Companions of the Rass

The Companions of the Rass, known alternatively as the People of the Well or the People of Ar-Rass, were an ancient community, who are mentioned in the Qur'an.[1] The Qur'an provides little information concerning them other than to list them with other communities, including ʿĀd, Thamud, the People of Noah and others; the Qur'an groups all these communities together as wicked nations who all perished for their sin.[2] Muslim scholars related that the Companions of the Rass were a community near Azerbaijan.[3] The root meaning of rass is a well or water pit[4] but some scholars have stated that Rass was the name of the city itself.

One Idea is Companions of the Rass are indus valley civilization. Rass mean, Companions of well, or companions along the water channels or water tranches. Means refer to place which has lot of wells. Today we know that at Mohanjodaro round 700 well exist at the peak of civilization. Similar estimates harrapa city itself 300 well. Same about Dohlhaverha city, there are lot of trenches were created to store water. Arabs knows Indus people as Assab-Rass.

Account in Exegesis

Other documents of Islamic literature give little information on the place or people of this particular community. However, Ibn Kathir states in his Stories of the Prophets that the prophet sent to them was a man named Hanzalah, the son of Sifwan.[5] Exegesis narrates that the people of this community threw the prophet into a well, with some accounts narrating that he died in the well and others narrating that he survived.[6]


  1. Qur'an 25:38
  2. A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B.M. Wheeler, People of the Well
  3. A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B.M. Wheeler, People of the Well
  4. Dictionary of Arabic to English meanings, Rass
  5. Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Chapter XIII: Towns Destroyed By Divine Punishment
  6. A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B.M. Wheeler, People of the Well
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