The Modern Era vis-a-vis A’ad and Thamud
We should be aware nothing is mentioned in the Qur’an without purpose. The incidents of the past are to gauge ourselves with the people of yore.
One may be surprised how closely our mind-sets match with the tribes of A’ad and Thamud, even though there are thousands of years separating us from them. They belong to the pre-historic era, and we are from the modern, technologically advanced and more sophisticated era.
Unless we realize the truth and work on ourselves, to achieve the real purpose of life, one may drown in the dazzling materialistic world, and – may God forbid – have the same end as the destroyed ones.
To give a brief introduction to these tribes of A’ad and Thamud, A’ad were fourth in generation from the Prophet Nuh (asws). They lived in Southern Arabia, with their territory extending from Oman, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, to Yemen, at the southern end of Red Sea. Physically, they were tall in stature and were great builders. They were, perhaps, the pioneers for having used canals for irrigating the lands, and even had long winding tracts of sands to their credit.
Thamud were their successors, cousins to the A’ad, apparently a younger branch from the same race and, therefore, inheriting the same culture and civilization from the former. Thamud were known for their refined architectural skills, which included carving the infrastructure of a whole beautiful city out of huge rocks.
Nevertheless, the advancement of materialism became the cause of ruin for both these tribes. Excessive love of the world stopped them from yielding to the Call of God: they oppressed their fellow men, and believed their materialistic achievements will keep them secure from any harm which could be inflicted upon them.
Our Modern Era too, prides itself on its technology and materialistic achievements. Similar to the aforementioned tribes, our chiefs, too, have oppressed their masses, only to achieve their economic ambitions, by compelling them to accept and adopt the wrong customs, habits and lifestyle on the pretext of modernity.
The common man, almost at all levels of consciousness, allows himself to be subjugated, robbed and even deprived of obedience to the one true God: all in pursuit of acquiring those things for which he has not the slightest use.
In the words of Rene Guenon, in his book, The Crisis of the Modern World:
“If modern civilization is destined to collapse some day under the pressure of the disorderly appetites it has aroused in the masses, one would have to be blind, indeed, not to perceive therein the just punishment of its fundamental vice, or, to express oneself without recourse to modern phraseology, the repercussions of its own action in that same sphere, in which it was exercised.”
He further says:
“The conclusion is only too easy to draw, and further consideration need not be elaborated in order to enable one, without fear of deception, to predict a tragic end to the present world, unless a radical change, amounting to complete reversal of direction, should intervene within a short time.”
We are filled to the brim with decadence, ready to be poured out.
Realization and change is the need of the hour.
Else, and as Rene Guenon puts it, the collapse of the technologically civilized world is destined to happen through technology itself.