﴿34﴾ إِنَّا مُنزِلُونَ عَلَي أَهْلِ هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ رِجْزاً مِنَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ
﴿35﴾ وَلَقَد تَّرَكْنَا مِنْهَآ ءَايَةً بَيّـِنَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
34. “ Verily We are bringing down upon the people of this town a punishment from heaven for what they were transgressing.”
35. “ And certainly We have left a clear sign of it for a people who have sense.”
The repetition of sin and persisting to its doing cause the descent of the chastisement of Allah.
The acquaintance with the philosophy of history and being acquainted with past generations are regarded by the Qur’ān. In order that the fate of this polluted group of people might be made more clear in their mission, the Qur’ān adds:
town a punishment from heaven for what they were
The objective of the Qur’ānic word /qaryah/ (town) is ‘Sudūm’ and the cities and towns around it where the people of Lot used to live. The population of them has been mentioned seven hundred thousand people. And the objective of the Arabic term /rijz/ here is ‘punishment’. Its original meaning is ‘anxiety’, then everything that causes anxiety is called /rijz/
 Rūh-ul-Bayān, Vol. 6, P. 467
and thus Arabs use it in a lot of senses, like harsh afflictions, plaque, intensive snow and hail, idol, the temptation of Satan, and Divine punishment.
The Qur’ānic sentence /bimā kānū yafsuqūn/ (for what they were transgressing) states the cause of their painful punishment that was transgression and disobedience from the command of Allah, and its application in future form of the verb is an indication to the continuation of their ugly deeds.
This meaning shows this fact that if those people stopped the continuation of it and returned to the path of right, piety and purity, they would not he involved in such a punishment and their past sins would be forgiven.
In this verse the manner of their painful punishment has not been explained, and it only refers to the ruins of their afflicted and non-afflicted cities, when it says:
who have sense.”
But the explanation of their punishment is referred to in Sura Hūd, No. 11, verse 82 and Sura Al-’A‘rāf, No 7, verse 84, implying that at first a severe earthquake turned their cities upside down and then a shower of stone rained on them in a way that their bodies and their ruined cities and castles were buried under it.
The application of the Qur’ānic phrase /’āyatan bayyinatan/ (a clear sign) refers to the remaining of the city of ‘Sudūm’ which, according to the verses of the Qur’ān, was located alongside the way of the caravans of the people of Medina and Mecca and they could see it at the advent of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.), as Sura Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 76 says: “It is on a way (yet) remaining.”, and Sura As-Sāffāt, No. 37, verse 137-138 says: “Verily you pass by their (cities) by day,” “And by night; will you not ponder?”