﴿38﴾ وَعَاداً وَثَمُودَاْ وَقَد تَبَيَّنَ لَكُم مِن مَسَاكِنِهِمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ
38. “ And (We destroyed) ‘Ād and Thamūd, and it has become clear to you from their dwelling-places, and Satan made their deeds fair-seeming unto them, so he kept them back from the (right) path, though they were keen-sighted.”
Pride, self-admiration, and boasting for wealth and power are some examples of satanic ornamentations.
Man naturally loves beauty and adornment, and the Satan misuses this man’s inner quality.
In this verse, the words are about the people of ‘Ād and the people of Thamūd without mentioning any thing about their prophets (Hūd and Sālih) and their talks to these two obstinate peoples, because they were two known nations that the story of their prophets has been repeatedly referred to in other verses of the Qur’ān. It says:
Then, it adds implying that the ruins of their cities in the lands of Hijr and Yemen are alongside your way.
In your journeys toward Yemen and Syria for commerce and trade, every year you cross the land Hijr, which is located in the north of Arabia, and the land of ’Ahqāf, which is located in the south and near to Yemen, and you observe the ruins of
the cities of ’Ād and Thamūd with your own eyes; then why do you not take an example?
Then, the noble verse points to the main cause of their wretchedness and says:
he kept them back from the (right) path, …”
They treated like that while they had keen eyes and intellect. Their nature was on Monotheism and piety, and the Divine prophets had also shown them sufficiently the right path. The verse continues saying:
Some commentators have taken this sentence in the sense of having vigilant eyes and enough wisdom, while some others have meant it into ‘safe nature’, and some others into correct use of the guidance of Divine prophets.
It does not matter that the holy verse contains all these meanings, indicating that they were not ignorant, but formerly they knew the truth well and they had vigilant conscience, enough intellect, and the prophets completed the argument for them, yet they left the invitation of the prophets and went after the temptations of Satan, and day after another day their evil deeds seemed beautiful to them, and they reached a point where they had no way to return. The law of reaction burnt these dry, fruitless pieces of wood in fire of their deeds, and this was their own compensation.
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