Boreal

Shared Prophets

Lot

Allah fondly remembers Lot while revelling in the destruction of Sodom and perhaps Gomorrah, although neither city is mentioned by name. In a number of revelations He refers to them as the “overturned towns” as in the following, or the “overturned cities”.

9:70 Have you not heard about those who came before them (those who oppose Allah and His Messenger), the people of Noah, of `Ad, of Thamud, the people of Abraham, the people of Madyan (Midian) and the overturned towns? Their Messengers came to them with the clear proofs; Allah never wronged them, but they wronged themselves.

The story of Lot and the fate of his people gets more than a handful of verses in at least eight surahs (7, 11, 15, 26, 27, 29, 37 and 51) with slight variations in each retelling.  The most complete account is in surah 11, Hud.

In Allah’s retelling of the story of Lot, Abraham’s plea to spare the people of Lot is dismissed out of hand. The plea for mercy from Abraham is said to have been made after Allah’s angels, who are on their way to see Lot, interrupt their journey to drop in on an apprehensive Abraham to deliver some good news.

11:69 Our messengers (the two angels) indeed came to Abraham bearing good news. They said: “Peace”, he said “Peace.” Then he brought a roasted calf at once.

11:70 But when he saw that their hands did not reach out to it, he became suspicious of them and conceived a fear of them. They said: “Fear not, we have been sent to the people of Lot.”

The angels announced, to an incredulous wife, that she will bear a child by the name of Isaac and later Jacob, unless the angels meant that Jacob would be a grandson, as he is in the Bible. In the Bible, Jacob is the son of Isaac and Rebecca

11:71 His wife was standing by, so she laughed. Thereupon We announced to her the good news of Isaac, and after Isaac, of Jacob.

11:72 She said: “Woe is me, shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and this, my husband, is an old man too? This is truly a very strange thing.”

11:73 They said: “Do you wonder at Allah’s command? May the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you, O people of the House (the House of Abraham). Surely He is Praiseworthy and Glorious.”

11:74 Then when fear left Abraham and the good news came to him, he started pleading with Us concerning the people of Lot.

11:75 Abraham is truly clement, contrite, penitent.

11:76 “O Abraham, desist from this; the Command of your Lord has come and an irreversible punishment shall surely smite them."

The angels finally get to meet Lot.

11:77 And when Our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved by them and felt unable to protect them. He said: “This is a dreadful day.”

A revelation about the evil of sodomy:

11:78 And his people came rushing towards him; and before that time they used to perpetrate evil deeds (sodomy). He said: “O my people, these are my daughters; they are purer for you. So fear Allah and do not disgrace me by [wronging] my guests. Is there not one right-minded man among you?”

You know what we want!

11:79 They said: “You know that we have no right to your daughters, and you know well what we want.”

Would Lot have made the following wish had he known he was dooming the men, women and children of his hometown to a horrible death?

11:80 He said: “Would that I had the power to stand against you, or could seek refuge with a strong supporter.”

In telling and re-telling the story of Lot, Allah leaves out the part about Lot having sex with his two virgin daughters, and He also does not confirm that Lot's wife was transformed into a pillar of salt, only that she will suffer the fate of Lot’s people and, for no apparent reason, He instructs Lot not to stop his wife from looking back.

11:81 They (the angels who were Lot’s guests) said: “O Lot, we are your Lord’s messengers to you; they will not reach you. So set out with your family in watch of the night and let no one look back, except for your wife. She will be afflicted with what they have been afflicted with. Their appointed time is the morning. Is not the morning close enough?”

And then it happened!

11:82 And when Our decree came, we turned [the town (Sodom)] upside down and rained down upon it stones of clay in clusters;

Allah bragging about His marksmanship ends the story of Lot in the surah Hud.

11:83 Marked from your Lord; and they were never far off from the wrongdoers.

An account where a shower of clay becomes a shower of rain (maybe the memorizers of the Koran or the Prophet got the story of Lot and Noah confused).

26: 173 And We loosed on them a rain. Wretched is the rain of those forewarned!

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27:58 And We sent down upon them a torrent of rain. Wretched is the rain of those who have been forewarned!

In an earlier account it is a shower of brimstones, and Lot's wife stays behind.

7:83 So we delivered him and his household, except for his wife who stayed behind.

7:84 And We rained a shower [of brimstone] upon them. See then what was the end of the sinners.

In one of His briefer accounts of the story of Lot, Allah reveals that he blinded Lot’s people before destroying them the next morning; and it is pebbles He rained down on the cities. It probably was like a small shower of pebbles which was followed by a torrential downpour of stones of baked clay.

54:33 The people of Lot denounced the warnings as lies.

54:34 We loosed upon them a squall of pebbles, except for the family of Lot whom We saved at dawn,

54:35 As a Grace from Us. Thus do We reward those who give thanks.

54:36 He (Lot) had warned them of Our Onslaught, but they doubted the warnings.

54:37 And they even solicited of him his guests; so we blotted out their eyesight: “Taste, then, My Punishment and My Warnings.”

54:38 Early in the morning, they were visited with implacable punishment.

54:39 “Taste, then, My Punishment and My Warnings.”

54:40 We have, indeed, made the Qur’an easy to remember. Is there, then, any one who will remember?

Still one more brief version of the story of Lot which again begins with the angels first visiting Abraham. In this variation, it is Abraham who tells the angels that they are strangers (verse 51:25) and they may shared a meal.

51:24 Has the tale of Abraham’s honoured guests reached you?

51:25 When they entered upon him and said: “Peace”, he replied: “Peace; you are an unknown people to me.”

51:26 Then, he went back to his own family and brought a fattened calf.

Abraham then repeats the exact phrase he used in revelation 37:91 (And he turned towards their gods, saying: “Will you not eat?”) when he tried to get the idols his people worshipped to eat.

51:27 He offered it to them, saying: “Will you not eat?”

51:28 So, he conceive a fear of them. They said: “Do not fear”, and they announced to him the good news of a clever boy.

51:29 Then his wife came shouting and she smote her face and said: “I am a barren old woman.”

51:30 They said: “That is what your Lord has said. He is indeed the Wise, the All-Knowing.”

51:31 He (Abraham) said: “And what is your business, O envoys?”

51:32 They said: “We have been sent forth to a criminal people;

51:33 “To unleash on them stones of clay,

51:34 “Marked by your Lord for the extravagant.

In this retelling, Lot and his family appear to have already left town.

51:35 “So, we brought out such believers as were therein.

51:36 “But did not find in it except one house of those who have submitted.

51:37 “And we left therein a sign for those who fear the painful punishment.”

One of the shortest variation on the story of Lot. In this retelling, Lot's wife has morphed into "an old woman who was among the lost."

37:133 And Lot was one of the Messengers.

37:134 When We delivered him and his whole family,

37:135 Except for an old woman who was among the lost.

37:136 Then We destroyed the others.

37:137 And you pass by them in the morning,

37:138 And at night. Do you not understand, then?

Lot Uninterrupted

The next longest reiteration of the story of Lot is in surah 15, The Rock. We begin this account with Allah asking His Messenger to tell the story of “the guests (the angels) of Abraham)”. This story, like so many others about death and destruction from on High begins with an affirmation about the All-Forgiving God who revels and brags about His ability, if not His need, to make people suffer.

15:49 Tell my servants that I am truly the All-Forgiving, the Merciful.

15:50 And that My punishment is truly the painful punishment.

15:51 And tell them about the guests (the angels) of Abraham.

15:52 When they entered unto him saying: “Peace”; he said: “We are afraid of you.”

15:53 They said: “Do not be afraid; we bring you the good news of a boy possessing knowledge.”

15:54 He said: “Do you bring me good news, when old age has overtaken me? What good news do you bring, then?”

15:55 They said: “We bring you good news in truth, so do not be one of those who despair.”

15:56 He said: “Who despairs of his Lord’s Mercy, except those who have gone astray.”

15:57 He said: “What is your errand, O messengers?”

15:58 They said: “We have been sent forth to [destroy] a sinful people.

15:59 “Except for the family of Lot; we shall deliver them all,

15:60 “Except for his wife; We have decreed that she will remain behind [to perish].”

15:61 And when the messengers (the angels) came to the family of Lot;

15:62 He said: “You are surely a people unknown [to us].”

15:63 They said: “No; we bring you that whereof they were in doubt.

15:64 “And we bring you the truth, and we are truthful, indeed.

15:65 “Set out, then, with your family in a watch of the night, and follow in their rear; and let no one of you look back, and go forth wherever you are ordered.”

15:66 And We conveyed to him this decree that these [sinners] will be rooted out in the morning.

15:67 And the people of the town came rejoicing.

15:68 He said: “These are my guests, so do no disgrace me.

15:69 “And fear Allah and do not shame me.”

15:70 They said: “Did we not forbid you [to approach] strangers?”

15:71 He said: “These are my daughters, if you are intent on doing anything.”

15:72 By your life [O Muhammad] they wandered blindly in their folly.

15:73 Thereupon, the dreadful Cry overtook them at sunrise.

15:74 And We turn their town upside down, and We rained upon them stones of baked clay.

15:75 In this, there are truly signs for those who ponder.

15:76 And they (the towns) lie along an existing road.

15:77 In that, there is indeed a sign for the believers.

15:78 Surely the People of the Thicket (the community near Midian of the Prophet Shu’ayb i.e. Jethro) were also wrongdoers.

15:79 So We punished them. And they (the people of Lot and the People of the Thicket) lie along a plain road.

15:80 And the people of al-Hijr (ancient city of the Nabataeans located north of Medina, today an archeological site) denounced the Messengers.

15:81 We brought them Our Signs, but they turned away from them.

15:82 They hewed their houses in the mountains in security.

15:83 The Cry (violent blast) overtook them in the morning.

15:84 Thus, what they did availed them nothing.

Much more Lot in the chapter Homosexuals.