Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Quran’s story of prophet Lut and the homosexuals of Sodom

Allah has stated in the Quran:
7:56: “Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): For the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good.”

We believe Allah made the above statement when Muhammad had succeeded in eradicating Paganism, Judaism and Christianity from the soil of the Arabian Peninsula. The phrase “after it hath been set in order” leads us to our conclusion.

Requiring the people who had lost their ancestral religions to His whim to ‘call on Him with fear,’ Allah demanded that they also ‘long for Him in their hearts,’ as if they had become His paramours!

Allah’s call on the people to fear Him was unnecessary, as they had already begun to dread Him after seeing Him bring about destructions and death to those who had tried to defy His wish. His demand to “long for Him in their hearts” was dictatorial in nature, for this is what dictators are known to have required of their subjects after inflicting severe harm on them.

While making the above demands on His victims, Allah had forgotten one vital aspect of human nature, it being: fear does not generate love, or longing of a person or a thing. To many of His victims, Muhammad or Allah was a hated being, a fact that He Himself has acknowledged by stating:

“They swear by Allah that they are indeed of you; but they are not of you: yet they are afraid (to appear in their true color). If they could find a place to flee to, or caves, or a place of concealment, they would turn straightway thereto with an obstinate rush” {to save themselves from His wrath}.[1]

Allah knew that He was dreaded by people, as the above statement tells us, yet He expected them to long for Him! His expectation makes us wonder: Was He in His senses when He made the statements, or if it was something He wanted from the people, despite their hatred of Him and of His actions?

Claiming like a pretender, a story-teller and a megalomaniac, that it is He who sends forth the winds as harbingers of His mercy, which He shows to mankind by bringing dead land to life by letting water pour upon it , thus bringing forth all kinds of fruit, Allah took to narrating the story of Noah, one of His many apostles, who lived for 950 years, and ended it by telling His listeners how He had saved him and those who were with him in the Ark and also how He overwhelmed in the flood those who had rejected His Signs purely with the intention of frightening His Pagan listeners into His slavery. He then followed Noah’s story with the story of apostle Hud, who, as the Arabian tradition has it, lived among a people who occupied a tract of land,[2] in Southern Arabia, extending from Oman at the mouth of the Persian Gulf to Hadhramaut and the Yemen at the southern end in the Red Sea, but without telling us as to in which period of time they lived here. His people had refused to accept him as a prophet of Allah, believing he was an imbecile and a liar.

Enraged by their audacity and ignorance, and their demand of a calamity, Allah continued, He sent a cloud (cyclone) traversing the sky in the night and when the people of Hud got up in the morning, they found their houses completely destroyed. After the destruction was over, Hud told the people: punishment and wrath have already come upon you from your Lord: “Dispute ye with me over names which ye have devised – without authority from Allah? Then wait: I am amongst you, also waiting.”[3]

Following Hud’s challenge to his people, Allah proudly announced: “We saved him and those who adhered to him, by Our Mercy, and We cut off the roots of those who rejected Our Signs and did not believe.”

Allah also told His audience:

7:73: “To the Thamud people (We sent) Salih, one of their own brothers: He said: “O may people! Worship Allah; ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (Sign) from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a Sign unto you: So leave her to graze in Allah’s earth, and let her come to no harm, or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment.”

7:77: “Then they ham-strung the she-camel, and insolently defied the order of their Lord, saying: “O Salih! Bring about thy threats, if thou art an apostle (of Allah)!”

7:78: “So the earthquake took them unawares, and they lay prostrate in their homes in the morning.”

Relying on one of the folklores of the Arabian Peninsula, Allah narrated for the information of His audience how He had destroyed a whole people, called Thamudites, on account of their refusal to believe in Allah who, according to one of their own men, turned apostle, was worthy of their worship.

It appears to us that from the time Allah had created the earth, He had been having one problem after another with man, one of His creations. Every time, He tried to correct the man’s way of life through the good offices of His prophets and apostles, He faced difficulties and rebellions from him. Allah’s sufferings seem to have ended with the arrival and departure of Muhammad, for, recognizing the fact that he had been able to direct all the people of the world to His true path, He stopped sending prophets to our earth. Apostles are, however, still coming, and they will continue to come until the end of the world, though ordinary humans will not recognize them for the reasons that are known only to all-knowing Allah.

Before Muhammad’s arrival, Allah deputed on earth a large number of prophets and apostles to help Him guide His creations, which included man and Jinn, to His righteous path. In keeping with His policy, He sent, a long time ago, Salih to his people the Quran calls the Thamudites.

The Thamud people are believed to have lived between Medina and Syria. Their land included both rocky country and the spacious fertile valley and plains of Qura, which begins just north of Medina. When Apostle Muhammad in 631 A.D. led his expedition to Tabuk against the Roman forces, on a reported Roman invasion from Syria, he and his men came across the archaeological remains of the Thamud. This explains the presence of the Thamudites’ story in the Quran.

Armed with Allah’s mandate, Salih asked his fellow citizens to worship none, but Allah, of whom he claimed he was an apostle, and at whose instruction he came to salvage them from their self-destructive religious practices. The Thamudites refused to accept his instruction, and, instead, demanded of him to produce before them a she-camel so that they could satisfy that he was, indeed, an apostle of Allah.

Confident of Allah’s support, Salih prayed to Him and He produced a she-camel from the belly of a hill. Immediately after her emergence, she gave birth to a foal. She also produced so much of milk as was needed to feed the entire population of the Thamudite people. His mission accomplished, Salih left the miraculous she-camel with them and wandered off.

Proud of being impervious to any harm, the Thamudites hamstrung the she-camel for the reason that she had become a threat by her enormous size to other camels they owned. This action of theirs infuriated Allah, and in a fit of anger, He caused an earthquake that killed all of the insolent Thamudites.

The rationale or justification behind Allah’s decision to obliterate a whole nation for an offence some of its people had committed by ham-stringing a she-camel notwithstanding, we note a contradiction in the narration Allah has given of the event. According to the verse under discussion, at least two, if not many, men had killed the she-camel. This claim is repeated in verse 26:157 and 91:14. But verse 54:29 tells us a different story; according to it, the killer of the she-camel was a single person.

To many, the above contradiction may appear to be a minor one, but it will become significant when it is taken to have come from Allah’s mouth. There is no denying the fact that we often make mistakes in selecting our words, but this was not supposed to be a case with Allah; He is infallible and all-knowing, and as such, if He made a mistake, no matter how small, then He is not what He says He is. A fallible deity is a danger for the world. He should, therefore, be thrown out of our lives. And the sooner it is done, the better it would be for us as well as for our world.

The Thamudites’ heartbreaking story over, Allah took to narrating to His audience the biblical story of Lut[4] - one of His apostles - who lived in Cannon, a city of Palestine, along with his uncle Abraham, the founder of Monotheism.. From here, Lut was called by Allah to take up his residence concurrently in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and to preach to their people against homosexuality. They were wicked, because their entire male population, so it seems, had become homosexuals, thus threatening the existence of their race. Lut was not related to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, hence an outsider to them.

When Lut asked the people of both the cities not to indulge in homosexual acts, they threatened to drive them out the city, saying: these are, indeed, men who want to be clean and pure. The fact that the people of the cities wanted to drive ‘them’ out of them tells us that Lut was not alone in asking the people to stop their sexual preference; rather, some other good and pious men had joined him in his crusade against the homosexual practice of the people.[5]

Taking notice of the people’s determination not to give up their homosexual practice, Allah decided to eliminate homosexuality from the face of the earth along with its practitioners. For this purpose, He transformed two angels into handsome young men and instructed them to proceed towards the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

On their way to their destination, the angels turned-young men met Abraham. To him, the angels were the Messengers of Allah[6] with rank and status of Allah’s apostle (Rasul in Arabic). He invited them to a sumptuous meal, but they refused to eat, as angels do not need food for their survival. On the expression of mistrust, the angels allayed his fear by declaring their true identity and the mission they were on to destroy the people of Lut. They also told him that he was going to be the father of a son.[7]

Abraham’s wife, who was standing nearby, giggled when she heard the conversation between the angels and her husband. Hearing her giggle, Allah established direct communication with her and gave her glad tidings of Isaac, and after him, of Jacob. She could not believe what Allah was telling her, as she was an old woman, and her husband an old man. Similar question Abraham also had for the angels.

Finding her not believing in Allah, the angels came to His aid and interjected: Dost thou wonder at Allah’s decree? They also declared Allah’s grace and blessings on her and on all the people who lived in her house, for He was indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory!

While Allah and the angels were talking to Abraham’s wife, Abraham seemed to have disappeared from their midst to cast off his fear of the angels from his mind. When the news of the impending destruction of the Lut’s people was relayed to him, he began pleading with Allah to spare the homosexuals’ lives, as he, unlike Allah, was a kind man. Allah shrugged him off saying: “Seek not this, the decree of thy Lord hath gone forth: for them there cometh a Penalty that cannot be turned back.”[8]

Allah cannot turn back the Penalty, as doing so is not in His nature. Once He orders a strike on a people He created, He sticks to it, no matter how seriously and benignly His would-be victims seek His forgiveness. No amount of beseeching moves Him; not even the cries of the newborn babies, infants, old and the infirm. With an uncompromising principle He rules over His Kingdom and all the subjects He has planted on it!

The Rasuls (or the apostles of Allah) i.e. the angels reached Lut and told him why they were at his doorsteps. Being a kind man, he was grieved by the fact that his fellow citizens will soon perish for the crime of having become homosexuals with Allah’s full knowledge. They infested highways and committed their horrible crimes not only secretly, but also openly and publicly, even in their assemblies.’[9] He warned them of Allah’s retaliation against them, if they did not desist from their abominable practice. They paid no heed to him, thinking his threat was a hoax.

The news that two young and handsome men were staying in Lut’s house spread like a wild fire in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. All the men of both the cities rushed to his house to have sex with Lut’s guests. He will not let them touch his guests, as it was his duty to protect his guests from their onslaught. Finding it impossible to keep his guests safe from the lusting men, and knowing that there was not a single right minded man among them, he offered his two daughters to them for satisfying their uncontrollable passion. While offering his two daughters to a mob of men, Lut did not care, if his daughters would have survived the ordeal the men would have subjected them to, had they accepted his offer.

Declining his offer, all the men insisted that Lut hand over his guests to them. Finding him helpless, the angels told him:

“O Lut! We are Messengers from thy Lord: By no means shall they reach thee! Now travel with thy family while yet a part of the night remains, and let not any of you look back: but thy wife (will remain behind): To her will happen what happens to the people. Morning is their time appointed: Is not the morning nigh?”[10]

Since the above statement of the angels did not include Lut’s adherents, who were also to be saved from destruction, Allah had the angels correct themselves later, saying: “We have been sent to a people (deep) in sin, excepting the adherents of Lut: them we are certainly (charged) to save (from) harm,-”[11] thus setting the record straight.

As instructed by the angels, Lut, his wife and his two daughters left their home before the sun rise and began walking out of their city. After they had gone a distance, Allah caused a shower of brimstones[12] to rain down on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and obliterated not only both the cities, He also killed all of their inhabitants, including all the women of both the cities as well as Lut’s adherents, who are not believed to have ever practiced homosexuality in their lives. Allah also killed Lut’s wife,[13] because she, being attracted by the deafening sound of destruction and carnage, had looked back to see what was happening to the cities and their inhabitants.

What happened, reader may like to know, to Lut and his two daughters, and if they left behind any descendents on earth? The Bible provides answer to the question.

According to it, Lut and his two daughters began living in a cave of Zo’ar. The first born of his two daughters said to the younger: Our father is old and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and then we will lay with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

One night, Lut’s daughters plied their father with wine, and then the first born somehow raped her father, for a completely drunk man, who could not recognize his own daughters, could hardly have an arousal. The following night, the younger one did the same thing to her father, thus both of his daughters becoming the bearers of his children.

Jehovah, the God of the Bible, did not stop Lut’s daughters from committing incest with their father, as He lost His ability to create humans without a man and woman after creating Adam in heaven and as such, He needed their help for keeping one of the human races alive. Otherwise, there was no reason for Him to tolerate the commission, by Lut’s daughters, one of the ugliest incestuous acts in the history of mankind.

The first born gave birth to a son and he was named Moab, the same is the father of the Moabites until today. The younger one also gave birth to a son, and he was called Ben-am’mi; the same is the father of the children of Ammon until today.[14] Their descendants live with us, we failing to recognize them.

The biblical story relating to Lut’s daughters’ sexual encounters with him was too much even for Muhammad to stomach; he, therefore omitted it from the Quran. But has it made the Quran holier than the Bible? And also, did Allah’s indiscrete killing of both the sinners and the pious make Him a compassionate, kind, merciful and a judicious Deity?

[1] The Quran; 9:56 & 57.
[2] Cf. The Quran; 46:28.
[3] The Quran; 7:71.
[4] Lot of Gen; 19:1.
[5] Cf. The Quran;15:59.
[6] The Quran; 11:69.
[7] The Quran; 15:53.
[8] The Quran; 11:76.
[9] The Quran; 29:29.
[10] The Quran; 11:81.
[11] The Quran; 15:58 & 59.
[12] The Bible says the brimstone was accompanied by fire; Gen: 19:24.
[13] The Bible says Lut’s wife became a pillar of salt; Gen: 19:26.
[14] Gen; 19:30-36.

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