People of Madyan References
themselves professed to be Believers, but they were corrupt Muslims. Prophet appealed to them that they should
judge good and evil by the standards of the righteous and honest people and not
by the standards of those worldly people who did not believe in Allah and the
Hereafter. The chiefs said that their
trade and commerce could never flourish if they applied the principle of truth
to that and carried their bargains with honesty. Besides that, if they did not exploit their
geographical position on the crossroads of the most important trade routes, and
let the caravan pass on without molestation and become peaceful citizens, all
its political and commercial advantages will come to an end. That is why the greatest argument against the
Message of Truth has always been that the community will be ruined, if it gave
up the known worldly wrong ways and adopted the
They did not want to listen or understand what Prophet Shu'aib said. They were eager to kill the Prophet Shu'aib, but they desisted from this evil design because they were afraid of his family. Prophet Shu’aib reminded them that they were accountable to Allah, therefore, they should fear Him.
Prophet Shu'aib reminded then they should serve Allah. They should not give short measure and weight during business. He warned them that there will be a scourge. He stressed that they should give full measure and weight justly and do not defraud people of their goods, and do not spread mischief in the land. The residue (after giving full measure) left over by Allah would be the best for them, if they were believers. He clarified that he was not a guardian over them. They questioned if Salat teaches him that they should give up all those deities whom their forefathers worshipped or that they should have no right on their goods to dispense with them as they please. They taunted him with saying he was the only generous and righteous man left in the land. He desired only to reform them as far as it lied in his power. He warned them that there will be an ignominious scourge in near future and then they would know who was the liar.
A shocking catastrophe overtook them and they remained lying prostrate in their dwellings. Those who treated Shu'aib as an imposter were so wiped out as if they had never lived in those dwellings. Ultimately the very people, who treated Shu'aib as an imposter, were utterly ruined. Then Shu'aib left the place, saying, "O my people! I conveyed the Messages of my Lord to you and I did my best for you as your well-wisher. Now, how should I be grieved for the people who reject the Truth!” And when Allah's decree came to pass, Allah delivered through His mercy Shu'aib and those who had believed with him. As regards those who were iniquitous, a dreadful shock overtook them and they lay lifeless and prostrate in their homes as if they had never flourished in them. "Listen! Cast away were all the people of Madian as were Thamud cast away!".
And to MadyanEN7:69 We sent their brother Shu'aib: he said, "O my people, worship Allah: you have no other deity than He. A clear guidance has come to you from your Lord, you should therefore, give full measure and weight, and do not defraud the people of their goods,EN7:70 nor spread disorder on the earth after it has been set aright:EN7:71 this is better for you, if you are true Believers.EN7:72 7:85
EN7:69 The territory of Madyan (Midian) lay north to the north-west of Hijaz
and to the south of Palestine in the eastern side of the Red Sea and the Gulf
of Aqabah and extended to a part of the Sinai Peninsula. The Midianites were great traders. Their habitations lay at the crossroads of the
trade routes from Yaman-Makkah to
In order to grasp the significance of their story in the Quran, it should be noted that the Midianites claimed to be the descendents of Midian, a son of Prophet Abraham from his third wife, Qaturah. Though all of them had not directly descended from him, they claimed to be so. For, according to an ancient custom, all those people who became attached to some great man, and began, by and by, to be counted among his descendants. That is why all Arabs were called Bani Isma'il, though the majority of them were not his descendents. The same was the case with Bani Isra'il. Likewise all the inhabitants of the territory, who came under the influence of Midian, a son of Prophet Abraham came to be known as Bani Madyan and the territory itself was called Madyan (Midian).
In the light of above historical fact, there is no reason to suppose they heard for the first time the voice of the Truth from Prophet Shu'aib. In fact, they were originally Muslims like the Israelites, but had become corrupt at the time when Prophet Shu'aib was sent to them, just as the Israelites were at the time when Prophet Moses was sent to them. Though they had become involved in shirk and immoralities by mixing with the mushrik and immoral people during the six centuries or so after Prophet Abraham, yet they professed to be "believers" and were proud of that.
EN7:71 For a detailed commentary on this, please refer to EN7:44 and
EN7:45. Here Prophet Shu'aib wanted to
draw their attention particularly to this: "You should not corrupt by your
wrong beliefs and immoral ways the
EN7:72 The fact that the Prophet appeals to their Faith shows that they themselves professed to be Believers, as has been pointed out in EN7:69. They were corrupt Muslims, who though involved in wrong beliefs and misconduct, not only professed to be "believers" but also were proud of this. This is why Prophet appealed to them, "If you are true believers, you should judge good and evil by the standards of the righteous and honest people and not by the standards of those worldly people who do not believe in Allah and the Hereafter."
not lie in ambush by every path (of life) as robbers, in order to frighten the
people nor debar from Allah's Way those who believe in it, nor seek to make the
If there are among you some who believe in the teachings with which I have been sent and there are others who believe not, wait and see till Allah judges between us, for He is the best of all judges." 7:87
The chiefs of his tribe, who were puffed up with pride, said to him, "O, Shu'aib, we will banish you and those who believed with you from our city, or you will have to return to our fold." Shu'aib replied, "What! Will you turn us back forcibly to it, even if we abhor it? 7:88
We shall be guilty of attributing a lie to Allah, if we return to your creed, except that Allah, our Lord, wills it;EN7:73the knowledge of our Lord embraces everything; in Allah we put our trust, 'Our Lord, judge with truth between us and our people, and Thou art the best of judges'." 7:89
EN7:73 Prophet Shu'aib hastened to add these words to show that he could not claim with certainty even this much that they would not return to the creed of disbelievers. A believer who rightly and fully comprehends the significance of the power of Allah, knows that it is His will that prevails over everything. Therefore, he cannot claim with certainty, "I will do this or I will not do that, for the fulfillment of this or that depends entirely on the will of my Lord. If He will, I shall become successful, otherwise I shall fail in it."
EN7:74 The chiefs and the leaders of the Midian meant and wanted to convince
the people of this thing: "It is obvious that our trade and commerce can
never flourish if we apply the principle of truth to it and carry to our
bargains with honesty. Besides this, if
we do not exploit our geographical position on the crossroads of the most
important trade routes, and let the caravan pass on without molestation and
become peaceful citizens, all its political and commercial advantages will come
to an end." That is why the
greatest argument against the Message of Truth has always been that the
community will be ruined, if it gave up the known worldly wrong ways and
It, however, so happened that a shocking catastrophe overtook them and they remained lying prostrate in their dwellings. 7:91
Those who treated Shu'aib as an imposter were so wiped out as if they had never lived in those dwellings. Ultimately the very people, who treated Shu'aib as an imposter, were utterly ruined.EN7:75 7:92
EN7:75 This total destruction of the Midian had become a byword among the
neighboring nations. In Psalm
83:5-9, Prophet David invokes the help of Allah against the oppressors,
"who have taken crafty counsel against thy people," saying, "Do
unto them as unto the Midianites."
And Prophet Isaiah consoles the
Then Shu'aib left the place, saying, "O my people! I conveyed the Messages of my Lord to you and I did my best for you as your well-wisher. Now, how should I be grieved for the people who reject the Truth!"EN7:76 7:93
And to the people of Madian, We sent their brother Shu'aib.EN11:94 He said, "O my people, serve Allah: you have no deity other than He. Do not give short measure and weight. Though I see you now in a state of prosperity, I fear for you the scourge of a day that will encircle you. 11:84
And, O my people, give full measure and weight justly and do not defraud people of their goods, and do not spread mischief in the land. 11:85
EN11:95 That is, "I have no power over you. The most I can do for you is to admonish you as a well-wisher, but it rests with you to accept my advice or reject it. As you are accountable to Allah and not to me for your deeds, therefore you should fear Him and desist from your mischievous deeds, if you sincerely believe in Him."
They replied, "O Shu'aib! Does your Salat teach you this EN11:96that we should give up all those deities whom our forefathers worshipped or that we should have no right on our goods to dispense with them as we please? EN11:97 Indeed you are the only generous and righteous man (left in the land)!" 11:87
EN11:96 This was an expression of the feelings of hatred those un-godly people cherished against the religious observances of pious people. The people who practice Salat do not rest content with their own reformation but will exert their utmost to reform others.
EN11:97 This demand of the people of Prophet Shu'aib that they had every right to do as they pleased with their goods and possessions shows that there is nothing new about the theory of division of life into separate compartments., religious and mundane. Some three thousand years or so ago they insisted on this division just as Western and Westernized people insist on it today.
Shu'aib said, "O my people! Just consider it yourselves if I had a clear evidence from my Lord, and then had been bestowed good provisions EN11:98 from Him, (how can I, the, be a party to your evil and unlawful practices?") And I do not want at all to commit those evil practices, which I forbid you. EN11:99 I desire only to reform you as far as it lies in my power. And this work of mine depends entirely on Allah's help: and in Him I have put my trust and to Him I turn for every thing. 11:88
EN11:98 Here rizq applies two things: provision of the knowledge of the Truth and provision of the necessities of life from Allah. "Allah bestowed on me by revelation that knowledge of the Truth, which I already had gained by making keen observations of my own self and the phenomena of the Nature. Therefore, I cannot be party to your evil creed and unlawful practices." "I cannot be so ungrateful to Him as to declare your provisions to be the truth and your unlawful practices lawful."
EN11:101 Prophet Shu'aib said "Allah Is not hard-hearted and cruel, and cherishes no feelings of enmity toward His creatures. He does not desire to punish them anyhow as if He were to derive pleasure from their torture. As a matter of fact, He inflicts punishments on you only when you transgress all limits and that, to, for the good of mankind. Therefore, if you feel ashamed of your sins and repent of these, you will find Him Forbearing, for He loves His creation very much."
They answered "O Shu'aib! We do not understand much of what you say. EN11:102 Indeed what we see that you are a powerless man among us. Had it not been for your family, we would have stoned you to death long before this, for you are not strong enough to prevail over us." EN11:103 11:91
Shu'aib said, "O my people! Do you regard my family to be more powerful for you than Allah (that you are afraid of it) but have disregarded Him totally? Note it well that whatever you are doing is within Allah's grasp. 11:92
O my people, you may go on following your way and I will follow my way. You will come to know in the near future who shall be visited by an ignominious scourge and who is the liar; wait if you will and I, too, shall wait with you." 11:93
And when Our decree came to pass, We delivered through Our mercy Shu'aib and those who had believed with him. As regards those who were iniquitous, a dreadful shock overtook them and they lay lifeless and prostrate in their homes as if they had never flourished in them. 11:94
Listen! Cast away were all the people of Madian as were Thamud cast away!. 11:95