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Sura 34
Aya 16
فَأَعرَضوا فَأَرسَلنا عَلَيهِم سَيلَ العَرِمِ وَبَدَّلناهُم بِجَنَّتَيهِم جَنَّتَينِ ذَواتَي أُكُلٍ خَمطٍ وَأَثلٍ وَشَيءٍ مِن سِدرٍ قَليلٍ

Muhammad Asad

But they turned away [from Us], and so We let loose upon them a flood that overwhelmed the dams,1 and changed their two [expanses of luxuriant] gardens into a couple of gardens yielding bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few [wild] lote-trees:
  • Lit., "the flooding of the dams" (sayl al-'arim). The date of that catastrophe cannot be established with any certainty, but the most probable period of the first bursting of the Dam of Ma'rib seems to have been the second century of the Christian era. The kingdom of Sheba was largely devastated, and this led to the migration of many southern (Qahtan) tribes towards the north of the Peninsula. Subsequently, it appears, the system of dams and dykes was to some extent repaired, but the country never regained its earlier prosperity; and a few decades before the advent of Islam the great dam collapsed completely and finally.