Allah, the Exalted, says,
(And) This is an introduction to that which is implied, "Verily, We sent.''
(to Thamud) They were a group of people who were living in cities carved from the rocks, between Tabuk and Al-Madinah (in Arabia). They lived after the people of `Ad, so Allah sent to them,
(their brother Salih.) He (Salih) commanded them to worship Allah alone. He said to them,
(He brought you forth from the earth) This means: `He began your creation from it (the earth). From it He created your father, Adam.'
(and settled you therein,) This means: `He made you prosperous in the earth. You are settled in it and you treasure it.'
(then ask forgiveness) `This is in reference to your previous sins. '
(and turn to Him in repentance.) `This is in reference to the future.'
(Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His knowledge), Responsive.) This is similar to Allah's statement,
(And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed Near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me.) (2:186)
(62. They said: "O Salih! You have been among us as a figure of good hope until this! Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped But we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us.'') (63. He said: "O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and there has come to me a mercy from Him, who then can help me against Allah, if I were to disobey Him Then you increase me not but in loss.'')
Allah, the Exalted, mentions what transpired in the discussion between Salih and his people. Allah informs of their ignorance and obstinacy in their statement,
(You have been among us as a figure of good hope till this!) They were saying in this, "We had hope in your strong intellect before you began saying what you have said.''
(Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped) "what those who were before us were upon.''
(But we are really in grave doubt as to that which you invite us.) This alludes to the great amount of doubt that they had.
(He said: "O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord...'') `In reference to what He (Allah) has sent me with to you, I am upon conviction and sure evidence.'
(and there has come to me a mercy from Him, who then can help me against Allah, if I were to disobey Him) `and abandon calling you to the truth and the worship of Allah alone. If I did so, you would not be able to bring me any benefit, nor increase me
(but in loss.)' This means loss and ruin.
(64. "And O my people! This she-camel of Allah is a sign to you, so leave her to graze in Allah's land, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment should seize you.'') (65. But they slaughtered her. So he said: "Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (a threat) that will not be belied.'') (66. So when Our commandment came, We saved Salih and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord -- He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.) (67. And As-Sayhah (awful cry) overtook the wrongdoers, so they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.) (68. As if they had never lived there. No doubt! Verily, Thamud disbelieved in their Lord. So away with Thamud!) A discussion of this story has already preceded in Surat Al-A`raf and it is sufficient without having to be repeated here. Allah is the Giver of success.
(69. And verily, there came Our messengers to Ibrahim with the glad tidings. They said: "Salaman (greetings or peace!)'' He answered, "Salamun (greetings or peace!),'' and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf.) (70. But when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he mistrusted them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: "Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lut.'') (71. And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed. But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq, and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub.) (72. She said (in astonishment): "Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband an old man Verily, this is a strange thing!'') (73. They said: "Do you wonder at the decree of Allah The mercy of Allah and His blessings be on you, O the family (of Ibrahim). Surely, He (Allah) is All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.'')