Bonds of Brotherhood


In surah Shu’ara (26:106), Allah ta’ala mentions the stories of many Prophets, and He says:

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُمْ أَخُوهُمْنُوحٌ

When their brother Nuh (alayhi salaam) said to them [Shu’ara 26:106], and this format repeats for Saalih, Lut and Hud (alayhum assalaam). Whenever a nation is mentioned, Allah saysأَخُوهُمْ” their brother about the specific Prophet mentioned.

However, when Allah ta’ala mentions Shu’ayb alayhi salaam, He says:

كَذَّبَأَصْحَابُ الْأَيْكَةِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
The companions of the thicket/forest/trees denied the messengers

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُمْ شُعَيْبٌ

When Shu’ayb (alayhi salaam) said to them

(Shu’ara 26: 176-177)

Why see that the other Prophets receive the title; “their brother”, and Shu’ayb (alayhi salaam) does not. However, in another ayah/verse, Allah says about Shu’ayb;

وَإِلَىٰ مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا

And to Madyan, their brother Shu’ayb (al-A’raf 7:85). Allah mentions Shu’ayb being their ‘their brother’ in this ayah.

So why is Shu’ayb mentioned as brother in one ayah and not in another?

To understand this, we need to look at the city of Madyan itself. There are two names of Madyan in the Qur’an:

The first one is Madyan and the second one is As-haabul Aykah (companions of the tree/forest). Aykah refers to a giant tree that they used to worship.

So, when it comes tolocation, the city is referred to as Madyan. When it comes to the people, the city is referred to as As-haabul Aykah.

How does Allah ta’ala refer to them in Surah Shu’ara, where “their brother” is not mentioned? He says:

كَذَّبَأَصْحَابُ الْأَيْكَةِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

As-haabul Aykah denied the messengers. (Shu’ara 26:176)

When Allah ta’ala mentions the location(such as 7:85), He ta’ala says أَخَاهُمْ their brother.

When it comes to their religious identity, Allah ta’ala does not sayأَخَاهُمْ[their brother].

When it comes to the location, Shu’ayb alayhi salaam is their brother. But when it comes to the religion, they are notbrothers even though they have the same blood line, the same citizenship, the same identity and the same geographical location.

The precision of the Qur’an, SubhanAllah!