The people of Madyan were Arabs. Madyan was a city near Ma’an in the surroundings of Syria on the direction of the Hijaz and near to the sea of the people of Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam. These people followed the people of Sayyidina Lut c on heels. They were known as the tribe of Madyan and they were the children of Madyan bin Madyan bin Ibrahim . Shu’ayb AlaihisSalam was their Prophet. He was the son of Mikyal bin Yahjan. There are other versions about the line of his descent.
It is said that he was one of those who believed in Sayyidina Ibrahim and migrated with him to Damascus, Wahb bin Munabbih has said that he believed in Ibrahim AlahisSalamon the day he was put into the fire, and Malgham was with him. They then married the daughters of Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam. But all these sayings are unconfirmed. Allah knows best.
There are some other such unconfirmed narrations.
In the Hadith narrated by Abu Zarr it is stated, “Four are from the Arabs: Hud, Salih, Shu’ayb and your Prophet, О Abu Zarr!” O
Some of the predecessors called Shu’ayb the orator of the Prophets for his eloquence and good speech.
According to Ibn Abbas whenever the Messenger of Allahﷺ is mentioned
him, he said, “he was the orator of the Prophets.
The people of Madyan were infidels. They were highwaymen and frightened travellers. They worshipped Al-Aykah. It is a tree of thick wood surrounded by thick bushes. They were worst of people when dealing with others. They were given to cheat when weighing and measuring and gave less measure when selling but extracted excess when buying.
So, Allah sent to them one of their own people as His Messenger. He was Shu’ayb AlahisSalam. He invited them to the worship of Allah the One and forbade them from associating anyone with Him. He prohibited them from doing the ugly acts that they were used to do. Some of them believed in him but a vast majority rejected him. Finally Allah punished them severely and He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.
In the very first verse cited above (85 of Al-A’raf), we are told that Shu’ayb AlahisSalam presented to his people sound arguments and clear proofs’. These were the miracles of which we are not given details.
Sayyidina Shu’ayb AlaihisSalam stressed upon them that they should give up their evil ways, cheating and robbing people.
According to Ibn ‘Abbas Radiallahu anhoo they used to haunt the highways and extract ten per cent of the merchandise of the travellers. He reminded them of the favours of Allah on them, like increasing their numbers when they were few.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺhas said, “The buyer and seller will have the option (of cancelling or confirming the bargain) before they part and if they spoke the truth and made clear the defects of the merchandise then they would be blessed in the bargain and if they lied and hid facts they would be deprived of blessings in their bargain.”
The meaning is clear: lawful profit is blessed even it is trifle but the unlawful does not benefit even if it is abundant.
It is said that they used this language in a mocking way. “Oh, your prayer requires us to give up our gods whom our forefathers have been worshipping for years. Should we only worship your God? And, should we use our wealth only as you suggest?” According to Ibn Abbas, Maymun bin Mahvan, Ibn Jarij, Zayd bin Aslam and Ibn Jarir, they added scornfully, “You are the forbearing, the right-minded.”
The arrogant chiefs said to Shu’ayb that they would expel him and those
who had believed in him unless they returned to their creed. He told them that would be like forging a lie against Allah if they abandoned their religion to return to their creed.
Our Lord! Decide with justice between us and our people, and You are the Best of deciders. (Al-A’raf, 7:89)
It became as if they had never been. Allah seized them with a variety of punishments. This Surah has mentioned earthquake while Suralı Hud mentions the blast or shiriek, and Surah Ash-Shu’ara, mentions chastisement of the day of omopy. The references to punishment are in terms of context of the verses.
In Surah Al-A’raf they try to shake the belief of the believers so they were seized with an earthquake. In Surah Hud their mockery and scorn invites on them the slout in retaliation of their noise.
, The words their brother are not mentioned there because their worship of Al-Aykah is recalled in the beginning of the verse and it is not proper to describe the Prophet as their brother there. They used to worship the Aykah tree. But when they were mentioned as a tribe then Shu’ayb was described as their brother. If we deduce from the varying description of punishment on them that they were different people then we should not restrict ourselves to choosing the punishment of the day of canopy against the other two varieties of punishment shriek and earthquake. In fact there would be three people in this manner because three kinds of punishment are mentioned. Allah knows best.
.The punishment of the day of canopy involved ‘severe heat and stoppage of blowing of wind for seven days. Water and shade provided no relief. These people gathered in an open place and a cloud shadowed them and they stood below it. When they were there together the sky rained on them sparks, ashes and cinders. At the same time, the earth shook with the quake and a loud shriek from the sky pierced their ears. Their souls were thus extracted and……
Al-Hafiz-Ibn ‘Asakir has stated in his Tarikhı, on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that Sayyidina Shu’ayb AlahisSalam and came after Sayyidina Yusuf
And, Wahb bin Munabbih has said that Shu’ayb AlaihisSalam died in Makkah as also the Believers with him. Their graves are to the west of the Ka’bah between an-Nadwah and house of Banu Sahm.
THE OFFSPRING OF SAYYIDINA IBRAHIM AlahisSalam
We have dealt with the life story of Sayyidina Ibrahim and his people and how they behaved. We have recalled also the blessings on him and the respect he was shown.
At the same time, we also narrated the story of Sayyidina Lut who was his contemporary. This, we followed with the story of Madyan, the people of Sayyidina Shu’ayb AlaihisSalam . We observed this sequence because the Qur’an treats them in this manner. After the account of Sayyidina Lut AlahisSalam then the Qur’an takes up the account of Madyan who were the people or companions of Al-Aykah, and we have observed the same pattern.
Now, we will deal with the offspring of Sayyidina Ibrahim AlahisSalam in some detail because Allah has bestowed Prophethood and the book (revelation) on his offspring. Every Prophet sent after him was one of his descendants.