Thursday 1 April 2021

She Looked Back: Prophet Lut’s Wife Made into Pillar of Salt.It Happened Around 1800 BC.

As the morning dawned, a loud, piercing cry ensued through the city that shook the occupants with great pain and fear. Jibril (Angel) then grabbed the nation from the edge of his wing, raised them high up, twisted the land, and crashed it to the ground.


Allah then caused the skies to rain down stones of hard clay—each stone inscribed with the name of a sinner for whom it was intended for, ending the vain lives of the occupants of Sodom.

Salt Pillar of Lut's (AS) Wife


This incident of Lut’s people, which is recounted in the Qur’an, occurred around 1800 B.C. according to estimates. Based on his archaeological and geological researches. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were in fact located in the Sodom Valley which was the region at the furthers and lowest end of the Lake of Lut, and that there were once big and widely inhabited sites in those regions.


Dead Sea-Lake of Lut

This is the lowest point on the earth. In other areas which are lower than sea level, the depth is at most 100 meters. Another property of the Lake of Lut is that the salt content of its water is very high, the density being nearly 30 %. Because of this, no living organism, such as fish or moss, can survive in this lake. This is why the Lake of Lut is called the “Dead Sea” too.


Today, the Dead Sea lies at the site of the corrupt city of Sodom, and remains as a powerful reminder of Allah’s wrath against the people of Prophet Lut. Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Quran: “Surely! In this are signs for those who see. And verily! They (the cities) are right on the highroad (from Mecca to Syria, i.e. the place where the Dead Sea is now). Surely! Therein is indeed a sign for the believers.”


The expression “When Our Decree issued, We turned (the cities) upside down” which occurs in the same verse, must be referring to the earthquake which caused volcanoes to erupt over the surface of the earth with devastating impact, and to the fissures and debris brought by it, and only Allah knows the truth of it.


In general, the events which are related in the Qur’an take place in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt. Right in the middle of these lands, is the Lake of Lut. The Lake of Lut, as well as the incidents that have taken place around it, deserves attention geologically. The Lake is approximately 400 meters below the surface of the Mediterranean. Since the deepest place in the Lake is 400 meters, the bottom of the Lake is 800 meters below the surface of the Mediterranean.

Dead Sea


Who was Prophet Lut   

Prophet Lut AS was the nephew of the Prophet Ibrahim AS. The story of his people and the punishment they were afflicted with was a shocking incident in the life of Ibrahim AS. Lut AS, as you will recall, left Ur with Ibrahim AS and settled in Palestine.


Nothing authoritative is known of Lut’s AS earlier life. What is evident is that as some point after his settling, Allah appointed him as prophet to communities on the shore of what is now the Dead Sea, at a distance of 24 hours’ journey from Ibrahim’s AS home.


Lut AS went to the city of Sodom after Ibrahim AS had asked him to do so. It was the main city of that region with suburbs and satellite villages, prosperous and well-populated. In the region where Lut AS settled, there were 5 cities, referred to in the Qur’an as Al-Mu’tafikat (Qur’an 9:70; 53:53, 69:9), meaning “the Overturned Cities”. Sodom was the largest of these.


People of Sodom were involved in sin of Homosexuality

The people of Sodom were of the most immoral and insolent nature. Although they were guilty of many vices, one stands out glaringly among all the rest – homosexuality or sodomy – they were the first people in human history to practice homosexuality.

Location of Dead Sea

 It is reported that these people would commit perverted deeds openly in their gatherings, and they cut the access of travelers to their roadways, robbing and killing them, after perhaps first forcing them engage in unnatural acts. And it was not only some or even a majority of Lut’s AS people who engaged in such practice; rather it was the entire population.


The people of the twin cities transgressed against the bounds of God. According to the Quran, their sins included inhospitality and robbery. They hated strangers and robbed travellers, apart from other mistreatments and rape.


It was their sin of sexual misconduct as well which was seen as particularly egregious, with Lot strongly chiding them for approaching men with sexual desire instead of women.


Prophet Lut warned his people

“Will you not fear Allah?” he said, appealing to them to reflect on their accountability to their Creator. And assuring his people of his absolute reliability, he added, “Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger. So fear Allah and obey me. And I do not ask you for it any payment. My payment is only from the Lord of the worlds.” (Qur’an 26:161-164)


As if holding up a mirror in front of his people, Lut AS tried to make them look at the awfulness of their perverted habits and criminal behaviors.


Do you commit immorality while you are seeing? Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly.”  (Qur’an 27:54-55)


Lut’s (AS) warning became stronger: “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?” (Qur’an 7:80), he asked. The people simply replied with the same words as before, asking to drive Lut AS and his family out.

And the answer of his people was not but they said, “Bring us the punishment of Allah, if you should be of the truthful.” (Qur’an 29-28-29)


Angels disguised as handsome males, came to Lut (AS) house as guests.

One day angels, disguised as handsome males, came to Sodom Lot.


When Lut AS heard of the strangers, he felt distressed and wondered how he could convince them to bypass the towns of Sodom and continue on their travels. He tried to make them understand the nature of the towns people but only succeeded in convincing the messengers to wait for nightfall before entering the town.


Lut’s wife informed her people about handsome male guests in house of Prophet LUT (AS)

He brought them to his house secretly so that no one but his family knew that they were there. However, his wife went out to inform her people, saying, “In Lut’s house there are men whose like I have never seen, nor have I ever seen such handsome faces.”


“Indeed, you are people unknown.” (Qur’an 15:62), Lut AS said to this visitors, thus giving them an indirect hint of what they might expect in his town.


His guests showed no trace of fear or concern.

“But we have come to you with that about which they were disputing, and we have come to you with truth, and indeed, we are truthful. So set out with your family during a portion of the night and follow behind them and let not anyone among you look back and continue on to where you are commanded,” (Qur’an 15:63-65), they instructed Lut AS.


Despite this reassurance, Lut AS remained greatly troubled about the strangers’ safety. Although, as his guests, they were under his protection, he knew well enough that as soon as their presence became known, the men of his town would be at his door .

Soon a crowd of people gathered outside the door of Prophet Lot Lut demanding that Prophet Lot Lut give them his guests for mistreatment which was the law of mistreating visitors in Sodom.

He warned the people that the men were his guests and not to disgrace him in front of his guests. The intruders flung back at their prophet saying “indeed you know what we want!” (Qur’an 11:79)


Lut AS cried in anguish, feeling totally powerless to save the guests to whom he had given the protection of his house.


“O Lut, indeed we are messengers of your Lord; [therefore], they will never reach you,” (Qur’an 11:80) his guests reassured him.


The last words suggest that the attackers intended to eliminate Lut AS to get at his guests. But as they men approached in the heat of their unnatural lust, or perhaps tried to force their way in, the angels took away their sight. (Qur’an 54:37; 15:72)


The angels said to Lut AS to leave the place,

So set out with your family during a portion of the night and let not any among you look back – except your wife; indeed, she will be struck by that which strikes them . Indeed, their appointment is [for] the morning. Is not the morning near?” (Qur’an 11:81)


Then it was early dawn, Lut AS departed with his family, except his wife. She remained behind and was afflicted by the punishment along with the wrong doers and wicked townspeople. (Qur’an 54:34)

Allah () says in the Holy Quran: “We saved him and all his family, except for an old woman who behind.“ [26:170-171]


There are two interpretations about how his wife was destroyed. Either she remained inside the city or she looked back at the punishment and as a result was punished herself.


The Decree of Allah fell upon people of non believer’s his justice 

As he had been directed, Lut AS set out with his family. When Lut AS and his party had cleared the area, the divine command came forth to destroy Lut’s AS people. (Qur’an 15:73-74; 7:84; 53:53-54)


Various commentators have said that angel Jibril AS lifted up all the sinful towns into the sky together with their inhabitants, and turn them over; hence the name Al-Mu’tafikat, the Overturned Cities.


Then Allah rained upon them a rain [of stones], and evil was the rain of those who were warned (Qur’an 26:173) as He sent upon them a storm of stones (Qur’an 54:34) of clay, marked in the presence of your Lord for the transgressors.”  (Qur’an 51:33-34).


Thus were the flourishing cities of Sodom and the 4 other towns in the vicinity obliterated with all their people, including the wife of their prophet, as a recompense for the wickedness and perverse lusts of its inhabitants.


Thus, the pages were closed on the people of Lut AS. Their names were erased from historical memory. The punishment that Allah promised, and Prophet Lut AS warned about, happened, for surely Allah keeps His promises.


May Allah’s highest blessings be upon Lut AS, the much tried prophet of the Overturned Cities.


Let us all take a minute to pray to Allah to keep us and all our loved ones guided, protected and enveloped in His Highest Mercy, shielded and away from such Satanic vices. Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen.


The End

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