The Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) was one of the descendants of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and a nephew of Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him). He was sent to reform the people who lived in the desert situated in the north eastern corner of Palestine. When Ayub (Job) was chosen to be the Prophet, he started to teach the people about God and His religion. He advised the people to do good and shun evil. As usual with all the Prophets very few people believed in him in the beginning but gradually the number of his followers began to increase.
The Prophet Ayub was Well Off
The Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) was a prosperous man with firm faith in Allah. He possessed vast farms, enormous wealth, many cattle and valuable property but these things did not make him arrogant. His wealth provided him with a medium by means of which he sought Allah's grace.
The Prophet Ayub Displays Patience
The Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) was a pattern of humility and faith in Allah. He was very patient. He suffered from a number of calamities but did not utter a single word of complaint. One day his big farm was attacked by the thieves. They killed many of his servants and carried away forcibly all his cattle. The Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) did not feel sorry at this loss and thanked Allah.
After some time the roof of the house fell down and many members of his family were crushed. The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was much shocked but he held fast to his faith in Allah. He neither shed a tear nor heaved a sigh. He prostrated before the Almighty. He remarked that possessions and children were the gifts from Allah. If He had taken His things, it was useless to lament over their loss.
After a few years Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) suffered from skin disease. His parts of body were covered with loathsome sores. He had many ugly looking ulcers on his face and hands. The sores were full of worms. It is narrated that he picked up those worms which fell from his abscess and praised Allah for creating them.
Above all, his false friends attributed his calamities to his sins. They ridiculed and looked down upon him. All the persons deserted him with the exception of his faithful wife, Rahima. She also grew tired of him in the long run and prayed for his death. She cursed her husband for retaining integrity in Allah. When Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) was in an extremely pathetic condition he prayed:
"Truly adversity has afflicted me and You are Most Merciful of all who show mercy." (Surah 21: Verse 83)
Allah accepted his prayer. The Holy Quran affirms:
"Then We heard his prayer and removed that adversity from which he suffered, and We gave him his household and the like thereof along with them, a mercy from Our store and remembrance for the worshippers." (Surah 21: Verse 84)
The Prophet Ayub Recovers and Prospers
Allah turned to him with mercy. He was commanded to strike the earth with his foot. He complied with the order and water from the spring gushed forth. He took a bath with the water and got cured from his evil disease. After this he was restored to prosperity. The Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) knelt and prayed expressing a deep sense of gratitude to Allah. He never forgot His favours, mercy and love.
The Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) was one of the celebrated Prophets. His example illustrates: that those who remain patient under the stress of all circumstances, are never deprived of high rewards. The Holy Quran affirms:
"And surely we try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and crops, but give glad-tidings to the steadfast, who when a misfortune befalls them, say lo! we are Allah's (possession of Allah) and to Him shall we surely return. · Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly-guided." (Surah 2 : Verse 155-157)
Prophet Job (Ayyub) is a Prophet who is cited in the Qur’an. His name is Ayyub Ibn Mus. His wife was from the children of Jacob. Prophet Job had a lot of property in the land of Ash-Sham, money, livestock, and many children and servants.
Prophet Job was thankful to God for all these endowments upon him. Job called the people to worship God only. He ordered the people with the good acts and forbade them from committing sinful acts.
The Afflictions upon Prophet Job
Then, God afflicted Prophet Job by making him lose all his money. Then, all his children died. Then, Job became ill with a very severe sickness that remained for 18 years. God did not tell us in the Qur’an what the sickness was, nor did our Prophet tell us. However, it is known that it was an extreme sickness that did not make Prophet Job repulsive to the people. No Prophet had a repulsive illness that would drive the people away from him.
This illness did not cause worms to emerge from his body, as some said, nor did his flesh fall off of his body as some claim. All of that is repulsive and does not occur to a Prophet. Also, Prophet Job was not dumped on garbage for seven years as some Jews said.
Job was inflicted with this severe illness for so long, that his patience with his illness became famous. People would say, “This requires the patience of Job,” using him as an example of a patient person.
The Patient Wife of Job
The people got tired with serving Job through this extremely long illness, except his wife who remained patient with him. One day, she could not find anything to feed her husband. She did something that she should not have done. She cut her hair and sold it to the wife of a rich man. Job’s wife used that money to buy food for Prophet Job.
When she offered the food to her husband Job, he asked her, “From where did you get the money to buy this food?” Job’s wife said, “Do not ask, and just eat”. However, Prophet Job insisted to know from where she got the money. Then, she told her husband Job how she had cut her hair and had sold it to buy that food.
Prophet Job became angry with her, for the sake of God. It was forbidden in the rules of Prophet Job, as it is forbidden in the rules now, for a woman to cut her hair and sell it to someone who will use that hair to braid it into her own hair. Both the one who sells it and the one who buys it and uses it are sinful. Prophet Muhammad said that in a hadith. Prophet Job swore that when he got cured from his sickness, that he would whip his wife one hundred lashes because of her doing this.
A man who used to visit Prophet Job apostatized. The devil whispered to him that Prophets are not hit with afflictions. Hence, this man believed Prophet Job must have committed an enormous sin. Prophet Job was very sad concerning the apostasy of this man. Then Prophet Job asked God to cure him, and God gave the cure.
One day, after eighteen years of sickness, Prophet Job left for an errand. He met an angel who ordered Prophet Job to strike the ground with his foot. Prophet Job did so and water sprang out of the ground. The angel told him to bathe with the water and drink from it. Prophet Job did so and became healthy, as he had been before. As well, God made Prophet Job youthful again.
Prophet Job’s wife became worried due to the length of time Job was away. She went out to look for him. When Job’s wife saw him, she did not recognize him with his youthful appearance. She asked him, “O slave of God, have you seen the Prophet of God, the one who is inflicted with illness? You resemble him greatly.” Prophet Job told her, “It is I”. Then she recognized her husband. God also made Job’s wife youthful again, as a reward for her patience with the illness of her honorable husband. God gave them a great amount of money and more than 20 children.
Concerning the oath that Prophet Job made to lash his wife when he was cured, God revealed something that made it easy on the wife. God revealed to Prophet Job to take a palm branch with 100 leaves and to strike his wife with it once. This would fulfill his vow. God ordered that as a reward to the wife of Job for being so patient with her husband’s illness.
It was narrated that Prophet Job died at the age of 93 years. There was a man called Al-Mukhshabiyy who said something wrong about Prophet Job. He said that Prophet Job got inflicted with the illness because he obeyed the devil. This is a false statement and a Prophet would never obey the devil.
Praise to God, the One Who enabled us to narrate the true story of the honorable Prophet Job.