Here Allah tells us about His servant and Messenger Ayyub (Job) and how He tested him. These tests afflicted his body, his wealth and his children, until there was no part of his body that was healthy except his heart. Then he had nothing left in this world which he could use to help him deal with his sickness or the predicament he was in, besides his wife, who retained her devotion to him because of her faith in Allah and His Messenger. She used to work for people as a paid servant, and she fed and served him (Ayyub) for nearly eighteen years. Before that, he was very rich and had many children, being well off in worldly terms. All of that had been taken away until he ended up being thrown into the city dump where he stayed all this time, shunned by relatives and strangers alike, with the exception of his wife -- may Allah be pleased with her. She did not leave him, morning and evening, except for when she was serving people, then she would come straight back to him. When this had gone on for a long time, and things had gotten very bad, and the time allotted by divine decree had come to an end, Ayyub prayed to the Lord of the worlds, the God of the Messengers, and said:
أَنِّى مَسَّنِىَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
(Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.) (21:83). And according to this Ayah:
وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَآ أَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ أَنِّى مَسَّنِىَ الشَّيْطَـنُ بِنُصْبٍ وَعَذَابٍ
(And remember Our servant Ayyub, when he invoked his Lord (saying): "Verily, Shaytan has afflicted me with distress and torment!'') It was said that "distress'' referred to bodily afflictions and "torment'' referred to the loss of his wealth and children. Then the Most Merciful of those who show mercy responded to him, telling him to stand up and strike the ground with his foot. He did this, and Allah caused a spring of water to flow. He commanded him to wash in it, and all the pain and affliction in his body disappeared. Then He commanded him to strike the ground in a different place, and Allah caused another spring to flow, and Ayyub was commanded to drink from it. Then all his internal problems disappeared, and he became healthy again, inside and out. Allah says:
ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ هَـذَا مُغْتَسَلٌ بَارِدٌ وَشَرَابٌ
(Strike the ground with your foot. This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink.) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
«إِنَّ نَبِيَّ اللهِ أَيُّوبَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ لَبِثَ بِهِ بَلَاؤُهُ ثَمَانِيَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً، فَرَفَضَهُ الْقَرِيبُ وَالْبَعِيدُ، إِلَّا رَجُلَيْنِ كَانَا مِنْ أَخَصِّ إِخْوَانِهِ بِهِ، كَانَا يَغْدُوَانِ إِلَيْهِ وَيَرُوحَانِ، فَقَالَ أَحَدُهُمَا لِصَاحِبِهِ: تَعْلَمُ وَاللهِ لَقَدْ أَذْنَبَ أَيُّوبُ ذَنْبًا مَا أَذْنَبَهُ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ، قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ: وَمَا ذَاكَ؟ قَالَ: مُنْذُ ثَمَانِيَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً لَمْ يَرْحَمْهُ اللهُ فَيَكْشِفَ مَا بِهِ، فَلَمَّا رَاحَا إِلَيْهِ لَمْ يَصْبِرِ الرَّجُلُ حَتْى ذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ، فَقَالَ أَيُّوبُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ: لَا أَدْرِي مَا تَقُولُ، غَيْرَ أَنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَعْلَمُ أَنِّي كُنْتُ أَمُرُّ عَلَى الرَّجُلَيْنِ يَتَنَازَعَانِ فَيَذْكُرَانِ اللهَ تَعَالَى، فَأَرْجِعُ إِلَى بَيْتِي فَأُكَفِّرُ عَنْهُمَا كَرَاهِيَةَ أَنْ يُذْكَرَ اللهُ تَعَالَى إِلَّا فِي حَقَ، قَالَ: وَكَانَ يَخْرُجُ إِلَى حَاجَتِهِ،فَإِذَا قَضَاهَا أَمْسَكَتِ امْرَأَتُهُ بِيَدِهِ حَتْى يَبْلُغَ، فَلَمَّا كَانَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ أَبْطَأَ عَلَيْهَا، فَأَوْحَى اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى إِلَى أَيُّوبَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ أَن
ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ هَـذَا مُغْتَسَلٌ بَارِدٌ وَشَرَابٌ
فَاسْتَبْطَأَتْهُ (فَتَلَقَّتْهُ) تَنْظُرُ، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَيْهَا وَقَدْ أَذْهَبَ اللهُ مَا بِهِ مِنَ الْبَلَاءِ وَهُوَ عَلَى أَحْسَنِ مَا كَانَ، فَلَمَّا رَأَتْهُ قَالَتْ: أَيْ بَارَكَ اللهُ فِيكَ، هَلْ رَأَيْتَ نَبِيَّ اللهِ هَذَا الْمُبْتَلَى، فَوَاللهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ مَا رَأَيْتُ رَجُلًا أَشْبَهَ بِهِ مِنْكَ إِذْ كَانَ صَحِيحًا. قَالَ: فَإِنِّي أَنَا هُوَ، قَالَ: وَكَانَ لَهُ أَنْدَرَانِ: أَنْدَرٌ لِلْقَمْحِ وَأَنْدَرٌ لِلشَّعِيرِ، فَبَعَثَ اللهُ تَعَالَى سَحَابَتَيْنِ فَلَمَّا كَانَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى أَنْدَرِ الْقَمْحِ، أَفْرَغَتْ فِيهِ الذَّهَبَ حَتْى فَاضَ، وَأَفْرَغَتِ الْأُخْرَى فِي أَنْدَرِ الشَّعِيرِ حَتْى فَاض»
(Allah's Prophet Ayyub, peace be upon him, suffered for eighteen years from his affliction and was shunned by relatives and strangers alike, besides two men who were the closest of his brothers to him. They used to visit him every morning and every evening. One of them said to his companion, "You know, by Allah, that Ayyub committed a great sin which nobody in the world ever committed.'' His companion said, "Why are you saying that'' He said, "For eighteen years he has been suffering and Allah has not had mercy on him and relieve his suffering.'' When he went to him the next morning, the (second) man could not wait to tell this to Ayyub. Ayyub, peace be upon him, said, "I do not know what you are talking about, but Allah knows if I passed by two men who were arguing and they mentioned the Name of Allah, I would go back home and offer expiation lest they had mentioned the Name of Allah in an improper manner. '' Whenever he went out to answer the call of nature, when he finished, his wife would take his hand until he came back home. One day he took a long time, and Allah had revealed to Ayyub, (Strike the ground with your foot. This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink.) She thought that he had taken too long, so she turned to look at him, and saw that Allah had taken away the afflictions he had been suffering, and he looked better than he had ever looked. When she saw him, she said, "May Allah bless you! Have you seen Allah's Prophet, the one who is sorely tested By Allah, I have never seen a man who looks more like him than you, if he were healthy.'' He said, "I am he.'' He had two threshing floors, one for wheat and one for barley. Allah sent two clouds, and when one of them reached the threshing floor of the wheat, it rained gold until it was full. The other rained gold on the threshing floor of the barley until it was full.) This is the wording of Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
«بَيْنَمَا أَيُّوبُ يَغْتَسِلُ عُرْيَانًا خَرَّ عَلَيْهِ جَرَادٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ فَجَعَلَ أَيُّوبُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ يَحْثُو فِي ثَوْبِهِ، فَنَادَاهُ رَبُّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَا أَيُّوبُ، أَلَمْ أَكُنْ أَغْنَيْتُكَ عَمَّا تَرَى قَالَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ: بَلَى يَا رَبِّ، وَلَكِنْ لَا غِنى بِي عَنْ بَرَكَتِك»
(While Ayyub was bathing naked, locusts of gold fell upon him. Ayyub, peace be upon him, began gathering them in his garment. Then his Lord called to him, "O Ayyub, have I not made you so rich that you have no need of what you see'' He, peace be upon him, said, "Yes, O Lord! But I cannot do without Your blessing!'') This was only recorded by Al-Bukhari.
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُمْ مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَذِكْرَى لاٌّوْلِى الاٌّلْبَـبِ
(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.) Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, "Allah brought his family themselves back to life, and added others like them.''
(as a mercy from Us,) means, in return for his patience, steadfastness, repentance, humility and constant turning to Allah.
وَذِكْرَى لاٌّوْلِى الاٌّلْبَـبِ
(and a reminder for those who understand.) means, for those who understand that the consequence of patience is a solution and a way out.
وَخُذْ بِيَدِكَ ضِغْثاً فَاضْرِب بِّهِ وَلاَ تَحْنَثْ
(And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath.) Ayyub, peace be upon him, got angry with his wife and was upset about something she had done, so he swore an oath that if Allah healed him, he would strike her with one hundred blows. When Allah healed him, how could her service, mercy, compassion and kindness be repaid with a beating So Allah showed him a way out, which was to take a bundle of thin grass, with one hundred stems, and hit her with it once. Thus he fulfilled his oath and avoided breaking his vow. This was the solution and way out for one who had Taqwa of Allah and turned to Him in repentance. Allah says:
إِنَّا وَجَدْنَـهُ صَابِراً نِّعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ
(Truly, We found him patient. How excellent a servant! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!) Allah praised and commanded him, saying,
نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ
(How excellent a servant! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!) Allah says:
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُواْ ذَوَى عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ الشَّهَـدَةَ لِلَّهِ ذَلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً - وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَـلِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدْراً
(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.) (65:2-3)