ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا امْرَأَتَ نُوحٍ وَامْرَأَتَ لُوطٍ
God presents the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot as an example for those who disbelieve. (At-Tahrīm 66:10)
We may inquire about the Divine wisdom for mentioning the wives of the Prophets Noah and Lot in the Qur’ān.
It is understood from the totality of the verse above that the wife of Lot did not believe in Lot and helped people commit their detestable acts. At least, she must have been among the hypocrites who betrayed Prophet Lot, upon him be peace. Hypocrites are worse than unbelievers in respect to their situation in the Hereafter.
Furthermore, Prophet Lot was a foreigner in the community to which he was sent as a Prophet. He did not grow up among them. The verse, “O! Would that I had power to resist you!” (Hūd 11:80), indicates this. Thus, if a Prophet who is deprived of the physical power to resist against external attacks is betrayed by one from his own family, especially by his wife with whom he shares his life, the dreadfulness of this betrayal is easily understood. This explains why the Qur’ān mentions the betrayal of Lot’s wife.
Similar things can be said of the wife of Noah, too. Reward comes in proportion to the hardship suffered, or hardship is suffered in proportion to the reward expected or given. Therefore, Noah’s wife was in the house of one of the five greatest Prophets of God, which was illumined with Divine Revelation and where there was communication with the realms beyond the heavens. Any member of this home was expected to benefit from the Divine Revelation more than all others, but as stated in the verse, “Though for the wrongdoers it (the Divine Message) increases them only in ruin” (Al-Isrā’ 17:82), Noah’s wife saw the light of the Revelation as darkness, turned remedy into pain, and became lost along the way leading to triumph. Mentioning her case will kindle the fire of fear of God in hearts and open the door ajar to the hope of salvation.
There have always been so many people like these two unfortunate women that although they have been brought up in a pure environment, they have not been able to feel the breezes blowing in that environment, have lived with Hellish feelings and thoughts in so warm an atmosphere as Paradise, traveled through unbelief and betrayal in a ground from where the feelings of faith burst up, sided with unbelievers against the Prophets or the Divine Messages conveyed by the Prophets, and tried to extinguish God’s light. Without being able to appreciate the blessings they have been given, they have ruined themselves and transformed their possible benefits into loss. According to the rule, “One who incurs loss and harm knowingly and willingly is not worth pitying and showing compassion;” they have lost the right or worthiness of being pitied and enjoying mercy. In other words, they have lived in the darkness of distance or remoteness in the horizon of nearness to God and have been stuck in black holes in the climates where the sun shines.
O our Lord! Grant us goodness in this world and in the Hereafter and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. Amen, O the All-Aiding!