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We read in the Quran , that the past nations like the tribe of Aad, Lut were destroyed for their sins and some of the Bani Israel were transformed into animals for breaking the laws, but after coming of the last Prophet Muhammad we seldom see such mass destruction where entire nations are destroyed even though many nations or people are committing sins far much worse then nations of past.

Does coming of the last prophet have anything to do with this? and what is the reason for this respite?

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The nations of the past received clear admonition and guidance (with the means of prophets). The people were warned of their disbelief & actions and were commanded to do good. However the people disobeyed and then faced the destructive consequences of their actions.

This is contrasted with the modern world, where the majority of people on Earth do not even know what Islam is. Even the people who claim they know about Islam, often carry only misconceptions about the religion that is portrayed very poorly by the media. How can they reject Islam if it was never presented to them properly?

On the other hand we find many Muslim communities today who do not withhold the tenets of their own faith and only profess Islam by their lips. They have largely not fulfilled their obligations of conveying the message of Islam to the masses and should arguably be more worried about this lesson in history.

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Whenever God sends a prophet to a nation, they clarify the message of God to the last degree. When the nation does not follow the messenger, with the only reason that they don't want to give up their ways, then God makes a small demonstration of what He is going to do on the Judgement Day. If the messenger has not gained enough strength in the land, it is done by destroying the nation by some natural disaster and saving the prophet for it. These are normally the cases which you mentioned for Aad and Lut.

If the prophet gains enough following, then the same punishment comes from the hands of prophet's followers. This happend two times in known history. Once for Prophet Musa (PBUH) and other for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This "azab-e-elahi" is the one mentioned in Surah Tawbah

This ONLY happens when the messenger of God is alive. Since there will no more prophets after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), then this type of "azab-e-elahi" will not come to any nation now.

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There are three types of punishments. The third and the worst punishment of this time before the judgement day is people dividing themselves into groups or Firqay and fighting with each other and killing each other. (see sura Al-Anam ayat 65) First is the punishment from the sky happened to people of Nuh AS, the second from below the ground happened to people of Lut AS.

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