Lot in the Quran

Lot in the Quran

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Lot (لوط) in the Quran is one of the prophets of God who was sent to the people of a city called Sodom. The people of Sodom practiced the vicious act of sodomy and were homosexual. This greatly disturbed God, as they used to be good people. Therefore, God sent Lot to that land to preach them and stop them from committing such a grave sin. In this article on Islam4u, we will take a look at:

Lot in the Quran: His Faith in Ibrahim

Lot was the brother-in-law of Prophet Ibrahim . That is, he was the brother of Ibrahim’s wife, Sarah. When Prophet Ibrahim invited people to monotheism and belief in God , Lot and his sister Sarah also believed in him. When Prophet Ibrahim migrated to Canaan, Palestine, Lot accompanied him. Afterwards, God revealed to Lot and commanded him to go to the people of a land that the Quran calls Mu’tafikāt (مُؤتَفِکات), which is also known as the city of Sodom , and invite them to monotheism and stop them from committing sins.

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Ibrahim in the Quran.

Lot in the Quran: Lot Goes to Sodom

Lot goes to the people of Sodom to invite them to the true religion. He notices that they commit a sin that is unprecedented in history: homosexuality.

وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿80﴾

And Lot, when he said to his people, ‘What! Do you commit an outrage none in the world ever committed before you?!

إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاءِ ۚ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴿81﴾

Indeed you come to men with desire instead of women! Indeed, you are a profligate lot.’ 1

Homosexuality is something that goes against nature. If all people become homosexual, the human race would become extinct. No matter how much nowadays the liberalists want to allow people to be free to choose their sexual orientation, common sense dictates that homosexuality is a deviation from the norm.

Lot in the Quran: The People’s Reaction

وَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا أَخْرِجُوهُم مِّن قَرْيَتِكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ ﴿82﴾

But the only answer of his people was that they said, ‘Expel them from your town! They are indeed a puritanical lot.’ 2

Lot’s people said that they must expel Lot from their city because he wants to be one of the pure ones. It is as though they knew themselves how vicious and impure they were, yet they insisted on their outrageous act.

Lot in the Quran: God Sends Angels to Ibrahim

The people of Lot did not let go of their vicious act no matter how much Lot preached them. So the punishment of God was definite for them. Therefore, God decided to punish the people of Lot. Consequently, God first sent two angels to Ibrahim to give him the good news of Isaac and also to inform him that he will punish the people of Lot. The story is told in the Quran:

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ بِالْبُشْرَىٰ قَالُوا سَلَامًا ۖ قَالَ سَلَامٌ ۖ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَن جَاءَ بِعِجْلٍ حَنِيذٍ ﴿69﴾

Certainly Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, and said, ‘Peace!’ ‘Peace!’ He replied. Presently he brought [for them] a roasted calf. 3

Surah Dhāriyāt gives a similar account:

هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴿24﴾

Did you receive the story of Abraham’s honoured guests?

إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا سَلَامًا ۖ قَالَ سَلَامٌ قَوْمٌ مُّنكَرُونَ ﴿25﴾

When they entered into his presence, they said, ‘Peace!’ ‘Peace!’ He answered, ‘[You are] an unfamiliar folk.’

فَرَاغَ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِ فَجَاءَ بِعِجْلٍ سَمِينٍ ﴿26﴾

Then he retired to his family and brought a fat [roasted] calf, 4

The angels had appeared to Ibrahim in the form of two human beings. Ibrahim thought they were strangers and prepared a roasted calf for them. However, they did not eat because they were angels:

فَلَمَّا رَأَىٰ أَيْدِيَهُمْ لَا تَصِلُ إِلَيْهِ نَكِرَهُمْ وَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً ۚ قَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ ﴿70﴾

But when he saw their hands not reaching for it, he took them amiss and felt a fear of them. They said, ‘Do not be afraid. We have been sent to the people of Lot.’ 5

Then the angels gave the good news of the birth of Isaac and after him Jacob from Ibrahim. Afterwards, Ibrahim started pleading with the angels concerning the people of Lot:

فَلَمَّا ذَهَبَ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الرَّوْعُ وَجَاءَتْهُ الْبُشْرَىٰ يُجَادِلُنَا فِي قَوْمِ لُوطٍ ﴿74﴾

So when the awe had left Abraham and the good news had reached him, he pleaded with Us concerning the people of Lot.

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُّنِيبٌ ﴿75﴾

Abraham was indeed most forbearing, plaintive, [and] penitent. 6

Ibrahim told the angels, Lot is with him, if you punish his people he too will die. This conversation takes place in surah ‘Ankabūt:

قَالَ إِنَّ فِيهَا لُوطًا ۚ قَالُوا نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن فِيهَا ۖ لَنُنَجِّيَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿32﴾

He said, ‘Lot is in it.’ They said, ‘We know better those who are in it. We will surely deliver him and his family, except his wife: she shall be one of those who remain behind.’ 7

Lot in the Quran: The Angels Descend on Lot

So the angels go to Lot this time in order to inform him of the punishment of his people and how he and his family, except his wife would be delivered. Lot’s wife was like one of them and when the angels appeared in Lot’s home in the form of handsome young men, she lit a fire atop Lot’s home and informed the others of Lot’s guests. Therefore, Lot’s people learn of his guests and they gather at his house and demand that he hands over his guests to him. Lot said:

وَجَاءَهُ قَوْمُهُ يُهْرَعُونَ إِلَيْهِ وَمِن قَبْلُ كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ بَنَاتِي هُنَّ أَطْهَرُ لَكُمْ ۖ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلَا تُخْزُونِ فِي ضَيْفِي ۖ أَلَيْسَ مِنكُمْ رَجُلٌ رَّشِيدٌ ﴿78﴾

Then his people came running toward him, and they had been committing vices aforetime. He said, ‘O my people, these are my daughters: they are purer for you. Be wary of Allah and do not humiliate me with regard to my guests. Is there not a right-minded man among you?’ 8

However, they rudely replied:

لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا لَنَا فِي بَنَاتِكَ مِنْ حَقٍّ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَعْلَمُ مَا نُرِيدُ ﴿79﴾

‘You certainly know that we have no interest in your daughters, and indeed you know what we want.’ 9

Lot said:

لَوْ أَنَّ لِي بِكُمْ قُوَّةً أَوْ آوِي إِلَىٰ رُكْنٍ شَدِيدٍ ﴿80﴾

‘If only I had the power to deter you, or could take refuge in a mighty support!’ 10

The angels reassured Lot and said to him:

يَا لُوطُ إِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّكَ لَن يَصِلُوا إِلَيْكَ ۖ فَأَسْرِ بِأَهْلِكَ بِقِطْعٍ مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ وَلَا يَلْتَفِتْ مِنكُمْ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ مُصِيبُهَا مَا أَصَابَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ مَوْعِدَهُمُ الصُّبْحُ ۚ أَلَيْسَ الصُّبْحُ بِقَرِيبٍ ﴿81﴾

‘O Lot, we are messengers of your Lord. They will never get at you. Set out with your family in a watch of the night; and none of you shall turn round, except your wife; indeed she will be struck by what strikes them. Indeed their tryst is the dawn. Is not the dawn [already] near?’ 11

Lot in the Quran: The Punishment

God punished the people of Sodom in a very severe way. There are several verses in the Quran that depict this punishment:

Surah A‘rāf

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَرًا ۖ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿84﴾

Then We poured down upon them a rain [of stones]. So observe how was the fate of the guilty! 12

Surah Hūd

فَلَمَّا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا جَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنضُودٍ ﴿82﴾

So when Our edict came, We made its topmost part its nethermost, and We rained on it stones of laminar shale,

مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ ۖ وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٍ ﴿83﴾

sent in from your Lord [for the profligate], never far from the wrongdoers. 13

Surah Ḥijr

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّيْحَةُ مُشْرِقِينَ ﴿73﴾

So the Cry seized them at sunrise,

فَجَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ ﴿74﴾

and We made its topmost part its nethermost, and rained on them stones of shale. 14

Surah Shu‘arā’

ثُمَّ دَمَّرْنَا الْآخَرِينَ ﴿172﴾

Then We destroyed [all] the rest,

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَرًا ۖ فَسَاءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ ﴿173﴾

and rained down upon them a rain [of stones]. Evil was the rain of those who were warned! 15

Surah Naml

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَرًا ۖ فَسَاءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ ﴿58﴾

Then We poured down upon them a rain [of stones]. Evil was that rain for those who had been warned! 16

Surah ‘Ankabūt

إِنَّا مُنزِلُونَ عَلَىٰ أَهْلِ هَـٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ ﴿34﴾

We are indeed going to bring down upon the people of this town a punishment from the sky because of the transgressions they used to commit.’ 17

Conclusion

Lot was one of the noble messengers of God who was sent to guide a people who used to commit a gross indecency, meaning homosexuality. Because they did not listen to their prophet, God punished the people of Lot and saved Lot and his family except his wife who was among the wrongdoers. We learn from the story of Lot that one should not go against his or her nature and obey the commands of God. Furthermore, even if one is not punished in this world for the sins one commits, in the afterlife and the Hereafter one will definitely be punished. Hopefully, we will all repent to God and refrain from committing sins so that God will admit us into His mercy.


References

  1. Quran 7:80-81 (Qara’i).
  2. Quran 7:82 (Qara’i).
  3. Quran 11:69 (Qara’i).
  4. Quran 51:24-26 (Qara’i).
  5. Quran 11:70 (Qara’i).
  6. Quran 11:74-75 (Qara’i).
  7. Quran 29:32 (Qara’i).
  8. Quran 11:78 (Qara’i).
  9. Quran 11:79 (Qara’i).
  10. Quran 11:80 (Qara’i).
  11. Quran 11:81 (Qara’i).
  12. Quran 7:84 (Qara’i).
  13. Quran 11:82-83 (Qara’i).
  14. Quran 15:73-74 (Qara’i).
  15. Quran 26:172-173 (Qara’i).
  16. Quran 27:58 (Qara’i).
  17. Quran 29:34 (Qara’i).

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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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