The Prophets of Islam

The Prophets of Islam0%

The Prophets of Islam Author:
Publisher: www.al-huda.com
Category: Prophethood

The Prophets of Islam

Author: Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Shamsi
Publisher: www.al-huda.com
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The Prophets of Islam

The Prophets of Islam

Author:
Publisher: www.al-huda.com
English

PRO PHET MUSA

The Birth and Early Life of Musa

The children of Israil came to Egypt during the days of Yusuf and flourished with wealth and large progenies. Their growth in wealth and power became a threat to the rulers of Egypt. The adviser of the pharaohs devised several ways to reduce this threat. This brought great hardship to the children of Israil. Around the time of the birth of Musa there were rumors that a great messiah will be bom t ' hat year amongst these people and that he will challenge the might of the Pharaoh and liberate the children of Israil. The Pharaoh ordered all male babies bom to these people to be killed so that the messiah may never challenge his power. This was extremely painful for the parents of many ill-fated infants that were slain as a result of this cruel decree.

Allah has His Divine Wisdom and no body can avert what He has planned or designed.

Musa was bom in the house of Imran, in the clan of Lavi (one of the twelve clans of Banu Israil). Fearful of the destiny of her child at the hands of the rulers of the time, his mother laid him in a basket and set on the waters of the mighty Nile.

The basket drifted towards the gardens surrounding the palace of the Phraoh. The maids in attendance to queen retrieved the basket and saw a beautiful baby in it. The queen who had no child of her own developed immediate love for the baby.She adopted him as her son. He was named Musa, which, in the old Egyptian language meant "pulled out of water. "

Allah has His own ways of protecting and providing for His chosen servants.

The hungry baby needed to be fed but he did not accept any of the fostered mothers brought in. The sister of Musa had followed the basket to the palace. She offered to bring one of the new mothers whose baby had recently been slain. She did not reveal her or her mother's association with the baby. The queen agreed, as she had no other choice. When the mother of Musa was presented in the palace as one who had been deprived of her baby, Musa responded immediately to the nursing. The queen hired her to nurse the baby in the palace and at her own home as needed. The infant prophet, a servant of Allah was thus returned to his own mother and household for care and nurture.

Musa as a teenager in the palace of Pharaoh

The Pharaoh saw the intellectual brilliance in this youth and appointed his top astrologers, magicians, scribes and priests to educate Musa in all aspects of the royal faculties. He must have intended to appoint Musa as his special advisor, or high priest, or even his successor. However, this could also be the Will of Allah to have Musa gain all the secrets of the Pharaoh that made him so powerful.

Musa in the service of Sholayb

Musa was naturally inclined to help his people. One day, while trying to free an Israilite in a scuffle with an Egyptian, Musa killed the Egyptian with one blow. This incidence reached the elite circle of the ruling class who branded Musa as a friend of the wretched Israilites whom the Egyptians hated from the core of their hearts. They passed a unanimous resolution to have a public trial of Musa to get him killed for his deed against an Egyptian. A noble person in the clan of the Pharaoh (called Momine Ale-Fir'on in Qur'an) informed Musa of the plot and he helped him escape into the desert.

The desert journey was arduous. Musa reached the city of Midyan. He came to rest at a well where several shepherds were busy watering their herds. He saw that there were two young and beautiful women waiting for their turn to serve their herd. The men took their turns assertively while the ladies waited patiently. Musa could not remain passive at the sight. He offered to help the young women by pulling the water from the well. They told him that their father was old and since he was unable to do this work, they had no choice but to come out to serve their herd. Sometimes it could be quite late in the evening when they returned to their home.

Musa helped them water their herd expeditiously, and they returned home early. Their father enquired on their unusual early return. They told him of the incidence at the well. Sho'ayb recognized the deed to be that of a man of Allah and sent one of his daughters to bring him home. Musa had nowhere else to go, so he accompanied the lady to her home. Sho'ayb asked Musa the details of his travel. The story of Musa fascinated all in the audience. Sho'ayb offered Musa to stay with him, and married one of his daughters to him. He lived in the clan for about ten years and led an extemely simple life in contrast to the comforts of the royal Egyptian palace. He tended the sheep and goats of the family and spent time in the solitude of the desert. Here he contemplated and reflected on his past and present experiences. He had discusssions with his father-in-law, Sho'ayb which enriched him spiritually. He reflected over the plight of his people in Egypt and made a firm resolve to free them from the servitude of the Egyptians.

The Prophethood of Musa and his return to Egypt

After living ten years in Midyan, Musa left for Egypt, accompanied by his family. On their way, one night, they pitched their tents near Mount Sinai. It was cold and they needed fire for warmth. He saw what looked like a fire higher up on the mountain. Musa told the family to stay in the tents while he would go up the mountain to bring the fire for their comfort.

When he arrived at the site, instead of fire, he noticed a brilliant light emanating from a bush. Musa approached the bush cautiously when he heard a voice calling him to take off his shoes as he was in the presence of his Creator, and that he was standing on the santified terraine. It was here that Allah bestowed upon Musa the gifts of miracles to be used while confronting the mighty Pharaoh. He was given a brilliant light in his hand (Yadebaiza), and a staff with miraculous powers. Allah told him that He would give him other great signs to help accomplish His mission. Musa was then instructed to proceed to Egypt immediately.

Musa said that he was afraid of getting arrested on a previous murder charge, and also because he could not speak fluently due to his stuttering. He prayed to Allah to grant him fluency of speech, and have his brother Harun help him and be a deputy to him in all his tasks ahead. Allah granted Musa his requests and told him that he could take his brother along with him, and told him to be gentle in his language and be patient in all his dealings.

Musa was overwhelmed at the experience. The brilliant light emanating from the bush disappeared. For his own satisfaction, Musa varified the miracles of Yade-baiza and conversion of his staff into a serpent. He knew that it was not a dream, and he indeed was in the presence of The Divine One.

Musa came down from the mountain, narrated his experience to his wife, who acnowledged him to be the prophet of Allah and gave him the reassurance and comfort he needed. They made their way to Egypt, and to the house of Imran, his father. He took Harun aside and told him of his appointment as a prophet and his vicergeant. Harun was pleased and assured to help his brother in'the task that lay ahead.

The confrontation with the Pharaoh

Musa and Harun arrived in the court of the Pharaoh and told him that his claim of godhood was false, for there is but one God who created the king and the subject. He controls all that is in this world and beyond. The only reason for his return to Egypt was to obtain the release of his people from their bondage in Egypt.

The Pharaoh was not pleased with the dialogue, and said that Musa was a fugitive of their law and was to be hanged for the crime of killing an Egyptian. Musa said that the final justice was in the hands of Allah and that the Pharaoh himself was commiting the worst crime in defying his own Creator by forcing his false godhood over his subjects. Musa produced the miracle of Yadebaiza, and showed how, with the Will of Allah, his hand could produce blinding brilliance. The Pharaoh laughed and said that was nothing but an act of magic. To impress Musa, his magicians threw strings on the floor which turned into snakes. Musa threw his staff to the floor. It became a serpent and devoured all the wriggling snakes.

Whereas the magic of the Pharaoh was beaten, he declined to acknowledge the superiority of Allah over him. As he defiantly refused to allow Bani Israil to leave Egypt, Musa had to unleash the punishment of Allah over him and his people. These punishments came in the form of unseasonal floods that demolished their dwellings, swarms of locust that destroyed the crop, pestilence of lice that made life miserable, toads that croaked and sprang everywhere, and the turning of all driking water into blood. Each time the Pharaoh was subjected to humiliation, his defiance became pervasive. Finally, when the first bom sons of all Egyptians started to die from no apparent cause, including the beloved son of the Pharaoh, he finally gave up his defiance and most reluctantly agreed Bani Israil to leave Egypt.

The Exodus of Bani Israil from Egypt

Musa issued specific instructions for his people to collect all their belongings and leave their homes before sun rise, to gather outside the city periphery. The remains of Yusuf had already been collected in a coffin box, which was hauled out of the city, with caution and respect. As the people had little time to cook their normal food early in the morning, they could only eat the bread baked from rapidly kneaded dough. Musa led his people out of the city and headed straight for the shores of Red Sea. When the day dawned and the Egyptians saw their city to be devoid of the work force they reported this to the Pharaoh. He could not believe that Musa could achieve this mobilisation so fast. His defiance resurged into a mad rage. He mounted his fastest chariot and, in the company of his swiftest horsemen, chased Musa and his people, and caught up with them at the Red Sea.

Miracles of Musa during Exodus

Musa and his people were sandwitched between the army of the Pharaoh and the Red Sea. The Pharaoh laughed at the situation, and said that the God of Musa was not a very clever strategist, and clearly they were at his mercy. He orderd them to return or be killed on the spot. The faith of Bani Israil wavered, and they started to blame Musa for their plight. Musa prayed for help from Allah and hit the waters of Red Sea which created a dry passage between two walls of water. He ordered his people to quickly cross over to the other side. When they were half way down the path, the Pharaoh descended down the same path, in hot pursuit of the fugitives. However, man's designs are no match to that of Allah. As soon as the last of the fugitives had crossed over to the other side, the waters returned to fill the gap, and drowned the defiant Pharaoh, his army, his swift chariot and all their fast horses. Musa prayed to Allah and thanked Him for His Divine Assistance to him and his people.

Arrival at Mount Sinai

Musa led the large caravan through the hot desert of Sinai and arrived at the foot hills of Mount Sinai. The caravan was extremely short of water. They started to moan and blame Musa for having dragged them from the comfort of their homes into the desert with no water or shelter. Having been exposed to the style of idol worship under Egyptian subjugation for generations, they irked to make idols for worship in the old fasion. Musa scolded them on their absurd desire. He prayed to Allah for help and hit a nearby rock with his staff. A spring of sparkling water gushed out from it. They all drank from the spring and washed themselves and their clothing with the plentiful water.

Musa told his people that he was going up the mountain for a few days and Harun would act as his deputy in his absence. They should consider Harun to be their overlord just as he himself was to them, and that they should be obedient to him just as they were to Musa himself. Having given them these instructions, he left for the heights of Mount Sinai.

Revelation of Torah to Musa

Musa returned to the spot where he had first received his miracles from Allah. He took off his shoes as before and went down into subjugation to The Creator and The Sustainer of the universe. He prayed to Allah for His guidance. He was given the Ten Commandments at this session. Before leaving, he begged Allah to be revealed to him. Allah told him that it would not be possible for him to set his eye on His Divine Radiance. He would shower just a little of this over the mighty mountain so that he may derive his satisfaction. No sooner the communication had ended than a blinding pure white radiance struck the mighty mountain and instantaneously turned it into ashes. Musa lost consciousness from the roar that accompanied the lightening. When he recovered, he went down in total submission and asked forgiveness of Allah.

Having thus received the Torah for his people, Musa came down from the mountain and headed for the camp.

Samry and the Golden Bull

In the absence of Musa from the camp, the Israilites defied Harun. Misguided by Samry, a pagan, they collected their golden jewelery and quickly wrought a golden colt from it, as they had done for the temples of the Pharaoh for years. They said that the God of Musa was no where to be seen, and Musa had abandoned them in the wilderness. They started worshipping the Samry's colt, danced around it in sinful pursuits, and indulged in immoral acts.

When Musa arrived at the camp, he was infuriated to see his people in clear defiance of his specific orders. He was very angry with his brother for letting them indulge in blatent kufr. Harun told him that they would not listen to him. Musa admonished Samry and broke and burnt his golden colt. As a punishment, the sinning people were ordained to kill one another for atonement of sin.

Banu Israil demand to see God of Musa

After the commotion settled, the elders in the camp insisted upon meeting with God. Musa told them that no one could see Allah but they were adament. So Musa took seventy selected elders to Mount Sinai. They were not even close to the mountain when a thundering lightening struck in their path. The entire groupof insolent people fell to their knees. Musa begged Allah for their forgiveness, and brought them back to the camp. Here they stayed for many days and Musa and his brother Harun educated the people on the Oneness of Allah, and taught them the method of worship as prescribed in the Torah. They sanctified one tent and dedicated it for worship only. They kept this congregational tent with them for worship until they came back to the land of Kin'an where they built the first permanent Bait-ul-Muqaddas (the Holy House).

The Gift of Mann-o-Salwa

The caravan had exhausted their food supply in the desert and started grumbling. They again blamed Musa for all their difficulties. In his prayers, Musa begged Allah for their relief. Allah sent the gift of Mann-o-Salwa (the heavenly meals consisting of meat and sweets) to feed them. They were happy for a short time but started grumbling about the monotonous diet. Now they wanted the traditional diet of lentils garnished with garlic etc. Musa admonished them for their thanklessness. By this time they had reached Palestine, on the border of Kin'an, where they erected their tents in the desert.

The Promised Land

Kin'an was the land that Allah had promised Musa at the end of their jouney, the land of their forefathers. They could see the land from their high perch in the desert. Musa sent Yusha' bin Nun to gather information. It was here that Maryam, the sister of Musa passed away.

Yusha' bin Nun came back and reported that the valley was very fertile with fruit groves and vineyards. The people were very tall and strong. Banu Israil refused to go down to claim the territory and face a strong people in combat.

Musa became very disheartened at the defiance and insolence of the people and prayed to Allah for guidance. Allah ordered Musa to take them back to the desert where they would roam in wretchedness for forty years and they would never see the promised land. Hearing this, they agreed to go down to the valley. However Musa advised them to refrain from doing so since Allah had already decreed their renewed toils in the desert. They would not listen, and a large group from amongst them went up the hills. They were attacked by the inhabitants of the valley and many of them were killed in their attempt to gain control of the valley. They had no recourse but to return to the dersert and aimlessly roam there.

Musa took his people and travelled south. When he arrived at Mount Hoor, Harun, his brother passed away. Musa continued to lead his people for the duration of this suffering.

Yusha' bin Nun assisted Musa in the tasks that were previously carried out by Harun.

Fort,jr Years in the Desert

Musa continued the journeys in the desert for forty years as ordained. During this time many of the older folks, who had originated in Egypt, died, and a new generation of Banu Israil was raised who believed in Allah and followed orders inscribed in the Torah. They were now eager to carry out the biddings of Allah and ' seek their destiny in the land of Kin'an, the land of their forefathers.

Return to the Promised Land

Musa led them north once again and camped on the opposite banks of River Jordan. He showed them the promised land which their parents had rejected forty years earlier. He told them that he would not be accompanying them beyond the banks of the river. He left them in the camp in the care of Yusha' bir,- Nun and went up the hill for his prayers.

The Death of Musa

Musa went up the mountain but never came back. He died there, and nobody found him or his grave. Musa is known as,Moses in the Torah.

References:

His story has been told in several forms and contexts in al Qur'an. The relevant Suras are as follows: Baqarah, Alelmran, Nisaa'. Maidah, Anam'Anjaal, Yunus, @ud, Raad, Ibrahim, Nahl, Bani Israil, Kahaf, Maryam, Taha, Anmbiya'. Momin, Furqan, Shu'ra' ' Qasas, A'nkaboot, Sajdah, Ahzab, Sa Yfat, Haa meem Sajdah, Dukhan, Mujadelah, Jathiyah, Zariyat, Qamar, Tahreem, Ha'qah, Muzammil, Nazat, Fajar.

PROPHET HARUN

Harun was the elder brother of Musa. He was son of Imran. He was appointed by Allah to help his brother Musa in the arduous task of freeing and molding the unruly children of Israil into a nation. He was responsible for carrying out of the rituals of worship as assigned by Musa. His descendants still carry out these rituals in the temples of Bani Israil. He acted as the vicegerent of Musa and accompanied his brother through the desert journeys till he died atop Mount Hoor.

References:

He is known as Aaron in Torah and is referred to in al Qur'an along with Musa.

PROPHET YUSHA' BIN NUN

Yusha' bin Nun carried out the first assignment of Musa on their first arrival at the Promised land. After the death of Harun he accompanied Musa in the desert for forty years and carried out all the assignments that were previously carried out by Harun. When they returned to the banks of Jordan River after their wretched journeys in the desert, Musa appointed him his deputy and went up the mountain for the last time. He never came back.

It was Yusha' bin Nun who led Bani Israil into the city of Yareho (Jericho) and arranged the settlement of the twelve tribes of Bani Israil in the land of Kin'an. It was his responsibility to personally see the burial of the remains of Prophet Yusuf amongst his forefathers in accordance with his will.

He died when all the task of settling the Israilites was accomplished according to the Will of Allah.

Yusha' bin Nun is known as Jashua in the Torah.

References:

His name is not mentioned in al Qur'an but is referred to along with the narratives of Musa in Sura Maidah, Kahaf, Waqeah.

PROPHET SAMUEL

After gaining hold of the new territory, Banu Israil were governed by the clergy in accordance with the laws laid down by Musa in the Torah. After a while they started to dream about a kingdom of their own, just as other people around them had. Allah appointed Samuel prophet to Banu Israil. Samuel was a descendant from Ephraim (a son of Yusuf).

The people made Taalut (Saul in Torah) their king. However, Taalut was unable to govern the people well, and was not obedient to Samuel. Allah took the kingdom away from Taalut and gave it to Da'ud (David).

References:

Samuel is not named in al Qur'an, but a refemce is made in Sura Baqarah without his name.

PROPHET DA'UD

Da'ud (David) was a ninth generation descendant of Yahudah (one of the twelve sons of Ya'qub, known as Judah in Torah). Banu Israil were in war with the Eimaliques, and no one was able to subdue their gigantic king called Jalut (Goliath). Da'ud was still a young lad when he used his sling to kill giant king Jalut (Goliath). He was appointed prophet and king by Allah while Samuel was still alive.

The boundaries of his kingdom expanded during his rule, and he spread the religion of Allah to other territories. He laid the foundations of Bait-ul Muqaddas (the Holy Mosque) Allah gave him the Book Zubur (Psalms in the Torah), that has poetical rhyme and prophetic wisdom in its words. He lived long and ruled his people wisely and in accordance with the laws of Torah.

References:

al Qur'an: Sura Baqarah, Nisaa', Maidah, An'am, Bani Israil, Anmbiya', Nahl, Saba', Jinn.

PROPHET SULAYMAN

Sulayman was one of the sons of Da'ud. Allah appointed him prophet and king after his father and gave him immense wisdom and power over all creation, including the jinns. The stories of his justice are alive to this day. His kingdom expanded as far east as Euphrates river, as far west as Egypt, and as far south as Yamen (known as the kingdem of Saba, or Sheba in the Torah).

The queen of Saba, named Bilqis, was so overwhelmed by the power and wisdom of Sulayman that she gave up her kingdom to become his wife and lived with him and by his side.

He completed the construction of Bait-ul-Muqaddas whose foundations were laid by his father. Sulayman is known as King Solomon in the Torah.

References:

al Qur'an may be seen in Sura Baqarah, Nisaa', Anam, Anmbiya'. Nahl, Saba, Jinn.

PROPHET AYUB

Ayub (Job) was a descendant of A'mis, the third son of Ishaq. Allah had granted him great wealth and a large family, and he lived in comfort and peace.

Allah wanted to test his steadfastness of faith in plenty and in deprivation. Once lightening struck his live stock and all his animals perished. This was followed by a storm that destroyed his crops. The test of deprivation continued, and his house collapsed over his family, killing all his children. Every time a calamity struck, he went down in submission to Allah acknowledging that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. There is none other than Allah who has the power to provide and sustain His creatures in this world and beyond.

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

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

The patience and perseverance of Ayub in the face of all suffering is proverbial and the best example for people of all times.

References:

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

PROPH ET ILY AS

Ilyas 'was a descendant from the progeny of Harun and was a great prophet of Allah amongst Banu Insrail.

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

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

It so happened that the young son of the king became ill. Ilyas asked the king why did he not pray to his best idol for the recovery of his son. The king was so annoyed with the harsh words of Ilyas that he sent his palace guards to

ILYAS

Ilyas 'was a descendant from the progeny of Harun and was a great prophet of Allah amongst Banu Insrail.

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

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

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

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

When hearts harden with hate and defiance, no amount of logic or reason makes any sense. They all swooped on Ilyas to lynch him in public. They blamed him for his magic to be the cause of their misery. They conspired to kill him.

Ilyas appointed Al-Yasa' his successor and vanished in the protection of Allah. A monarch from a neighboring kingdom came and conquered the land. The king and his queen met their ill fate as predicted by Ilyas, and were slain in the same grove where they had killed its innocent owner. Their bodies lay rotting in the sun, and ravens and vultures ate their flesh.

References:

al Qur'an: Sura Saffat.

PRPOHET ZULKIFL

Zulkifl was a contemporary of Ilyas. He was a very pious man of Allah and was well respected by the people. He was responsible for saving lives of over a hundred prophets and men of Allah during the rule of an Israilite king and his heathen wife who would kill any one opposing their practice of idolatory.

He is named Zulkifl in al Qur'an , which means the savior or protector. He is named Abadihah in the Torah.

References:

al Qur'an: Sura Anmbiya', Jinn.

PROPHET AL-YASA

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

He inherited from Ilyas the obstinate king and queen of Bani Israil who would not listen to any reason. Al-Yasa' did many miraculous deeds to show them the powers of Allah but they called him a magician like they had called Ilyas before him. They continued defying throughout his life.

After a period of time the mighty Assyrians conquered Bani Israil, destroyed their dwellings including the Bait-ul Muqqadas and took away all the precious relics. They raged such havoc in the land that several tribes of Bani Israil have lost their ancestoral traces to this day.

References:

al Qur'an: Sura Anam, Jinn.

PROPHET YUNUS

Yunus son of Amittai in the clan of Judah wa appointed prophet by Allah towards the people of Ninewa (North Western Iraq). The people were very head strong and obstinate. They refused to listen to his teachings. He got disgusted and disappointed with the lack of progress wi the people. He prayed to Allah to punish the people fo defying him, and decided to take the river ferry to go another territory.

While crossing the river, great swells engulfed ferry. When it appeared that the boat would sink with next swell, the captain of the boat addressed the passengers and said that there must be someone amongst them who had run away from his master. He should give himself up and come forward so that he may be tossed overboard to save the rest. No one moved for a while. When the next swell struck the boat, and it was evident that the end was near, they decided to toss a coin and it fell for Yunus. So he was thrown in the river. The storm subsided immediately and all on board the ferry were saved.

As for Yunus, a large fish swallowed him and carried him to the banks of the river where he was ejected on to dry land. His skin got eroded from the digestive juices of the fish. He suffered great pain and disappointment because o the flies and the sun. He sought forgiveness from Allah for having abandoned his mission. Allah made a plant come up by his side and he convalesced under its shadow by the river bank, and reflected over the extra-ordinary experience.

In the meantime, his people had realized their error. They repented for their sin and ventured out in search of Yunus. They found him and rejoiced seeing him alive. They took him back and promised to live by his teachings. He lived amongst his people to a long and ripe age. When he died, he was buried near the same place where the great fish had ejected him. Many devout followers started to build their homes at this location and it soon developed into a bustling city. The city of Kufa is located at the same historic site and the grave of Prophet Yunus is located at the @bank of the river.

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

References:

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

PROPHET UZAIR

The Babylonian king Nabukatnazar (Bakht Nasr) ransacked the dwellings of Bani Israil and their dead bodies lay decaying in the desert sun. Uzair was grieved at the total annihilation and wondered how could the lost glory of the cities of Bani Israil be ever revived again. A sudden slumber came upon him and he remained in that state for one hundred years.

Then Allah made him rise from his sleep. When he got up, he looked at his donkey. He was surprised to see only the bones of its decaying skeleton. He wondered what had happened to his donkey. He then noted that his food was as fresh as it was when he fell asleep. He was wondering about all this when Allah asked him if he knew how long he had been asleep. He said, " for a day, or even less!" Allah then told him that he had slept for a hundred years. During this period, his perishables remained fresh by His permission, but his living animal had undergone the natural process of death and dissolution. Then Allah made his donkey also come to life in front of his eyes. Uzair acknowledged that Allah had total command over all things.

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

He is known as Ezra in Torah.

References:

al Qur'an: Sura Baqarah, Taubah.

PROPHET LUQMAN

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

His Great Personal Conduct

He believed in the Oneness of Allah and obeyed His commandment with honesty and commitment. He was a great observer and thinker. He avoided sleeping during the day, and would not sit back in comfortable posture when he had company. He was so mannerly that no one ever saw him spitting. He avoided joking, and laughing lest it would displease Allah. He neither rejoiced over achieving something nor grieved over losing it. He always helped to settle differences between parties. He prefered to sit amongst gatherings of the wise and remained silent unless spoken to. He carefully watched the conduct of the rulers.

Allah had bestowed upon him the gift of wisdom and insight about the affairs of people. Allah ordained him to be always thankful, for "Whosoever denies His blessings does so only to his own peril. "

He gave an eternal guidance to humanity in the form of advice to his son which is stated in Qur'an. On The Great Sin of Polytheism "O son, be careful, never associate any one with Allah because it is a grave sin and there is no forgiveness for it."

On Thankfulness to Allah for His Benevolence, and On The Rights of Parents, and Their Obedience"O son, be humble and charitable towards your parents. Thank Allah first for all that He has granted you without your asking for it, and then thank your parents for the kindness they showed you, when you were helpless.

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

Careful and Cautious Conduct

He continued his advice: "O son, Your deeds , good or bad, and in any amount, are accountable on the Great Day of Reckoning. Your reward or punislunent will depend on the quality of your conduct.

"Do not slumber when you should be awake and stand in worship of your Lord. Learn to bear in the times of deprivation, for Allah rewards those who show contentment and forbearance.

"Do not exhibit arrogance as you walk or talk, as Allah does not consider arrogance to be an appropriate behavior amongst human beings. "Show moderation in your attire and adornments. "Talk in low tone, because the loud and the crude tone belongs to the ass."

References:

al qur'an: Sura Luqman.

PROPHET ZAKAMYA

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

Fostering care of Maryam

Maryam was a niece of his wife. The mother of Maryam had dedicated her unborr. child to serve Bait-ul Muqqadas. When she gave birth to a daughter, she did not retract from her vow of dedicating her child in the service of Bait-ul Muqqadas and gave her to the foster care of her uncle, Zakariya.

When she grew up, he started to take her along to the great Mosque and taught her how to take care of all the sacred objects and how to conduct the rituals of worship. When she grew older, he alloted her a room inside the Mosque so that she could carry out her duties independently, and at all times.

The Birth of Yahya

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

He is known as Zacharia in the Torah.

References:

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

PROPHET YAHYA

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

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

He is known in the Bible as John the Baptist.

References:

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

PROPHET ISA

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

The Birth of Isa

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

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

The Miraculous Speech by the Infant Isa

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

The controversies over the Virgin Birth of Isa

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

The Prophethood of Isa and his Miracles

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

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

The Occultation of Isa

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

References:

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