Friday 20 April 2018

Prophet Lut (Lot) and Allah's Wrath on his People

Quran has many anecdotes and events described in detail which serve as eye opener for people who have wisdom and intellect to ponder upon circumstance which compelled Allah to teach lesson to miscreants and those digressing from the enlightened path shown by Him.

One of the detailed account in Quran is about Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and his people. This account is also available in the Biblical books and validates Islam's belief and acceptance of all holy books revealed on chosen messengers of Allah before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Prophet Lut is said to be nephew of Prophet Ibraheem (Abraham, peace be upon him) and both had gone to Egypt. There they were gifted with vast herds of sheep and while returning a rift between the shepherds of two herds arose due to which both prophets parted ways and Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) went to the city of Sodom located west shore of present day Dead sea between the states of Jordan and Israel.

The people of the city were extremely misdirected, mislead beside being robbers and murderers. Though this was not enough of their bad deeds, they are reported be the first people in the history to have indulged in homosexuality. Since men did not have any interest in women, their women too had liking within their own kind. Even travelers coming to Sodom were picked up for their lust and many later killed.

The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) tried his best to persuade his people to come back to the righteous path and leave all their bad deeds and life of lust. But they never listened to him and instead asked him to leave them to themselves and go somewhere else. And when Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) would try to frighten them with a possible wrath of Allah, they would mock him and tell him to ask his God to send whatever he intended to sent upon them: “Bring God’s torment upon us if you are one of the truthful.” (Quran 29:29)

The Quran explains this in its Surah 26, verses 160-171:
"The people of Lot (those dwelt in the towns of Sodom in Palestine) belied the Messengers when their brother Lut said to them, 'Will you not fear Allah and obey Him? Verily! I am a trustworthy Messenger to you. So fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it (my Message of Islamic Monotheism) my reward is only from the Lord of the 'alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Go you in unto the males of the 'alamin (mankind), and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your wives? Nay, you are a trespassing people!'
"They said, 'If you cease not, O Lut! Verily, you will be one of those who are driven out!'
"He said, 'I am indeed, of those who disapprove with severe anger and fury your (this evil) action (of sodomy). My Lord! Save me and my family from what they do.'
"So We saved him and his family, all except an old woman (this wife) among those who remained behind."
The Prophet Lut (may peace be upon him) was certainly disheartened but still continued his efforts to bring people of Sodom to the righteous path, though his efforts yielded no result. Even his own wife was with her community and did not follow her pious husband. 

Thus one day Prophet Lut (may peace be upon him) prayed to Allah to teach lesson to the disbelievers and the lustful people of Sodom. Allah thus sent two angels in the disguise of young beautiful boys. When they reached the walls of the city, Prophet Lut's daughter spotted them who was filling water from a stream. One of the angels came to her and asked for a place for rest. Being a dutiful daughter of his father and knowing the character of people of the city, she ran to her father and told him the arrival of strangers. Prophet Lut accompanied her daughter to the place and was himself stunned to see the beautiful people and asked who they were. But the angels refused to answer any question and asked him to be their host.

Fearful of them being spotted by the people of the city, Prophet Lut let the darkness fell and then brought them to his house unnoticed. But unknown to him, he had an informer right in his house - his wife, who instantly went out and spread the word in the town of the presence of two beautiful strangers in their house. And it did not take long for people of the town surround his house and asked Prophet Lut to surrender his guests to them. Prophet Lut was amazed as to how they came to know his guests but when he did not find his wife in the house, he got the clue.

Prophet Lut locked his house and pleaded them to go back to their wives rather than lustfully eying his guests and fear wrath of Allah. But they kept pushing and banging on his door but Prophet Lut did not allow them enter his house. When his guests saw the plight of their host, they then told him that they were God sent angels and the city people will not be able to harm them. When the mob heard the angels speaking, they fell back abusing and reiterated to come back in the morning.

The angels then asked Prophet Lut to leave his house along with his family, less his disobedient wife, immediately for Allah's wrath and fury was on its way. While leaving his house, the angels warned that no one should look back when the wrath of Allah descended upon the people of Sodom. And sure enough, as they left the town they felt a huge tremor and volleys of fire filled stones falling on the city. In fact the city had been lifted up and then struck back on earth with a mighty force. Prophet Lut's wife who had followed his family had her heart still attracted to her people and turned back to see what was happening to them. In that very instant shoe too was burnt alive and turned into ashes.

This is how, the entire episode is narrated in the 15th chapter of Quran:
"Then when the Messengers (the angels) came unto the family of Lot, he said, 'Verily! You are people unknown to me.' They said, 'Nay! we have come to you with that (torment) which they have been doubting. And we have brought to you the truth (the news of the destruction of your nation) and certainly, we tell the truth. Then travel in a part of the night with your family, and you go behind them in the rear, and let no one amongst you look back, but go on to where you are ordered.'
"And We made known this decree to him, that the root of those (sinners) was to be cut off in the early morning.
"The inhabitants of the city came rejoicing (at the news of the young men's arrival). Lot said, 'Verily! These are my guests, so shame me not. And fear Allah and disgrace me not.' They (people of the city) said, 'Did we not forbid you to entertain (or protect) any of the 'alamin (people, foreigners strangers etc) from us?' Lot said, 'These (the girls of the nation) are my daughters to marry lawfully if you must act so.'
"Verily, by your life (O Muhammad), in their wild intoxication they were wandering blindly. So as-salihah (torment, awful cry, etc.) overtook them at the time of sunrise; and We turned (the towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down and rained down on them stones of baked clay. Surely! In this are signs for those who see (or understand or learn the lessons from the Signs of Allah). And verily! They (the cities) are right on the highroad (from Makkah to Syria, i.e. the place where the Dead Sea is now). Surely! Therein is indeed a sign for the believers."
"So we saved him and his family, all, except an old woman (his wife) among those who remained behind. Then afterward We destroyed the others. We rained on them a rain of torment. How evil was the rain of those who had been warned. Verily, in this is indeed a sign yet most of them are not believers. Verily! Your Lord, He is indeed the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful."
Thus thereafter, people forgot who people of Sodom were but only what happened to them. The towns are no more - many believe these to be under water of the Dead Sea and attribute its highly alkaline water because it has under its fold a cursed city and bodies of cursed people who instead of living a clean life with their wives, chose to be homosexual - something abhorred by the Allah Almighty.

Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) then went to Prophet Ibraheem (may peace be upon him) and told him what happened to his people and how they remained unhurt. But to his surprise Prophet  Ibraheem (may peace be upon him) already knew what he wanted to tell. In fact the two angels sent by Allah had first visited Ibraheem (may peace be upon him)  and had already told him of their mission beside giving him the tiding of a son being born to him.
"And tell them about the guests (angels) of Abraham. When they entered unto him, and said, 'Salaam (peace)!' Abraham said, 'Indeed! We are afraid of you.'
"They (the angels) said, 'Do not be afraid! We give you glad tidings of a boy (son) possessing much knowledge and wisdom.' (Abraham) said, 'Do you give me glad tidings (of a son) when old age has overtaken me? Of what then is your news?' They (the angels) said, 'We give you glad tidings in truth. So be not of the despairing.'
"Abraham said, 'And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?' (Abraham again) said, 'What then is the business on which you have come, O Messengers?'
"They (the angels) said, 'We have been sent to a people who are sinners. (All) except the family of Lut. Them all we are surely going to save (from destruction).'
"Except his wife, of whom We have decreed that she shall be of the those who remain behind (she will be destroyed).
Thereafter Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) continued to spread the word of Allah to his new found people till his very last. But the episode of Prophet Lut (may peace be upon him) leaves a clear message to those digressing from enlightened path of Allah and indulging in activities (like homosexuality and belittling chose ones of Allah when they call them to purity) to beware of Allah's wrath, agony and torment for Allah does not like transgressors.

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