The people of ‘Ad lived many years in the windswept hills of an area between Yemen and Oman. They were physically well built and renowned 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 عليه السلام, a noble man who handled this task with great resoluteness and tolerance.
Ibn Jarir reported that he was Hud Ibn Shalikh, Ibn Arfakhshand, Ibn Sam, Ibn Noah عليه السلام. He also reported that Prophet Hud عليه السلام was from a tribe called Ad Ibn Us Ibn Sam Ibn Noah, who were Arabs living in Al Ahqaf in Yemen between Oman and Hadramaut, on a land called Ashar stretching out into the sea. The name of their valley was Mughiith. Some traditions claimed that Hud عليه السلام was the first person who spoke Arabic while others claimed that Noah عليه السلام was the first. It was also said that Adam عليه السلام was the first.
Hud عليه السلام condemned idol worship and admonished his people. “My people, what is the benefit of these stones that you carve with your own hands and worship? In reality it is an insult to the intellect. There is only One Deity worthy of worship and that is Allah. Worship of Him and Him alone, is compulsory on you.
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 favors, or the same fate that destroyed Noah’s people will overtake you.” With such reasoning Hud hoped to instill faith in them, but they refused to accept his message. His people asked him: “Do you desire 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.