The Holy Qur'an says: And We sent Lut who said to his people: 'Why do you commit such indecent acts that have never been committed by anyone before? In preference to women you satisfy your lust with men. Indeed you are a people who are guilty of excess.' His people had no answer to his remarks but they told one another, "Expel him from our town, he and his people profess to be pure." We saved Lut and his family except his wife who was one of those who stayed behind. (7:80-83)
Prophet Lut (AS) was the nephew of Prophet Ibraaheem (AS). He embraced the faith of Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) and migrated from Babylon with him. Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) and Prophet Lut (AS) grew rich in Egypt and they possessed enough livestock and wealth. Afterwards, they moved from Egypt to Bayt ul-Muqaddas in Palestine and settled there. There they needed more space because of the abundance of their cattle and personal belongings.
Therefore, with the permission of Prophet Ibraaheem (AS), Prophet Lut migrated to a place in the district of Sadum in Jordan and settled there. The people of this district were indecent and lustful as they indulged in abominable and immoral things. If any traveler passed by the town, these people used to come one by one and robbed him of his belongings and merchandise and made him go as a pauper.
The disgraceful character of Prophet Lut (AS)'s people
One historic account tells us how mean these people were: Prophet Ibraaheem (AS)'s wife, Saarrah sent her slave to the district of Sadum to report about the welfare of Prophet Lut (AS). When this slave reached there a man struck him in his head with a stone and he started bleeding. That man then grabbed his collar and said, "If this blood had remained inside your body it would have been harmful to you and, therefore, you should pay me for doing you this favour. The slave refused to pay anything to the man. The matter was referred to the court of law. The judge decreed against the slave and asked him to pay the man for the trouble he took for him. When the slave saw this high-handedness and the gross injustice, he hit the judge with a stone and his head also started bleeding. At this he said to the judge, "You should pay this man whatever is due to me for the trouble I took for your sake."
Thus the people of Prophet Lut (AS) were guilty of such abominable sins, the example of which was never heard before. One of such despicable acts was that they openly indulged in sodomy. Besides, they committed all sorts of reckless and vulgar acts including merry-making, singing, gambling and throwing of filth on passer-by. The Almighty Allah sent Prophet Lut (AS) to them for their guidance. Prophet Lut (AS) was a very noble person. He did his utmost to guide his people to give up their abominable habits and perform noble deeds. But they had gone to the extreme of moral degradation so much so that Prophet Lut (AS)'s preachings had no effect on them. It was something like the famous saying, "Casting pearls before swines".
Prophet Lut (AS)'s teachings for thirty years
About thirty years of Prophet Lut (AS)'s teachings and guidance yielded no tangible result. Only a handful of people who could be counted on finger tips received the guidance while the rest of them remained disgustingly mean with lewd deeds. When they saw that Prophet Lut (AS) was frequently interfering with their affairs they decided to expel him and his handful of followers from the town. But Prophet Lut (AS) increased his efforts to bring them to the right path and warned them that the wrath of Allah would some day overtake them without prior notice.
The condemned people as they were, they unabashedly taunted Prophet Lut (AS) to let the Divine curse befall them as they did not care at all about it. Prophet Lut (AS) became extremely disappointed with the insolent behaviour of the people and he realized that they were the group of misguided fools and it was not appropriate to pursue with them anymore. They had become like malignant tumour in the society and just as an organ suffering from malignancy needed amputation from the body they deserved extermination from the society. Prophet Lut (AS) then raised his arms high in the air in invoking Allah to send down upon them His torment.
Allah granted Prophet Lut (AS)'s prayers
The Almighty Allah granted Prophet Lut (AS)'s prayers and He deputed His angels to chastise the stubborn people. First of all these angels in the guise of human beings called on Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) in his house. He thought they were travelers who were passing by his house and who had come for an overnight stay and rest. Thus Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) welcomed them with an open arm and served them with nicely cooked dishes but they did not even touch the meals. At this Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) got frightened and worried. But the angels in the human form introduced themselves to the exalted Prophet and said, "We pass on to you a glad news. By the Grace of Allah, you will be blessed with a son whose name will be Ishaaq."
They also told Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) that they were on an important Divine mission of destroying the people of Prophet Lut (AS) and were heading towards Jordan . When Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) identified his guests his fear vanished and he interceded with them so that Allah's wrath on Prophet Lut (AS)'s people might be condoned. But the angels in reply said, "You should better keep off as Allah's command has already been final now and the destruction of Prophet Lut (AS)'s people is a foregone conclusion. Only his family people will remain safe except his wife who is from amongst the transgressors and who will be perished along with the rest."
Angels at the house of Prophet Lut (AS)
After coming out of Prophet Ibraaheem (AS)'s house, the angels assumed the shape of extremely handsome and youthful male persons and reached Sadum and knocked the door of Prophet Lut (AS)'s house. Prophet Lut (AS) became much perplexed by seeing such beautiful persons. On the one hand he desired to welcome them wholeheartedly and be hospitable with them and on the other hand he feared a great risk as he knew of his people's debased mentality. There was no alternative left for Prophet Lut (AS) but to welcome them in his house and treat them nicely.
No sooner had the guests arrived at the house then the wife of Prophet Lut (AS) signalled to the people about the arrival of beautiful young men in the house of her husband. All of them then swarmed round Prophet Lut (AS)'s house and started demanding him to hand over his guests to them for their night's great pleasure of enjoying the company of handsome young men.
Prophet Lut (AS) pleaded with the people not to disgrace him before his noble guests but the people paid no heed to his imploration and broke into his house like beasts. Prophet Lut (AS) could not help it and instead he said, "If I had any power I would have given you a good lesson by bringing you to your senses?"
When the angels saw the strange spectacle they said to Prophet Lut (AS), "O Lut! We are sent by Allah to protect you and to punish these people." Not a moment had passed that these people ran amok out of sheer fright and from there ran up to take shelter in their abodes. Prophet Lut (AS) then returned to his original condition as his fear was allayed by the angels. The angels counselled Prophet Lut (AS) to leave the town and go to a safe place with his family people so that the Divine Wrath and Allah's terrible torment might befall his rebellious people soon.
When Prophet Lut (AS) along with his daughters had gone away to a safe place out of the town, a terrible earthquake overtook the town and rocked the earth in a terrific upside down motion and thereafter the people were hit down by pebble-stones. By this Divine Power they met with a disgraceful end.