6 things to know about Madain Saleh

We have explained everything about Madain Saleh including its history in Quran and Hadith and its relationship with the current Al Ula.

Madain Saleh History

Madain Saleh was once the capital of the Kingdom of Lihyan. It is believed that the people of Thamud started inhabiting this place at around 2100 B.C. (i.e. around 4100 years from now).

This area has been discussed in the Holy Quran and a Hadith. There is a story of Prophet Saleh عليه السلام and his camel.

Madain Saleh history

Prophet Saleh and his camel

People of Thamud used to live in this area where Prophet Saleh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was sent to guide them.  This is the reason this area is called Madain Saleh.

To test Prophet Saleh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, they asked him to bring a particular camel from a solid, which the leaders of Thamud later killed. Finally, Allah destroyed the people of Thamud with an earthquake.

Prophet Saleh and his camel
The well from where the camel of Prophet Saleh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ used to drink water.

Madain Saleh in Quran

A section is present in the Holy Quran which explains the real story of these houses.

  • “And you carve out of the mountains, homes, with skill”. Ash-Shu’ara 26:149.
  • “And do not touch her with harm, lest you be seized by the punishment of a terrible day. But they hamstrung her and so became regretful. And the punishment seized them. Indeed, that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers.” Ash-Shu’ara 26:156-158

Madain Saleh in Quran

Madain Saleh Hadith

In the eyes of many scholars, it is forbidden to visit Madain Saleh due to a hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ where he abstained people from entering the place.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Do not enter the ruined dwellings of those who were unjust to themselves unless (you enter) weeping, lest you should suffer the same punishment as was inflicted upon them.” – Sahi Bukhari 3381

Madain Saleh Hadith

Why is Madain Saleh forbidden?

As you can read in the Hadith given above, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has forbidden Muslims to visit Madain Saleh for entertainment.

However, it is allowed to visit if you go there crying, taking a lesson from those who abstained from the path of Allah and how Allah cursed them.

Why is Al Ula cursed?

Al Ula is a significant region, and Madain Saleh or Hegra is just a small area located 22 km north of the city.

Therefore, it would be wrong to state that the entire Al Ula region is cursed, as Madain Saleh is only a tiny part. So, you can still plan a trip to Al Ula and avoid the cursed areas of Madain Saleh.

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