Thamudic Prayer Inscriptions in Hail, Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman bin Abdulrahman al-Dheeb

This work is a scientific study of a number of Thamudic inscriptions, classified as religious prayers, which were spotted in a number of sites in the region of Hail. The purpose of the study is to highlight a social phenomenon practiced by the Thamudic people of Hail back then, namely, the practice of religious invocation to the (Gods) or the Objects of worship. I want to point out that this study is part of a larger project in which I seek to track and publish all Thamudic writings across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – which surpassed thousands. The inscriptions in the region we know now as Hail date back to approximately the 6th - 1st centuries BC. To date, 1222 inscriptions were registered from 34 different parts of the historically rich region. The work includes a brief introduction of the contents of these inscriptions, which reflect the religious nature of the members of the Thamudite tribes in the region, and included five titles. The first is related to family; specifically marriage and requesting offspring and children. The second is a request for subsistence and wealth; livelihood was mostly a demanded made by the poor, and wealth was called for by those who were well off. Other invocations asked for the acquisition of goods, and animals that were regarded as important in the life of the Hail man at the time, camels being of the highest importance.  The phenomenon of love occupied a prominent position in these invocations as it did in every normal society. Supplications to inflict harm and evils on some were also noted; a phenomenon which indicates more or less the weakness of the person making the supplication. Finally, we found a number of inscriptions dealing with disease and illnesses that afflicted men and their animal friends in his earthly life. Interestingly, these inscriptions showed that diseases were not mostly physical but also psychological. I would like to take this opportunity to thank King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies for their valuable support for the publication of this study. I ask God Almighty, to include this humble work in the balance of my good deeds, and to make it a good and useful addition for those wishing to know more about the ancient peoples of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its kingdoms.

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