Hud (AS) was a Prophet sent to the people of Aad bin Aws bin Tram bin Saam bin Nuuh. He was the son of Abdulla bin Rabaah bin Jaarut bin Aad bin Aws that is to say he was from the same people. Aad and his people used to live in southern Arabia, a place called Ahqaaf, which is in Yemen and is between Oman and Hadhramout. It is a place facing the sea, which is now known as As-Shihr. The Aad people and Hud (AS) himself were Arabs and used to speak Arabic.
These Aad people lived near the mountains, and used to stay in huge tents with lofty pillars on the level grounds, and used to compete in the construction of these tents. They constructed palatial houses by cutting them out of the mountains; for this construction they seem to have possessed an ancient civilization.
God bestowed on these people a lot of nice things, He gave them good fertile land with plenty of water where they cultivated large plantations and made beautiful gardens. He gave them strength and good health and they lived in great comfort. However, with all this they never thought for a moment where it all came from. They forgot that there is a Giver and a Cherisher who is non-but God Almighty. Instead of worshiping the one and only God (The Almighty) and thanking Him for what He has bestowed on them, they instead worshiped idols. They used to bow down to these idols and thank them for any good thing they got, and asked for their help for any evil that come to them.
These people of Aad were the first to worship idols after the destruction of the people of Nuuh (AS) in the flood. They had three idols by the name of Sadaa, Samuda and Haraa that they used to bow down to and worship. This is when God had sent to them Hud (AS) as Prophet who was to guide them to a straight path and remove them from the darkness they were in, God relates this in Surat Hud (xi) verse 50:
To the Aad people (We sent) Hud, one of their own brethren. He said: "0 my people! Worship God! You have no other god but Him. (Your other gods) you do nothing but invent!
He preached to them and told them to ask for forgiveness from their Lord and turn to Him (in repentance). They rejected God and His Message and went on their evil ways and became arrogant and adhered to their false gods. They were materialists believing in brute force, and felt secured in their fortresses and resources. Their infidelity reached an extent that they said to Hud (AS): "Who is superior to us in strength?"
Did they not see that God, Who created them, was superior to them in strength?
Hud (AS) told them: "O my people! Worship God! You have no other god but Him. Will you not fear (God)? 0 my people! I am not asking any reward from you for this (Message) my reward is from none but Him who created me. Will you not then understand?"
The leaders of the unbelievers among his people said: "Ah! We see you are an imbecile! And we think you are a liar!" They went on to say to him. "Do you expect us to leave what our forefathers worshiped?"
Hud (AS) told them: "Your forefathers were all in the wrong, there is no td to be worshiped except The Almighty."
He went on to tell them "0 my people! Have you forgotten the destruction of the people of Nuuh in the flood? That was not long ago. Are you not afraid of a similar punishment from God if you go on like this?"
They said to him: "We are not convinced by what you are saying, bring us what you threaten us with, if you are telling us the truth."
Here Hud (AS) turned to his Lord and said: "0 my Lord! Help me for that they accuse me of falsehood." God said: "In but a little while, they are sure to be sorry."
God slowly started to bring to them the punishment that they had disputed when their Apostle warned them of its coming. The first sign was the scarcity of rains that brought drought, then temperatures started to go up and the crops dried. When there was no signs of any rain coming, they went running to Hud (AS) and said to him: "0 Hud! We see the weather has changed, what could be wrong?"
Hud replied them: "0 my people! Don't you see God is angry with you for what you are doing? Ask for forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him (in repentance) He will send you the skies pouring abundant rain."
They, however, refused to listen to him and continued with their wrongdoing. The day when the Lord wanted to send them the punishment that they really deserved, there appeared in the sky a pitch-black cloud coming to them from the valley. When they saw this cloud they thought it was a good sign of rain coming, and said: "This is what our gods has sent us, this is what we were waiting for, rain at last!" No it is the calamity they were asking to hasten! A wind wherein a Grievous Penalty!
The punishment came suddenly, and when they least expected it. They wanted rain, and they saw a cloud and rejoiced. But no! It was a hurricane, bringing destruction. There was a violent blast, with dust and sand destroying everything that came in front of it. After it had passed through there was nothing to be seen except fields covered with sand hills, with lives lost. The morning dawns on a scene of desolation! Where were the men who boasted and defied their Lord! There were only the ruins of their houses to witness the past!
God relates in Surat L-Haqqa (Sure Reality) (lxix) verses 6-7:
And the Aad they were destroyed by a furious wind exceedingly violent; He made it rage against them seven nights and eight days in succession so that you could see the whole) people lying prostrate in its (path), as if they had been roots of hollow palm trees tumbled down!
That was the end of the Aad people. However, God saved Hud (AS) and his followers, and cut off the roots of those who rejected the Signs of their Lord and did not believe. Hud (AS) lived with his people, and eventually died. He was buried in Hadhramaut, Yemen.
Reference: The Twenty five Prophets (The Parable of the Apostles Mentioned in the Holy Quraan)", by Nassir ibn Issa ibn Said Al-Kindy. (p 29-32)