One day late, but I wanted to post this one. What an amazing story!
To start with, here are some facts and merits of Prophet Isa from the Quran and Sunnah. Happy reading! Oh, and Eid Mubarak in advance. May Allah accept all our worship and efforts. :)
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “O people of the Scriptures! Do not exceed the limits in your religion…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 644 :
Narrated by ‘Ubada (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If anyone testifies that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few.”
(Junada, the sub-narrator said, ” ‘Ubada added, ‘Such a person can enter Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes.”)
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And mention in the Book, the story of Maryam…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 645 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “None spoke in cradle but three: (The first was) Jesus, (the second was), there a man from Bani Israel called Juraij. While he was offering his prayers, his mother came and called him. He said (to himself), ‘Shall I answer her or keep on praying?” (He went on praying) and did not answer her, his mother said, “O Allah! Do not let him die till he sees the faces of prostitutes.” So while he was in his hermitage, a lady came and sought to seduce him, but he refused. So she went to a shepherd and presented herself to him to commit illegal sexual intercourse with her and then later she gave birth to a child and claimed that it belonged to Juraij. The people, therefore, came to him and dismantled his hermitage and expelled him out of it and abused him. Juraij performed the ablution and offered prayer, and then came to the child and said, ‘O child! Who is your father?’ The child replied, ‘The shepherd.’ (After hearing this) the people said, ‘We shall rebuild your hermitage of gold,’ but he said, ‘No, of nothing but mud.’ (The third was the hero of the following story:) A lady from Bani Israel was nursing her child at her breast when a handsome rider passed by her. She said, ‘O Allah! Make my child like him.’ On that the child left her breast, and facing the rider said, ‘O Allah! Do not make me like him.’ The child then started to suck her breast again. (Abu Huraira further said, “As if I were now looking at the Prophet sucking his finger (in way of demonstration.”) After a while the people passed by, with a lady slave and she (i.e. the child’s mother) said, ‘O Allah! Do not make my child like this (slave girl)!, On that the child left her breast and said, ‘O Allah! Make me like her.’ When she asked why, the child replied, ‘The rider is one of the tyrants while this slave girl is falsely accused of theft and illegal sexual intercourse.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 646 :
Narrated by Hisham
From Ma’mar as below.
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 647 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I met Moses on the night of my Ascension to heaven.” The Prophet then described him saying, as I think, “He was a tall person with lank hair as if he belonged to the people of the tribe of Shanu’a.’ The Prophet further said, “I met Jesus.” The Prophet described him saying, “He was one of moderate height and was red-faced as if he had just come out of a bathroom. I saw Abraham whom I resembled more than any of his children did.” The Prophet further said, “(That night) I was given two cups; one full of milk and the other full of wine. I was asked to take either of them which I liked, and I took the milk and drank it. On that it was said to me, ‘You have taken the right path (religion). If you had taken the wine, your (Muslim) nation would have gone astray.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 648 :
Narrated by Ibn Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I saw Moses, Jesus and Abraham (on the night of my Ascension to the heavens). Jesus was of red complexion, curly hair and a broad chest. Moses was of brown complexion, straight hair and tall stature as if he was from the people of Az-Zutt.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 649 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) mentioned the Massiah Ad-Dajjal in front of the people saying, “Allah is not one-eyed while Messsiah, Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging-out grape. While sleeping near the Ka’ba last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’ Behind him I saw a man who had very curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatan (i.e. an infidel) in appearance. He was placing his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing Tawaf around the Ka’ba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘The Masih, Ad-Dajjal.’ “
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 650 :
Narrated by Salim from his father
No, By Allah, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, “While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka’ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people said, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.’ The one who resembled to him among the people, was Ibn Qatan.”
(Az-Zuhri said, “He (i.e. Ibn Qatan) was a man from the tribe Khuza’a who died in the pre-lslamic period.”)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 651 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus).”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 652 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 653 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Jesus, seeing a man stealing, asked him, ‘Did you steal?, He said, ‘No, by Allah, except Whom there is None who has the right to be worshipped’ Jesus said, ‘I believe in Allah and suspect my eyes.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 654 :
Narrated by ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 655 :
Narrated by Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If a person teaches his slave girl good manners properly, educates her properly, and then manumits and marries her, he will get a double reward. And if a man believes in Jesus and then believes in me, he will get a double reward. And if a slave fears his Lord (i.e. Allah) and obeys his masters, he too will get a double reward.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 656 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “You will be resurrected (and assembled) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised.” The Prophet then recited the Divine Verse:– “As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A promise We have undertaken. Truly we shall do it.” (21.104)
He added, “The first to be dressed will be Abraham. Then some of my companions will take to the right and to the left. I will say: ‘My companions!’ It will be said, ‘They had been renegades since you left them.’ I will then say what the Pious Slave Jesus, the son of Mary, said: ‘And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them, You, only You are the All-Mighty the All-Wise.’ ” (5.117-118)
Narrated Qabeesah, “Those were the apostates who reverted from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who fought them”.
Chapter: The advent (descent) of ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) alayhis-salam
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it.”
Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) added “If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): ‘And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness Against them.” (4.159)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said “How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Quran and not by the law of Gospel.
The Story of Prophet Isa [Jesus]
By Ibn Kathir
In many verses of the Glorious Qur’an Allah the Exalted denied the claim of the Christians that He has a son. A delegation from Nagran came to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They began to talk about their claim about the Trinity, which is that Allah is three in one, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with some disagreement among their sects. That is why Allah affirmed in many verses of the Qur’an that Jesus is a slave of Allah, whom He molded in the womb of his mother like any other of His creatures, and that He created him without a father, as He created Adam without a father or a mother.
Allah the Almighty said: Allah chose Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above the Alamin (mankind and jinns)(of their times). Offspring, one of theo other, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Remember when the wife of Imran said: “O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All Knowing.”
Then when she delivered her (child Mary), she said: “O my Lord! I have delivered a female child,” and Allah knew better what she delivered, – “and the male is not like the female, and I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Satan, the outcast.”
So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zechariah. Every time he entered Al-Mihrab (a praying place or a private room), he found her supplied with sustenance.
He said: “O Mary! From where have you got this?”
She said: “From Allah. Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.” (Ch 3:33-37 Quran)
Allah declared that He had elected Adam (pbuh) and the elite of his offspring who obey Allah. Then He specified the family of Abraham (pbuh), which includes the sons of Ishmael (pbuh), and the family of Imran, the father of Mary.
Muhammad Ibn Ishaaq stated that he was Imran Ibn Bashim, Ibn Amun, Ibn Misha, Ibn Hosqia, Ibn Ahriq, Ibn Mutham, Ibn Azazia, Ibn Amisa, Ibn Yamish, Ibn Ahrihu, Ibn Yazem, Ibn Yahfashat, Ibn Eisha, Ibn Iyam, Ibn Rahba am, Ibn David (Dawud).
Prophet Zakariyah’s (pbuh) wife’s sister had a daughter named Hannah. She was married to Imran, a leader of the Israelites. For many years, the couple remained childless. Whenever Hannah saw another woman with a child, her longing for a baby increased. Although years had passed, she never lost hope. She believed that one day Allah would bless her with a child, on whom she would shower all her motherly love.
She turned to the Lord of the heavens and the earth and pleaded with Him for a child. She would offer the child in the service of Allah’s house, in the temple of Jerusalem. Allah granted her request. When she learned that she was pregnant, she was the happiest woman alive, and thanked Allah for His gift. Her overjoyed husband Imran also thanked Allah for His mercy.
However, while she was pregnant her husband passed away. Hannah wept bitterly. Alas, Imran did not live to see their child for whom they had so longed. She gave birth to a girl, and again turned to Allah in prayer: “O my Lord, I have delivered a female child,” and the male is not like the female, and I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and her offspring from Satan, the outcast.” (Ch 3:36 Quran)
Hannah had a big problem in reference to her promise to Allah, for females were not accepted into the temple, and she was very worried. Her sister’s husband Zakariyah, comforted her, saying that Allah knew best what she had delivered and appreciated fully what she had offered in His service. She wrapped the baby in a shawl and handed it over to the temple elders. As the baby was a girl, the question of her guardianship posed a problem for the elders. This was a child of their late and beloved leader, and everyone was eager to take care of her. Zakariyah said to the elders: “I am the husband of her maternal aunt and her nearest relation in the temple; therefore, I will be more mindful of her than all of you.”
As it was their custom to draw lots to solve disagreements, they followed this course. Each one was given a reed to throw into the river. They had agreed that whoever’s reed remained afloat would be granted guardianship of the girl. All the reeds sank to the bottom except Zakariyah’s. With this sign, they all surrendered to the will of Allah and made him the guardian.
To ensure that no one had access to Mary, Zakariyah built a separate room for her in the temple. As she grew up, she spent her time in devotion to Allah. Zakariyah visited her daily to see to her needs, and so it continued for many years. One day, he was surprised to find fresh fruit, which was out of season in her room. As he was the only person who could enter her room, he asked her how the fruit got there. She replied that these provisions were from Allah, as He gives to whom He wills. Zakariyah understood by this that Allah had raised Mary’s status above that of other women.
Thereafter, Zakariyah spent more time with her, teaching and guiding her. Mary grew to be a devotee of Allah, glorifying Him day and night.
Ali Ibn Abi Talib narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The best of the world’s women is Mary (in her lifetime), and the best of the world’s women is Khadija (in her lifetime).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Abu Musa Al-Ashari also narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “May among men attained perfection but among women none attained perfection except Mary the daughter of Imran, and Asiya the wife of Pharaoh, and the superiority of Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (an Arabic dish) to other meals.”
While Mary was praying in her temple, an angel in the form of a man appeared before her. Filled with terror, she tried to flee, praying: “Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.”
The angel said: “I am only a Messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son.”
She said: “How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?”
He said: “So (it will be), your Lord said: “That is easy for me (Allah): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allah).'” (Ch 19:18-21 Quran)
The angel’s visit caused Mary great anxiety, which increased as the months went by. How could she face giving birth to a child without having a husband? Later, she felt life kicking inside her. With a heavy heart, she left the temple and went to Nazareth, the city in which she had been born where she settled in a simple farm house to avoid the public.
But fear and anxiety did not leave her. She was from a noble and pious family. Her father had not been an evil man nor was her mother an impure woman. How could she prevent tongues from wagging about her honor?
After some months, she could not bear the mental strain any longer. Burdened with a heavy womb, she left Nazareth, not knowing where to go to be away from this depressing atmosphere.
She had not gone far, when she was overtaken by the pains of childbirth. She saw down against a dry palm tree, and here she gave birth to a son. Looking at her beautiful baby, she was hurt that she had brought him into the world without a father. She exclaimed: “I wish I had died before this happened and had vanished into nothingness!”
Suddenly, she heard a voice nearby: “Grieve not, your Lord has placed a rivulet below, and shake the trunk of this tree, from which ripe dates will fall. So eat and drink and regain the strength you have lost; and be of good cheer, for what you see is the power of Allah, Who made the dry palm tree regain life, in order to provide food for you.” For a while she was comforted by Allah’s miracle, for it was a sure sign of her innocence and purity.
She decided to return to the city. However, her fears also returned. What was she going to tell the people? As if sharinhis mother’s worry, the baby began to speak: “If you meet any person say: ‘I have vowed to fast for The Beneficent and may not speak to any human today.'” With this miracle, Mary felt at ease.
As she had expected, her arrival in the city with a newborn baby in her arms aroused the curiosity of the people. They scolded her: “This is a terrible sin that you have committed.” She put her finger to her lips and pointed to the child. They asked: “How can we speak to a newborn baby?” To their total amazement, the child began to speak clearly: “I am Allah’s servant. Allah has given me the Book, and has made me a prophet, and has blessed me wherever I may be, and has enjoined on me prayers and alms-giving as long as I live. Allah has made me dutiful towards she who had borne me. He has not made me arrogant nor unblessed. Peace unto me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive.”
Most of the people realized that the baby was unique, for it Allah wills something, He merely says “Be” and it happens. Of course, there were some who regarded the baby’s speech as a strange trick, but at least Mary could now stay in Nazareth without being harassed.
Allah the Exalted revealed: And mention in the Book (the Qur’an, O Muhammad, the story of) Mary, when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Ruh (angel Gabriel), and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.
She said: “Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.”
The angel said: “I am only a Messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son.”
She said: “How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?” He said: “So (it will be), your Lord said: “That is easy for Me (Allah): and (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allah).'”
So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place (Bethlehem valley, about four to six miles from Jerusalem). And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: “Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!”
Then (the babe “Jesus” or Gabriel) cried unto her from below her, saying: “Grieve not! Your Lord has provided you a water stream under you; and shake the trunk of palm tree towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and be glad, and if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day.'”
Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: “O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariyya (an unheard mighty thing). O sister (the like) of Aaron (not the brother of Moses, but he was another pious man at the time of Mary)! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor was your mother an unchaste woman.”
Then she pointed to him. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
He (Jesus) said: “Verily! I am a slave of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet; and He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined me prayer, and Zakat, as long as I live, and dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest. And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!”
Such is Jesus, son of Mary. (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute). It befits not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son (this refers to the slander of Christians against Allah, by saying that Jesus is the son of Allah). Glorified (and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, “Be!” – and it is.
Jesus said: “And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path. (Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism which He did ordain for all of His Prophets).”
Then the sects differed (the Christians about Jesus), so woe unto the disbeliveers (those who gave false witness saying that Jesus is the son of Allah) from the meeting of a great Day (the Day of Resurrection, when they will be thrown in the blazing Fire).
How clearly will they (polytheists and disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah) see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us! But the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) today are in plain error. And warn them (O Muhammad) of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, while now they are in a state of carelessness and they believe not. (Ch 19:16-39 Quran)
It was said that Joseph the Carpenter was greatly surprised when he knew the story, so he asked Mary: “Can a tree come to grow without a seed?” She said: “Yes, the one which Allah created for the first time.” He asked her again: “Is it possible to bear a child without a male partner?” She said: “Yes, Allah, created Adam without male or female!”
It was also said that, while pregnant, Mary went one day to her aunt, who reported that she felt as if she was pregnant. Mary in turn, said that she, too, was feeling as if she was pregnant. Then her aunt said: “I can see what is in my womb prostrating to what is in your womb.”
The Jewish priests felt this child Jesus was dangerous, for they felt that the people would turn their worship to Allah the Almighty Alone, displacing the existing Jewish tenets. Consequently, they would lose their authority over the people. Therefore, they kept the miracle of Jesus’s speech in infancy as a secret and accused Mary of a great misdeed.
As Jesus (pbuh) grew, the signs of prophethood began to increase. He could tell his friends what kind of supper waited for them at home and what they had hidden and where. When he was twelve years old, he accompanied his mother to Jerusalem. There he wandered into the temple and joined a crowd listening to the lecture of the Rabbis (Jewish priests). The audience were all adults, but he was not afraid to sit with them. After listening intently, he asked questions and expressed his opinion. The learned rabbis were disturbed by the boy’s boldness and puzzled by the questions he asked, for they were unable to answer him. They tried to silence him, but he ignored their attempts and continued to express his views. Jesus became so involved in this exchange that he forgot he as expected back home.
In the meantime, his mother went home, thinking that he might have gone back with relatives or friends. When she arrived, she discovered that he was not there, so she returned to the city to look for him. At last she found him in the temple, sitting among the learned, conversing with them. He appeared to be quite at east, as if he had been doing this all his life. Mary got angry with him for causing her worry. He tried to assure her that all the arguing and debating with the learned had made him forgot the time.
Jesus grew up to manhood. It was Sabbath, a day of complete rest: no fire could be lit or extinguished nor could females plait their hair. Moses (pbuh) had commanded that Saturday be dedicated to the worship of Allah. However, the wisdom behind the Sabbath and its spirit had gone, and only the letter remained in the Jews’ hearts. Also, they thought that Sabbath was kept in heaven, and that the People of Israel had been chosen by Allah only to observe the Sabbath.
They made a hundred things unlawful on Saturday even self-defense or calling a doctor to save a patient who was in bad condition. This is how their life was branded by such hypocrisy. Although the Pharisees were guardians of the law, they were ready to sell it when their interests were involved so as to obtain personal gains. There was, for example, a rule which prohibited a journey of more than one thousand yards on the Sabbath day. What do we expect of the Pharisees in this case? The day before, they transferred their food and drink from their homes two thousand yards away and erected a temporary house so that from tthey could travel a further thousand yards on the Sabbath day.
Jesus was on his way to the temple. Although it was the Sabbath, he reached out his hand to pick two pieces of fruit to feed a hungry child. This was considered to be a violation of the Sabbath law. He made a fire for the old women to keep themselves warm from the freezing air. Another violation. He went to the temple and looked around. There were twenty thousand Jewish priests registered there who earned their living from the temple. The rooms of he temple were full of them.
Jesus observed that the visitors were much fewer than the priests. Yet the temple was full of sheep and doves which were sold to the people to be offered as sacrifices. Every step in the temple cost the visitor money. They worshipped nothing but money. In the temple, the Pharisees and Sadducees acted as if it were a market place, and these two groups always disagreed on everything. Jesus followed the scene with his eyes and observed that the poor people who could not afford the price of the sheep or dove were swept away like flies by the Pharisees and Saducees. Jesus was astonished. Why did the priests burn a lot of offerings inside the temple, while thousands of poor people were hungry outside it?
On this blessed night, the two noble prophets John (pbuh) and Zakariyah (pbuh) died, killed by the ruling authority. On the same night, the revelation descended upon Jesus (pbuh). Allah the Exalted commanded him to begin his call to the children of Israel. To Jesus, the life of ease was closed, and the page of worship and struggled was opened.
Like an opposing force, the message of Jesus came to denounce the practices of the Pharisees and to reinforce the Law of Moses. In the face of a materialistic age of luxury and worship of gold, Jesus called his people to a nobler life by word and deed. This exemplary life was the only way out of the wretchedness and diseases of his age. Jesus’s call, from the beginning, was marked by its complete uprightness and piety. It appealed to the soul, the inner being, and not be a closed system of rules laid down by society.
Jesus continued inviting the people to Almighty Allah. His call was based on the principle that there is no mediation between the Creator and His creatures. However, Jesus was in conflict with the Jews’ superficial interpretation of the Torah. He said that he did not come to abrogate the Torah, but to complete it by going to the spirit of its substance to arrive at its essence.
He made the Jews understand that the Ten Commandments have more value than they imagined. For instance, the fifth commandment does not only prohibit physical killing, but all forms of killing; physical, psychological, or spiritual. And the sixth commandment does not prohibit adultery only in the sense of unlawful physical contact between a man and a woman, but also prohibits all forms of unlawful relations or acts that might lead to adultery. The eye commits adultery when it looks at anything with passion.
Jesus was therefore in confrontation with the materialistic people. He told them to desist from hypocrisy, show and false praise. There was no need to hoard wealth in this life. They should not preoccupy themselves with the goods of this passing world; rather they must preoccupy themselves with the affairs of the coming world because it would be everlasting.
Jesus told them that caring for this world is a sin, not fit for pious worshippers. The disbeliveers care for it because they do not know a better way. As for the believers, they know that their sustenance is with Allah, so they trust in Him and scorn this world.
Jesus continued to invite people to worship the Only Lord, Who is without partner, just as he invited them to purify the heart and soul.
His teaching annoyed the priests, for every word of Jesus was a threat to them and their position, exposing their misdeeds.
The Roman occupiers had, at first, no intention of being involved in this religious discord of the Jews because it was an internal affair, and they saw that this dispute would distract the Jews from the question of the occupation.
However, the priests started to plot against Jesus. They wanted to embarrass him and to prove that he had come to destroy the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law provides that an adulteress be stoned to death. They brought him a Jewish adulteress and asked Jesus: “Does not the law stipulate the stoning of the adulteress?” Jesus answered: “Yes.” They said: “This woman is an adulteress.” Jesus looked at the woman and then at the priests. He knew that they were more sinful than she. They agreed that she should be killed according to Mosaic Law, and they understood that if he was going to apply Mosaic Law, he would be destroying his own rules of forgiveness and mercy.
Jesus understood their plan. He smiled and assented: “Whoever among you is sinless can stone her.” His voice rose in the middle of the Temple, making a new law on adultery, for the sinless to judge sin. There was none eligible; no mortal can judge sin, only Allah the Most Merciful.
As Jesus left the temple, the woman followed him. She took out a bottle of perfume from her garments, knelt before his feet and washed them with perfume and tears, and then dried his feet with her hair. Jesus turned to the woman and told her to stand up, adding: “O Lord, forgive her sins.” He let the priests understand that those who call people to Almighty Allah are not executioners. His call was based on mercy for the people, the aim of all divine calls.
Jesus continued to pray to Allah for mercy on his people and to teach his people to have mercy on one another and to believe in Allah.
Jesus continued his mission, aided by divine miracles. Some Qur’anic commentators said that Jesus brought four people back from the dead: a friend of his named Al-Azam, an old woman’s son, and a woman’s only daughter. These three had died during his lifetime. When the Jews saw this they said: “You only resurrect those who have died recently; perhaps they only fainted.” They asked him to bring back to life Sam the Ibn Noah.
When he asked them to show him his grave, the people accompanied him there. Jesus invoked Allah the Exalted to bring him back to life and behold, Sam the Ibn Noah came out from the grave gray-haired. Jesus asked: “how did you get gray hair, when there was no aging in your time?” He answered: “O Spirit of Allah, I thought that the Day of Resurrection had come; from the fear of that day my hair turned gray.”
Allah the Almighty said: Remember when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My Favor to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel) so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Torah and the Gospel; and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbeliveers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.'”
And when I (Allah) put in their hearts of the disciples (of Jesus) to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: “We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Ch 5:110-111 Quran)
Almighty Allah also revealed: And He Allah will teach him (Jesus) the Book and Al Hikmah (the Sunna, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Torah and the Gospel.
And will make him (Jesus) a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me. Truly! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.”
Then when Jesus came to know of their disbelief, he said: “Who will be my helpers in Allah’s Cause?” The disciples said: “We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (we submit to Allah).”
Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger (Jesus); so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth, La ilaha ill Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).
And they (disbeliveers) plotted (to kill Jesus), and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners. (Ch 3:48-54 Quran)
Jesus continued calling people to Almighty Allah and laying down for them what might be called “the law of the Spirit.” Once when standing on a mountain surrounded by his disciples, Jesus saw that those who believed in him were from among the poor, the wretched, an the downtrodden, and their number was small. Some of the miracles which Jesus performed had been requested by his disciples, such as their wish for a “holy table” to be sent down from heaven.
Allah the Exalted said: Remember when the disciples said: “O Jesus, son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us a table spread (with food) from heaven?” Jesus said: “Fear Allah, if you are indeed believers.” They said: “We wish to eat thereof and to be stronger in Faith and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses.”
Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – a festival and a sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the best of sustainers.” Allah said: “I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the Alamin (mankind and jinn).” (Ch 5:112-115 Quran)
It was related that Jesus commanded his disciples to fast for thirty days; at the end of it, they asked Jesus to bring food from heaven to break their fast. Jesus prayed to Allah after his disciples had doubted Allah’s power. The great table cam down between two clouds, one above and one below, while the people watched. Jesus said: “O Lord, make it a mercy and not a cause of distress.” So it fell between Jesus’s hands, covered with a napkin.
Jesus suddenly prostrated and his disciples with him. They sensed a fragrance, which they had never smelled before. Jesus said: “The one who is the most devout and most righteous may uncover the table, that we might eat of it to thank Allah for it.” They said: “O Spirit of Allah, you are the most deserving.”
Jesus stood up, then performed ablution and prayed before uncovering the table, and behold, there was a roasted fish. The disciples said: “O Spirit of Allah, is this the food of this world or of Paradise?” Jesus said to his disciples: “Did not Allah forbid you to ask questions? It is the divine power of Allah the Almighty Who said: ‘Be,’ and it was. It is a sign from Almighty Allah warning of great punishment for unbelieving mortals of the world. This is the kernel of the matter.”
It is said that thousands of people partook of it, and yet they never exhausted it. A further miracle was that the blind and lepers were cured.
The Day of the Table became one of the holy days for the disciples and followers of Jesus. Later on, the disciples and followers forgot the real essence of the miracles, and so they worshipped Jesus as a god.
Almighty Allah asserted: And remember when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?'” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord’, And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world). If you punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, Verily You, only You are the All Mighty, the All Wise.”
Allah will say: “This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) – they shall abide therein forever. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great success (Paradise). To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is Able to do all things.” (Ch 5:116-120 Quran)
Jesus went on his mission until vice knew that its throne was threatening to fall. So the forces of evil accused him of magic, infringement of the Mosaic Law, allegiance with the devil; and when they saw that the poor people followed him, they began to scheme against him.
The Sanhedrin, the highest judicial and ecclesiastical council of the Jews, began to meet to plot against Jesus. The plan took a new turn. When the Jews failed to stop Jesus’ s call, they decided to kill him. The chief priests held secret meetings to agree on the best way of getting rid of Jesus. While they were in such a meeting, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, Judas Iscariot, went to them and asked: “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” Judas bargained with them until they agreed to give him thirty pieces of silver known as shekels. The plot was laid for the capture and murder of Jesus.
It was said that the high priest of the Jews tore his garment at the meeting, claiming that Jesus had denied Judaism. The tearing of clothes at that time was a sign of disgust.
The priests had no authority to pass the death sentence at that time, so they convinced the Roman governor that Jesus was plotting against the security of the Roman Empire and urged him to take immediate action against him. The governor ordered thaJesus be arrested.
According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus was arrested and the council of the high priests passed the death sentence upon him. Then, they began insulting him, spitting on his face and kicking him.
It was the Roman custom for the condemned to be flogged before they were executed. So Pilate, the Roman governor, ordered that Jesus be flogged. The Mosaic Law stipulates forty lashes, but the Roman had no limit, and they were brutal lashes. After that, Jesus was handed to the soldiers for crucifixion. They took off his clothes, and kept them. They put a crown of thorns on his head to mock him. According to custom he carried his cross on his back to increase his suffering.
Finally, they reached a place called Golgotha, meaning the Place of Skulls, outside the walls of Jerusalem. Instead of giving him a cup of wine diluted with scent to help lessen the pain on the cross, the soldiers gave Jesus a cup of vinegar diluted with gall. Then they crucified him and, as a further mockery, two thieves with him. So it is written in the Bible.
But the faith of Islam came with views quite different from that of the extend gospels with regards to both the end of Jesus and his nature.
The Glorious Qur’an affirms that Allah the Exalted did not permit the people of Israel to kill Jesus or crucify him. What happened was that Allah saved him from his enemies and raised him to heaven. They never killed Jesus, they killed someone else.
Allah the Almighty declared: And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah,” but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that man) and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no certain knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (Jesus, son of Mary): But Allah raised him (Jesus) up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All Powerful, All Wise.
And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews & Christians), but must believe in him (Jesus, son of Mary, as only a Messenger of Allah, and a human being0, before his (Jesus or a Jew’s or a Christian’s ) death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) will be a witness against them. ( Ch 4:157-159 Quran)
Almighty Allah also revealed: And remember when Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you (of the forged statement that Jesus is Allah’s son) of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah ) superior to those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Torah, the Gospel, the Qur’an) till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute.” (Ch 3:55 Quran).
Almighty Allah refuted the claims of the Jews and the Christians in many verses of the Glorious Qur’an.
And hey say: “The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children) (as the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that He has begotten a son (Christ), and the pagan Arabs say that he has begotten daughters (angels, etc.)).”
Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, that they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Beneficent (Allah).
But it is not suitable for (the Majesty of ) the Most Beneficent (Allah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children). There is non in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) as a slave. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender). (Ch 19:88-95 Quran)
Allah the Exalted also declared: Yet, they join the jinns as partners in worship with Allah, though He has created them (the jinns), and they attribute falsely without knowledge sons and daughters to Him. Be He Glorified! And Exalted above (all) that they attribute to Him. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything.
Such is Allah, your Lord! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian etc.) over all tings.
No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things. (Ch 6:100-103 Quran)
Almighty Allah commanded: O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in you religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, was (no more than ) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (“Be” – and he was) which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: “Three (trinity)!” Cease! (It is ) better for you. For Allah is the only One Ilah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.
The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave to Allah, nor the angels who are near (to Allah). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself. So, as for those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and did deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards, and more out of His Bounty. But as for those who refuse His worship and were proud, He will punish them with a painful torment. And they will not find for themselves besides Allah any protector or helper. (Ch 4:171-173 Quran)
Almighty Allah also declared: And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbeliveers of old. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!
They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah, (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah) and (they also took as their lord) Messiah, son of Mary , while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded (in the Torah and the Gospel) to worship none but One Ilah (God- Allah) La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him). (Ch 9:30-32 Quran)
Allah the Almighty also revealed: Now ask them (O Muhammad): “Are there (only) daughters for your Lord and sons for them?” Or did We create the angels females while they were witnesses?
Verily, it is of their falsehood that they (Quraish pagans) say: “Allah has begotten off-spring or children (angels are the daughters of Allah)” And, verily, they are liars!
Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons? What is the matter with you? How do you decide? Will you not then remember? Or is there for you a plain authority? Then bring your Book if you are truthful!
And they have invented a kinship between Him and the jinns, but the jinn know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him) (i.e. they will be brought for accounts).
Glorified be Allah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! Except the slaves of Allah, whom He chooses (for His Mercy i.e. true believers of Islamic Monotheism who do not attribute false things unto Allah). (Ch 37:149-160 Quran)
And Almighty Allah declared: Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say (O Muhammad): “Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?” And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things.
And (both) the Jews and Christians say; “We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.” Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins?” Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created, He forgive whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and to Him is the return of all.
O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad) making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of ) Messengers, lest you say: “there came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.” But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allah is Able to do all things. (Ch 5:17-19 Quran)
Allah the Exalted warned: Surely they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is the Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary.” But the Messiah (Jesus) said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists, and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.
Surely, disbeliveers are those who said: “Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no Ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God- Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbeliveers among them.
Will they not repent to Allah and ask His Forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother (Mary) was a Siddiqah (she believed in the Words of Allah, and His Books. They both used to eat food, as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We made the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away from the truth. (Ch 5:72-75 Quran)
And Almighty Allah ordered: And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son (nor an offspring), and Who has no partner in His Dominion, nor He is low to have a Wali (helper, protector, or supporter). And magnify Him with all the magnificence, (Allahu-Akbar, Allah is the Most Great).” (Ch 17:111 Quran)
The pagans once asked the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): “To whom is your Lord related, His original ancestors and His various branches of descendants?” It is also reported that the Jews said: “We worship Ezra, the Son of Allah,” and the Christians said: “Jesus is the Son of Allah,” and the Magians said: “We worship the sun and the moon,” an the Pagans said: “We worship idols.”
In response to all of them Allah revealed some of His attributes: Unity, Uniqueness, and other substantives:
Say: (O Muhammad): “He is Allah, the One. Allah As-Samad (The Self- Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (Ch 112:1-4 Quran)
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And mention in the Book, Maryam…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641 :
Narrated by Said bin Al-Musaiyab
Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child.” Then Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) recited: “And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan” (3.36)
Chapter: “And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 642 :
Narrated by ‘Ali (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best amongst the women. (of this nation).”
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “When the angels said: O Maryam! Verily, Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 643 :
Narrated by Abu Musa Al-Ashari (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The superiority of ‘Aisha to other ladies is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. meat and bread dish) to other meals. Many men reached the level of perfection, but no woman reached such a level except Mary, the daughter of Imran and Asia, the wife of Pharaoh.”
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Amongst all those women who ride camels (i.e. Arabs), the ladies of Quraish are the best. They are merciful and kind to their off-spring and the best guardians of their husbands’ properties.’ Abu Huraira added, “Mary the daughter of Imran never rode a camel.”
Maryam bint Imran, the mother of Prophet Isa, was no ordinary lady. Allah had chosen her for the extraordinary and miraculous birth of Isa. Studying her life as described in the Quran and Hadith, we see how pious and dedicated she was. Her belief in Allah was so strong that it also inspired her guardian, Prophet Zakariya, to ask Allah for a righteous child. A dua and faith in Allah can go a long way! You’ll see when you read the story of the birth of Maryam.
The Story of Maryam’s Birth
The wife of `Imran mentioned here is the mother of Maryam, and her name is Hannah bint Faqudh. Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned that Hannah could not have children and that one day, she saw a bird feeding its chick. She wished she could have children and supplicated to Allah to grant her offspring. Allah accepted her supplication, and when her husband slept with her, she became pregnant. She vowed to make her child concentrate on worship and serving Bayt Al-Maqdis (the Masjid in Jerusalem), when she became aware that she was pregnant. She said,
﴿رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ﴾
(O my Lord! I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.) meaning, You hear my supplication and You know my intention. She did not know then what she would give birth to, a male or a female.
﴿فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّى وَضَعْتُهَآ أُنثَى وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ﴾
(Then when she gave birth to her, she said: “O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child, ـ and Allah knew better what she bore.)
﴿وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالاٍّنثَى﴾
(And the male is not like the female,) in strength and the commitment to worship Allah and serve the Masjid in Jerusalem.
﴿وَإِنِّى سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ﴾
(And I have named her Maryam,) thus, testifying to the fact that it is allowed to give a name to the newly born the day it is born, as is apparent from the Ayah, which is also a part of the law of those who were before us. Further, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah mentioned that the Prophet said,
«وُلِدَ لِيَ اللَّيْلَةَ وَلَدٌ، سَمَّيْتُهُ بِاسْمِ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيم»
(This night, a son was born for me and I called him by my father’s name, Ibrahim.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.
They also recorded that Anas bin Malik brought his newborn brother to the Messenger of Allah who chewed a piece of date and put it in the child’s mouth and called him `Abdullah. Other new born infants were also given names on the day they were born.
Qatadah narrated that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«كُلُّ غُلَامٍ رَهِينٌ بِعَقِيقَتِهِ، يُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ سَابِعِهِ، وَيُسَمَّى وَيُحْلَقُ رَأَسُه»
(Every new born boy held in security by his `Aqiqah, until his seventh day, a sacrifice is offered on his behalf, he is given a name, and the hair on his head is shaved.)
This Hadith was collected by Ahmad and the collectors of the Sunan, and was graded Sahih by At-Tirmidhi. We should mention that another narration for this Hadith contained the wording, “and blood is offered on his behalf,” which is more famous and established than the former narration, and Allah knows best.
Allah’s statement that Maryam’s mother said,
﴿وِإِنِّى أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ الرَّجِيمِ﴾
(“…And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.”) means, that she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him. Allah accepted her supplication, for `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ إِلَّا مَسَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ حِينَ يُولَدُ، فَيَسْتَهِلُّ صَارِخًا مِنْ مَسِّهِ إِيَّاهُ، إِلَّا مَرْيَمَ وَابْنَهَا»
(Every newly born baby is touched by Shaytan when it is born, and the baby starts crying because of this touch, except Maryam and her son.)
Abu Hurayrah then said, “Read if you will,
﴿وِإِنِّى أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ الرَّجِيمِ﴾
(And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast).” The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
Maryam Grows Up; Her Honor is with Allah
Allah states that He has accepted Maryam as a result of her mother’s vow and that He,
﴿وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا﴾
(made her grow in a good manner) meaning, made her conduct becoming, her mannerism delightful and He made her well liked among people. He also made her accompany the righteous people, so that she learned righteousness, knowledge and religion.
(And put her under the care of Zakariyya) meaning, Allah made Zakariyya her sponsor. Allah made Zakariyya Maryam’s guardian for her benefit, so that she would learn from his tremendous knowledge and righteous conduct. He was the husband of her maternal aunt, as Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Jarir stated, or her brother-in-law, as mentioned in the Sahih,
«فَإِذَا بِيَحْيَى وَعِيسى، وَهُمَا ابْنَا الْخَالَة»
(I saw John and `Isa, who are maternal cousins.)
We should state that in general terms, what Ibn Ishaq said is plausible, and in this case, Maryam was under the care of her maternal aunt. The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah decided that `Amarah, the daughter of Hamzah, be raised by her maternal aunt, the wife of Ja`far bin Abi Talib, saying,
«الْخَالَةُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْأُم»
(The maternal aunt is just like the mother.)
Allah then emphasizes Maryam’s honor and virtue at the place of worship she attended,
﴿كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًا﴾
(Every time he entered the Mihrab to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance.)
Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ash-Sha`tha, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and As-Suddi said, “He would find with her the fruits of the summer during winter, and the fruits of the winter during summer.” When Zakariyya would see this; d
﴿قَالَ يمَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا﴾
(He said: “O Maryam! From where have you gotten this”) meaning, where did you get these fruits from
﴿قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ إنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ﴾
(She said, “This is from Allah.” Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.)
Chapter: The (story of the) Dwellers of the Town (V.36:13)
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “(This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya (Zechariah)”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 640 :
Narrated by Malik bin Sasaa (radiallaahu `anhu)
That the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) talked to them about the night of his Ascension to the Heavens. He said, “(Then Gabriel took me) and ascended up till he reached the second heaven where he asked for the gate to be opened, but it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘I am Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ When we reached over the second heaven, I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and Jesus who were cousins. Gabriel said, ‘These are John (Yahya) and Jesus, so greet them.’ I greeted them and they returned the greeting saying, ‘Welcome, O Pious Brother and Pious Prophet!’ “
The hadith mentions Prophet Yahya who was the son of Prophet Zakariya.
The Story of Prophets Zakariya [Zechariah] and Yahya [John]
The years had taken their toll on the Prophet Zakariyah (pbuh). He was now old and bent with age, in his nineties. Despite his feebleness, he went to the temple daily to deliver his sermons.
Zakariyah was not a rich man, but he was always ready to help those in need. His one disappointment in life was that he had no children, for his wife was barren. This worried him, for he feared there was no one after him to carry out his work. The people needed a strong leader, for it they were left on their own, they would move away from Allah’s teachings and change the Holy Laws to suit themselves.
During one of his visits to the temple, he went to check on Mary, who was living in a secluded room of the temple. He was surprised to find fresh out of season fruit in her room. Besides him, no one had entry to her room. When he inquired, she told him that the fruit was from Allah. She found it every morning. But why was he so surprised, she asked him. Did he not know that Allah provides without measure for whom He wills?
This noble girl had opened this eyes to a startling idea. Could he not ask his Lord to bless him with a child in his old age? Even if his wife was past childbearing age, nothing was impossible for his Gracious Lord!
Allah the Almighty revealed: ‘Kaf, Ha, Ya, Ain, Sad, (These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah Alone knows their meanings). This is a mention of the Mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariyah. When he called out his Lord (Allah) – a call in secret, saying: “My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and gray hair has spread on my head, and I have never been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord! And Verily! I fear my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir, – who shall inherit me, and inherit also the posterity of Jacob (inheritance of the religious knowledge and Prophethood, not the wealth, etc.) And make him, my Lord, one with whom You are Well-pleased!”
Allah said: “O Zakariyah! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son. His name will be Yahya (John). We have given that name to none before him.”
He said: “My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age.”
He said: “So (it will be). Your Lord says, It is easy for Me. Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing.”
Zakariyah said: “My Lord! Appoint for me a sign.”
He said: “Your sign is that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect.”
Then he came out to his people from Al Mihrab (a praying place or a private room, etc.), he told them by signs to glorify Allah’s Praises in the morning and in the afternoon.
It was said to his son: “O John! Hold fast to the Scripture (The Torah).” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child, and made him sympathetic to men as a mercy or a grant from Us, and pure from sins (John) and he was righteous, and dutiful towards his parents, and he was neither an arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah or to his parents). And Salamun (peace) on him the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life again! (Ch 19:1-15 Quran)
Almighty Allah also said: At that time Zakariyah invoked his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.”
Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in Al- Mihrab ( a praying place or a private room), saying: “Allah gives you glad tidings of John confirming (believing in) the Word from Allah (“Be!” – and he was! (i.e. the creation of Isa (Jesus), son of Mariam (Mary), noble keeping away from sexual relations with women, a Prophet, from among the righteous.”
He said: “O my Lord! How can I have a son when I am very old, and my wife is barren?”
Allah said: “Thus Allah does what He wills.” He said: “O my Lord! Make a sign for me.” Allah said: “Your sign is that you shall not speak to mankind for three days except with signals. And remember your Lord much (by praising Him again and again), and glorify Him in the afternoon and in the morning.” (Ch 3:38-41 Quran).
John (pbuh) was born a stranger to the world of children who used to amuse themselves, as he was serious all the time. Most children took delight in torturing animals whereas, he was merciful to them. He fed the animals from his food until there was nothing left for him, and he just ate fruit or leaves of trees.
John loved reading since childhood. When he grew up, Allah the Exalted called upon him: “O John! Hold fast to the Scripture (The Torah).” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. (Ch 19:12 Quran).
Allah guided him to read the Book of Jurisprudence closely; thus, he became the wisest and most knowledgeable man of that time. Therefore, Allah the Almighty endowed him with the faculties of passing judgments on people’s affairs, interpreting the secrets of religion, guiding people to the right path, and warning them against the wrong one.
John reached maturity. His compassion for his parents, as well as for all people and all creatures, increased greatly. He called people to repent their sins.
There are quite a number of traditions told about John. Ibn Asaker related that one time his parents were looking for him and found him at the Jordan River. When they met him, they wept sorely, seeing his great devotion to Allah, Great and Majestic.
Ibn Wahb said that, according to Malik, grass was the food of John Ibn Zakariyah, and he wept sorely in fear of Allah. A chain of narrators reported that Idris Al Khawlawi said: “Shall I not tell you he who had the best food? It is John Ibn Zakariyah, who joined the beasts at dinner, fearing to mix with men.”
Ibn Mubarak stated that Wahb Ibn Al-Ward narrated that Zakariayah did not see his son for three days. He found him weeping inside a grave which he had dug and in which he resided. “My son, I have been searching for you, and you are dwelling in this grave weeping!” “O father, did you not tell me that between Paradise and Hell is only a span, and it will not be crossed except by tears of weepers?” He said to him: “Weep then, my son.” Then they wept together.
Other narrations say that John (pbuh) said: “The dwellers of Paradise are sleepless out of the sweetness of Allah’s bounty; that is why the faithful must be sleepless because of Allah’s love in their hearts. How far between the two luxuries, how far between them?”
They say John wept so much that tears marked his cheeks. He found comfort in the open and never cared about food. He ate leaves, herbs, and sometimes locusts. He slept anywhere in the mountains or in holes in the ground. He sometimes would find a lion or a bear as he entered a cave, but being deeply absorbed in praising Allah, he never heeded them. The beasts easily recognized John as the prophet who cared for all the creatures, so they would leave the cave, bowing their heads.
John sometimes fed those beasts, out of mercy, from his food and was satisfied with prayers as food for his soul. He would spend the night crying and praising Allah for His blessings.
When John called people to worship Allah, he made them cry out of love and submission, arresting their hearts with the truthfulness of his words.
A conflict took place between John and the authorities at that time. A tyrant king, Herod Antipas, the ruler of Palestine, was in love with Salome, his brother’s daughter. He was planning to marry his beautiful niece. The marriage was encouraged by her mother and by some of the learned men of Zion, either out of fear or to gain favor with the ruler.
On hearing the ruler’s plan, John pronounced that such a marriage would be incestuous. He would not approve it under any circumstance, as it was against the Law of the Torah.
John’s pronouncement spread like wildfire. Salome was angry, for it was her ambition to rule the kingdom with her uncle. She plotted to achieve her aim. Dressing attractively, she sang and danced before her uncle. Her arousing Herod’s lust. Embracing her, he offered to fulfill whatever she desired. At once she told hi: “I would love to have the head of John, because he has defiled your honor and mine throughout the land. If you grant me this wish, I shall be very happy and will offer myself to you.” Bewitched by her charm, he submitted to her monstrous request. John was executed and his head was brought to Salome. The cruel woman gloated with delight. But the death of Allah’s beloved prophet was avenged. Not only she, but all the children of Israel were severely punished by invading armies which destroyed their kingdom.
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 638 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Verse: ‘Those who believe and mix not their belief with wrong.” was revealed, the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Who amongst us has not mixed his belief with wrong?” Then Allah revealed: “Join none in worship with Allah, Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 639 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Verse: ‘Those who believe and mix not their belief with wrong.’ was revealed, the Muslims felt it very hard on them and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who amongst us does not do wrong to himself?” He replied, “The Verse does not mean this. But that (wrong) means to associate others in worship to Allah: Don’t you listen to what Luqman said to his son when he was advising him,” O my son! Join not others in worship with Allah. Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed.” (31.13)
Was Luqman a Prophet?
Ibn Kathir discusses this in his Tafsir of Surah Luqman where Allah mentions the advice Luqman gave to his son:
The Salaf differed over the identity of Luqman; there are two opinions: was he a Prophet or just a righteous servant of Allah without the prophethood? The majority favored the latter view, that he was a righteous servant of Allah without being a Prophet.
Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, narrating from Al-Ash`ath, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter.”
`Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, “I said to Jabir bin `Abdullah: `What did you hear about Luqman’ He said: `He was short with a flat nose, and came from Nubia.’”
Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that “Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.”
Al-`Awza`i said, “`Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him: “Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.”
Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said: “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it. ﴿His master﴾ said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart. Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and ﴿his master﴾ said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it. ﴿His master﴾ said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart. His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!’ Luqman said, `There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.”’
Shu`bah narrated from Al-Hakam, from Mujahid, “Luqman was a righteous servant, but he was not a Prophet.”
Read more about his story here.
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And to Dawud, We gave Sulaiman (for a son). How excellent (a) slave he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to us)” (38.30)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 634 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A strong demon from the Jinns came to me yesterday suddenly, so as to spoil my prayer, but Allah enabled me to overpower him, and so I caught him and intended to tie him to one of the pillars of the Mosque so that all of you might see him, but I remembered the invocation of my brother Solomon: ‘And grant me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me.’ (38.35) so I let him go cursed.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 635 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Solomon (the son of) David said, ‘Tonight I will sleep with seventy ladies each of whom will conceive a child who will be a knight fighting for “Allah’s Cause.’ His companion said, ‘If Allah wills.’ But Solomon did not say so; therefore none of those women got pregnant except one who gave birth to a half child.” The Prophet further said, “If the Prophet Solomon had said it (i.e. ‘If Allah wills’) he would have begotten children who would have fought in Allah’s Cause.” Shuaib and Ibn Abi Az-Zinad said, “Ninety (women) is more correct (than seventy).”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 636 :
Narrated by Abu Dhaar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqsa (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 637 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “My example and the example of the people is like that of a person who lit a fire and let the moths, butterflies and these insects fall in it.” He also said, “There were two women, each of whom had a child with her. A wolf came and took away the child of one of them, whereupon the other said, ‘It has taken your child.’ The first said, ‘But it has taken your child.’ So they both carried the case before David who judged that the living child be given to the elder lady. So both of them went to Solomon bin David and informed him (of the case). He said, ‘Bring me a knife so as to cut the child into two pieces and distribute it between them.’ The younger lady said, ‘May Allah be merciful to you! Don’t do that, for it is her (i.e. the other lady’s) child.’ So he gave the child to the younger lady.”
The Story of Prophet Sulaiman [Solomon]
By Ibn Kathir
Solomon inherited David’s prophethood and dominion. This was not a material inheritance, as prophets do not bequeath their property. It is given away to the poor and needy, not to their relatives. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The prophets’ property will not be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be used for charity.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
And indeed We gave knowledge to David and Solomon, and they both said: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has preferred us above many of His believing slaves!”
And Solomon inherited (the knowledge of) David. He said: “O mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and on us have been bestowed all things. This, verily, is an evident grace (from Allah).”
And there were gathered before Solomon his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they were all set in battle order (marching forwards). (Ch 27:15-17 Quran).
After his father’s death, Solomon became king. He begged Allah for a kingdom such as none after him would have, and Allah granted his wish. Besides wisdom, Allah had blessed Solomon with many abilities. He could command the winds and understand and talk to birds and animals. Allah directed him to teach both men and jinns to mine the earth and extract its minerals to make tools and weapons. He also favored him with a mine of copper, which was a rare metal in those days.
During his time horses were the common mode of transportation. They were very essential for defense, to carry soldiers and cart provisions and weapons of war. The animals were well cared for and well trained. One day Solomon was reviewing a parade of his stable. The fitness, beauty and posture of the horses fascinated him so much that he kept on stroking and admiring them. The sun was nearly setting, and the time for the middle prayer was passing by. When he realized this, he exclaimed: “I surely love the finer things of life than the service of my Lord! Return them to me.”
Almighty Allah revealed:
And to David We gave Solomon. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance (to Us)!
When there were displayed before him, in the afternoon, well-trained horses of the highest breed (for jihad in Allah’s cause). And he said: “Alas! I did love the good (these horses) instead of remembering my Lord (in my ‘Asr prayer)” till the time was over, and the sun had hidden in the veil of the night. Then he said: “Bring them (horses) back to me.” Then he began to pass his hand over their legs and their necks (till the end of the display).
And indeed We did try Solomon and We placed on his throne Jasadan (a devil, so he lost his kingdom for a while) but he did return (to his throne and kingdom by the Grace of Allah and he did return) to Allah with obedience and in repentance. He said: “My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me. Verily, You are the Bestower.”
So, We subjected to him the wind, it blew gently to his order whithersoever he willed, and also the devils from the jinns including every kind of builder and diver, and also other bound in fetters. (Saying of Allah to Solomon): “This is Our gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked.” And verily, he enjoyed a near access to Us, and a good final return Paradise. (Ch38:30-40 Quran).
One day Solomon gathered his army, which had different battalions of men, jinns, birds, and animals. He marched them to the country of Askalon.
While they were passing through a valley, an ant saw the approaching army and cried out to warn the other ants: “Run to your homes! Otherwise, unaware, Solomon and his army might crush you!” Solomon, hearing the cry of the ant, smiled. He was glad that the ant knew him to be a prophet who would not intentionally harm Allah’s creation. He thanked Allah for saving the ants’ lives.
Allah the Almighty narrated:
And there were gathered before Solomon his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards). Till, when they came to a valley of the ants, one of the ants said: “O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.”
So he (Solomon) smiled, amused at her speech and said: “My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I maybe grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.” (Ch 27:17-19 Quran).
In Jerusalem, on a huge rock, Solomon built a beautiful temple to draw the people to worship Allah. Today this building is known as “The Dome of the Rock.” From there, a large band of followers joined Solomon on pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque in Mecca. After they had completed their hajj, they traveled to Yemen and arrived in the city of San’a. Solomon was impressed by their clever method of channeling water all over their cities. He was keen to build similar water systems in his own country but did not have enough springs.
He set out to find the hoopoe bird, which could detect water under the ground. He sent signals all over the hoopoe to call on him, but it was nowhere to be found. In anger, he declared that unless the bird had a good reason for its absence, he would punish it severely.
The hoopoe eventually came to Solomon and explained the reason for its delay. “I have discovered something of which you are not aware. I have come from Sheba (Sab’a) with important news.” Solomon became curious, and his anger subsided. The bird continued: “Sab’a is ruled by a queen named Bilkis (Bilqis), who has plenty of everything, including a splendid throne. But in spite of all this wealth, Satan has entered her heart and the hearts of her people. She rules their minds completely. I was shocked to learn that they worship the sun instead of Allah the Almighty.”
To check the hoopoe’s information, Solomon sent a letter to the queen with the bird. He instructed the bird to remain hidden and to watch everything.
The hoopoe dropped the letter in front of the queen and flew away to hide. She excitedly opened and read it:
“Verily! It is from Solomon, and verily! It reads: ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, and Most Merciful; be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit with full submission).'” ( Ch 27:30-31 Quran).
The queen was very disturbed and hurriedly summoned her advisors. They reacted as to a challenge, for they felt that there was someone challenging them, hinting at war and defeat, and asking them to submit to his conditions.
They told her that they could only offer advice, but it was her right to command action. She sensed that they wanted to meet Solomon’s invasion threat with a battle. However, she told them: “Peace and friendship are better and wiser; war only brings humiliation, enslaves people and destroys the good things. I have decided to send gifts to Solomon, selected from our most precious treasure. The courtiers who will deliver the gifts will also have an opportunity to learn about Solomon and his military mighty.”
Solomon’s reconnaissance team brought him the news of the arrival of Bilkis’ messengers with a gift. He immediately realized that the queen had sent her men on a probing mission thus, he gave orders to rally the army. The envoys of Bilqis, entering amidst the well-equipped army, realized that their wealth was nothing in comparison to that of the kingdom of Solomon’s palace floors, which were made of sandalwood and inlaid with gold.
They noticed Solomon surveying his army, and they were surprised at the number and variety of soldiers, which included lions, tigers, and birds. The messengers stood in amazement, realizing that they were in front of an irresistible army.
The envoys marveled at the splendor surrounding them. They eagerly presented their queen’s precious gifts and told Solomon that the queen wished that he would accept them as an act of friendship. They were shocked by his reaction: he did not even ask to open the covers of the containers! He told them: “Allah hagiven me plenty of wealth, a large kingdom, and prophethood. I am, therefore, beyond bribery. My only objective is to spread the belief in Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah.”
He also directed them to take back the gifts to the queen and to tell her that if she did not stop her kind of worship he would uproot her kingdom and drive its people out of the land.
The queen’s envoys returned with the gifts and delivered the message. They also told her of the wonderful things they had seen. Instead of taking offense, she decided to visit Solomon. Accompanied by her royal officials and servants, she left Sheba, sending a messenger ahead to inform Solomon that she was on her way to meet him.
Solomon asked the jinns in his employ whether anyone among them could bring her throne to he palace before she arrived. One of them said; “I will bring it to you before this sitting is over.” Solomon did not react to this offer; it appeared that he was waiting for a faster means. The jinns competed with each other to please him. One of them named Ifrit said: “I will fetch it for you in the twinkling of an eye!”
No sooner had this one – who had the knowledge of the Book – finished his phrase than the throne stood before Solomon. The mission had, indeed, been completed in the blinking of an eye. Solomon’s seat was in Palestine, and the throne of Bilqis had been in Yemen, two thousand miles away. This was a great miracle performed by one of those sitting with Solomon.
When Bilqis arrived at Solomon’s palace, she was welcomed with pomp and ceremony. Then, pointing to the altered throne, Solomon asked her whether her throne looked like that one. She looked at it again and again. In her mind she was convinced that her throne could not possibly be the one she was looking at, as hers was in her palace; et, she detected a striking similarity and replied: “It is as if it were the very one, and resembles mine in every respect.” Solomon judged that she was intelligent and diplomatic.
He then invited her into the great hall, the floor of which was laid in glass and shimmering. Thinking it was water, as she stepped on the floor, she lifted her skirt slightly above her heels, for fear of wetting it. Solomon pointed out to her that it was made of solid glass.
She was amazed. She had never seen such things before. Bilqis realized that she was in the company of a very knowledgeable person who was not only a ruler of a great kingdom but a messenger of Allah, as well. She repented, gave up sun worship, accepted the faith of Allah, and asked her people to do the same.
It was finished; Bilqis saw her people’s creed fall apart before Solomon. She realized that the sun which her people worshipped was nothing but one of Allah’s creatures.
The sun eclipsed within her for the first time, and her heart was lit by a never fading light, the light of Islam. Almighty Allah told us this story in the Quran: He inspected the birds, and said:
“What is the matter that I see not a hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.”
But the hoopoe stayed not long, he came up and said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Sheba with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Satan has made their deeds fair seeming to them, and has barred them from Allah’s Way, so they have no guidance.”
Al-La (this word has two interpretations) [As Satan has barred them from Allah’s Way} so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or so that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings light to what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne!
(Solomon) said: “We shall see whether you speak the truth or you are one of the liars. Go with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them, then draw back from them, and see what answer they return.”
She said: “O chiefs! Verily! Here is a delivered to me a noble letter. Verily! It is from Solomon and verily! It (reads): ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful; Be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit to Allah with full submission).”
She said: “O chiefs! Advise me in this case of mine. I decide no case till you are present with me.”
They said: “We have great strength, and great ability for war, but it is for you to command; so think over what you will command.”
She said: “Verily! Kings, when they enter a town (country), they despoil it, and make the most honorable amongst its people low. And thus they do. But verily! I am going to send him a present, and see with what answer the messengers return.”
So when (the messengers with the present) came to Solomon, he said: “Will you help me in wealth? What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!” (Then Solomon said to the chief of her messengers who brought the present): “Go back to them. We verily shall come to them with hosts that they cannot resist, and we shall drive them out from there is disgrace, and they will be abased.”
He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?”
An Ifrit (strong) from the jinns said: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work.”
One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” then when Solomon saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord, to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for the good of his ownself, and whoever is ungrateful, he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself. Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful!”
He said: “Disguise her throne for her that we may see whether she will be guided (to recognize her throne), or she will be one of those not guided.”
So when she came, it was said to her: “Is your throne like this?”
She said: “It is as though it was the very same.”
And Solomon said: “Knowledge was bestowed on us before her, and we were submitted to Allah (in Islam as Muslims before her).”
And that which she used to worship besides Allah has prevented her from Islam, for she was of a disbelieving people.
It was said to her: “Enter As-Sarh” (a glass surface with water underneath it) or a palace, but when she saw it, she thought it was a pool, and she tucked up her clothes, uncovering her legs.
Solomon said: “Verily, it is Sarh paved smooth with slab of glass.”
She said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, and I submit (in Islam), together with Solomon, to Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).” (Ch 27:20-44 Quran)
Solomon’s public work was largely carried out by the jinns. This was a punishment for their sins of making people believe that they were all-powerful, knew the unseen, and could foresee the future. As a prophet, it was Solomon’s duty to remove such false beliefs from his followers.
Solomon lived amidst glory, and all creatures were subjected to him. Then Allah the Exalted ordained for him to die. His life and death were full of wonders and miracles; thus, his death harmonized with his life and glory. His death, like his life, was unique. The people had to learn that the future is known neither by the jinns, nor by the prophets, but by Allah alone. Solomon’s effort in this direction did not end with his life, for even his death became an example. He was sitting holding his staff, overseeing the jinns at work in a mine. He died sitting in this position. For a long time no one was aware of his death, for he was seen sitting erect. The jinns continued with their sand toil, thinking that Solomon was watching over them.
Many days later, a hungry ant began nibbling Solomon’s staff. It continued to do so, eating the lower part of the staff, until it fell out of Solomon’s hand, and his great body fell to the ground. People hurried to him, realizing that he had died a long time ago and that the jinns did not perceive the unseen, for had the jinns known the unseen, they would not have kept working, thinking that Solomon was alive.
Allah the Exalted revealed:
And We caused a fount of molten brass to flow for him, and there were jinns that worked in front of him by the Leave of his Lord, and whosoever of them turned aside from Our Command, We shall cause him to taste of the torment of the blazing Fire.
They worked for him what he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (making) cauldrons fixed (in their places). “Work you, O family of David, with thanks!” But few of My slaves are grateful.
Then when we decreed death for him (Solomon), nothing informed them (jinns) of his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept slowly gnawing away at his stick, so when he fell down, the jinns saw clearly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have stayed in the humiliating torment. (Ch 34:12-14 Quran).