not with the disbelievers."
43. The son replied: "I will betake myself to a mountain, it will save me from the water." Nh (Noah) said: "This day there is no saviour from the Decree of Allh except him on whom He has mercy." And a wave came in between them, so he (the son) was among the drowned.
45. And Nh (Noah) called upon his Lord and said, "O my Lord! Verily, my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true, and you are the Most Just of the judges."
46. He said: "O Nh (Noah)! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorant."

Note:

Another very important thing to note is that according to Islam Prophet NUHs wife was not a believer in the One GOD too i.e. she did not submit to the will of the one GOD and was an idolater but she died before the flood. But the bible actually claims she was with NUH in the ark.

God had saved the family of NUH among the believers.

Chapter 37
74. Except the chosen slaves of Allh (faithful, obedient, and true believers of Islmic Monotheism).
75. And indeed Nh (Noah) invoked us, and We are the Best of those who answer (the request).
76. And We rescued him and his family from the great distress (i.e. drowning),
77. And, his progeny, them We made the survivors (i.e. Shem, Ham and Japheth).
78. And left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations to come in later times.

Chapter 11
48. It was said: "O Nh (Noah)! Come down (from the ship) with peace from us and blessings on you and on the people who are with you (and on some of their off spring), but (there will be other) people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us."

All those who mocked and jeered perished and drowned, the wrath of the Lord came upon them.

The flood ended and the earth was given orders by the almighty creator to swallow up the water and the sky to withhold the rain.

Chapter 11
44. And it was said: "O earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain)." And the water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of Allh) was fulfilled (i.e. the destruction of the people of Nh (Noah). And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: "Away with the people who are Zalimn (polytheists and wrong-doing)!"

Every creature that survived was returned to the Earth and the humans too. NUH fell on his face and thanked the lord.

Conclusion

This is a reminder from the lord of his mighty power and his wrath, that we are too fulfill GODs commandments on this earth. We are not to transgress and especially we are not to ascribe partners to the one and only true My GOD and your GOD. Allah said in the Quran:

Chapter 9:
70. Has not the story reached them of those before them? - The people of Nh (Noah), 'Ad, and Thamd, the people of Ibrahm (Abraham), the dwellers of Madyan (Midian) and the cities overthrown [i.e. the people to whom Lout (Lot) preached], to them came their Messengers with clear proofs. So it was not Allh Who wronged them, but they used to wrong themselves.

Chapter 14
9. Has not the news reached you, of those before you, the people of Nh (Noah), and 'Ad, and Thamud? And those after them? None knows them but Allh. To them came their Messengers with clear proofs, but they put their hands in their mouths (biting them from anger) and said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent, and we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us (i.e. Islmic Monotheism)."

Chapter 25
37. And Nh's (Noah) people, when they denied the Messengers We drowned them, and We made them as a sign for mankind.

I am just a Warner bringing to you with a message from my lord, a reminder of things that happened to nations of the past and what will happen to us if we leave the true path and transgress. I ask you all to return to the true path and not invite the anger of the lord upon us.
This here ends the first part in a series of booklets about the lost cities and perished lands. Until our next encounter with the long lost lands far away I bid you farewell with the greeting of the Prophets.

Peace be with you

Aboo Mohammad


Aboo Mohammad may be reached at aboofatimah@hotmail.com.


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