Prophet Job (Ayoub)
Ibn Ishaaq stated that he was a man of Rum. His name was Job, Ibn Mose, IbnRazeh, Ibn Esau, Ibn Isaac (pbuh), Ibn Abraham (pbuh). Someone else saidhe was Job, Ibn Mose, Ibn Rimil, Ibn Esau, Ibn Isaac, Ibn Jacob. There havealso been other statements on his lineage. Ibn Asaker narrated that his motherwas a daughter of Lot (pbuh). It was said, also that his father was one whobelieved in Abraham (pbuh) when he was cast into the fire.
The first opinion is the most plausible, because he was a descendant of Abraham'soffspring as Allah Almighty declared: "That was Our proof which We gave Abrahamagainst his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lordis All-Wise, All Knowing. And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob, eachof 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.(Ch 6:83-84)
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 returningin repentance to Us! (Ch 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'spraising him.
A group of angels were discussing Allah's other human creatures, how thosewho were humble earned Allah's pleasure, while those who were arrogant incurredHis displeasure. One of the angels remarked: "The best creature on earthtoday is Job, a man of noble character who displays great patience and alwaysremembers his Generous Lord. He is an excellent model for the worshippersof Allah. In return, his Lord has blessed him with a long life and plentyof 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 makesthose who receive his charity feel as if they are favoring him so kind andgentle is he."
Iblis overhearing all of this, became annoyed. He planned to tempt Job tocorruption and disbelief, so he hastened to him. He tried to distract Jobfrom his prayers by whispering him about the good things in life but Jobwas a true believer and would not let evil thoughts tempt him. This disturbedIblis even more; thus he began to hate Job even more.
Iblis complained to Allah about Job. He said that although he was continuouslyglorifying Allah he was not doing so out of his sincerity but to satisfyAllah so that his wealth should not be taken away. It was all a show, allout of greed. "If You remove his wealth then You will find that his tonguewill no longer mention Your name and his praying will stop."
Allah told Iblis that Job was one of His most sincere devotees. He did notworship Him because of the favors; his worship stemmed from his heart andhad nothing to do with material things. But to prove to Iblis the depth ofJob's sincerity and patience, Allah allowed him to do whatever he and hishelpers wished with Job's wealth.
Iblis was very happy. he gathered his helpers and set about destroying Job'scattle, servants and farms until he was left with no possessions. Rubbinghis hands in glee, Iblis appeared before Job in the guise of a wise old manand said to him: "All your wealth is lost, some people say that it is becauseyou gave too much charity and that you are wasting your time with your continuousprayers to Allah. Others say that Allah has brought this upon you in orderto please your enemies. If Allah had the capacity to prevent harm, then Hewould have protected your wealth."
True to his belief, Job replied: "What Allah has taken away from me belongsto Him. I was only its trustee for awhile. He gives to whom He wills andwithholds from whom He wills." With these words, Job again prostrated tohis Lord.
When Iblis saw this, he felt frustrated, so he again addressed Allah: "Ihave stripped Job of all his possessions, but he still remains grateful toYou. However he is only hiding his disappointment, for he places great storeby 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 thefountain of the house in which Job's children were living and sent the buildingcrashing, killing all of them. Then he went to Job disguised as a man whohad come to sympathize with him. In a comforting tone he said to Job: "Thecircumstances under which your children died were sad. Surely, your Lordis not rewarding you properly for all your prayers." Having said this, Ibliswaited anxiously hoping Job was now ready to reject Allah.
But again Job disappointed him by replying: "Allah sometimes gives and sometimestakes. He is sometimes pleased and sometimes displeased with our deeds. Whethera thing is beneficial or harmful to me, I will remain firm in my belief andremain thankful to my Creator." then Job prostrated to his Lord. At thisIblis was extremely vexed.
Iblis called on Allah. "O my Lord, Job's wealth is gone, his children aredead, and he is still healthy in body, and as long as he enjoys good healthhe will continue to worship You in the hope of regaining his wealth and producingmore children. Grant me authority over his body so that I may weaken it.He will surely neglect worshipping You an will thus become disobedient."
Allah wanted to teach Iblis a lesson that Jo was a devoted servant of hisLord so He granted Iblis his 3rd request but placed a condition: "I giveyou authority over his body but not over his soul, intellect or heart, forin these places reside the knowledge of Me and My religion."
Armed with this new authority, Iblis began to take revenge on Job's bodyand filled it with disease until it was reduced to mere skin and bone andhe suffered severe pain. But through all the suffering Job remained strongin his faith, patiently bearing all the hardships without complaining. Allah'srighteous servant did not despair or turn to others for help but remainedhopeful 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 showeredher kindness on him and cared for him. She remained his sole companion andcomforter 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 weretaken from him and he was physically afflicted as well. Never a single organwas 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 a long timeuntil his visitors felt disgusted with him. His friends kept away from himand people abstained from visiting him. No one felt sympathy for him excepthis wife. She took good care of him, knowing his former charity and pityfor her."
Therefore Iblis became desperate. He consulted his helpers, but they couldnot advise him. They asked : "How is it that your cleverness cannot workagainst Job, yet you succeeded in misleading Adam the father of man, outof Paradise?"
Iblis went to Job's wife in the form of a man. "Where is your husband?" heasked her.
She pointed to an almost lifeless form crumbled on the bed and said: "Therehe 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 burstinto tears. She said to Job: "How long are you going to bear this torturefrom 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 youand made you dissatisfied. Tell me how long did I enjoy good health and riches?"
She replied: "80 years."
Then Job replied: "How long am I suffering like this?"
She said: "7 years."
Job then told her: "In that case I am ashamed to call on my Lord to removethe hardship, for I have not suffered longer than the years of good healthand plenty. It seems your faith has weakened and you are dissatisfied withthe fate of Allah. If I ever regain health, I swear I will punish you witha hundred strokes! From this day onward, I forbid myself to eat or drinkanything by your hand. Leave me alone and let my Lord do with me as He pleases."
Crying bitterly and with a heavy heart, she had no choice but to leave himand seek shelter elsewhere. In this helpless sate, Job turned to Allah, notto complain but to seek His mercy: "Verily! distress has seized me and Youare 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 tohim (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them as a mercy fromOurselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us." (Ch 21:83-84)
Almighty Allah also instructed: "Remember Our slave Job, when he invokedHis Lord saying: "Verily! Satan has touched me with distress (by losing myhealth) and torment (by losing my wealth)!" Allah said to him: "Strike theground with your foot: This is a spring of water to wash in and cool anda refreshing drink." And We gave him back his family, and along with themthe like thereof as a Mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who understand.(Ch 38:41-43)
Job obeyed and almost immediately his good health was restored. Meanwhile,his faithful wife could not longer bear to be parted from her husband andreturned to him to beg his forgiveness, desiring to serve him. On enteringher house, she was amazed at the sudden change: Job was again healthy! Sheembraced him and thanked Allah for His mercy.
Job was not worried, for he had taken an oath to punish her with a hundredstrokes if he had regained health but he had no desire to hurt her. He knewif he did not fulfill the oath, he would be guilty of breaking a promiseto Allah. Therefore in His wisdom and mercy, Allah came to the assistanceof His faithful servant and advised him: "take in your hand a bundle of thingrass and strike therewith your wife, and break not your oath." Truly! Wefound him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returningin repentance to Us!" (Ch 38:44)
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said: "While Job was naked, taking a bath, a swarm of gold locustsfell on him, and he started collecting them in his garment. His Lord calledhim: "O Job! Have I not made you too rich to need what you see?" He said:"Yes, My Lord! But I cannot shun Your Blessings." (Al Bukhari)
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