The people of the tribe of Aad lived in Ahqaaf, a place between Yemen and Oman . They lived in peace and comfort. Allah had granted them many blessings. They were clever people and had built beautiful cities. They were very strong physically and there was no disease in their society.
Despite all the favours that Allah had granted them, the people of Aad did not believe in One God and worshipped idols which they carved out of stone. When anything good happened to them they would thank their idols and when they were in trouble, they used to pray to these idols for help.
After some years, the tribe of Aad began to lose its unity. The powerful people treated the weak and poor members very badly. To guide these proud and ignorant people, Allah sent Prophet Hud (AS) to them. Prophet Hud (AS) was from the tribe of Aad itself, and was respected because of his noble family and his good manners. He was the son of Abdullah, grandson of Sam and the great-grandson of Prophet Nuh (AS).
Prophet Hud (AS) was a very patient and kind man. When he received the command of Allah to spread His message, he came to the people and said, "O Brothers, why do you worship stones that you have carved yourself? The idols cannot give you anything or take anything away from you. You are not fools but what you are doing is against your intelligence. Your Lord is only One, and He alone should be worshipped. He has created you, given you health and wealth, and made you a powerful nation. Do not rebel against Allah in case you meet the fate of the people of Prophet Nuh."
Prophet Hud (AS) tried hard to make the people understand the error of their ways, but instead of listening to him, they became more stubborn. They said, "O Hud, you are saying foolish things. Why should we worship one god and give up what our forefathers used to do?" Prophet Hud (AS) explained to them that the idols would only take them further away from Allah and that he was a Prophet sent to guide them.
The Holy Qur'an says: "And unto (the tribe of) Aad (We sent) their brother, Hud. He said: O my people! Serve Allah! You have no other Allah save Him. Lo! you do but invent." "O my people! I ask of you no reward for it. Lo! my reward is the concern only of Him Who made me. Have you then no sense?" (Qur'an 11:50-51)
However, the people of Aad became angry at his words and said, "O Hud, what gives you the right to talk to us in this way? You eat and drink just like us, you are no better than us. Why should you be chosen as a Prophet? We think you are a liar or perhaps one of our idols has cursed you and made you lose your senses."
The people thus made fun of Prophet Hud (AS). His tireless preaching brought him only a few followers. When he warned the people of Aad about the punishment of Allah, the Holy Qur'an says that they said: "...Then bring down on us what you have threatened, if you are truthful." (Qur'an 7:70)
When the people of Aad invited Allah's punishment with their proud words, the rain stopped falling for three years and there was a terrible drought. During this time Prophet Hud (AS) told the people to be sorry for their actions and seek the forgiveness of Allah before it was too late. But they were blind to the truth and continued praying to their idols for rain. Finally, Prophet Hud (AS) gave up and said, "You can do what you want. I only depend on Allah Who is my protector."
At last the punishment of Allah appeared. Suddenly, a huge dark cloud came. When the people of Aad saw it, they thought it was going to rain, but instead, there was a strong and terrible wind that uprooted their houses and tossed the animals into the air. Instead of rain, showers of sparks began to come down from the dark cloud. The violent storm continued for eight days and by the end of it the proud people of Aad were totally destroyed.
The Holy Qur'an says: "And as to Aad, they were destroyed by a roaring, violent blast. Which He made to prevail against them for seven nights and eight days unremittingly, so that you might have seen the people therein prostrate as if they were the trunks of hollow palms. Do you then see of them one remaining?" (Qur'an 69:6-8)
At the first sign of the storm, Prophet Hud (AS) had gathered his followers and family and taken them to a safe place, and they were the only survivors of the terrible punishment from Allah. When the storm was over, Prophet Hud (AS) took his companions to Hazramaut where they passed the rest of their days.