Insolent, Arrogant, Unjust, Oppressive, Deceived By Their Abundant Wealth, Great Strength and Fortified Buildings; But What Was Their End?!
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah (The Most High) said:
[أَلَمۡ تَرَ كَيۡفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ – Did you (O Muhammad) not see (thought) how your Lord dealt with ‘Ad (people)?]; [إِرَمَ ذَاتِ ٱلۡعِمَادِ -Who were very tall like lofty pillars]; [ٱلَّتِى لَمۡ يُخۡلَقۡ مِثۡلُهَا فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ- The like of which were not created in the land?]; [وَثَمُودَ ٱلَّذِينَ جَابُواْ ٱلصَّخۡرَ بِٱلۡوَادِ – And (with) Thamud (people), who cut (hewed) out rocks in the valley (to make dwellings)?]; [وَفِرۡعَوۡنَ ذِى ٱلۡأَوۡتَادِ -And (with) Fir’aun (Pharaoh), who had the stakes; ٱلَّذِينَ طَغَوۡاْ فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ -Who did transgress beyond bounds in the lands (in the disobedience of Allah); فَأَكۡثَرُواْ فِيہَا ٱلۡفَسَادَ – And made therein much mischief; فَصَبَّ عَلَيۡهِمۡ رَبُّكَ سَوۡطَ عَذَابٍ – So your Lord poured on them different kinds of severe torment;إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِٱلۡمِرۡصَادِ – Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them)] [Soorah Al-Fajr Aayaat 6-14]
Few Benefits from the Above Aayaat
[أَلَمۡ تَرَ -Did you (O Muhammad) not see]; Meaning: With your heart and insight, how those tyrannical nations were dealt with- the (people of) Iram, the well-known tribe in Yemen. [ذَاتِ ٱلۡعِمَاد -Who were very tall like lofty pillars]; Meaning: They had great strength, insolent and proud. [ٱلَّتِى لَمۡ يُخۡلَقۡ مِثۡلُهَا -The like of which were not created]; Meaning: None was similar to Aad in strength; [فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ – In the land]; Meaning: In all the lands (due to what they possessed of power and strength), just as Allaah [The Most High] says that their Prophet Hud (alayhis-salaam) said to them: [وَٱذۡڪُرُوٓاْ إِذۡ جَعَلَكُمۡ خُلَفَآءَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ قَوۡمِ نُوحٍ۬ وَزَادَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡخَلۡقِ بَصۜۡطَةً۬ۖ فَٱذۡڪُرُوٓاْ ءَالَآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ -And remember that He made you successors after the people of Nuh (Noah), and increased you amply in stature. So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah, so that you may be successful] [Al-A’raaf: Ayah 70]
[وَثَمُودَ ٱلَّذِينَ جَابُواْ ٱلصَّخۡرَ بِٱلۡوَاد – And (with) Thamud (people), who cut (hewed) out rocks in the valley (to make dwellings)]; Meaning: Valley towns, which they hewed out of solid rocks with their strength and took them as dwelling places.
[وَفِرۡعَوۡنَ ذِى ٱلۡأَوۡتَاد – And (with) Fir’aun (Pharaoh), who had the stakes]; Meaning: He had hosts that established his authority, in a manner similar to how stakes firmly hold something (on the ground). [ٱلَّذِينَ طَغَوۡاْ فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ – Who did transgress beyond bounds in the lands (in the disobedience of Allah)]; Meaning: Aad, Thamood, Fir’awn and those who followed them because they transgressed in Allaah’s earth and harmed the slaves of Allaah in their religious and worldly affairs. And because of this Allaah (The Most High) said: [فَأَكۡثَرُواْ فِيہَا ٱلۡفَسَاد – And made therein much mischief]; Meaning: Disbelief (in Allaah and His Messengers); spreading all types of disobedience (in the land); hastening to wage war against the Messengers and hindering mankind from the path of Allaah.
So when they reached that state of haughtiness deserving of destruction, Allaah sent them His punishment -different kinds of severe torment. [إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِٱلۡمِرۡصَادِ – Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful]; Meaning: Ever watchful over the one who disobeys Him. Allaah gives him respite for a little while, and then seizes him with a mighty and powerful seizure.
[slightly paraphrased, for further details see Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer kalaam Al-Mannaan of Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah). abridged & slightly paraphrased]