People of ‘Aad built in valleys and elevated places
Fatwa No: 340390

  • Fatwa Date:3-12-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 4, 1438
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Assalaamu alaykum. I was wondering: I know that Thamud built in the mountions and valleys, but did ‘Aad build in the valleys as well, or just in the mountains and towers, and did Thamud build towers or not?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The people of ‘Aad lived in a sandy area (the Empty Quarter) which had sand dunes and valleys; as it is known in the Arabian Peninsula in the present time; as Allah says (what means): {And mention [O Muhammad] the brother of ‘Aad, when he warned his people in the [region of] Al-Ahqaaf.} [Quran 46: 21]; Allah also says (what means): {And when they saw it as a cloud approaching their valleys.} [Quran 46:24]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “They were people who inhabited Al-Ahqaaf (which is the plural of Haqf). Al-Ahqaaf means the sand dunes which were near Hadramawt on the borders of Yemen.

Allah informed us that they built in the highlands in order to amuse themselves; this may be evidence that most of their buildings were in the valleys; as Allah says (what means): {Do you construct on every elevation a sign, amusing yourselves, and take for yourselves palaces and fortresses that you might abide eternally?} [Quran 26:128-129]

Tafseer Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reads:

The interpreters of the Quran differed in opinion about the word Ree’ (translated in the above verse as 'elevation'), and they concluded that, in general, it means the elevated place at main road intersections. They would build an immense, strong, and amazing building there, and it is for this reason that Allah said (what means): {Do you construct on every elevation a sign} i.e. a well-known landmark; {amusing yourselves}, meaning that you are only doing that for the purpose of amusement, not because you need it, but for fun and to show off your strength. So their Prophet denounced them for doing that because it was a waste of time and it exhausted their bodies for no purpose and kept them busy with something that was of no benefit in this world or the next. He said (what means): {And do you get for yourselves Masaani’ (palaces and fortresses) as if you will live therein forever}; Mujaahid said, 'This means fortresses built up strong and high and structures that are built to last.' In another narration, he said, 'It means pigeon towers (dovecotes).' Qataadah said, 'They are water sources or springs...'

Also, As-Saheeh Al-Masboor min At-Tafseer bil-Ma’thoor reads, “At-Tabari reported with his authentic chain of narrators from Mujaahid, '{And take for yourselves Masaani’} means fortified palaces and buildings that would last forever...'

As regards Thamud, Allah informed us that they used to carve homes in mountains and build palaces in plains, as Allah says (what means): {Will you be left in what is here, secure [from death], within gardens and springs, and fields of crops and palm trees with softened fruit? And you carve out of the mountains, homes, with skill.} [Quran 26: 146-149]

Allah also says (what means): {And remember when He made you successors after the 'Aad and settled you in the land, [and] you take for yourselves palaces from its plains and carve from the mountains, homes. Then remember the favors of Allah and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.} [Quran 7:74]

Allah knows best.

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