Prophet Lut, a nephew of Prophet Ibrahim, was sent to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the vicinity of the Dead Sea.
The extensive accounts of Prophet Lut and his people are presented in these Quranic surahs (chapters): Al-A’raf (80-84), Hud (74-83), Al-Hijr (58-77), Al-Anbiya’ (74-75), Al-Shu’ara’ (160-175), Al-Naml (54-58), Al-‘Ankabut (28-35), Al-Saffat (133-138), Al-Qamar (33-40), and Al-Tahrim (10).
The following are six lessons gleaned therefrom:
1. Homosexuality as an atrocious evil;
2. Evil knows no bounds;
3. Institutionalization of evil;
4. The tyranny of the majority;
5. Lut and the freedom of belief;
6. The prophets were like fathers for their nations.
Homosexuality as an Atrocious Evil
Homosexuality is one of the most despicable crimes. Its character is such that it leads to a succession of other equally atrocious crimes. It violates the fitrah (human nature), treats with contempt religious commandments, works against the laws of nature, and establishes itself as an agent of falsehood and misguidance.
Homosexuality is the mother of all immorality. As a bane of existence, it must be confronted head-on. It is a form of existential perversion whose presence cannot be tolerated.
The punishment for it, therefore, is death, commensurately with the nature and extent of the crime. The only thing scholars disagree about is how exactly to carry out the death penalty.
Prophet Lut’s people were punished with a combination of punishments, so as to teach posterity a lesson. Allah took away their sight, rained down on them showers of stones, turned their houses upside down, and caused them to be swallowed up by the earth.
Consequently, Sodom and Gomorrah became synonymous with the shameful sin of homosexuality, and the annihilation of their people a proverbial manifestation of heavenly vengeance and justice.
Allah calls the people of Lut immoral, unjust, lewd, mischievous, transgressors, criminals, evil-doers, people without reason, destroyed in such a way that their roots were cut off, a people given to evil and committing abominations.
The tests of Lut’s people, certainly, were unique, requiring a unique set of responses.