PROPHET AYUB / AYYUB
Prophet Ayyub’s (Peace be upon Him/ Alayhis Salam) English name is Job. This story of prophet Ayyub (AS) is different to other prophets, as Allah focused on the characteristics of prophet Ayyub (AS), by showing us how prophet Ayyub (AS) was steadfast after facing setbacks, illnesses etc. The story of Ayyub (AS) is important for us, as it talks about patience and we will all face hardships in life. Lessons of patience to learn from him after many catastrophes and disasters that had fallen on him. And he do not apostate from Islam because of a calamity befalling on him.
Ibn Ishaaq stated that he was a man of Rum. His name was Job, Ibn Mose, Ibn Razeh, Ibn Esau, Ibn Isaac (pbuh), Ibn Abraham (pbuh). Someone else said he was Job, Ibn Mose, Ibn Rimil, Ibn Esau, Ibn Isaac, Ibn Jacob. There have also been other statements on his lineage. Ibn Asaker narrated that his mother was a daughter of Lot (pbuh). It was said, also that his father was one who believed in Abraham (pbuh) when he was cast into the fire.
The first opinion is the most plausible, because he was a descendant of Abraham's offspring as Allah Almighty declared: "That was Our proof which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All Knowing. And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob, each of them We guided and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good doers. Quran Surah Anam 6:83-84
And remember Our servant Job, when he called to his Lord, "Indeed, Satan has touched me with hardship and torment." [So he was told], "Strike [the ground] with your foot; this is a [spring for] a cool bath and drink." And We granted him his family and a like [number] with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for those of understanding. [We said], "And take in your hand a bunch [of grass] and strike with it and do not break your oath." Indeed, We found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed, he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah ]. Quran Surah Sad 38:41
Allah the Almighty praised His worshipper Job in His Glorious Quran: "Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance to Us!" Quran Surah Saad 38:44
Job (pbuh) was repentant, remembering Allah with thankfulness, patience, and steadfastness. This was the cause of his rescue and the secret of Allah's praising him.
A group of angels were discussing Allah's other human creatures, how those who were humble earned Allah's pleasure, while those who were arrogant incurred His displeasure. One of the angels remarked: "The best creature on earth today is Job, a man of noble character who displays great patience and always remembers his Generous Lord. He is an excellent model for the worshippers of Allah. In return, his Lord has blessed him with a long life and plenty of servants, as well as the needy and the poor share in his good fortune; he feeds and clothes the poor and buys slaves to set them free. He makes those who receive his charity feel as if they are favoring him so kind and gentle is he."
Iblis(Satan’s head) overhearing all of this, became annoyed. He planned to tempt Job to corruption and disbelief, so he hastened to him. He tried to distract Job from his prayers by whispering him about the good things in life but Job was a true believer and would not let evil thoughts tempt him. This disturbed Iblis even more; thus he began to hate Job even more.
Iblis complained to Allah about Job. He said that although he was continuously glorifying Allah he was not doing so out of his sincerity but to satisfy Allah so that his wealth should not be taken away. It was all a show, all out of greed. "If You remove his wealth then You will find that his tongue will no longer mention Your name and his praying will stop."
Allah told Iblis that Job was one of His most sincere devotees. He did not worship Him because of the favors; his worship stemmed from his heart and had nothing to do with material things. But to prove to Iblis the depth of Job's sincerity and patience, Allah allowed him to do whatever he and his helpers wished with Job's wealth.
Iblis was very happy. He gathered his helpers and set about destroying Job's cattle, servants and farms until he was left with no possessions. Rubbing his hands in glee, Iblis appeared before Job in the guise of a wise old man and said to him: "All your wealth is lost, some people say that it is because you gave too much charity and that you are wasting your time with your continuous prayers to Allah. Others say that Allah has brought this upon you in order to please your enemies. If Allah had the capacity to prevent harm, then He would have protected your wealth."
True to his belief, Job replied: "What Allah has taken away from me belongs to Him. I was only its trustee for awhile. He gives to whom He wills and withholds from whom He wills." With these words, Job again prostrated to his Lord.
When Iblis saw this, he felt frustrated,so he again addressed Allah: "I have stripped Job of all his possessions, but he still remains grateful to You. However he is only hiding his disappointment, for he places great store by his many children. The real test of a parent is through his children. You will see how Job will reject You."
Allah granted Iblis authority but warned him that it would not reduce Job' faith in His Lord nor his patience.
Iblis again gathered his helpers and set about his evil deeds. He shook the fountain of the house in which Job's children were living and sent the building crashing, killing all of them. Then he went to Job disguised as a man who had come to sympathize with him. In a comforting tone he said to Job: "The circumstances under which your children died were sad. Surely, your Lord is not rewarding you properly for all your prayers." Having said this, Iblis waited anxiously hoping Job was now ready to reject Allah.
But again Job disappointed him by replying: "Allah sometimes gives and sometimes takes. He is sometimes pleased and sometimes displeased with our deeds. Whether a thing is beneficial or harmful to me, I will remain firm in my belief and remain thankful to my Creator." then Job prostrated to his Lord. At this Iblis was extremely vexed.
Iblis called on Allah. "O my Lord, Job's wealth is gone, his children are dead, and he is still healthy in body, and as long as he enjoys good health he will continue to worship You in the hope of regaining his wealth and producing more children. Grant me authority over his body so that I may weaken it. He will surely neglect worshipping You and will thus become disobedient."
Allah wanted to teach Iblis a lesson that Job was a devoted slave of his Lord so He granted Iblis his 3rd request but placed a condition: "I give you authority over his body but not over his soul, intellect or heart, for in these places reside the knowledge of Me and My religion."
Armed with this new authority, Iblis began to take revenge on Job's body and filled it with disease until it was reduced to mere skin and bone and he suffered severe pain. But through all the suffering Job remained strong in his faith, patiently bearing all the hardships without complaining. Allah's righteous servant did not despair or turn to others for help but remained hopeful of Allah's mercy. Even close relatives and friends deserted him. Only his kind, loving wife stayed with him. In his hour of need, she showered her kindness on him and cared for him. She remained his sole companion and comforter through the many years of suffering.
Ibn Asaker narrated: "Job was a man having much wealth of all kinds; beats, slaves, sheep, vast lands of Haran and many children. All those favors were taken from him and he was physically afflicted as well. Never a single organ was sound except his heart and tongue, with both of which he glorified Allah, the Almighty all the time day and night. His disease lasted for along time until his visitors felt disgusted with him. His friends kept away from him and people abstained from visiting him. No one felt sympathy for him except his wife. She took good care of him, knowing his former charity and pity for her."
Therefore Iblis became desperate. He consulted his helpers, but they could not advise him. They asked : "How is it that your cleverness cannot work against Job, yet you succeeded in misleading Adam the father of man, out of Paradise?"
Iblis went to Job's wife in the form of a man. "Where is your husband?" he asked her.
She pointed to an almost lifeless form crumbled on the bed and said: "There he is, suspended between life and death."
Iblis reminded her of the days, when Job had good health, wealth and children. Suddenly, the painful memory of years of hardship overcame her, and she burst into tears. She said to Job: How long are you going to bear this torture from our Lord? Are we to remain without wealth, children or friends forever? Why don't you call upon Allah to remove this suffering?"
Job sighed, and in a soft voice replied: "Iblis must have whispered to you and made you dissatisfied. Tell me how long did I enjoy good health and riches?" She replied: "eighty years."
Then Job replied: "How long am I suffering like this?" She said: "seven years."
Job then told her: "In that case I am ashamed to call on my Lord to remove the hardship, for I have not suffered longer than the years of good health and plenty. It seems your faith has weakened and you are dissatisfied with the fate of Allah. If I ever regain health, I swear I will punish you with a (hundred) strokes! From this day onward, I forbid myself to eat or drink anything by your hand. Leave me alone and let my Lord do with me as He pleases."
رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
Transliteration: Rabbi Anni Mas-sane Yaz-Zuru wa Anta Arhamur Raahimeen.
And [mention] Job, when he called to his Lord, "Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful." Quran Surah Anbiya 21:83
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: When Allah healed Ayub, He sent upon him a shower of golden locusts, and he started to pick them up and gather them in his garment. It was said to him, "O Ayub, have you not had enough!'' He said, "O Lord, who can ever have enough of Your mercy! Tibrani 3/75
Crying bitterly and with a heavy heart, she had no choice but to leave him and seek shelter elsewhere. In this helpless state, Job turned to Allah, not to complain but to seek His mercy:
"Verily! distress has seized me and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy." so We answered his call, and we removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us." Quran SurahAnbiya 21:83-84
Almighty Allah also instructed: "Remember Our slave Job, when he invoked His Lord saying: "Verily! Satan has touched me with distress (by losing my health) and torment (by losing my wealth)!" Allah said to him: "Strike the ground with your foot: This is a spring of water to wash in and cool and a refreshing drink." And We gave him back his family, and along with them the like thereof as a Mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who understand." Quran Surah Sad 38:41-43
Job obeyed and almost immediately his good health was restored. Meanwhile, his faithful wife could no longer bear to be parted from her husband and returned to him to beg his forgiveness, desiring to serve him. On entering her house, she was amazed at the sudden change: Job was again healthy! She embraced him and thanked Allah for His mercy.
Job was not worried, for he had taken an oath to punish her with a hundred strokes if he had regained health but he had no desire to hurt her. He knew if he did not fulfill the oath, he would be guilty of breaking a promise to Allah. Therefore in His wisdom and mercy, Allah came to the assistance of His faithful servant and advised him: "take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith your wife, and break not your oath. " Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance to Us!" (Ch 38:44)
And remember Our slave Ayub, when he invoked his Lord (saying): "Verily, Shaytan has afflicted me with distress and torment!''
It was said that "distress'' referred to bodily afflictions and "torment'' referred to the loss of his wealth and children.
Then the Most Merciful of those who show mercy responded to him, telling him to stand up and strike the ground with his foot. He did this, and Allah caused a spring of water to flow. He commanded him to wash in it, and all the pain and affliction in his body disappeared. Then He commanded him to strike the ground in a different place, and Allah caused another spring to flow, and Ayub was commanded to drink from it. Then all his internal problems disappeared, and he became healthy again, inside and out. Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Tafseer of Surah Sad 38:41-43
Narrated Abu Huraira(R):The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "While Job was naked, taking a bath, a swarm of gold locusts fell on him and he started collecting them in his garment. His Lord called him, 'O Job! Have I not made you rich enough to need what you see? He said, 'Yes, O Lord! But I cannot dispense with your Blessing."' Sahih al-Bukhari 3391 (Vol.4:604)
All the cards the shaytaan played all failed. Now that prophet Ayyub (AS) regained his health, wealth and his children he was now faced with a dilemma. The dilemma was the oath he took he would lash his wife. he did not want to lash his wife because he loved his wife and because she stood by him when all his friends left him to rot.
She stood by him because she remembered the good days when he looked after her when he was rich, and she stood by him also because his love to her was real.
But prophet Ayyub (AS) had to stand by his oath because he said wallahi, but the prophets never beat up any of their wives, so he was in a dilemma. When Allah (SWT) saw the plight of Ayyub (AS), Allah (SWT) gave him a way to get out of this predicament.
[We said], "And take in your hand a bunch [of grass] and strike with it and do not break your oath." Indeed, We found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed, he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah ]. Quran Surah Sad 38:44So Allah (SWT) told him to take 100 strands of grass and hit her once. Allah (SWT) told him to use grass because grass cannot hurt.
This is how he got out of the predicament he was in. There are many lessons to be learnt from this story.
ALLAH KNOWS BEST
Stories of the prophets by Ibn kathir