lut

Prophet Ibraheem ‘alayhissalaam left Egypt accompanied by his nephew Lut ‘alayhissalaam, who then went to the city of Sodom (Sadum), which was on the western shore of the Dead Sea. This city was filled with evil. Its residents waylaid, robbed and killed travelers. There were many other evils that were practiced openly and unashamedly by these people.

It was at the height of these crimes and sins that Allah revealed to Prophet Lut that he should summon the people to give up their indecent behaviour, but they were so deeply sunk in their immoral habits that they were deaf to Lut's preaching. Swamped in their unnatural desires, they refused to listen, even when Lut warned them of Allah's punishment. Instead, they threatened to drive him out of the city if he kept on preaching.

The doings of Lut's people saddened his heart. Their bad reputation spread throughout the land, while he struggled against them. As the years passed, he persisted in advising them but to no avail. No one responded to his call and believed except for the members of his family, and even in his household, not all the members believed. Lut's wife, like Nuh's wife, was a disbeliever.

If home is the place of comfort and rest, then Lut found none, for he was tormented both inside and outside his home. His life was continuous torture and he suffered greatly, but he remained patient and steadfast with his people. The years rolled by, and still not one believed in him. Instead, they belittled his message and mockingly challenged him: "Bring Allah's Torment upon us if you are one of the truthful!" (Ch 29:29 Quran)

Overwhelmed with despair, Lut prayed to Allah to grant him victory and destroy the corrupt. Therefore, the angels left and headed for the town of Lut. They reached the walls of the town in the afternoon. The first person who caught sight of them was Lut's daughter, who was sitting beside the river, filling her jug with water. When she lifted her face and saw them, she was stunned that there could be men of such magnificent beauty on earth.

One of the three men (angels) asked her: "O maiden, is there a place to rest?" Remembering the character of her people she replied, "Stay here and do not enter until I inform my father and return." Leaving her jug by the river, she swiftly ran home. "O father!" she cried. "You are wanted by young men at the town gate and I have never before seen the like of their faces!"

Lut felt distressed as he quickly ran to his guests. He asked them where they came from and where they were going. They did not answer his questions. Instead they asked if he could host them. He started talking with them and impressed upon them the subject of his people's nature. Lut was filled with turmoil; he wanted to convince his guests without offending them, not to spend the night there, yet at the same time he wanted to extend to them the expected hospitality normally accorded to guests. In vain he tried to make them understand the dangerous situation. At last, therefore, he requested them to wait until the night fell, for then no one would see them.

When darkness fell on the town, Lut escorted his guests to his home. No one was aware of their presence. However, as soon as Lut's wife saw them, she slipped out of the house quietly so that no one noticed her. Quickly, she ran to her people with the news and it spread to all the inhabitants like wildfire. The people rushed towards Lut quickly and excitedly. Lut was surprised by their discovery of his guests. and he wondered who could have informed them. The matter became clear, however, when he could not find his wife, anywhere, thus adding grief to his sorrow.

When Lut saw the mob approaching his house, he shut the door, but they kept on banging on it. He pleaded with them to leave the visitors alone and fear Allah's punishment. Lut's people waited until he had finished his short sermon, and then they roared with laughter. Blinded by passion, they broke down the door. Lut became very angry, but he stood powerless before these violent people. He was unable to prevent the abuse of his guests, but he firmly stood his ground and continued to plead with the mob.

At that terrible moment, he wished he had the power to push them away from his guests. Seeing him in a state of helplessness, and grief the guests said: "Do not be anxious or frightened, Lut for we are angels, and these people will not harm you." On hearing this, the mob was terrified and fled from Lut's house, hurling threats at him as they left. The angels warned Prophet Lut (pbuh) to leave his house before sunrise, taking with him all his family except his wife. Allah had decreed that the city of Sodom should perish. An earthquake rocked the town. It was as if a mighty power had lifted the entire city and flung it down in one jolt. A storm of stones rained on the city. Everyone and everything was destroyed, including Lut's wife.

The book was closed on the people of Lut (pbuh). Their towns and names have been erased from the face of the earth. Gone are they from memory. One book was closed of the books of corruption. Lot (pbuh) proceeded towards Ibraheem (pbuh). He visited him, and when he recounted the story of his people, he was surprised to learn that Ibraheem (pbuh) already knew. So Lut (pbuh) continued to invite people to Allah, as did Ibraheem (pbuh), the patient one who turned to Allah repentantly, and the two held firm to their mission.