The incident of Nabi Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam) is well known to one and all. Initially, Nabi Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam) enjoyed great prosperity. He had an abundance of animals and crops, many children and numerous homes. Allah Ta‘ala then decided to test him. He lost all his wealth, all his children and was afflicted with a disease which ravaged his entire body. The only two limbs of his body that were spared from this illness were his tongue and his heart. Despite these adversities, even in this condition, he would keep his heart and tongue engaged in the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala.  

While Nabi Ayyoob (‘alaihis salaam) patiently endured this test, most of the people abandoned him, until he was left alone and isolated in a corner of the town. Only his loyal wife did not desert or abandon him. According to some historians, her name was Layyaa, while others have mentioned that her name was Rahmah.

 She remembered his favours upon her when conditions were favourable and prosperous, and remained at his side through thick and thin, ever loyal and faithful.

She would patiently tend to him and saw to all his needs. In some narrations, it has even been mentioned that when her wealth was eventually depleted, she undertook domestic work in peoples’ homes to earn a living so that she could continue to see to her ailing husband’s needs. This was apart from her losing all her children. Through all these tests, however, she remained patient and did not complain, even though she went from a life of comfort and happiness to one of difficulty and distress.

(Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 1, pg. 262)


1. The proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” is often quoted, highlighting the fact that a true friend is one who will remain with you in difficult times as well as good times. We can imagine that if such loyalty is expected of a good friend, then what must be the high level of loyalty that is expected of a true spouse? After all, the relationship between a husband and wife far surpasses any friendship! Hence, a true and loyal wife is not one who will abscond to her father’s house when “the going gets tough”. Rather, she will patiently remain with her husband and assist him, to the best of her ability, as she would expect of him had she been in difficulty.

2. Undergoing tests is an unavoidable occurrence in life. We cannot choose the nature or time of our tests – but we can choose to pass the tests. To do so, we will have to hold firmly to sabr(patience) and remain pleased with the decision of Allah Ta‘ala.