English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 11: Hud — Hud (Revealed at Makkah: 10 sections, 123 verses)

Section 7 (Verses 11:69–11:83): Abraham and Lot


وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَاۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ بِالۡبُشۡرٰی قَالُوۡا سَلٰمًا ؕ قَالَ سَلٰمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ اَنۡ جَآءَ بِعِجۡلٍ حَنِیۡذٍ ﴿۶۹﴾

11:69 And certainly Our messengers came to Abraham with good news.1 They said: ‘Peace!’ ‘Peace!’, said he. And he made no delay in bringing a roasted calf.

فَلَمَّا رَاٰۤ اَیۡدِیَہُمۡ لَا تَصِلُ اِلَیۡہِ نَکِرَہُمۡ وَ اَوۡجَسَ مِنۡہُمۡ خِیۡفَۃً ؕ قَالُوۡا لَا تَخَفۡ اِنَّاۤ اُرۡسِلۡنَاۤ اِلٰی قَوۡمِ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ؕ۷۰﴾

11:70 But when he saw that their hands did not reach to it, he mistrusted them and conceived fear of them. They said: Do not fear; we have been sent to Lot’s people.

وَ امۡرَاَتُہٗ قَآئِمَۃٌ فَضَحِکَتۡ فَبَشَّرۡنٰہَا بِاِسۡحٰقَ ۙ وَ مِنۡ وَّرَآءِ اِسۡحٰقَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ ﴿۷۱﴾

11:71 And his wife was standing (by), so she wondered.2 Then We gave her the good news of Isaac, and beyond Isaac, of Jacob.3

قَالَتۡ یٰوَیۡلَتٰۤیءَ اَلِدُ وَ اَنَا عَجُوۡزٌ وَّ ہٰذَا بَعۡلِیۡ شَیۡخًا ؕ اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَشَیۡءٌ عَجِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۲﴾

11:72 She said: O wonder!4 Shall I bear a son when I am an extremely old woman, and this my husband an extremely old man? This is a wonderful thing indeed!

قَالُوۡۤا اَتَعۡجَبِیۡنَ مِنۡ اَمۡرِ اللّٰہِ رَحۡمَتُ اللّٰہِ وَ بَرَکٰتُہٗ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اَہۡلَ الۡبَیۡتِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ حَمِیۡدٌ مَّجِیۡدٌ ﴿۷۳﴾

11:73 They said: Do you wonder at Allah’s commandment? The mercy of Allah and His blessings be on you, people of the house!5 Surely He is Praised, Glorious.

فَلَمَّا ذَہَبَ عَنۡ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ الرَّوۡعُ وَ جَآءَتۡہُ الۡبُشۡرٰی یُجَادِلُنَا فِیۡ قَوۡمِ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ؕ۷۴﴾

11:74 So when fear departed from Abraham and good news came to him, he began to plead with Us for Lot’s people.

اِنَّ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَحَلِیۡمٌ اَوَّاہٌ مُّنِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۵﴾

11:75 Surely Abraham was forbearing, tender-hearted, oft-returning (to Allah).

یٰۤـاِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ اَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ ہٰذَا ۚ اِنَّہٗ قَدۡ جَآءَ اَمۡرُ رَبِّکَ ۚ وَ اِنَّہُمۡ اٰتِیۡہِمۡ عَذَابٌ غَیۡرُ مَرۡدُوۡدٍ ﴿۷۶﴾

11:76 O Abraham, cease from this. Surely the decree of your Lord has gone forth and a punishment must come to them which cannot be averted.

وَ لَمَّا جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَا لُوۡطًا سِیۡٓءَ بِہِمۡ وَ ضَاقَ بِہِمۡ ذَرۡعًا وَّ قَالَ ہٰذَا یَوۡمٌ عَصِیۡبٌ ﴿۷۷﴾

11:77 And when Our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved for them, and he was unable to protect them, and said: This is a distressful day!

وَ جَآءَہٗ قَوۡمُہٗ یُہۡرَعُوۡنَ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ وَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ السَّیِّاٰتِ ؕ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ بَنَاتِیۡ ہُنَّ اَطۡہَرُ لَکُمۡ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ لَا تُخۡزُوۡنِ فِیۡ ضَیۡفِیۡ ؕ اَلَـیۡسَ مِنۡکُمۡ رَجُلٌ رَّشِیۡدٌ ﴿۷۸﴾

11:78 And his people came to him, (as if) driven on towards him, and they were used to the doing of evil deeds before. He said: My people, these are my daughters — they are purer for you; so guard against (the punishment of) Allah and do not disgrace me about my guests. Is there not among you any right-minded man?6

قَالُوۡا لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَا لَنَا فِیۡ بَنٰتِکَ مِنۡ حَقٍّ ۚ وَ اِنَّکَ لَتَعۡلَمُ مَا نُرِیۡدُ ﴿۷۹﴾

11:79 They said: Certainly you know that we have no claim on your daughters, and you know what we desire.

قَالَ لَوۡ اَنَّ لِیۡ بِکُمۡ قُوَّۃً اَوۡ اٰوِیۡۤ اِلٰی رُکۡنٍ شَدِیۡدٍ ﴿۸۰﴾

11:80 He said: If only I had the power to repel you! — rather I shall have recourse to a strong support.7

قَالُوۡا یٰلُوۡطُ اِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّکَ لَنۡ یَّصِلُوۡۤا اِلَیۡکَ فَاَسۡرِ بِاَہۡلِکَ بِقِطۡعٍ مِّنَ الَّیۡلِ وَ لَا یَلۡتَفِتۡ مِنۡکُمۡ اَحَدٌ اِلَّا امۡرَاَتَکَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ مُصِیۡبُہَا مَاۤ اَصَابَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ مَوۡعِدَہُمُ الصُّبۡحُ ؕ اَلَـیۡسَ الصُّبۡحُ بِقَرِیۡبٍ ﴿۸۱﴾

11:81 They said: Lot, we are the messengers of your Lord. They shall not reach you. So travel with your people for a part of the night — and let none of you turn back — except your wife. Surely whatsoever befalls them shall befall her. Surely their appointed time is the morning. Is not the morning near?

فَلَمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُنَا جَعَلۡنَا عَالِیَہَا سَافِلَہَا وَ اَمۡطَرۡنَا عَلَیۡہَا حِجَارَۃً مِّنۡ سِجِّیۡلٍ ۬ۙ مَّنۡضُوۡدٍ ﴿ۙ۸۲﴾

11:82 So when Our decree came to pass, We turned them upside down, and rained on them stones, as decreed, one after another,8

مُّسَوَّمَۃً عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ ؕ وَ مَا ہِیَ مِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ بِبَعِیۡدٍ ﴿٪۸۳﴾

11:83 marked (for punishment) with your Lord. And it is not far off from the wrongdoers.9


  1. Whether they were angels or men, is not made clear here or anywhere else in the Quran. But as they did not partake of food, and the fact that they brought to Abraham news of a son and of the destruction of Lot’s people, they are generally looked upon as angels who appeared in the similitude of men.
  2. It is made clear in 51:24–34 that the news of the birth of a son was given to Abraham first. This explains Sarah’s wonder. It was after receiving the good news of the birth of a son that Abraham was informed of the destruction of Lot’s people. The statement made further on that Sarah was given the good news of the birth of a son is by way of reassurance on her expression of wonder, and to give the further news of a son’s son, Jacob.
  3. Compare Genesis 18:10–12. The mention of a son’s son (Jacob) was to show that that son should have progeny. The word warā’ (“beyond”) also means a son’s son. Elsewhere Jacob is expressly called nāfilah (21:72) which means a grandson.
  4. The original words yā wailatā, while used to express grief and sorrow, are also used to express wonder.
  5. Ahl al-bait (“people of the house”) includes the wife of a person; in fact, it is Abraham’s wife who is primarily addressed here. The same phrase in the case of the Holy Prophet (33:33) includes his wives as well as his children.
  6. Lot, it appears from Genesis 19:9, was a stranger in the city, and the messengers being strangers, the townsmen would not allow him to keep them. Lot offered his daughters as hostages so that he might be allowed to keep his guests with him, for according to 15:70 he had not permission to allow any stranger to come under his roof. Another view is that Lot offered his daughters for marriage, as thus he would not be a stranger among them but would be one of them. Some commentators have suggested that Lot did not point to his real daughters, but to women of the tribe, because a prophet would speak of the women of his tribe as his daughters, and in that case he did no more than point to the natural relation of man and woman. The answer of his people seems, however, to relate to his daugh­ters.
  7. Allah is the strong support to Whom the righteous have recourse when they are in trouble. The particle au signifies or, as well as rather.
  8. It was a severe earthquake, which so utterly demolished the cities as to turn them upside down. In 15:73 it is called a rumbling that precedes an earth­quake; see 7:84. The raining down of stones might have been the result of a volca­nic eruption which was accompanied by an earthquake.
  9. The concluding words indicate a reversion to the subject of the punish­ment of the opponents of the Holy Prophet. It refers to the punishment.