The people of Lut “Lot” – Previous nations 3

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

The folk of Lot rejected warnings. (33) Lo! We sent a storm of stones upon them (all) save the family of Lot, whom We rescued in the last watch of the night, (34) As grace from Us. Thus We reward him who giveth thanks. (35) And he indeed had warned them of Our blow, but they did doubt the warnings. (36) They even asked of him his guests for an ill purpose. Then We blinded their eyes (and said): Taste now My punishment after My warnings! (37) And in truth the punishment decreed befell them early in the morning. (38) Now taste My punishment after My warnings! (39) And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; but is there any that remembereth? (40)

Al-qamar – verse 33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40

كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطٍ بِالنُّذُرِ ﴿58:33﴾
(54:33) Lot’s people also gave the lie to the warnings,
(54:34) and behold, We let loose upon them a tempest which rained stones upon them, except upon Lot’s household whom We rescued in the last hours of the night
نِعْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي مَنْ شَكَرَ ﴿58:35﴾
(54:35) as a favour from Us. Thus do We reward those who give thanks.
وَلَقَدْ أَنْذَرَهُمْ بَطْشَتَنَا فَتَمَارَوْا بِالنُّذُرِ ﴿58:36﴾
(54:36) Surely Lot warned his people that We shall seize them (with Our chastisement), but they doubted the warnings.
وَلَقَدْ رَاوَدُوهُ عَنْ ضَيْفِهِ فَطَمَسْنَا أَعْيُنَهُمْ فَذُوقُوا عَذَابِي وَنُذُرِ ﴿58:37﴾
(54:37) Then they even solicited his guests from him, whereupon We blotted out their eyes, (telling them): “Now have a taste of My chastisement and My warnings.” *22
*22 The details of this story have been given in Surah Hud: 77-83 and Surah AI-Hijr: 61-74 above, a resume of which is as follows: When AIIah decided to punish those people with a torment, He sent a few angels in the guise of handsome boys as guests in the house of the Prophet Lot. When the people saw such handsome guests in Lot’s house they rushed to it and demanded that they be handed over to them for tile gratification of their lust. The Prophet Lot implored them to desist from their evil intention, but they did not listen and tried to enter his house to take hold of the guests forcibly. At this stage suddenly their eyes were blinded. Then the angels told Lot that he and his Household should leave the city before dawn; then as soon as they had Ieft a dreadful torment descended on the people. In the Bible also this event has been described. The words are: ‘And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men (i.e. the angels) put forth their Hand and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the nun that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.” (Gen., 19: 9-11),
وَلَقَدْ صَبَّحَهُمْ بُكْرَةً عَذَابٌ مُسْتَقِرٌّ ﴿58:38﴾
(54:38) Indeed an abiding chastisement came upon them in the morning.
فَذُوقُوا عَذَابِي وَنُذُرِ ﴿58:39﴾
(54:39) So have a taste of My chastisement and My warnings.
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآَنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِنْ مُدَّكِرٍ ﴿58:40﴾
(54:40) Surely We have made this Qur’an easy as a reminder. Is there, then, any who will take heed?
The folk of Lot denied the messengers (of Allah), (160) When their brother Lot said unto them: Will ye not ward off (evil)? (161) Lo! I am a faithful messenger unto you, (162) So keep your duty to Allah and obey me. (163) And I ask of you no wage therefor; my wage is the concern only of the Lord of the Worlds. (164) What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, (165) And leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are forward folk. (166) They said: If thou cease not, O Lot, thou wilt soon be of the outcast. (167) He said: I am in truth of those who hate your conduct. (168) My Lord! Save me and my household from what they do. (169) So We saved him and his household, every one, (170) Save an old woman among those who stayed behind. (171) Then afterward We destroyed the others. (172) And We rained on them a rain. And dreadful is the rain of those who have been warned. (173) Lo! herein is indeed a portent, yet most of them are not believers. (174) And lo! thy Lord, He is indeed the Mighty, the Merciful. (175)
Al-shuara – verse 160-175
كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطٍ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿26:160﴾
(26:160) The people of Lot rejected the Messengers. *107
*107 For comparison, see Al-A’raf: 80-84, Hud: 7483. AI-Hijr: 57-77, AI-Anbiya’: 71-75, An-Naml; 54-58, Al-‘Ankabut: 28-35, As-Saffat: 133-138 and A I-Qamar: 33-39.
إِذْ قَالَ لَهُمْ أَخُوهُمْ لُوطٌ أَلَا تَتَّقُونَ ﴿26:161﴾
(26:161) Remember the time when their brother Lot said to them, “Do you not fear?
إِنِّي لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ ﴿26:162﴾
(26:162) I am a Messenger to you worthy of full trust:
فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ ﴿26:163﴾
(26:163) so fear Allah and obey me.
وَمَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿26:164﴾
(26:164) I do not ask of you any reward for this duty, for my reward is with the Lord of the worlds.
أَتَأْتُونَ الذُّكْرَانَ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿26:165﴾
(26:165) Do you go to the males from the creatures of the world, *108
*108 This can have two meanings: (1) Of all the creatures you have chosen males only for the purpose of gratifying your sex desires, whereas there are plenty of women in the world; and (2) You alone are the people in the whole world, who go to men to satisfy the sex desires; even the animals do not resort to this. This second meaning has been explained in Surahs Al-A’raf and Al- ‘Ankabut thus: “Have you become so shameless that you commit such indecent acts as no one committed before you in the world?” (Al-A’raf: 80).
وَتَذَرُونَ مَا خَلَقَ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ عَادُونَ ﴿26:166﴾
(26:166) and leave that which your Lord has created for you in your wives ? *109 You have indeed transgressed all limits.” *110
*109 This can also have two meanings: (1 ) “You leave your wives whom God has created for you to satisfy your sex desire and adopt unnatural ways with the males for the purpose.” (2) “Even with respect to your wives you do not follow the natural way but adopt unnatural ways for the gratification of your lust?” This they might have been doing with the intention of family planning. *110 That is, “This is not the only vice in-you; your whole lives have become corrupted and perverted, as stated in An-Naml: 54 thus : “Do you commit indecent acts openly and publicly?” And ‘in AI-‘Ankabut: 29 thus: “Have you become so perverted that you gratify your lust with the males, you rob travellers, and you commit wicked deeds publicly in your assemblies?” For further details, see E.N. 39 of AI-Hijr.
قَالُوا لَئِنْ لَمْ تَنْتَهِ يَا لُوطُ لَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُخْرَجِينَ ﴿26:167﴾
(26:167) They said, “O Lot, if you do not desist from this, you will surely be included among those who have been expelled from our towns.” *111
*111 That is, “You know that whosoever has spoken against us, or protested against our doings, or opposed us in any way, he has been turned out of our habitations. If you also behave like that, you too will be treated likewise.” It has been stated in Surahs AI-A`raf and An-Naml that before giving this warning to Prophet Lot, the wicked people had decided to “turn out these people of your habitations for they pose to be very pious.” (VII: 82)
قَالَ إِنِّي لِعَمَلِكُمْ مِنَ الْقَالِينَ ﴿26:168﴾
(26:168) He said, “I am certainly one of those who abhor your wickedness.
رَبِّ نَجِّنِي وَأَهْلِي مِمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿26:169﴾
(26:169) My Lord, deliver me and my people from their wicked deeds.” *112
*112 This may also mean: “My Lord, deliver us from the evil consequences of their misdeeds,” and also this: “Protect the children of the believers from the evil effects of the immoral acts of the wicked people.”
فَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿26:170﴾
(26:170) At last, We delivered him and all his people
إِلَّا عَجُوزًا فِي الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿26:171﴾
(26:171) except an old woman who was of those who were left behind. *113
*113 This refers to the Prophet Lot`s wife as stated in verse 10 of Surah Tahrim about the wives of Prophets Noah and Lot: “These’ two women were in the houses of Our two pious servants but they acted treacherously towards them. ” That is, they did not believe, and sided with the unbelievers instead of their righteous husbands. Therefore, when Allah decreed to send a torment on the people of Lot, He commanded Lot to leave the place along with his people but to leave his wife behind: “So depart from here with the people of your household in the last hours of the night. And look here: none of you should turn round to look behind; but your wife (who will not accompany you) shall meet the same doom as they.” I Hud: 81).
ثُمَّ دَمَّرْنَا الْآَخَرِينَ ﴿26:172﴾
(26:172) Then We destroyed all the rest of them,
وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا فَسَاءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنْذَرِينَ ﴿26:173﴾
(26:173) and rained on them a horrible rain, which fell on those who had been warned. *114
*114 This was not a rain of water but a rain of stones. According to the details given at other places in the Qur’an, when Prophet Lot had left the place along with the people of his household in the last hours of the night, there occurred a terrible explosion at dawn and a violent earthquake, which turned all their habitations upside down and rained on them stones of baked clay as a result of a volcanic eruption and a strong blast of wind. Below we give a resume of the Biblical account and of ancient Greek and Latin writings and modern geological researches and archaeological observations about the torment and the place where it occurred: The, hundreds of ruins found in the waste and uninhabited land lying to the south and east of the Dead Sea indicate that this must have been a prosperous and thickly populated area in the past. The archaeologists have estimated that the age of prosperity of this land lasted between 2300 and 1900 B.C. According to historians, Prophet Abraham lived about 2000 B C. Thus the archaeological evidence confirms that this land was destroyed in the time of Prophet Abraham and his nephew Prophet Lot. The most populous and fertile part .of the area was “the vale of Siddim” as mentioned in the Bible: “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt” (Gen. 13 :10) The presentday scholars are of the opinion that that valley is now under the Dead Sea and this opinion is supported by firm archaeological evidence. In the ancient times .the Dead Sea did not so much extend to the south as it does today. Opposite and to the west of the present Jordanian city of AI-Karak, there is a small peninsula called AI-Lisan. This was the end of the sea in ancient days. The area to the south of it, which is now under sea water (the shaded portion in the map) was a fertile valley, “the vale of Siddim”, in which were situated Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, Zoar, the famous cities of the people of Lot. In about 2000 B.C. this valley sank as a result of a violent earthquake and was submerged in sea water. Even today this is the most shallow part of the Sea. In the Roman period it was more so and was fordable from AI-Lisan to the western coast. One can still see submerged jungles along the southern coast and there might as well be submerged buildings. According to the Bible and the ancient Greek and Latin writings, the region abounded in pits of petroleum and asphalt and at places inflammable gas also existed. It appears from the geological observations that with the violent earthquake shocks, petroleum, gases and asphalt were thrown up and ignited, and the whole region exploded like a bomb. The Bible says that when Prophet Abraham got the news and went from Hebron to see the affected valley, he saw that “the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” (Gen. 19: 28).
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿26:174﴾
(26:174) Indeed there is a Sign in this, but most of these people would not believe.
وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿26:175﴾
(26:175) The fact is that your Lord is Mighty as well as Merciful.
And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you? (80) Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk. (81) And the answer of his people was only that they said (one to another): Turn them out of your township. They are folk, forsooth, who keep pure. (82) And We rescued him and his household, save his wife, who was of those who stayed behind. (83) And We rained a rain upon them. See now the nature of the consequence of evil-doers! (84)
Al – araf – verse 80 – 84
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿7:80﴾
(7:80) And remember when We sent Lot [as a Messeng to his people and he said to them: *63 ‘Do you realize you practise an indecency of which no other people in the world were guilty of before you?
*63. The land inhabited by the people of Lot, which lies between Iraq and Palestine, is known as Trans-Jordan. According to the Bible, its capital town was Sodom, which is situated either somewhere near the Dead Sea, or presently lies submerged under it.. Apart from Sodom, according to the Talmud, there were four other majour cities, and the land lying between these cities was dotted with such greenery and orchards that the whole area looked like one big garden enchanting any onlooker. However, the whole nation was destroyed and today wc can find no trace of it. So much so that it is difficult to even locate the main cities which they inhabited. If anything remains as a reminder of this nation it is the Dead Sea which is also called the Sea of Lot. The Prophet Lot who was a nephew of the Prophet Abraham, accompanied his uncle as he moved away from Iraq. Lot sojourned to Syria, Palestincand Egypt forawhile and gained practical experience of preaching his message. Later God bettowed prophethood upon him and assigned to him the mission of reforming his misguided people. The people of Sodom have been referred to as the people of Lot presumably because Lot may have established matrimonial ties with those people. One of the many accusations recorded gainst Lot in the Bible – and the Bible has been tampered with extensively by the Jews – is that Lot migrated to Sodom after an argument with Abraham (Genesis 13: 10-12). The Qur’an refutes this baseless charge and affirms that Lot was designated by God to work as His Messenger among his people.* The author refers to an argument between Abraham and Lot which he considers to be a fabrication of Jews.The obvious basis of this is that such an argument between the Prophets is inconceivable since it is unbecoming of them as Prophets. The basis of this inference is a statement in Genesis 13:1-12. It seems that there has been some confusion with regard to this inference. The verses of Genesis in question make no reference to any strife between the two Prophets. The strife to which it refers allegedly took place between the two Prophets. In addition, when the two Prophets parted company it was on a pleasant note for Abraham had suggested that since there was an abundance of land, Lot should choose that part of the land he preffered so as to exclude all possibilities of strife between their herdsmen. (See Genesis 13:1-5-Ed.)
إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِنْ دُونِ النِّسَاءِ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُسْرِفُونَ ﴿7:81﴾
(7:81) You approach men lustfully in place of women. You are a people who exceed all bounds.’ *64
*64. The Qur’an refers elsewhere to the many evil deeds of the people of Lot. Here the Qur’an confines itself to mentioning that most ignominious of crimes which invited God’s scourge upon them. The hideous act of sodomy, for which the people of Lot earned notoriety, has no doubt been committed by perverts in all times. The Greeks philosophers had the distinction of glorifying it as a moral virtue. It was left, however, for the modern West to vigorously propagate sodomy so much so that it was declared legal by the legislatures of a few countries. All this has been done in the face of the obvious fact that this form of sexual intercourse is patently unnatural. God created distinctions between the sexes of all living beings for the purposes of reproduction and perpetuation of the species. As far as the human species is concerned, their creation into two sexes is related to another end as well: that the two should come together in order to bring into existence the family and establish human civilization. In view of this, not only were human beings divided into two sexes, but each sex was made attractive to the other. The physical structure and psychological make-up of each sex was shaped in keeping with the purpose of forging bonds of mutual cordiality between the members of the two sexes. The sexual act, which is intensely pleasurable is at once a factor leading to the fulfilment of nature’s purposes as underlined by the sexual division of humankind as well as a reward for fulfilling these purposes. Now, the crime of the person who commits sodomy in flagrant opposition to this scheme of things, is not limited to that act alone. In fact he commits along with it a number of other crimes. First, he wages war against his own nature, against his inherent psychological predilection. This causes a major disorder which leads to highly negative effects on the lives of both the parties involved in that unnatural act – effects which are physical, psychological as well as moral. Second, he acts dishonestly with nature since while he derives sexual pleasure he fails to fulfil the societal obligation of which this pleasure is a recompense. Third, such a person also acts dishonestly with human society. For, although he avails himself of the advantages offered by various social institutions, when he has an opportunity to act, he uses his abilities in a manner which not only fails to serve that society but which positively harms it. Apart from neglecting the abligations he owes to society, he renders himself incapable of serving the human race and his own family. He also produces effeminacy in at least one male and potentially pushes at least two females towards sexual corruption and moral depravity.
وَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا أَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِنْ قَرْيَتِكُمْ إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ ﴿7:82﴾
(7:82) Their only answer was: ‘Banish them from your town. They are a people who pretend to be pure.’ *65
*65. It is evident from the present verse that the people of Lot Were not only shameless and corrupt, but were also a people who had sunk in moral depravity to such a degree that even the presence of a few righteous persons had become intolerable to them. Their moral degradation left them with no patience for anyone who sought to bring about any moral reform. Even the slightest element of purity found in their society was too much for them, and they simply wished to have their society purged of it. When these people reached such a low point of wickedness and hostility to good, God decreed that they be wiped out altogether. When the collective life of a people becomes totally bereft of goodness and purity, it forfeits the right to exist on earth. Their example is like that of a basket of fruit. As long as some fruit remains firm, there is some justification to keep that basket. But the basket has to be thrown away when the fruit becomes rotten.
فَأَنْجَيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿7:83﴾
(7:83) Then We delivered Lot and his household save his wife who stayed behind, *66
*66. As the Qur’an mentions elsewhere, Lot’s wife supported her disbelieving relatives to the last.* Hence, when God directed Lot and his followers to migrate from that corrupt land, He ordained that Lot’s wife be left behind. *This seems to be an inference from al- Tahrim 66: 10 – Ed.
وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿7:84﴾
(7:84) and We let loose a shower [of stones] upon them, *67 Observe, then, the end of the evil-doers. *68
*67. The ‘rainfall’ in the verse does not refer to the descent of water from the sky. It refers rather to the volley of stones. The Qur’an itself mentions that their habitations were turned upside down and ruined. (See verse 85; also Hud 11:82-3; al-Hijr 15:74-E.) *68. In light of this verse and other references in the Qur’an, sodomy is established as one of the deadliest sins; and that it incurred God’s scourge on those who indulged in it. We also know from the teachings of the Prophet (peace be on him) that the Islamic state should purge society of this crime and severely punish those guilty of it. There are several traditions from the Prophet (peace be on him) which mention that very severe punishments were inflicted on both partners of this act. According to one tradition, the Prophet (peace be on him) ordered that both partners be put to death. (See Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Hudud, ‘Bab man ‘amila ‘Amal Qawm ut’- Ed.) In another tradition it has been added that the culprits should be put to death whether they are married or un-married. (Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Hudad – Ed.) In another tradition it has been said that both parties should be stoned (to death). (Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Hudad, ‘Bab man ‘amila ‘Amal Qawm Lut ‘ – Ed.) However, since no case of sodomy was reported in the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be on him), the punishment did not acquire a very clear and definitive shape. Among the Companions, ‘Ali is of the view that such sinners should be beheaded and instead of being buried should be cremated. Abu Bakr also held the same view. However, ‘Urnar and ‘Uthman suggest that the sinners be made to stand under the roof of a dilapidated building, which should then be pulled down upon them. Ibn ‘Abbas holds the view that those guilty of such a sinful act should be thrown from the top of the tallest building of the habitation and then pelted with stones. (See al-Fiqh ‘ala al-Madhahib al-Arba’ah, vol. 5, pp. 141-2 – Ed.) As for the jurists, Shafi pronounces the punishment of death on both partners to sodomy irrespective of their marital status, and of their role whether it be active or passive. According to Sha’bi, Zuhri, Malik and Ahmad b. Hanbal, they should be stoned to death. Sa’id b. al-Musayyib, ‘Ata’, Hasan Basri, Ibrahim Nakha’i, Sufyan Thawri and Awa’i believe that such sinners deserve the same punishment as laid down for unlawful sexual-intercourse: that unmarried ones should be lashed a hundred times and exiled, and that married ones should be stoned to death. Abu Hanifah, however, does not recommend any specific punishment. For him, the sinner should be awarded, depending on the circumstances of each case, some deterrent punishment. According to one of the reports, the same was the view of Shafi’i. (See Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughni, vol. 8, pp. 187-8 – Ed.) It should also be made clear that it is altogether unlawful for the husband to perpetrate this act on his wife. The Prophet (peace be on him), according to a tradition in Abu Da’ud, said: ‘Cursed be he who commits this act with a woman.’ (Abu Da’ud, Kitab al-Nikah, ‘Bab fi Jami ‘ al Nikah’ – Ed.) In other collections of Hadith such as Sunan of Ibn Majah and Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal. we find the following saying of the Prophet (peace be on him): ‘God will not even look at him who commits this act of sodomy with his wife in her rectum.’ (Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Nikah’, ‘Bab al-Nahy’an Ityan al-Nisa’ fi Adbarihinn’, Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 344 – Ed.) Likewise the following saying of the Prophet (peace be on him) is mentioned in Tirmidhi: ‘He who makes sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman, or indulges in sodomy with a woman. or calls on a soothsayer, believing him to be true, denies the faith sent down to Muhammad (peace be on him).’ (Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Taharah, ‘Bab al-Nahy ‘an ityan al-Ha’id’- Ed.)
And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Lo! ye commit lewdness such as no creature did before you. (28) For come ye not in unto males, and cut ye not the road (for travellers), and commit ye not abomination in your meetings? But the answer of his folk was only that they said: Bring Allah’s doom upon us if thou art a truthteller! (29) He said: My Lord! Give me victory over folk who work corruption. (30)
Al-Ankaboot  – verse 28 – 30
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿29:28﴾
(29:28) We sent Lot *50 and he said to his people: “You commit the abomination that none in the world ever committed before you.
*50 For comparison, see Al-A`raf: 80-84, Hud: 69-83; Al-Hijr: 57-79; Al-Anbiyaa: 71-75; Ash-Shu`araa: 16Q-175; An-Naml: 54 59;.As-Saffat: 133-138; AIQamar: 33-40.
أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ وَتَقْطَعُونَ السَّبِيلَ وَتَأْتُونَ فِي نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنْكَرَ فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿29:29﴾
(29:29) What! Do you go to men *51 (to satisfy your lust), engage in highway robbery, and commit evil deeds in your gatherings?” *52 Then they had no answer to offer other than to say: “Bring Allah’s chastisement upon us if you are truthful.”
*51 That is, “You satisfy your sex desire with the males.” As stated in AIA’raf: 81: “you gratify your lust with men instead of women.” *52 That is, “You do not even hide yourself when you commit this filthy act, but commit it openly in your assemblies, in front of others.” The same has been stated in Surah An-Naml: 54, thus: “Do you commit the indecency while you see it?”
قَالَ رَبِّ انْصُرْنِي عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿29:30﴾
(29:30) Lot said: “My Lord, aid me against these mischievous people.”
(All) save the family of Lot. Them we shall deliver every one, (59) Except his wife, of whom We had decreed that she should be of those who stay behind. (60) And when the messengers came unto the family of Lot, (61) He said: Lo! ye are folk unknown (to me). (62) They said: Nay, but we bring thee that concerning which they keep disputing, (63) And bring thee the Truth, and lo! we are truth-tellers. (64) So travel with thy household in a portion of the night, and follow thou their backs. Let none of you turn round, but go whither ye are commanded. (65) And We made plain the case to him, that the root of them (who did wrong) was to be cut at early morn. (66) And the people of the city came, rejoicing at the news (of new arrivals). (67) He said: Lo! they are my guests. Affront me not! (68) And keep your duty to Allah, and shame me not! (69) They said; Have we not forbidden you from (entertaining) anyone? (70) He said: Here are my daughters, if ye must be doing (so). (71) By thy life (O Muhammad) they moved blindly in the frenzy of approaching death. (72) Then the (Awful) Cry overtook them at the sunrise. (73) And We turned it upside down and We rained upon them stones of heated clay. (74) Lo! therein verily are portents for those who read the signs. (75)
Al-Hijr  – verse 59 -75
إِلَّا آَلَ لُوطٍ إِنَّا لَمُنَجُّوهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿15:59﴾
(15:59) with the exception of Lot’s family; we will rescue all of them
إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ قَدَّرْنَا إِنَّهَا لَمِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿15:60﴾
(15:60) except his wife, who (Allah says) has been destined to remain with those who will stay behind. “
فَلَمَّا جَاءَ آَلَ لُوطٍ الْمُرْسَلُونَ ﴿15:61﴾
(15:61) Afterwards when these envoys came to the house of Lot, *35
*35 Please compare this with VII: 80-84 and XI: 77-83.
قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ مُنْكَرُونَ ﴿15:62﴾
(15:62) he said, “You appear to be strangers. ” *36
*36 Here the story has been related in brief. But we learn from XI: 77-83 that Prophet Lot was greatly perturbed and distressed at the visit of the angels. He said to himself, “This is a day of woe.” The reason why he was distressed, as implied in the Qur’an and explicitly expressed in the Traditions, was that the angels had come to Prophet Lot in the shape of beautiful boys, and he knew how perverse and wicked his people were. He was distressed for he could not send them away because they were his guests, and because he did not know how to protect them from those villains.
قَالُوا بَلْ جِئْنَاكَ بِمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ ﴿15:63﴾
(15:63) They answered, “Nay, but we have come to you with that concerning which these people had doubts.
وَأَتَيْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ ﴿15:64﴾
(15:64) We tell you the truth that we have come to you with the truth.
فَأَسْرِ بِأَهْلِكَ بِقِطْعٍ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ وَاتَّبِعْ أَدْبَارَهُمْ وَلَا يَلْتَفِتْ مِنْكُمْ أَحَدٌ وَامْضُوا حَيْثُ تُؤْمَرُونَ ﴿15:65﴾
(15:65) You should, therefore, depart with your people in the last hours of the night and you yourself should follow them in their rear”; *37 let none of you turn round to look behind; *38 go straight where you are being bidden.”
*37 That is, “You should walk behind your people lest anyone of them should stay behind” . *38 It did not mean: “look not behind thee… .lest thou be consumed. . . “as stated in the Bible. But it merely meant to warn them: “None of you should turn round to see what was happening behind them lest you should stop to see the fun, when you heard the cries of the smitten people. For it is neither the time of enjoying “fun”, nor of shedding tears of regret. If you stop even for a minute in the territory of the smitten people you also might get hurt from the rain of stones.”
وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَيْهِ ذَلِكَ الْأَمْرَ أَنَّ دَابِرَ هَؤُلَاءِ مَقْطُوعٌ مُصْبِحِينَ ﴿15:66﴾
(15:66) And We informed him of Our decree that they shall be utterly destroyed by the next morning.
وَجَاءَ أَهْلُ الْمَدِينَةِ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ ﴿15:67﴾
(15:67) And the people of the town rushed rejoicing to the house of Lot. *39
*39 This shows that those People had gone to the lowest depths of immorality. No sooner did they hear the news of the arrival of handsome strangers in their town than they rushed rejoicing to the house of Prophet Lot and impudently demanded that he should hand over his guests to them for the gratification of their lust. The pity is that there had remained not a single person among them to make a protest against such a heinous sin. Moreover, this shows that all of them, as a community, had totally lost every sense of decency, and they felt no shame at all to make such a wickcd demand on him openly. The very fact, that they felt no hesitation in making such a wicked demand brazen- facedly from a pious and holy man like Prophet Lot, shows that the heinous crime was so common among them that they would not spare anyone. The Talmud records many instances of the all-round moral degradation of the people of Lot. Once a stranger was passing through their territory. He was forced by coming darkness to pass the night near Sodom. As he had his own provisions with him, he did not stand in any need of help from the towns-folk; so he lay under a tree to pass the night. But a Sodomite entreated him to accompany him to his house. During the night he did away with the ass and merchandise of the stranger. When he began to cry for help in the morning, the towns-folk came there not to help him but to rob him of what had been left with him. On one occasion Hadrat Sarah sent her slave to Sodom to inquire after Prophet Lot’s household. When the slave entered the town, he saw that a Sodomite was beating a stranger. Naturally the slave of Hadrat Sarah tried to rouse his sense of decency, saying, “why do you ill-treat helpless strangers like this?” In answer to this appeal, his head was broken in public. On another occasion a poor man happened to come to Sodom but no one gave him anything to eat. When he was half dead with starvation, he fell to the ground in a helpless plight. A daughter of Prophet Lot saw him and sent some food for him. At this the Sodomites reproached Prophet Lot and his daughter and threatened to expel them from there, if they would not refrain from such “deeds”! After citing several similar incidents, the Talmud says that those people had become so cruel, so deceitful and so dishonest in their dealings that no traveller could pass safe through their territory nor could a poor person expect any food or help from them. Many a time it so happened that a poor stranger came there, and died from hunger. Then they would strip the clothes from his body and bury him naked! If a foreigner committed the blunder of visiting their territory, they would publicly rob him of everything, and make fool of him if he appealed to them to redress the wrong. Then they would openly commit shameless deeds in the gardens which they had grown in their valley because there was none to rebuke them except Prophet Lot. The Quran has summed up the whole of their wicked story in two concise sentences:(1) “…They had already been committing very wicked deeds” XI: 78, and (2) “You gratify your lust with males: you rob travellers, and you commit wickcd deeds publicly in your assemblies.”
قَالَ إِنَّ هَؤُلَاءِ ضَيْفِي فَلَا تَفْضَحُونِ ﴿15:68﴾
(15:68) He said, “Brethren! These are my guests: therefore do not dishonour me.
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُخْزُونِ ﴿15:69﴾
(15:69) Fear God and do not put me to shame.”
قَالُوا أَوَلَمْ نَنْهَكَ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿15:70﴾
(15:70) They replied, “Have we not forbidden you to plead for all and sundry?”
قَالَ هَؤُلَاءِ بَنَاتِي إِنْ كُنْتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ ﴿15:71﴾
(15:71) At last Lot pleaded, “Here are my daughters, *40 if you are bent on it.”
*40 In E.N. 87 of Surah Hud, it has been explained what Prophet Lot meant by this. It may also be added that such words as these were uttered by an honourable man like him in the last resort, when all his entreaties and earnest requests had failed to prevent those people from their evil designs towards his guests. Here it will be worthwhile to clear the significance of the words which were uttered by Prophet Lot as they occur in Surah Hud (v. 78). When he entreated those wicked people not to molest his guests, saying, “Here are my daughters….”, he was unaware that his guests were angels in the disguise of handsome boys. The angels revealed their identity only when the wicked crowd gathered at the residence of his guests and began to threaten them with their wicked designs, and Prophet Lot began to lament, “I wish I had the power to set you right or I could find some strong support for refuge.” It was then that the angels revealed themselves, saying, “We are envoys sent by your Lord…. ” This sequence of events shows that Prophet Lot had made that “offer” only when he had felt to be utterly helpless. It is very important to keep this in view because the sequences of events in this Surah is different from that in Surah Hud. One is liable to have a misunderstanding as to why Prophet Lot wailed and lamented when he knew all the while that his guests were angels and could defend themselves against those wicked people. As regards the apparent difference between the two sequences, it may be pointed out that here the important thing to be stated is that the angels come with the truth. Therefore that part of the story (vv. 61-66) has been related first in order to make the point more prominent.
لَعَمْرُكَ إِنَّهُمْ لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ ﴿15:72﴾
(15:72) By your life, O Prophet, they were at that time so intoxicated with lust as to be quite beside themselves with passion.
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّيْحَةُ مُشْرِقِينَ ﴿15:73﴾
(15:73) At last a severe blast overtook them at dawn.
فَجَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حِجَارَةً مِنْ سِجِّيلٍ ﴿15:74﴾
(15:74) Then We turned their habitations up-side-down and We rained stones of baked clay upon them. *41
*41 These “stones of baked clay” might have been meteoric showers or volcanic eruptions that flew and rained upon them, or these might have been blown by a strong wind.
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِلْمُتَوَسِّمِينَ ﴿15:75﴾
(15:75) There are big Signs in these events for men of understanding.
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