They are meant to serve as a warning to us of what happens to people who do not follow in the way of Allah.
Prophet Lut’s community
The society in which Prophet Lut (A.S.) lived must have been very much like the society in which we live, where natural laws governing the behaviour of men and women toward each other are not any longer respected. What is naturally right has become wrong and what is naturally wrong has become right, and all types of dishonesty and wickedness abound. Somehow, people who try to live in the way of Allah, who try to be clean and pure, honest and trustworthy, who are fearful of Allah, these people are scorned and disliked and made fun of. As you read the story of Prophet Lut (A.S.), remember that Allah’s punishment for wrongdoers is never far away and that those who fear Allah are surely rewarded.
Prophet Lut (A.S.) attempted to get his people to turn from their wicked ways. He would say to them, “Won’t you fear Allah? I am a trustworthy messenger, so fear Allah and obey me. I don’t ask for any reward from you. My reward is from the Lord of the Worlds. Of all the creatures on this earth, you alone approach males, and leave the women whom Allah has created for you to be your mates. You are people who sin beyond all limits.”
The people knew that Prophet Lut (A.S.) and his followers were leading a much cleaner and purer life than their own. Deep down in their hearts they knew that what he said was true, but they didn’t like being told so. So they would say, “If you don’t stop your preaching, you will surely be driven out of town!”
He in turn would reply, “I do detest your doings. O my Lord! Deliver me and my family from such things as they do!”
Now, at about the same time that Allah sent angels as messengers to Ibrahim , to foretell the birth of Ishaq , the angels also told Ibrahim that they had been sent to destroy the people in Prophet Lut’s (A.S.) township. His immediate reaction was, “But there is Lut there!” They replied, “We well know who is there. We will certainly save him and his following, except his wife. She is among those who lag behind.”
When the same messengers came to Prophet Lut (A.S.) , he was deeply concerned for their safety at the hands of his fellow townspeople, and he felt powerless to protect them. But they said, “Don’t be afraid and don’t grieve. We are here to save you and your followers.”
Just as Prophet Lut (A.S.) had feared, the townspeople came after his guests. He even tried to offer them his daughters for them to marry, if they would only leave his guests alone. But they tried to snatch away his guests anyway, until Allah blinded their eyes and they heard, “Now taste my anger and my warning.”
Prophet Lut Leaves
Then the angels conveyed their message to Prophet Lut (A.S.) . They said, “O Lut! We are messengers from your Lord. Travel with your family while yet a part of the night remains. You bring up the rear and don’t let anyone look back. But your wife will remain behind and to her will happen what happens to the people. Morning is the appointed time and it is not far off, so go!”
And Prophet Lut (A.S.) had faith in Allah and left his home and all he had ever known, for the sake of his Lord.
When morning came the cities were turned upside down. Brimstones as hard as baked clay rained down upon the cities and spread, layer on layer. Everyone and everything in the towns were destroyed. That was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime.
You can read about Prophet Lut in the Qur’an, Sura 7, Ayat 80-84; Sura 11, Ayat 63-83; Sura 15, Ayat 57-77; Sura 25, Ayat 160-175; Sura 25, Ayat 54-58; Sura 29, Ayat 26, 28-35; Sura 37, Ayat 133-138; Sura 51, Ayat 31-37; Sura 54, Ayat 33-39; Sura 66, Ayat 10.