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Shu`ayb (peace be upon him)

To the people of Madyan, God sent their brother Shu`ayb (as a prophet).  He said, "O my people, worship God; you have no deity other than Him.  There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord.  So fulfil the measure and weight and do not deprive people of their due and cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation.  That is better for you, if you should be believers.”

(Al-Qur’ān, 7:85)

 

Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) addressed the corruption and wrong-doing of his people and advised them to reform.  Their primary wrong-doing was to deny the right of God, the Creator of all that exists and the only One who is worthy of worship.  Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) advised them:

 

"O my people, worship God; you have no deity other than Him.  And do not decrease from the measure and the scale.  Indeed, I see you in prosperity, but indeed, I fear for you the punishment of an all-encompassing Day.  And O my people, give full measure and weight in justice and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.  What remains lawful from God is best for you, if you would be believers.  But I am not a guardian over you."

(Al-Qur’ān, 11:84-86)

 

Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) commanded them to be honest in their trading; to give just measure and weight whether they were giving or receiving in transactions.  He also forbade them from causing mischief and corruption in the land by highway robbery along the roads (as was the practice of some of his people, setting up blockades on the roads causing fear and harm to the weaker people).  He said:

 

“And do not sit on every path, threatening and averting from the way of God those who believe in Him, seeking to make it seem deviant.  And remember when you were few and He increased you.  And see how was the end of the corrupters?  And if there should be a group among you who has believed in that with which I have been sent and a group that has not believed, then be patient until God judges between us.  And He is the best of judges."  

(Al-Qur’ān, 7:86-87)

 

The majority of the people wanted to remain what they were upon and mocked Shu`ayb (peace be upon him):

 

They said:  "O Shu`ayb, does your prayer command you that we should leave what our fathers worship or not do with our wealth what we please?”  And they exclaimed sarcastically, “Indeed, you are the forbearing, the discerning!"   

He said, "O my people, have you considered: if I am upon clear evidence from my Lord and He has provided me with a good provision from Him (shall I corrupt it by mixing it with the unlawfully earned money)?  And I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you; I only intend reform as much as I am able.  And my success is not but through God.  Upon Him I have relied, and to Him I return.  And O my people, let not your dissension with me cause you to be struck by that similar to what struck the people of Noah or the people of Hūd or the people of Sālih.  And the people of Lūt are not far away from you[1].  And ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him.  Indeed, my Lord is Merciful and Affectionate." 

They said, "O Shu`ayb, we do not understand much of what you say, and indeed, we consider you as weak among us.  Were it not for your family, we would have stoned you to death; and you are not powerful against us." 

He said, "O my people, is my family more respected for power by you than God?  But you put Him behind your backs in neglect.  Indeed, my Lord is encompassing of what you do.”

He then warned them, “And O my people, act according to your current ways and I am acting according to mine.  You will come to know to whom will come a punishment that will disgrace him and who is a liar!  So watch (and wait); indeed, I too am watching (and waiting) with you." 

(Al-Qur’ān, 11:87-93)

 

In other dialogues with the disbelievers, they accused Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) of being affected by witchcraft and of being a liar:

 

They said, "You are only of those affected by witchcraft.  You are but a man like ourselves, and indeed, we think you are among the liars.  So cause to fall upon us fragments of the sky, if you should be of the truthful." 

(Al-Qur’ān, 26:185-187)

 

They also threatened him, and those who believed with him, with expulsion from their village or with forceful conversion to their religion:

 

The chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said, "We will surely evict you, O Shu`ayb, and those who have believed with you from our city, or you must return to our religion." 

Shu`ayb said, "Even if we were unwilling?  We would have invented a lie against God if we returned to your religion after God had saved us from it.  And it is not for us to return to it except that God, our Lord, should will.  Our Lord has encompassed all things in knowledge.  Upon God we have relied.  Our Lord, decide between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who give decision."

The chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said (to their people): "If you follow Shu`ayb, be sure then you will be the losers!''    

(Al-Qur’ān, 7:88-90)

 

Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) had tirelessly advised and warned all his people but the majority of them did not want to desist from their corruption; they mocked him, threatened him and asked for God’s punishment to be invoked upon them.  So God sent unto them a series of punishments that caused them to perish:- 

 

They were overwhelmed by a dark cloud (containing fire, flames and a tremendous light) as a response to their challenge “So cause to fall upon us fragments of the sky, if you should be of the truthful”:

 

And they denied him, so the punishment of the day of the black cloud seized them.  Indeed, it was the punishment of a terrible day.  Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers.  And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.  And indeed, the Qur’ān is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. 

(Al-Qur’ān, 26:189-192)

 

They were seized by a loud shriek as a punishment for mocking their prophet:

 

And when God’s command came, He saved Shu`ayb and those who believed with him, by His mercy.  And the shriek seized those who had wronged, and they became within their homes corpses fallen prone. 

(Al-Qur’ān, 11:94)

 

They were afflicted with the earthquake as a punishment for threatening and seeking to drive out their prophet and his followers from the land:

 

So the earthquake seized them, and they became within their home corpses fallen prone.  Those who denied Shu`ayb – it was as though they had never resided there; it was they who were the losers.  And Shu`ayb turned away from them and said, "O my people, I had certainly conveyed to you the messages of my Lord and advised you, so how could I grieve for a disbelieving people?" 

(Al-Qur’ān, 7:91-93)


 
 
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[1] The people of prophet Lūt (peace be upon him) rejected his call to righteousness and consequently perished.  This occurred not too long prior to Shu`ayb’s (peace be upon him) era of prohethood and their location was not far from Madyan.