Among the great things that happened in the life of Sayyidina Ibrahim is the story of the people of Lut AlahisSalam and the severe indignation they suffered.
Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam was the son of Haran bin Tarih or Tarikh who was Aazar as stated earlier. He was thus the son of Sayyidina Ibrahim’s AlaihisSalam brother.
Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam migrated from the place of Sayyidina Ibrahim AlahisSalam at his command and with his permission to Sadum the main city of that region. It covered a large expanse and had suburbs and townships. But, its people were the most immoral of people, the most disbelieving and evil, and the worst of them in behaviour and manner. They committed highway robbery and practiced indecency even in their assemblies. They had innovated an immoral act which was unknown before them and that was homosexuality in place of natural tendency of human beings between man and woman.
Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam invited them to worship Allah, the One, Who has no partner. He forbade them from the unlawful, evil and detestable ways. But they persisted in their sinful activities and disbelief. So, Allah punished them severely and made them an example for all people, and a lesson for them. They are mentioned in many verses of Holy Qur’an.
These people are mentioned also in Surah Hud, Al-Hijr. Ash-Shuara, An-Naml, Al-Ankabut, As-Saffat, Az-Zariyat and Al-Qamar.
The gist of the text of these chapters is that Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam did not get positive response from even one of these people when he invited them to worship Allah, the One, without associating anyone with Him. He asked them to shun their evil practices. Not only that, they refused to listen to him but they went so far as to resolve to expel their Prophet from among them. Allah helped his Prophet and his family and evacuated them except his wife as we will see later on.
Apart from homosexuality, these people were also guilty of robbery on the highways, cheating friends and indecency in their meeting places. They were like cattle or worse than that. They were unrepentant and unmindful of the past, present and future. They challenged Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam to bring upon them the punishment. They dared him to do so if he was truthful. (al-Ankabut, 29:29)
Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam made his supplication to Allah and asked Him to help him. In answer to his supplication Allah sent His angels to punish them. As we have seen in the story of Sayyidina Ibrahim that, the angels came to these people after visiting Sayyidina Ibrahim first. Apart from giving him glad tidings of a son they had informed him of their mission to the people of Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam. He had protested that Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam was among them.
When the angels came to Sayyidina Lut it still they were disguised as
handsome youths. As we have seen in the life story of Sayyidina Ibrahim AlahisSalam that they were Jibril, Mika’il and Israfil AlaihisSalam Their aim was to try these people and establish a reason for punishing them. Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam took them as his guests when they arrived there at the time of sunset before anyone else could receive them. He was under the impression that they were human beings. He was very much worried on their account and tried to ward them off but they did not leave him. They were commanded not to punish the people until their Prophet testified against them.
According to Suddi, when the angels came to him it was noon time. At the river they met a daughter of Prophet Lut AlahisSalam it who was drawing water for her home. He had two daughters. They asked the girl, “O lass, is there a rest house?” she retorted, “O yes! House for you! But, do not enter the town until I come back,” fearing her people for them. She hurried to her father and exclaimed, “Father! Two young men wish to see you at the gate of the city, ° 1 have never seen anyone as beautiful as them. Don’t leave them to be ill-treated by your people!” So he brought them home without anyone espying them, for his people had prohibited him from hosting male guests who were to be left to them. Only the people of his house had known about the guests but his wife went out and informed the people that Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam had guests. His people came to him hurriedly.
They had been known to behave shamefully before, so he pleaded with them not to disgrace him before his guests. But, they reminded him that they had forbidden him from receiving guests.
These are my daughters, if you would be doing. (Al-Hijr, 15:71) The young girls of the community whom “you may marry”. But, they were unmoved and unwilling to give up their ways.
He called them towards their wives or they could have recourse to marriage if they had no wives. He called the girls his daughters because a Prophet is like a father to his people as is found in a Hadith. The Qur’an also tells us
The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves and his wives are (as) their mother. (Al-Ahzab, 33:6) It is wrong to say that he offered his daughters to them as the people of the Book Prophet Luts barricaded himself behind the closed door but when he found the task of holding them back formidable, he said,
“Would that I had power against you, or might have some strong support for refuge.” (Hud, 11:80)
The angels then let it be known who they were. Jibril still went out to them and hit them with part of his wing so they lost their eyes completely. There was no sign of their eyes and they returned to their places with the support of the walls, threatening the Messenger of the Compassionate and remarking, “Tomorrow will be ours and he will learn a lesson!”
That angel then turned to Sayyidina Lut and directed him to go away from the city in the last part of the night with his family. And when they hear the sound of punishment;
“let not any of you turn round”.
excepting your wife. (Hud, 11:81) That is, ” go away from the city with your family excepting your wife.” Or, it could mean “and let not any of you turn excepting your wife for when she turns she will be inflicted with the same punishment.” But the first meaning is nearer the context. The name of the wife of Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam according to Suhayli, was Waliha and the wife of Sayyidina Nuh AlaihisSalam was Waligha.
When Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam left his house with his family and they were just his two daughters, no one followed them. It is said that his wife left with them, but Allah knows best. When they had gone out of the country and the sun had risen, the decree of Allah was fulfilled with a severe punishment to those
people never to be averted.
It is said that Jibril uprooted the city from its foundations they were seven in all. It is said that they were all four hundred or four thousand peoples and there were animals of sorts. Jibril’s seen lifted them as high as the borders of the sky so the angels heard the crowing of the cocks and the barking of the dogs. He then turned them upside down so the top side became the bottom. Those who were present there were punished in this manner but those who were away were also punished and stones that rained from above were marked with their names too.
As for the wife of Prophet Lut AlahisSalam, it is said that she stayed behind with her people and it is also said that she went with her husband and two daughters, but when she heard the sound of the punishment and dropping down of her city she turned back to her people disobeying the old and new commands of her Lord. As she turned, a stone hit her smashing her head and consigning her to her people. She had been on their religion and had spied on Lut AlahisSalam for them concerning his guests.