53. According to the details given of this in Surah Hud and Surah A1-Hijr, the angels who had been sent to bring the torment on the people of the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him), first came to the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and gave him the good news of the birth of the Prophet Isaac (peace be upon him) and after him of the Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him). Then they told him that they had been sent to destroy the people of Lot (peace be upon him).
54. “This habitation” refers to the territory of the people of Lot (peace be upon him). The Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) at that time resided in the Palestinian city of Hebron, now called Al-Khalil. A few miles to the southeast of this city lies that part of the Dead Sea, which was once inhabited by the people of Lot (peace be upon him) and which is now under sea water. It is a low lying area and is clearly visible from the hill country of Hebron. That is why the angels, pointing towards it, had said "We are going to destroy this habitation." See( E.N. 114 of Surah Ash- Shuara).
55. According to the initial part of this story as related in Surah Hud, the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) at first was perturbed to see the angels in human shape, for he knew that the coming of the angels in human shape was always a prelude to some dangerous mission. Then, when they gave him the good news, his fear was allayed and he came to know that they had been sent to the people of Lot (peace be upon him). Then he began making entreaties of mercy for those people (Surah Hud: Ayats 74-75), but his entreaties were not granted, and it was said: “Do not plead for them any more: your Lord’s decree has been issued, and the punishment now cannot be averted,” (Ayat 76). After this answer, when the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) lost all hopes of any increase in the respite of Lot’s (peace be upon him) people, he became anxious about the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) himself, and said, what has been related here: “Lot (peace be upon him) is there.” That is, “If the torment comes down when Lot (peace be upon him) is there, how will he and his household remain safe from it?”
56. According to (Surah Tahrim: Ayat 10), this woman was not faithful to the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him). That is why it was decreed that she too, would be afflicted with the torment in spite of being a Prophet’s wife. Most probably when the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) had come to Jordan after the migration and settled there, he might have married among the people living there. But the woman did not believe even after spending a lifetime with him, and her sympathies remained with her own people. As Allah has no consideration for relationships and brotherhoods and every person’s case is decided on the basis of his own faith and morality, even being a Prophet’s wife did not profit her in any way and she met her doom along with her own people with whom she had remained attached in faith and morality.
58. That is, “As for us, you should neither fear that they will in any way he able to harm us, nor be anxious about how you will protect us from them.” This was the time when the angels revealed their identity to the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him), and said that they were not men but angels, who had been sent to bring the scourge on his people. According to the elucidation in Surah Hud, when the people were rushing into Lot’s (peace be upon him) house and he felt that he could in no way save his guests from them, he cried out: “I wish I had the power to set you right, or I could find some strong support for refuge,” (Ayat 80). At this time the angels said: “O Lot, we are messengers sent by your Lord; they will not be able to harm you at all,” (Ayat 81).
62. This can have two meanings: (1) “Look forward to the life of Hereafter, and do not think that there is no life after this worldly life, when you will have to render an account of your deeds and be rewarded or punished accordingly.” (2) “Work righteously so as to meet a good end in the Hereafter.”
63. That is, “They did not believe that the Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him) was a Messenger of Allah and the teachings he gave were from Allah and that if they rejected him they would be punished by a torment from Allah.”
64. “Dwelling places”: the whole area and country inhabited by them.
65. Every Arab was acquainted with the lands where these two nations had lived. The whole of southern Arabia now known as Ahqaf, Yaman and Hadramaut, was the land of Aad in the ancient times, and the Arabs knew it. The whole area in the north of the Hijaz, from Rabigh to Aqabah and from Madinah and Khaiber to Taima and Tabuk. still abounds with Thamudic monuments, which must have been more prominent than they are today in the time when the Quran was being revealed.
66. That is, “They were not ignorant and foolish people, but were the most civilized people of their own times. They performed and carried out their worldly duties and chores very carefully and intelligently. Therefore, it cannot be said that Satan deluded them and pulled them on to his way by artifice and deception. Nay, they adopted the way shown by Satan with open eyes and with full understanding because it promised great pleasures and advantages; and they abandoned the way presented by the prophets because it appeared to be colorless, tasteless and troublesome due to moral restrictions.”
67. That is, “They could not have gotten away and escaped Allah’s grasp: they had no power to frustrate and defeat Allah’s plans and schemes.”
68. That is, Aad who were subjected to a furious windstorm which blew on them for seven nights and eight days continuously.
69. That is, Thamud.
70. That is, Korah.
71. That is, Pharaoh and Haman.
72. The stories that have been related in the foregoing verses, have been addressed and directed both to the believers and to the disbelievers. To the believers they have been addressed so that they do not feel discouraged and distressed at heart, and keep aloft the banner of the truth firmly and patiently even in the face of the severe persecutions and hardships, and should have full faith in Allah that His succor shall ultimately come, and He will frustrate the designs of the wicked people and make the word of the truth to prevail. On the other hand, these have been addressed to those wicked people also, who in their arrogance were bent upon exterminating the Islamic movement. They have been warned to the effect: “You have formed a wrong opinion about Allah’s forbearance and clemency. You think; that His is a lawless Kingdom. If you have not been seized so far for your rebellion and your tyrannies and wicked deeds and have been granted a long respite so that you may reform yourselves, you have inferred that there exists no power whatsoever which can call you to account, and that one can go on doing whatever one likes endlessly on this earth. This misconception will ultimately lead you to the same doom that has already been met by the peoples of Noah and Lot and Shuaib, (peace be upon them) and experienced by Aad and Thamud, and seen by Korah and Pharaoh.
73. All the above mentioned nations were involved in shirk, and their belief about their deities was that they were their supporters and helpers and guardians, and had the power to make or mar their destinies. So when they will have won their goodwill by worship and presentation of offerings, they will succor them in need and protect them against calamities and afflictions. But, as shown by the historical events cited above, all their beliefs and superstitions proved to be baseless when their destruction was decreed by Allah. Then no god, and no god incarnate, and no saint or spirit, and no jinn or angel, whom they worshiped came to their rescue, and they met their destruction with the realization that their expectations and beliefs had been false and futile. After relating these events, Allah is now warning the mushriks to the effect: The reality of the toy-house of expectations that you have built on your faith in the powerless servants and imaginary deities, apart from the real Master and Ruler of the universe, is no more than the cobweb of a spider. Just as a cobweb cannot stand the slightest interference by a finger, so will the toy-house of your expectations collapse in its first clash with the scheme of Allah. It is nothing but ignorance that you are involved in the web of superstition. If you had any knowledge of the reality, you would not have built your system of life on baseless props. The fact is that none other than the One Lord of the worlds in this universe is the Owner of power and authority, and His support is the only support which is reliable. “Now whoever rejects taghut and believes in Allah has taken a firm support that never gives way. And Allah hears everything and knows everything,” (Surah Al- Baqarah: Ayat 256).
74. That is, Allah knows fully the reality of those beings and things which they have taken as their deities and which they invoke for help. They are absolutely powerless. The Owner of power is only Allah, Who is controlling the system of this universe according to His own wisdom and design. Another translation of this verse can be: "Allah knows well that of those whom they invoke, apart from Him, are nonentities, and He alone is the All Mighty, the All-Wise.”
75. That is, the system of the universe is based on the truth and not on falsehood. Whoever ponders over this system with an unbiased mind will realize that the earth and the heavens owe their existence to reality and fact and not to superstition and fancy. Here there is no possibility that whatever a person may conceive in his mind and whatever philosophy he may invent out of his personal whim and conjecture should fit in with the system. Here only such a thing can succeed and endure, which is in harmony with the reality and actual fact. A structure that is raised on unreal presumptions and hypotheses will ultimately collapse when it clashes with the reality. The system of the universe clearly testifies that its Creator is One God, and One God alone is its Master and Disposer. If a person works against this basic reality on the presumption that this world has no God, or that it has many gods, who devour the offerings of their devotees and in return give them a license to do whatever they please and a guarantee to live in peace and happiness, the reality will not change due to his presumptions, but, on the contrary, he himself will some time meet with a grave disaster.
76. That is, a clear evidence exists in the creation of the earth and the heavens about the truth of Tauhid and the refutation of polytheism and atheism, but this evidence is found only by those who accept the teachings of the Prophets of Allah. Those who deny them do not find it even though they see everything.