Maqam Hud (Hadhramaut)

Maqam Hud (مقام هود), or the Maqam Nabi Hud (مقام النبي هود), literally meaning the Station of Hud, in Hadhramaut Yemen, is a funerary complex, traditionally believed to be the tomb of prophet Hud. He was a prophet of ancient Arabia mentioned in the Qur’an. It is sitated in an area known as the Sha'b Nabi Hud (شعب نبي هود, Valley of prophet Hud), 90 kilometers east of Tarim. There are ruins and inscriptions in the neighborhood.

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Robert Bertram Serjeant in his study of the pilgrimage rite to the tomb of Hud verified on the spot the facts related by al-Harawi [N1] (circa 1200 CE).

The tomb-mosque is purportedly located on the cliff onto which Hud climbed to make the call to prayer. It is a small square building with a single dome.

The tomb is housed in the square structure in the left middle of hte map. The tomb itself begins within this structure and extends some 90 meters beyond and behind the structure. Hud's tomb in the Hadhramawt is one of the longest on records.

Historical Background

circa 600 BCE

There is little cetain knowlege about the tomb-sanctuary in classical Arabic texts. For the first six or seven centuries of Islamic history there's almost no historical information of any great value available concerning the shrine.

Ibn Sa'd (circa 845 CE) relates from his master al-Waqidi, that the graves of only three prophets (i.e. Ismail, Muhammad and Hud) are known with certainity, and for the grave of Hud is a hikf (al-ahqaf, meaning winnowing sands) [N2] of sand below with one of the mountains of Yemen above it. Another mention can be found in Muhammad ibn Habib's (circa 850) book Kitab al-Muhabbar where he mentions festival at the tomb of prophet Hud.

These two sources may be drawing from some earlier, currently unknown sources.

A local tradition, most likely a legend, identifies the tomb and surrounding area as the Iram Dhat al-Imad, which is most likely a post-islamic legend.

A local tradition, most likely a legend, identifies the tomb and surrounding area as the Iram Dhat al-Imad, which is most likely a post-islamic legend.

Ground Plan

circa 600 BCE

The funerary-complex is oriented north-south, with the tomb-shrine abutted against the cliff face. The general plan of the tomb-complex was made by pacing out the distances, and its various sections. are therefore in a very approcimate proportion to one another.

A causeway with three flights of stone stairs leads up towards the first lower platform, but forks right and left to reach it. At the back of this platform stand a lard rock, believed to be the petrified camel (Naqah). To the right of this platform, the main staircase and causeway continues upwards to the upper plinth, where the tomb-sanctuary is located. Here the causeway again forks right and left to approach the actual tomb.

Upon this upper platform a a domed-shrine is constructed surronding the lower end of Hud's tomb, with the tomb (burial niche) stretching up the hill beyond it. In the rock at the lower end of the tomb is a slit (nukhrah) into which tradition says prophet Hud entered to escape his foes.

A. Causeway entrance
B. Lower platform
C. Upper Platform
D. Tome-sanctuary
E. Rock-split
F. al-Naqah
G. Cemetery


circa 600 BCE

Although several sites are revered as the tomb of Hud, the most noted site, Qabr Nabi Hud, is located in the deserted village in Hadhramaut, Yemen, and is a place of frequent Muslim pilgrimage.

Festival of Nabi Hud

circa 600 BCE

The Ziyarah festival, celebrated with a lot of religious fervour, is held on the 15th of Islamic month of Sha'ban (locally known as the month of Hud) each year.

Historically this festival may have been fashioned after the festival of Suq al-Okaz, held near Mecca. Scholars have found it difficult to determine precisely when this festival took place as no contemporary or sufficiently early references exist, but the timing of the present-day ziyara held during the lunar Islamic month of Sha’ban was a 15th century CE innovation by a local sufi 'Abdullah abu Bakr al-'Aidrous.



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