Prophet Shuaib and the People of Midian

Prophet Shuaib and the People of Midian

Prophet Shuaib and the People of Midian

The people of Midian are stated in the Quran as one of the former perished nations. They were devastated by Allah as punishment for their disgraceful business practices as well as disbelief.

Most scientists believe that Midian was situated on the Arabian Peninsula near the Sinai Peninsula. I am also  persuated of this situation and we shall soon see why.

According to the Bible, the people of Midian were descended from Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and a later wife of his named Keturah. This information is not included in the Quran, but we can consider the Bible’s information without proclaiming it true or false.

And interesting thing about the People of Midian is that Allah mentions them by another name in Quran. In some sections of  Quran, they are called the People of the Wood.

There are some scientists who believe the Midianites and the People of the Wood were two different nations. But those who take that view are a minority. Most believe they were one and the same.

The cause of this bewilderment is Allah says the following in the Quran:

And the Companions of the Wood, they denied the Messengers when Shuaib said to them: “Will you not fear Allah?”
Chapter 26:175-177

Based on this verse and others similar to it, it is clear that Allah sent Prophet Shuaib to a people who were called the Escorts of the Wood.

And, as mentioned above, there are some who believe they were a detached nation from the Midianites and Shuaib was sent to them after the devastation of Midian.

Chronologically, the Midianites were after Prophets Noah, Hud, Salih, and Lot. In the Quran, Allah quotes Prophet Shuaib using the example of the Lot to remind his people of Allah’s rage and justice.

And O my people, let not [your] dissension from me cause you to be struck by that similar to what struck the people of Noah or the people of Hud or the people of Salih. And the people of Lot are not from you far away.
Chapter 11, verse 89

For this cause, many scholars believe the Midianites were both geographically and chronologically close to the People of Lot and Sodom. However, there are reasons to doubt this idea.

I am persuated that they were geographically close to the Dead Sea which is the situation of the town that Prophet Lot (AS) was sent to.

However, based on proof which we’ll discuss soon, I’m more inclined to believe that Shuaib was at least 300 years after Lot. Of course, only Allah knows for sure.

As far as their situation is concerned, I believe they were situated near the Dead Sea in the area now known as the nation of Jordan. Interestingly, there are several forests in this area which may grant credence to their alternative name as the comrades of the Wood.

The Midianites grew from a small nation to a prosperous huge one. However, their success didn’t satisfy them as they started to become involved in specific business practices that were corrupt and disgraceful .

Allah mentions how the Midianites were cheats in their businesses.

And to [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu’ayb. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord.
So fulfill the measure and weight and do not deprive people of their due and cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. That is better for you, if you should be believers.
Chapter 7, verse 85

In addition to these simple, “white-collar” crimes, they also bound in much more violent conduct . There were also some Midianites who attacked and hijacked caravans on the highways. This may be an reference that they escalated in their murders becoming progressively bolder and more risky .

To direct these mischievous people to straightness , Allah sent their brother Shuaib who was one of them. Shuaib was commissioned to preach his people and persuate them to abstain their bad acts , and worship Allah alone.

Shuaib was from a noble family and it was expected that he would engage in the same bad habits as his people. So you can imagine their surprise when they perceive he was actually attempting to tear their corrupt system down.

In fact, all of the Prophets came from a noble legacy and upbringing. It is well known that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was from the Quraish tribe which at the time was the most respected and noble tribe in Arabia.

And even Prophet Musa (AS), had a noble background. Even though he was born to the lowest rank of his society in bondage , he was actually raised in the Pharaoh’s mansion by the Pharaoh’s wife.

Prophet Shuaib preached to his people advising them to worship Allah and abstain their cheating ways. But in the end, all they did was mock and menace him. In fact, they let him know that were it not for his family they would have stoned hime.

They said, “O Shu’ayb, we do not understand much of what you say, and indeed, we consider you among us as weak. And if not for your family, we would have stone

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