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What! Are they better than the people of Tubba and those who were before them? We destroyed them because they were guilty of sin.

Tubbaʿ was the title given to a succession of Ḥimyārī kings who ruled
for centuries over southern Arabia and were defeated by the Abyssinians in the
fourth century AD. Some understand Tubbaʿ to be the title that the people of
Sheba, who were in Yemen (see 34:15–19), gave their kings (IK). In 50:14 the
people of Tubbaʿ are mentioned as among those who denied God’s messengers
and the Resurrection. According to some, Tubbaʿ refers to a righteous king who
had called his people to God, but they denied him (JJ on 50:14). Some debate
whether this Tubbaʿ to whom reference is made in the Quran was a prophet,
since the Prophet is reported to have said, “I know not whether Tubbaʿ was a
prophet” (Aj, Bḍ, IK, Q). Although the people of Tubbaʿ were stronger than the
Quraysh, they were destroyed for their disbelief (JJ). In this sense, the reference
to them is similar to verses that speak of previous generations or “towns” that
were destroyed for their wrongdoing, despite being stronger in their earthly
provision and material situation than were the Quraysh of Makkah; see 6:6; 7:4;
17:17; 19:74, 98; 21:11; 22:45; 28:58; 38:3; 47:13; 50:36


Nasr, Hossein (2015). Study Quran.

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