Prophets Lut, Shoaib & Ayoob A.S.
Note : Links for Lectures in English and Urdu are copied just below each of the story for those who prefer to listen rather than read.
PROPHET LUT A.S (Lot)
Description of the People of Sodom
Lut (PBUH),settled in the city of Sodom (Sadum), which was on the shore of the Dead Sea.
This city was filled with evil. Its residents waylaid, robbed and killed travelers. Another common evil among them was that men had sex with men instead of with women. This unnatural act later became known as sodomy (after the city of Sodom). It was practiced openly and unashamedly.
“And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people; “Do you commit the worst sin such as none has preceding you has committed in the ‘Alamin (among the mankind and the jinn)?” 7:80
And Lut, when he said to his people, “Do you commit immorality while you are seeing? 27:54
It was at the height of these crimes and sins that Allah revealed to Prophet Lut (PBUH) that he should summon the people to give up their indecent behavior, but they were so deeply sunk in their immoral habits that they were deaf to Lot’s preaching. Swamped in their unnatural desires, they refused to listen, even when Lot warned them of Allah’s punishment. Instead, they threatened to drive him out of the city if he kept on preaching.
Allah the Almighty revealed: The people of Lut (those dwelt in the towns of Sodom in Palestine) belied the Messengers when their brother Lot said to them: “Will you not fear Allah and obey Him? Verily! I am a trustworthy Messenger to you. SO fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it (my Message of Islamic Monotheism) my reward is only from the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Go you in unto the males of the Alamin (mankind), and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your wives? Nay, you are a trespassing people!” They said: “If you cease not, O Lot! Verily, you will be one of those who are driven out!” HE said: “I am indeed, of those who disapprove with severe anger and fury your (this evil) action (of sodomy). My Lord! Save me and my family from what they do.” SO We saved him and his family, all except an old woman (this wife) among those who remained behind. (26:160-171)
The doings of Lut’s people saddened his heart. As the years passed, he persisted in his mission but to no avail. No one responded to his call and believed except for the members of his family, and even in his household, not all the members believed. Lut’s wife was a disbeliever.
Allah the Almighty declared: “Allah set forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous slaves, but they both betrayed their (husbands, by rejecting their doctrines) so they (Noah & Lut) benefited them (their respective wives) not, against Allah, and it was said: “Enter the Fire along with those who enter!” (Ch 66:10 Quran)
Angels Come to Meet Lut A.S.
The years rolled by, and still not one believed in him. Instead, they belittled his message and mockingly challenged him: “Bring Allah’s Torment upon us if you are one of the truthful!” (Ch 29:29 Quran).
Overwhelmed with despair, Lot prayed to Allah to grant him victory and destroy the corrupt. Therefore, the angels headed for Sodom, the town of Lut (pbuh).
When Lut was informed of their arrival, he felt distressed as he quickly ran to his guests. He asked them where they came from and where they were going. They did not answer his questions. Instead they asked if he could host them. He informed them of his people’s nature. Lut was filled with turmoil; he wanted to convince his guests without offending them, not to spend the night there, yet at the same time he wanted to extend to them the expected hospitality normally accorded to guests.
The Mob at Lut’s House
When darkness fell on the town, Lot escorted his guest to his home. No one was aware of their presence. However, as soon as Lut’s wife saw them, she slipped out of the house quietly so that no one noticed her. Quickly, she ran to her people with the news and it spread to all the inhabitants like wildfire. The people rushed towards Lut quickly and excitedly. Lut was surprised by their discovery of his guests. and he wondered who could have informed them. The matter became clear, however, when he could not find his wife, anywhere, thus adding grief to his sorrow.
When Lut saw the mob approaching his house, he shut the door, but they kept on banging on it. He pleaded with them to leave the visitors alone and fear Allah’s punishment. He urged them to seek sexual fulfillment with their wives, for that is what Allah had made lawful. Lot’s people waited until he had finished his short sermon, and then they roared with laughter. Blinded by passion, they broke down the door. Lot became very angry, but he stood powerless before these violent people. He was unable to prevent the abuse of his guests, but he firmly stood his ground and continued to plead with the mob.
At that terrible moment, he wished he had the power to push them away from his guests. Seeing him in a state of helplessness, and grief the guests said: “Do not be anxious or frightened, Lot for we are angels, and these people will not harm you.” On hearing this, the mob was terrified and fled from Lot’s house, hurling threats at him as they left. The angels warned Prophet Lut (pbuh) to leave his house before sunrise, taking with him all his family except his wife. Allah had decreed that the city of Sodom should perish. An earthquake rocked the town. IT was as if a mighty power had lifted the entire city and flung it down in one jolt. A storm of stones rained on the city. Everyone and everything was destroyed, including Lut’s wife.
PROPHET SHU’AIB A.S.
Allah the Almighty revealed the story of Shu’aib (pbuh): “To the people of Madyan (Madian) (We sent) their brother Shu’aib. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (God) but Him. Verily! a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things, and do not mischief on the earth after it has been set in order that will be better for you, if you are believers. And sit not on every road, threatening, and hindering from the Path of Allah those who believe in Him, and seeking to make it crooked. Remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you. See what was the end of the Mufsideen (mischief makers, corrupts and liars). And if there is a party of you who believes in that which I have been sent and a party who do not believe, so be patient until Allah judges between us, and He is the Best of judges.” The chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said: “We shall certainly drive you out, O Shu’aib! and those who have believed with you from our town, or else you all shall return to our religion.”
He said: “Even though we hate it! We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion, after Allah has rescued us from it. It is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord comprehends all things in His Knowledge. In Allah (Alone) we put our trust. (Ch 7:85-93 Quran)
The people of Madyan were Arabs who lived in the country of Ma’an, part of which today is greater Syria. They were a greedy people who did not believe that Allah existed and who led wicked lives. They gave short measure, praised their goods beyond their worth, and hid their defects. They lied to their customers, thereby cheating them. Allah sent His Prophet Shu’aib (pbuh) armed with many miracles. Shu’aib preached to them, begging them to be mindful of Allah’s favors and warning them of the consequences of their evil ways, but they only mocked him. Shu’aib remained calm as he reminded them of his kinship to them and that what he was doing was not for his personal gain. They seized the belongings of Shu’aib and his followers, then drove them out of the city. The Messenger turned to his Lord for help, and his plea was answered. Allah sent down on them scorching heat and they suffered terribly. On seeing a cloud gathering in the sky, they thought it would bring cool, refreshing rain, and rushed outside in the hope of enjoying the rainfall. Instead the cloud burst, hurling thunderbolts and fire. They heard a thunderous sound from above which caused the earth under their feet to tremble. The evil doers perished in this state of horror.
PROPHET AYOOB A.S.
Allah’s Praises of Ayoob
Allah the Almighty praised His worshipper Ayoob in His Glorious Quran: “Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance to Us!” (Ch 38:44)
Ayoob was repentant, remembering Allah with thankfulness, patience & 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 pleasure, while those who were arrogant incurred His displeasure. One of the angels remarked: “The best creature on earth today is Ayoob, a man of noble character who displays great patience & 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 servants, as well as the needy & the poor share in his good fortune; he feeds & clothes the poor & buys slaves to set them free. He makes those who receive his charity feel as if they are favoring him so kind & gentle is he.”
Iblis’ Jealousy of Ayoob
Iblis overhearing all of this, became annoyed. He planned to tempt Ayoob to corruption and disbelief, so he hastened to him. He tried to distract Ayoob from his prayers by whispering him about the good things in life but Ayoob was a true believer and would not let evil thoughts tempt him. This disturbed Iblis even more; thus he began to hate Ayoob even more.
Iblis Destroys Ayoob’s Wealth
Iblis complained to Allah about Ayoob. 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 Ayoob 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 to Iblis the depth of Ayoob’s sincerity and patience, Allah allowed him to do whatever he and his helpers wished with Ayoob’s wealth.
Iblis was very happy. he gathered his helpers and set about destroying Ayoob’s cattle, servants and farms until he was left with no possessions. Rubbing his hands in glee, Iblis appeared before Ayoob 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 brought 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, Ayoob replied: “What Allah has taken away from me belongs to Him. I was only its trustee for awhile. He gives to whom He wills and withholds from whom He wills.” With these words, Ayoob again prostrated to his Lord.
Iblis Destroys Ayoob’s Children
When Iblis saw this, he felt frustrated, so he again addressed Allah: “I have stripped Ayoob of all his possessions, but he still remains grateful to You. However he is only hiding his disappointment, for he places great store by his many children. The real test of a parent is through his children. You will see how Ayoob will reject You. “Allah granted Iblis authority but warned him that it would not reduce Ayoob’ faith in His Lord nor his patience.
Iblis again gathered his helpers and set about his evil deeds. He shook the fountain of the house in which Ayoob’s children were living and sent the building crashing, killing all of them. Then he went to Ayoob disguised as a man who had come to sympathize with him. In a comforting tone he said to Ayoob: “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 Ayoob was now ready to reject Allah.
But again Ayoob disappointed 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 Ayoob prostrated to his Lord. At this Iblis was extremely vexed.
Iblis Destroys Ayoob’s Health
Iblis called on Allah. “O my Lord, Ayoob’s wealth is gone, his children are dead, and 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 And will thus become disobedient.”
Allah wanted to teach Iblis a lesson that Jo was a devoted servant of his Lord so He granted Iblis his 3rd 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 Ayoob’s body and filled it with diseaseuntil it was reduced to mere skin and bone and he suffered severe pain. But through all the suffering Ayoob remained strong 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 the many years of suffering.
Ayoob’s Prayer for Mercy
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 Ayoob, yet you succeeded in misleading Adam the father of man, out of Paradise?” Iblis went to Ayoob’s wife in the form of a man. “Where is your husband?” he asked her. She pointed to an almost lifeless form crumbled on the bed and said: “There he is, suspended between life and death.”
Iblis reminded her of the days, when Ayoob had good health, wealth and children. Suddenly, the painful memory of years of hardship overcame her, and she burst into tears. She said to Ayoob: “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?” Ayoob 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: “eighty years.”
Then Ayoob replied: “How long am I suffering like this?” She said: “seven years.”
Ayoob then 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. Leave me alone and let my Lord do with me as He pleases.”
Ayoob’s Health is Restored
Crying bitterly and with a heavy heart, she had no choice but to leave him and seek shelter elsewhere. In this helpless sate, Ayoob turned to Allah, not to complain but to seek His mercy.
“Remember Our slave Ayoob, when he invoked His Lord saying: “Verily! Satan has touched me with distress (by losing my health) and torment (by losing my wealth)!” Allah said to him: “Strike the ground with your foot: This is a spring of water to wash in and cool and a refreshing drink.” And We gave him back his family, and along with them the like thereof as a Mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who understand.” (Ch 38:41-43)
Ayoob 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 him to beg his forgiveness, desiring to serve him. On entering her house, she was amazed at the sudden change: Ayoob was again healthy! She embraced him and thanked Allah for His mercy.