The Prophet Ayyub (AS) was a rich and prosperous man. In spite of his prosperity he remained a sincere and a humble follower of Allah (SWT). The unbelievers felt that the Prophet Ayyub (AS) was such a faithful follower of Allah (SWT) because of his riches, and if his blessings were taken away, he would not remain as faithful and grateful to Allah (SWT).
To show that they were wrong, Allah (SWT) put him to a test. Within a short period of time, the Prophet Ayyub (AS) became very poor, his children died and his friends left him. His wife also left him and he became very lonely. Worst of all he became very ill, remaining bedridden for 18 years.
The Prophet Ayyub (AS) continued to be a devout follower of Allah (SWT). He never lost patience or became hopeless or angry. He completely trusted Allah (SWT) and believed that Allah (SWT) knew what was best for him. He said: "Truly, distress has seized me, but You are the most Merciful of those that are merciful." (21:83). Allah (SWT) said to him: "Stamp your foot on the ground. Here is water to wash with, it is cool and refreshing. Drink of it too." (38:42)
No sooner did the Prophet Ayyub (AS) take a bath in this water, his illness was cured and he regained his former health and strength. Allah (SWT) rewarded him for his patience and belief, in this world and in the Hereafter. Patience in itself is worship which shall be highly rewarded.