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Who was Shaddad?
Shaddad bin Aad was the king of the lost Arabian city named the Iram of the pillars. Shaddad built his paradise with gold, silver, and jewels yet died before seeing it even for once.
His story is found in the 277th through 279th nights of the Tales of the Arabian Nights. The tale described him as a universal king who ruled over the world and the one who built the city of gold.
People of Aad
When ‘Aad’ died, he left behind two sons Shaddad and Shadeed. After some time Shadeed also died and Shaddad became the ruler of his kingdom. It is said that he was said to have ruled 1,000 Adite tribes. Iram of pillars is known as the city of idols.
Allah sent Prophet Hud عليه السلام to the people of Aad to guide them to the right path.
Prophet Hud and Shaddad
When Prophet Hud عليه السلام delivered Allah’s message to Shaddad, he asked what would he get in return if he embraces Islam. Prophet Hud عليه السلام explained to him that he would get paradise.
Shaddad developed more interest in the Jannah and asked about it in more detail. After knowing the details, Shaddad said that it is nothing as he can also create such a paradise.
The paradise of Shaddad
After that Shaddad used the resources of his entire Kingdom and started building a paradise with the following features;
- This city was made of bricks of gold and silver.
- The pillars were erected with pure gemstones such as Ruby and Emerald.
- Jewels were used to make the floors and the pathways.
- Pebbles were not used to enhance the beauty, rather pearls were laid on the floor.
- Beautiful trees were planted to enhance paradise’s beauty and provide shade.
Opening ceremony of the paradise
It took Shaddad 300 years to complete the paradise. Finally, when it was completed, he gave orders to all people to proceed to the walls of the dazzling city of high and magnificent pillars referred to in the Holy Quran as well.
- Did you not see how your Lord dealt with Aad, the people of Iram—with ˹their˺ great stature? – Al Fajr 89:6-7
When Shaddad was going to his paradise for the first time, he saw a deer with a trunk and legs of gold and silver. He decided to chase it on his horse and got separated from his army.
Death of Shaddad
There he saw a frightful horseman who said: “Oh Shaddad! You imagined that you will be saved from death and live forever after entering this man-made paradise on earth.”
Shaddad on hearing this trembled and inquired who he was. “I am the angel of death came the reply.”
“What do you want and why are you obstructing me?” asked Shaddad. “I have come to take away your soul”, he replied.
Shaddad pleaded to let him enter the paradise he made in 300 years but the angel of death refused as he had no permission from Allah to do so. Then he died without entering his paradise even once.
Was his paradise discovered?
During the time of Ameer Mu’awiyah رضي الله عنه, the camel of a pious Muslim Abdullah Bin Qilabah went missing, and while searching for it when he saw this beautiful city that was stranded. Its beauty caught his attention and he went inside.
He took some jewels from there and when he returned, he told about it Ameer Mu’awiyah رضي الله عنه.
Ameer Mu’awiyah رضي الله عنه inquired about this city from Ka’b-ul-Ahbaar who confirmed that it was the paradise of Shaddad.