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Lut (AS) (Lot) - Part 1




An Introduction




The number of people in this Masjid today reminds me of a Hadith for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)[1]. The Prophet (SAWS) was sitting among a large group of his companions and the Masjid was full, then three men came. The first man found a small place amongst the audience, so he pushed himself into the group and sat. The second one felt embarrassed to push himself in, so he sat far from the group, and the third one decided to go back home since there was no place for him. As narrated in al-Bukhari, “While Allah’s Apostle was sitting in the Masjid (with some people), three men came, two of them came in front of Allah’s Apostle and the third one went away, and then one of them found a place in the circle and sat, while the second man sat behind the gathering and the third one went away. When Allah’s Apostle finished his preaching, he said, ‘Shall I tell you about these three persons? One of them be-took himself to Allah, so Allah accepted him and accommodated him, the second felt shy before Allah so Allah did the same for him and sheltered him in His Mercy (and did not punish him), while the third turned his face from Allah and went away, so Allah turned His face from him likewise.’”




The good thing about the first is that he wanted to be amongst the believers in spite of the awkward conditions. He may have come from far away, but he only came for the sake of Allah (SWT)[2]. The Prophet uses the word awahun (gave an abode), which indicates great mercy and love. This word is used in the Qur’an in the story of Prophet Yusuf (AS) (Joseph), when Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And soon as they entered to Yžusuf, (Joseph) he gave an abode to his brother (saying), “Surely I, even I, am your brother; so do not feel chagrined by whatever they were doing.”” (TMQ, 12:69)[3]. This word is often used when meeting someone after a long separation.




The second type of people does not like crowds, or to be accurate, they do not like to push themselves into groups of people. In fact, this is a good kind of shyness. It is left up to the person to decide when it is appropriate to join the group no matter how crowded it is and when not to do so. The first type is better though because it reveals his love for Allah (SWT) and his determination to be among the believers. This second type reveals politeness, thus Allah (SWT) also rewarded him.




The third type does not want to exert any effort; therefore Allah (SWT) excluded him. We hope we are all amongst those whom Allah (SWT) gives abode to and who feel the beauty of the closeness to Allah.




The sending of Prophet Lut (AS) (Lot):




Today we will talk about the story of Prophet Lut (AS). This story has many important morals that we should learn, especially in the last minutes before the destruction of Lut’s people.




The story of Prophet Lut (AS) was mentioned in the Qur’an 17 times. It focuses on the deeds of Lut’s people and how Prophet Lut (AS) tried many times to correct them and help them get back to the right path. The whole story took place during the lifetime of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) (Abraham). We will see many instances in the story where the two prophets meet. It was unusual to have two prophets in the same area - both Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Lut (AS) were sent to Palestine. At some instances, you would notice that there was even more than one prophet at the same city and sometimes even at the same village. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an what can be translated as, “And strike for them a similitude: the companions (i.e., the inhabitants) of the town, as the Emissaries came to it, As We sent to them two (men). Yet they cried them lies, so We reinforced them with a third. Then they said, “Surely we are (sent) to you as Emissaries” (TMQ, 36: 13-14). The presence of three prophets at the same village indicates how Allah (SWT) cares about humans and how he gives them many opportunities to join the right path. This way, no one can say on the Day of Judgment that they were not given a chance to choose the right way. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Whoever is guided, surely he is guided only for himself; (i.e., for his own gain) and whoever errs (away), then surely he errs (away) only upon himself; (i.e., to his own loss) and no encumbered self will be encumbered with the encumbrance of another (self); and in no way are We tormenting (anyone) until We have sent forth a Messenger.” (TMQ, 17:15)




We do not exactly know how Prophet Lut (AS) is related to Prophet Ibrahim (AS), if he was his nephew or just a relative of his. Some narrations mention that Lut (AS) is the son of Harn, who is the son of Tarkh, who is the son of Azar, who is also Prophet Ibrahim’s father. We have no evidence about this from either the Qur’an or the Sunnah. We only have an Ayah (verse) that says that Prophet Lut (AS) became a believer when Prophet Ibrahim (AS) talked to him when he was a young boy.




Your role in the Islamic community:




This point is very significant and we should all learn from it. Maybe you do not know a great deal about religion, and you cannot even read Qur’an properly, but Allah (SWT) wants you to play an important role in the revival of Islam. Allah (SWT) will then make those who can teach you available for you to prepare you to be one of those who will go to paradise. You can also become better than those who taught you. This can be achieved through intentions and by being sincere in your deeds. Prophet Lut (AS) had a normal life, giving no clue that he would become that close to Allah (SWT) and would become the prophet for his people. He was a child taught by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Thus, you should all have ambitions to achieve something unique for your religion.




Individuals built the Masjid where we are now. Maybe a woman or a weak man built it. However, it turned into this great achievement. Therefore, none of us should think that they cannot achieve anything of importance. The reason I am saying this is that our youth nowadays are almost always dependent on their parents; they do not believe in themselves and they are always afraid of failure. They also feel that they are not important to their community and that their efforts are not of any significance.




Our youth should all remember that Allah (SWT) changed the roles of nature for a group of youth of nearly seventeen years of age. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “We, Ever We, narrate to you their tidings with the truth. Surely they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (TMQ, 18:13)




Also, Allah (SWT) talks about Prophet Yahya (AS) (John) when he says what can be translated as, ““O Yahya, (John) take the Book powerfully.” And We brought him judgment (when) a young boy,” (TMQ, 19:12)




Thus, if you do not know much, now is the time to start learning and in a couple of years you will know a great deal. Each time you help a friend of yours learn more about religion, you are learning and gaining more experience. After sometime you will find that you have gained in knowledge.




Through ‘The Stories of the Prophets’ we will try to learn the morals we should use in our everyday life. One third of the Qur’an consists of stories of the prophets. It is not there without a reason. It is there for us to learn from. Allah (SWT) placed these stories there because they directly relate to everyone’s life.




The initiation of the Da’wa (call towards the right path)




The story of Prophet Lut (AS) is mentioned 17 times in he Qur’an. Prophet Lut (AS) emigrated with Prophet Ibrahim (AS) from one place to another. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then Lûžt (Lot) believed him; and he (Ibrahim) (Abraham) said, “Surely I am migrating to my Lord; surely He, Ever He, is The Ever-Mighty, The Ever-Wise.” (TMQ, 29:26)




Thus, most of what we discussed about the life story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was in the presence of Prophet Lut (AS). Prophet Ibrahim (AS) taught him, until he reached a stage when Allah (SWT) made him a prophet for a city called Sadoom (Sodom), a city in Palestine that lies on the coast. It was said that it was a large city with about 400,000 residents. The people of Sadoom were amongst the worst people on earth at the time. They committed all possible sins. They cheated in business, men dressed and acted like women; they committed adultery and many other sins until they reached the worst of all, homosexuality. The whole city became homosexual.




History repeats itself




History is strongly related to the present. People should fear the repetition of what happened to those people as the same sins are being committed again. We shall see how when those people insisted on sin, they started developing more and more sinful deeds, until the whole city became in a state of sinfulness and started losing its humanity. Can you imagine that mankind would reach that extent of malice? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And (remember) as your Lord said to the Angels, “Surely I am making in the earth a successor.” They said, “Will You make therein one who will corrupt in it and shed blood (Literally: bloods) while we (are the ones who) extol (with) Your praise and call You Holy? Literally: hallow for you)” He said, “Surely I know whatever you do not know.”” (TMQ, 2:30)




Humans are supposed to be successors of Allah (SWT) on earth, so how could they reach this state of inhumanity?




Do we feel we are Allah’s successors on earth or not? Do you feel that the earth is our responsibility or not? The development of this world is our responsibility. We should take our responsibility as Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) taught us. The Prophet (SAWS) said that we cannot gain people’s love through our money, because there are too many people for us to give money to, but we can gain their love through our smiling faces and our good morals. You are responsible for trying to perfect your work (your factory, your product, your home, and your children) because Allah (SWT) will ask us about our work on the Day of Judgment. Look at the huge differences between those who knew they were responsible for this earth and between the people of Prophet Lut (AS).




Ayat of the Qur’an about Prophet Lut (AS):




About the people of Lut, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And (remember) Lûut, (Lot) as he said to his people, “Do you commit (Literally: come up with the obscenity) such obscenity as in no way has anyone in the worlds ever gone before you (perpetrated) it?


Surely you indeed come up with lust to men, apart from (i.e. instead of) women; no indeed, you are an extravagant people.” (i.e., exceeding the limits (of decency)” (TMQ, 7:80-81). Those people were the first to commit this sin from the time humanity started.




The same Ayah was repeated in Surat al-Ankabut. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Do you really come up to (obscenity) to men, and cut the way, and come up in your assembly to maleficence?” Yet, in no way was the answer of his people (anything) except that they said, “Come up with the torment of Allah in case you are of the sincere.” (TMQ, 29:29)




It is present in Surat an-Naml as well; Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Do you (really) come up with lust to men rather than women? No indeed, you are a people who are ignorant.” (TMQ, 27:55)




In Surat ash-Shu'ara, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Do you come up to (stout) males of the worlds. And leave behind what your Lord created for you as spouses? No indeed, (but) you are an aggressive people.” (TMQ, 26:165-166)




This Ayah indicates that in spite of the presence of wives, they turned to this sin. Look at how wicked this is: they would leave their wives and look for sins. We also see men leaving their wives behind and looking for other women. This is also demeaning as well. In fact, it is against the fitra (the nature Allah (SWT) created us on). Each man who chooses to cheat on his wife should know that he is a slave of his devil and he cannot control himself.




Good and bad norms:




I know very well that the audience present here is not related to the story of Prophet Lut (AS), in terms of the sin itself. However, we want to take from the story what will be useful to us: when the people of Lut did lots of bad deeds, they fell in a calamity and a major sin, bigger than all sins, and they were punished for it. Moreover, they were the first people to do this sin.




We want to learn from the story that whoever sets a bad norm (start a new bad deed) will be responsible for the sins of all those who will imitate him until the Day of Judgment. Take for example, the first girl who went to college wearing a tight shirt; all those who will imitate her in this college will be added to her bad deeds (will fall in her balance of bad deeds). Also, the first to wear a swimsuit and swim in a certain beach will carry the sins of all those who saw her and imitated her until the Day of Judgment. Can you imagine the amount of bad deeds? Moreover, the first person who started swearing by the fathers and mothers of his friends as a joke will have, added to his bad deeds, everyone who heard him and imitated him up to the Day of Judgment. Perhaps he will die, but generations will be imitating those who heard from him, and all of those are added to his bad deeds. The first to teach his colleagues at work stealing and bribery will have all those who saw him getting rich and decided to imitate him added to his bad deeds. If you insist to do a sin, don’t start one. This is not an encouragement for disobeying Allah (SWT), but a clarification of the dangers of being the first to commit a certain sin.




The opposite is also true, everyone who sets a good norm, will have the good deeds of all those who followed or imitated him until the Day of Judgment. If you take a gentle and nice tape inviting to the religion or guidance, and give it to a friend, and he followed the right path, all his good deeds will be added to your good deeds, as well as all the good deeds of those who were guided by him. If you die, and he also dies, and the guidance is still following from the same path, all those will be added to the good deeds of both of you. Is there anyone who does not need good deeds, or does not want to enter paradise? Is there anyone who does not want to meet Allah (SWT) with lots of good deeds? Is there anyone not afraid to come on the Day of Judgment with his balance full of bad deeds?




Committing sin in public:




The calamity of the people of Lut was not only that they committed an immense sin, but that they were the first ones to innovate this sin. Consequently, all those who imitate them will be added to their bad deeds until the Day of Judgment; men as men, and women as women.




Their calamity is even worse than that. We read in the Qur’an an Ayah where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Do you really come up to (obscenity) to men, and cut the way, and come up in your assembly to maleficence? …” (TMQ, 29:29). We understand what they did of having intimate relations with men, and trespassing travelers, but this Ayah is much stronger, that is why Prophet Lut (AS) finished with it. What does it mean? ‘Your assembly’ is like the club we know today. It means the place where people gather. The place where people come together to have fun, play, go out, socialize, discuss their issues, etc. is called an assembly. It is the same concept up to these days. Thus, what does “come up in your assembly to maleficence” mean? It means that you are doing the major sin in front of each other, in public, inside your clubs, and in the streets!




There is a story (with no reference, but we will tell it for general benefit). The story goes that the men used to stand in the streets, each one with a bag of pebbles. Since they used to live in an intermediate location, lots of travelers used to cross the area of Sadoom (Sodom) heading elsewhere. Then each one with pebbles would throw them on the travelers. If a pebble hit one of them, they would take him and commit the sin with him in the streets.




We pointed out that if you commit a sin, never innovate a new sin. Now, I am saying another important issue; if you are a sinner, don’t do your sin in public. This angers Allah (SWT) greatly.




This was all an introduction, as you will see how the people of Lut were perished, and you will find it to be a horrific and terrifying destruction. This introduction is such that you don’t say why did Allah (SWT) do this to them, or think it was too much for them. It is not too much compared to what they did. Furthermore, doing a sin in public is among the things that anger Allah (SWT) the most.




When you do a sin in secret, then go tell your friends about it, this telling angers Allah (SWT) more than the sin itself.




Having no problem standing in the street, checking out girls and making passes at them, this publicity is stronger than the sin committed. Keeping a sin secret and covered, then you are taking cover and shy from the sin while you are committing it, and you hope that nobody sees you. This is much better than committing sins in public, taking into consideration that what you are doing is wrong.




The girl who wears tight clothes, then goes out to the streets, is committing sins in public. Therefore, not wearing the hijab (veil) is a form of committing sins in public. What’s worse than that is not only does she not wear the hijab, but chooses to wear the extreme opposite of hijab (extremely revealing clothes). She is insisting on disobeying Allah (SWT). It is as if you are saying, “Not only am I ready to disobey your order, Lord, but also I will do its opposite!” Therefore, the Prophet (SAWS) said about these types of women, who exaggerate in this type of dressing up, “Two are the types of the denizens of hell whom I did not see: people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people, and the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make their husbands incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the bukht (camel) inclined to one side. They will not enter paradise and they would not smell its odor whereas its odor would be smelt from such and such distance.” (Authentic, Muslim, number 2128). The first type is not related to our story today, while the second type is. Here the Prophet (SAWS) is talking about something other than the veil; here you see the woman and you do not know whether she is dressed or not. This does not mean that they will never enter it, but will enter it very late. Why is that? Because of committing sins in public, and that their corruption results in the corruption of tens of the youth affected negatively by them. They were bold enough to disobey Allah (SWT) with sins in public.




A psychological study of the state that the people of Lut reached:




Here arises an important question: how did the people of Lut reach this level? There are three reasons that the scholars reached when they analyzed what happened to the people of Lut. Strangely, psychologists reached the same three reasons that the religious scholars reached:




1. The first reason: excessively practicing adultery until bored: Men no longer desire women, this is a very critical point. The Western civilization tells us that as long as we restrict the relationship between men and women, men will be longing for women, and will do her wrong, so rape incidents will increase. Therefore, if we remove all ties on the relationship between men and women, then there will be fulfillment of desires, and allure will then go away, and any disturbance will end. Thus, the West left the door wide open, but what happened after allowing complete freedom in the relationship between men and women? What happened after all restrictions were removed? What happened in the West? Did you see what happened to the people of Lut because of that? Adultery until boredom, no longer desired women, and then went to look for an alternative to fulfill their desires. Thus, they reached this unnatural decline.




2. The second reason: Not feeling shy from major sins, and boldness.




3. The third reason: excessively imitating women. Ibn-Abbas says, “They used to imitate women in accessories, clothes, and the way of walking.” Here comes a point important to us, when they used lots of gold, bracelets, and chains, they got this calamity. Why? Because whoever can change his nature as a man, will lose a lot with this change. Sometimes we find in the Shara’ (law) rules that we do not know their reasons. We found that the Prophet (SAWS) got angry when he found a man wearing gold and said, “One of you is wishing live coal from hell, and putting it on his hand.” (Authentic, Muslim, number 2090). He also forbade men from wearing silk. The Prophet (SAWS) refused this softness. We have to be keen on these meanings. We now see some of these scenes like those who cut their hair like girls, or color their hair blond. I don’t mean that they will end up being homosexuals, don’t take it that way. Instead, look at what happened to the people of Lut, learn from it, and understand the meaning behind the Prophet’s teachings and his Sunnah (way of life). This will make you stop wearing tight clothes, and such things.




A comparison between the people of Lut and the West nowadays:




I want to go back and talk about our state nowadays. Is the West now very different from the people of Lut and what they did? I am saying these words to many of the young generation who are dazzled by civilizations other than the Islamic civilization. I am not saying that the entire West is like that, they have good things too, but the West is missing some very important ethical concepts. I will tell you some information about what people like the people of Lut are doing in the West, from statistics done in the 1990s:




· The number of gays in America is 17 million persons, men and women.


· The number of societies that takes care of gay issues is 3062 societies.


· There are clubs and restaurants especially for gays. Remember here what Allah (SWT) says in the Ayah which can be translated as “Do you really come up to (obscenity) to men, and cut the way, and come up in your assembly to maleficence? …” (TMQ, 29:29)




What is even stranger is that I read some news in some foreign magazines a couple of days ago, which is not related to gays, but will show you their way of thinking. The story is about a picture of an international tennis champ getting married to an international tennis champ. They are wearing their wedding clothes while carrying their son! They had him three days after the wedding, and it was not a miracle! What is even stranger is that they take this story as good news, and give it their best wishes. Can you imagine how low they went? This civilization can not last.




I was surprised when I was in England in 1989 to see a story on the British television that the parliament of a Scandinavian country assembled for voting for legalizing gay marriage. Voting resulted in passing the law. After this story, the television showed scenes from marriage parties; two men getting married, with their families throwing flowers at them. Can you imagine the extent to which they went against their natural instinct?




Abdul-Malik Ibn-Marawan said, “I did not think that there are people who would do this sin. I would not believe it unless Allah mentioned it in the Qur’an.” When we read this today, we wonder what will happen to the earth and this civilization.




Prophet Lut’s message for ethical reform:




Prophet Lut (AS) started calling them over and over. What was he calling them for? Worshipping or the correct belief? Each Prophet called his people to the belief or to worship. The only heavenly message which lacked this meaning is that of the Prophet Lut (AS). The reason is that they have a calamity, no act of worship or belief is useful before fixing this calamity. Therefore, ethical reform is more important.




You and calling to Allah (SWT):




I want you to imagine the society that Prophet Lut (AS) is calling. He wanted to reform a whole city. Can you imagine his patience and faith? He did not give up, and tried with them until the last moment. On the other side, you are fed up with calling your friends because they don’t do their prayers for example. Do you have his strength to be able to help your friends? Prophet Lut (AS) kept on calling his people, although he didn’t find it to be of any use. Similarly, you should keep on calling even if you do not see any hope. Your task is to help people to get the reward, to say to Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment, “Forgive me Lord, but I did all I could.” You don’t want Allah (SWT), on the Day of Judgment, to say that the building you live in, for example, is full of lost people although there dwells a religious person in the same building, which is you, and then asks His angels to start with you!




You know the story of the man who was a virtuous worshipper and was keen to please Allah (SWT), while the whole village he lived in was lost and full of wicked people. Therefore, Allah (SWT) ordered Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) to destroy that village. Jibril (AS) said, “My Lord, it has your slave who stands in prayer, kneels down and prostrates all the time (i.e. he fulfills the worship duty).” Allah (SWT) said, “O Jibril, start with him.” Jibril (AS) said, “Why My Lord?” Allah (SWT) said, “His face has never turned red from being angry for My sake.” Imagine how worshipping was not enough, because he did not care about the sins committed from those around him. Do you see the importance of guiding people but politely, with no trouble, and with a smile? At least your heart should be in pain from what you see around you. Beware of being the only religious one among many people away from the right path, and still you are happy. You will be surprised with Allah (SWT) saying “start with him, for he did not do anything for the sake of Allah.”




This does not mean that you only talk to them about religion, but you also show them your morals, you befriend them, and give them gifts, tapes, Qur’an, and books. At other times, get to know them, invite them over to your home, and take them to religious lessons. Your position in calling on people is not harder than Prophet Lut (AS), even if you do not have lots of information, don’t you love your religion, and love your Lord? Talk as much as you feel.




After one week of Abu-Bakr’s embracing Islam from the Prophet (SAWS), seven persons embraced Islam from him out of the ten persons given the glad tidings of paradise. Is the information Abu-Bakr (RA) had at the time he embraced Islam more, or the information you have? Al-Tufayl Ibn-Amr al-Dawsy came to the Prophet (SAWS) and embraced Islam. The Prophet (SAWS) told him to go to his people and call them to Islam. He stayed in his city for about thirteen years, and then he came back to the Prophet (SAWS) with all his people to embrace Islam. What did al-Tufayl learn from the Prophet (SAWS) to do this? He just learned about salah (prayers), wudu (ablution), the existence of heaven and hell, the grave, the Day of Judgment, and that Allah (SWT) is the Eternal Owner of Sovereignty and all our earnings are controlled by Him and we all belong to Him.




It is enough that you feel these concepts. If you don’t, you will not be able to call on people. If you care about your parents and really love them, you would wish that they enter paradise before you. The same goes with your neighbor and your friend, if you love people and have these feelings, you will know then how to call on people.




In Surat al-A’raf, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And in no way was the answer of his people (anything) except that they said, “Drive them out of your town; surely they are a folk who constantly purify themselves ” (TMQ, 7:82). They confessed that they are impure and also do not accept purity to be present among them; as if it was a crime. When their natural instinct was wiped out, the facts were all turned around as we see; and we will see later how they were perished.




If your friends make fun of you because you became religious, and say, “Look, how silly he became, he walks with his face down not looking at girls,” don’t feel sad for yourself, or feel oppressed, defeated or weak. At the same time, don’t say that your friends are like the people of Lut and cause trouble with them. No, your friends are Muslims and are pure. Their mockery of you will ascend you to the status of the Prophets. At least, take a good example from Prophet Lut (AS).




The descent of angels on Prophet Ibrahim (AS):




The first point that we have to pay attention to is that the main goal of the descent of the angels was to destroy the people of Lut, but they descended first to Prophet Ibrahim (AS). In Surat Hud, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, as soon as dread had gone away from Ibrahim (Abraham) and the good tidings came to him, he was disputing with Us concerning the people of Lut (Lot).” (TMQ, 11:74). The angels could have gone to destroy the people of Lut first, then go to give the glad tidings to Prophet Ibrahim (AS). They did not go to him to ask him for his opinion because they descended with the order of destruction. Here scholars suggest a nice meaning, which is that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is so valued to Allah (SWT); he is an intimate friend of the Compassionate, that Allah (SWT) did not like to do such a great event on earth before letting Prophet Ibrahim (AS) know first. This shows us how Allah (SWT) loves His slaves and cares about them. Now we can understand the meaning of the Ayah in which Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…And Allah took to Him Ibrahim for a (close) fellow” (TMQ, 4:125). This shows us that when Allah (SWT) loves a slave, He satisfies him and shows him the signs of this satisfaction. Of course, none of us will reach the status of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), but there are other blessings that you can get, like a nice dream, feeling comfortable with some decision, opening your mind to something, making you have insights to the future, having a wide perspective and insight and so on.




[1] Sala-llahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.


[2] Suhanahu wa Ta'ala = Glorified and Exalted Be He.


[3] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah: Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.




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Lut (AS) (Lot) - Part 2






Giving glad tidings to our master Ibrahim (AS)[1] (Abraham) about Ishaq (AS) (Isaac):




The second point is why the angels at this particular time gave the good news to Ibrahim (AS). In Surat Hud, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And indeed Our Messengers readily came to Ibrahim with good tidings. They said, “Peace!” He said, “Peace!” Then in no way did he linger (i.e., He did not delay) to come with a fleshy well-roasted calf.” (TMQ, 11:69)[2]. The good tidings came because Allah (TWT)[3] knew that Ibrahim’s emotional state of mind would have worsened when discovering the decree of destruction awaiting the people of Lut (AS) (Lot). Evidence supporting this conclusion can be deducted from the word “dread” in the Ayah, “So, as soon as dread had gone away from Ibrahim and the good tidings came to him, he was disputing with Us concerning the people of Lutž.” (TMQ, 11:74). Ibrahim (AS) was so compassionate; he was hoping that Allah (SWT) would give Lut’s people more chances, in spite of his knowledge that they were committing that which angers Allah (SWT)4. Furthermore, Ibrahim (AS) was fearful for our master Lut (AS). Therefore, Allah (TWT) wanted to make the news less shocking to our master Ibrahim (AS). Thus, Allah (SWT) gave Ibrahim (AS) the good news about Ishaq (AS) before informing him of the destruction of Lut’s people; because Allah (TWT) did not want to cause any extreme distress, worry, and fear to his servants’ believing heart. Look at how Allah (SWT) shows mercy and love to one of his servants!




Angels descend in human’s image:




Another point that deserves studying is that the angels descended upon our master Ibrahim (AS) in the image of human beings. The scholars held that this was the first time Ibrahim (AS) saw the angels in the human image. Angels used to descend in different forms; amongst them the human image. (Sometimes Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) used to manifest to the Prophet (SAWS)5 in a human image looking like Yahya (AS) (John). Ibrahim (AS) did not recognize them as angels at first. In Surat Hud, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “But when he saw their hands went not towards the (meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them.” (TMQ, 11:70). He was bewildered and afraid; the question here is why did the angels not appear in their angelic being? Now, in order to answer this we have to ask ourselves another question: what is our envision of an angel’s size? We get the answer from the words of the Prophet (SAWS), when he saw Jibril (AS) in his angelic form, he said, "When I saw Jibril, He was filling the sky, everywhere I looked, every direction I turned to, he was there filling the horizon, whenever I looked at any side of the sky I found him there.” The Prophet (SAWS) also said, "I saw an angel; the space between his eyes is 500 years long.” Did you know that Jibril (AS) has 600 wings, if he fluttered them, pearls and rubies would disperse all around? Let us contemplate the command of Allah (SWT) that can transform this immense angel in to a human’s look alike. The wisdom here is that Ibrahim (AS) and his wife Sarah stayed a long time without any children, until they reached their eighties and nineties. Consequently, if the angels had given them the good news of offspring, would they have believed that? Thus, Allah (SWT) wanted to tell them that the one who is capable of transforming the enormous angels into the human image must be capable of giving others the ability to have offspring.




Generosity of Our Master Ibrahim (AS):




“And indeed Our Messengers readily came to Ibrahim with the good tidings. They said, “Peace!” He said, “Peace!” Then in no way did he linger (i.e., he did not delay) to come with a fleshy well-roasted calf.” (TMQ, 11:69). This Ayah has a nice part about generosity. The words “he did not delay” attest to the speed at which Ibrahim (AS) brought food to his guests. These words also indicate that he performed these actions himself, not delegating it to the servants. In addition, “well-roasted calf” shows that Ibrahim (AS) presented the angels with an ostentatious meal. Furthermore, in Surat adh-Dhariyat, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So he laid it near them and said, “Will you not eat?”” (TMQ, 51:27). The phrase, “he laid it near them,” indicates tremendous generosity, for he did not wait for the angels to move near the food. Instead, he positioned the food right in front of them.




Lessons in the Etiquette of Guest Accommodation:




As for us, we have gotten in the habit of becoming distressed whenever we have visitors, particularly the women. Take for instance; if a husband came home with a guest, the wife will become uneasy and she would disappear and leave her husband alone to attend to his guest; hoping that he will not bring home another guest. Moreover, if he invites his friends over one day, he would be fearful of repeating it again, worrying she might fault him for his generosity.




I advise you be generous, and you shall entertain more guests. In contrast, if you are measly, Allah (SWT) might keep visitors from knocking at your door for tens of years. Learn to be generous, brothers and sisters, and keep your homes open. Verily, we miss this fundamental Islamic spirit in our homes. Is this because of our financial situations that we became stingy and we feel overwhelmed accommodating our guests? Do you know the meaning of the Ayah, in Surat Hud, “In no way did he linger (i.e., he did not delay) to come with a fleshy well-roasted calf?” (TMQ, 11:69). It implies there is exclusive food at Ibrahim’s house reserved for guests. Do you keep at your house some juice, cake, and chocolate solely for your guests accommodation, because they are dear to you? Consequently, you will not have to be overburdened of leaving the house to buy these things at the time of their arrival. The companions of the Prophet (SAWS) used to make this Dua’a supplication “Oh, Allah accord me a guest.” As far as we are concerned, no one knocks at our doors because we have become so stingy. Acts of generosity greatly link people, increase faith in the society, and draw the faithful to one another. Furthermore, as a man of religion, a man who wishes that people were devout, you should progressively make generosity a priority.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, as soon as he saw their hands not getting to it, he disclaimed them and entertained a fright of them. They said, “Do not fear (anything); surely we have been sent to the people of Lužt.”” (TMQ, 11:70). Why was Ibrahim (AS) fearful? Ibrahim (AS) could not imagine that a guest would visit him and not eat his food, for that would be an insult to him. Of course, if this happens to us, we would thank Allah (SWT) that the guest did not touch the food and insist in the invitation knowing that the guest will not eat. In contrast to that, other people would do the opposite and compel the guest to eat more than their capacity making them uncomfortable. Thus, we need to learn the etiquette of visiting people. On the other hand, guests should have manners and avoid over staying their welcome, or asking for things that might not be available. Sometimes we find people hate the visits of others because their visits are wearisome; they stay for extended periods; or visit at inappropriate times. In the etiquette of visitation, a guest should make the visit short unless the host insists on a longer stay. Visitation requires etiquette from both the host and the visitor.




Witticism of the pious leaders with their guests:




Imam (leader) Ahmad Ibn-Hanbal received a guest one day, and this guest outstayed his welcome, then he said to Imam Ahmad, “It looks though as if I have burdened you.” Imam Ahmad looked at him and said, “You burden me while you are at your own home.”




As for Imam Abu-Hanifah, he was ill one day, so he had guests who outstayed their welcome. Imam Abu-Hanifah stood up and said, “Get up; for Allah has cured your sick.”




Allah’s love for Ibrahim (AS):




In Surat Hud, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “… they said, “Do not fear (anything); surely we have been sent to the people of Lužt.” And his wife was upright, so she laughed. Then We gave her the glad tidings of Ishaq and even beyond Ishaq, of Yaqub (Jacob). She said, “O woe to me! will I give birth and I am an old woman, and my husband is an aged man? Surely, this is indeed a wonderful thing.” They said, “Do you wonder at the Command of Allah? The mercy of Allah and His blessings upon you, O population (1) of the Home! Surely He is Ever-Praiseworthy, Ever-Glorious.”” (TMQ, 11:70-73). Suddenly, Ibrahim (AS) saw the men transform into angels, which was a miracle that happened right before his eyes. The angel who is filling the horizon would transform into a man then retransform into an angel. Despite all of that, Sarah (Ibrahim’s wife) did not believe the glad tidings of Ishaq because she wondered how she could be pregnant while she and her husband were old. Observe the degree of Allah’s love towards Ibrahim (AS). Is it possible that Allah (SWT) loves us the same way? However, what did we do to deserve this kind of love? What kind of misconduct did we abstain from for the sake of pleasing Allah (SWT)? Which prohibited gaze did you hold back for the sake of Allah (SWT), and then you felt happy because you pleased Allah (SWT)? When did you complete a day of voluntary Siam (Fasting)? Sisters, when was it that you contemplated backbiting, and then seized to proceed for the sake of Allah (SWT)? Alternatively, how many times was your hair revealed from underneath your Hijab (head cover or scarf) then concealed it for the sake of Allah (SWT)? In addition, what makeup did you not use besides being dressed modestly to please Allah (SWT)? What sincere Da’wa (missionary activity) have you lived by? Do what makes you dear to Allah (SWT)!




Do what makes Allah (SWT) love you.




Loving guidance for others:




“So, as soon as dread had gone away from Ibrahim and the good tidings came to him, he was disputing with Us concerning the people of Lut.” (TMQ, 11:74). Was this Ayah blaming Ibrahim (AS)?




Commentaries reveal the notion of debate between Ibrahim (AS) and the angels. Ibrahim (AS) said, “If you learned that there were a hundred Muslim homes in this town, would you still annihilate them?” “This town does not have that many Muslims,” they said. Then he said, “If you learned that there were fifty Muslim homes, would you annihilate them?” “There are not that many,” they replied. Then he said, “If you learned that there were thirty Muslim homes, would you annihilate them?” Again they replied, “There are not even that many.” Finally, the Ayahs in Surat adh-Dhariyat tell us what can be translated as, “Yet, in no way did We find therein other than one house of Muslims; (i.e., those who surrender themselves to Allah).” (TMQ, 51:36). Ibrahim’s deliberation with the angels was not a disgraceful one, but it was a request for a second chance. We deduce from this that it is not in the nature of a Muslim to want harm for anyone. A Muslim should want guidance for people, except for an enemy of Islam, who would attack Muslims and harm them vastly. It is in a Muslim’s nature to want guidance for people, even for one who consumes alcohol, or even the rebellious. Some people might say so why must the misguided ones go to hell, why not enter them into Paradise? Wouldn’t that be more delightful?




The Prophet (SAWS) learned that a Jewish boy at Madinah (city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia) was ill, so he went to visit him. Anas narrated, “A young Jewish boy who used to serve the Prophet became sick. Therefore, the Prophet went to visit him. He sat near his head and asked him to embrace Islam. The boy looked at his father, who was sitting there; the latter told him to obey Abu-al-Qasim (the Prophet’s nickname) and the boy embraced Islam. The Prophet came out saying: "Praises be to Allah Who saved the boy from Hellfire.”” (al-Bukhari 2:23:438). While the father was not a Muslim, fearing for his son’s fait, he commanded him to obey the Prophet (SAWS). The boy died after he embraced Islam, the Prophet (SAWS) came out from the boy’s house with a happy face for saving the boy from hellfire.




You should have the same feelings and your wish should be that people enter paradise. Moreover, it should not be that you say, “I did my part and I told them so they would not go astray; and Allah is my witness on the Day of Judgment.” No, you should say, “O, Allah take them by the hand;” should they not respond the first time. Then I would try again, and I would try several times, because I love all people and I want them to enter paradise. The beauty of our religion is in the fact that it is founded on love. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Say, in case you (really) love Allah, then closely follow me, (and) Allah will love you and forgive for you your guilty (deeds); and Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.” (TMQ, 3:31). Furthermore, those who neither have tender hearts, nor highest love for Allah (SWT) and his Messenger or love towards people and their guidance; have a warning from Allah (SWT) in what can be translated as, “Is he then whose breast Allah has expanded to Islam, so he (walks) in a Light from his Lord (like the disbelievers)? Then woe to the ones whose hearts are hardened against the Remembrance of Allah! Those are in evident error.” (TMQ, 39:22).




Now, back to our story, the evidence that Ayah 74 was not admonishing Ibrahim (AS) can be established in Surat Hud in what can be translated as, “Surely Ibrahim is indeed constantly forbearing, most plaintive, constantly penitent. “O Ibrahim, veer away from this. Surely your Lord’s Command has already come; and surely there is coming up to them a torment not to be turned back (i.e., without any possibility of being turned back).” (TMQ, 11:75-76). From these Ayahs we learn that if Allah (TWT) reaches a state of indignation, there is no turning back of His wrath. Beware not to continue upsetting Allah (SWT), otherwise your torment will not be turned back. Because, if you angered Allah (SWT), and then refused to repent and continued in the disobedience, consequently, Allah (SWT) continues to be angered, and the problem will be that the torment will not be turned back.




Recompense in Accordance with Deeds:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And as soon as Our Messengers came to Lut, he was vexed on their account, and he was straitened for them (i.e., He felt unable to protect them) and said, “This is a most critical day.”” (TMQ, 11:77). Here the angels went to Lut (AS), but he was distressed from their presence! Should not he have welcomed them since they were his guests? The angels came to him in an image of exceptionally attractive men, which was a great temptation for Lut’s people. They (Lut’s people) would come wanting to commit lewdness with Lut’s guests. Imagine our master Lut’s emotional state of mind; how he feared that his people would sequester his guests from his house.




From this, we learn a very important thing; sometimes torment will ensue from lusting after forbidden things. Therefore, if you are engaged in disobedience or forbidden desires, fear that they are filled with torment.




There is this very strange story I know. A man used to be boastful of his wife displaying her charm, and of her revealing wardrobe, especially before his friends. He enjoyed tempting people by her. Subhan-Allah (glory to Allah (SWT)) this man’s torment came from within the temptation he was allowing. He was struck with an ailment that prevented him from being intimate with his wife while she was still seductive. Imagine the internal pain he suffered!




I know men who continued to take illegal money for the sake of their children, and afterwards the torment came from within. Their children would grow up and take the money from their father and humiliate him.




Be aware of the following two Ayahs, where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And they schemed, and Allah schemed, and Allah is The Most Charitable of schemers.” (TMQ, 3:54). Allah (SWT) also says what can be translated as, “And they schemed a scheme, and We schemed a scheme…” (TMQ, 27:50). At hand is a perilous meaning you should dread. The young man who wants to deceit a girl into an Orfi marriage (customary and unregistered marriage) may receive punishment from within the deception he sought. I know a young man who was infatuated with a girl until he befriended her and fell in love with her. Consequently, they reached a point where they committed fornication. Before this stance he loved her tremendously, but after that he hated the idea of marrying her and the whole thing turned into a tribulation. Finally, sometimes Allah’s retribution from the wrong doers would be that He torments them from within the lust they seek after.




Salvation Comes from the Unexpected:




The coming of the angels to Lut (AS) in the form of attractive men meant that Allah (TWT) wanted to increase the level of adversity for him. Sometimes, Allah (SWT) sends victory in the bounds of the gloomiest state of affairs, and desperation, as if He is asking, who is the one who liberates you from adversity? Allah (TWT) does! The trial for Lut (AS) and his people was combined. Furthermore, what Lut (AS) said according to the Ayahs meant that his night felt like it was so gloomy. He did not know that the same night was going to be a night of salvation for him, and a night of Allah’s vengeance upon Lut’s people. Allah (SWT) brings about one event that delights the wrong doers, yet He ruins them by that event. The same event saddens the believers, yet, He rescues them by it. Thus, glory to Him in whose hands is the dominion of the skies and the earth. Moreover, glory to Him who governs the affairs of the skies and the earth. Lut (AS) did not imagine that this was going to be the last night in which he was to suffer from his people, but because it was so, he had to suffer a little. After seeing the state of Lut (AS), wouldn’t you want to invite your friends to guidance? There is not a scene more difficult than what had happened to Lut (AS).








Every Prophet is a Father to his People:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And his people came to him, hurrying to him; and earlier they had been doing odious deeds. He said, “O my people, these are my daughters; they are purer for you. So, be pious to Allah, and do not disgrace me in front of my guests. Is there not among you a (really) right-minded man?”” (TMQ, 11:78). The Ayahs show us the level reached by Lut’s people from running after an innovated lust, to the degree where most of them went to Lut’s house seeking his guests. The phrase, “Here are my daughters,” has two beautiful meanings. Firstly, that Allah (SWT) the Exalted does not prohibit anything without giving a lawful substitute for it. Secondly, is it comprehensible that Lut (AS) would actually allow his own daughters to be married to those people? In addition, is it plausible that he uttered a lie? Of course not! Besides, according to several reports Lut (AS) had only two daughters; therefore, how would they marry all the town’s men? Consequently, the meaning implied by ‘My daughters’ was not referring to Lut’s daughters; instead, it referred to the daughters of his people. The reference was to the women of the town being purer and lawful for them. Why then, did he say ‘My daughters,’ instead of, “your daughters?” It was said, because, every prophet sent amongst their people, would be like a father to them. Consequently, the Prophets would speak of their people’s daughters as if they where their own daughters. Imagine Lut’s compassion at that moment and his affection towards his people. Concerning that, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “The Prophet is (worthier of) patronizing (i.e., mankind the pronoun is plural) the believers than their selves, and his spouses are their mothers…” (TMQ, 33:6). Therefore, he is as a father to his people. Do you feel that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is a father to you? Do you feel compassion towards the Prophet (SAWS)? The Prophet (SAWS) said, “I am to you what a father is to his son…” (Saheeh Ibn-Majah 252). Fatherhood compassion is different from prophet hood compassion! Furthermore, the word ‘purer’ makes us wonder, how could you abandon legal lawful marriage, and seek out defilement and forbidden relationships. I say to the young generation, do not think that you will find purity outside the frame of lawful marriage, and if you cannot get married be patient, because anything other than that cannot be pure.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, be pious to Allah, and do not disgrace me in front of my guests.” (TMQ, 11:78). Look at the protectiveness towards the guest, and the guest’s significance to the host. He did not forsake them nor did he betray them. He confronted the whole town on his own, by this time the adversity has intensified. Up until now the angels did not do anything, and Lut (AS) did not know that his guests were angels. That is because, Allah (SWT) allows for the jostle of good against evil so the event will be a witness against Lut’s people on the day of resurrection. Furthermore, Lut’s endurance and defense for his guests will witness for him on the day of resurrection. The actions of Allah (SWT) in this world are grand. Moreover, when a situation makes you feel so gloomy, trust that Allah (SWT) will alleviate it.




Importance of Hayaa’[4] (Islamic Modesty):




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…Is there not among you a (really) right-minded man? They said, “Indeed you already know (that) in no way do we have any truthful (claim) whatever to your daughters, and surely you know indeed what we would have.” (TMQ, 11:78-79). Here, Lut (AS) asked if there was anyone amongst them with good conduct, but he did not find anyone. Look at the degree of their openness concerning immorality. That is why you would find the worst of people are the ones who publicize their bad deeds, and show no shame in doing so. A girl who lost her modesty gives the impression that she had committed many sins. If you find her laughing loudly at college, it implies that she has many other flaws. It has been reported that the Prophet (SAWS) said, “Bashfulness and faith are inseparable; if one of them was lost the other would follow.” In another Hadith narrated by Abu-Huraira (RA)6 the Prophet (SAWS) said, “Faith (belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts) and hayaa` (Modesty).” (al-Bukhari 1:2:8). Why did the Prophet (SAWS) mention hayaa` alone? If Hayaa` existed, it will stimulate the remaining sixty branches. If hayaa` existed, you would not curse at anyone, and sisters would wear their Hijab (dress modestly) and no one would steal or commit fornication. Allah (SWT) informed us of what Lut said so that when we hear those words we would say, “That was lack of hayaa’.” Moreover, you would not accept living with little or no hayaa`.




Victory is from Allah (SWT):




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “He said, “If only I had power against you, or had my abode valiant support.”” (TMQ, 11:80). Lut (AS) reached a state of discomposure; he wished that he could ask for help from a force to protect and affirm him; and the biggest force to protect him is Allah (SWT). In a Hadith narrated by Abu-Huraira (RA), the Prophet (SAWS) said, "May Allah forgive Lut, he wanted to have a powerful support.” (al-Bukhari 4:55:594). Lut (AS) did not realize that the angels were a tough force behind him.




Sometimes, Allah (SWT) brings forth support and victory to you from an unexpected source. Take for example, if someone is mistreating you at your place of work, you would be wondering who would protect you before losing your job; this could be a test from Allah (SWT) to examine your sincerity. Then, He would subjugate the means for your triumph. Allah (SWT) always likes to bring forth victory from a source unknowable to you; so you would know that Allah (SWT) is the owner of victory. Because, if victory comes to you from a tangible source, you might think that you have control over it. All you have to do is exert your effort and show your truthfulness to Allah (SWT), and Allah (SWT) will give you victory. Lut (AS) was trying to protect the angels not knowing that they were the ones protecting him.




Do Not Make this World Your Only Aim:




When Lut (AS) said his statement, as we learn from Ayah 80 of Surat Hud, he showed weariness and discomposure, and then the angels spoke, “They said, “O Lut, surely we are the Messengers of your Lord. They will never get to you. So set forth with your family, in a watch of the night, and let not any of you turn round, excepting your wife; surely she will be afflicted by that which afflicts them. Surely their promised (time) is the morning; is not the morning near?”” (TMQ, 11:81). Imagine what a moment like this would do to Lut’s heart. Moreover, imagine how Allah (SWT) supports his religion, his prophets, and the believers with a word. The words, “a watch of the night,” indicate the darkest gloomiest part of the night. The words, “let not any of you turn round,” does it mean do not look behind you so you would not see their destruction? No, since we know they were not destroyed at night, but in the early morning. However, it means throw this world behind you. It means not anyone of you should be attached to that part of their life on this earth; do not worry about collecting your clothes and belongings, and do not make this life your final aim. When we say that, we mean the belongings and positions of this world. Be truthful in what you want from this life and the hereafter. If you chose this life then go after it, however, do not claim that you are after Allah’s obedience. On the other hand, if you chose the hereafter and paradise, do not look back, and make this life in your hand, not in your heart. I hope you do not understand from this that I am propagating isolating yourself and renouncing your college and job. This way you would be misunderstanding your religion. However, “let not any of you turn round,” means to own this life in your hand, and to not let it own your heart. Imam Ahmad Ibn-Hanbal was asked once, “would a man be considered devout if he owned a thousand thousand Dirham (a million Dirham, which was the currency name back then)?” He answered: “Yes, if it increased, did not cause him elation, and if it decreased, did not cause him sorrow.” A Muslim can be a millionaire who is devout and pious. You own this life with your hand, but in your heart, you are not attached to it. Dear brothers, if you decided to seek Allah (SWT), be serious with yourselves and determine what you want. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Whoever is willing (to gain) (this) hasty (world), We (quickly) hasten for him therein whatever We decide to whomever We will; thereafter We make for him Hell where he will roast, reprobated and (regretfully) rejected. And whoever is willing (to gain) the Hereafter and diligently endeavors after it as he should (endeavor), being a believer, then those, their endeavor is to be thanked.” (TMQ, 17:18-19). It is not enough that you want the hereafter, but you have to work for it. We notice here that there are some people in the middle, wanting some of the hereafter and some of this life. At the time of the lecture, they want the hereafter, and tomorrow they desire this life, or for the rest of the week they go after this world. These kind of people do not really seek the hereafter; but seek the quick-passing and lies to themselves. This type is not serious and does not deserve to be mentioned in the Ayah.




Consequences of Insistence on Disobedience:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…excepting your wife; surely she will be afflicted by that which afflicts them.” (TMQ, 11:81). Why the affliction did befall Lut’s wife? In Surat at-Tahrim, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands) and they betrayed them.” (TMQ, 66:10). The reference to betrayal in the Ayah was not an indication to infidelity (that is, they did not cheat on them). It is not befitting for prophets to be betrayed in their honor and dignity, because Allah (SWT) purified and protected them from that. Nevertheless, betrayal here was in creed and doctrine, she betrayed him in her obedience to Allah (SWT). She was fond of her people, so the same thing that happened to them also happened to her. She used to see or know what they were doing; nevertheless, the matter was acceptable by her. We deduce from this, that anyone who is engaged in watching sexually explicit material on television or the internet; is like committing what Lut’s people committed, and should be cautious. It is likely, while you are not actively engaged in lewd acts; yet watching it many times, you could be gathered (on the day of resurrection) with the people doing the act. Therefore, each of you must block any sites displaying licentious programs, since increase exposure would result in familiarity. Furthermore, it teaches audacity, and openness like the people of Lut (AS). Subsequently, you would find yourself thinking that the whole society has become that way and it would be imprinted in your mind. You would visualize these images until it is time to perform Salah (pray), and at this stage Satan would start wrecking your life. The threat from lewd materials on television or the internet is that what happened to Lut’s wife, could happen to you, “surely she will be afflicted by that which afflicts them.” Even though she did not commit infidelity, but she was content with what she perceived.




The Punishment:




Due to inverting the innate character of creation, and twisting the facts, look at their recompense. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So as soon as Our Command came, We turned it upside-down (Literally: We made its highest lowest) and rained on it stones of baked clay tiered, (one on another).” (TMQ, 11:82) Lut (AS) departed the town with his two daughters. Then Jibril (AS) positioned his two wings beneath their town and raised it to the sky without shaking a single clay vessel, until the inhabitants of heaven heard the howling of the town’s dogs. Can you visualize the strength of our angel Jibril (AS)? Consequently, they started screaming as a result to what was described in the Ayah when Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So as soon as Our Command came, We turned it upside-down (Literally: We made its highest lowest) and rained on it stones of baked clay tiered, (one on another).” (TMQ, 11:82). Downpour fell heavily upon them, it was made of clay stones (Sij’jeel) (petrified mud, with the characteristic of perdition); Mundthud (unremitting dense rain), and Musaw’wamah (marked) where each one of them had a stone marked with their name. Why did Allah (SWT) use the word rain? Because retribution is in accordance with deeds. Lut’s people employed the purified drop of sperm in forbidden acts instead of placing it in its permissible place. Due to that reason, Allah (SWT) transformed the characteristics of the pure clean rain, which gives life to plants, and used it in a contradicting application. Thus, the chosen punishment is so in accordance to the deeds.




Jibril (AS) then descended from the skies with their town and turned it upside down, then shattered the ground beneath them. Be warned my brothers that this is the punishment for those who commit similar acts.




Do we know the site of Lut’s town? The scholars say that it is the same location of the Dead Sea now. This is a known area that people come across a lot. In Surat As-shu`ara`, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely in that is indeed a sign, and in no way were most of them believers.” (TMQ, 26:174). In Surat al-Hijr, Allah (SWT) also says what can be translated as, “Surely in that are indeed signs for the scrutinizers (i.e., Those who look for the destroyed cities). And surely it is indeed on a way that still exists.” (TQM 15:75-76). “And surely it is indeed on a way that still exists,” indicates an obvious and renowned trail. When people pass by they learn that this is the area where Lut’s people perished.




Warning from Allah’s Punishment:




In the last Qur’anic citation from Surat Hud, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Marked from the Providence of your Lord, and in no way is it far from the unjust (ones).” (TQM 11:83). Allah (TWT) related the whole story to illustrate the meaning of this previous Ayah. Homosexuality and other lewd acts are common in the West nowadays. Is what happened to Lut’s people afar from them? There is a possibility that some of the natural disasters in some areas of the world are caused by sins committed by the people living in that area as a punishment from Allah (SWT), All of these punishments are Musaw’wamah (marked by the people’s names) from your Lord. Bear in mind that some disasters happen all around the world, but are increased upon certain people as a punishment due to their sins, for example AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome); AIDS is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). It has a very high risk between homosexuals, drug addicts, and people who commit adultery (especially with prostitutes). Here, again, the punishment is related to the deeds, since people are using their bodily strength in forbidden acts, consequently the body looses it ability to fight viruses.




Here are some fact and statistics about AIDS, so that we may ponder about the outcome of Allah’s wrath.


* Currently, one of the most serious causes of death between young people (ages 25-44) in the United States of America is AIDS.

* Until the year 1995, two hundred thousand Americans died from AIDS.

* World wide, the total number of people infected with the virus is 13 million, amongst them one million are children born carrying the virus, passed to them through their infected mothers.




As we said earlier, amazingly the three categories who have the highest risk of being infected with AIDS are:


* Most commonly between homosexuals.

* Secondly, fornication and adultery committers.

* Thirdly, drug addicts.


Very few cases caused by blood transfusion, but handshaking, sneezing, etc…, all of that does not transmit AIDS. This makes us understand more the word Musaw’wamah, (marked and pointed toward) AIDS merely pointed toward and infects those who commit lewd and immoral acts.




The Prophet (SAWS) said (1400 years ago), “…Whenever adultery spread between group of people, or a nation, with the people practicing it so openly, whenever that happen, Allah would afflict them with plagues and ailments that were never known to their past ancestors…” (Authentic, narrated by al-Albany, Sahih al-Jamie, 7978).








Now I have reached the conclusion, and I know that the events in the story of Lut (AS) are not pleasant, but, nevertheless, contain some very important lessons. Due to that reason, I like to give you a few pieces of advice or requests:




First request: Ultimate chastity.




The Prophet (SAWS) used to make this supplication, “O, Allah, I ask you guidance, devoutness, chastity, and contentment.” Our women should practice ultimate chastity, and I am not talking about sinful sexual acts. I am talking about chastity, when a man touches a women’s hand it should become a trial for him. You should have a level of chastity equivalent to what Yusuf (AS) (Joseph) had. Our master Yusuf (AS) was an attractive young man in a foreign province where he was capable of doing whatever he was willing to do. Furthermore, he was single, and was sought after by a woman, not the other way around. She locked all the doors, and nobody could see them. Additionally, she told him, “I am all yours.” He replied, “I seek refuge in Allah.” Thus, the lesson we should leave with today is chastity. I know that the audience is not amongst those who commit the great sins Insha`a Allah (Allah willing). I believe that the story of Lut’s people is far from our reality. Nevertheless, I say it to those who are keeping girls’ phone numbers knowing that Ramadan will start in two weeks. How would they acquire Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Determination)? I also say it to someone fixed on watching channels with licentious programs on a daily basis. What is even worse is a girl, who is considered the symbol of chastity and modesty, watching those channels. It is a disaster and an inversion of the innate character of creation.




One day the Prophet (SAWS) went to visit Ali (RA) and Fatimah (RA) at their house. Upon entering the house, he found Fatimah in bed. She was so bashful that upon seeing the Prophet (SAWS) she concealed her face with the quilt; an immense act of modesty from one of the best women of the world. In another incident, the Prophet (SAWS) knocked at her door. Upon realizing who was at the door, she became startled looking for her head cover. The Prophet (SAWS) then told her, “Calm down my daughter, it’s just me, your father.”




Lady Aisha (RA) says, “The Prophet, who was my husband, was buried in my house, as well as my father, Abu-Bakr; and Omar, but after the burial of Omar I did not enter my house unless I made sure I was modestly dressed; shyly from Omar although he was dead.” (meaning: All these three great people were buried in the same house or room, which is Aisha’s, who stayed living in the house even after wards, but since the prophet (SAWS) was her husband, and Abu-Bakr (RA) was her father, she did not felt shy entering the house, but later, when Omar (RA) died and was buried in the same room, she felt shy to enter the house without dressing modestly)




Where is this sort of modesty today when a girl stands between ten boys, laughing and giggling or talking to them over the phone and referring to them as friends?




The Prophet (SAWS) was addressing women at the time when the new Muslims were pledging allegiance to him. Upon mentioning “and you shall not commit adultery” women began covering their faces and laid their hands over their heads shyly. At that moment, Hind Bintu-Utbah, who previously and before embracing Islam had slashed the abdomen of Hamzah (The Prophet’s uncle), raised her hand and asked the Prophet (SAWS), “O, Messenger of Allah, would a free woman commit adultery?” Upon hearing that question, the Prophet (SAWS) remained silent, because he knew that one-day generations would come where a female college student would engage in an Orfi marriage.




To the men I say that your level of chastity should be very high. If you enter the house of your friend peeking in the rooms with the intent of looking at what is considered forbidden for you to set eyes on; it is betrayal.




Antarah (one of the most famous poets of the pre-Islamic period) says in a poem when he lived in a time of ignorance (before Islam) “and I lower my gaze from my female neighbor.” Where is that in comparison to someone who seeks a relationship with his female neighbor behind here parents back?




Chastity is not in abstaining from adultery nor is it in sexual inversion alone. In addition, there is chastity of the tongue; where we do not find a boy conversing with a girl in the middle of the night using words that are harmful for humility; or a girl who is waiting at night for the phone to ring, hoping to start a relationship with a young man through it. Moreover, another girl’s heart is pounding and she is crying asking Allah (SWT) that she receives a phone call from her boyfriend. All the previous scenarios do not represent chastity.




“O, Allah, I ask you guidance, devoutness, chastity, and contentment.” We ask Allah (TWT) to show us the way. Therefore, the first lesson that I wanted to leave with today is; chastity, chastity, chastity.




Second request:




Dear brothers and sisters, invite people to Allah (SWT), no matter how far away people are from Allah (SWT) they would not be worse than Lut’s people.






[1] AS= Alayhi-Salam [Peace be upon him].


[2] TMQ= Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.


[3] TWT= Tabaraka Wa Ta`ala [Most Blessed most high].


4 SWT= Suhanahu Wa Ta`ala [Most glorified most High].


5 Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.


[4] In the English language the word “Modesty” is used mostly to denote “freedom from conceit and arrogance” and in more limited usages it denotes “propriety in clothing, speech and conduct”. No other word in the English dictionaries or culture could come closer to the Arabic term “Haia’” because this particular word in Arabic has its own significant particularity that matches nothing in the English culture. This particularity is mostly connected to the Islamic culture because Islam has greatly manifested the value of such a trait in the manners of true Muslims. For that reason the translator has chosen to use the term “Islamic Modesty” to convey the closest meaning. This lesson delves deep into this particular trait and explains a lot about it, so the reader will get further ideas about true “Islamic Modesty”. The term Haia’ covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together, amongst them are; self-respect, modesty, bashfulness, and scruple, etc.


6 RA= Radia`Allahu Anhu (May Allah be pleased with him/her).




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