Al Ula, Saudi Arabia
Coordinates: 26.655702, 37.912978
Mahlab an-Naqa is a sixth century BCE carved stone-basin, located in the Khuraybah area of al-Ula Governorate, Saudi Arabia.
The name means the “milking bowl of the camel”, referring to a local tradition of this being the basin which used to be filled with the milk of Prophet Saleh’s عليه اسلام camel.
Three steps have been cut down inside the basin on the northern side of the cistern to facilitate access.
It was most likely built to be used in religious rituals, as it is located adjacent to a ancient Lihyanite temple structure.
She-Camel Hz. Saleh عليه اسلام
The She-Camel of Hz. Saleh عليه اسلام in Islam was a miraculous female camel sent by Allah to the people of Thamud in Al-Hijr, after they demanded a miracle from the Prophet Saleh عليه اسلام. The narrative and story of the she-camel is recorded in the Quran.
Amongst the many narrations in the Quran, one historical story deals with the people of Thamud, who lived after the people of Ad in pre-Islamic Arabia.
As the people of the community were heavily indulgent in idolatry, besides other issues, Allah sent the Prophet Saleh عليه اسلام to warn them of the impending doom that they would face if they did not mend their fraudulent ways.
Although the camel was a magnificent miracle to the people of Thamud, they did not follow the divine orders and killed the camel.
Eventually they were all punished by Allah. Based on Quranic verses an earthquake overtook them and they became lifeless bodies in their homes with their faces down.