Saleh the Prohet

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Saleh as a prophet, is described as having been born and raised among the Thamud, a group of people who lived in an area between Palestine and the Hijaz ( called Mada'in Saleh ). The Thamud are said to have lived in stone houses carved into mountains, and to have worshipped idols made from stone. Saleh tried to convince his people not to worship idols and to embrace Tawhid, but they refused, insisting that Saleh obtain a miracle; the narrative goes on to state that God responded by creating a female camel, which the Thamud were allowed ####to milk for sustenance, but were not allowed to harm. Despite the instruction, the Thamud slaughtered the camel because of their rebellion, so God ordered Saleh to leave his people; when Saleh had complied by leaving, there was a large thunderous sound that destroyed the Thamud. Thamud cannot be equated with the Edomites at Petra. Historic Petra had several places of worship, and the main mountain at the site - Jebel al-Madhbah - is topped by two stone obelisks, suggesting the worship of deities via stone phallic symbols. The narrow gorge leading to the site - known as the Siq - can sometimes channel the wind to produce a loud trumpet-like sound, and it is known by local Bedouin as the trumpet of God. The Edomites occupants of Petra were, however, not obliterated, but instead just migrated to the Negev; neither were the subsequent Nabataean occupants of Petra destroyed by divine command, but instead were weakened by Trajan, and reduced to mere peasants. The name of Saleh may originate in the name of the city, as it was historically known as Sela, a word deriving from the Hebrew term Se'lah, meaning rock; the Greek name Petra has the same meaning.

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