Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to us:
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|The Lake of Lut, or Dead Sea|
(The Messengers) said: “O Lut! We are Messengers from thy Lord! By no means shall they reach thee! now travel with thy family while yet a part of the night remains, and let not any of you look back: but thy wife (will remain behind): To her will happen what happens to the people. Morning is their time appointed: Is not the morning nigh?” (Surah Hud: 81)
And they even sought to snatch away his guests from him, but We blinded their eyes. (They heard:) “Now taste ye My Wrath and My Warning.” Early on the morrow an abiding Punishment seized them: (Surat al-Qamar: 37-38)
But the (mighty) Blast overtook them before morning, And We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay. Behold! in this are Signs for those who by tokens do understand. And the (cities were) right on the high-road. (Surat al-Hijr: 73-76)
When Our Decree issued, We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay, spread, layer on layer,-Marked as from thy Lord: Nor are they ever far from those who do wrong! (Surah Hud: 82-83)
But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! : Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. (Surat ash-Shuara: 172-175)
We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you?
For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women : ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.”
And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”
But we saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who legged behind.
And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime! (Surat al-Araf: 80-84)
|The Lake of Lut, or Dead Sea as differently called.|
On the eastern shore of the Dead Sea the peninsula of el-Lisan protrudes like a tongue far into the water. El-Lisan means “the tongue” in Arabic. Unseen from the land the ground falls away here under the surface of the water at a prodigious angle, dividing the sea into two parts. To the right of the peninsula the ground slopes sharply down to a depth of 1200 feet. On the left of the peninsula the water remains remarkably shallow. Soundings taken in the last few years established depths of only fifty to sixty feet. That extraordinary shallow part of the Dead Sea, from the peninsula el-Lisan to the southernmost tip, was the Vale of Siddim.
|Photographs of the Lake of Lut taken from satellite.|
|An illustration showing the volcanic eruption and the collapse that followed it, which caused the whole people to disappear.|
Together with the base of this mighty fissure, which runs precisely through this area, the Vale of Siddim, including Sodom and Gomorrah, plunged one day into the abyss. Their destruction came about through a great earthquake which was probably accompanied by explosions, lightning, issue of natural gas and general conflagration. The subsidence released volcanic forces that had been lying dormant deep down along the whole length of the fracture. In the upper valley of the Jordan near Bashan there are still towering craters of extinct volcanoes; great stretches of lava and deep layers of basalt have been deposited on the limestone surface.
|Overhead view of the mountains around the Lake of Lut|
|Above is a fresco representing the luxury and prosperity of the city of Pompeii before the disaster. Down are petrified corpses unearthed in excavations made in Pompeii.|
But the lava of Vesuvius wiped the whole city off the map in a single moment. The most interesting aspect of the event is that nobody escaped despite the terrible violence of the eruption of Vesuvius. It is almost like they did not even notice the catastrophe, as if they were charmed. A family eating their meal were petrified right at that moment. Numerous petrified couples were found in the act of intercourse. The most interesting thing is that there were couples of the same sex and couples of young boys and girls. The faces of some of the petrified human corpses unearthed from Pompeii were unharmed. The general expression on those faces was bewilderment.
Here lies the most incomprehensible aspect of the calamity. How did thousands of people wait to be caught by death without seeing and hearing anything?
|Model of neurons firing in the brain. Researchers may have accidentally hit on a trigger spot for déjà vu in the hypothalamus. (Credit: iStockphoto/Kiyoshi Takahase)|