The Story of Prophet Ayyub
Ibn Ishâq said that the Prophet Ayyub (Job) was Roman. His lineage was Ayyub Ibn Moos Ibn Razih Ibn ‛Ees ibn Ishaq Ibn Ibraheem (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them all).
However, others said that his lineage was Ayyub ibn Moos ibn Ra‛ooeel ibn ‛Ees ibn Ishâq ibn Ya’qoob (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them all).
Ibn Asakir reported that his mother was the daughter of Loot (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). It Is said that his father was among those who believed in Ibraheem (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) on the day he was thrown in the fire and was to be burnt but survived.
However, of all these opinions, the first opinion is the most popular because he was from the progeny of Ibraheem (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). This is seen in the saying of Allah:
“… and from his offspring Dawood, Sulaymân, Ayyub, Yusuf, Moosa and Hâroon…” (Qur’an 6:84)
In this verse, the pronoun ‘his’ is referring to Ibraheem and not Nooh (peace be upon them all).
He is one of those Prophets who are mentioned specially that they received revelations. This is seen in Soorah an-Nisâ :
“Indeed We have revealed to you as We revealed to Nooh and the Prophets after him. And We revealed to Ibraheem, Isma’eel, Ishâq, Ya’qoob, the tribes, ‘Eesa and Ayyub…” (Qur’an 4:163)
So the correct opinion is that he is from the progeny of ‛Ees Ibn Ishaq Ibn Ibraheem (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them all). As regards his wife's name, it is said she was Leea bint Ya‛qoob (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). Some others say that her name was Rahmah bint Ifratheem. Yet some others claim that she was Leea bint Mansa Ibn Ya‛qoob (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). This is the most popular opinion, and we have mentioned it here.
Allah said: "And Ayyub, when he called to his Lord, saying ‘Harm has inflicted me and You are the Most Merciful.' So We answered him and removed his affliction and We gave him his family and the like of them with them, as a mercy from Us and a reminder to Worshippers.'". (Qur’an 21:83-84)
And in Soorah Sâd:
“And mention Our slave Ayyub when he called his Lord, ‘The Shaytân has afflicted me with distress and torment.’ [Allah said], ‘Strike with your foot, this is [a spring of] water to wash in, cool and a [refreshing] drink.’ And We gave him his family and the like of thereof, as a mercy from Us and a reminder to those who understand.’ And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith and do not break your oath.’ Truly, We found him patient. How excellent a slave. Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance.” (Qur’an 38:41-44)
Qur’anic exegetes, historians and others said that Ayyub (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a wealthy man who owned all kinds of wealth, such as cattle, sheep and servants, and vast property in a place called Hoorân. He also had many children and large family.
Then all of this was taken away from him. His body was inflicted with different kinds of diseases to such an extent that there was no part of his body that was healthy except his heart and tongue with which he remembered Allah. All throughout this, he remained patient and remembered Allah all the time, during the night and day, and in the morning and the evening.
His illnesses prolonged for such a long time that even his friends deserted him and his relatives stayed away from him. He was expelled from his town and thrown upon a dunghill. Everybody left him except his wife who fulfilled her duties. She did this because of the many good times she had with him and due to her compassion for him. She used to come to him and help him out in his necessities. It came to such an extent that she became weak and her money almost finished. She was in such a difficult situation that she started working to earn wages in order to provide for her husband. May Allah be pleased with her. She remained patient with him even through hard times that hit them when they were inflicted with loss of money, children and her husband became very ill.
It is established in an authentic hadith that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said: "The most severely tried among the people are the Prophets. Then after them the righteous and then the likes and so on."
And said: "And man is put to trial according to the strength of his religion thus if his religion was strong, his trial increased." (Ahmad, vol 1, p. 172)
Mujahid is reported to have said that the Prophet Ayyub (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the first to be inflicted by smallpox.
Historians and scholars differed as regards the period of time he was inflicted with trials. Wahb ibn Munâbbih said that he suffered for three years, not more not less. Anas on the other hand said that he suffered for about seven years and a few months. Humayd said that the period was eighteen years. The severity of the disease has been described by as-Suddi that it was so severe, that his flesh dropped from his body and nothing remained on him except his bones and muscles. His wife used to bring ashes and spread it under his body. When the trial went for long, she said, "O' Ayyub, if you pray to your Lord, He will free you from this suffering." He answered, "I have lived for seventy years as a healthy person, so can I not be patient for Allah for another seventy years?" she worked for people to earn money in order to feed Ayyub (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (Tafseer at-Tabari, vol 23 p.107)
However, the people then started to be cautious of her and did not employ her because they knew that she was the wife of Ayyub (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and because of that, they too might get infected by the same illnesses or be put to the same trial. So when she did not find anybody to give work, she went to some of the daughters of high society and sold one of her plait in return for plenty of food. When she came to Ayyub (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with food, he asked her where did she get the food from. He showed his disapproval but she said, "I worked for the people.” Then when it was the following day and again she did not find anyone who gave her work, she sold the other plait in return for food. She then brought it to Ayyub (peace be upon him). This time Ayyub (peace be upon him) swore that he would not eat the food till she tells him from where she has got it. At that, she removed her headscarf. When Ayyub (peace be upon him) saw her head has been shaved, he supplicated to Allah:
“And Ayyub when he called his Lord [saying], ‘Harm has inflicted me and You are the Most Merciful.’” (Qur’an 21:83)
Ibn Abi Hâtim reported on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ubayd ibn Umayr who said: “Ayyub had two brother. One day, they came to him but they could not go near him because of the bad smell which came from his body. So they stood at a distance and one of them said to another, ‘If Allah knew any good in Ayyub, He would not have put him to this trial.’ This grieved Ayyub (peace be upon him) so much that he never got such grief before. He supplicated, ‘O’ Allah, if You know that I never spent a night with a full stomach if I knew someone hungry in that night, then prove me true.’ So he was proved true and a voice came from the heaven confirming his truth that was heard by the two brothers. He then supplicated further, ‘O’ Allah, if You know that I never had two shirts if I knew that someone did not have clothes, then prove me true.’ Again, he was proved true from the heavens while the brothers were listening. Finally, he supplicated, ‘O’ Allah, I seek help from Your Honour.’ When saying that, he fell down in prostration and said, ‘O’ Allah, by Your Honour, I will never lift my head till You cure me from my suffering.’ Then he did not lift his head till he was cured.”
Ibn Abi Hâtim reported on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbâs who said: “ Allah dressed Ayyub (peace be upon him) with a dress from Paradise, then he went aside and sat in a corner. His wife came and did not recognise him. So she asked, ‘O’ slave of Allah, where did the afflicted person go who was here? I am afraid that dogs or wolves have eaten him.’ She kept speaking to him for some time and then he finally said to her, ‘What is wrong with you, I am Ayyub, Allah has indeed returned to me my body.’”
Ibn Abbâs said: “Allah returned to him his wealth and children and others twice as many as them.”
Ibn Abi Hâtim reported that Wahb ibn Munabbih said: “Allah revealed to him, ‘I returned to you your family and your wealth, and the like of them along with them. So take a bath from this water, for there is a cure for you in it and offer sacrifice on behalf of your companions and seek forgiveness for them for verily they disobeyed Me concerning you.’”
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:
“When Allah cured Ayyub He rained on him golden locusts. Ayyub began collecting them with his hands and putting them in his clothes. It was said to him, ‘O’ Ayyub, are you not satisfied and full?’ He said, ‘O’ Lord, who will feel full from Your Mercy?’”
In another narration on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:
“While Ayyub was bathing naked, golden locusts dropped on him, so he began collecting them in his clothes. So his Lord called him, ‘O’ Ayyub, did I not give you enough, so what do you do?’ Ayyub said, ‘Yes my Lord but there is no sparing from Your blessings for me.’”
“Strike with your foot” was the divine order. So Ayyub (peace be upon him) did as ordained and struck the earth with his leg. Allah then caused a cold spring of water to gush forth and ordered him to take bath and drink from it. Allah then removed his suffering and pain, his illnesses and diseases that were both visible and hidden on his body and replaced all that with a healthy body, both visible and hidden. Allah also made him handsome and gave him abundant wealth, to the extent that golden locusts rained on him.
Allah also returned his family as He said, “We gave to him his family, and the like of them with them.” (Qur’an 21:84) It is said that Allah brought his children back to life. Some others said that Allah gave him other people in place of those who had died, wherein in the Hereafter, Allah will gather them all together. As regards the part of the verse, “A mercy from Us,” (Qur’an 21:83-84) it means that We removed his hardships and cured him from whatever he had as a mercy and grace from Us. The end of the verse, “And a reminder to worshippers” means that what happened to Ayyub (peace be upon him) is a reminder and a lesson for all those who are put to trial concerning their bodies, wealth, and family. All such people should take the example of Prophet of Allah, Ayyub, who was tried by Allah with something that was greater than what others would be inflicted with and despite that, he was patient and had hope that Allah would cure him from that.
Ayyub (peace be upon him) lived in the Roman land for a further seventy years after his affliction. He preached to them the religion of Monotheism, One God. However, they later changed the religion of Ibraheem (peace be upon him) after his death.
“And take in your hand a bundle of reeds and strike with it, and do not break your oath. And We found him patient, a good slave, verily he was patient. (Qur’an 38:44)
This speaks about His mercy upon Ayyub (peace be upon him) when Ayyub had sworn that he would whip his wife one hundred lashes. It is said that he made the oath because she sold her plaits. It is also said that Shaytân came to her disguised as a doctor (physician) and described to her some medicines for Ayyub. When she came and informed Ayyub, he knew it was Shaytân and subsequently swore that he would whip her one hundred lashes. When Allah cured him, He told him to take a bundle of reeds, bunch them together as one and then to hit her only once. This one hit was considered one hundred, thus he could fulfill his oath this way.
This was a way out and relief for the one who feared Allah and obeyed Him, especially with respect to his wife who bore his illness patiently and had hope. She was a pious, righteous ans rightly guided woman. May Allah be pleased with her.
Ibn Jareer and others mentioned that when Ayyub (peace be upon him) died, he was ninety-three years old. Some others said that he lived longer than that.
Before he passed away, he entrusted his mission to his son Hawmal and after him to his other son Bishr. Many people claim that he was Dhul Kifl. And Allah knows best. These same people also claim that he was Prophet, who died at the age of ninety-five.