Ramaḍān - Day 27

The Prophet ﷺ said about Shuʿayb عليه السلام that he was an orator among prophets. His eloquence was exceptional. He went to its farthest limits in order to make his people understand his message and take to the right path. But, even after having listened to him, the response of his people was different from that given by ignorant diehards to their reformers. They threw taunts at him, made fun of him.

What Shuʿayb عليه السلام said to his people was good counsel based on earnest fellow feeling. But, his people responded sarcastically that was biting. However, they had done that to a blessed prophet of Shuʿayb’s class. He heard their caustic comments, yet turned to them with the same empathy and once again tried to make them see the truth. He said,
قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّي وَرَزَقَنِي مِنْهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًا
[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]

Shuʿayb عليه السلام was telling his people that he had been blessed by his Lord in that He gave him good provision for his material life and in that He also gave him the light of revelation and spiritual insight. Now, with these wonderful assets in his hands, how could he ever think of becoming like them, willingly embracing error and injustice, and thus failing to bring the truth home to them?

After that, he said,
وَ مَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُخَالِفَكُمْ إِلَىٰ مَا أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ
[And I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you]

This tells us that the way a preacher of religion conducts his life has a major role in what he preaches. What a preacher does not himself practice produces no effect on others. Then, he said,
إِنْ أُرِيدُ إِلَّا الْإِصْلَاحَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ
[I only intend reform as much as I am able]

And since, this effort too was not by his personal choice and volition, he further said,
وَ مَا تَوْفِيقِي إِلَّا بالله عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَ إِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ
[And my ability to do things comes from none but Allāh. In Him alone I have placed my trust, and to Him alone I turn in humbleness]

[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, verse [11:88], Volume 4, Page 667-669]

Moulana Huzaifa Saleh