The city of Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام was known as ‘Sodom’. It was a popular city of Syria located in the province ‘Homs’. Sayyiduna Loot Bin Haaraan Bin Taarakh was the nephew of Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام . These people were the citizens of Babylon, a city situated in Iraq but when Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام migrated to Palestine and Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام settled in Urdan, a city of Syria, Allah blessed Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام with Prophethood and sent him to the people of Sodom for their guidance.
(Tafseer As-Saawi, vol. 2, pp. 689; part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 80)
City of Sodom
The towns of the city of Sodom were very populated and full of greenery. Various varieties of fruits, crops and nuts were produced there in a massive quantity. Due to the affluent and prosperous conditions of the city, people from far and wide used to come and stay there as guests. That’s why the people of the city were fed up of the people coming to them. They were finding no way to stop or get rid of these guests. In these conditions, one day the damned Satan appeared in the guise of an old man and said to them, ‘If you want to get rid of such guests, I can tell you a solution. Whenever a guest comes to your town, commit sodomy with him forcefully.’
Therefore first of all, Satan himself entered the town as a guest in the guise of a handsome lad and made those people commit sodomy with him repeatedly. Thus they learnt this despicable act from Satan.
These people gradually became so much addicted to this despicable act that they started to fulfil their sensual desires from men instead of women. (Ruh-ul-Bayan vol. 3, pp. 197; part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 84)
Therefore, Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام delivered a didactic sermon to them, warning them to refrain from committing this despicable act, and said:
He said to his nation! You commit the shameful acts which no one in the creation has ever done before you? You lustfully approach men, while leaving the women alone! Rather, you have transgressed the limits.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 80-81)
Listening to the sermon of Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام , what his people said to him bluntly and shamelessly, see to it in the words of Holy Quran:
And his people had no answer except to say, ‘Turn them out of your dwellings; these are people who wish purity!’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 82)
At last, when the transgression and sinfulness of the people of Loot exceeded all limits, the Divine torment struck them. Sayyiduna Jibra`eel علیہ السلام descended from the Heavens with a few angels. These angels went to Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام as guests. These angels were in guise of handsome and attractive boys. Observing the facial charms and physical beauty of the guests and considering the prevailing lustful conduct of his people, Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام became worried.
After a short while, the evil doers besieged the home of Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام and started to climb the wall with the evil intention of fornication. Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام tried his best to prevent them from that evil and shameful act but those immodest people did not restrain from their evil intention. Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام became very sad and grieved upon that embarrassing situation in front of his guests.
After witnessing this, Sayyiduna Jibra`eel علیہ السلام said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, you don’t worry at all. We are the angels sent by Allah ( ) who have come with a torment for these evil transgressors. Therefore, leave this town and go far away before the advent of the morning along with the believers and your family members. And beware that no one should turn around and look towards this town; as the torment will also strike the viewers.
Therefore, Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام departed from the town along with the believers and his family members. Then Sayyiduna Jibra`eel علیہ السلام lifted up the five towns of that city by his wings towards the skies and after gaining some elevation inverted these towns. Consequently, these towns smashed into small debris on striking with the ground. Then a rain of stones struck them and stoning was so severe that all the people of Sayyiduna Loot died and their corpses also scattered around into pieces.
Whilst the city was in the process of inversion, one of the wives of Sayyiduna Loot علیہ السلام whose name was Waa’ilah and who was in fact a hypocrite and had affection for the evil doers, turned around and looked at the scene and exclaimed with grief, ‘O my people’. After saying these words, she stood there. Then a stone of Divine torment also struck her and she also died. Allah has mentioned in the Holy Quran:
And we rescued him and his family, except his wife – she became of those who stayed behind. And we sent down a rain (of stones) upon them; therefore see what sort of fate befell upon the culprits!
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 83-84)
The stones that were thrown over the people were the pieces of rocks and the name of every victim was inscribed over the stone by which
he was killed. (Tafseer As-Saawi, vol. 2, pp. 691; part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 84)
Moral: We come to know from this event that how heinous and severe sin sodomy is that due to this sin, the towns of the people of Loot were inverted and the sinners were killed by the torment of stones. Thus they were obliterated completely from the face of the earth.
It is narrated that once Sayyiduna Sulayman علیہ السلام asked the accursed Iblees, ‘Which sin is most disliked by Allah ( )?’ He replied, ‘The sin that Allah ( ) dislikes the most is the sin of man committing fornication with man (sodomy) and the woman fulfilling her sensual desires by woman.’ Moreover, it has also been narrated in one Hadees that a woman rubbing her private part against another woman’s private part is fornication for both of them, which is a major sin. (Ruh-ul-Bayan, vol. 3, pp. 198; part 8, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 84)
(For a comprehensive information about the sinfulness of sodomy, read the book ‘Jahannam kay Khatraat’.)