Surah Anbiya Ayat 83

Surah Anbiya Ayat 83, Al Anbiya 83

Surah Anbiya Ayat 83 In Arabic

وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿83﴾

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Surah Anbiya Ayat 83 Transliteration

Wa Ayyooba iz naadaa Rabbahooo annee massaniyad durru wa Anta arhamur raahimeen

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Surah Anbiya Ayat 83 Translation

And Job, when he cried unto his Lord, (saying): Lo! adversity afflicteth me, and Thou art Most Merciful of all who show mercy.

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Surah Anbiya Ayat 83 Explanation

Story of Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام)

The story of Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) is based mostly on Jewish legends. Those which are considered as historically reliable by scholars of hadith are being reproduced here. The Holy Qur’an tells us only that he suffered from some serious disease but he endured his suffering with fortitude. Ultimately he prayed to Allah for recovery which was granted. During his illness all his family members and friends disappeared. They either died or just abandoned him to his fate. Then Allah Ta` ala restored him to complete health and gave him back all his children and also an equal number in addition. The remaining elements of this story have come down to us either through authentic sayings or by way of historical accounts. Hafiz Ibn Kathir has recorded the story as follows:

Allah Ta` ala had bestowed upon Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) ، in the early days of his life, all sorts of material comforts such as wealth, property, magnificent houses, children, servants and attendants. But later he faced a trial whereby the prophets are normally tested by Allah, and was deprived of all these comforts. Moreover he suffered from a serious disease which was like leprosy and which affected his whole body except the heart and the tongue. In this miserable condition too he spent his time in prayers and in giving thanks to Allah Ta` ala with his heart and tongue. Because of this serious illness all his relatives, friends and neighbors avoided him and placed him near a garbage-dump outside the city.

Nobody went near him except his wife who used to take care of him. She was either the daughter or grand daughter of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and her name was Layya daughter of Misha Ibn Yusuf (عليه السلام) . (Ibn Kathir) All his wealth having been lost, she worked and earned a living for him and for herself and also nursed him in his illness. The ordeal of Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) was nothing new, nor something to be wondered at. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said اژدّ النّاس بلاء الانبیاء چّم الصّالحُون چّم الامثل فالامثل that is the prophets face the most severe tests, and then come the other believers according to their degree of piety.

In another tradition it is reported that every man is tested according to his adherence and devotion to religion. The stronger his beliefs, the harder is the test to which he is subjected, so that his rewards are in proportion to his sufferings. Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) occupies a distinctive position among all the prophets for firmness in his devotion and endurance in his sufferings in the same manner as Dawud (عليه السلام) enjoyed distinction for offering thanks to Allah Ta` ala. Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) is a model of endurance and fortitude in the most trying circumstances. Yazid Ibn Maisara reports that when Allah Ta` ala deprived him of all his worldly possessions and subjected him to a severe ordeal, he concentrated all his mind and efforts upon the sole purpose of remembering Allah Ta’ ala and offering prayers to Him. While thanking Allah Ta’ ala for all sorts of worldly comforts and children granted to him earlier and whose love had filled his heart completely, he also thanked Him for their total withdrawal because nothing remained to distract him from total devotion to Allah Ta’ ala.

The invocation of Sayyidna Ayyub I is not counter to patience

The ordeal of Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) was very severe indeed. He not only lost all his worldly possessions but was also afflicted by a terrible disease because of which people avoided his company. He spent seven years and some months lying near a garbage dump outside the city, but never once did he lose his heart nor did he ever utter a word of complaint about his fate. His wife, Layya once asked him to pray to Allah for His Mercy as his sufferings had become unbearable, to which he replied that having enjoyed for seventy years the best of health surrounded by all the luxuries that money could buy, it would be unworthy of him to complain because a mere seven years has been spent in pain and poverty. His firm prophetic resolve, self-discipline and fortitude prevented him from beseeching Allah Ta` ala’s mercy on his condition, lest it should be construed as an act contrary to the unquestioning submission to the will of Allah Ta` ala (Although to invoke Allah’s Mercy for relief from sufferings does not mean absence of fortitude). Ultimately something happened which made him pray to Allah Ta` ala for His Mercy but as mentioned earlier this was just a prayer and did not express a sense of complaint. As such Allah Ta` ala has put His seal in acknowledgment of his extreme endurance in these words إِنَّا وَجَدْنَاهُ صَابِرً‌ا (Surely We found him a steadfast man – 38:44). There are numerous versions of this story which have been omitted for their length.

Ibn Abi Hatim has reported on the authority of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas (رض) that when Sayyidna Ayyub’s (عليه السلام) supplication was granted, he was told to rub his heels on the ground and a stream of fresh and clear water would gush forth. He should then bathe himself in the water and also drink it, and the disease would disappear. Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) did as he was told and in no time his body, which was covered with boils and was reduced to skin and bones regained its original shape and health. Allah Ta’ ala sent him garments from Paradise which he wore and sat down in a corner away from the garbage dump. His wife came to see him as usual and when she did not find him, she started crying. She did not recognize Ayyub (عليه السلام) who was sitting nearby in a corner because his appearance had changed completely. Then she turned to him and asked him if he had any information about the sick man who was lying there, and whether he had gone somewhere or had been eaten up by dogs and wolves. She spoke to him for some time without realizing that the man was none other than her husband. Then Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) revealed himself, but even then she did not recognize him and asked him why he was making fun of her. Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) then told her to look at him again and try to recognize him. He also informed her that Allah Ta’ ala had healed his body after he invoked His Mercy. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) reports that after this, Allah Ta’ ala restored to him all his wealth and children and gave him more children equal in number to the children which he had before (Ibn Kathir).

Sayyidna Ibn Masud (رض) says that Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) had seven sons and seven daughters but they all died while he was undergoing the ordeal. When his days of hardship were over, his children were brought back to life by Allah Ta` ala and his wife also gave birth to as many more children, to which the Qur’an refers to as وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ (and the like thereof alongwith them – 21:84). According to Tha’labi this version is closer to the text of the Qur’an. (Qurtubi)

Some scholars say that he was granted as many new children as he had before and the word مِثل (the like) refers to an equal number of grand children. (Only Allah knows best).

 [From Ma’ariful Quran English by Mufti Taqi Uthmani]

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