Lot (a)

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Lot (a)
مقام لوط(ع) در استان الخلیل.jpg
The Maqam of Prophet Lot (a) in al-Khalil, Palestine
Name in
the Qur'an:
Lot (a)
Name in
the Bible:
Lot (a)
Place(s) of
Residence:
Babylon, Iraq and the land of "Mu'tafikat" in Palestine
Burial place: In Bani Na'im in al-Khalil province of Palestine
Name of People: People of Lut
Well known
Relatives:
His sister Sarah, the first wife of Prophet Abraham (a)
Contemporary
Prophet:
Prophet Abraham (a)
Religion: Monotheism
Repeat in
the Qur'an:
27 times
Important
Events:
The divine punishment of the People of Lut

Lūṭ b. Haran or Lot b. Haran (Arabic: لوط) was a prophet whose people were punished for their Major Sins, such as sodomy. He lived in the period of the Prophet Abraham (a) and had a blood relation with him. After Abraham's call to monotheism in Babylon, Lot (a) and his sister, Sarah, came to believe in him.

After Abraham's decision to immigrate to the Hebrew land in Palestine, Lot (a) and Sarah joined him there. Lot (a) was commanded by God to go to the land of "Mu'tafikat" (overturned cities). People of "Mu'tafikat" committed sins such as sodomy. They ignored Lot's (a) warnings to quit their sins. Finally, Lot (a) left the land and the people suffered a divine punishment. Lot (a) is said to have been buried in Bani Na'im in al-Khalil province in Palestine.

Biography

Lot (a) was the son of Haran, the grandson of Terah, and the son of Abraham's (a) brother.[1] He was also related to Abraham (a) through his sister, Sarah, who was Abraham's (a) wife. Lot (a) and Sarah believed in Abraham (a) when he called people to monotheism in Babylon.[2] His belief in [[[God]] is mentioned in Qur'an 29 (Sura al-Ankabut)[3]. When God commanded Abraham (a) to go to the land of Canaan in Palestine, he accompanied him there.[4] Lot (a) went to different cities in Palestine to call people to monotheism. He is characterized in the Qur'an as having great virtues. He is said to be superior to others,[5] and to have wisdom and knowledge.[6] In some sources, Lot (a) is characterized as generous and hospitable.

Family and the Kin

Lot (a) had two daughters named "Rutba" and "Ra'ura", who left the city together with their father before the punishment was sent down, and then they joined Abraham (a).[7] One of Lot's daughters was the mother of the Prophet Jacob (a).[8] The Prophet Shu'ayb (a) is also said to be Lot's (a) son in law.[9] On another account, Abraham's (a) son, Midian, was also Lot's son in law.[10] Lot's wife is characterized in the Qur'an as a negative character. She supported sins committed by People of Lut. For instance, when divine angels went to Lot's house in the form of young men in order to give him the news of the divine punishment, Lot's wife informed people that there were two young men in Lot's house.[11] People gathered around Lot's house and asked him to let them rape his guests.[12] According to Qur'anic verses and historical accounts, Lot's wife was punished just like Lot's people.[13]

Lot (a) is mentioned twenty seven times in the Qur'an. He is buried in Bani Na'im in al-Khalil province of Palestine.

Mission

Lot (a) was assigned the position of prophethood by God. His prophethood is explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an.[14] According to historical cities, he was sent to the land of "Mu'tafikat" (that is, overturned cities) in Palestine,[15] including Sodom, Gomorrah, Zoar, and Zeboim.[16] These cities are mentioned in the Qur'an as cities destroyed by God's punishment.[17] Lot (a) called people to Abraham's religion. He lived in the land for over twenty years until the divine punishment.[18]

People of Lut

Main article: People of Lut

People of Lut were people who lived in the "overturned cities" in Palestine. They are negatively portrayed in the Qur'an and historical texts.[19] Thus, they committed sodomy,[20] robbery, and harassment of others.[21] Lot (a) called them to quit these sins.[22] When they insisted on their sins, the divine punishment was sent down.[23]

The angels, Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil, were God's agents to execute the divine punishment of Lot's people. Before the punishment, they were incarnated in the form of young and anonymous men and entered Lot's house. When they revealed their identities to Lot (a), they told him to leave the city together with his two daughters in order to remain immune from the punishment. The angels told him that the punishment was going to be sent down the next morning.[24] The story of the angels in Lot's house and the subsequent events are mentioned in Qur'an 11 and Qur'an 15.[25]

In the Torah

The Torah recounts the story of the arrival of the angels in Sodom, where Lot (a) lived, the punishment of his people, and his survival together with his two daughters.[26] Despite the Islamic belief that prophets are infallible, in the Torah's version of the story, Lot's daughters intoxicated him and then had sex with him in order for the human species to survive.[27]

Notes

  1. Ibn Kathīr, ‘’al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya’’, vol. 1, p. 176.
  2. Ibn Athīr, ‘’al-Kāmil’’, vol. 2, p. 19.
  3. Qur'an, 29:26.
  4. Ibn Kathīr, ‘’al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya’’, vol. 1, p. 140.
  5. Qur’an, 6:86.
  6. Qur’an, 21:74.
  7. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 445.
  8. Ṭabarī, ‘’Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk’’, vol. 1, p. 242.
  9. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 445.
  10. Ibn Khaldūn, ‘’Dīwān al-mubtadaʾ wa l-khabar’’, vol. 2, p. 42-49.
  11. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 444.
  12. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 445.
  13. Qur'an, 29:32; 15:60
  14. Qur'an, 37:133.
  15. Ibn Khaldūn, ‘’Dīwān al-mubtadaʾ wa l-khabar’’, vol. 1, p. 33.
  16. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 444.
  17. Qur’an, 9:70.
  18. Masʿūdī, ‘’Murūj al-dhahab’’, vol. 1, p. 38.
  19. Qur'an 26:160-175; Qur'an, 29:28-30
  20. Qur'an, 29:28
  21. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 444.
  22. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 444.
  23. Maqdisī, ‘’al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’, vol. 1, p. 445.
  24. Ṭabarī, ‘’Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk’’, vol. 1, p. 227.
  25. Qur'an, 11:79-83; Qur'an, 15:60-75.
  26. Genesis 18:16-23, Genesis 19:1-29
  27. Genesis 19:30-38

References

  • Ibn Athīr, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad. ‘’Al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh’’. Translated to Farsi by Abū l-Qāsim Ḥālat & ʿAbbās Khalīlī. Tehran: Muʾassisa-yi Maṭbūʿātī ʿIlmī, 1371 Sh.
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1407 AH.
  • Ibn Khaldūn, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad. ‘’Dīwan al-mubtadaʾ wa l-khabar’’. Edited by Khalīl Shaḥāda. Second edition. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1408 AH.
  • Maqdisī, Muṭahhar b. Ṭāhir al-. ‘’Al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh’’. Translated to Farsi by Muḥammad Riḍā Shafīʿī. Tehran: Āgah, 1374 Sh.
  • Masʿūdī, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn al-. ‘’Murūj al-dhahab wa maʿādin al-jawhar’’. Translated to Farsi by Pāyanda. Fifth edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i ʿIlmī wa Farhangī, 1374 Sh.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. ‘’Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk’’. Fifth edition. Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1375 Sh.