The story of Prophet Shu'ayb (AS) in the Quran

Basics of Islam: The Story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) in the Quran

How do your kids think? Are they unaware of the world around them? How do they respond to situations and analyze events? What’s going on inside the little mind? As a parent, these were some of the questions that floated around your mind. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get inside their heads and see what they are seeing, recognize what they are feeling, and appreciate why they are responding to you in a particular way? Kids love to learn from a stories. But instead of reading to them about made-up characters like Superman or Spiderman, why not make good use of that time? Your kids need to hear the narratives of our real-life heroes while they are young. And the best ones are the stories of our beloved prophets in the Quran. This article is about the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS), who is one of the best role models for us and our kids to follow.

Why the Story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS)?

Muslim kids these days are confused about right and wrong. How can your kid growing up in a Muslim home where the Quran is central be that confused? Good question. Maybe you assumed that you knew right from wrong. But that’s the wrong assumption to make in this day and age.

We’re all in trouble that comes from our surroundings. We’re being raised in a wilderness that is both moral and spiritual. Believe it or not, our kids can survive in such a state even when a society has largely rejected the notions of truth and morality.

So can our kids survive? You won’t believe how easy it is to get started. Just open the Quran and read the stories of our prophets to your kids. Why?

Allah sent messengers to us to teach us the purpose of our lives. The Quran mentioned only 25 out of 1,24,000 prophets. But their stories were full of lessons.  Take, for example, the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS). Allah sent him to the people of Madyan, a tribe of Arabs who lived from Ma’an (a present-day Jordan) to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Who was Prophet Shu’ayb (AS)?

Prophet Shu’ayb (AS), known in Biblical literature as Jethro, was the messenger of Allah. His mother was a pious and Allah-fearing daughter of Prophet Lut (AS), and his father was a direct descendant of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Prophet Shu’ayb was also an eloquent orator. Muslims honored him as “the preacher of the prophets.” His story is vital for our kids because it enlightens and enriches people of all ages.

Allah sent Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) to reform Madyan. Throughout his blessed life, he advised the people of Madyan to improve their behavior and give up their evil practices. Allah says:

Allah sent Prophet Shu'ayb (AS) to Madyan

 Most of them were proud and corrupt. They robbed each other and considered immorality as their birthright.

The story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) also tells us that there was no discipline for kids and no respect for the parents. They refused and ignored Prophet Shu’ayb (AS). Many even ridiculed him. And some of these men waited outside his house to harass him, his family members, and his followers, visiting him for guidance.

Who are the People of Madyan?

Allah gave the people of Madyan strength and power. Their area had been rich with fertile lands. The abundance and varieties of food enriched the nation. Most of them were traders, and their clients came from the surrounding areas of the desert. But, instead of thanking Allah for such blessings, they disobeyed Allah. They followed Satan and started worshipping idols. They had many gods.

As well as worshipping false gods, Madyans did other shameful things. The free flow of wealth made them arrogant and deceitful. They demanded money to let traders pass through their area. If the traders stopped in the markets to buy and sell, the Madyan traders cheated them. Sometimes the traders wanted to buy or sell grain, or precious metals like gold and silver. Then the Madyans secretly fixed their scales in their favor to deceive traders. This way, traders did not get a fair price. They lied about the quality of goods and hid their faults to fool foreign traders.

The story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) in the Quran also tells us that he called on his people to stop cheating, taxing travelers, and barring people from coming to him to learn:

Give full measures of weight with justice

He promised that if they’d accept his advice, Allah would bless their trading and make them even more rich and successful.

Madyans did not pay heed to him. They were so used to lying and cheating that they thought everybody else was a liar too:

People of Madyan called Prophet Shu'ayb (AS) a liar.

So, foolishly, they trusted nobody. Allah says:

The story of Prophet Shu'ayb (AS): People of Madyan said to Prophet Shu'ayb (AS).

Prophet Shu’ayb said, “My Allah knows very well what you’re doing.”

The Conclusion of the Story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS): A Terrible Earthquake


The leaders threatened Prophet Shu’ayb (AS). They hated him, and they were not patient. They also threatened the people of the town to stay away from the Messenger of Allah and not to believe him. One day, they seized all the belongings of Prophet Shu’ayb and his followers and drove them out of the town. Then the Prophet Shu’ayb prayed to Allah to judge who was truthful.

Then, the weather in Madyan became scorching hot. People tried to shelter in their houses. Some went out into the hills to try to cool down. But nothing worked. A billowing black cloud appeared in the sky. Madyans thought it would shade them from the sun. But there was a sound like thunder, and the earth began to shake violently. Burning rocks flew out of the dark cloud, and everyone was gasping for breath. By the next morning, they all lay dead, face down where they had fallen in their homes.

Bottom Line:

So what we have learned from the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS)? We’ve read that the people of Madyan and their arrogant leaders refused to listen to the prophet. The corrupt chiefs even summoned Prophet Shu’ayb and threatened him to stop preaching. Madyans were worried that the wealth they had accumulated would diminish if the nation reformed. And Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) and his followers had to leave Madyan and settle in a place where they were welcome. Allah punished people of Madyan, and Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) and his followers were remained unharmed and protected.

Read this story to your kids. You’ll see that it will shape their minds, thinking, and value system.