The people of 'Ad lived many years in the hills of an area between Yemen and Oman. They were physically well built and well known for their craftsmanship especially in the construction of tall buildings with lofty towers. They were outstanding among all the nations in power and wealth, which, unfortunately, made them arrogant and boastful. Their political power was held in the hand of unjust rulers, against whom no one dared to raise a voice. They were not ignorant of the existence of Allah, nor did they refuse to worship Him. What they did refuse was to worship Allah alone. They worshipped other gods, also, including idols. This is one sin Allah does not forgive.
Allah wanted to guide and discipline these people so He sent a prophet from among them. This prophet was Hud, a noble man who handled this task with great determination and patience.
Hud condemned idol worship and warned his people. Hud would ask them what is the benefit of these stones that you carve with your own hands and worship" My people, what is the benefit of these stones that you carve with your own hands and worship? There is only One worthy of worship and that is Allah. Worship Him and Him alone. He created you, He provides for you and He is the One Who will cause you to die. He gave you wonderful physiques and blessed you in many ways. So believe in Him and do not be blind to His favours, or the same way Nuh’s people were destroyed will happen to you.
With such reasoning Hud hoped to instil faith in them, but they refused to accept his message. His people asked him: "Do you want to be our master with your call? What payment do you want?" Hud tried to make them understand that he would receive his payment (reward) from Allah; he did not demand anything from them except that they let the light of truth touch their minds and hearts.
Hud tried to speak to them and to explain about Allah's blessings: how Allah the Almighty had made them Nuh's successors, how He had given them strength and power, and how He sent them rain to revive the soil.
Hud's people looked about them and found they were the strongest on earth, so they become prouder and more stubborn. Therefore, they argued a lot with Hud.
The chiefs of Hud's people asked him "Is it not strange that Allah's chooses one of us to reveal His message to?"
Hud replied: "What is strange in that? Allah wants to guide you to the right way of life, so He sent me to warn you. Nuh's flood and his story are not far away from you, so do not forget what happened. All the disbelievers were destroyed, no matter how strong they were."
"Who is going to destroy us Hud?" the chiefs asked.
"Allah." replied Hud.
The disbelievers among his people answered: "We will be saved by our gods."
Hud clarified to them that the gods they worshipped would be the reason for their destruction, that it is Allah alone Who saves people, and that no other power on earth can benefit or harm anyone.
The conflict between Hud and his people continued. The years passed, and they became prouder and more stubborn, and more tyrannical and more defiant of their prophet's message.
Furthermore, they started to accuse Hud of being a crazy lunatic. They said to him, "We now understand the secret of your madness you insulted our gods and they harmed you; that is why you have become insane."
Hud had to return their challenge. He had no other way but to turn to Allah alone, no other alternative but to give them a threatening challenge. he declared to them "I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am not part of you worshipping idols with Allah. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! If you turn away from the truth then my Lord will make another people come after you who are better.”
Hud and his people waited for Allah's promise. A drought spread throughout the land, for the sky no longer sent its rain. the sun scorched the desert sands, looking like a disk of fire which settled on people's heads.
Hud's people hastened to him asking: "What is that drought Hud?" Hud answered: "Allah is angry with you. If you believe in Him, He will accept you and the rain will fall and you will become stronger than you are."
They mocked him and became more stubborn, sarcastic and stayed in their disbelief. The drought increased, the trees turned yellow, and plants died. A day came when they found the sky full of clouds. Hud's people were glad as they came out of their tents crying: "A cloud, which will give us rain!" The weather changed suddenly from burning dry and hot to stinging cold with wind that shook everything; trees, plants, tents, men and women. The wind increased day after day and night after night.
Hud's people started to flee. They ran to their tents to hide but the gale became stronger, ripping their tents from their stakes. They hid under cloth covers but the gale became stronger and still and tore away the covers. It slashed clothing and skin. It penetrated the apertures of the body and destroyed it. It hardly touched anything before it was destroyed or killed, its core sucked out to decompose and rot. The storm raged for 8 days and 7 nights.
That violent gale did not stop until the entire region was reduced to ruins and its wicked people destroyed, swallowed by the sands of the desert. Only Hud and his followers remained unharmed. They migrated to Hadramaut and lived there in peace, worshipping Allah, their true Lord.