Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And Ayyub, when he cried to his Lord…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 604 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) 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.”‘
The Story of Prophet Ayyub [Job]
Ibn Ishaaq stated that he was a man of Rum. His names was Job Ibn Mose Ibn Razeh Ibn Esau Ibn Isaac Ibn Abraham. Someone else said he was Job Ibn Mose, Ibn Rimil Ibn Esau Ibn Isaac Ibn Jacob. There have also been other statements in his lineage. Ibn Asaker narrated that his mother was a daughter of Prophet Lot.It was said, also, that his father was one who believed in Abraham when he was cast into the fire.
The first opinion is the most plausible as he was a descendant of Abraham’s offspring as Allah Almighty declared:
“That was the reasoning about Us which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) We guided: and before him We guided Noah and before him We guided Noah and among his progeny David Solomon Job Joseph Moses and Aaron: thus do We reward those who do good” Quran 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-returning in repentance to Us” Quran 38:44
Job 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 displease, 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 excellent 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 riches, yet he is never haughty or selfish. His family, his 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, overhearing all 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 to him about the good things in life, but Job was a true believer and would not let evil thoughts tempt him. This disturbed Iblis 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 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 bought 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 a while. 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 disapointment, for he places great store by his many children. The real test of a parent is through him children. You will then see how Job will reject You”
Allah granted Iblis authority, but warned him that it would not reduce Job’s faith in his Lord nor his patience.
Iblis again gathered his helpers and set about his evil deeds. He shook the foundation 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 disapointed 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 again called on Allah:
“O my Lord, Job’s wealth is gone, his children are dead, but 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 with thus becomes disobedient”
Allah wanted to teach Iblis a lesson that Job was a devoted servant of his Lord, so He granted Iblis his third 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 string 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 many years of his suffering.
Ibn Asaker narrated:
“Job was a man having much wealth of all kinds: beasts, 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 a long time until his visitors felt disgusted with him. His friend 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 crumpled 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 yeas 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, “For eighty years”
Then Job asked, “How long am I suffering like this?”
She said, “for seven years”
Then Job 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 from 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 him and seek shelter elsewhere. In his helpless state, Job turned to Allah, not to complain but to seek His mercy:
“Verily, distress has seized me, and You and 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”
Almighty Allah also instructed:
“Commemorate Our servant Job behold he cried to his Lord: “The Evil One has afflicted me with distress and suffering”! (The command was given:) “Strike with thy foot: here is (water) wherein to wash cool and refreshing and (water) to drink.” And We gave him (back) his people and doubled their number as a Grace from Ourselves and a thing for commemoration for all who have Understanding.” Quran 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 beg his forgiveness, desiring to serve him. On entering he house, she was amazed at the sudden change: Job was again healthy! She embraced him and thanked Allah for His mercy.
Job was now worried, for he had taken an oath to punish her with a hundred strokes if he 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:
“And 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” Quran 38:44
Abu Huraira (ra) narrated that the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said: “While Job was naked, taking a bath, a swarm of locusts fell on him, and he started collecting them in his garment. His Lord called him: ‘O Job! Have I not made you too rich to need what you see?’ He said: ‘Yes, O Lord! But I cannot shun Your Blessings” (Bukhari).
Volume 3, Book 36, Number 462 :
Narrated by Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu)
I went to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) with two men from Ash’ari tribe. I said (to the Prophet), “I do not know that they want employment.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “No, we do not appoint for our jobs anybody who demands it earnestly.”
This is good proof that you don’t give the job to anyone who wants it. They have to be eligible for it, the criterion for eligibility having been decided by the employer.
At the same time, we’re encouraged to offer ourselves for any jobs that we know we’re eligible for. Shying away from such an opportunity isn’t the right thing to do. This is the sunnah of Prophet Yusuf (`alayhissalaam):
قَالَ اجْعَلْنِى عَلَى خَزَآئِنِ الاٌّرْضِ إِنِّى حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ
“Yusuf said: “Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge.” [12:55]
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 277:
Narrated ‘Ubai bin ‘Umar:
Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu) asked Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) to admit him but he was not admitted as ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) was busy, so Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu) went back. When ‘Umar finished his job he said, “Didn’t I hear the voice of ‘Abdullah bin Qais (radiallaahu `anhu)? Let him come in.” ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) was told that he had left. So, he sent for him and on his arrival, he (Abu Musa) said, “We were ordered to do so (i.e. to leave if not admitted after asking permission thrice). ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) told him, “Bring witness in proof of your statement.” Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu) went to the Ansar’s meeting places and asked them. They said, “None amongst us will give this witness except the youngest of us, Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallaahu `anhu). Abu Musa then took Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallaahu `anhu) (to ‘Umar) and ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said, surprisingly, “Has this order of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) been hidden from me?” (Then he added), “I used to be busy trading in markets.”
Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) admitted that he was unaware of that statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) because his trade used to keep him busy. He didn’t have enough time to spend in the company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and increase his knowledge like some other Companions did, for example Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu).
Isn’t this the case with many of us today? Something or the other keeps us away from increasing our knowledge about Islam, be it studies, work or whatever else. While it’s not wrong to be busy with this stuff, one must try their level best to take out time for Deen as well. Depending on your situation and circumstances, you MUST be involved in some sort of Islamic classes or courses. If weekdays are busy, join weekend classes. If commuting is an issue, study online. There are a lot of options nowadays and you know you don’t have an excuse to not study Islam anymore. Take action now. Yes, Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) didn’t have as much knowledge of the Hadith as Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) so to speak, but he didn’t become the second caliph for no reason. Get it?
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 275:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A time will come when one will not care how one gains one’s money, legally or illegally.”
How did the Companions earn their livelihood? [Examples of halaal earning]
- Trade, as in the case of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan and ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (may Allaah be pleased with him).
- Agriculture, whether they owned farmland or worked on the land; many of the Muhaajireen and Ansaar were involved in this.
- Skilled crafts, such as smithery, carpentry and so on.
- Jobs that were connected to the state, such as teaching, collecting zakaah, judging and so on.
- Earnings acquired through jihad, such as war booty
Some jobs are haraam in and of themselves, such as working in riba-based banks and places where alcohol is sold. Some may be haraam because of things in the work-place that are contrary to sharee’ah, such as mixing between men and women, or because it is stipulated that one should wear haraam clothing or do other things that are contrary to sharee’ah, such as shaving the beard. It is not permissible for the Muslim to do either type of job.
Jobs of the second type vary in the degree to which they are haraam. The one which incurs the greatest burden of sin is that which involves writing down or recording riba (usury), then that which involves selling or manufacturing haraam things, then that in which the workplace environment is haraam. The last category should not be taken lightly, because it has an impact on the religious commitment and conduct of the worker, especially the fitnah of women which was the first fitnah of the Children of Israel and is the most harmful fitnah for the Muslim man, as our Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us.
If mixing between men and women is something that happens in your country and you can hardly find any job that is free of that, and you think that your being in that job will be beneficial and that you will be able to put a stop to some of that evil and reduce some of it, and you will be able to advise the employees who are under your authority, enjoining them to do what is good and forbidding them to do what is evil as much as you can, and you can take precautions and measure which will help you avoid the fitnah of women – such as hastening to get married if you are not married, not looking at them or being alone with them – and if the work requires you to sit with some of the female employees you can leave the door of the office open and not sit close to them and so on… then we think that your being present in the workplace and achieving some of the interests of sharee’ah and reducing some evils, is better than keeping the workplace devoid of the righteous and leaving it to those who do not pay any attention to religion or to the rulings of sharee’ah, so that these evils become more widespread and it becomes more difficult to fight them. How many teachers and university professors have taught in mixed institutions and Allaah has benefited many through them, and warded off a great deal of evil. We hope by Allaah’s grace that you will be one of them.
However, if you think, after taking the job, that you cannot adhere to your religious commitment and that you are being pulled into haraam gradually, then you have no choice but to leave that job immediately. If a person gives up something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better than it, as the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said.
The Life Expectancy of males in Pakistan is 64 and a half years. Assuming that is how long I would live, I have already spent more than 1/3rd of my life. How much time in these years have I spent working and worrying for the life that’s NEVER GOING TO END? And how much have I worked for the few more scores of my life left in more than 22 years I have been breathing?
We are told by our parents and relatives “Beta, bas matric he sab kuch hai. Iskay marks sari zindagi sath chalnay hain. Achay college main chalay gaye tou agay asanian hongi (Son, Matric is everything. These marks will be with you all your life. You would have ease ahead if you get into a good college).”
When you get in a good college this statement changes to “Beta, bas FSc main achay marks le lo. Entry test k liye achi achi tayyari karlo. Aik baar achi university chalay gaye tou kuch ban k he niklo ge (Son, just take good marks in FSc. Prepare well for the entry test. Once you get into a good university you’ll come out as something at least).”
After you’re in a good university they tell you to work hard since your job depends on GPA. Be presentable in the interview. Don’t keep your pants above your ankles it won’t look good. Do anything you can but just get a job. You won’t get married without it of course.
Once you have a job it’s still not over. You have to keep working hard and harder. This is the age. You’re young and can work hard. This is the age. Do something for your wife and kids. Make the rest of your life easy for you.
Rest of my life? That’s a joke right? Because I’m 40 and my body has started to become weak now. I get tired easily. I can’t do the things that I “dreamed” of doing. What was the ease that I was looking for? Where is the “whole life ahead of me” that I was promised I would be able to enjoy?
Oh but wait, I’ve made a lot of money. I have a good name among people. They respect me because of my status – my worldly status. Now I can use this status to trap other youngsters into this game. I’ll do that because I lived my life this way and now this world is all I see. I’ve been institutionalized. It all makes sense to me. This is all that matters. Dying is easy now, since I’ve achieved my purpose in life. This is how our lives are supposed to go. This is how our lives do go….
It’s sad. It really is. This is what happens to most of us. This is what is happening to most of us.
I graduate in 2 months, if Allah wills. I’ve gone through all of this and still going through it. There are times when you just stop and think what are you doing? How many books have you read, yet not read the Quran with understanding? How you’ve stayed up all nights to prepare for your exam tomorrow, yet not stayed up even part of a night to prepare for the exam in the hereafter. How you’ve felt your nerves stretch for the fear of your result, yet you feel ease about the only result that would really matter. You get headaches thinking about what you would say in the interview, yet you do not get headaches thinking how you would answer the Lord of the Worlds.
It almost drives you crazy sometimes. Just look at the sky, and imagine these stars falling over you. Put your hand on the fire and imagine yourself burning, your whole body, for about 10 minutes? You can’t even imagine to bear the pain. Gives you the chills.
Or feel the gentle breeze touching your skin, the peace and calm you feel inside by it. Then imagine Jannah, the rewards Allah has promised. It leaves you immovable for a while.
We’re all in this mess. And I won’t tell you how to “escape” from this, for we all have different problems and you’ll have to find your way out of yours. Just remember if you’re sincere about your Akhirah and you rely on Allah then HE WILL get you through this. You’ll find a way out of it if you truly rely on Allah.
That is what the messengers did when they were threatened by their people.
“And why should we not rely upon Allah while He has guided us to our [good] ways. And we will surely be patient against whatever harm you should cause us. And upon Allah let those who would rely [indeed] rely.”
There are a million things one can keep writing, but the crux of it all is this: WE NEED TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT OUR LIVES. We need to stop worrying so much about our worldly life and start worrying more about our AFTERLIFE! The Quran is full of examples. We might read the translation but we seldom think upon it. I know I don’t. Because when you start contemplating upon the words of Allah then you start seeing how wrong you are living your life they way you’re living. We are lying to ourselves, all of us to some extent, and we need to stop that. We need to wake up before it’s too late and when there’s nothing left but regret. This is a reminder to myself first and foremost…
And Allah is the source of all strength. May He grant us enough to wake up to the reality of this world and do more for our hereafter than we do for this world. All good is from Allah and only the mistakes are mine.