chapter
LUT’S WIFE
Pages 1

The wife of Lut (Lot), referred to as Waliha in extra-Qur

) anic sources, appears

along with Noah’s wife (Waligha or Wa

) ila) in 66.10 as ‘an example for those

who disbelieve’. Though these women ‘were under two of our righteous servants’, they were not faithful to their husbands. The Qur

) an does not elaborate

on the specifics of their misdeeds, but in the classical exegetical literature their sins often include wifely disobedience. Some commentators suggest that Lot’s

wife was in league with the sinners of his town, and provided them with information and support. She is repeatedly referred to as ‘among those who lag behind’ when Lot’s household flees the destruction visited on the inhabitants of the city (11.81; 15.60; 27.57; 29.33; 37.135). The earthly fate of Noah’s wife is not

explicitly described in the Qur ) an. Most

interpreters state that she was among

those members of Noah’s family ‘against whom the pronouncement has already gone forth’ (23.27; 11.40); thus she was drowned in the flood. A few exegetes, though, hold that she was saved from the flood only to betray Noah later. Modern exegeses stress that both of

these women are held responsible for their own sins, as all disbelievers will be. This point is strengthened by the Qur

) a-

nic juxtaposition of their stories with that of Asiya (66.11), wife of the sinful Pharaoh, who achieves reward on her own merits and is not tarnished by his evil deeds.