ChildrenLot's daughters
RelativesIbrāhīm (uncle)

Lut (Arabic: لوط, romanizedLūṭ, [luːtˁ]), also known as Lot in the Old Testament, is a prophet and messenger of God in the Quran.[1][2] According to Islamic tradition, Lut was born to Haran and spent his younger years in Ur, later migrating to Canaan with his uncle Abraham.[3] He was sent to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as a prophet,[4] and was commanded to preach to their inhabitants on monotheism.

Though Lut was not born among the people he'd been sent to preach to, the people of Sodom are still regarded as his "brethren" in the Quran.[5] Like the Biblical narrative, the Quran states that Lut's messages were ignored by the inhabitants of the cities, and Sodom and Gomorrah were subsequently destroyed. The destruction of the cities is traditionally presented as a warning against homosexuality in Islam as well as other things.

While the Quran does not elaborate upon Lut's later life, Islam holds that all prophets were examples of moral and spiritual 'righteousness'.[clarification needed]


Muslims maintain that Abraham's father was Aazar (Arabic: آزر, romanizedĀzar), which could be derived from the Syriac Athar,[6] who is known in the Hebrew Bible as Terah. Abraham had two children, Isaac and Ismael, who both later became prophets. Abraham's nephew is said to have been the prophet Lut, who was one of the other people who migrated with Abraham out of their community. Abraham himself is said to have been a descendant of Nuh through his son Shem.[7]

Quranic narrative

The Quran states that one day, a group of angels visited Abraham as guests in the guise of men[8] in order to inform him of the fact that his wife Sarah was pregnant with Isaac. While there, they also told him that they had been sent by God to the "guilty people"[9] of Lut[10] to destroy them[11] with "a shower of stones of clay".[12] Lut and those who believed in him, were to be spared, but his wife was to die in the destruction, with the angels stating that "she is of those who lag behind".[13][14] The Quran also draws upon Lot's wife as an "example for the unbelievers" as she was married to a righteous man but refused to believe in his message and was thus condemned to Hell.[3][15]

The people of the twin cities transgressed against the bounds of God. According to the Quran, their sins included inhospitality and robbery [16] they hated strangers and robbed travellers, apart from other abuses and rape. It was their sin of sexual misconduct as well which was seen as particularly egregious, with Lut strongly chiding them for approaching men with sexual desire instead of women.[17][18] Lut told and tried to help them to abandon their sinful ways, but they ridiculed him[16] and threatened to evict him from the cities.[19] Lut prayed to God and begged to be saved from the consequences of their sinful acts.[3][20]

Then three angels, disguised as handsome males, came to Lut as guests. He grieved the men, as he felt powerlessness to protect them from the people of the cities.[21] The cities' residents becoming aware of the visitors demanded that Lot surrender his guests to them.[22] Distressed and fearful that they would incur the wrath of God, suggested rather lawful marriage to his daughters[23] as pious and purer alternatives to their unlawful wishes, and perhaps as a source of guidance.[24] But they were unrelenting and replied "You certainly know that we have no need for your daughters. You already know what we desire!",[25] referring to his male guests.

The exegetes Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi and Tabari do not read 'daughters' to mean Lot's literal daughters. They argue that since a prophet is like a father to his nation, Lot was directing the evildoers to turn away from their sins and engage in healthy and pious relationships with the daughters of the nation, i.e. women in general.[26]

The angels then revealed their true identities to Lot and said to him, “Indeed, we will save you and your family, except your wife; she is to be of those who remain behind"[3] They advised Lot to leave the cities during the night, telling him not to look back.[27] Keeping his faith in God, Lot left the cities in the darkness of night, bringing with him his followers and believing family members. Finally, morning came, and the Decree of God passed whereupon the Quran reads, “When Our command came, We turned the cities upside down and rained down on them clustered stones of baked clay,“[28] And thus was sealed the fate of the twin cities, falling into destruction and despair and marking the end of the civilisations of Sodom and Gomorrah.[3]

Other mentions in the Quran

Lut is referenced a relatively large number of times in the Quran.[3] Many of these passages place the narrative of Lut in a line of successive prophets including Noah, Hud, Salih and Shuayb.[29] Islamic scholars have stated that these particular prophets represent the early cycle of prophecy as described in the Quran.[3] These narratives typically follow similar patterns: a prophet is sent to a community; the community pays no heed to his warnings but instead threatens him with punishment; God asks the prophet to leave with his followers and the community and its people are subsequently destroyed in a punishment.[30] Elsewhere in the Quran, Lut is mentioned alongside Ismael, Elisha and Jonah as men whom God favored above the nations.[31]


Main article: LGBT in Islam

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All schools of Islamic jurisprudence state that homosexual sex is a sin, based in part on the story of Lot.[32] Because the Quran states that Lot berated his people for sexually pursuing men, in addition to attempting to assault strangers, the incident is traditionally seen as demonstrating Islam's disapproval of both rape and homosexuality (even though it's never explicitly said why Lot actually berated those men).[33] Lot's struggle with the people of the twin cities is seen as either concerning homosexuality in general or specifically homosexual anal sex. These interpretations have sometimes widened to condemn homosexuality beyond the physical act, including psychological and social dispositions.[32][undue weight? ]


Many Muslims believe that Bani Na'im in Palestine houses the tomb of Lot in the center of the town. The tomb is located within a rectangular mosque with an inner court and minaret. The lintel of the mosque's northern gate is built from stones dating to the Byzantine era when a church had possibly stood at the site. Bani Na'im's association with Lot predates Islam, as the works of the Catholic scholar Jerome[34] in the 4th century CE state that the tomb is located in a town named Capharbaricha, which is likely the former name of Bani Na'im.[35]

Tradition holds that the tomb of his daughters is located on a nearby hill.[36] To the southeast of Bani Na'im is a shrine dedicated to Lot, known as Maqam an-Nabi Yaqin ("Shrine of the Truthful Prophet"). Local legend claims Lot prayed at the site and that the imprints of his feet are still visible in a rock there.[37] Similar alleged footprints of prophets and other holy men are found at Islamic shrines throughout the Middle East.[38]

See also


  1. ^ Quran 26:161
  2. ^ Wheeler, Brannon M. (2002). Prophets in the Quran: an introduction to the Quran and Muslim exegesis. Comparative Islamic studies. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8264-4957-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Noegel, Scott B.; Wheeler, Brannon M. (2010). "Lot". The A to Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated. pp. 118–126. ISBN 978-0810876033. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ Hasan, Masudul. History of Islam.
  5. ^ Quran 50:13
  6. ^ Geiger 1898 Judaism and Islam: A Prize Essay, p. 100
  7. ^ "Ibrahim". Encyclopedia of Islam, Online version.
  8. ^ Quran 15:51
  9. ^ Quran 15:58: "They replied, “We have actually been sent to a wicked people."
  10. ^ Quran 11:70: And when he saw that their hands did not reach for the food, he became suspicious and fearful of them. They reassured ˹him˺, “Do not be afraid! We are ˹angels˺ sent ˹only˺ against the people of Lot.”
  11. ^ Quran 29:31: When Our messenger-angels came to Abraham with the good news ˹of the birth of Isaac˺, they said, “We are going to destroy the people of this city ˹of Sodom˺, for its people have persisted in wrongdoing.”
  12. ^ Quran 51:33: "to send upon them stones of ˹baked˺ clay,"
  13. ^ Quran 29:32: He said, “But Lot is there!” They responded, “We know best who is there. We will certainly save him and his family—except his wife, who is one of the doomed.”
  14. ^ Quran 15:59-60
  15. ^ Quran 66:10
  16. ^ a b Quran 29:29
  17. ^ Quran 7:80-82
  18. ^ Quran 26:165-166
  19. ^ Quran 7:82
  20. ^ Quran 26:169
  21. ^ Quran 11:77
  22. ^ Quran 54:37
  23. ^ Quran 11:78
  24. ^ Quran 15:71
  25. ^ Quran 11:79
  26. ^ Tafsir Ibn Kathir 11:77
  27. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2 May 2006). The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 380. ISBN 9781134339747. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  28. ^ Quran 11:82
  29. ^ Quran 11:89
  30. ^ Al-Qadi, Wadad (1988). "The Term "Khalifa" in Early Exegetical Literature". Die Welt des Islams. 28 (1): 400. doi:10.2307/1571186. JSTOR 1571186.
  31. ^ Quran 6:86
  32. ^ a b El-Rouayheb, Khaled (2005). "Sodomites". Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800. University of Chicago Press.
  33. ^ Habib, Samar (2009). Islam and Homosexuality. Abc-Clio. p. 206. ISBN 9780313379000.
  34. ^ Sharon, Moshe (1999). "Bani Na'im". Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae (CIAP) Volume Two: B-C. BRILL. p. 12. ISBN 9004110836. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  35. ^ Stone, Michael E. (2006). Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and Armenian Studies. Collected Papers: Volume I. Peeters. p. 693.
  36. ^ Finn, 1877, p. 291 Archived 12 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Sharon, 1999, 15 Archived 5 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Renard, John (2015). The Handy Islam Answer Book. Visible Ink Press. p. 173.