Allah says in the Quran (to Ayyub A.S.):

‘Take a small bunch of grass in your hand, and strike [her] with that so as not to break your oath.’ We found him patient in adversity; an excellent servant! He, too, always turned to God. (38:44)

According to what I have read of Ibn Kathir and other tafasir, they say that the Prophet Ayyub (AS) made a promise with Allah that he would punish his wife with 100 lashes because she did something wrong.

However, I couldn't find what the source of this story was. Is it a hadith? If so, from where?

2 Answers 2


Part of it can be inferred from the words of the verse itself. The details are not present in any marfoo' hadith from the Prophet, rather the tradition about the wife of Ayyub (عليه السلام) has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbas (see e.g. Tarikh Damishq of Ibn Asakir and Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim) and from some of the Tabi'een such as Sa'eed ibn Musaib, Hassan al-Basri, Abdurrahman ibn Jubayr and Qatada ibn Di'ama (see Tafsir al-Tabary, Tafsir al-Qurtubi).

They differ on what the wife did, for example that Satan told her that her husband could be cured if he will say that he cured him, or she could make her husband abstain from saying Bismillah on eating or on offering a sacrifice dedicated to him or on saying something etc.

  • What does it mean if it was narrated from Ibn Abbas (RA)? Is it most probably a statement of the Prophet (SAW)? Or is it a statement from the Israeeliyaat? Or is it not possible to know which it is?
    – The Z
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 15:23
  • @TheZ It means that it is a statement of Ibn Abbas, and he does not attribute it to anyone. He could have learnt it from the Prophet ﷺ directly or from a companion or it could be Israeeliyaat as it does not have anything to do with laws or commands. Also its attribution to Ibn Abbas depends on the strength of the chain, so it may not have been Ibn Abbas's statement at all.
    – UmH
    Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 6:07

What is the source of the story of Ayub (AS) 's promise to punish his wife? The Qur'an deals with the story of Job (AS) in a concise and few verses. In one of these verses, the story of their swearing and beating their wife with basil leaves is mentioned: “And take a firm hand in your hand, so strike it with it and do not break it, for we found it patient. Yes, the servant is obedient.”[2] The Qur'an states this only to a limited extent. [2]. P. 44: "[And we said to him:] Take bundles of wheat stalks [or the like] and strike [your wife] with it and break your oath!" "We found him patient. What a good servant who was very returning [to God]!"

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