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Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 75-77

75. " Verily Abraham was indeed for bearing, tender- hearted, penitent. "

76. " O Abraham! Forsake this! Indeed the decree of your Lord has come to pass and surely there is coming(upon)them an irreversible chastisement. "


Patience is a highly praised characteristic that enables someone to forbear any infliction in times of crisis and not try to avenge it. This is why Abraham wished to haply remove the punishment from the people of Lot. This good quality is very prominent in prophets, godly benevolent authorities, and knowledgeable people, for were it not to exist, they would not be able to tolerate the difficulties and troubles of their people, and therefore, they would not be able to achieve their objectives which would include guidance.

The Qur'anic term/ 'awwah/ means supplication and humility before Allah, along with crying and weeping. The verse says:

"Verily Abraham was indeed for bearing, tender- hearted, penitent. "

Here, Abraham shows compassion for the people of Lot, who are rather inextricably entangled with having to suffer this awesome penalty.

The Qur'anic term/ munib/, mentioned in the first verse, denotes repentance and returning, and at the same time concentrating on Allah, for Abraham appealed to Him to forgive and not to condemn the people of Lot. However, Allah, the Blissful and Glorious, is so perfectly patient, forgiving, indulgent and compassionate that His servants can not even remotely conceive its extent. The crucial determining factor in all this, however, is that it all depends upon the suitability of the servant in point, which, when lacking in suitability sparing them is of no avail. Once the limits are exceeded, the mercy changes to rigor and this must be so of necessity, for mercy from the point of view of the sharp teeth that Allah gave to a panther is the other side of oppression from the point of view of the sheep in its jaws.

The people of Lot had no more potential to be guided, and if they were left to continue, their evil acts would have permeated other spheres as well, just like a corrupt organ which, if not excised, would affect other organs, thus spreading the infection further. Therefore, in response, the angels said:

" O Abraham! Forsake this! Indeed the decree of your Lord has come to pass and surely there is coming(upon)them an irreversible chastisement. "

At that point Abraham realized that there was no more room for mercy, he gave up pleading for them and the angels of death went forth to do their work executing the Divine order and exterminating the people of Lot.

77. " And when Our messengers(the angels)came to Lot, he was grieved for them and felt straitened to protect them. He said: 'This is a distressful day'. "


When the angels came, Lot was engaged in farming outside the town. He noticed some handsome, well- dressed young men arrived. He became afraid that his people might take to them when they entered the town. He thought that it would be best to invite them to his house, which he did, and his invitation was accepted. As he was taking them home, he was worried that his people might pass by and notice them. He wanted them to go back where they came from, saying: "You should know that you are going to a despicable and evil people".

At this point, Gabriel said: "That's one". The reason why Gabriel said this was that Allah had told the angels that they should not hasten to destroy the people of Lot until Lot himself had testified to their evil three times. As they kept on going, for the second time Lot told them: "Really, you are going towards an evil people. " Gabriel this time said: "That's the second time". As Lot arrived at the gate of the town, he said for the third time: "You are going among an evil people from among Allah's creatures. " Gabriel said: "That's the third time".

Lot entered the town followed by his guests. One by one they entered the house, and when Lot's wife noticed their handsomeness she wanted to call the people and tell them about it. She climbed up on the roof of the house and lit a fire. When the evil people of the town came, she told them that there were some very handsome young men in the house.

Lot was at his wits end trying to find a way to get rid of these people, to save his guests from being the objects of their evil intentions and to protect his honor. He was having a hard time, because he was in a quandary as to what he should do. He murmured: "This is a very difficult day. " On the one hand, how could he protect his guests from the wretchedness and evil of those people On the other hand,

how could he eradicate the evil that they had caused And finally, what should he do about the spy on the inside, his wife, who was willing to reveal anything secret in his house to the enemy outside ?As the Qur'an says: "Allah sets forth an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them so they availed them nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: 'Enter you both the Fire along with(others)that enter! '" 33

Notes :

(33) Sura At- Tahrim, No. 66, verse 10

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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