Allah says of Fir`awn -- may Allah curse him -- that he said to his minister Haman:
(Build me a Sarh that I may arrive at the ways.) (40:36-37) Sarh is also used to refer to the high constructed palaces in Yemen. Mumarrad means sturdily constructed and smooth.
(of Qawarir) means, made of glass, i.e., it was built with smooth surfaces. Marid is a fortress in Dawmat Al-Jandal. What is meant here is that Sulayman built a huge, lofty palace of glass for this queen, in order to show her the greatness of his authority and power. When she saw for herself what Allah had given him and how majestic his position was, she submitted to the command of Allah and acknowledged that he was a noble Prophet, so she submitted to Allah and said:
(My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself,) meaning, by her previous disbelief and Shirk and by the fact that she and her people had worshipped the sun instead of Allah.
(and I submit, together with Sulayman to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.) meaning, following the religion of Sulayman, worshipping Allah alone with no partner or associate, Who created everything and measured it exactly according to its due measurements.
(45. And indeed We sent to Thamud their brother Salih, (saying): "Worship Allah.'' Then look! They became two parties quarreling with each other.) (46. He said: "O my people! Why do you seek to hasten the evil before the good Why seek you not the forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy'') (47. They said: "We augur an omen from you and those with you.'' He said: "Your omen is of Allah; nay, but you are a people that are being tested.'')
Allah tells us about Thamud and how they responded to their Prophet Salih, when Allah sent him to call them to worship Allah alone, with no partner or associate.
(Then look! They became two parties quarreling with each other.) Mujahid said, "These were believers and disbelievers.'' This is like the Ayah,
(The leaders of those who were arrogant among his people said to those who were counted weak -- to such of them as believed: "Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.'' They said: "We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.'' Those who were arrogant said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.'') (7:75-76)
(He said: "O my people! Why do you seek to hasten the evil before the good'') meaning, `why are you praying for the punishment to come, and not asking Allah for His mercy' Then he said:
("Why seek you not the forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy'' They said: "We augur an omen from you and those with you.'') This means: "We do not see any good in your face and the faces of those who are following you.'' Since they were doomed, whenever anything bad happened to any of them they would say, "This is because of Salih and his companions.'' Mujahid said, "They regarded them as bad omens.'' This is similar to what Allah said about the people of Fir`awn:
(But whenever good came to them, they said: "Ours is this.'' And if evil afflicted them, they saw it as an omen about Musa and those with him) (7:131). And Allah says:
(And if some good reaches them, they say, "This is from Allah,'' but if some evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you.'' Say: "All things are from Allah.'') (4:78) i.e., by virtue of His will and decree. And Allah tells us about the dwellers of the town, when the Messengers came to them:
(They (people) said: "For us, we see an omen from you; if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.'' They (Messengers) said: "Your omens are with yourselves!) (36:18) And these people (Thamud) said:
("We augur an omen from you and those with you.'' He said: "Your omen is of Allah;) meaning, Allah will punish you for that.
(nay, but you are a people that are being tested.) Qatadah said: "You are being tested to see whether you will obey or disobey.'' The apparent meaning of the phrase
(are being tested) is: you will be left to get carried away in your state of misguidance.
(48. And there were in the city nine Rahtin, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform.) (49. They said: "Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and thereafter we will surely say to his near relatives: `We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily, we are telling the truth.''') (50. So, they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not.) (51. Then see how was the end of their plot! Verily, We destroyed them and their nation all together.) (52. These are their houses in utter ruin, for they did wrong. Verily, in this is indeed an Ayah for people who know.) (53. And We saved those who believed, and had Taqwa of Allah.)
Allah tells us about the evildoers of Thamud and their leaders who used to call their people to misguidance and disbelief, and to deny Salih. Eventually they killed the she-camel and were about to kill Salih too. They plotted to let him sleep with his family at night, then they would assassinate him and tell his relatives that they knew nothing about what happened to him, and that they were telling the truth because none of them had seen anything. Allah says:
(And there were in the city) meaning, in the city of Thamud,
(nine Raht,) meaning, nine people,
(who made mischief in the land, and would not reform.) They forced their opinions on the people of Thamud, because they were the leaders and chiefs. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said: "These were the people who killed the she-camel,'' Meaning, that happened upon their instigation, may Allah curse them. Allah says:
(But they called their comrade and he took (a sword) and killed (the she-camel). ) (54:29)
(When the most wicked man among them went forth (to kill the she-camel).) (91:12) `Abdur-Razzaq said that Yahya bin Rabi`ah As-San`ani told them, "I heard `Ata' -- i.e. Ibn Abi Rabah -- say:
(And there were in the city nine Raht, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform.) `They used to break silver coins.''' They would break off pieces from them, as if they used to trade with them in terms of numbers (as opposed to weight), as the Arabs used to do. Imam Malik narrated from Yahya bin Sa`id that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said: "Cutting gold and silver (coins) is part of spreading corruption on earth.'' What is meant is that the nature of these evil disbelievers was to spread corruption on earth by every means possible, one of which was that mentioned by these Imams.
(They said: "Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household...'') They took a mutual oath, pledging that during the night, whoever met the Allah's Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) he would assassinate him. But Allah planned against them and caused their plot to backfire. Mujahid said, "They took a mutual oath pledging to kill him, but before they could reach him, they and their people were all destroyed.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Hatim said: "When they killed the she-camel, Salih said to them:
("Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (i.e., a threat) that will not be belied.'') (11:65). They said: `Salih claims that he will finish with us in three days, but we will finish him and his family before the three days are over.' Salih had a place of worship in a rocky tract in a valley, where he used to pray. So they set out to go to a cave there one night, and said, `When he comes to pray, we will kill him, then we will return. When we have finished him off, we will go to his family and finish them off too.' Then Allah sent down a rock upon them from the mountains round about; they feared that it would crush them, so they ran into the cave and the rock covered the mouth of the cave while they were inside. Their people did not know where they were or what had happened to them. So Allah punished some of them here, and some of them there, and He saved Salih and the people who were with him. Then he recited:
(So, they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. Then see how was the end of their plot! Verily, We destroyed them and their nation, all together. These are their houses in utter ruin,) i.e., deserted.''
(for they did wrong. Verily, in this is indeed an Ayah for people who know. And We saved those who believed, and had Taqwa of Allah.)
(54. And (remember) Lut! When he said to his people: "Do you commit immoral sins while you see'') (55. "Do you practice your lusts on men instead of women Nay, but you are a people who behave senselessly.'') (56. There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: "Drive out the family of Lut from your city. Verily, these are men who want to be clean and pure!'') (57. So, We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind.) (58. And We rained down on them a rain. So, evil was the rain of those who were warned.)