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Through Thick And Thin: A Great Lesson From Prophet Ayoob

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“Undergoing tests is an unavoidable occurrence in life. We cannot choose the nature or time of our tests – but we can choose to pass the tests. To do so, we will have to hold firmly to sabr (patience) and remain pleased with the decision of Allah Ta‘ala.

Prophet Ayyoob’s incident (‘alaihis salaam) is well known to everyone. Prophet Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam) had initially enjoyed great prosperity. He had plenty of animals and crops, lots of kids and many houses. Afterwards Allah Ta’ala agreed to check Nabi Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam). He has therefore lost all of his money, and even his children. Even Nabi Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam) was tested by Allah Ta’ala with an illness that afflicted his body. His tongue and heart were the only two parts of his body that were spared from this disease. Nevertheless he would keep his heart and tongue engaged in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala even in this state. 

As for Nabi Ayyoob’s esteemed wife (‘alaihis salaam), there are two views to her name. Her name was Layyaa, according to some ‘Ulama, while others ‘Ulama have stated that her name was Rahmah.

Although this test was diligently faced by Nabi Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam), most people deserted him until he was left alone in a corner of the city. Nevertheless his faithful wife never abandoned him or abandoned him. When circumstances were favorable, she recalled his favor upon her, and so she stayed at his side through thick and thin, ever loyal and faithful. 

She will tend to him kindly and look after all of his needs. It has also been mentioned in some legends that when her wealth was gradually exhausted, she started to do domestic work in the homes of the peoples in order to earn a living and to see to the needs of her ailing husband. She had lost her children along with this and her husband was severely ill. She stayed optimistic through all these tests and did not complain, even though she went from a life of comfort and joy to one of suffering and sorrow. 

(Wan Nihaayah vol. 1 pg. 262) 

Lessons learnt:

1. The proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” is often quoted, highlighting the fact that a true friend is one who will remain with you in difficult times as well as good times. We can well imagine that if such loyalty is expected of a good friend, then what must be the high level of loyalty that is expected of a true spouse? After all, the relationship between the husband and wife far surpasses any friendship! Hence, a true, loyal wife is not one who will abscond to her father’s house when “the goings get tough”. Rather, she will patiently remain with her husband and assist him, to the best of her ability, as she would expect of him had she been in difficulty.

2. Undergoing tests are an inevitable event in life. We can’t choose our test existence or time – however we can choose to pass the examinations. To do so, we will have to hold fast to sabr (patience) and remain satisfied with Allah Ta’ala ‘s judgment.

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