Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance to Us”TMQ: Surah Saad, 38:44
The above verse relates to the Prophet Ayyub (عليه السلام) and Allah (ﷻ) commends him for remaining patient, steadfast and for always seeking forgiveness. Ayyub’s (عليه السلام) story brings us to question whether all of the worships we carry out for Allah is sincerely dependent on His blessings on us.
It is narrated by Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله) that an Angel had once praised Ayyub (عليه السلام) for being virtuous and upright and not allowing the wealth, family and long life he was blessed with by Allah (ﷻ) to corrupt him. Iblis (Shaythan) overhearing became angry and vowed to turn him to disbelief. Would Ayyub (عليه السلام) worship and remain a dutiful slave to Allah (ﷻ) if the blessings he had been given taken away? Receiving Allah’s permission, Iblis sought to strip them away one by one to prove his point.
Iblis gathered his helpers and set about destroying Ayyub’s (عليه السلام) cattle, servants and farms, depriving him of all his possessions. In the guise of a wise old man he approached Ayyub (عليه السلام), blaming the loss of wealth on his misplaced faith and commitment to Allah (ﷻ). Steadfast in his deen, Ayyub (عليه السلام) simply 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,” and he prostrated before his Lord.
Frustrated Iblis persisted with his helpers and brought the house in which Ayyub’s (عليه السلام) children were living, crashing down, killing all of them. When approached once more, Ayyub (عليه السلام) responded: “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.” He prostrated again before his Lord.
Close to defeat, Iblis requested permission one final time from Allah (ﷻ) to strip Ayyub (عليه السلام) of his health leaving untouched his mind and ability to reason. Furthermore using Ayyub’s (عليه السلام) wife who was in a distressed and weakened state, Iblis sought to make him bitter and ungrateful towards Allah (ﷻ). Despite his body being ravaged and lifeless, Ayyub (عليه السلام) again simply responded by saying he hasn’t experienced hardship anywhere near as long as he had enjoyed good health for this reason would be ashamed to call upon his lord for respite. Ayyub (عليه السلام) remained steadfast and loyal to Allah (ﷻ). Thus Iblis was proven wrong.
Dear Muslims, from the story of Ayyub (عليه السلام) we understand Sabr not to mean apathy, nor resigning oneself to external events hoping they may pass with time. But Sabr is to remain steadfast upon the Deen of Allah (ﷻ) whatever may come. Iblis has not given up for he continues to call upon his helpers amongst the disbelieving nations today to wage war and destruction upon the Ummah killing our brothers and sisters, crippling economies through their usurious structures and taking advantage of those weak in their Deen with the hope that we may turn our backs on Allah (ﷻ). Let us follow the example of Ayyub (عليه السلام) and never relent insha’Allah.
And (remember) Ayyub, when he cried to his Lord: ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are 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 those who worship Us”TMQ: Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:83-84