Interpretation of Sura Hud – Verses 78-80

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- 78. ” And his people came rushing towards him, And aforetime they had been practicing abominations. He said: ‘O my people, here are my daughters they are purer for you. So fear Allah, and do no degrade me with my guests! Is there not among you one upright man ‘”

Commentary

The Arabic term/ yuhra’oun/ derived from/ ‘ihra’/ means intensive driving. That is, the uninhibited passion of this rebellious people goaded them on towards Lot’s(a.s.) guests.

The meaning of the term/ at- har/, in this verse, is not that sodomy has something pure about it but that marriage is purer. It means that for the sinner who is pursuing the gratification his sexual instincts, it is preferable to get married than to commit sin.

It is worthy to note that one’s potentialities can flourish when caught in the midst of anxieties and difficulties. If the Divine angels would have introduced themselves to Lot(a.s.) on their arrival, there would have been no need for moaning, sighing, crying for help and appealing to the emotions of the public, nor would there have been any need to offer a marriage proposal. The verse says:

” And his people came rushing towards him, And aforetime they had been practicing abominations. He said: ‘O my people, here are my daughters they are purer for you. So fear Allah, and do no degrade me with my guests! Is there not among you one upright man ?'”

Question: Why would a prophet propose his daughter for marriage to an unbelieving idol worshipper ?

Answer: Perhaps he might suggest that conversion be a condition for the marriage so that the marriage could facilitate and strengthen the belief in Allah. Maybe the meaning of the term/ banati’/ is ‘people’s daughters’ as the prophet is considered the father of the nation and is speaking on their behalf. Or maybe, at that time, such marriages were common for the sake of convenience and expediency.

Explanations

1- Sometimes the norms of human society degenerate to such an extent that people hasten towards committing sins being seduced by their unruly lower selves.

2- To prevent people from doing what is forbidden, we must at first open up and show the true path to them so that they do not seek pleasure by committing sins.

3- The meaning of the term ‘chastity’ is not isolation. On the contrary, it means purity in normal social intercourse.

4- Marriage is the sole and only correct context for sexual gratification, other methods are unclean and sinful.

5- Considering sin as a commonplace matter does not exempt man from his responsibility in dissuading others from performing forbidden acts.

6- Showing hospitality is such an important matter that the noblest of men have tolerated a tremendous degree of suffering for its sake.

7- Homosexuality has been forbidden, considered abominable, and has been rejected in previous religions and is incompatible with one’s manliness, development and chastity.

79. ” They said: ‘You know we have no right to your daughters, and verily you know well what we desire’. “

80. ” He said: ‘Would that I had the power against you or I might take refuge in a strong support’. “

Commentary

One’s deviation from the right path leads man to the point where he considers the forbidden act of sodomy as a correct and virtuous act and the religiously acceptable act of marriage as a vice and as wrong conduct. In other words, man is transformed as a consequence of sin, where the most natural way for him may seem to be the ugliest and the most vicious way becomes the most attractive. The verse, concerning the people of Lot, says:

” They said: ‘You know we have no right to your daughters, and verily you know well what we desire’. “

In our holy religion, homosexuality is considered as one of the capital sins that require religious punishment. It consists of lashes, execution or both commensurate with the act, and is to be applied upon those who have committed the act according to the testimony of just witnesses. Muslim leaders and those in positions of responsibility must prevent it by all means. This is why Lot(a.s.) says that if he had faithful companions, he would have fought against those mean people, to defend his guests, or at least he would have taken them to a safe place to shelter them. The verse says:

” He said: ‘Would that I had the power against you or I might take refuge in a strong support’. “

The Sin of Sodomy in the Qur’an and Traditions

There are many accounts in the Glorious Qur’an about the vicious and detestable act of this deviant people, all of which exhibit the magnitude and intensity of the sin.( Refer to Sura Al- A’raf, verses 97- 08- 38, Sura Hud verse 28, Sura Al- ‘Anbiya verse 47, Sura An- Naml verse 45.)

The Islamic literature highlights the grievous consequences for such behavior revealing how serious a sin it is in the religion of Islam. For example, it is said that if an adolescent commits or is the object of the act of sodomy, Allah’s heavens start trembling and He will not speak to those involved on the Day of Resurrection.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said that if someone can to be stoned to death twice, that person would be he who had committed the act of sodomy. We can also find in another Islamic from Imam Sadiq(a.s.) quoting the Prophet(p.b.u.h.)who said: “He who performs a sexual act with an adolescent, will enter the Day of Judgment in a state of uncleanness, Allah will be outraged, the perpetrator will be deprived of His favor and He will prepare a place in Hell for such a person and what an awful place it is! ” Again he said: “If a male is involved in sex with another male, Allah’s heavens will tremble. ” 34

Numerous narrations severely denounce transvestites, i. e. men and women who make themselves up to look like the opposite sex which predisposes them to the act of sodomy.

Notes :

(34) Refer to Usul- i- Kafi, Wasa’il- ush- Shi’ah, Bihar ul ‘Anwar, Nahj ul Balaqah

Adopted from the book : “The Light of the Holy Qur’an; Interpretation of Surah Hud” by : “Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars”

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