These are some of the stories of communities which We relate unto thee: of them some are standing, and some have been mown down (by the sickle of time). It was not We that wronged them: They wronged Their own souls: the deities, other than Allah, whom they invoked, profited them no whit when there issued the decree of thy Lord: Nor did they add aught (to their lot) but perdition! (Surah Hud: 100-101)
It is Allah Who creates man, and gives him a spiritual and physical form, lets him lead a certain course of life, and then will take him into His presence by bringing about his death. Allah creates man and as revealed in the verse "Should He not know - He that created?" (Surat al-Mulk: 14),He is the One Who knows and recognises him, who educates him and meets his needs. Therefore, the only real purpose man has in life is to praise Allah, supplicate Him and worship Him. For the same reason, the revelation of Allah communicated to people through His Messenger and the Prophet’s (saas) Sunnah are the true guidance for mankind.
The Qur’an is the last book of Allah and His only unaltered revelation.
This is why we are responsible for assuming the Qur’an as our true guide, and of being extremely meticulous about all its judgements. In addition, we are also charged with adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), a mercy on all mankind.
Therefore, we need to explore very carefully and attentively what the Qur’an relates to us and contemplate it. In the Qur’an, Allah states that the purpose of the Qur’an’s revelation is to lead people to think:
Here is a Message for mankind: Let them take warning therefrom, and let them know that He is (no other than) One Allah: let men of understanding take heed. (Surah Ibrahim: 52)
The news of previous peoples which constitutes a great part of the Qur’an, is certainly one of the matters we ought to contemplate. A majority of these people rejected the prophets sent to them and, moreover, showed animosity towards them. Because of their audacity, they brought Allah’s wrath upon themselves and have been wiped off the face of the earth.
The Qur’an tells us that these cases of destruction should be a warning for succeeding generations. For instance, right after the description of the punishment given to a group of Jews who rebelled against Allah, it is revealed in the Qur’an; "So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear Allah."(Surat al-Baqara: 66)
In this book, we will review some past societies that have been destroyed because of their rebellion against Allah. Our purpose is to highlight all these incidents, each of which is an "example to their own time", so that they can set a "warning".
The second reason we are examining these destructions is to show the manifestations of the verses of the Qur’an externally in the world and confirm the authenticity of the Qur’an’s account. In the Qur’an, Allah certifies that His verses are observable in the external world: "Praise be to Allah, Who will soon show you His Signs, so that ye shall know them" (Surat an-Naml: 93), and to know and identify them is one of the primary ways leading to belief.
Nearly all the incidents of destruction related in the Qur’an have become "observable" and "identifiable" thanks to the current archive studies and archaeological finds. In this study, we will deal with the traces of some of the cases of destruction mentioned in the Qur’an. (It should be noted that some of the communities related in the Qur’an have not been included in the scope of this book, because in the Qur’an no specific time and place is given for some of them, which are only described for their rebellious conduct and antagonism towards Allah and His prophets, and for the disasters that befell them as a result. Thus, people are summoned to derive a warning from them.)