The Dispute of Ibrahim over the People of Lut

Allah, the Exalted, informs of what happened after the fright of Ibrahim left him and he felt no more fear of the angels when they refused to eat. After this, they gave him the glad tidings of the birth of a son and the destruction of the people of Lut. When they told him of this, he spoke to them as Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated concerning this verse. Sa`id said: When Jibril and the other angels who were with him came to Ibrahim, they said,

﴿إِنَّا مُهْلِكُو أَهْلِ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ﴾

(Verily, we are going to destroy the people of this town.) Ibrahim said to them, "Will you destroy a town that has three hundred believers in it'' They said, "No.'' He then said, "Will you destroy a town that has two hundred believers in it'' They said, "No.'' He said, "Will you destroy a town that has forty believers in it'' They said, "No.'' He then said, "Thirty'' They still replied, "No.'' This continued until he said, "Five'' They said, "No.'' Then he said, "What do you think if there is one Muslim man in the town, would you destroy it'' They said, "No.'' With this, Ibrahim said,

﴿إِنَّ فِيهَا لُوطاً قَالُواْ نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن فِيهَا لَنُنَجِّيَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلاَّ امْرَأَتَهُ﴾

(But there is Lut in it. They said: "We know better who is there. We will verily, save him and his family except his wife.'') Therefore, Ibrahim remained silent and his soul was at rest. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُّنِيبٌ ﴾

(Verily, Ibrahim was, without doubt, forbearing, used to invoke Alllah with humility, and was repentant (to Allah).) ﴿11:75﴾ This is a commendation for Ibrahim because of these beautiful characteristics. Then Allah says,

﴿يإِبْرَهِيمُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـذَآ إِنَّهُ قَدْ جَآءَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ﴾

(O Ibrahim! Forsake this. Indeed, the commandment of your Lord has gone forth.) This means the decree was settled concerning them and the Word was already given that they should be destroyed. The evil torment was coming to them, that cannot be averted from wicked people.

﴿وَلَمَّا جَآءَتْ رُسُلُنَا لُوطاً سِىءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا وَقَالَ هَـذَا يَوْمٌ عَصِيبٌ - وَجَآءَهُ قَوْمُهُ يُهْرَعُونَ إِلَيْهِ وَمِن قَبْلُ كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ قَالَ يقَوْمِ هَـؤُلاءِ بَنَاتِى هُنَّ أَطْهَرُ لَكُمْ فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَلاَ تُخْزُونِ فِى ضَيْفِى أَلَيْسَ مِنْكُمْ رَجُلٌ رَّشِيدٌ - قَالُواْ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا لَنَا فِى بَنَاتِكَ مِنْ حَقٍّ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَعْلَمُ مَا نُرِيدُ ﴾

(77. And when Our messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on account of them and was concerned for them. He said: "This is a distressful day.'') (78. And his people came rushing towards him, and since aforetime they used to commit crimes, he said: "O my people! Here are my daughters, they are purer for you. So have Taqwa of Allah and disgrace me not with regard to my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man'') (79. They said: "Surely, you know that we have no need of your daughters, and indeed you know well what we want!'')