﴿50﴾ وَمَكَرُوا مَكْراً وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْراً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
﴿51﴾ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ مَكْرِهِمْ أَنَّا دَمَّرْنَاهُمْ وَقَوْمَهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
50. “ And they devised a device, and We devised a device (too), but they were not aware;”
51. “ And behold, how was the end of their device! For We destroyed them and their people all together.”
The means of annihilation of the people of Thamūd has been referred to in several occurrences of the Qur’ān with different explanations:
1) By earthquake: “… Then the earthquake seized them, …” (Sura Al-’A‘rāf, No. 7, verse 78)
2) By thunderbolt: “… So the Thunderbolt seized them, …” (Sura Ath-Thāriyāt, No. 51, verse 44)
3) By Mighty Blast: “And the (mighty) Blast overtook those who were unjust, …” (Sura Hūd, No. 11, verse 67)
It does not matter, of course, that these three punishments might have occurred simultaneously.
One of the aspects of the device of Allah is giving respite and bounty to the sinners, so that they be busy with them, and when their time is over they are suddenly involved in the chastisement of Allah.
History announces that there was a mountain in a side of the city and it had a slit where the temple of Sāleh was. Sometimes Sāleh (a.s.) went there at night in order to worship and prattle with Allah as two lovers.
They decided to lie in ambush there and when Sāleh came over there they would kill him, and then, after his martyrdom,
they would attack his home by the same night and kill his household, too, and return to their houses; and when they were questioned about it, they would say they knew nothing.
But Allah nullified their plots surprisingly and their plans remained invalid.
When they were lying in ambush in a corner of the mountain, some pieces of the mountain fall and a huge rock from upward of it came down over them and destroyed them in a short moment. The verse says:
but they were not aware;”
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Then, the next verse implies that not only those people, but also their adherents were destroyed. It says:
destroyed them and their people all together.”
As it has been mentioned formerly, the Qur’ānic term /makr/, in the Arabic literature, means any ‘application of a remedy’, and it does not pertain exclusively to satanic and harmful plans that is used in the Persian language today. Thus, it is used in both harmful plans and good devices. Rāqib in Mufradāt says: “/makr/ (device) is that which hinders one to reach his goal.”
Therefore, when this word is used about Allah, it means: ‘nullification of harmful plots’; and when it is used about mischief mongers, it means: ‘impedimental acts against reproving programs’.
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