Prophet Ayoub (Job) in Islam

His Time:

The exact time period when Prophet Ayoub preached is unknown. It is believed that he is a descendant of the Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and Nuh (Noah).  His wife was reportedly a descendant of the Prophet Ya'qub (Jacob).

His Place:

It is believe that Ayoub and his people lived in a desert area in Ash-Sham, which is part of the Levant or Fertile Crescent, near Syria/Palestine today.

His People:

The Prophet Ayoub was a wealthy man among his people, but he was humble. Although he owned farms and valuable animals, and had many children and servants, he saw his wealth as a way to seek Allah's grace. He was not arrogant. 

His Message:

Ayoub was called as a Prophet to his people, sharing the universal message of Tawhid - believe in One True God (Allah), and follow the guidance He has given.  Do what is right, forbid what is wrong, and lead a righteous life.

His Experience:

The story of Prophet Ayoub is different from that of the other prophets mentioned in the Quran. The Quran does not describe in detail Ayoub's interactions with his people, how they responded to him, or their fate. Rather, the Quran focuses on Ayoub's patience through adversity, so that we are able to understand struggle on a very personal level.

It is described in the Quran that Ayoub first withstood the pain of losing all of his wealth and possessions.

Then another, greater, misfortune -- the loss of his children when the roof of his house collapsed on them. Finally, when things could not have gotten worse, he began to suffer from skin sores and other ill health. Through this all, Ayoub remained patient and steadfast, recognizing every event as an opportunity to be humble and strengthen his faith.

During all of this time, Ayoub lost all of his friends and followers; only his wife remained by his side through many years of torment and pain. Although she was humble and faithful, she too began to have doubts about why so many calamities had befallen their family. However, Ayoub remained firm in his faith, and thankful for the blessings that he had. In the end, Allah rewarded his patience by restoring his health, returning his wealth, and blessing him with a peaceful new family life.

His Story in the Quran:

Ayoub is mentioned as among the prophets that came after Nuh (Noah):

"Behold - We have inspired you (Muhammad) just as We inspired Nuh and all the prophets after him - as We inspired Ibrahim, and Isma'il, and Ishaq, and Ya'qub, and their descendants, including 'Isa and Ayoub, and Yunus, and Harun, and Sulaiman, and as We safeguarded unto Dawud a book of divine wisdom" (Quran 4:163 and again at 6:84).

The actual story of Ayoub is only briefly mentioned in the Quran:

"And remember Ayoub, when he cried out to his Sustainer, 'Affliction has befallen me, but You are the Most Merciful of the merciful!' Whereupon We responded to him, and removed all of the affliction from which he suffered. And We gave him new offspring, doubling their number as an act of Grace from Us, and as a reminder to all who worship Us" (Quran 21:83-84 and again at 38:41-44).

The lesson of Ayoub is summed up in this verse:

"And most certainly We shall try you by means of danger, hunger, loss of worldly goods, of lives and of the fruits of your labors. But give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity. Who, when calamity hits them, say, 'Truly, unto Allah do we belong, and truly, until Him we shall return.' It is they upon whom their Sustainer's blessings and grace are bestowed, and it is they who are on the right path!" (2:155-157).

 

The life of the Prophet Ayoub is thus a universal lesson in patience and humility, traits that all believers must nurture and strengthen.  Having the "patience of Ayoub (Job)" is a level of faith to which we all should aspire.