A lost people [Archives:2004/712/Letters to the Editor]

February 16 2004

Abdulaslam Hidarh
[email protected]
[email protected]

At the beginning of 1990, there appeared press releases in the well-known newspapers of the world declaring “Fabled Lost Arabian city found”, “Arabian city of Legend found”, “The Atlantis of the Sands, Ubar”.
What rendered this archaeological find more intriguing was the fact that this city was also referred to in the Qur'an. Many people who, since then, thought that 'Ad recounted in the Qur'an were a legend or that their location could never be found, could not conceal their astonishment at this discovery.
The discovery of this city, which was only mentioned in oral stories of Bedouins, awoke great interest and curiosity. Well, what was it that proved this city to be the city of the people of 'Ad mentioned in the Qur'an?
Right from the moment remains started to be unearthed, it was understood that this ruined city belonged to 'Ad and of Iram's pillars mentioned in the Qur'an, because among the structures unearthed were the towers particularly referred to in the Qur'an.
A member of the research team leading the excavation, Dr. Zarins, said that since the towers were alleged to be the distinctive feature of Ubar, and since Iram was mentioned as having towers or pillars, this then was the strongest proof so far that the site they had unearthed was Iram, the city of 'Ad described in the Qur'an.
The Qur'an mentions Iram as follows: Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the 'Ad (people),- Of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars, the like of which were not produced in (all) the land? (The Holy Qur'an: Surat al-Fajr, 6-8) 1. Ubar could only be seen from space before excavations were made. 2. A city 12 meters below the sands was uncovered by excavations.
For additional information, note The People of 'Ad and Ubar Lost City of Arabia (PBS).