“There was for Saba’, aforetime, a Sign in their homeland― two Gardens to the right and to the left.”
Eat of the Sustenance (provided) by your Lord, and be grateful to Him: a territory fair and happy, and a Lord Oft-Forgiving! But they turned away (from Allah), and We sent against them the flood (released) from the Dams, and We converted their two garden (rows) into “gardens” producing bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few (stunted) Lote― trees.
That was the Requital We gave them because they ungratefully rejected Faith: and never do We give (such) requital except to such as are ungrateful rejecters. (Surah Saba: 15-17)
In the Qur’an, there is a reference to the people of Saba and the calamity of flood that befell them because of their ungratefulness. There is even a detailed explanation about the occurrence of this calamity. Since the calamity that was sent to the people of Saba is mentioned as “Sayl al Arim” which means “the flood of Arim”. This expression of the Qur’an also gives clues about the way this flood occurred.
The meaning of the word “Arim” is dam or barrage. The phrase “Sayl al Arim” means the flood that takes place as a result of the collapsing of the dam wall.
Now, let us see how the news about the people Saba of which was informed by the Qur’an has been proved by historians with the records of history;
“The community of Saba was one of the four biggest civilizations which lived in South Arabia. The historical records about the community of Saba report that this nation was a state like Phoenicians who were occupied with intense commerce activities. The Sabaeans are known to have been a civilized nation in history. In the inscriptions of the rulers of Saba, the words such as “restore”, “dedicate” and “construct” are frequently used. The Ma’rib Dam, which is one of the most important works of this people, is an important indication of the technological level this people had reached.”
With the Ma’rib Dam, which they had constructed with very advanced technology, the Sabaean people became owners of a great irrigation capacity. The fruitful lands they thus obtained and their control over the trade routes allowed them to lead a magnificent and luxurious lifestyle.
The total area that could be irrigated by the dam was 9,600 hectares, 5,300 hectares of which belonged to the southern plain, while the remaining part belonged to the northern plain. These two plains were referred to as “Ma’rib and two plains” in the Sabaean inscriptions. Perhaps, the expression in the Qur’an, “two gardens to the right and to the left”, points to the imposing gardens and vineyards in these two valleys. Thanks to this dam and its irrigation systems, the region became famous as the best irrigated and most fruitful area of Yemen.
The Frenchman J. Holevy and the Austrian Glaser proved from written documents that the Ma’rib dam existed since ancient times. In the documents written in the Himer dialect, it is stated that this dam rendered the territory very productive.
After the collapse of the dam-wall, all of the country was inundated by the flood. The canals that had been dug by the Sabaean people, and the wall that had been constructed by building barriers between the mountains, were destroyed and the irrigation system fell apart. As a result, the territory, which was like a garden before, turned into a place where weeds grew and there was no fruit left but the cherry-like fruit of little stumpy trees. Besides, there are inscriptions written in the Sabaean language on the pillars of Saba.The Christian archaeologist Werner Keller states the following in his book called “The Holy Book Was Right” (Und Die Bible Hat Doch Recht):
“The flood of Arim occurred as it was described in the Qur’an. “Since the existence of such a dam and the destruction of the whole country by its collapse prove that the example given in the Qur’an about the people of the garden was indeed realized.”
Now, we want to attract attention to the following points:
1. The Quran mentions the people of Saba and historians accept it.
2. The Quran states that the people of Saba lived in a beautiful city with green vineyards, gardens and orchards and historians accept it.
3. The Quran mentions a big dam in that city and historians accept it.
4. The Quran states that the dam irrigated two gardens and historians accept it.
5. The Quran mentions the calamity of flood that took place as a result of the collapsing of the dam wall and historians accept it.
6. The Quran states that the vineyards and gardens were destroyed and historians accept it.
What do they mean?