Abraham and Lot (11:69 – 11:76)

Abraham and Lot

[11:69] When our messengers went to Abraham with good news, they said, “Peace.” He said, “Peace,” and soon brought a roasted calf.
[11:70] When he saw that their hands did not touch it, he became suspicious and fearful of them. They said, “Do not be afraid, we are being dispatched to the people of Lot.”
[11:71] His wife was standing, and she laughed when we gave her the good news about Isaac, and after Isaac, Jacob.
[11:72] She said, “Woe to me, how could I bear a child at my age, and here is my husband; an old man? This is really strange!”
[11:73] They said, “Do you find it strange for GOD? GOD has bestowed His mercy and blessings upon you, O inhabitants of the shrine. He is Praiseworthy, Glorious.”
[11:74] When Abraham’s fear subsided, and the good news was delivered to him, he proceeded to argue with us on behalf of Lot’s people.
[11:75] Indeed, Abraham was clement, extremely kind, and obedient.
[11:76] “O Abraham, refrain from this. Your Lord’s judgment has been issued; they have incurred unavoidable retribution.”

Why did Abraham argue for the guilty people, but not for his own son when he thought that God wanted him to kill him – why?

There may have been a number of years for Abraham to grow his understanding from the time between these two events.

Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born
– Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born

The angels in tell Abraham in 11:76 to “refrain” and he does even later in his life when he thinks God inspired him to kill his son he did just that.

Abraham may have interpreted one command coming directly from God while the other from only the angels. Similar to Moses with his teacher (18:60). Tough to understand that when the angles carry out a command (or any of God’s messengers) it is no different than God making that command.

One God/ One Message/ One Religion

[21:25] We did not send any messenger before you except with the inspiration: “There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone.” [21:26] Yet, they said, “The Most Gracious has begotten a son!” Glory be to Him. All (messengers) are (His) honored servants. [21:27] They never speak on their own, and they strictly follow His commands. 

Many translations mistranslate “This is really strange” as “This is a wonderful thing” in 11:72.

11:72
Khalifa – She said, “Woe to me, how could I bear a child at my age, and here is my husband, an old man? This is really strange!”
Yusuf Ali – She said: “Alas for me! shall I bear a child, seeing I am an old woman, and my husband here is an old man? That would indeed be a wonderful thing!”
Pickthal – She said: Oh woe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man ? Lo! this is a strange thing!
Shakir – She said: O wonder! shall I bear a son when I am an extremely old woman and this my husband an extremely old man? Most surely this is a wonderful thing.
Sher Ali – She said, `Oh, woe is me ! Shall I bear a child when I am an extremely old women and this my husband also is a very old man ? This is indeed a strange thing !’

38:5
Khalifa – “Did he make the gods into one god? This is really strange.”
Yusuf Ali – Has he made the gods (all) into one God? Truly this is a wonderful thing!”
Pickthal – Maketh he the gods One God ? Lo! that is an astounding thing.
Shakir – What! makes he the gods a single God? A strange thing is this, to be sure!
Sher Ali –`What ! has he made all the gods into one God ? This is, indeed, an astounding thing.’  

50:2
Khalifa – They found it strange that a warner from among them came to them! The disbelievers said, “This is really strange. Yusuf Ali But they wonder that there has come to them a Warner from among themselves. So the Unbelievers say: “This is a wonderful thing!
Pickthal – Nay, but they marvel that a warner of their own hath come unto them; and the disbelievers say: This is a strange thing:
Shakir – Nay! they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves, so the unbelievers say: This is a wonderful thing:
Sher Ali – But they wonder that there has come to them a Warner from among themselves. And the disbelievers say, `This is a strange thing.

Do angels come as a form of a man to people other than messengers?

See 18:60 – Moses and his teacher. Moses teacher appears to be an angel and was doing things that showed that he was engaging with the general population during his time.

Ark of the Covenant

[2:248] Their prophet said to them, “The sign of his kingship is that the Ark of the Covenant will be restored to you, bringing assurances from your Lord, and relics left by the people of Moses and the people of Aaron. It will be carried by the angels. This should be a convincing sign for you, if you are really believers.” 

[13:11] Shifts (of angels) take turns, staying with each one of you—they are in front of you and behind you. They stay with you, and guard you in accordance with GOD’s commands. Thus, GOD does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change. If GOD wills any hardship for any people, no force can stop it. For they have none beside Him as Lord and Master.

How do we understand when it refers to Abraham as “clement, extremely kind, and obedient”?

Abraham offered a roasted calf to strangers who came by that he does not know. Just shows how kind he was.

There are numerous times the Quran refers to “three days”

[2:196] You shall observe the complete rites of Hajj and`Umrah for GOD. If you are prevented, you shall send an offering, and do not resume cutting your hair until your offering has reached its destination. If you are ill, or suffering a head injury (and you must cut your hair), you shall expiate by fasting, or giving to charity, or some other form of worship. During the normal Hajj, if you break the state of Ihraam (sanctity) between `Umrah and Hajj, you shall expiate by offering an animal sacrifice. If you cannot afford it, you shall fast three days during Hajj and seven when you return home – this completes ten – provided you do not live at the Sacred Masjid. You shall observe GOD, and know that GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.  

[3:41] He said, “My Lord, give me a sign.” He said, “Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three days, except through signals. Commemorate your Lord frequently; and meditate night and day.”

[5:89] GOD does not hold you responsible for the mere utterance of oaths; He holds you responsible for your actual intentions. If you violate an oath, you shall atone by feeding ten poor people from the same food you offer to your own family, or clothing them, or by freeing a slave. If you cannot afford this, then you shall fast three days. This is the atonement for violating the oaths that you swore to keep. You shall fulfill your oaths. GOD thus explains His revelations to you, that you may be appreciative.  

[11:65] They slaughtered her. He then said, “You have only three days to live. This is a prophecy that is inevitable.”

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