Shared Prophets


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

9:70 Have you not heard about those who came before them (the hypocrites), 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 across at least eight surahs (7, 11, 15, 26, 27, 29, 37 and 51), again with slight variations in each retelling. The most complete and longest account is in Surah 11, Hud. In Allah’s retelling of the story of Lot in Hud, 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 God’s angels, who are on their way to see Lot, interrupt their journey to drop in on an apprehensive Abraham with 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 would bear a child by the name of Isaac and later Jacob (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 “his people”—men, women, and children—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.”

The angels instructed Lot to set out with his family and 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. 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.

In two surahs, a shower of clay becomes a shower of rain.

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


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 surah, it was a shower of brimstones.

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

In Surah 54, Allah reveals that he blinded Lot’s people before destroying them the next morning; and it is pebbles He rained down on the cities.

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 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.”

In Surah 51, it is Abraham who tells the angels that they are strangers, and they may have 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.

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

51:28 So, he conceived 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.

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 variations on the story of Lot:

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. In this retelling, Lot’s wife stays behind and God lists other towns He has destroyed for good measure.

15:49 Tell (O Muhammad) 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 (near Median) were also wrongdoers

15:79 So We punished them. And they (the people of Lot and the People of the Thicket) were also wrongdoers.

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 overtook them in the morning.

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

The Foul Act

God reminded the believers what He thinks of homosexual relationships in at least four retellings of the story of Lot, in four different surahs no less. In one retelling, He even includes Abraham. Could His feelings on the matter be any clearer?

Surah 7, The Ramparts

Before the people of Lot, homosexuality, according to Allah, was unknown in the ancient world.

7:80 And [remember] Lot when he said to his people: “Do you commit indecencies which no one in the whole world committed before you?”

 7:81 “You approach men instead of women lustfully; you are rather a people given to excess.”

7:82 His people’s response was simply to say: “Expel them (Lot and his people) from your city; for they are men who wish to remain chaste.”

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

Surah 26, The Poets

26:160 The people of Lot denounced the Messengers as liars.

26:161 When their brother Lot said to them; “Do you not fear God?

 26:162 “I am a faithful Messenger to you;

26:163 “So, fear Allah and obey me.

26:164 “I do not ask you any wage for this; my wage is with the Lord of the Worlds.

26:165 “Do you approach the males from all of mankind;

26:166 “And leave the wives that your Lord created for you? No, you are a transgressing people.”

26:167 They said: “If you will not desist, O Lot, you will certainly be one of those expelled.”

26:168 He said: “I am a detester of your deed.

26:169 “Lord, save me and my family from what they do.”

26:170 So, We delivered him and his family, all together.

26:171 Except for an old woman who was one of those who lingered behind.

26:172 Then we destroyed the others.

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

26:174 There is in that a sign, but more of them were not believers.

 26:175 Truly, your Lord is the Almighty, the Merciful.

Surah 27, The Ants

27:53 And We delivered those who believed and were God-fearing.

 27:54 And Lot, when he said to his people: “Do you commit the foul act, while you perceive?

27:55 “What then, do you approach men lustfully, instead of women? No, you are an ignorant people.”

27:56 The only response of his people was to say: “Drive the family of Lot out of your city. They are a people who keep themselves clean.”

 27:57 We delivered him and his family, except for his wife; We decreed that she should stay behind.

Surah 29, The Spider

Further confirmation from Allah that, before the people of Lot did it, sodomy was unknown in the ancient world

29:28 And [remember] Lot, when he said to his people: “You are committing the foul act (sodomy) which no one in the whole world committed before you.”

29:29 “You approach men and waylay the traveler and commit in your gatherings reprehensible acts.” To which the only reply of his people was: “Bring upon us Allah’s punishment if you are truthful.”

29:30 He said: “Lord, support me against the workers of corruption.”

 29:31 When Our Emissaries (the angels) brought Abraham the good news, they said: “We are going to destroy the inhabitants of this city. Its inhabitants have indeed been wrongdoers.”

29:32 He said: “Lot is in it”; they said: “We know better who is in it. We shall deliver him and his household, except for his wife; for she is one of those who will stay behind.”

The woman left behind obviously fascinated Allah. In The Spider, He mentions her not once, but twice. The second time:

29:33 Then, when our Emissaries came to Lot, he was troubled and distressed on their account, and they said: “Do not fear and do not grieve; and we shall deliver you and your household, except for your wife; she is one of those who will stay behind.”

29:34 We are sending down upon the inhabitants of the city a scourge from heaven, because of their sins.

29:35 And We have left as vestige of it a clear sign to people who understand.