One of the fascinations that I’ve had in this series of courses you’ve noticed, is verses that are very similar to each other and we’re going to continue along that track.
Both are talking about the great Prophet Lot (peace be upon him). Only the first expression is what I’m going to compare in these two verses:
When our messengers finally came to Lot, he felt terrible in their presence.
Same verse repeats itself in chapter 29 but with additional “ان an” here. The translation even though in regular translations is identical, the purpose of “an” is actually to add even more long period or anticipation or eventuality. So eventually, finally, after the longest wait when the angels finally arrived to Lot, he felt terrible because of their presence.
So there is this longer duration and kind of this longer anticipation of when is the help of Allah coming because Lot was frustrated when will the help of Allah come but the way in which it came in the form of good looking men made him even more upset. But the idea of that prolonging is mentioned in chapter 29 not mentioned in chapter 11.
This is actually something that I want to talk to you about. You’ll be surprised. The subject today is not Lot at all, the subject is our own Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The thing to understand here is that the Quran tells the Prophet Muhammad stories of previous messengers to encourage him and to help him see his mission through their eyes. Their legacies become his legacy. Their words become his words. That’s why they’re in the Quran.
Understand that when the Prophet is speaking, he’s speaking the Quran. There is no book or paper in front of him. And when he’s talking about these Prophets’ legacies, people do separate those legacies from him because they’re coming out of his mouth. He doesn’t separate himself from them. They’re all one body of people. So he identifies himself with the missions of these great Prophets.
Having said that, so truth is earlier in his mission. And earlier in his mission, Allah says, mentioning the story of Lot… sometimes when Allah brings us help is not something you’ll find pleasing, but what happens in chapter 29, why this longer anticipation? Because the entire chapter 29 began when the Muslims were starting to get tortured, when things were getting really bad.
The companion Khbbab ibn al-Arath was dragged onto burning coal, made to lie down on it shirtless and they stood on him, they melted the skin off of his back and he went in that state to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said:
“what have we done wrong that we should happen to us? Why isn’t the help of Allah coming?” and then this verse came down.
So when chapter 29 came down, the first verse about patience to the believers, they’re being told:
Do you think that you’re just going to enter heaven without being tested? People that came before you were tested too.
Then he started talking about Noah’s patience. The help to Noah came by water. Then he talks about Abraham who had to take on his own people and it talks about him when he was saved from fire. Like Noah who was saved from water, Abraham was saved from fire.
Then after Noah, He talks about Lot and he said about Lot:
I’m making migration to my master soon he will guide me.
Through Lot, the Prophet is being told “you’re going to migrate too soon”
Noah had to leave his people, Abraham had to leave his people, Lot said “I’m going to make migration.”
Chapter 29 is almost right before the migration of the Prophet Muhammad. He’s being told in code through other prophetic legacies that he’s going to migrate.
Now in that case, when is the commandment coming? When can we finally get out of here?
The anticipation is so much higher that when the story of Lot is being talked about, eventually when finally, in the end our messenger came. The intensity of the wait is highlighted more in this chapter because the entire chapter is about waiting for relief from Allah to come. That’s the subject of the chapter.
And through that just little “an”, the Prophet was being given relief it will come and in unexpected ways but you just wait.
This is the story of lot (peace be upon him) in both cases but through the story, what the Prophet Muhammad is being told. That what I found amazing in this passage.