This Surah has been named after Prophet Hud whose story has
been related in vv. 50-60.
Period of Revelation
If we consider its theme deeply, we come to the conclusion
that it was revealed during the same period as Surah Yunus
and most probably followed it immediately.
The Surah deals with the same subject as Surah Yunus, that
is, invitation to the Message, admonition and warning, with
this difference that the warning is sterner. This is also supported
by a Tradition:
It is related that after its revelation, once Hadrat Abu Bakr
said to the Holy Prophet, "Of late I have been noticing that
you are growing older and older. What is the cause of it?" The
Holy Prophet replied, "Surah Hud and the like Surahs have made
me old." This shows that it was a very hard time for the Holy
Prophet and these stern warnings added greatly to his anxieties
that were caused by the persecution from the Quraish, who were
doing their worst to crush down the Message of Islam. For it
was obvious to the Holy Prophet that the last limit of the
respite given by Allah was approaching nearer and nearer and
he was afraid lest the term of the respite should expire and
his people be seized by the torment.
The invitation is this: Obey the Messenger of Allah; discard
shirk, and worship Allah and Allah alone: establish the entire
system of your life on the belief that you shall be called
to account in the Hereafter.
The admonition is this: Remember that those people who put
their faith in the outward appearance of this worldly life
and rejected the Message of the Prophets met with dire consequences.
Therefore you should consider it seriously whether you should
follow the same way that history has proved to be the path
The warning is this: You should not be deluded by the delay
in the coming of the punishment: it is because of the respite
that Allah has granted you by His grace so that you might mend
your ways: if you do not make use of this opportunity, you
shall be inflicted with an inevitable punishment that will
destroy you all except the Believers.
Instead of addressing the people directly, the Quran has used
the stories of the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Shu'aib
and Moses to achieve the above mentioned objects. What is most
prominent in their stories is that when Allah passes His judgement
on the people, He does not spare anyone whatsoever, even if
he be the nearest relative of the Prophet of the time. Only
that one is rescued who had believed in the Prophet, and none
else, not even his own son or wife. More than that: the Faith
demands from each and every Believer that he should totally
forget his relationships when that judgement comes and remember
only the relationship of the Faith. For it is against the spirit
of Islam to show any regard whatsoever for the relationships
of blood and race. And the Muslims demonstrated these teachings
practically in the Battle of Badr, four years after the revelation
of this Surah.