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Shoaib, or Shuʿayb, (Arabic: شعيب; meaning Who shows the right path), was an ancient Midianite prophet, sometimes identified with the Biblical Jethro (though Islam attributes to him many deeds not attested in the Bible). He is mentioned in the Qur'an a total of 11 times. He is believed to have lived after Abraham, and Muslims believe that he was sent as a prophet to two communities, namely the Midianites  and the People of the Wood. To both the people, Shoaib proclaimed the faith of Islam and warned the people to end their fraudulent ways. When they did not repent, God destroyed both the communities. Shoaib is understood by Muslims to have been one of the few Arabian prophets mentioned by name in the Qur'an, the others being Saleh, Hud, Ishmael and Muhammad. It is said that he was known by early Muslims as "the eloquent preacher amongst the prophets", because he was, according to Islamic tradition, granted talent and eloquence in his language.
Historical context 
The main town Shoaib was sent to is named 'Madyan in the Qur'an, known in English as Midian, which is frequently referred to in the Hebrew Bible. The preaching of Shoaib, however, is covered nowhere in the Hebrew Bible. The Midianites were said to be of Arab descent, though being neighbors of the Canaanites, they intermixed with them. It is said they were a wandering tribe, and that their principal territory at Moses's time was the Sinai Peninsula.
The figure of Shoaib himself is absent in Jewish tradition. Although frequently identified with the Midian priest Jethro, most modern scholars reject this identification as it is made without any solid grounding. Aside from having no similarity in names, there are chronological differences. Classical commentators, such as Ibn Kathir, say Shoaib prophesied four generations from Abraham. Shoaib is believed to have been the son of Mikil, the son of Isaachar, the son of Midian, the son of Abraham. Scholars who take this to be true believe that the identification with Jethro is, as a result, rendered irrelevant, as Jethro - who lived at the time of Moses - would have been active hundreds of years later.
Prophecy in Midian 
The Qur'an states that Shoaib was appointed by God to be a prophet to the people who lived east of Mount Sinai, the people of Midian. The people of this land were said to be especially notorious for cheating others through dishonesty and, of course, for their immense sin of idolatory. Shoaib's prophecy mainly involved calling the Midianites to the correct path of God and forbidding them of worshiping false gods.
It is also said he told his people to stop being dishonest in their daily activities. Although he preached and prophesied for a sustained period of time, the majority of the people refused to listen to him and rejected the Message. Shoaib, however, remained steadfast to God. He consistently preached powerfully against the wicked, telling them of the punishment that had befallen the sinful before them. Shoaib warned the people that their ignorance would lead to the destruction of Midian, giving historical examples of earlier prophets, including Noah, Hud, Saleh and Lut, all of whose people were destroyed by God earlier in history.
The people taunted Shoaib and told him that, were it not for the prestigious family he came from, he would surely have been stoned to death. Shoaib retaliated with a burning statement, asking "Is my family of more consideration with you than God?", sharply questioning them on whether they feared his tribe more than the LORD. When the Midianites refused to believe, they were destroyed by a mighty earthquake. The Qur'an, however, mentions that Shoaib, and his believing companions, were rescued from the thunderous punishment.
Parallel with other prophets 
Shoaib's mission is often mentioned in the Qur'an with the mission of Lut, Noah, Hud and Saleh. Scholars have pointed out that these five prophets exemplify the early prophetic missions: The prophet would be sent to his community; the community would pay no attention to his warning and would instead threaten him with punishment; after years of preaching, God would ask him to leave his community and his people would be subsequently destroyed in a punishment. Scholars interpret the listing of the five prophets to be chronological, with Noah being the only prophet in the list who preached before the Great Flood.
Shoaib's Tomb 
The tomb of Shoaib is well preserved in Jordan; it is located 2 km (1.2 mi) west of the town of Mahis in an area called Wadi Shoaib, although Islam also attributes other sites located in the Sinai and in historical Palestine.
See also 
- Brandon M. Wheeler, Historical Dictionary of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, Shuayb, pg. 303
- Quran 7:85-93
- Quran 26:176-177
- Quran 7:85–91
- Quran 26:189
- Stories of The Prophets, Ibn Kathir, pg. 220
- Abdullah Yusuf Ali: Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary
- Quran 7:85: "And to Midian (We sent) their brother Shoaib. He said: 'O my people! serve Allah, you have no god other than Him; clear proof indeed has come to you from your Lord, therefore give full measure and weight and do not diminish to men their things, and do not make mischief in the land after its reform; this is better for you if you are believers.'"
- Quran 11:89
- Quran 11:91
- Quran 11:92
- Quran 7:91
- Quran 11:94
- Wheeler, A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, Shuayb
- Google maps ( )
- Druze Revered Sites in Palestine: Jethro's Tomb