John Updike is the author of more
than fifty books, including collections
of short stories, poems, criticism and novels. His
novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the
National Book Award, the American Book
Award, the National Book Critics Circle
Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the
The Ad are believed to be an ancient Arabian people who became rich through the production of frankincense and as a trading point for spices from India. The Qur'an says that the prophet Hud was sent by Allah to the city of Ubar/Iram (famed for its tall towers) to warn them that the city would be destroyed if they continued to worship multiple gods. The people ignored the warnings and the city was destroyed by a massive sandstorm. In the early 1990s scientists studying satellite images identified a buried city on the fringe of the Arabian Desert in Oman which they believe to be the lost city of the people of Ad.
According to Islamic tradition, the prophet Hud was born 5 generations after Noah which could make him the same person as Eber, mentioned in the Hebrew bible which, if true, would be a little ironic as according to Jewish legend Eber refused to take part in the building of the Tower of Babel, and thus when it fell only he retained the original human language - which became known as Hebrew.
This article was originally published in July 2006, and has been updated for the
May 2007 paperback release.
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