Allah has sent all the Prophets to their people with one message, to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything or anyone with Him. The revelation of the different chapters of the Quran was often in response to a particular event or experience of the Prophet and his followers. The stories in the Quran teach lessons, provide the historical background of humankind, and demonstrate the nature of Allah. The story of Prophet Lut peace be upon him is one that is particularly pertinent in the 21st century.
Prophet Lut peace be upon him was sent to the city of Sodom (Sadum) by Allah swt to summon the people to give up their indecent behaviour (homeosexuality). However, they were so deeply sunk in their immoral habits that they were deaf to Prophet Lut’s preaching. Swamped in their unnatural desires, they refused to listen, even when Prophet Lut peace be upon him warned them of Allah’s punishment. Instead, they threatened to drive him out of the city if he kept on preaching.
The doings of Prophet Lut’s people saddened his heart. Their unwholesome reputation spread throughout the land, while he struggled against them. As the years passed, he persisted in his mission but to no avail. No one responded to his call and believed him except for the members of his family, and even so, not all of the members believed. Prophet Lut’s wife, like Prophet Noah’s wife, was a disbeliever.
Allah swt mentioned in the Quran, “If home is the place of comfort and rest, then Lut found none, for he was tormented both inside and outside his home. His life was continuous torture and he suffered greatly, but he remained patient and steadfast with his people. The years rolled by, and still not one believed in him. Instead, they belittled his message and mockingly challenged him, ‘Bring Allah’s Torment upon us if you are one of the truthful!’ “ [29:29]
Overwhelmed with despair, Prophet Lut peace be upon him prayed to Allah to grant him victory and destroy the corrupt.
Angels disguised as men were sent to Prophet Lut peace be upon him. The arrival of Prophet Lut’s guests spread very quickly to his people through his wife. When Prophet Lut peace be upon him saw the mob approaching his house, he shut the door, but they kept on banging on it. He pleaded with them to leave the visitors alone and fear Allah’s punishment. He urged them to seek sexual fulfilment with their wives, for that is what Allah had made lawful.
After Prophet Lut peace be upon him finished his short sermon, Prophet Lut’s people roared with laughter. Blinded by passion, they broke down the door. Prophet Lut peace be upon him became very angry, but he stood powerless before these violent people. He was unable to prevent the abuse of his guests, but he firmly stood his ground and continued to plead with the mob.
At that terrible moment, he wished he had the power to push them away from his guests. Seeing him in a state of helplessness and grief, the guests said, “Do not be anxious or frightened, Lot for we are angels, and these people will not harm you.”
On hearing this, the mob was terrified and fled from Prophet Lut’s house, hurling threats at him as they left. The angels warned Prophet Lut peace be upon him to leave his house before sunrise, taking with him all his family except his wife.
Allah had decreed that the city of Sodom should perish. An earthquake rocked the town. It was as if a mighty power had lifted the entire city and flung it down in one jolt. A storm of stones rained on the city. Everyone and everything was destroyed, including Prophet Lut’s wife.
Allah swt recounted this story in the Quran Surah Al-Hijr Verse 51 to 77 and Surah Ash-Shu’ara Verse 170 to 175.
The book was closed on the people of Prophet Lut peace be upon him. Their towns and names have been erased from the face of the earth.
Prophet Lut peace be upon him then proceeded towards Abraham peace be upon him and continued to invite people to Allah swt.
[Excerpt from “Stories of the Prophets” by Al-Imam ibn Kathir]
Based on the story of Prophet Lut peace be upon him, we can take back with us some learning points;
1) Be thankful for Allah’s blessings and do not transgress.
The people of Prophet Lut peace be upon him were not thankful for Allah’s blessing of the creation of women in their lives. They went against Allah’s words and as a result, Allah’s punishment was brought upon them. Here, we can learn that if we are not thankful with what Allah has given us, it may bring upon us His anger.
Similarly to our lives, if something unpleasant happens to us or something is not going the way we wanted it to, do not complain but instead be thankful to Him for it, as everything that He gives us has a reason behind it (hikmah). We should be thankful for all the blessings that Allah has given us and make good use of it so that it can bring benefit to us. As mentioned in the Quran, “He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” (14:34) and “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ “(14:7)
2) Listen to the advices (nasihat) although it may be bitter for us.
Prophet Lut peace be upon him continuously summoned his people to give up their indecent behaviour and warned them of Allah’s punishment. His summon is for his people’s benefit. However, his people refused to listen to him and as a result, they brought upon themselves Allah’s punishment.
Since homeosexuality is now becoming prevalent in today’s world, like in the city of Sodom, we should take heed from what has happened in the past and not let history repeat itself. The Quran and Islam itself is a form of advice (nasihat) for us. We should heed those advices and follow them although some advices may not be in our favour, but in actual fact it may be good and beneficial for us. Like as mentioned in the Quran, “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (2:216)
Thus, whenever someone gives us an advice for our benefit, heed them as long as the advice does not bring upon Allah’s anger on us.
May Allah continue to guide us to the righteous path. Amin.
Narrated by Shaddad bin Aus: The Prophet s.a.w. said that the most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is through this supplication.
The Prophet s.a.w. also added, “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise.” [Sahih Bukhari Vol 8, Book 75, Number 318]
“Behold, I will create a Khalifah on Earth.” And so, Nabi Adam (a.s) was the very first man being created by clay that was made of decayed mud, as mentioned in the Quran (15:26). However, with Allah’s perfection and permission, Nabi Adam (a.s), or in fact, mankind, had been created in the ‘best of moulds’ (95:4). After which, other creatures, even the angels were told to prostrate themselves before Nabi Adam (a.s).
Abi Musa al Sha’arai narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said: “Allah created Adam from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Adam have been created according to the composition of the land. Therefore from mankind we have white, red, black and yellow ones; we have good and evil, ease and sorrow, and what comes in between them.” (Sahih Bukhari).
However, when Allah mentioned that He will be creating human beings to be the khalifahs on Earth, the angels questioned, “Will you create the one who will spread disorder on the earth and cause bloodshed, while we proclaim Your purity, along with your praise and sanctify Your name?” And Allah replied, “Certainly, I know what you know not.” (2:30)
With Allah’s will, Adam was able to learn the names of all things, along with their properties and functions, after which Allah presented Adam’s knowledge to the angels. Seeing Adam’s abilities and knowledge, the angels admitted their inabilities and praised “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have given us. Surely, You alone are the All-knowing, All-wise” (2:32)
Azazil was of the jinns that was raised to be the head of the angels in the worldly heavens and was the most honourable and most pious among the angels. However, after being commanded by Allah to bow to Adam, Azazil proudly loathed “I am not such that should prostrate myself before a mortal whom You have created from a ringing clay made of decayed mud”. (15:33) He even swore, “My Lord, since You made me go astray, I swear that I shall beautify for them (evils) on the earth, and shall lead all of them astray, except those of your Servants from among them whom are chosen (by You).” (15:39-40) Iblis was kicked out from Paradise and was never forgiven.
From Iblis’s responses, Adam contemplated on the charateristics of Iblis and was taken aback by this creature who rarely knows him but already boasted that he was better than Adam. Iblis also assumed that he was better than Adam as he was created by fire whereas Adam was created by clay. However, we all know that Allah is the All-Knower and All-wise. Through this event also, Adam was amazed at Allah’s tolerance. Despite Iblis not wanting to obey Allah’s command, Iblis was still given the freedom and was still granted his promise which was to lead the mankind astray.
Adam meets Eve
“It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam) and the He created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” (7:189)
During the event when Iblis was sent out of Paradise, Adam was alone and felt lonely. He then fall asleep for some time and when he woke up, he saw a woman and found out that Allah had created Eve so that he would find tranquillity in himself as mentioned by the ayah above. In Paradise, Allah had commanded, “Oh Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but do not come near this tree or you both will be among the Zalimeen (wrong doers).” (2:35)
Iblis on the other hand had a plan to deceive Adam. Through Iblis’s evil whispers, for years, Adam and Eve thought about nothing else but the tree. Iblis’s whispers won over them and Adam had forgotten about Allah’s command and that Iblis was their sworn enemy. Thinking that the fruit would grant them immortality, Adam and Eve took a bite of the fruit. It was then Adam felt hurt and regret.
“Did I not forbid you from that tree? Did I not tell you that Satan is your declared enemy?” Allah questioned them. “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and do not bless us with mercy, we shall, indeed, be among the losers.” Adam and Eve replied in sadness and shame. Allah then decreed, “Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (Adam, Eve, Satan). Earth will be a dwelling place for you and enjoyment for a time. There you shall live and there you shall die, and from there you will be raised again.” (7:22-25)
Based on the creation Adam, there are many things that we can reflect on and apply in our current context.
1. Firstly, Allah has mentioned that human beings will be the Khalifah on Earth and has taught Adam of all the things he should know about Earth. Being a Khalifah is a huge amanah that Allah has entrusted us with. However, Allah the Most Compassionate never leaves us alone, he had send us the books and prophets to guide us. Quran and sunnah to lead us to the correct path.
2. As Earth is only a temporary dwelling, Allah would not leave us alone without being tested. Therefore, satan’s promise to lead us astray was granted except for those who follows the Quran and sunnah.
3. Being proud, boastful and envious are all characteristics of Satan that was portrayed in the above event. These are the characteristics that we should be wary off. If we were to observe, both Adam and Iblis had went against Allah’s command, however, Nabi Adam (a.s) was forgiven whereas Iblis and Satan will never be forgiven. What differs the state of both Adam and Iblis is that Iblis’s problem lies in the heart such as succumbing to his ego and being boastful. Therefore, it is a good reflection for us to not assume that we are better than others as these are the characteristics of Iblis. Being humble and husnul zon (thinking good of others) would be a key to not follow the footsteps or Iblis.
After the death of Prophet Enoch (Idris) several events occurred over time that led humans to commit blasphemy for the first time. There were five pious people whose names are mentioned in Surah Nuh, verse 23. They were Wadd, Suwa’, Yaghuth, Ya’uq, and Nasr. After their death, Satan came to the people in the shape of a man and told them to build statues of these five men. The people responded to the whispers of the devil and built these statues to remember and honor these five good men. After a long period of time, Satan reappeared. Ignorance had spread widely and many tribulations had occurred among the people. The statues had become very common among the people. When Satan came again, to a later generation, he ordered the people to worship these statues and told them falsely that their ancestors had worshipped these statues too.
Many hundreds of years passed after Adam, and the earth was filled with his children. As time passed, the children of Adam forgot Allah and started to worship statues made of stones. They became bad and would lie and steal and some became mean and greedy. Allah, the most Merciful, sent Nuh to those people to bring them back to His worship. Nuh invited the people to come back to Tawhid. He asked them to give up idol worship and all the other vices which were ruining them. He warned them about the Day of Judgment (Refer to Al-Araf: 59-64).
Nuh tried his best for many years to guide his people to worship Allah but they would not listen. They laughed at him, mocked him, despised him and called him crazy and a liar (Refer to Al-Shuara: 105 and Al-Jathiya: 9). Nuh lived for 950 years (Refer to Al-Ankaboot: 14) but during this long period of time, only a few people responded to his call. Even his son and wife did not believe in him. Nuh was tired and shocked to see the stone-heartedness of his people. He became so displeased with the stiffness of their opposition to the truth that he ultimately prayed to Allah, “O Lord, leave not upon the land any one from the unbelievers” (Nooh: 26). He cried unto his Lord saying, “I am vanquished, so give help” (Al-Qamar:10). He also prayed to Allah to rescue him and his followers (Refer to Al-Shuara: 118).
Almighty Allah accepted Nuh prayers and asked him to build an ark. Nuh started to build the ark. It was not an easy task but Prophet Nuh persevered (Refer to Hud: 37). When the people saw Nuh building the ark they laughed at him and thought that he must have gone mad. They could not see the reason for building so huge an ark hundreds of miles away from the sea (Refer to Hud: 38).
“What is the ark for?” they asked. Soon they were to find out. It was Allah’s plan to cleanse the whole land of unbelievers except the ones who believed and helped Nuh.
Nuh told the mockers that a flood would soon overcome them and they would have no place to take shelter. The people laughed even more. But Allah’s plans soon materialized and the disbelievers saw it happen before their own eyes.After many days of hard work, the ark was complete and Allah asked Nuh to take a pair (one male, one female) of all animals into the ark. He and his followers boarded afterwards (Refer to Hud: 40-41). Suddenly the skies became dark. It began to thunder and rain. Water poured from above and gushed up from the ground. It rained and rained until the whole land was flooded. Every living thing drowned except those that were in the ark, which was floating on the water (Refer to Al-Qamar: 11-15). The flood water lasted five months and it destroyed all the disbelievers.
Even Nuh’s own son, an unbeliever, was not saved. Nuh had asked permission from Allah to take his son in the ark but this was refused. He was told that an unbelieving son was no part of his family. Nuh felt remorse for asking Allah to rescue his son. He begged Allah to forgive him. Nuh and his followers were safe in the ark (Refer to Hud: 45-47).
At last, the skies began to clear and the ark halted at Mount Judi (in Turkey). Nuh and his followers disembarked (Refer to Hud: 44). Thus Allah saved Nuh and his followers (Refer to Al-Ankaboot:15). Allah bestowed prosperity and abundance on Nuh’s children. They spread all over the earth (Refer to Hud: 48).
Such is the dreadful punishment meted out to the disbelievers. Allah says in the Qur’an, Surah Al-Araf, verse 64, “We drowned those who denied our signs. Lo! they were (such,) blind folk.” We should take a lesson from this story that disobedience to Allah leads to total destruction!
Base on the story of Prophet Nuh, idol worshipping could have been prevented by having knowledge. It was partly because of the ignorance of the later generations as to why the idols were being built that led to them being deceived by Satan. Should they have knowledge as to why they were built (ie. as a mark of respect and honour these men), they would most probably not have chosen to worship these idols instead of Allah SWT.
Allah mentioned in the Quran, in Surah Al-Isra’, verse 36, “And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.”
From this verse, clearly Allah has warned us against following an ibadah blindly. And relating to the above story, there are three main learning points that we can take away:
1) Allah is constantly testing us (and wants good for us), hence He gave us a warning in The Quran to not do something out of blind faith as it could lead us to disastrous results.
2) We are expected to study our environment and the things around us, especially in the things that we do at a regular basis, so that what we do is in line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
3) We are also expected to learn about the value of our given senses (ie. Sight, hearing, etc) and use them in the way that can benefit us.
May Allah bless us with the ability to contemplate on the signs that Allah SWT has bestowed on us, and may He increase our knowledge in the Deen so that we will not be led astray, insyaAllah.
Dua when someone sneezes
If the sneezing person does not recite “Alhamdulillaah” then it is not necessary to reply.
If the sneezing person has flu or any other difficulty which results in repeated sneezes then it is not necessary to reply after the third time.[Mishkat]
To regard the sneeze as a bad omen: One should not take or see anything as bad omen as it is stated as being Shirk in the hadith. [Hisnul Hasin]