Would you give me information about the disease of Hz. Ayyub? It is said that his body was infested by worms. So, can a prophet be disgusting to his tribe?

The Details of the Question
Would you give me information about the disease of Hz. Ayyub? It is said that his body was infested by worms. So, can a prophet be disgusting to his tribe?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Ayyub (as), who was an exemplar of patience, perseverance, and submission, was an exceptional person who did not leave being grateful to Allah neither in his happiest days nor in his gloomiest moments.

Hz. Ayyub's story and state, which was a live example, are present in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Quran that he suffered from a long-lasting and unbearable disease but passed this divine test as a result of his eminent determination and patience and that he finally attained his health and welfare thanks to his supplication to Allah.

While the details of Hz. Ayyub’s story are included in the Quranic exegeses, it is reported that he caught a painful disease. In fact, not only did the wounds and pains spread to his whole body but they also reached his heart and tongue; whenever the pains affected his heart and tongue in a way that prevented him to mention Allah's name, he took refuge in Allah only for the servitude of Allah and got over this misfortune when his prayer was accepted.

The wounds in Hz. Ayyub’s body and worms (microbes) caused by the wounds were not in a condition that would disgust people and make them hate him. Those who saw him knew that he was going through a serious disease but they neither got disgusted by him nor stayed away from him. For, he did not have a condition like that. At present, there are such internal diseases like tuberculosis and cancer that are so common; but there are not any visible wounds and symptoms on the patient’s body. Those who see a patient like that are not disgusted by him/her; however, the patient is convulsed in an unbearable pain and he/she wastes away internally.

So, the disease of Hz. Ayyub was not a disease disgusting people looking from outwards. For, prophets are away from the defects that can cause the public to abhor them and they were protected by Allah. Prophets’ being exposed to disgusting things is a condition that prevents them to be together with the public and call people to the truth and the straight path that is a necessity of prophethood. This is not appropriate for the wisdom of prophethood. (Khulasatu'l-Bayan f i Tafsiri'l-Qur'an, IX/3469)

In other words, as Hz. Ayyub was a prophet, he was appointed to call people to the truth and the straight path. If he had caught such a disgusting disease, he could not have succeeded in conveying the message of Allah to people and calling people to the religion. As a matter of fact, his being deprived of goods, possession and children and finally being subjected to a test through a serious disease and his showing patience are dependent on the wisdom of setting an example to people.

Mentioning the story of Ayyub (as), Said Nursi explains the lesson that today’s people must take as follows:

“The wounds of Job (Upon whom be peace) were of such a nature as to threaten his brief worldly life, but our inner wounds threaten our infinitely long everlasting life. We need the supplication of Job thousands of times more than he did himself. Just as the worms that arose from his wounds penetrated to his heart and tongue, so too the wounds that sin inflicts upon us and the temptations and doubts that arise from those wounds will-may Allah protect us!-penetrate our inner heart, the seat of belief, and thus wound belief. Penetrating too the spiritual joy of the tongue, the interpreter of belief, they cause it to shun in revulsion the remembrance of Allah, and reduce it to silence.” (Lem'alar, İkinci Lema (The Flashes, The Second Flash))

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