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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Back You are here: Home Books The Prophets of Islam Prophet Ayub

Prophet Ayub


Prophet Ayub

Ayub (Job) was a descendant of A'mis, the third son of Ishaq. Allah had granted him great wealth and a large family, and he lived in comfort and peace. Allah wanted to test his steadfastness of faith in plenty and in deprivation. Once lightening struck his live stock and all his animals perished. This was followed by a storm that destroyed his crops. The test of deprivation continued, and his house collapsed over his family, killing all his children. Every time a calamity struck, he went down in submission to Allah acknowledging that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. There is none other than Allah who has the power to provide and sustain His creatures in this world and beyond.

The trial of patience continued, and Ayub developed ulcers over all his body, and the maggots ate his rotting flesh. At these troubled times, many of his friends and followers abandoned him. Only his beloved wife Raheemah stayed with him throughout his troubles. She washed and caressed his wounds and fed him with whatever she could gather.

The towns people forced him and his devoted wife out into the wilderness. The series of painful trials did not shake him in his belief in the Benevolence of Allah. He exhibited his contentment over the trials of life and with whatever meager provisions he had. Allah was pleased with His steadfast servant. He gave him full recovery from his oozing sores. Upon recovery from his illness, he toiled in his land and regained his wealth that far exceeded his previous possessions. Allah granted him new and expanded progeny. His circle of friends and followers grew larger than ever, and all wonderd over what Ayub had sustained. This added greater strength to the faith of the believers. The patience and perseverance of Ayub in the face of all suffering is proverbial and the best example for people of all times.

References : al Qu'an: Sura Anam, Anmbiya', Jinn.

Prophet Ilyas

Ilyas 'was a descendant from the progeny of Harun and was a great prophet of Allah amongst Banu Insrail. The king of Bani Israil had reverted to materialism. He was married to a heathen woman. Banu Israil followed their king and carved out several stone idols for worship including the calf that was a popular god amongst the Phillistines. Any one who stood up for the monotheistic faith of Musa was slain ruthlessly. This was the time when many prophets of Allah were martyred because they taught the truth and wanted people to return to the religion of Allah.

The king and his queen had their neighbor killed because he was a man of pious conduct and of monotheistic faith; and annexed his fertile fruit groves to their own. Ilyas rebuked them for their ill conduct. He told them that if they did not repent on what they had wrought against an innocent family, return the groves to the orphan of the slain owner, Allah will send his punishment upon them, and they will be similarly slain in the same fruit garden. The king told Ilyas that he should refrain from confrontation with him or else he will have him arrested and tortured for his harsh words against his king.

Ilyas

Ilyas 'was a descendant from the progeny of Harun and was a great prophet of Allah amongst Banu Insrail. The king of Bani Israil had reverted to materialism. He was married to a heathen woman. Banu Israil followed their king and carved out several stone idols for worship including the calf that was a popular god amongst the Phillistines. Any one who stood up for the monotheistic faith of Musa was slain ruthlessly. This was the time when many prophets of Allah were martyred because they taught the truth and wanted people to return to the religion of Allah.

The king and his queen had their neighbor killed because he was a man of pious conduct and of monotheistic faith; and annexed his fertile fruit groves to their own. Ilyas rebuked them for their ill conduct. He told them that if they did not repent on what they had wrought against an innocent family, return the groves to the orphan of the slain owner, Allah will send his punishment upon them, and they will be similarly slain in the same fruit garden. The king told Ilyas that he should refrain from confrontation with him or else he will have him arrested and tortured for his harsh words against his king.

It so happened that the young son of the king became ill. Ilyas asked the king why did he not pray to his best idol for the recovery of his son. The king was so annoyed with the harsh words of Ilyas that he sent his palace guards to arrest him and bring him into his presence so that he could be tortured and killed in his presence. Ilyas prayed to Allah for His help. The palace guards fell down dead, and Ilyas was spared.

Allah sent his punishment for the people in the form of a drought. Ilyas challenged them to go and sing and dance to please their false gods and see if they would send some rain for them. Clearly all the elements are subservient to Allah and no amount of material power can match His Will. They did all that was known to them but nothing happened.

When hearts harden with hate and defiance, no amount of logic or reason makes any sense. They all swooped on Ilyas to lynch him in public. They blamed him for his magic to be the cause of their misery. They conspired to kill him. Ilyas appointed Al-Yasa' his successor and vanished in the protection of Allah. A monarch from a neighboring kingdom came and conquered the land. The king and his queen met their ill fate as predicted by Ilyas, and were slain in the same grove where they had killed its innocent owner. Their bodies lay rotting in the sun, and ravens and vultures ate their flesh.

References : al Qur'an: Sura Saffat.

Prophet Zulkifl

Zulkifl was a contemporary of Ilyas. He was a very pious man of Allah and was well respected by the people. He was responsible for saving lives of over a hundred prophets and men of Allah during the rule of an Israilite king and his heathen wife who would kill any one opposing their practice of idolatory. He is named Zulkifl in al Qur'an, which means the savior or protector. He is named Abadihah in the Torah.

References : al Qur'an: Sura Anmbiya', Jinn.

Prophet al-Yasa

Al-Yasa' was the son of Safet and was appointed his khalifa by Ilyas before he vanished into the protection of Allah. He was appointed prophet to Banu Israil after Ilyas.

He inherited from Ilyas the obstinate king and queen of Bani Israil who would not listen to any reason. Al-Yasa' did many miraculous deeds to show them the powers of Allah but they called him a magician like they had called Ilyas before him. They continued defying throughout his life. After a period of time the mighty Assyrians conquered Bani Israil, destroyed their dwellings including the Bait-ul Muqqadas and took away all the precious relics. They raged such havoc in the land that several tribes of Bani Israil have lost their ancestoral traces to this day.

References : al Qur'an: Sura Anam, Jinn.

Prophet Yunus

Yunus son of Amittai in the clan of Judah wa appointed prophet by Allah towards the people of Ninewa (North Western Iraq). The people were very head strong and obstinate. They refused to listen to his teachings. He got disgusted and disappointed with the lack of progress wi the people. He prayed to Allah to punish the people fo defying him, and decided to take the river ferry to go another territory. While crossing the river, great swells engulfed ferry. When it appeared that the boat would sink with next swell, the captain of the boat addressed the passengers and said that there must be someone amongst them who had run away from his master. He should give himself up and come forward so that he may be tossed overboard to save the rest. No one moved for a while. When the next swell struck the boat, and it was evident that the end was near, they decided to toss a coin and it fell for Yunus. So he was thrown in the river. The storm subsided immediately and all on board the ferry were saved.

As for Yunus, a large fish swallowed him and carried him to the banks of the river where he was ejected on to dry land. His skin got eroded from the digestive juices of the fish. He suffered great pain and disappointment because o the flies and the sun. He sought forgiveness from Allah for having abandoned his mission. Allah made a plant come up by his side and he convalesced under its shadow by the river bank, and reflected over the extra-ordinary experience. In the meantime, his people had realized their error. They repented for their sin and ventured out in search of Yunus. They found him and rejoiced seeing him alive. They took him back and promised to live by his teachings. He lived amongst his people to a long and ripe age. When he died, he was buried near the same place where the great fish had ejected him. Many devout followers started to build their homes at this location and it soon developed into a bustling city. The city of Kufa is located at the same historic site and the grave of Prophet Yunus is located at the @bank of the river.

Yunus is also known as Zunnun since he had emerged from the stomach of a fish.

References : al Qur'an: Sura Nisaa', Anam, Yunus, Anmbiya'. Saffat, Qalam.

Prophet Uzair

The Babylonian king Nabukatnazar (Bakht Nasr) ransacked the dwellings of Bani Israil and their dead bodies lay decaying in the desert sun. Uzair was grieved at the total annihilation and wondered how could the lost glory of the cities of Bani Israil be ever revived again. A sudden slumber came upon him and he remained in that state for one hundred years. Then Allah made him rise from his sleep. When he got up, he looked at his donkey. He was surprised to see only the bones of its decaying skeleton. He wondered what had happened to his donkey. He then noted that his food was as fresh as it was when he fell asleep. He was wondering about all this when Allah asked him if he knew how long he had been asleep. He said, " for a day, or even less!" Allah then told him that he had slept for a hundred years. During this period, his perishables remained fresh by His permission, but his living animal had undergone the natural process of death and dissolution. Then Allah made his donkey also come to life in front of his eyes. Uzair acknowledged that Allah had total command over all things.

He then headed for the "ruins" of the dwellings he had seen before his "sleep" and saw that the cities had been totally rebuilt and life was bustling again. He was received by the king with great curiosity and when they heard his strange story, they said he had to be the Son of God, to have come back from amongst the dead! In Qur'an, Allah has admonished Bani Israil who had this false belief. He is known as Ezra in Torah.

References : al Qur'an: Sura Baqarah, Taubah.

Prophet Luqman

Luqman was a great wise man of Allah. He is famous for laying down the principles of high quality of human conduct and wisdom.

His Great Personal Conduct

He believed in the Oneness of Allah and obeyed His commandment with honesty and commitment. He was a great observer and thinker. He avoided sleeping during the day, and would not sit back in comfortable posture when he had company. He was so mannerly that no one ever saw him spitting. He avoided joking, and laughing lest it would displease Allah. He neither rejoiced over achieving something nor grieved over losing it. He always helped to settle differences between parties. He prefered to sit amongst gatherings of the wise and remained silent unless spoken to. He carefully watched the conduct of the rulers. Allah had bestowed upon him the gift of wisdom and insight about the affairs of people. Allah ordained him to be always thankful, for "Whosoever denies His blessings does so only to his own peril."

He gave an eternal guidance to humanity in the form of advice to his son which is stated in Qur'an. On The Great Sin of Polytheism "O son, be careful, never associate any one with Allah because it is a grave sin and there is no forgiveness for it." On Thankfulness to Allah for His Benevolence, and On The Rights of Parents, and Their Obedience"O son, be humble and charitable towards your parents. Thank Allah first for all that He has granted you without your asking for it, and then thank your parents for the kindness they showed you, when you were helpless.

"If the parent are polytheistic and force you to follow them in their faith, do not obey them in this respect, but without causing any harm to them. Continue to serve them with good conduct. Be kind to them even if they are wrong.

Careful and Cautious Conduct

He continued his advice: "O son, Your deeds , good or bad, and in any amount, are accountable on the Great Day of Reckoning. Your reward or punislunent will depend on the quality of your conduct. "Do not slumber when you should be awake and stand in worship of your Lord. Learn to bear in the times of deprivation, for Allah rewards those who show contentment and forbearance. "Do not exhibit arrogance as you walk or talk, as Allah does not consider arrogance to be an appropriate behavior amongst human beings. "Show moderation in your attire and adornments. "Talk in low tone, because the loud and the crude tone belongs to the ass."

References : al qur'an: Sura Luqman.

Prophet Zakariya

Zakariya was a prophet amongst Banu Israil and was the father of Yahya. He was responsible for the rituals of worship as well as the upkeep of Bait-ul Muqqadas.

Fostering care of Maryam

Maryam was a niece of his wife. The mother of Maryam had dedicated her unborr. child to serve Bait-ul Muqqadas. When she gave birth to a daughter, she did not retract from her vow of dedicating her child in the service of Bait-ul Muqqadas and gave her to the foster care of her uncle, Zakariya. When she grew up, he started to take her along to the great Mosque and taught her how to take care of all the sacred objects and how to conduct the rituals of worship. When she grew older, he alloted her a room inside the Mosque so that she could carry out her duties independently, and at all times.

The Birth of Yahya

Zakariya had grown old and his wife was infertile. Allah revealed to him that he would have a son very soon who would be a great prophet and a leader. His conduct would be exemplary to all mankind. There had never been any one before him with the same name, and that his name would be Yahya. He would affirm the innocence of Maryam. Zakariya was struck with amazement over the possibility of having a child at his old age and through his wife who had been infertile all her life. Allah conveyed to him that there is nothing that is impossible for Him to do. Allah gave Zakariya His sign for the prophecy, that he would be incapable of verbal communication with any one for a period of three days. So Zakariya was unable to talk for three days as the angel of Allah had forewarned him. Soon afterwards he had the son whom he named Yahya, according to the Will of Allah. He is known as Zacharia in the Torah.

References : al Qur'an: Sura Ale Imran, Anam, Maryam, Anmbiya'.

Prophet Yahya

Yahya was bom during the reign of king Harrod who was a puppet monarch under the rulers of Rome. He was the son that Allah had promised to Zakariya in his old age. There had never been any one before him with that name. He had shown compassion to serve mankind right from his childhood. As he grew older, his conduct in the society was cosidered exemplary. He was kind hearted towards others, and was obedient to his parents and elders. He lived strictly according to the Torah and urged others to follow it for their salvation. He gave baptismal rites to all those who listened to his call.

When Bani Israil laid blame on Maryam over the virgin birth of Isa, he bore witness of her piety and innocence. He affirined the prophethood of Isa when he was appointed to his mission by Allah.The Roman rulers disapproved the activities of Yahya and got him killed through the king Harrod. He is known in the Bible as John the Baptist.

References : al Qur'an in: Sura Ale Imran, Anam, Mariyam, Anmbiya'.

Prophet Isa

Isa was the last prophet appointed by Allah for Bani Israil. They defied his teachings and denied his legitimacy. In collaboration with the Roman governor of Palestine, the Jews had him framed for treason, that was punishable by crucifixion. However Allah saved him from death by crusifixion. His teachings were adapted by other subjects of the Roman empire which laid the foundations of Christianity.

The Birth of Isa

Maryam, the mother of Isa was dedicated in the service of Bait-ul Muqqadas and used to live in a cubicle assigned to her for her residence. One day an angel of Allah appeared to her in her cubicle and told her that Allah had willed that she be the mother of a great prophet. Maryam was frightened at seeing the angel in front of her in the form of a young man, and more so on leaming that she would be a mother without ever having been married. The angel told her not to be afraid and to trust in Allah. He is the Creator of all things, and has ways and means of creating any thing whenever He wills.

When Maryam found herself to be pregnant, she left her cubicle in the grand mosque and made her way into the desert. Isa was bom in the solitude of the desert. The new mother sat under a palm tree with ber baby son, feeling distraught and dejected at her predicament. The angel appeared to her again and told her that she should not feel so low at her present condition, for Allah is the greatest Provider and Sustainer. He told her to shake the palm tree and enough dates would fall in her lap for her sustenance, and she could drink fresh water from a spring that came out by her side. The angel also told her," When the people ask you about the baby, say nothing; point towards him and he will bear witness to the Will of Allah and he will talk on her behalf."

The Miraculous Speech by the Infant Isa

As Maryam returned to Bait-ul Muqqadas, the rabbi blocked her way saying that she had no room in the place of worship. When she turned around, a crowd had gathered around her. Curious and agitated, they wanted to know who was the father of the baby. She did as instructed by Allah, and pointed towards the infant. They all laughed at this and said how could a new bom answer their questions. However, Isa spoke up with the permission of Allah and said, "I am a servant of Allah. He has appointed me as prophet amongst you and am the bearer of the Book (Injeel). Allah has granted me bounties of benevolence and made me obedient to my mother. I will worship Allah and obey all His laws for as long as I live. " He became quiet after that. The people were dumb founded at this miracle and they dispersed. The stories of this supernatural event remained in circulation for a long time.

The controversies over the Virgin Birth of Isa

The Jews consider Isa to be an illegitimate child of Maryam. The Christians consider him the son of God. Allah says He is neither a husband nor a father. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. He settled the controversy over the birth of Isa in al Qur'an: " Verily, for Allah the circumstances over the birth of Isa are no different from those surrounding the origin of Adam. He created Adam from no parents at all, while Isa had a mother. He just has to will some thing to happen, and it materializes at once. He would raise the dead from their graves on the Day of Judgement by His Divine Will, for He is All Powerful and Magnificient."

The Prophethood of Isa and his Miracles

Isa was thirty years of age when he began to receive Divine Revelations and started to teach Banu Israil the commandments of Allah. He showed them great miracles that indicated the grandeur of Allah. He made birds from the mud and made them fly. He healed the leppers, he gave vision to the blind, he brought back life to the dead and fed thousands from a mere loaf of bread, all with the permission of Allah. He confirmed the truth of Torah and affirmed the ordinances of halal (permitted) 6nd haram (prohibited) and revised certain canonical laws to suit the circumstances of that society. He called upon the rabbis of Bait-ul Muqqadas to clear it from all trading activities and clean it up for the worship of Allah. He met with the stubborn antagonism from his people except for a handful of true believers. He had twelve disciples, or companions (also known as the twelve apostles of Jesus) who followed him wherever he went and assisted him in his teachings.

Bani Israil did not approve the teachings of Isa and collaborated with the Roman governor of the land to get rid of him.

The Occultation of Isa

One of the companions of Isa betrayed him and handed him over to the government agents who were seeking to arrest Isa for treason. The Roman governor and Banu Israil believed that they had crucified Isa. Some of his followers thought that he was taken down from the cross before he actually died on the cross. The controversy still continues. Allah clarifies this in al Qur'an that it is a waste of time even to conjecture on the nature of Isa or what happened to him after his arrest by the Romans. He was niether crusified nor did he die on the cross. Allah withdrew him from amongst his blood thirsty enemies and raised him to the heaven.

References : al Qur'an: Sura AleImran, Nisaa'. Maidah, An'am, Matiyam, Anmbiya' Momenun, Zakhraf, Hadeed, Saa Faa, Tahreem.