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Article appeared Friday, July 5th, 2019 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (577) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Have we ever studied nations or cities that were completely destroyed by God? What
happened? How did the inhabitants suddenly die/disappear leaving no descendants to
mourn or even record their history? Why did God destroy the inhabitants and yet leave
some buildings intact? To work out possible answers we may explore articles in the
Internet. The article 8 ruined cities that remain a mystery to this day {1} in the website
GIZMODO shows pictures of the remnants of 8 such cities. The first city shown {1} is
Çatalhöyük in Turkey. The buildings of this city have a very interesting architecture,
totally unlike building design of today. All the houses have shared walls with entrances
from the rooftops. Examples of other destroyed cities and civilizations can be found in
{2, 3}. There are theories of how the populations disappeared, e.g., a plague or a natural
calamity that wiped them all out. However, is clear that these civilizations were not
backward at least in terms of building engineering. The building design shown of
Derinkuyu, Turkey {1} is a completely built underground city of 20,000 inhabitants with
ventilation and drainage shafts going down about 7 building levels.

Although the architecture/engineering of each lost city/civilizations appears to be

advanced and unique, a common feature found by archeologists is the discovery of
idols. For example, in Çatalhöyük {1}, they discovered many fertility goddess figurines in
the city that resemble others found in the region. Similarly, Easter Island {2} boasts of
large statues aligned to the local coastline. Could it be that the people had built large
“gods” to protect them from possible high waves or tsunamis? Is it likely that along with
idol worship that the people of these civilizations took pride in their engineering

Nevertheless, the people of these cities were wiped out without a trace, as if they never
existed! Why were these people destroyed? Looking for answers in Holy Scriptures
Chapter 7 of Deuteronomy {4} of the Bible provides food for thought. The followers, i.e.,
the Children of Israel, are not only asked to destroy idols and refrain from idolatry but to
destroy idolatrous nations.
“You must burn up the carved images of their gods. Don’t covet the silver and
gold on the images and take it for yourself, or else you will be ensnared by it, for
it is abhorrent to the LORD your God. You must not bring any abhorrent thing into
your house, or you will be set apart for destruction like it. You are to utterly detest
and abhor it, because it is set apart for destruction.” {4}
Having created the Universe and each individual human being together with sustained
blessings, should God tolerate the attachment to imagined gods and goddesses? The
Holy Scripture, the Qur’an actually invites mankind to study how and why many previous
nations were destroyed, as mentioned in Verse 82 of Chapter 40.
“Do they not travel through the earth and observed how was the end of those
before them? They were more numerous than themselves and superior in
strength and in impression on the land: yet all that they accomplished (using
technology and in deeds) was of no profit to them.” [40.82]

Some of the fruits of their superior engineering and architecture still remain standing
after thousands of years but of what benefit is it to them? Before destroying a people,
however, God sends His messengers and prophets to warn like He did in the case of
Pharaoh. We are reminded of the warnings and subsequent destruction in the Qur’an
while it confirms the messages sent in the earlier Holy Scriptures.
“Before this We sent Moses the Book and appointed his brother Aaron with him
as Minister;” [25.35]

25.36 “And We commanded, "Go both of you to the people who have
rejected Our Signs": and We (subsequently) destroyed those (people) with
utter destruction.”
God has given each human the intellectual capacity to reflect on not only his/her own
creation but created blessings all around us and work out the Hand of God in everything.
Ignoring all these Signs, Pharaoh had declared Himself as god. The story {5} of what
happened to Pharaoh and his followers after the warning was delivered and he refused
to listen is well known. Similarly, Noah delivered warnings to his people as he lived with
them. What happened to the people of Noah? What happened to Noah’s son who
refused to reflect on what his father had been trying to convey to him all his life?

25.37 “And the people of Noah when they rejected the apostles We
drowned them and We made them as a Sign for mankind; and We have
prepared for (all) wrongdoers a grievous Penalty.”
Mankind is not only aware of the signs of Noah’s Ark {6, 7} but signs of worldwide flood
are now being shown by scientists {8}. God drowned everything on earth while He saved
those on the Ark. In addition, the Qur’an talks about other civilizations that were

25.38 “As also `Ad and Thamud and the Companions of the Rass and many
a generation between them.”

25.39 “And for each We presented parables and examples (as warnings);
and each We destroyed with (total) destruction.”
The messages taught by the messengers and prophets before annihilation were full of
analogies with examples that would be easy for anyone to understand.

25.40 “And the (Unbelievers) must indeed have passed by the town on
which was rained a shower of evil: did they not then see it (with their own
eyes)? But they fear not the Resurrection.”
Even after seeing the evidence of destruction with own eyes, the disbelievers refuse to
turn to God. They do not take into account the Day that they will stand before God to
account for their disbelief in Him.

25.41 “When they see you (O, Muhammad) they take you not except in
ridicule (saying), "Is this the one whom God has sent as a messenger?"”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the last of messengers sent by God. Through him the
Qur’an was revealed confirming all the messengers before him bringing the same
warning. Will we reflect on the message of the Qur’an and turn to God, away from
modern day gods, before destruction comes?