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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan


Failure is not Permanent

The events from the life of the Prophet Job are described in the Quran in brief, and in the Bible in vivid detail. An entire book is dedicated to his life in the Bible. It is named Book of Job. Thomas Carlyle was so impressed with Book of Job that he wrote: I call the book of Job, apart from all theories about it, one of the grandest things ever written with the pen. (…) I think, there is nothing in the Bible or out of it, of equal literary merit. (On Heroes and Hero-worship)

The Prophet Job was born several hundred years before Jesus Christ in the plains stretching from Syria to Palestine. In the Bible, his birthplace is called Uz.

According to the Bible he possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys. In addition, he had a very great household. Thus he was the greatest of all the men of the east.

After some time, such misfortunes befell him as left him impoverished, yet Job was the epitome of patience. In the words of the Bible “...Job arose, and tore his robe. He shaved his head, and then he threw himself down with his face to the ground. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ (Job 1: 20-21)

Then again the circumstances changed after some years. Job again came to possess all kinds of wealth and resources, even more than he had before. According to the Bible:

The Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning; for he had 14,000 sheep, and 6,000 camels, and 1000 female donkeys. (Job 42: 12)

The Quran ends the tale with:

We restored his family to him, doubling their number as an act of grace from Us, and as a reminder to all who are endowed with insight. (38: 43)

Although given very brief mention in the Quran, this incident makes the very important and lesson-giving point that one should never despair when afflicted by misfortune or loss in life. God, being All Merciful, has devised the system of this world in such a way that here no loss or deprivation is final. Here, one can always overcome one’s misfortunes and be the gainer once again, provided one remains patient and perseveres in one’s struggles, never losing hope of God’s succor

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