Ayyub in the Quran has been mentioned four times. In reality, Ayyub or Job (pronounced as: /jōb/ like lobe) was a prophet, and a righteous and pious servant of God. Ayyub is known for his great patience before the calamities that befell him. As a matter of fact, Ayyub became the epitome of patience. In this article on Islam4u, we will take a look at:
Ayyub in the Quran Would Receive Revelation
Prophets of God have to communicate with God one way or another. Either they directly speak with God like Moses and certain other prophets, or they speak to Him through His angels. A person to whom God does not reveal His messages cannot be called a prophet. In other words, a prophet would be a prophet meaning nabiyy only if he can speak with and receive instructions from God directly or indirectly. Prophet Ayyub received revelation as explained in the following verse of the Quran:
إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيسَىٰ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَارُونَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا ﴿163﴾
We have indeed revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him, and [as] We revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, Jesus and Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon—and We gave David the Psalms— 1
Ayyub in the Quran Is From the Progeny of Ibrahim
Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham was the descendant of Prophet Noah. All the prophets after Prophet Ibrahim were from his progeny without any exception. For this reason, Prophet Ibrahim has been given the title Ab al-Anbiyā’ (أَبُ الانبياء) meaning the Father of Prophets. The Quran, after talking about Prophet Ibrahim, mentions this fact in the following verse:
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ كُلًّا هَدَيْنَا ۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿84﴾
And We gave him Isaac and Jacob and guided each of them. And Noah We had guided before, and from his offspring, David and Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron—thus do We reward the virtuous— 2
Prophet Ibrahim had two sons: Isaac and Ismail. The prophets of the Children of Israel are all from Isaac while the Noble Prophet of Islam descends from Ismail. Of course, there may have been other prophets from the lineage of Ismail as well. Prophet Ayyub was one of the descendants of Prophet Ibrahim through his son Prophet Isaac.
Ayyub in the Quran: The Calamities that Befell Ayyub
A group of verses of the Quran tell the story of Ayyub and the calamities that befell him in brief. Let us take a look at two verses:
وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿83﴾
And [remember] Job, when he called out to his Lord, ‘Indeed distress has befallen me, and You are the most merciful of the merciful.’
فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِ مِن ضُرٍّ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَابِدِينَ ﴿84﴾
So We answered his prayer and removed his distress, and We gave him [back] his family along with others like them, as a mercy from Us and an admonition for the devout. 3
The story is told with more detail in the following verses:
وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا أَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الشَّيْطَانُ بِنُصْبٍ وَعَذَابٍ ﴿41﴾
And remember Our servant Job [in the Quran]. When he called out to his Lord, ‘The devil has visited on me hardship and torment,’
﴿42﴾ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ ۖ هَٰذَا مُغْتَسَلٌ بَارِدٌ وَشَرَابٌ
[We told him:] ‘Stamp your foot on the ground; this [ensuing spring] will be a cooling bath and drink.’
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ ﴿43﴾
We gave [back] his family to him along with others like them, as a mercy from Us and an admonition for those who possess intellect.
وَخُذْ بِيَدِكَ ضِغْثًا فَاضْرِب بِّهِ وَلَا تَحْنَثْ ۗ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَاهُ صَابِرًا ۚ نِّعْمَ الْعَبْدُ ۖ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ ﴿44﴾
[We told him:] ‘Take a faggot in your hand and then strike [your wife] with it, but do not break [your] oath.’ Indeed, We found him to be patient. What an excellent servant! Indeed he was a penitent [soul]. 4
The story goes that Ayyub was a very righteous and devout servant of God who was also very rich yet appreciative to God of the blessings He had given him. Satan was infuriated at this. He told God, if He takes away his possessions, money, and children and in short his worldly things, he would not give thanks to Him. Therefore, Satan asked God to allow him to take these blessings away from him one by one.
Every time that he took away one blessing, Ayyub would still give thanks to God until another blessing was taken away, yet Ayyub was always thankful. Finally, Satan asked God to allow him to take away his children and affect his body. He was given the permission. Ayyub became extremely ill and people abandoned him. All along, Ayyub was still thankful of God. At this instant, Ayyub cried to God and asked Him to cure him. That is when God sent an angel that brought a stream of water underneath Ayyub’s feet. Ayyub immersed his feet in the cold water and drank a little from it and was cured. This is the reward of those who are extremely patient, like Ayyub.
Ayyub in the Quran: Ayyub’s Oath
Verse 44 of surah Ṣād speaks about an oath that Prophet Ayyub had sworn: To strike his wife with a piece of wood a number of times. Ibn Abbas reports that Satan went to Ayyub’s wife and said that I can heal your husband, provided that you tell him that I was the only one who healed him. Therefore, Ayyub’s wife accepts Satan’s offer and tells it to Ayyub. This is when Ayyub swears an oath to punish her by striking her with a piece of wood several times.
After Ayyub was cured, God reveals to him to take a bundle of very thin wood, the same number of times he had sworn to strike her, and attach them together and lightly strike her wife with it once so that his oath would not be broken. And, Ayyub did that and later lived a very happy life with his wife while being showered with the blessings of God.
Ayyub was a great prophet and servant of God who became the epitome of patience. Everything that he had was taken away from him in order for him to be tested by God. He passed the test and God gave back all that was taken away from him including, his property, children, and wealth. Ayyub is indeed a very good example for us to follow in terms of his patience.
- Quran 4:163 (Qara’i).
- Quran 6:84 (Qara’i).
- Quran 21:83-84 (Qara’i).
- Quran 38:41-44 (Qara’i).
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