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THE PROPHET SHU'AIB (peace be upon him)



The People of Madian and Their Character:
Long ago a nation colonised in the northern Arabia. This nation had an ancestral link with Madian, the son of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The name of the habitation where he resided was also Madian. It was a fertile land which produced rich crops. Most of the people had adopted trade as their profession and earned a lot of money by fair or foul means. They hankered after wealth from dawn to dusk. They used to give short measures and weight to their customers. They were dishonest and deceitful in their dealings. In addition to malpractices in commerce and trade the People indulged in theft, debauchery, fornication and numerous unlawful acts. The abundance of wealth had made those people refractory and wayward. They were not afraid of God even and did whatever they liked. They ignored all moral values. Allah sent Shu'aib for the reformation of His people. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And unto Madian We sent their brother Shu'aib who said: O' my people! serve Allah, you have no god save Him. There has come to you a manifest sign from your Lord: then give good weight and measure, and be not niggardly of your gifts to men and do not do evils in the earth after it has been righted. That is better for you if you are believers." (7:83-86)



The Prophet Shu'aib Preaches and is Tortured:
According to the research of Ibn Khaldun the mother of Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) was the pious daughter of the Prophet Lut (peace be upon him). His genealogy joins with Madian son of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) was an eloquent orator. He had the surname of Khatibul Anbiya (the Preacher to the Prophets).

He advised the people to mend their ways and give up wrangling in evil ways. The people turned a deaf ear to his advice and ridiculed him whenever they had got an opportunity. They began to torture him. The mischief makers used to sit in the way towards the residence of the Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) and threatened his visitors of dire consequences. They disgraced those who followed him. He continued preaching and warned the evil doers by saying:

"And sit not down in every path, threatening and turning from the path of God those who believe in Him and craving to make it crooked. Remember when you were few and He multiplied you; and see what was the end of the evil doers. "

Some haughty chiefs of the Madian tribe threatened the Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) and his followers to be banished from that locality. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"Said the crowd of those who were big with pride amongst his people: We Will surely turn you out, O' Shu'aib and those who believe with thee from our village, or else you should return to our faith'' (7: 88)

The Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) was not coerced by such threats and went on conveying the message of Allah. He reminded them of dreadful calamities which befell upon the previous nations The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And, O' my people! let not the schism with me cause you to sin so that there befall you that which befell the folk of Nuh? and the folk of Hod and the folk of Salih and the folk of Lut are not far off from you." (11: 89)



Visitation Befalls upon them:
The people jocularly rejected the veracity and truth of the religion of Allah. They tortured Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him)and his followers by transgressing all moral limits. When they did not give up their obstinacy in doing evil actions, Allah destroyed them by descending dreadful chastisement upon them. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And when Our Commandment came to pass, We saved Shu'aib and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and the awful cry seized those who did injustice and morning found them prostrate in their dwellings As though they had not dwelt there. A far removal for Madian, even as Thamud had been removed afar." (11:94,95)

"But they denied him, so there came on them the retribution of the day of gloom. LO! it was the retribution of an awful day." (16: 189)



Death and Burial:
After the perdition of that sinful nation. Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) settled in Hadramaut where he passed away after some time. He was buried in Shaban near the Valley of Ibn 'ALI. The people came from far and wide to visit his sacred grave.

Copied from 'THE ISLAMIC SCHOLAR'