The tribe of Thamud was living happily in the land of Hajar which was located between Syria and Hejaz. They were enjoying the green gardens, big springs and rivers, the productive land and beneficial animals of this country. But gradually idolatry and corruption got over spread among the people of this tribe and consequently God appointed Saleh, a pious man of a noble and respectful family in Hajar, who was quite well-known for his knowledge and wisdom in the tribe to guide the people. Therefore, Saleh addressed the whole tribe and said :
“O’ my people! Worship the Almighty for he is the most kind and there is no god rather than him. It is He who has created you from the clay and made this land productive for you. Ask forgiveness from Him and repent to His greatness for He is so close to you and the only one that will respond to your prayers. Remember the time when He made you the successor of Aad tribe and placed you on the earth where you now build your palaces on its flat lands and form houses out of its mountains. Remember God's favors and do not choose the way of the corrupt."
People answered: O' Saleh! You used to be a wise and logical man in this tribe and we thought we could depend on your wisdom at the time of terrible events and calamities. Now you are asking us to reject what our fathers used to worship. We shall thus be quite dubious about what you are inviting us to. "
So they asked Saleh to take a woolly red she camel which was ten-month old out of the mountain. Saleh requested God to do so and in Great God's will a she camel with those characteristic, stepped out of the rocks. At this time God sent Saleh a revelation saying:
"Inform your tribe of the God's will which permits you to use the water of this village alternatively with this camel that is one day you shall use the water and one day the camel. So Saleh said to the tribe:
"You people! This is the camel of God which shall serve as a token of His presence and a miracle to prove the righteousness of my prophet hood and invitation. So leave this camel on its own to graze in God's land and feed on the grass and vegetables. Don't do it any harm for otherwise a great torment will soon fall upon you."
However, the people didn't leave their obstinacy and revolt and revealed their disbelief in Saleh quite clearly and as strong as they could, except for a few people who accepted his invitation and believed in him.
Finally people decided to kill the she-camel, but each time the fear of torment prevented them from taking any action. One day, some young men who were motivated by women of the tribe got determined to kill the camel and set out to do so. While the camel was busy drinking water, they shot her by an arrow which hit it in the leg and caused her to fall down. Then they drew their swords, attacked and killed her. Saleh coming to know this turned to people and said:
"Enjoy your life in your houses for three days for you will have a terrible death after these days. This is a certain and exact promise that will not be belied or delayed.
The people of the tribe neglected his words and went on with their revolt and disobedience. They even decided to kill Saleh but didn't find the time for God responded to their trickery and conspiracy with His torment soon after. There came a lightning on them which changed them to lifeless corpses in their houses. And this was a due punishment for their oppression and revolt.