Interpretation of Sura Hud – Verses 81-83

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- 81. ” They(the guests)said: ‘O Lot! Verily we are messengers of your Lord! Never shall they reach you! So travel with your family in a part of the night, and let none of you look back, but your wife. Surely she shall be smitten by that which smites them. Verily their appointed time is the morning: Is not the morning nigh ?'”

Commentary

The Arabic term/ ‘asri/ is derived from/ ‘isra’/ which means ‘movement by night’.

The phrase/ ‘illamra’ataka/(but your wife)has been exceptioned, either is derived from/ ahlika/ which means: ‘Do move your whole family by night except your wife, ‘ or it has been exceptioned from/ la yaltafit/ meaning that none of them should look behind or pay attention to what was going on behind them except his wife, who, while leaving with him was worried about those corrupt people and would end up lingering behind and, consequently, became a victim of the Divine punishment.

When the divine angels noticed Lot’s anxiety under the tormenting conditions he was in, they unveiled the secret telling him that they were messengers from Allah, that he should stop worrying and know that those people would not be able to bother him any more. The verse says:

” They(the guests)said: ‘O Lot! Verily we are messengers of your Lord! Never shall they reach you! …”

Becoming aware as to who his guests were and what their mission was, provided him with the utmost comfort and ease of mind, he then realized that his time of troubles was about to be over and he would be free from association with the depravity of this vicious and scandalous tribe, the time for rejoicing was at hand.

The guests ordered Lot to take his family that night and leave that land immediately, for good. However, they were told to be careful not to look back. The only person who violated this order was Lot’s wife, who, guilty of inclination towards the corrupt ones disregarded the order and was dealt the same punishment as the Sodomites. The verse says:

“… So travel with your family in a part of the night, and let none of you look back, but your wife. Surely she shall be smitten by that which smites them. “

The angels last words to him were that the time for imposing the penalty will be in the morning. As the last hours of the night approached, they told them to get up and depart from the town as soon as they can, because the morning time was near. The verse says:

“… Verily their appointed time is the morning: Is not the morning nigh ‘”?

82. ” When Our command came, We turned it(their township)upside down, and rained on it stones of baked clay, layer on layer. “

83. ” Marked with your Lord, and it is not far off from the unjust ones. “

Commentary

The Arabic term/ sijjil/ means a piece of baked clay which is neither as soft as clay nor as hard as stone.

The Arabic word/ mand ou oud/ means one on top of the other in succession. The objective of stones being marked either is that every piece of stone was meant for a particular person, or it means that those stones were different from the ones on the earth.

This holy verse explains the end result of the people of Lot.

The people of Lot used to live during the time of Abraham(a. s), and Lot(a. s.), their prophet, was sent among them to propagate and disseminate the same religion of monotheism. Accompanying Abraham(a.s.) he went to Palestine then to a land called ‘Mu’tafikat’, where the people used to worship idols and openly sodomize. Lot(a.s.) started struggling against this corruption and social pathology. The more he struggled, the less he met with success until he was threatened with ?expulsion if he did not stop preaching. 35 Thereafter the angels of Divine punishment and death came down and after informing Abraham and Lot(a.s.) , completed their mission turning the land of this corrupt tribe upside down.

?According to verse 31 of the Sura Al- H ijr, a blast occurred and overwhelmed the people of Lot. Perhaps, it was this horrible blast which turned the region upside down, stones were thrown out from within the earth and fell upon their heads similar to volcanic eruptions and the subsequent explosions which occur. 36

Explanations

1. The punishment of those who go against human nature is the overturning of their cities and environment. The verse says:

” When Our command came, We turned it(their township)upside down, …”

2. Oppressive people cannot escape Divine punishment as Allah’s anger can turn rain into stones and pelt them to death. The verse says:

“… and rained on it stones of baked clay, layer on layer. “

Those nations who have a permissive attitude towards homosexuality such as is found in the West, must expect Allah’s punishment and the upturning of the region where this corruption takes place. The verse says:

” Marked with your Lord, and it is not far off from the unjust ones. “

Notes :

(35) Sura Ash- Shu’ara, No. 26, verse 167

(36) Al- Mizan, the Commentary

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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