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Understanding IslamIntroduction to IslamSome Basic InformationMuslim BeliefsAbout The Qur'aan IAbout The Qur'aan IIHistory of Muhammed (pbuh)History of ProphetsSermons of Muhammed (pbuh)40 AhadithSome Prominent MuslimsThe Holy Qur'aan
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Par Excellence - Islam - List of Topics In Selected Reference

History of Prophets


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1. THE PROPHET ADAM

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Adam is an Arabic word for man. He was the progenitor of human race. He is reckoned to be the first prophet by the Muslims. He was also the first man whom Almighty Allah had created from the elements of clay. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"0' mankind! Surely We created you from dust." (30:20)

The gradual process of man's physical development has been referred to in the following Verses of the Holy Qur'an:

"He began the creation of man from dust. Then He made his progeny of an extract of water held in light esteem. Then He made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit and made for you ears and eyes and heart." (32: 7-9)

According to the latest scientific researches the man has been created from clay with all its element and their inherent properties. It is discovered by a chemical analysis of the human body that a defect occurs in its normal functioning when the quantity of any of these element gets diminished. In such case vitamins are used to supplement the deficiency and restore normal health.



The Creation of Prophet Adam:
Before the creation of mortal, Almighty Allah directed all the angels to assemble. Thousands upon thousands of angels (created from light) and Jinns (created from fire) gathered in groups. They bowed respectfully in the presence of Almighty Allah. The Creator of the universe declared that he intended to create the man and sought their counsel. The angels and Iblis (Satan) disapproved the idea and pointed out that human beings would cause disorder on the earth. They would make mischief and shed blood indiscriminately. The Holy Qur'an gives a description of this event in the following Verses:

"And when your Lord said to the angels: I am about to appoint a vicegerent in the earth. They said: Will you place therein such as will cause disorder in it or shed blood ? We celebrate your praise and extol your holy names. He answered: I know what you know not." (2:30)



Angels were asked to make Obeisance to Adam:
Allah taught Adam the names of all things and inculcated into his mind the knowledge of their properties. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And He taught Adam the names of all things; then presenting them to the angels, He said: Tell Me the names of these if you are right." (2: 31)

The angels did not know their names and said:

"Glory be to You. We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Surely, You are Knowing, the Wise." (2: 32)

After that Allah questioned Adam in the presence of all angels about the names of different objects. He gave correct answers on the basis of this superiority. Allah asked all the angels to bow as a mark of respect to Adam who was created so miraculously. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"0' angels! Fall down making obeisance to Adam" (15:29)



Angels Prostrated but Iblis Refused:
When the angels heard the Commandment of Almighty Allah, they all complied without hesitation. They bowed with respect and admiration to the new creation and that was Adam. However Iblis (Satan) did not surrender on various pretexts and stood still. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam, they did obeisance, not so Iblis, he refused and was haughty and he was of the: rejecters." (2:34)



Challenge of Iblis:
Iblis disobeyed Allah and became defiant. He arrogantly refused to accept the authority of a creature who was made of rubbish. Iblis thought himself superior to human being. As a result, God expelled Satan from the Garden of Bliss and deprived him of all Divine favours. Satan requested Almighty Allah to allow him to exist until the Day of Judgement. I would bring most of the descendants of Adam under my sway. I would lead them astray from the Right Path. Allah gave him respite. The conversation between God and Iblis has been narrated in the Holy Qur'an as follows:

"Iblis said: Give me respite till the Resurrection Day. Allah said: Be you among those who are given respite. He said: Because You have thrown me out of the way, I will certainly lie in wait for them on Your Straight Path. Then will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, nor will You find most of them grateful." (7: 14-18)

Devil is, in fact, an evil spirit which temps the man to indulge in sins. It invites the heart to do bad deeds and disobey Allah. It tries to weaken our sense of morality but if we are spiritually too strong to yield to its temptations, we become immune from all sins. Those who follow the Commandments of Allah, invite God's grace to protect them. On the other hand those who deliberately follow the wrong way, are responsible because they put themselves into the hands of Evil Spirit.



Hawa Created:
In order to remove the lonesomeness of Adam, a female mate named Hawa (Eve) was created. The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and his wife Hawa were given a place in the Garden (of Bliss) to reside. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And O' Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden (of Bliss) and eat therefrom wherever you will but approach not this tree lest you should be: among the wrong-doers." (7: 20)



Trial of Prophet Adam:
The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and his wife Eve continued enjoying each others company and carefully avoiding that specific prohibited tree. Iblis became very jealous when he saw the favours of the Almighty Allah on the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and he began to devise ways and means to humiliate them. He kept on making evil suggestions to the couple in a sneaky way. He tried to persuade them to approach the prohibited tree. One day the Iblis sympathetically said to them:

"Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree lest you should become angels or immortals, and he swore to them saying: Surely, I am a sincere counsellor unto you. So he beguiled them by deceit." (7:22)

On hearing this both Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and Eve became curious. They started wondering as to why God did not want them to approach the specific tree. This temptation gradually became stronger but Allah guided them alright and warned that not to be taken in by the evil suggestions of Iblis. The Holy Qur'an says:

"Then We said: O' Adam! Verily, this Iblis is an enemy to you and your wife, so let him not get you both out of the Garden so that you are landed in misery." (20: 117)

The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and his wife used to live happily in the Garden of Bliss. They were endowed with the knowledge to discriminate between good and evil. They were also warned of the power of evil. They overpowered all sorts of evil temptations at first and tried hard to ward off the influence of Satan. But he made numerous attempts to misguide them off and on. Finally Satan succeeded in his mission and made them approach that specific tree. Instantly evil consequences appeared. The Holy Qur'an says:

"When they both tasted of the tree, their private parts became manifest to each other and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the trees (in the garden), and their Lord called them saying: Did I not forbid you both from that tree and tell you that Satan was your avowed enemy. They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall surely be of the losers." (7: 23, 24)



The Prophet Adam and Hawa Feel Penitence:
The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and Eve followed the temptations of Iblis and were deprived of the heavenly bliss. They were, however, overflowed with grief. They requested Almighty Allah to forgive them. Allah, the Most Merciful accepted their repentance and chose them for His mercy. At the same time He dispelled them from the Garden of Bliss. They became ordinary people. They had to live like us for only a certain span of life on this earth. They would be recreated again to be judged for their actions on the Day of Judgement.



Allah gives Directions:
They lived for many years. Allah sent directions and guidance to the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). He taught others about the religion of Allah. He advised his followers to do good and avoid evils. He told the people to act upon the Commandments of Allah and follow his guidance. It would serve the purpose of shield to do away with the attacks of the devil. Allah says:

"Whoso shall follow My Guidance, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who will disbelieve and treat Our Signs as lies, they shall be the inmates of the fire and they shall abide therein." (2: 39, 40)

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2. THE PROPHET SHETH

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Sheth was the third son of the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). When he was born, his father, the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) had attained the age of 130 years. Allah conferred upon him the honour of prophethood after his father. It is said that Allah revealed to him fifty small portions of scripture. When the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was on death bed, he appointed Sheth as his successor and advised his descendants to follow him and live peacefully in perfect harmony. He tried to guide his followers to the right path but some of them were depraved by the Satan. They began to worship his self-made portrait. He passed away at the age of 912 years. Anush, his son won a remarkable position after him. In the fourth century there existed in the Egypt a sect of Gnostics, calling themselves Sethians. They regarded Sheth as a divine emanation.

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3. THE PROPHET IDRIS

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As a result of the efforts of the Prophet Sheth (peace be upon him) some people began to believe in Allah. As the time passed they began to worship the statue of their prophet. They became polytheists, irreligious and faithless. They adopted indecent ways of life. Under such circumstances Allah sent the Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) for the reformation and guidance of those who had gone astray. The Holy Qur'an makes mention of him in the following Verse:

"Commemorate Idris in the Book, verily he was a man of truth and a Prophet and We raised him to a lofty station." (19: 56)



Preaching and Opposition:
The Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) preached monotheism. He directed his people to abandon idol-worship. He emphasised them not to be captivated by the love of wealth and property. He advised them to abstain from drinking wine and other intoxicants. Only a few men paid heed to his teachings but majority of the people opposed him bitterly. The Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) did not lose heart and continued preaching with unshakeable constancy. He is appreciated for his firm faith and forbearance in the following Verses of the Holy Qur'an:

"All (Isma'il, Dhul-Kifl and Idris) were men of constancy and patience. We admitted them into Our mercy, for they were of the righteous ones." (21:85,86)



Migration to Egypt:
In spite of untiring efforts the Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) could not attain considerable success and felt disgusted with the indifferent attitude of the public. He was directed to migrate to Egypt and settle on the bank of the river Nile. He preached the religion of Allah among various tribes and admonished them to be good and civilised. Consequently he brought about a remarkable change in the moral and social life of the people.



Some Sayings of the Prophet Idris:
His lectures were full of admonition and good advice. Some of his sayings are given below:

1. Do not feel jealous of the prosperity of others.

2. He who has unlimited desires, is deprived of the wealth of contentment.

3. One should be sincere in acts of devotion.

4. It is an act of grave sin to take false oaths.

5. Patience is a key to victory.

6. He who controls his passions, is fortunate. Only a good act will be a living intercessor before Allah on the Day of Judgement.

7. One who is desirous of attaining perfection in knowledge, should have no concern with immoral acts.



The Learned Prophet:
The Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) was born one hundred years after the death of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). He was the first man who learnt to write. It is said that thirty portions of Allah's sacred scriptures were revealed to him. He was the inventor of the science of astronomy and arithmetic.



Death Event:
The Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) was taken alive to Heavens at the age of 365 years. Ibn Jarir relates in Rauzatul Ahbab that the Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) was the special friend of one of the angels of heaven. The angel took him up into the heavens and when they arrived in the fourth heaven, they met the Angel of Death. The angel questioned the Angel of Death how many years there were remaining of the life of the Prophet Idris(peace be upon him). The Angel of Death said: Where is Idris because I have been commanded to end his life. The Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) then remained in the fourth heaven and he died in the wings of his angel friend who had taken him from earth.

Mutwaslah was one of his distinguished son who made his mark.

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4. THE PROPHET NUH

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Moral Degradation:
The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) had left his progeny in a state of social and moral health but gradually they began to forget the teachings of Allah. They adopted the wrong path and indulged in corruption and depravity. They became mean, evil-doers and greedy. They cheated and hurt one another. They began to worship idols and forgot to pray to Almighty Allah. The entire society had been split up into different sections and this state of affairs had given birth to oppression and injustice.



The Advent of Prophet Nuh:
Under these circumstances Allah, the Most Merciful, wanted the people to be good again. He sent Nuh as His apostle for the reclamation of the depraved humanity dwelling in that part of the earth which is called 'Iraq in the present era. Those people believed in Allah but they associated other gods with Allah, the Supreme. The priests of these deities exercised great control over all affairs. The people offered sacrifices in the name of their deities to please them. They spent the money lavishly and thus their condition became miserable. The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) like other prophets was sincere, pious, patient and trustworthy. He was strong in his will and determination. Angel Gabriel (Jibra'il) conveyed him the teachings from Allah. He was commanded to reform the people who had been led astray by the Satan. He kept on preaching the faith of Allah and directed the people to pray to One God. He advised them to refrain from doing evil deeds. The Holy Qur'an affirms his endeavours to reform his people in the following Verses:

"He (Nuh) said: 0' my people! serve Allah. There is no god other than Him. If you refuse, verily I fear for you chastisement of a grievous day. The Chiefs of his people said: Most certainly we perceive you in clear error. He said: O' my
people! There is no error in me but I am an Apostle from the lord of the worlds. I deliver to you the message of my Lord and I counsel you right (7: 59,60)

Again in the following Verses the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) warned his people by declaring:

"O' my people! Surely I am a plain warner to you bidding you to serve Allah and be mindful of your duty to Him, and obey me so that He may forgive your faults." (71:2-4)



The Prophet Nuh was opposed:
Most of the people did not believe in the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him). They made fun of him and ridiculed him as a mad man. Whenever he tried to convey the message of Allah to them, they began to thrust their fingers into their ears. They persisted in their infidelity and proudly disdained his counsel to do good deeds. The people were so stubborn under the influence of their priests that they paid no heed to the message of Allah and their aversion rapidly increased. At last in sheer disgust the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) had to cry out:

"My Lord! Leave not upon land any dweller from among the disbelievers. For surely if You leave them, they will lead astray Your servants and will not beget any but immoral ungrateful offspring.

My Lord! Forgive me and my parents and him who enters my house believing, and the believing males and females and do not increase the unjust in aught but destruction." (71: 26-28)



Preparation of an Ark:
Consequently Almighty Allah answered the prayer of Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) by asking him to build an ark (a very big boat). The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) knew that Allah planned to drown all those sinners who had rejected His Commandments. He began to build the ark with the help of his followers. They went on working constantly from dawn to dusk. When the boat began to take shape, the disbelievers made fun of them. The transgressors thought that the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) and his followers were becoming crazy and were losing their balance of mind. The Holy Qur'an says:
"And he began to build the ark and whenever the chiefs among his people passed by him, they deride him but he said: Though you scoff at us now, we will scoff at you in Hereafter." (11:38)



Calamity befalls:
When the big ark was completed, the sky became cloudy. It started to rain in torrents. The streams became bulging with water. The Valleys were in the grip of food. There was water everywhere. The lightning was frightening and the thunder made the hearts pound fast. Every one was scared and worried except the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) and his Followers. The Holy Qur'an gives the description of this terrible deluge in the following Verses:

"So We opened the gates of the heavens with water pouring down and We caused the earth to gush forth its springs, so the water of the heavens and the earth gathered together according to measure already ordained." (54: 11, 12)

The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon trim) called on his family and followers to embark the boat. They came rushing to the ark. There was a special place in the boat for all the animates including human beings and their animals. The ark sailed amid waves like mountains while the streams of water were rising fast and filling many houses with water through the windows and the doors. Many houses collapsed and dashed to the ground. Some of them tried to swim but in vain. They were in a pathetic condition but they deserved it. The son of Nuh was separated from him because he was an evil-doer. The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) prayed to his Lord and said:

"Surely, my son belongs to my family and Your promise is true. Allah said: Surely, he is not of your family. He is of evil conduct, therefore ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge." (11:45, 46)

In the meantime the water rose higher and higher. The whole area was under the sway of flood and all the disbelievers were drowned. The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) and his followers were safe and sound in the ark which was floating without any obstruction of huge waves. Finally the rain stopped and the water abated. The sky became clear.



The Prophet Nuh and his followers Remain Safe:
The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) and his believers sheltered in a safe place. They built new houses and worked hard in the fields. The next generation which sprang up from the survived believers included God-fearing persons. They worshipped one God and acted according to His teachings. The Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) lived for about 950 years. After this dreadful destruction the people abstained from committing sins for sometime. Afterwards they began to be loose in their actions.

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5. THE PROPHET HUD

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Hud was the Prophet sent to the Bani Ad for their reformation. His lineage genealogy joins with the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) and his sons. The Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) belonged to the Bani Ad. They were the descendants of Sam.


Outstanding Qualities of the Adites:
The Adites quarrelled with the children of Ham and left Babylon. They peopled a district in southern Arabia contiguous to Umman, Yaman and Hadramaut. There they built palaces, erected temples and worshipped deities and stars. The names of their chief deities were Saqi'ah, Salimah, Raziqah and Hafizun. The people belong to the Bani Ad were tall in stature and were skilful masons. Allah had given them abundance of wealth, cattle, children and gardens. They had attained a considerable degree of civilisation. Among them flourished the famous king Shaddad. He built a magnificent palace near Adal. It was known as the Garden of Iram. He was mighty king and his conquests extended to Syria, 'Iraq and the frontier of sub-continent of Indo-Pakistan. These people were proud of their achievements and considered themselves to be invincible. They were indulged in sins and committed acts of injustice and violence. Instead of expressing a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty Allah for the favours He had bestowed upon them, they became transgressors and showed disobedience to Him.



The Prophet Hud appears and Preaches:
The Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) appeared among them for their guidance. He tried his best to bring them back to the worship of One God. He directed them to give up evil practices. He advised them to abstain from committing sins. They paid no heed to the teachings and warnings of their Prophets. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And to the Ad We sent their brother Hud. He said: 0' my people! Serve Allah, you have no god other than Him. Will you not then keep away from evil and be mindful of your duty to Him. The Chiefs of those who disbelieved from among his people said: Most surely, we see you in folly and indeed we think you to be of the liars. He said: O' my people! There is no folly in me but I am an Apostle of the Lord of the Worlds. I convey to you the message of my Lord and I am a sincere adviser to you." (7:65)



The Deluge is Descended:
The people did not listen to him and disobeyed the Commandments of Allah. For this disobedience the wrath of Allah came down upon them. A drought of unusual severity and a violent storm nearly annihilated the majority of the people of the Bani Ad. The Holy Qur'an describes:

"As to the Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring violent blast which He made to prevail over them for seven nights and eight days un-intermittingly so that you mightest have seen the people therein prostrate as if they were hollow trunks of palm tree." (69:6,7)

This storm had such a devastating effect as all the proud and disobedient people were completely destroyed but the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) and his followers remained safe and sound. The Holy Qur'an says:

"So We delivered him and those with him by mercy from Us and We cut off the last of those who treated Our Signs as lies and were disbelievers" (7:72)

Afterwards the remnant who survived established themselves in Yaman. The grave of the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) is in Hadramaut. It is visited by the Arabs in the month of Rajab.

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6. THE PROPHET SALIH

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Salih was sent as a Prophet to the Bani Thamud to rectify their depraved people. The Thamudites were the descendants of Thamud, a grandson of Sam. They lived in Wadi al-Qura and al-Hajr between Syria and Hijaz. They worshipped idols and thought them very powerful. They believed that their idols provided them with food and rain, preserved them from all dangers and restored them to health when they were ill. This tribe flourished more than two centuries after Ad. Its people were famous for their longevity and enormous bulk. They built spacious buildings in the caves of the mountains and attained considerable powers.



Slaughtering of She-Camel:
The Prophet Salih (peace he upon him) was commissioned by Allah to invite the tribe to the worship of One God but they turned a deaf ear to his preaching. Whenever the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) spoke ill of their deities, they behaved impudently towards him. At last they hatched a plan to put him to death. Allah fixed a she-camel as a sign and warned them that if they slew her, they would be overtaken by the chastisement from Allah. There is nothing strange in fixing she-camel as a sign. It is an admitted fact that Ka'bah, a constructed House, is one of the signs of Allah. Whoso tries to destroy it, perishes himself. Similarly she-camel was one of the signs of God. The Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) demanded that she should be allowed to graze in the pastures and drink water from the springs. The stubborn people slaughtered the she-camel provided by God while it was grazing in the pastures.



Chastisements Befalls:
When they were about to execute their final plan against Prophet Salih (peace be upon him), they were destroyed by God's punishment. A visitation befell them and they were exterminated by volcanic eruption which showered stones upon them. The calamity which overtook the Bani Thamud was very terrible.



Description in the Holy Qur'an:
Some references regarding the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) and his people are as under:

"And to the Thamud We sent their brother Salih. He said: 0' my people: Serve Allah. You have no god other than Him. Clear proof, indeed, has come to you from your Lord. This is as Allah's she-camel for you, a sign. Therefore, leave her alone to pasture on God's earth and do not do her any harm. Otherwise painful chastisement will overtake you. And remember when He made you successors after Ad and settled you in the land. You made mansions on its plains and hew out houses in the mountains; remember, therefore, Allah's benefits and do not act corruptly in the land making mischiefs. The Chiefs of those who behaved proudly among his people said to those who were considered weak, to those who believed from among them: Are you sure that Salih is sent by his Lord ? They said: Surely, we are believers in what he has been sent with. Those who were haughty said: Surely, we deny of what you believe in. So they slew the she-camel and revolted against their Lord's Commandments and they said: O' Salih! Bring us of what you have threatened us with if you are one of the Apostles. Then the earthquake overtook them so they became motionless bodies in their abodes." (7: 73-78)

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7. THE PROPHET LUT

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The Advent of Prophet Lut:
The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) was contemporary of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). He was a nephew and follower of the Faith of his uncle. He was the resident of Ur, an ancient town in Mesopotamia God conferred prophethood upon him.

He was commanded to leave his native land and go to Sodom and Gomorra to warn and reform the people who were indulged in grave sins such as homosexual intercourse and robbery. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And Lut (remember) when he said to his folk: Will you commit abomination such as no creature ever did before. Lo! you come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but you are wanton folk." (7:80, 81)

In another Verse the Holy Qur'an throws a light on the character of those sinning people. It says:

"What? Do you not come to males and commit robbery on the highways and do evil deeds in your meeting?" (29: 29)



The Prophet Lut Preaches and is Opposed:
The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) was an alien to those people. He began to preach the religion of God energetically. He advised the people to guard themselves against the punishment from God. He exhorted them to abandon sinful ways. He told them that God had created woman for them to satisfy their lust. They did not listen to the admonitions of their Prophet. They ridiculed and threatened him of dire consequences. They retorted that he would be expelled from that town in case he did not stop preaching and rebuking them. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And the answer of his people was only that they said (to one another): Turn them out of your township. They are folk who seek to keep pure." (7:82)

The same idea is expressed in the following Verses:

"They said: If you desist not, 0' Lut, you will soon be of the outcast. He said: I am, in fact, of those who hate your conduct. My Lord! save me and my household from what they do." (26: 167-169)

Gradually time passed by and the Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) did not achieve remarkable success on reforming those sinful persons. They were shamelessly addicted to grave sins and his warnings simply exasperated them.



Angels Appear as Guests:
One day three angels in the disguise of handsome young boys came to Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and they conveyed to him a special message from Almighty Allah. The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and his followers were directed to leave the town because something very dreadful was going to happen. When the people got wind of the visit of charming boys they tried to invade the house of Prophet Lut(peace be upon him) and demanded of him to deliver the guests to them. The Prophet was much upset and he said:

"O' my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you! Beware of Allah and degrade me not in (the presence of) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man ?" (11: 78)

They rejected this appeal of the Prophet and said:

"Well, you know that we have no right to your daughters and well, you know what we want." (11:79)

The Prophet was much disappointed and said:

"Would that I had strength to resist you or had some strong support." (11: 80)



The Angels Convey Message:
The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) warned the people of the inevitable punishment in case they insisted on committing indecency. They laughed and doubted his character. When all efforts were ended in smoke, the angels who were in the form of human beings, said:

"O' Lut, Lo! We are messengers of thy Lord; they shall not reach thee. So travel with thy people in a part of the night and not one of you turn round all save thy wife." (11:81)



The Prophet Lut is Delivered and his Nation Destroyed:
The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and his adherents left the city in the fagging part of the night and took shelter in a place of safety. Soon after an uproar took place. A sudden tremendous noise shock the earth. It was a scary and dreadful earthquake. The houses crumbled down and lofty buildings smashed to nothing but rubble. The rocks that went up in the air hit those who tried to escape. All arrogant sinners were completely destroyed. The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and his followers were saved but his wife could not survive because she sympathised with the sinners. The Holy Qur'an gives a brief description of this mishap in the following Verses:

"Then the (awful) cry overtook them at the sunrise: And We utterly confounded them, and We rained upon them stones of heated clay. Lo! therein verily are portents for those who read the signs." (15:73-75)

The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) was admitted to God's mercy and was declared to be one of the righteous. He died in Palestine and was buried at Bani Na'ima near Hebron.

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8. THE PROPHET DAWUD

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The Advent of Ibrahim:
Long ago Almighty Allah gave the honour of His choice to a man called Ibrahim. He became the Prophet. His native Mesopotamia is the present southern 'Iraq. He was an ideal model for mankind. Speaking highly of him the Holy Qur'an says:

"Ibrahim was indeed a paragon of virtue, obedient to Allah, ever inclined to Him and he was not of those who set up equals to Allah. He was ever grateful for His favours, We chose him and guided him to a straight path; and We bestowed on him good in this world and in the Hereafter, he will surely be among the righteous." (16: 121-123)



His Nation was Staunch Worshippers of Idols:
In the days of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) ignorance prevailed upon the minds of the people. Most of the people had no knowledge of Allah and His teachings. They worshipped the sun, the moon and the stars. They were astronomers and maintained the records of the movements of the planets. They prayed to the idols made of wood and stone and made many offerings for them. The priests enjoyed a prominent place in the society. They commanded respect among their followers. They were paid well. The poor people were ruled by the chiefs. They were subjected to their cruelty and injustice.

The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was the son of Terah whose surname Adhar was popularly known. He was a doll carver and a staunch worshipper of idols. He did all he could to compel Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to worship the handicrafts of man but flatly refused to do so. He hated even an idea of worshipping the idols which could neither see, nor hear, nor speak.



The Prophet Ibrahim's Preaching:
The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) received the message of Allah through a special angel Gabriel (Jibra'il). Gradually he was commanded to start preaching. As he was a strong man in his will and determination, he worked very hard. He began his mission in the teeth of opposition. He argued with his people with great vigour regarding the folly of worshipping the idols. The Holy Qur'an says:

"When he said to his father and his people: What are these images to which you are so devoted ? They replied: We found our fathers worshipping them. He said: Then you as well as your fathers have indeed, been in manifest error. They said: Is it really the truth that you have brought for us or are you jesting ? He replied: Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth; He brought them into existence and I am of those who bear witness to this, and by Allah, I will certainly plan against your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs." (21: 53-58)



Opposition by the People and Discussion with the King:
The people paid no heed to his teachings. They insisted on their ways. They did not refrain from worshipping the twinkling stars, shining moon and ugly idols. The priests kept on encouraging the people to disbelieve in the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). They were afraid lest they should be deprived of their priesthood if the people abandoned idol-worship. As a matter of fact the king Nemrùd in that area thought himself to be god. He had a big castle and many soldiers at his disposal. He desired to argue with the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) one day. They met to hold discussions: The king looked at the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) mockingly for a while. Then he said: What is this thing you are calling the people for? Why do you persuade the People to worship God Who is invisible? The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) replied boldly: My God is the One: Who gives and takes away life. Nemrud answered arrogantly: I have also the power to do that. I can kill the persons and can spare them also. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) asked a clever question that caught every one by surprise. He said: My God causes the sun to rise from the East and set it in the West. Can you make it come from the east? On hearing the king remained silent because he knew that no man had the power to do so.



Breakage of the Idols:
After a few days a special event took place. There was a grand ceremony outside the locality and every one had to participate in the celebrations. Most of the evil-doers drank; liquor and became noisy and wild. They were losing their balance of mind in a state of intoxication. There was a great hustle. Almost every one from the town attended the ceremony except the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). He had a special plan in his mind. He proceeded towards the Temple escaping the sight of others. When he entered the Temple, he saw there many statues which stood motionless and helpless.

The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) lifted his heavy axe and began to smite the idols turn by turn. The idols fell to the ground with a big thud. The floor was loaded with numerous noses, ears, heads, arms, legs and other parts of the idols. He broke all the idols in the sanctuary but spared the Chief one. He did so to demonstrate that the idols had no power to cause harm to any one or bestow benefits upon others. They were as helpless as mere stones and it is against the dignity of human beings to pay homage to them. When the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) finished his job, he left the Temple cautiously making sure that no one had seen him.



Decision to Burn Ibrahim Alive:
When the celebrations came to an end, the people returned. The priests went directly towards the Temple as usual and some people accompanied them. They saw that the idols were smashed to pieces. The floor was littered with stones and the Chief idol was standing with an axe hanging down along its neck. The priests began to scream and became confused. The people rushed to the Temple on hearing a deafening hue and cry. Every one was in a furious mood. They wanted to know who had dared do this trouble to the idols. They wished to take revenge. Then some one said that the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) would have done so because he consistently spoke ill of our gods and advised the people to worship One God. The Holy Qur'an relates:

"Then he broke them into pieces except the Chief of them that haply they may return to him. They said: Who has done so to our gods? Most surely he is one of the evil-doers. We heard a youth called Ibrahim making mention of them." (21:57)

The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was summoned to appear before the king. When he came, he was asked if he had destroyed all those idols. He remained silent for a while. Afterwards he directed the king to ask the chief idol on whose neck was hung the axe with which the havoc was done. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was mocking and making fun of those stupid people who worshipped helpless, dumb and deaf idols made of stones. The king as well as the priests did not like to prolong their discussions because the arguments of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) were very sound and convincing. The Holy Qur'an relates:

"Then they said to Ibrahim: Is it you who has done so to our gods? He replied: Well, some one has surely done this. Here is the chief of them, so ask them if they can speak. Then they turned towards one another and said: You yourselves are surely in the wrong. Then they were made to hung down their heads out of shame and said to Ibrahim: Certainly you know that they do not speak." (21: 65-68). Although they felt ashamed yet they remained stubborn. They decided to burn the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) alive for causing destruction to their idols.



Fire does not Burn The Prophet Ibrahim:
A big furnace was prepared for this purpose. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was tied with a rope and he could hardly move. He was quite calm and cheerful believing firmly that Allah would save him. He did not even resist and the spectators were amazed at his attitude.

The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was thrown in the centre of the furnace. The flames of the fire were blazing. They sizzled and hissed but the Almighty Allah ordered the fire not to harm His friend Ibrahim (peace be upon him):

"We said: 0' fire! Be thou a means of comfort and security for Ibrahim." (21:70)

The transgressors thought that the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had burnt to death. They did not hear the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) shouting with pain. Some time later the people saw the prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) walking out of the fire safe as if nothing had touched him. They were much surprised to see him.



Migration to Palestine:
In spite of this miracle the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) could not have a large number of people following his teachings. He went on preaching and underwent a chain of tests and trials to prove his obedience and sincerity. When his people tortured the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), he was ordered to leave that area and go to the blessed land which is now called Palestine. In compliance with the Commandment of Almighty Allah the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) did not lose a moment's rest without getting in touch with the people and teaching them about God and His message. Nothing seemed to discourage him.



Birth of the Prophet Isma'il and Migration to Mecca:
As the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had no off-spring from his first wife Sarah, he entered into matrimonial alliance with another woman called Hajira (Hagar). He prayed for a son in all sublimity and his prayer was granted. Some time later Hajira announced happy news that she was expecting a baby. As time passed she gave birth to Isma'il (Ishmael). Soon after God ordered the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to take his wife Hajira and the Prophet Isma'il(peace be upon him) to the valley of Bathã (Mecca). In accordance with the Divine Commandment he set out on a long and troublesome journey. They arrived at the spot after a long time. It was hilly area without any trees and water. They set up their tents and looked around but nothing was visible except sand. The Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) had attained the age of a few months only when the event of migration took place. He began to cry because of thirst. His mother began to look for water but it was not available anywhere.



Zam Zam is Discovered:
She ran desperately in quest of water between two hillocks called Safa and Marwa but found no water. She came back to her thirsty infant and was surprised to see the spring of Zam Zam emerged from beneath the foot of the Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him). She heaved a sigh of relief. She quenched the thirst of her baby with water. Many people from far and wide came to the spot where Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his family had settled. Gradually this locality named Mecca became the birth place of Islam.



Vision of the Prophet Ibrahim Regarding the Sacrifice of the Prophet Isma'il:
The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) went back to Palestine to join his first wife, the beloved Sarah. He received a Commandment in his vision to sacrifice his only son, Isma'il. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had no hesitation in complying with what he was ordered to do but his son was infant at that time. He had to wait until he grew older. Due to delay the temptation of not doing what he was supposed to do, was certainly there. But the Prophet Ibrahim (peace he upon him) had a solid faith in Allah and his life was all dedicated to His' service. So he kept on waiting until Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) became a teenager. One day the father told his son about the dream. To his great surprise he saw that Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) had no objection and was willing to be sacrificed as Allah had willed it. He said:

"O' my father! Do what you have been commanded to do; then you will find me of the patients." (37: 10, 11)

This was a hard decision for a young man to take and it was a moment of great faith in Allah.



The Ordeal of Sacrifice of Prophet Ismail:
On the tenth of Dhil Hijja the father and his beloved son walked side by side. A young lad possessed forbearance and the old man was full of determination and spirit to complete submission to Allah. Their purpose was to carry out the orders of their Lord. Nothing was dearer to them than the service of Allah. They proceeded towards Mina with a sharp butcher's knife that, the old shaky Ibrahim had in his hand. Many a thought and memories of the past must have crossed in their minds. Finally they reached a special spot. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) looked at his loving son whereas Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) cast a glance at his, father obediently and cheerfully. The father laid his son prostrate on the ground. He was standing beside him. His heart was beating violently. He was shaking with emotions when he drew the knife across the neck of his son. It was a moment of action, an action that was very hard to put into practice.

God highly appreciated them for their obedience and they heard a voice:

"0' Ibrahim! you have indeed shown the truth of the vision. Surely do We reward the doers of good." (37:105)

When Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) fulfilled the command of the dream, he was ordered not to sacrifice his own son. A ram was provided in his stead. The Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) stood up and the ram was sacrificed. So the moment of suspense came to an end and both the father and the son expressed a deep sense of happiness and gratitude. From that time until today, the savage custom human sacrifice has been absolutely abolished.



Glad Tidings Regarding the Birth of Prophet Ishaq:
When the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) displayed his unstinted submission to the orders of Allah by trying to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail he was informed of a glad-tiding regarding the birth of baby from Sarah, his first wife. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And We gave him the good news of Ishaq (Isaac), a Prophet among the good ones and We showered our blessings on him and on Ishaq, and of their offspring are the doers of good and also those who are clearly unjust to their ownselves." (37: 112, 113)

Time passed by and Sarah, the old lady got pregnant. At last she gave birth to a male baby and they gave him the name of Ishaq. Later on Isma'il (peace be upon him) proved to be the Prophet of the Muslims and Ishaq (peace be upon him) became the Prophet of the Jews.



Re-construction of Ka'bah:
The first House of Allah, the Ka'bah was erected by the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). It was reconstructed by the Prophet Ibrahim and the Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon them). The Muqam-e-Ibrahim is still outside the enclosure. It is a place of marble-like stone on which he stood to raise the walls of the sanctuary at Mecca. This stone contains the sunken imprints of the feet of the great Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The Holy Qur'an testifies to the hallowed sanctity of this stone by declaring it to be one of the Signs of Allah. It says:

"We made the House a resort for men and a place of security after saying: Take as your place of worship the spot where Ibrahim stood to pray. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Isma'il by saying: Purify My House for those who visit it and those who meditate therein; and those who bow down and those who prostrate themselves." (1:125)



Burial Place:
The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) lived for 175 years. His life was full of happenings, tests and trials. He had a firm faith in Allah. He never missed a moment's rest in calling for the message of Allah. He gained thousands upon thousands of believers. When he passed away, he was buried in Hebron, twenty miles south-west of Jerusalem.

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9. THE PROPHET ISMAIL

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Advent of Prophet Isma'il and Desertion by his Father:
The Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) was the eldest son of Prophet Ibrahim (peace he upon him) by his second wife Hajira. As he had no off-spring from his first wife Sarah, he entered into matrimonial allegiance with Hajira, a devoted lady. He did so with the consent of his first wife. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace he upon him) prayed to his Lord to bless him with a son. The Prophet Isma'il (peace he upon him) was born to him in response to his prayers. The Holy Qur'an makes mention of it in these words:

"Ibrahim said: My Lord! Grant me of the doers of good deeds. So We gave him the good news of a boy possessing forbearance." (37: 100, 101)

Shortly after his birth, in obedience to a Divine behest, he was left by his father Ibrahim (peace be upon him) along with his mother at the place where stands Ka'bah. It was a barren and waterless place with no trace of life in any form. The great Patriarch, Ibrahim (peace be upon him) left them to their fate with a heavy heart and prayed:

"O' Lord! I have made some of my off-spring settle in this barren valley near the Sacred House so that they may keep up prayer." (14: 37)

The scene of departing Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) from his family was highly pathetic. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Abbàs that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) brought with him his wife Hajira and his son Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) whom she suckled. They placed the child close by the spot where Ka'bah now stands. In those days Mecca was uninhabited and without water. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) placed beside them a bag full of dates and a skin full of water. When Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) returned, the mother of Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) ran after him and said: Ibrahim! Where are you going? Why have you left me in the wilderness where none is to take pity on us. Nothing is available here to eat and drink. She repeated this several times but Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) did not hearken to her voice. Then she asked him. Have God Commanded you to do so? He replied in affirmative. She said: Then God will cause no harm to me. Thereupon she returned back. When Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) got out of sight, he faced towards Ka'bah and prayed: 0' Lord! Grant that the hearts of some men may be affected with kindness towards them and bestow upon them all sorts of fruit so that they may be thankful. After this the mother of Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) began to suckle her child and to drink water out of the skin until it was emptied. Soon after her son felt thirsty. She could not bear to see him in such plight. Hajira ran seven times from the hill of Safa to Marwa in quest of water. As she was about to commence the eighth trip, her attention was drawn to the crying child who in the agony of thirst was kicking the ground. Lo! the water gushed forth miraculously from the earth in the form of fountain to save Prophet: Isma'il (peace be upon him) from the tortures of thirst. Then she drank the water and suckled her child. May God bless the mother of Prophet Isma'il! Had she left the Zam Zam as it was or had she not filled her skin with water, the Zam Zam would always have remained an overflowing mountain. (Bukhari)



Trial of Sincerity:
The origin of the custom of true believers running between Safa and Marwa at the time of Hajj is deep connected with Hajira, the mother of Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him). Similarly the rite of sacrifice also owes its origin to the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his obedient son. He had received a Divine Command to sacrifice his beloved son. Both of them stood the test with credit. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) decided to fulfil the vision on one hand whereas the Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) was ready with alacrity to lay down his life to win the favour and pleasure of Allah. While they were proceeding towards Mina for the performance of the solemn duty, Satan tried to dissuade them from their firm resolve but to no effect. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) passed the sharp knife over the throat of his son but an angel turned the knife upside down and a heavenly message forbade the act. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was desired to sacrifice in lieu of his son, a ram. So he slaughtered a well-fed ram presented by Allah. When the Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) grew up, he married a girl of the tribe but soon divorced her at the request of his father to whom she proved to be discourteous. After this he married a daughter of the Jurhum Chief.



Re-construction of the House of Allah:
Ka'bah is the veritable heart of Islam towards which all the prayers of the Muslims flow to vivify their souls. It was built by the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him), the father of the human race. When it was damaged by flood, it was reconstructed on the same foundations by the Prophet Ibrahim (peace he upon him) with the help of his son Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him), the ancestors of the Arabs. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) directed his son to bring a good stone to mark the corner of foundation. He brought one of which the angel Gabriel gave him information. It was the sacred Black stone-Hajar al-Aswad. When the Prophet Ibrahim and Isma'il (peace be upon them) raised the foundations of the House of Allah they prayed:

"Our Lord! Accept from us; surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord! Make us both submissive to You and raise from our off-spring a nation submitting to You and show us ways of devotion and turn to us mercifully. You are the oft-Returning to mercy, the Most Merciful." (1:127, 128)

"Our Lord! And raise up in them an Apostle from among them who shall recite to them Your communications and teach them the Book and the Wisdom and purify them. Surely You are the Mighty, the Wise." (2: 129).



Mecca is Habitated:
The Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) and his mother settled down in the vicinity of the Ka'bah. His progeny multiplied and ramified into numerous tribes. One of these is known as the Quraysh from which the Ishmaelite Arabs sprang up. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) belonged to this family. They habitated the city of Mecca which became the centre of Islam.

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10. THE PROPHET ISHAQ

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Miraculous Birth of Prophet Ishaq (Isaac):
The Prophet Ibrahim had two sons-Prophet Isma'il and Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon them). The Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was his second son born of Sarah, his wife. When the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) passed through an ordeal of sacrificing his affectionate son, Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) a glad-tidings of the birth of another son, Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was conveyed to him. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And We gave him the tiding of the birth of Ishaq, a prophet among the righteous." (37: 112)

The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had attained the age of one hundred years and Sarah was ninety. They had practically lost all hope of having an issue at this advanced age when the angel came to Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him)with the happy news of the birth of a wise son, his wife laughed and did not believe it. She remarked that she had passed the age and now it was simply a folly to expect a child.

The Qur'an tells us how this news was imparted to the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his wife:

"And his wife standing by, laughed when We gave her good tidings (of the birth) of Ishaq and after Ishaq of Ya'qub (Jacob). She said: Oh, Woe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman and this my husband is an old man? Lo! this is a strange thing. They said: wonder thou at the Commandment of Allah ? The mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, 0' people of the House! Lo! He is Owner of Praise, Owner of Glory." (11: 71-73)

The Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was born as God willed. He was the chosen servant of God and his descendants were men of high spiritual rank and character. He was inspired to do noble deeds and establish right warship. He was generous at heart.



Marriage and Death:
The Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was married to Rebecca when he was forty years old. His wife gave birth to Esau and Ya'qub. When the Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) grew old he lost his eye-sight. He passed away` at Hebron at the age of 180 years. He was buried beside his father and mother.

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11. THE PROPHET YAQUB

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Allah conveyed to the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) glad tidings regarding the birth of elite Prophets, Ishaq and Ya'qub (peace be upon them). The Holy Qur'an says:

"We gave him Ishaq and Ya'qub. Each of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our mercy and assigned to them a high and true renown." (19:49,50)



Qualities of the Prophet Ya'qub:
The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was the son of Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) and his wife Rebecca. He was born at Palestine. He passed his life exactly in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He had full faith in the Oneness of God. He directed his followers to do good and shun evil. He advised them to keep up prayer and give alms. He was a man of parts and wisdom. God showered His blessings on him and his kith and kin. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And We gave him tidings of the birth of Ishaq, a Prophet of the righteous and We showered Our blessings on him and on Ishaq and of their off-spring are some who do good and some who plainly wrong their own selves." (37: 113)

At the age of sixty the Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was blessed with a pair of twins namely Esau and Ya'qub. Esau was a hunter and provided his aged parents with meat. Ishaq was chosen to be the Prophet of the Bani Israel.



His marriage and off-spring:
It is narrated that his uncle Laban made Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) serve him for seven years on promise to marry Rachel with him. At the end of this period the marriage was solemnised. Later on he entered into matrimonial contract with three more women. The Prophet Ya'qub(peace be upon him) had four wives and twelve sons who became the progenitors of twelve tribes. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) and Benjamin were from Rachel. The Prophet Ya'qub(peace be upon him) had great affection for them.



Plot against Prophet Yusuf:
As the off-springs of his other wives were jealous of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) they hatched out a plan to separate Yusuf from his father. They took him out on a lame excuse of tending sheep and threw him into a waterless well. They came back home shedding crocodile tears and said: A wolf has devoured Yusuf. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) suspected foul play on the part of his sons. He bore with patience the mental torture to which he was subjected in his old age. He wept bitterly day and night and lost his eye-sight. After a long time he came to know that Prophet Yusuf (peace Be upon him) was alive. He was the custodian of storehouse in Egypt. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) along with the whole family proceeded towards Egypt on the invitation of his son. They were awarded a warm reception. He settled in Egypt. He died at the age of 140 years. He was buried in Hebron (al-Khalil) according to his will.

When the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was on the point of death, be called his sons and held conversation, with them. It is mentioned in the following Verses of the Holy Qur'an:

"The same did Ibrahim enjoin upon his sons, and also Ya'qub (saying): O' my sons! Lo! Allah has chosen for you the true religion, therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him) or were you present when death came to Ya'qub when he said to his --sons: What will you worship after me? They said: We shall worship your God, God of your fathers Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq, One God and unto Him We have surrendered." (2: 132, 133)

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12. THE PROPHET YUSUF

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The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) had twelve sons and one of them was called Yusuf (Joseph) whose life is full of many interesting: happenings. He was a handsome and smart boy with polite habits and polished manners. He bore a sound character. He had an attractive personality. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) had a deep affection for his son, Yusuf who occupied a rank of remarkable distinction among his brothers. His brothers began to Feel jealous of him. They became united against Yusuf and hatched a plan to do away. with him.

Vision of Prophet Yusuf and its Interpretation:
When the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) became a teenager, he had a special vision. He rushed towards his father to inform him about it. He dreamt that there were eleven stars with the moon and the sun kneeling in front of him. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was much excited to see this fantastic dream. His heart was beating fast while he was breaking the news to his father. The Holy Qur'an describes:

"Yusuf said to his father: 0' my father! I have indeed seen in a dream eleven stars and the sun and moon making obeisance to me." (12: 4)

On hearing about this vision the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) whisperingly advised his son not to divulge it to his brothers lest their jealousy should be excited. He had sound reasons to Fear that they would plot against him. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) interpreted that Yusuf was destined to become a great personality. God would give him wisdom, grace and honour. He would enable him to read into the future. To crown all he would become a Prophet. His eleven brothers (the stars) and his father and mother (the sun and moon) would stand in need of him and bow to his dignified position. The Holy Qur'an relates:

"He (Ya'qub) said: O' my dear son! Tell not your brethren of your vision lest they should plot against you because surely Satan is the manifest enemy of man. So your Lord shall prefer you and will teach you the interpretations of dreams and will perfect His favours upon you and upon the family of Ya'qub as He perfected it upon your forefather Ibrahim and Ishaq. The Lord is Knowing, Wise." (7:5, 6)



Plot against the Prophet Yusuf:
The brothers of Prophet Yusuf did not like that he should become the only centre of their paternal love. The sentiments of jealousy burnt them inside. They decided to get rid of him. One of them suggested that he should be put to death but the others did not agree with him -because it was a terrible thing. Then another brother proposed to throw him into a pit. All of them I unanimously voted in favour of this scheme. The Holy Qur'an says:

"One said: Slay Yusuf or drive him some other land so that your father's favours may be exclusively for you and after that you shall live as upright persons. One among them said: Kill not Yusuf but cast him down into the bottom of a pit if you must do it so that some wayfarers may pick him up." (12: 7-10))



The Plan is put into Practice:
In order to put their plan into practice the mischievous brothers of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) approached their father. They persuaded the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) to allow his affectionate son, Yusuf to accompany them for tending the sheep. They insisted so much that their father became quite suspicious. He feared lest the jealous brothers should do some harm to Yusuf. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was hesitant in parting with his son but his other sons went on insisting and trying to satisfy him. They assured their father that they would look after their younger brother even at the risk of their own lives. As the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) did not wish to compel Yusuf to avoid his brothers he granted his permission hesitatingly. So the brothers got an opportunity of carrying out their evil design of casting him into the pit. The Holy Qur'an says:

"They said: O' our father! Why do you not entrust us with Yusuf though we, indeed, mean him well. Send him with us tomorrow that he may enjoy himself and sport and surely we shall take good care of him. He said: It grieves me that the wolf should devour him while you are heedless of him. They said: Surely if the wolf should devour him notwithstanding we are so strong a band, then we shall be in that case justly blamed for losing him." (12: 11-15)

They proceeded towards the hills. All of them were nervous except the unsuspecting Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). When they were enjoying a trip, they pushed the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) sharply towards the waterless well He fell down with a thud and became sore all over. There was no food to eat and no water to drink. It was dark and scary. 'He screamed at the top of his voice but he could hear nothing except the echoes of his voice. He realised that a clever trick had been played upon him.



Father is Informed:
The brothers of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) were feeling guilty inside because they had committed a shameful act. They walked back slowly with dejected faces. They approached their father crying and sobbing. They were shedding crocodile tears while they were informing their father that the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him)had been devoured by the wolf. They produced the blood smeared shirt of the Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) as an evidence. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And they came back weeping to their father at night fall and said: O' our father! of a truth, we went racing with one another and left Yusuf to loot after clothes and the wolf devoured him; but we art afraid you will not believe us though we speak the truth. And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it." (12: 16-18)



The Prophet Yusuf is Delivered out of Well and Sold:
The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was quite vigorous. He tried many times to climb out of the deep well but he could not. Finally he sat down in utter despair beseeching Allah's help. After some time a caravan happened to pass by the well. Some men needed water to quench their thirst. One of them lowered his bucket into the well but he could not hear the splash of water. The well was dry and there was nothing except the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) who was waiting anxiously for some one to come and rescue him. When the bucket came down, it touched the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). He clung to it with his dear life. The man pulled hard at the bucket and the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) came out of the well. He felt a great pleasure and expressed a deep sense of gratitude to Allah Who had bestowed favour upon him. He dusted himself off and told the man all about what had happened to him. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was taken to Egypt where he was sold as a slave. The Holy Qur'an states:

"And there came a wayfarer and they sent down a water drawer. He let down his pail into the pit. He said: What a good luck, here is a youth. And they kept his case secret to make merchandise of him and Allah knew what they did, and they sold him for a petty price, a few dirhams and they attached little value to him." (12:1,0, 21)

The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was purchased by a famous rich man. He rendered services to him and his family.



The Prophet Yusuf Overpowers Temptation:
The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was a handsome and an attractive young man. He was extremely charming and irresistible. He was a perfect gentleman whom Allah had honoured with His love, grace and protection. He was held in high esteem in the house of his master. As the time passed the lady of the house put him in an awkward position. She fell in love with him. She could hardly shake him out of her mind. One day in the absence of her husband she approached him and desired to be very close to him. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) refrained from even casting a glance at her. He tried to get rid of her but she chased him. She grabbed hard at the back of his shirt and it was torn apart. Just at that time the master appeared on the scene. He saw what was going on, He flew into a rage. The master's wife was embarrassed beyond all limits. She cried out after absolute frustration in her evil designs and levelled false accusations against Yusuf, the innocent. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) clarified his position with the moral support of one of the maid-servants who bore witness by saying: Look at the shirt. If it is torn at the back, the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) will be quite innocent. He should not be blamed. In case it is rent from the front the accused will be one of the liars. When the shirt was examined it was torn at the back and the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was found truthful. The master was fully convinced of the innocence of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). He appealed to him to keep the matter in secret lest it should become a scandal. Moreover he admonished his wife to beg pardon of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him).



Banquet is Arranged:
Many people got wind of this incident. They starred to talk about the master's wife who had been deeply affected with the love of her slave. She wished to seduce him. The whole town kept on talking maliciously about her.

When the master's wife heard about it, she made a special plan. She wished to show the people that it was very hard to resist the charm of Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) and his lovely youth. She arranged a grand banquet and invited most of the women in the town. They were talking and enjoying themselves. The most delicious food and fruit were served before the guests. The master's wife gave a sharp knife to every lady to peel off the fruit. When the ladies were busy with using the knives, the master's wife asked the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) to enter the room. As the door opened with a squeak, there prevailed a pen-drop silence for a few second and the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) stood calmly. The ladies looked at him constantly and got stunned at his beauty. He was so attractive that many of them were taken by a great surprise. They forgot that they were using the knives. They cut their fingers in utter amazement. The Holy Qur'an says:

"When they saw him, they exalted him? and (in their amazement) cut their hands exclaiming: Remote is Allah from imperfection. This is not a mortal but is a noble angel. She said: It is he about whom you blamed me Certainly I wished him to yield to my desires but he stood firm." (12:31,3?)



The Prophet Yusuf in the Prison:
The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) found himself in a great trouble. As the time passed by, the Problems became more complicated. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) prayed to Almighty Allah to grant him protection from those ladies. He wished to be in prison rather than being indecent. He desired to escape from the temptations of sexual instinct. The Holy Qur'an says:

"He said: MY Lord! I Prefer the Prison to compliance with their bidding: and if you turn not away their snares from me, I may perchance yearn towards them (out of youthful folly) and become one of the unwise." (7: 33)

Allah accepted his prayer to shield him from evil temptations. The elite of the town noticed that their females were becoming ardent lovers of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). Although they knew that he had committed no crime yet they decided to imprison the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) to avoid disturbance in their society. He remained in the prison for several years and developed friendly relations with many prisoners. There he preached the religion of Allah and tried to reform the prisoners who were greatly impressed by his personality. One day two prisoners saw strange dreams. They came to the Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) for asking the Interpretations of those dreams. One of them said: I saw in a dream that I was pressing wine. The other prisoner said: I saw in my dream that I was carrying a basket of bread on my head and the birds were eating from it. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) asked them to wait until lunch time so that they might become anxious and listen to him attentively. At the appointed time the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) said: The one who was pressing wine, will be set at liberty and he will serve wine to his master. The other will be crucified for the crime, he had committed. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"O' my two fellow prisoners! As for one of you he shall Pour out wine for his lord to drink and as for the other, he shall be executed and the birds shall eat from off his head. The matter is decreed concerning which you inquired." (11:40)

Soon after the interpretations of those dreams turned out to be true. When the first man was about to leave the prison, the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) asked to remember him to the master. He did so as a self-respecting man without adopting a supplicative attitude. The man who found deliverance forgot mentioning all about the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) to his lord. So he had to linger in the prison for a few more years. He continued praying and teaching goodness in the prison. One day, the king of Egypt dreamt that seven fat cows were eaten by seven thin cows and he also saw seven preen ears of corn and seven others that withered. The king wished to know the interpretation of that strange dream. Every one was puzzled because no one could really say what it meant. Some of them thought that it was a passing dream. The ex-prisoner informed the king about the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) who was well versed in the art of explaining the dreams accurately. The king became quite curious and sent the man to see the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) in the prison. The man rushed towards him and tendered an apology for not speaking to the master about him. Then he asked him about the fantastic dream of the king. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) said: You will sow for seven years diligently. There will be seven years of rich harvest in the country. It is better to store as much of the food stuff as possible because there will be a famine lasting for seven years. During this period of hardships the preserved stores of grain shall be consumed except a little quantity. Afterwards there will be a year in which the people shall have heavy rains and bumper crops. They shall press grapes.



The Prophet Yusuf's Innocence is Established:
The man sought permission of leave from the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) and proceeded towards the king. He told him the interpretation of his dream in the presence of many courtiers. They were much surprised. The king was greatly impressed and expressed a keen desire to see him in person. He issued an immediate order to release the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) from the prison but he refused to leave it until he had his innocence established beyond all doubts. He told the king about the cruelty and injustice inflicted upon him without any fault. He wished to clear the blot of crime on his fair name. The king summoned the women who put the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) to inconvenience. They all confessed that he was quite innocent. The Holy Qur'an affirms: "They (women) said: Allah Blameless! We knew of no evil on his part. Thereupon the Chief's wife said: Now the truth has become established. I asked of him an evil act and he is surely of the truthful." (7: 50)



The Prophet Yusuf as Director of Stores:
The king was much impressed with his nobility and intelligence. He therefore, offered him an important position in the Government. He was appointed as the Director of Stores. The Holy Qur'an says:

"He (the king) said: Surely from this day you shall be with us invested with rank and trust. Then he (Yusuf) said: Set me over the store houses of the land. Surely I am a skilled custodian (knowing well my duties). (1:54, 55)


The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) worked efficiently and managed the affairs. he won a good name as an officer and became powerful in the land.

The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him)was awfully unhappy. He missed the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) very much. He was assured by Almighty Allah that he would see his son again. The brothers of the Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) grew in age and kept remembering the mischievous trick which they had played upon him. It was highly shameful act. Now Palestine was also in the grip of dreadful famine. There was an acute dearth of food. The family of the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was passing through the most straitened circumstances. They heard that Egyptians had huge stock of food stuff. They sold it at reasonable rates. The sons of the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) prepared a caravan and went to Egypt to purchase grain.



The Prophet Yusuf's Brothers go to Egypt and buy Food Conditionally:
When they reached Egypt the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) recognised his brothers immediately and his heart was beating violently. He did not remind them of the cruelty inflicted upon him. He did not disclose his identity. He showed kindness to them and furnished them with provision at a very fair price. They felt highly obliged because of his noble behaviour. Before their departure the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) said: If you come back, bring with you a younger brother of yours from your father's side. If my request is not complied with, I shall sell you no more grain.

They came back home after a tiresome journey. They told their father that the custodian of the food stores in Egypt had expressed a keen desire to see their younger brother. On hearing this the Prophet Ya'qub's face became tense and worried. He did not like the same thing happen to his other son. He hesitated to allow Yusuf's brother to accompany them. Because of his previous bitter experience he could not trust them. They in the long run convinced him after giving him a firm covenant in Allah's name that they would bring back the brother of Yusuf. When they opened the sacks of grain and were much surprised to find their money in it.

After many weeks their second caravan reached Egypt and went directly to the main store-house. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) greeted them with open arms. Every one was much pleased. There was a lot of hustle and bustle. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) took his younger brother aside and told him that he was Yusuf who was thrown into the well. His brother was much surprised and his joy knew no bounds. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And when they came into Yusuf's presence, he took his own brother aside with him saying: LO I am your brother. Therefore grieve not at what they do." (7:69)



Younger Brother is Detained:
The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) had certain plans in his mind. He furnished them with their provisions and asked one of his servants to put a drinking cup in their bag. As the caravan was about to depart, some one shouted! The king's silver drinking cup is missing. Every one got puzzled. The brother of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) said: We are not thieves and we have not come here to make mischief. One of the Egyptians said: He who is found guilty, shall be detained here as penalty. All of them agreed upon the awarding of this punishment. They began to search out the sacks of the customers. They found the missing drinking cup in the sack of the younger brother of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). It followed a great deal of excitement. The brothers tried very hard to convince the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) not to detain their brother but he flatly refused. He asked them not to back out of their promise. They became upset. Their eldest brother decided not to go back to the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) again and face him with heart breaking news. He stayed there and sent back his other brothers to inform the care-worn father of the whole situation. They went back and conveyed the most shocking news to their father. He displayed unshakeable patience and said:

"So patience is most fitting for me. May Allah restore them all to me. Surely, He is the Knowing, the Wise." (12: 83)

Any how he directed his sons to go and seek tidings of the Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) and his younger brother for whom he used to yearn day and night. They went to Egypt again after a few weeks. This time they had scanty money. They requested the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) to help them in charity. They were dressed in rags. They looked pathetic due to poverty. The Holy Qur'an states:

"And when they came back into the presence of Yusuf, they said: O' chief! Misfortune has afflicted us and our family and we have brought a small amount, so give us full measure and be charitable to us; Surely Allah will requite charitable." (12: 88)



The Prophet Yusuf Helps his Brothers and Discloses his Identity:
The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was well known for his generosity. He had a tender and sympathetic heart. He took pity on them. He helped them from the core of his heart. They had also sinking feelings inside. Soon after he disclosed his identity to his brothers. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"He (Yusuf) said: I am Yusuf and this is my brother. Allah has shown us favour. Surely who fears Allah and endures, is rewarded for surely Allah does not waste the reward of those who do good." (12:90)

Now every one wished to go immediately to their father to inform him of the happy news that the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was alive. At the time of departure the Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) gave them his shirt and said:

"Cast it on my father's face and he will recover his sight and come to me with all your family." (12: 93)

The brothers came home with happy spirit. They put the shirt of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) on the face of the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him). He regained his eye sight in the twinkling of an eye. He took a sigh of relief when he smelt the sweet perfume of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) from his shirt. The brothers of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) begged pardon of their father and he forgave them with an open heart.



The Prophet Ya'qub Meets the Prophet Yusuf:
They decided to settle in Egypt. They took their bag and baggage and set out on a long journey. They were given a warm reception when they reached Egypt. The father, Ya'qub, met his son Yusuf after a long separation. He said:

"O' my father! This is the interpretation of my old vision. My Lord has indeed made it to be true and He has shown me kindness. When He brought me forth from prison and brought you all from the desert even after Satan has sown (seeds of) dissension between me and my brothers. Surely my Lord is tender to whom He wills. Surely He is the Knowing, the Wise. O' my Lord! You have indeed given me (something) of the sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of dreams--Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Protecting friend in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die submissive (unto You) and join me with the righteous". (12: 100, 101)

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13. THE PROPHET SHUAIB

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The People of Madian and Their Character:
Long ago a nation colonised in the northern Arabia. This nation had an ancestral link with Madian, the son of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The name of the habitation where he resided was also Madian. It was a fertile land which produced rich crops. Most of the people had adopted trade as their profession and earned a lot of money by fair or foul means. They hankered after wealth from dawn to dusk. They used to give short measures and weight to their customers. They were dishonest and deceitful in their dealings. In addition to malpractices in commerce and trade the People indulged in theft, debauchery, fornication and numerous unlawful acts. The abundance of wealth had made those people refractory and wayward. They were not afraid of God even and did whatever they liked. They ignored all moral values. Allah sent Shu'aib for the reformation of His people. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And unto Madian We sent their brother Shu'aib who said: O' my people! serve Allah, you have no god save Him. There has come to you a manifest sign from your Lord: then give good weight and measure, and be not niggardly of your gifts to men and do not do evils in the earth after it has been righted. That is better for you if you are believers." (7:83-86)



The Prophet Shu'aib Preaches and is Tortured:
According to the research of Ibn Khaldun the mother of Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) was the pious daughter of the Prophet Lut (peace be upon him). His genealogy joins with Madian son of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) was an eloquent orator. He had the surname of Khatibul Anbiya (the Preacher to the Prophets).

He advised the people to mend their ways and give up wrangling in evil ways. The people turned a deaf ear to his advice and ridiculed him whenever they had got an opportunity. They began to torture him. The mischief makers used to sit in the way towards the residence of the Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) and threatened his visitors of dire consequences. They disgraced those who followed him. He continued preaching and warned the evil doers by saying:

"And sit not down in every path, threatening and turning from the path of God those who believe in Him and craving to make it crooked. Remember when you were few and He multiplied you; and see what was the end of the evil doers. "

Some haughty chiefs of the Madian tribe threatened the Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) and his followers to be banished from that locality. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"Said the crowd of those who were big with pride amongst his people: We Will surely turn you out, O' Shu'aib and those who believe with thee from our village, or else you should return to our faith'' (7: 88)

The Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) was not coerced by such threats and went on conveying the message of Allah. He reminded them of dreadful calamities which befell upon the previous nations The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And, O' my people! let not the schism with me cause you to sin so that there befall you that which befell the folk of Nuh? and the folk of Hod and the folk of Salih and the folk of Lut are not far off from you." (11: 89)



Visitation Befalls upon them:
The people jocularly rejected the veracity and truth of the religion of Allah. They tortured Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him)and his followers by transgressing all moral limits. When they did not give up their obstinacy in doing evil actions, Allah destroyed them by descending dreadful chastisement upon them. The Holy Qur'an says:

"And when Our Commandment came to pass, We saved Shu'aib and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and the awful cry seized those who did injustice and morning found them prostrate in their dwellings As though they had not dwelt there. A far removal for Madian, even as Thamud had been removed afar." (11:94,95)

"But they denied him, so there came on them the retribution of the day of gloom. LO! it was the retribution of an awful day." (16: 189)



Death and Burial:
After the perdition of that sinful nation. Prophet Shu'aib (peace be upon him) settled in Hadramaut where he passed away after some time. He was buried in Shaban near the Valley of Ibn 'ALI. The people came from far and wide to visit his sacred grave.

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14. THE PROPHET DAWUD

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Dawud (David) was not only an illustrious Prophet of the Israelites but he was also their king. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And Allah gave him the kingdom! and wisdom and taught him of that which He willed." (2: 251).

"(And it was said unto him) 0' Dawud!To! We have set you as a vicegerent in the earth, therefore, judge aright between mankind and follow not desire." (38:26)

The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) had an ancestral link with the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him). He lived in Bait-ul-Lahm which was situated at the distance of ten miles from Jerusalem. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was the youngest of his eight brothers. The Prophet Samuel (peace be upon him) had received an indication that the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) would become king after Jalut (Goliath). He went to Baitul-Lahm to cast a glance at Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He was much impressed at his attractive and angelic sight.



The Prophet Dawud Adopts the Companionship of Talut:
According to the Torah Talut (Saul)was in quest of a man who could play on a harp. As the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was well versed in this art, he was asked to come to Talut and stay with him. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) passed most of the time in the companionship of his master and visited his father off and on. He helped him in tending the sheep. Thus he got an opportunity to hunt wild beasts. The Holy Qur'an, makes mention of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) at many places.



Heroic Deeds of Prophet Dawud:
The Bible relates an incident which throws a light on the heroic deeds of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). Once a war broke out between the Israelites and the Philistines. The army of the Philistines was commanded by Jalut who was a man of lofty stature. He put on a shining armour. The Israelites were overawed to see Jalut's army which was well accoutred. He called out his opponents to combat but none of the Israelites had the courage to accept the challenge. He declared: In case any one of the Israelites overpowered me, I would surrender to him but if I gained the upper hand, the opponents would have to become under the sway of the servitude of the Philistines. The Israelites were terror-stricken. They had lost their courage and self respect. The Prophet could not bear this disgrace. So he decided to face Jalut for the sake of truth, honour and dignity. The king Talut advised him to refrain from fighting with an experienced warrior. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) did not budge an inch from his decision. He took his cudgel and proceeded towards the battle-field to fight with Jalut. When they faced each other, Jalut disdained his adversary and cursed him by taking the name of some deities. He threatened Talut that his flesh would be thrown before the wild beasts and birds. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) did not care for such warnings and marched forward. He prayed:

"Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm and help us against those who are disbelievers." (2:249)

By God's will Jalut was killed by Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) and his army was put to rout. The Philistines took to their heels. The Israelites chased them and came by an enormous booty. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) won a good deal of appreciation and popularity because he rescued his people from those grave dangers which prevailed over them.



The Prophet Dawud is Raised to Eminence:
Talut (Saul) enriched Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) with valuable rewards and gave his daughter in marriage to him. He appointed him as the Supreme Commander of his army because of his valour. When he saw that Prophet Dawud's influence was increasing rapidly, he began to feel jealous of him. He nursed enmity against his son-in-law. The son of Talut was very kind to Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He informed him of the real position. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) tried his best to clear the mind of his father-in-law but in vain. Accidentally Taint was killed by his enemies and his son committed suicide. The Israelites unanimously acknowledged the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) as their king. He managed the administration of the country efficiently. He conquered vast areas of land. The people prospered during his reign. They became morally strong, just, fair-minded and God-fearing

They worshipped one God. Their minds were illuminated with the light of true guidance.



Revelation of Zabur:
Allah revealed the Zabur (Book of Psalms) to Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). It contains lessons for the guidance of Israelites. The Holy Qur'an says:

We gave to Dawud Zabur. (4: 163)

Whenever he recited the verses of the Zabur in a sweet melodious tone, the listeners began to dance in a fit of religious frenzy. They Rocked around him and eulogised God in the accompaniment of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). Above all the beasts. birds, creeping insects and even mountains were fascinated on hearing the recitation of the hymns from the Zabur. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"We bestowed grace aforetime on Dawud from Ourselves. O ye mountains! Sing you back the praises of Allah with him and you birds also." (34:10)

It was We that made the hills declare in union with him Our praises at eventide and the break of day and the birds all with him turned to Allah." (38:18,19)



The Prophet Dawud as an Adept Craftsman:
Iron is hard stuff but in the hands of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) it became soft and pliable to be turned into any shape. As an adept craftsman he made coats of mail. Thus the manufacture of this defensive armour is traditionally attributed to the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). The Holy Qur'an says:

"It was We who taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit, to guard you from each other's violence. Will you then be grateful." (11:80)

"And We made the iron soft for him (commanding) make thou coats of mail balancing well the rings of chain armour and work ye righteousness." (34:10)

The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was endowed with the knowledge of understanding the tones of the bird. He could talk and listen to the birds just like human beings.

Death and Burial:
The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) passed away at the age of 70 years. He was buried in Jerusalem.

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15. THE PROPHET SULAIMAN

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The Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) was the youngest son of the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He was born at Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Saba. As he was a talented fellow with versatile gifts, his father made him his heir. After the death of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) he ascended the throne of Judia on account of his sagacity, power of judgement, right understanding and spiritual insight. The Holy Qur'an says: "And We verily gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulaiman and they said: praise be to Allah Who has preferred us above many of his believing sons". (27: I5)



The Prophet Sulaiman Makes Sound Decisions:
The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) was endowed with the quality of giving sound decision in complicated cases. Once a dispute arose between two persons. They were present before the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). One of them said: Sir, the sheep of that person have trampled over my crops. They have grazed and caused me a considerable loss. It must be compensated by the owner. The shepherd was very poor. He had nothing except sheep and the damage done to the crops exceeded the price of the sheep. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) ordered the defaulter to give his sheep to the owner of the land as reparation. Sulaiman, the teen-aged child was listening to the judgement of his father. He, respectfully, spoke out: Dear father, undoubtedly, your decision is correct but it will be handed over to more appropriate if all the sheep are the plaintiff for the utilisation of their milk and wool only. The respondent should be directed to render services to the owner of the field until the condition of the damaged fields restores to the normal position. When it is done, sheep must be given back to the shepherd. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) appreciated this novel way of awarding justice and the Holy Qur'an speaks very highly of him:

"And Dawud (David) and Sulaiman (Solomon) when they gave judgement concerning the field, when people's sheep had strayed and browsed therein by night; and We were witnesses to their judgement. And We made Sulaiman to understand (the case); and unto each of them We gave judgement and knowledge." (21: 78, 79)



Prevalence over Wind:
The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) inherited many virtues from his illustrious father. He was endowed with special gifts. Wind was made subservient to him and he could easily perform long journey in the twinkling of an eye. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And (We made) the wind subservient to Sulaiman whereof the morning course was a month's journey and the course a month's journey." (54:12)

"So We subjected the wind to his power, setting fair by his command withersoever he intended" (38:36)

"And unto Sulaiman We subdued the wind in its raging. It flows by his order towards the land which We had blessed And of every thing We are aware." (21:81)



The Prophet Dawud Perceives the Speech of the Birds:
The Prophet Sulaiman peace be upon him) was gifted with the knowledge of understanding the speech of birds, animals and insects. He was also capable to talk to them. The Holy Qur'an testifies to it in the following Verses:

"He (Sulaiman) said: O' People! We have been taught the language of the birds and have been given (abundance) of all things; this is indeed grace manifest (from Allah)."



Jinns are Subdued to Him:
He was also given the power over Jinns and Devils. He utilised them in his service. They carried out his orders ungrudgingly and were punished when they became refractory The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"We gave (Sulaiman) certain of the Jinns who worked before him by the permission of his Lord. And such of them as deviated from Our command, We caused to taste the punishment of flaming fire to them. They made for him what he willed; synagogues, images, basin-like reservoirs and cooking cauldrons fixed into the ground. Give thanks, 0' House of David! Few of my bondsmen are thankful." (24: 12, 13)

In another Verse the Holy Qur'an says: "And before Sulaiman were marshalled his hosts--of Jinns, and men and birds and they were all in order and ranks." (21: 17)

It is stated that the Jinns were subjugated to the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) to help him in the construction of the Holy Temple - Baitul Muqaddas (Masjid Aqsa).



Ardent Lover of Horses:
The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) was also a great lover of horses. They constituted an essential part of his army. When they returned after a mission, he would give them strokes of affections on ankles and necks. The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) did so in approbation of their loyalty and high speed.



The Incident of the Queen of Saba:
The area which now comprises Yemen and is known as Saba was ruled by a queen. It was a prosperous kingdom. The queen enabled its people to attain a high degree of civilisation. One day Hud informed the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) of the flourishing kingdom of Saba. It said:

"The ruler of Saba is the queen upon whom, God has bestowed His unlimited favours. Her throne is magnificent. She is depraved. The inhabitants of her kingdom worship the sun and the moon. They do not make obeisance to Allah and refrain from thanking Him Who has created all these objects." Sulaiman, the Prophet of Allah and the King wrote a letter and handed over to Hud to be conveyed to the queen of Saba. He warned her not to be arrogant of her power. He advised her to submit to God and abide by His Commandments. The queen read this letter and was much puzzled. As she was a prudent lady, she called her chiefs and sought their counsels. Some proud chiefs suggested to fight tooth and nail against the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) whereas the others left the matter for her to decide. The Holy Qur'an says:

''She said: O' chiefs! Advise me in this affair for I never decide an affair until you are in my presence. They said: We are endowed with strength and ale possessors of mighty powers but the command is thine. Therefore see what you will command." (27:29-33)

The queen did not like to embroil her country into war because it would cause destruction. She thought of a plan and arranged for precious gifts for the monarch. She planned to germinate cordial relations and pacify her warlike subjects by using this device. But wealth had no value for the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him). He was annoyed at the delivery of the presents. He returned them with harsh words and said to the messenger:

"I do not hanker after wealth. I, therefore, attach no importance to there Costly gifts. I wish that the queen and his followers should submit to God and follow the true faith. I shall invade your country if the queen does not come to me in submission.''

After some time the King marched with an army and passed through the Valley of Ants on his way to the kingdom of Saba. In the Valley he overheard the conversation among the terrified ants who hurried towards their holes for fear of being crushed under the feet of the marching army. The King was moved to pity and learnt the lesson to protect the life and honour of the humble creatures. He thought that the queen and his people are just like humble ants. They should not be trampled upon and killed to win Fame in the world. An account of this incident is related in the following Verses:

"At length when they came to a valley of ants, one of the ants said: 0' ants! Get into your holes lest Sulaiman and his hosts crush you without knowing it. Thereupon he smiled at her speech and he said: 0' my Lord! So order the that I may be grateful for Your favours which You have bestowed upon me and my father and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee and admit me by Your grace into the ranks of Your righteous servants.'' (27: 18, 19)

The King did not proceed further because he did not like the massacre which would result in case of clash between two armies. His aim was to reform the queen and the inhabitants of Saba. He desired to bring them to the right path. He wished to save the depraved people from seduction.

When the queen got wind of an expected attack of the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) she proceeded towards him to patch up differences. When the King came to know of her departure, he ordered one of the Jinns to bring the magnificent throne of the queen in the twinkling of an eye. The command was obeyed immediately. When the queen arrived at the court of Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) after a long journey, she was asked to identify her throne. She recognised the throne and said:

"I am already aware of your power and majesty. I have come to you as your submissive servant."

The Holy Qur'an states:

"So when she arrived she was asked: Is it your throne? She said: It was just like this and we were given the knowledge before it and we were already submissive and he diverted her from the worship of others besides Allah, for she was Sprung of a people that have no faith." (7:4L, 43)

The queen was taken to the lofty palace. Its floor was made of slabs of polished glass that deceived the eyes and looked like water. The queen tucked up her shirt to pass through it. She was reminded that that was not water. She then realised that reality did not lay at the surface and it needed eyes to see. According to the Holy Qur'an she said:

"O' my Lord! I have indeed wronged myself; I do submit with Sulaiman to the Lord of the Worlds." (27:45)

The queen of Saba felt penitence and accepted the religion of God. The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) ruled for thirty years. He died at the age of eighty-nine years. After his death Rohoboam, his son became a king. He led a luxurious life and yielded to pleasure seeking temptations. The people revolted against him and soon the glorious chapter of the reign of Prophet Dawud's family came to an end.

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16. THE PROPHET ILYAS

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After the death of Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) his kingdom was dismembered. There was virtually the rule of Satan all around. The religious people were mocked at. The ruler of Somaria killed a large number of learned people. When the evil reached the saturation point, God sent the Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him) to reform mankind during the reign of the king Ahab of Israel. He tried his best to save the people from polytheism. He forbade them to worship the Tyrian Bal. He advised the people to ward off evil and worship One God. When his efforts bore no fruit he suddenly appeared before the king and foretold him that severe draught and famine would overtake his kingdom. He added that the Tyrian Bal would be powerless to avert it. The people paid no heed to his warnings and did not mend their ways. The prophecy of the Prophet Ilyas (peace de upon him) turned out to be true and whole of the kingdom came under the sway of famine. The people began to starve. After three years the Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him) supplicated to show mercy to the famine stricken people. They acknowledged the authority of God and felt penitence. Soon after the rain ended the draught and God lifted his curses After this he was directed by God to call upon al-Yasa to be his successor. The Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him) did so in obedience to His command and disappeared mysteriously. The Holy Qur'an makes mention of Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him) in the following Verses:


"And commemorate Ismail, Ilyas and Dhul Kifl. Each of them was the companion of the good." (38:48)

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17. THE PROPHET AL-YASA (ELISHA)

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Al-Yasa has been mentioned twice in the Holy Qur'an:

And commemorate Ismail, Elisha and Dhul-kifl; each of them was of the company of! the good. (58:48)

And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Ilyas all in the ranks of the righteous; and Ismail and Elisha (Al-Yasa) and Jonas and Lot; each have We preferred above the nations. (To them) and their fathers and progeny and brethren, We chose them and We guided them to a straight way. (6: 85-87)

The commentators give no account of him except that he was the son of Ukhtub. The Bible says that his father was Shaphat.

Al-Yasa was the cousin and spiritual successor of the Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him).

One day Ilyas (peace be upon him) passed through the fields while the owner (Al-Yasa) was busy in ploughing. No sooner had the owner seen the Prophet than he abdicated his own work and approached Ilyas (peace be upon him) in hot haste. Al-Yasa began to follow him. The Prophet was much surprised and remarked: Why do you accompany me after leaving your own work? Al-Yasa retraced his steps and fetched his ox. He slaughtered it, lit the fire and cooked the beef. He fed Ilyas, his companions and many other guests to seek the pleasure of Allah. The Prophet was much pleased with the host for his sincerity, hospitality and righteousness. When Ilyas(peace be upon him) was about to depart, Al-Yasa expressed his keen desire to live in the company of his honourable guest during the rest of his life and serve him whole heartedly as a humble servant. As the noble attitude of Al-Yasa had enamoured Ilyas (peace be upon him), the latter accorded him permission without hesitation. When the Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him) was on his death-bed, he wished to bid him farewell. AL-Yasa was not prepared to leave him. Then Ilyas (peace be-upon him) asked him to express any of his desires to be fulfilled. Al-Yasa said: I wish that Allah may bestow blessings upon me in the same way as He has blessed you. The Prophet Ilyas (peace be upon him) supplicated and invoked blessings of Allah upon his successor. His prayer was granted. Allah chose Al-Yasa as His Prophet after the death of Ilyas (peace be upon him). He derived spiritual magnificence from the company of his guide and became the favourite of Allah.

After some time he proceeded to Yariha to preach the religion of Allah. The inhabitants of that locality gave him a warm reception. At that time they were under the spell of starvation. The land was barren and water was not available. Al-Yasa (peace be upon him) supplicated to Allah to show mercy to the famine-stricken people. His prayer was granted and Allah showered his bounties upon them.

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18. THE PROPHET MUSA

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The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) and his family settled in Egypt. They were called the Israelites. Gradually they increased in number and gained considerable power. These Israelites did not intermingle with other native people. They remained isolated and were considered as foreigners in Egypt.



Cruel Act of Pharaoh in respect of Israelites:
At that time Egypt was ruled by the king Fir'aun (Pharaoh). He was arrogant, tyrant and powerful. He thought himself to be god. In their kingdom the people led miserable lives. They were forced to work as slaves. They were chained and whipped if they refused to work. The Israelites were looked down upon in that society. They suffered badly due to destitution and indigence. Some of them grew weak and died of starvation. When Pharaoh noticed that the Israelites were increasing in number, he was much alarmed. He held discussions with his counsellors on this topic. They decided that Israelites should be snubbed. They should not be allowed to become powerful and supreme in the land. They planned to oppress and persecute them in different ways. Pharaoh ordered that all male children born in the families of the Israelites should be put to death. This tyrannical act of Pharaoh against the Israelites has been described in the following Verses of the Holy Qur'an:

"Surely Fir'aun exalted himself in the land and divided its people into parties, oppressing one party from among them by killing their sons and sparing their women. Surely he was one of the mischief-makers." (28:3, 5)

When the people heard those terrible orders they were much upset. The soldiers started complying with the orders of their king. Whenever they got wind of the male baby born to any family, they would yank him out of his mother's arms. They did not care for the feelings of the crying mothers. They used to throw the infants mercilessly into the river. It was an awful act of cruelty but no one dared to disobey the orders of Pharaoh because every one was much scared of him. Many innocent babies were drowned in this way and numerous unfortunate parents expressed lamentations over the death of their dear ones.



The Prophet Musa (Moses) Enclosed into Chest and Cast into the River:
In that era one of the Israelite woman gave birth to a male baby who was: extremely beautiful. The mother thought that the soldiers of Pharaoh would soon find him out. They would throw him to the fish in the river. God revealed to her to be patient and not to be frightened. She was communicated the glad-tidings that her son would become an Apostle. The newly born baby was named Musa (Moses). He was very attractive. His mother fed and concealed him for a few months. When she was unable to hide him any longer, God guided her saying:

"And We revealed to Musa's mother saying: Give him suck. When you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear nor grieve, surely We will restore him to you and make him one of the apostles." (28: 7)

The same direction is expressed in other Verses:

"Call to mind the occasion when We revealed to your mother: Put him into the chest and cast it down into the river, then the river shall throw him on the shore; then shall take him up to one who is an enemy to Me and enemy to him and I cast down upon you love From Me and that you may be brought up before My eyes." (20:38-39)

When the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) had attained the age of a few months, his mother got made a very tight box. She put a blanket in the box. She lifted her affectionate son and kissed him again and again. She put him in the box with tears in her eyes. Her heart was beating violently. She pushed the box into the water when it was still dark. The box moved slowly on the surface of the water. His sister watched the box at a distance but the mother went back home wailing and sobbing. She was full of anxiety due to the separation of her beloved baby.

The Prophet Musa's sister was hiding from place to place along the shore of the river. She was constantly watching the box and praying for the safety of her brother. The box went on moving and gradually came near the shore. Some People were washing their clothes at the shore. By chance they saw the box floating slowly. They waded through the water and picked up the box. They were greatly surprised to see a beautiful infant enclosed in the box. He had a smiling countenance.



The Prophet Musa Grows up in Pharaoh's House:
The people took the box to Pharaoh and his family. All of them were full of excitement. The Prophet Musa's sister followed them but no one recognised her. The wife of Pharaoh fell in love with the baby. She decided to make him her own son:

"And Fir'aun's wife said: Joy of the eye to me and to you, do not slay him, may be he will be useful to us or we may take him for a son. But they knew not what they did.'' (28: 10)

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) became awfully hungry. He began to cry out of hunger. The baby was handed over to a woman who was appointed to nurse him. He did not take her breast and kept on weeping. Every one was in a fix what to do. The sister of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) who was standing near remarked: May I bring a woman whom the baby requires? She was directed to go immediately and call her. She rushed towards her house and informed her mother of the whole situation. She requested her mother to accompany her to Pharaoh's house. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was still crying due to hunger. The mother gave him her breast. He was much pleased and drank milk to his heart's content. Pharaoh's wife requested the mother of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to stay with them and nurse him. The Holy Qur'an states:

"So We restored him to his mother that her eyes might be refreshed and that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true but most of them do not know." (28: 13)

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was brought up in Pharaoh's house like a prince. His mother was taking care of him and he was the apple of her eye. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) learnt a great deal about Pharaoh and his indecent ways of life. He came to know about his cruel treatment towards Israelites. Although he led a luxurious life yet deep inside his heart he had pains.



An Egyptian is Killed by Prophet Musa:
One day he saw an Israelite fighting hard with one of the men of the King. They were shouting and hitting each other. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) appeared on the scene. He tried to pacify them. When he saw that the Egyptian was not going to spare him in spite of several requests, he lifted up his stick and hit the man of the King. The man became dizzy and fell to the ground with a bang. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and his companions stepped forward to support the man but he was limp like a rag. Soon after he passed away.



The Prophet Musa Repents:
The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) felt sorry for what had happened. It was an accidental and not intentional act. One blow of the stick is quite insufficient to cause the death of a person. His head was twirling. He called his action as a devil's doing who misled human beings. He realised his mistake and prayed for Divine protection. The Holy Qur'an states:

"He found therein two men fighting, one being of his party and the other of his foes and he who was of his party cried out to him for help against him who was of his enemies. Musa struck him with his fist and despatched him. He said: This is of the devil's doing; surely he is an open enemy leading astray. He said: My Lord: Surely l have done harm to myself, so, You should protect me." (18: 18)



The Prophet Musa's Migration and Marriage:
Soon the news of the murder of a man spread far and wide. The people flew into a rage. They hatched a plan to kill the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him). He became scared and was directed to migrate to another place. The Holy Qur'an states:

"A man came running from the remotest part of the City. He said: 0' Musa Surely the Chiefs are consulting together to slay you. Therefore, begone at once. Surely I counsel you as a friend." (28:19)

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) packed up his luggage and left Pharaoh's house in the pitch dark when every one was enjoying a sound sleep. He reached Madian after a long tiresome journey. He sat down to take rest near a watering place.

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) saw two young girls waiting at a distance. Their sheep were standing near the spring for drinking water. The Prophet Musa (peace he upon him) thought that the girls needed some help. Although he was tired and hungry yet he wished to help them. He went up to the girls and asked if they needed help. The girls were modest and bashful. They said that they were waiting so that the shepherds might go away. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) drove the sheep to the spring to drink water. It was a kind act of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him). The girls expressed a deep sense of gratitude for this favour. They took their sheep and proceeded towards their house. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) went back to rest. He became depressed and prayed to Almighty Allah to help him. In the meanwhile two women came to him and said:
"My father invites you so that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us." (28:24)

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) accompanied them. When be entered the house, he introduced himself politely; Soon after he dined with the members of the family. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was asked to stay with them. The time passed on happily. One day the master of the house said:

"I desire to marry one of these two daughters of mine to you on the condition that you should serve me for eight years but if you complete ten, it will be of your own free will, and I do not wish to be hard on you. If Allah pleases, you will find me one of good. He said: This will be an agreement between you and me. whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there shall be no wrong doing to me and Allah is a witness of what we say." (28:27, 28)

According to the agreement Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) got married to one of the girls of that family. He took care of the farm and the sheep efficiently. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) had been away from his family for many years. He missed his kith and kin. One day he set out on a journey from Madian. His family accompanied him.



The Call of Prophet Musa to Prophethood:
The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) crossed the sandy desert and reached the mountain, Tur. He perceived a brilliant light from a distance. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) thought that to be fire land reached near it to warm himself. All of a sudden a voice was-heard from the right side of the Valley. It uttered:

"Surely. I am your Lord: so put off your shoes because you are in the sacred Valley which is blessed twice I have chosen you; so hearken to what shall be revealed: Verily, I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore serve-Me-and keep up prayers for My remembrance." (10: 22)

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was puzzled and scared. The thing which looked like fire was not fire in the real sense of the word but it was the reflection of the glory of God. It was a moment of great honour for the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).



Some Miracles of Prophet Musa:
God commanded Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to throw the stick that was in his hand on the ground. He threw the stick in compliance with the orders. To his surprise he saw the stick moving like a long wiggling snake and it greatly scared him. He thought that it was going to bite him. God directed the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) not to lose courage and pick up the snake. He obeyed and caught hold of the terrible looking snake. When he touched it, it was restored to its former shape. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was much amazed to see those happenings.

Soon afterwards God ordered the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to thrust his hand into his armpit. He did so. When he took out his hand, it was shining white when he put his hand back into his armpit and pulled it out it had been changed into its normal position.

Allah, the Almighty made the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to perform those miracles so that he might feel better and become sure of the existence of Allah and His power. He was going to derive benefits out of such miracles in future.



The Prophet Musa Settles in Egypt Again:
Allah commanded the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to go to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh and reform his depraved people. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was not good at arguing. He had an impediment in his tongue to speak freely. He sought permission from Allah to take his brother Prophet Harun with him as an aider because he was an eloquent speaker. The permission was immediately granted.



The Prophet Musa Argues with Pharaoh:
The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) settled with his family in Egypt. They went to Pharaoh to argue with him. They conveyed him the message of Allah but he made fun of them. He did not lose heart and kept on preaching. The king and his people were not convinced. Finally in desperation, the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) said: 0' King! Do you like me to show you that my message is true? He replied in affirmative with an unbelieving smile on his face. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) threw his stick on the ground and it changed its shape as a terrible looking snake. The people were wonder-struck and got scared of it. When the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) picked it up, it became a stick again. Every one was much amazed. Then the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) put his hand in his armpit. When he got it out, his hand was shining brilliantly. The Holy Qur'an states:

"Then he threw down his staff and lo! it was an obvious serpent. And he drew forth his hand and lo! it appeared white to the beholders." (26:32)



The Prophet Musa Contests with Magicians:
The Chiefs said that the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was an enchanter. He intended to turn the minds of the people. Pharaoh was much worried. He feared lest people should begin to follow him. He fixed a special day for contest between the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and other magicians. He sent collectors in various parts of the country to bring enchanters to hold competition and prevail upon the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him). He promised to reward the winners.

On the appointed day thousands of people gathered there. There was a great deal of excitement. Every one was eager to see the performances of the magicians of the king and the miracles of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him). First of all the royal magicians threw their sticks. They moved and looked like snakes from a distance. They deceived the eyes of the people and frightened them. The people were much surprised. They appreciated the magicians for their astonishing performances. Soon after the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) cast his stick. The stick became a hungry serpent by the order of Allah. It wiggled and moved like a dart. It devoured every moving stick that the magician had thrown. The spectators were much impressed. Some of the priests thought that such miracles could be done only by the order of Allah. Most of the magicians drew back humiliated and prostrated themselves adoring. They said: We believe in the Lord of the Worlds; the Lord of Prophet Musa and Prophet Harun (peace be upon them).

On seeing this state of affairs Pharaoh was much worried. He became mad with rage because his men were inclined to follow the Prophet Musa peace be upon him) and adopt his new religion. He threatened them of dire consequences. He said:

"I shall certainly cut off your hands and your feet on opposite side, then I will crucify you altogether. (7: 124)



Persecution of Prophet Musa slid his followers:
Pharaoh and his men began to persecute the followers of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him). The Israelites remained patient. They began to worship and glorify God in their homes. They kept praying to God. They said:

"O' Our Lord! Make us not subject to persecution of the unjust people, and deliver us by Your mercy from the unbelieving people." (20: 86)

When the Israelites were under the burden of hardships and sufferings, Allah ordered the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to leave the area with his followers. He promised to save them. In compliance with the Commandment of Allah the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) directed his people to migrate secretly to another place.



The Prophet Musa Leaves Egypt:
When it was dark, a scanty band of the Israelites left Egypt. They took all precautionary measures to escape from the eye-sight of the guards. They moved as fast as they could with firm conviction that they would he saved by Allah. Next day the residence of the Israelites were found desolate and without hustle and bustle. Pharaoh was informed. He lost his temper and sent heralds to chase the absconders. He wanted to take revenge of his disgrace. He ordered his soldiers to arrest the Israelites and bring them back. When the followers of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) were near the sea-shore, they heard the sound of the hoofs of their horses. They were much frightened. They thought that they would be overtaken and punished by the enemies.



The Sea Splits and Pharaoh is Drowned:
When the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and his followers were being chased Allah revealed this order to him:

"Strike the sea with the rod; and it clove asunder and each part become like a large mountain." (26: 60)

The water of the sea went up high with the great uproar. The bottom of the sea turned into dry land. It was an amazing miracle. The people could hardly believe their eyes. The Israelites ran desperately and went far ahead. Pharaoh and his huge army chased them in hostility. There was a great uproar again. The water from both the sides poured. It rushed over Pharaoh and his soldiers. They were completely drowned. The Holy Qur'an relates this incident in the following Verses:

"And We made the children of Israel to pass through the sea, then Fir'aun and his hosts followed them in hostility and for oppression until when drowning overtook him, he said: I believe that there is no god but He in Whom the children of Israel believe and I am of those who submit. What now! said God, and indeed you have been rebellious and was of the mischief makers. But this day We save you in your body so that you may be a sign to those after you and most surely most people are heedless of Our Signs". (20:90-92)

The body of Fir'aun is still present in the Egyptian Museum as an admonitory sign to those who are transgressors.

When Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and thousands of his followers got rid of Pharaoh, they expressed a deep sense of gratitude to Allah. They had witnessed an impressive miracle. Now they were free to live according to the teachings of Allah.



The Prophet Musa Receives Instructions:
Allah commanded Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to go to a certain mountain for austerity. He had to stay there for forty days. During this period Allah, the Almighty gave a lot of religious knowledge to Prophet Musa (peace be upon him). He gave him the tablets which contained ten Commandments. One day he (Musa) said:

"My Lord! Show me Thyself so that I may look upon Thee. He said': you cannot bear to see Me but look at the mountain, if it remains firm in its place, then you will see Me. When his Lord manifested His glory to the mountain He made it crumble and Musa fell down in swoon. When he recovered, he said: Glory be to You: I turn to You and! am the first of believers". C7:142)

At the end of the appointed time Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) went to his people to tell them about the revelations which he had received.



Israelites Worship the Calf:
The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was much grieved to know that his followers had become addicted to praying to the cow instead of Allah. Whenever his brother Prophet Harun (peace be upon him) forbade them to do so, they made fun of him. Sometimes they tortured him. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) tried hard to uproot this form of idolatry from the hearts of the Israelites. Some men who had gone astray, repented but most of them insisted on worshipping a cow. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) said to his people:
"Surely, Allah commands you that you should sacrifice a cow." (2: 71)

Most of them did so hesitatingly but the others refused. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) kept on conveying the people the new message of God.



Another Miracle:
One season came there was hardly any rain. It overtook the people with draughts and diminution of fruit. There was an acute shortage of water and food. The people began to die of starvation. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) prayed to Allah and He provided them with eatables. Water was not available in the area. They approached Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) for help. He prayed to Allah for a miracle. Allah directed the Prophet to hit a special high cliff with his stick. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) touched the cliff saying: By the name of our Lord, Almighty Allah. At once the water gushed forth. There were twelve places in that cliff from which sprang out cool clear water. The people were much amazed at the sight of this wonderful miracle. The Holy Qur'an states:

"And when Musa prayed for drink for his people, We said: Smite with your staff the rock, and there gushed out therefrom twelve springs so that each tribe knew their drinking place: Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided and do not act corruptly making mischief in the earth." (2: 60)

The Israelites were of twelve branches each a descendant of a son of Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him). So each branch came to drink from one of the springs of water from that cliff. The people drank water to their hearts content. They do not have to shove and push for the water because Allah gave them twelve springs.


Israelites Win Victory and Prosper:
After staying in the desert for some time Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) planned to proceed towards the blessed land, Palestine. The Prophet Musa ( peace be upon him) sent twelve men in advance to go and had a bird's eye view of the blessed land. They came back after many days. They told him that there were fertile farms and green trees. There was plenty of water. It made every one eager to go there. It was also reported that the owners of the blessed land were strong and brave. They had invincible armies. It was impossible to capture that land without fighting. The Israelites were much terrified because they were weak and armless. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and a small group of Israelites wished to fight tooth and nail whereas most of them did not agree to fighting. Some of them said to Prophet Musa (peace be upon him): You go with your God and fight against them. We will stay here and wait.

As the years passed, they increased in number. They gained strength gradually. They formed a small army of their own and marched with faith in their hearts towards the rich blessed land. They fought hard and became victorious in the battle. They became the rulers of Palestine. The inhabitants of that land lived with them in peace and harmony. Allah showered favours on Israelites and they began to prosper wonderfull.

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19. THE PROPHET AZIZ (UBAIR OR EZRA)

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The lineage genealogy of the Prophet 'Aziz (peace be upon him) linked with that of Harun bin 'Umran. The name of his father was Khalqiyah. The Holy Qur'an has made mention of him in the Surah Immunity. The Jews regarded him as the son of Allah as the Christians thought 'Esa (peace be upon him) as His son. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

The Jews say: 'Aziz is the son of Allah and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. Such they say in their mouth! These resemble the sayings of the infidels of old. Allah do battle with them. How are they misguided ? (9:30)

He was the son of Sharahya, the Scribe. He was in his teens when Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem and put it to rout. When he attained the age of forty years the crown of Prophethood was conferred upon his head. He began to perform the duty of showing the path of righteousness to the depraved humanity. He was held in high esteem among his followers. When the Israelites planned to reconstruct the Bait-ul-Muqaddis, he exercised his influence to gain co-operation of the Government officials. He assisted the Jews to carry out their plan.

Al-Baizawi says: During the Babylonish captivity the Torah was lost and there was none who remembered it. Allah raised up Aziz (peace be upon him) from the dead one century after his burial. He dictated to the scribes from his memory the whole Jewish law (Torah). He would have been fully worthy of having been the law-giver if Musa (peace be upon him) had not preceded him. History bears testimony to this fact that the Prophet 'Aziz (peace be upon him) guided the Israelites during the period which lasted from the destruction of Jerusalem to the reconstruction of Bait-ul-Muqadis.

It has been narrated that a person rode upon an ass and passed near a city called Jerusalem. He possessed a basket of figs and a vessel of the juice of grapes. He wondered at the power of Allah and said: How will Allah re-build and populate it again? 'Aziz (peace be upon him) was much shocked at the sight of dilapidated dwellings. When he was under the sway of utter disappointment, Allah caused him to die for a hundred years. Then He raised him to life and said: How long have you tarried here? He replied: I have tarried for a day or a part of it. He slept in the first part of the day and was deprived of his life. He was reanimated at sunset. Allah, the Exalted said: You have tarried a hundred years. Look at your food and drink. They are as fresh as you have left them. They have remained unchanged even after the passage of century. Look at the ass. It has been decomposed and reduced to skeleton of bones. I have wrought this miracle to make manifest to you that I have the power to immune or destroy anything. The Holy Qur'an narrates this miracle in the following Verses:

And how He demeaned him who passed by a city which had been laid in ruins. He said: How shall Allah give life to this city after it had been destroyed. And Allah caused him to die for a hundred years and then raised him to life. He said: How long have you waited? He said: I have waited a day or part of a day. Allah said: look on your food and your drink; they are not corrupted. Look on your ass, We would make you a sign for men and look on the bones of your ass, how We will raise them, then clothe them with flesh and when this was shown to him, he said: I acknowledge that Allah has power to do all things. (1:270)

Allah commanded the Prophet 'Aziz (peace be upon him) to go to Jerusalem to render services to the cause of religion. He passed away at Sa'irabad near 'Iraq. He was buried there. Some historians say that his grave is in Damascus.

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20. THE PROPHET AYYUB

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The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was one of the descendants of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and a nephew of Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him). He was sent to reform the people who lived in the desert situated in the north eastern corner of Palestine.

When Ayyub (Job) was chosen to be the Prophet, he started to teach the people about God and His religion. He advised the people to do good and shun evil. As usual with all the Prophets very few people believed in him in the beginning but gradually the number of his followers began to increase.



The Prophet Ayyub was Well Off:
The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was a prosperous man with firm faith in Allah. He possessed vast farms, enormous wealth, many cattle and valuable property but these things did not make him arrogant. His wealth provided him with a medium by means of which he sought Allah's grace.



The Prophet Ayyub Displays Patience:
The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was a pattern of humility and faith in Allah. He was very patient. He suffered from a number of calamities but did not utter a single word of complaint. One day his big farm was attacked by the thieves. They killed many of his servants and carried away forcibly all his cattle. The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) did not feel sorry at this loss and thanked Allah. After some time the roof of the house fell down and many members of his family were crushed. The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was much shocked but he held fast to his faith in Allah. He neither shed a tear nor heaved a sigh. He prostrated before the Almighty. He remarked that possessions and children were the gifts from Allah. If He had taken His things, it was useless to lament over their loss.

After a few years Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) suffered from skin disease. His parts of body were covered with loathsome sores. He had many ugly looking ulcers on his face and hands. The sores were full of worms. It is narrated that he picked up those worms which fell from his abscess and praised Allah for creating them. Above all, his false friends attributed his calamities to his sins. They ridiculed and looked down upon him. All the persons deserted him with the exception of his faithful wife, Rahima. She also grew tired of him in the long run and prayed for his death. She cursed her husband for retaining integrity in Allah. When Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was in an extremely pathetic condition he prayed:

"Truly adversity has afflicted me and You are Most Merciful of all who show mercy." (21: 83)

Allah accepted his prayer. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"Then We heard his prayer and removed that adversity from which he suffered, and We gave him his household and the like thereof along with them, a mercy from Our store and remembrance for the worshippers." (21: 84)



The Prophet Ayyub Recovers and Prospers:
Allah turned to him with mercy. He was commanded to strike the earth with his foot. He complied with the order and water from the spring gushed forth. He took a bath with the water and got cured from his evil disease. After this he was restored to prosperity. The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) knelt and prayed expressing a deep sense of gratitude to Allah. He never forgot His favours, mercy and love.

The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was one of the celebrated Prophets. His example illustrates: that those who remain patient under the stress · of all circumstances, art never deprived of high rewards. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

"And surely we try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and crops, but give glad-tidings to the steadfast, who when a misfortune befalls them, say lo! we are Allah's (possession of Allah) and to Him shall we surely return. · Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly-guided." (2: 155-157)

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21. THE PROPHET DHUL-KIFL

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Dhul-kifl (peace be upon him) was the Prophet of Allah. The Holy Qur'an has made mention of him in the following two Verses:

And Isma'il and Idris and Dhul-kifl; all were men of constancy and patience. We admitted them into out mercy because they were of the righteous ones. (21:85. 86)

And remember Isma'il, Elisha and Dhul-kifl. Each of them was of the company of the good. (38:48)

Al-Baizawi says that he was so called because he had to do double the work of the Prophets of his time.

He is identified with Ezekiel of the Bible who was carried away to Babylon after the destruction of Jerusalem. He was chained and imprisoned. He bore all hardships with patience and continued reproving the evil sin the Bani Israel. Ibn Jarir, an interpreter has narrated an event which throws some light on his life. When Al-Yasa (peace be upon him) grew old, he wished to appoint a suitable person as his successor to guide the Israelites. He declared: Only that person will be considered competent to become his successor who observes fast during the day remembers Allah throughout the night and refrains from flying into a rage. One among the crowd stood up and said: (I will adhere to all these conditions. The Prophet Al-Yasa (peace be upon him) repeated these conditions thrice and the same person promised solemnly to fulfil the conditions. Thereupon he was appointed as a vicegerent.

After some time he was subjected to a trial. One day the Satan in the disguise of an old man knocked at his door. He was allowed to get in. The visitor lodged a complaint against the cruel treatment of the people towards him. The vicegerent directed him to come in the evening. He assured the visitor that all his grievances shall be redressed. He promised but did not turn up at the appointed time. Next day he came again and complained as usual. The vicegerent commanded him to come in the evening. He made a solemn promise to come but did not abide by it. On the third day he came again and knocked at the door but it was not opened. The Satan in the disguise of an old man managed to slip into the room and presented himself before the vicegerent. He was wonder-struck at the sudden appearance of the old man. The vicegerent interrogated the visitor. He admitted that he was Iblis who assumed the likeness of an old man and was trying to enrage him. He endeavoured to make him back out of his promise but failed in his mission. Thereupon the vicegerent became known as Dhul-kifl because he maintained his solemn promise with the Prophet Al-Yasa (peace be upon him). He refrained from losing temper though the Satan left no stone unturned to annoy him. Soon after Allah chose him as His Prophet.

He commanded the Israelites to wage holy war against those who made mischief on the earth and opposed the religion of Allah. His followers, the Israelites refused to carry out his orders because they were afraid of death. As a retaliation for the utter disobedience of the Commandment of Allah and His Prophet, most of the people were overtaken by calamity. Plague broke out and numerous people died miserably. They deserted their houses in terror and ran away to save their lives. When they covered some distance, they heard a dreadful sound and the death prevailed over them. None remained alive to bury them. The corpses were putrefied in the scorching heat of the sun. The Prophet Dhul-kifl (peace be upon him) came out of the seclusion after seven days. He was overwhelmed with grief to see the predicament of his followers and supplicated: O' Allah! You have perished my followers. Take pity on them and give them a new life. Allah granted the prayer of His Prophet, the dead persons regained their lives. The Holy Qur'an Affirms:

Have you not thought on those who quitted their dwellings--and they were thousands for fear of death. Allah said to them: Die! Then He restored them to life, for full of bounty towards man is Allah. But most men give not thanks. (2: 280)

Afterwards the Prophet Dhul-kifl (peace be upon him) left his followers and migrated to Babylon. He died there.

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22. THE PROPHET YUNUS

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The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) is also addressed by two other surnames "Dhun-Nun" (Lord of the Fish) and "Sahibil-Hot" (Companion of the Fish). The Holy Qur'an says:

"And (mention) Dhun-Nun when he went off in anger and deemed that We had no power over him but he cried out in darkness, saying: There is no god save Thee. Be Thou glorified! Lo! I have been an evil-doer." (11 ·: 87)

"But wait thou for thy Lord's decree and be not like the Sahibil-Hut who cried out in fear." (68 :48)

Yunus (Jonah) was the son of Mitta according to a Tradition quoted in Sahih Bukhari but the Torah states that his father's name was Amittai.

When the prophethood was conferred upon him, he was commanded to go Nineveh for preaching the true faith of God. Nineveh was situated on the right bank of the river Tigris. It was the capital city of Assyria. Its people were arrogant and conceited. They led sinful lives. The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) tried his best to reform them but they turned a deaf ear to his advice and warnings. Soon he began to feel disgusted. Consequently human frailty overpowered him. He flew into a rage and invoked Allah's wrath on the people of Nineveh. He became impatient and departed without waiting for further command from Allah. He imagined perhaps God had no power over him. The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) proceeded towards the sea and took a boat. Unfortunately the boat was caught in a storm. The sailors held him responsible for bringing misfortune to the boat. They decided to throw Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) into the water but the passengers did not agree to their decision. Then lots were drawn and the name of Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) came out. The Prophet Yunus was thrown into the sea for the safety of the boat. When Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) fell into the water, a great fish with capacious belly drew him in. He was in extreme distress. He realised that he had to suffer for committing dereliction towards his duty as a prophet. Instead of running away he must have relied upon the power of Allah even in the most discouraged circumstances.

The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) felt penitence and supplicated to Allah in the humblest tone. His repentance was accepted and he was to be delivered ashore. He was provided with the shelter of a spreading plant. The Holy Qur'an relates this incident in the following Verses:

"And lo! Yunus verily was of those sent ( to warn). When he fled into the ladenship, then drew lots and was of those rejected, the fish swallowed him while he was blameworthy, and had he not been one of those who glorify Allah, he would have tarried in its belly till the Day of Resurrection, then We cast him on a desert shore while he was sick and We caused a tree of gourd to grow above him, and We sent him to a hundred thousand (folk) or more. And they believed, therefore We gave him comfort for a while." (27: 139-i18)

When Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) regained his health, he was commanded to go back to the same town and fulfil his mission of making the people give up their iniquitous life. Now the people of Nineveh repented and followed their Prophet. God showed mercy and they prospered remarkably. They got a new lease of glorious life. The Holy Qur'an says:

"When they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world and permitted them to enjoy their life for a while." (10:98)

Gradually the people of Nineveh again adopted evil ways of life. They indulged in idol-worship and debauchery. Eventually they were destroyed by the Scythians. The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) died in Nineveh and was buried there. According to the story of some of the historians his tomb is in the village Halmol about ten miles away from Hebron.

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23. THE PROPHET ZAKARIYA

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Zakariya (Zachariah) was an illustrious Prophet of the Israelites. He was one of the descendants of Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him). The name of his wife was al-Yashbi' who belonged to the family of Prophet Harun (peace be upon him). The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) was the patron of Mary, the mother of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him). He was the trustee of Hekal. He worked as a carpenter and earned his livelihood.

The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) kept the torch of Mosaic law burning. He used to pray devotionally and preach zealously. His wife and he were the symbols of piety and righteousness. Most of his kinsmen lacked in spirit of true faith. As they were seduced, they were inclined to doing evil deeds. They were going out of the right path. The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) was much anxious about this state of affairs. He had no offspring and there was no suitable person to hold the office of priesthood of Hekal after his death. He was desirous of having a son to become his good successor. He did not long for a son to satisfy a mere human desire for one's progeny. He wanted to have a son to maintain the warmth of religious activities. One night he stood in prayer in his sanctuary and prayed to Allah to bless him with a good son. He was conscious that he was in an advanced age and his wife was barren and unable to raise any issue. He had full faith in Allah Who possesses power to do whatever He wills. He came to know through his prophetic insight that Allah would grant his request. He would be blessed with a good son to act as his heir who could guide the people aright.

God in His infinite mercy removed the defect of his wife's barrenness so that she might become mother. She gave birth to Prophet Yahya. (peace be upon him) who was destined to be honourable, chaste, and a prophet from among the righteous. The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) felt satisfied as his son grew up and became a symbol of piety. He was graced with wisdom, obedience and asceticism.

The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) continued preaching the religion of Allah even in old age. The Israelites were indulged in mischief making and wickedness. They had not only ignored the teachings of his Prophet but tortured him also. The Holy Qur'an makes mention of the cruel acts of the Israelites in the following Verses:

"Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah and slay the Prophets wrongfully and slay those of mankind who enjoin equity, promise him a painful doom." (3:21)

The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) did not die a natural death. One day the Israelites decided to put him to death. He hid himself in the covern of the tree. The Jews began to saw that part of the tree. The Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) did not even utter a faint cry. His body was cut into two pieces.

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24. THE PROPHET YAHYA

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Yahya (John the Baptist) was the son of Prophet Zakariyya (peace be upon him). His birth was a miracle because. He was born of a barren mother and an aged father. In the fagging part of life Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) prayed to Allah to bless him with a son who could prove to be a successful heir and preacher of the religion of Allah. His prayer was promptly granted. The Holy Qur'an says:

"0' Zakariya! Lo! We bring you a glad tidings of a son whose name is Yahya. We have given the same name to none before him.'' (19: 7)

The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) was dedicated to the noble work of leading men to the path of salvation. He exhorted his people to have unstinted faith in God. He moved among the humble and despised sofe raiment. He was not arrogant. He spent most of his life in wilderness. He was pure and devout. He was dutiful towards his parents. The Holy Qur'an says:

"(And it was said unto his son) 0' John! Hold fast the scripture. And We gave him wisdom when he was a child! And compassion from Our presence and punity, and he was devout. And dutiful towards his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious. Peace on him the day he was born and the day he dies and the day he shall be raised alive.'' (19: 12-15)

The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) moved to the desert of Judea. He dressed himself in a robe made of camel hair. He ate simple food and wild honey. His sermons were most impressive and people flocked to hear his trumpet message. The whole of the Jordan valley was baptised due to his preaching. The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) was the precursor of Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ). He was his cousin and contemporary as well. His fidelity to his mission as a preacher soon deprived him of his liberty and subsequently his life.

The Roman Ruler Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee. He had an adulterous relations with Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip. The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) reproached him for this grave sin. Herod Antipas got annoyed and imprisoned him till his execution. Once Herod Antipas arranged a grand feast. Herodias allowed her daughter, Salome to dance. The Ruler was fascinated with the performance of the dancing girl. He declared that he would grant whatever Salome wanted. She immediately made a demand for the head of Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him). Herod was in a fix what to do. He had no alternative to adhere to his words. So Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) was beheaded at the instigation of the mother of that girl with whom Herod was infatuated. His grave is in Umayyah Mosque in Syria.

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25. THE PROPHET ISA

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The Israelites had settled in the blessed land, Palestine. They ruled for a long time. They had a vast kingdom. Allah, the Almighty chose many prophets from among them. They followed the Holy Book, the Torah. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) and his son Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) won great popularity as kings and commanded high respect. Their followers believed in God and led noble lives. As the time passed by, they began to pay less attention to the teachings of God. They forgot the Divine favours. They made alterations in the Holy Book according to their own tastes. Most of the Israelites adopted indecent ways of life and committed major sins. At that time there existed a powerful kingdom in the world. It was called the kingdom of Romans. They were polytheists and pagans. They did not worship one God and prayed to many idols made of stones. The Roman society was divided into two factions. The ruling class was very strong and arrogant whereas the ordinary people lived in misery. They were ill-treated as slaves. The female sex enjoyed no privilege in that era. Palestine, the blessed land was ruled by Herod, a cruel king. The people disliked him. They were scared stiff of him. They could not utter a word of complaint against him lest they should be put to sword.

Allah, the Beneficent, showed His favours and wanted to guide the depraved humanity to the right oath. He desired to make the people believe in Allah through miracles. Maryam (Mary) was a beautiful maiden. She was virtuous, abstemious and chaste. She used to pray to Allah frequently. Site grew up in the house of prophet Zakariyya (peace be upon him) and learnt a good deal about Allah and His religion.

One night Maryam was engaged in glorifying the Almighty, Allah. Suddenly she saw a handsome looking young man. She got embarrassed and her face turned pale. She felt jittery and had goose pimples on her skin. Soon after she got tranquillity of mind. She heard a voice from the invisible world:

"I am an angel of Allah. He has sent me to inform you that you are going to have a baby."

Maryam was much perplexed. As she was a virgin, it was quite impossible for her to give birth to baby without entering into matrimonial allegiance with an opposite sex.

Once again the Angel remarked: It is the Will of Allah, the Almighty that you should give birth to a fatherless baby. It is easy for Him to do what He pleases. He has His own reasons. I, however, convey you the good news. Soon after the Angel vanished. Maryam became wet with perspiration. She apprehended that her name would be sullied if she gave birth to a baby before marriage.

After some days Maryam became pregnant. Many people began to level false accusations against her. They calumniated her for developing contraband relations with a man. The whole population of the town derided Maryam. She was feeling terribly ashamed on hearing the baseless charges of slanders. She had a firm faith in Allah. She was sure that Allah would help her in washing away a blot on her fair reputation. She prayed to her Lord frequently to save her honour. The people passed taunting remarks about her every now and then.

When site was reduced to straits by the mischievous persons, she decided to leave Nazareth and settle in another town. She went to a locality called Bethlehem seventy-one miles away from her native town.

She resided near a manger under a palm-tree. Soon after her arrival there Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ) was born. Maryam washed, cleansed and dressed him. He looked very beautiful and attractive. Some of the people got wind of that incident and visited Maryam who gave birth to a fatherless baby. They also made fun of her and began to ask questions. As Maryam had been directed by Allah not to utter a single word for three days from the moment she gave birth to a baby. She complied with the orders and refrained from talking. When the people pressed her hard to reply to their questions, the baby began to utter some words to clarify the position of his pious mother. The listeners were much surprised. They were full of excitement. Isa (Jesus Christ) claimed to be the Prophet of Allah. He advised the people to follow the right path and do noble acts. When the people got a convincing proof regarding the truthfulness and chastity of Maryam, they were much impressed and amazed.

The birth of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) became a talk of the town. Herod, the king, got wind of that miracle. He became worried lest people should obey the directions of the newly born Prophet and neglect his orders. He issued terrible orders to kill all those babies who art under the age of two years. The parents became much upset because they thought that they would be deprived of their affectionate children after the implementation of those orders. Allah guided Maryam to migrate to Egypt to seek protection for her baby. She carried out the orders and reached Egypt after a troublesome journey.

They stayed away from home for twelve years. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) grew up gradually and Allah gave him a good deal of wisdom and knowledge. In the meantime Herod passed away and the people took a sigh of relief. Maryam felt a great pleasure. She picked up her belongings and proceeded towards the blessed land again. She, along with her baby reached there after a long journey.

The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was handsome and dignified. When he had attained the age of thirty years, he began to preach the religion of Allah. Most of the people were not convinced and thus he was exposed to ridicules. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) entreated Allah to grant him a miraculous power to impress the people. Allah gave him that power. He showed many miracles which won the hearts of the people. Gradually they became his followers and began to believe in him and his message.

One day Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was preaching to a large gathering. He exhorted the people to believe in Allah and follow His religion. Most of them turned a deaf ear to his instructions. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) tried to convince them with a miracle. He took some wet clay in his hand and made the statue of a bird with it. He blew his breath on the clay. It became a real bird with wings, eyes and legs by Allah's power. It flew up chirping in the sky. The people looked at the bird but could hardly believe their eyes. They were wonder struck at the sight of this miracle. They were so impressed that they began to take the oath of allegiance to Prophet Isa (peace be upon him).

The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) kept on preaching and many people began to believe in true religion. One day a man came limping towards him. He had suffered from leprosy. He was looking terrible due to lumps on his face. His fingers were crooked and he had lost some toes. The people were scared of him. They detested him but the heart of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was bleeding for the wretched man. The diseased man said in the weak tone: Cure me, cure me. I am disgusted with my life. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) knelt and supplicated for his recovery. He patted at his shoulders. He recovered and his face became clear. All the lumps vanished in the twinkling of an eye. The crowd was much amazed at the sight of this miracle. Every one was much impressed. The people began to follow the teachings of the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him).

One day the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was going through the street which was narrow and winding. He came across a man who was blind and dumb. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) decided to show mercy to him because he was kind-hearted. He put his hand on the shoulder of the man. The blind man opened his eyes and Allah restored his eye sight. Moreover he was endowed with the power of talking. He expressed a deep sense of gratitude for the kindness shown by the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him). This miracle impressed the spectators and they began to follow the teachings of Allah.

A man, Lazarus passed away and his sisters, Mary and Martha fell into melancholy and extinction. They were making preparations to perform burial ceremonies. The mourners flocked at the residence of the deceased. Suddenly the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) appeared on the scene. He knelt down and started to pray to Almighty Allah. After a short time Lazarus was revived by the grace of Allah. He got up and began to talk. Every one jumped out or joy. They began to acknowledge the supreme power of their Lord. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) came to remind the people of the teachings of the other Prophets. He advised the people to believe in Allah and pray to Him only. He asked them not to indulge in back-biting, oppression, sinfulness and impiety. He directed his followers to do noble deeds. He taught them to be loving and tolerant. He also had his own revelations. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) had twelve disciples who assisted him in preaching. They helped him in spreading the religion of Allah during the life of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) and afterwards.

The preaching work by Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) lasted for three years. A considerable number of people began to follow him. They adopted good ways of life. The Romans and the Jews were much worried because of the prevailing influence of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) and his disciples. They feared lest they should rise in revolt against them. They decided Isa, the Prophet to be crucified.

Allah loved his Prophet. He wanted to save him. On the other hand the Romans made a heavy big cross of wood to put their plan into practice. There was a large gathering and the soldiers were standing all around where Isa, the Prophet was supposed to be crucified. Even those people who were against the teachings of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) were feeling queezy inside. They did not agree with the idea of crucifying him. Allah ordered some one who bore resemblance to Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) to take the place of the Prophet on the cross. In fact the man who was analogous to Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was crucified and his own life was saved in this manner.

Most of the teachings of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) are still in the Gospel but some of the things written in the Bible are not in original form. They were changed and some additions as well as subtractions have been made in his teachings.