Translated by Fatima Zabeth Beenesh from the Farsi book "Tarikh i-Anbiya az Adam ta Khatam" by Husain Imadzadeh
In the noble Quran prophet Zakaria alaihis salam was mentioned in sura Ale imran, sura An’am and Sura Anbia.
Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam was among the outstanding and honorable personalities of the history. His life and his high teachings arouse interests in one's thought.
Who was Imran?
We should know that three people are famous in the world by the name Imran.
1 Imran bin Yas’har
2 Imran, father of Hazrat Maryam. He was one of the pious and distinctive personalities.
3 Imran bin Abdul Muttalib with Kuniya (a person’s surname given by the name of his or her son or daughter) of Abitalib. He was the father of hazrat Ameeral momineen Ali alaihis salam. Basically in noble Quran the name Imran means hazrat Ali alaihis salam. He was proved in Quran by heavenly revelation that was from the element and race of the prophet Muhammad sallallaho alaihe va ala alehi. The famous poets of Qureish in the city of Mecca had written innumerable books about this prestigious person as they heard very good compliments about him by the last prophet Muhammad sallallaho alaihe va ala alehi
In the Sura e Ale Imran it is written that:
When Zakaria called his God and pleaded: O Almighty God bless me a child who is chaste. Certainly you are the creator and the great hearer of every prayer. When he stood for the worship in the Adytum an angel proclaimed: O Zakaria! The Benevolent God conveys you the glad tiding of a son whose name will be Yahya and he will be the prophet who will cease the people from the tempestuous and unrestrained life.
Zakaria alaihis salam said: I am an old man and my wife is barren but all that happens is governed by God and it will occur by the wish of God.
In the definition of the Sur e Maryam and كهيعص(Kaf. Ha. Ya. 'Ain. Sad.) The commentators wrote: It is the marvel of the sur e Maryam.
In the sura ن وَالْقَلَمِ the story of Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam and Yahya alaihis salam was mentioned whose resemblance is to the martyrdom of Imam Husain alaihis salam. ك stands for karbala, ه Stands for killings (halakat), ي stands for Yazid, ع for thirst (atash) and ص stands for patience and toleration(sabr).
In this Sura for Zakaria alaihis salam the Almighty God mentioned the blessing granted to him. When he prayed for a child and said: I am old and my wife is barren and I do not want to be deprived from your favor. O Benevolent God! Give me such a child that become the successor of the family of Yaqub alaihis salam (I want you) to be contented with him.
He was addressed: O Zakaria! We give you the news of the joyous event of the birth of the son whose name will be Yahya. No one was given such a name before. He asked: Me and my wife are old. It is your sign that you have power over every affair.
He asked: O my God! The Provider, what is its sign?
The reply came to him: For three days do not have a word with anyone.
In Sura e Anbia it is written:
When Zakaria alaihis salam prayed to God: O The Holy Ruler! do not leave me childless you are the best successor of a man.
I bestowed him Yahya alaihis salam and created him pious, capable and blessed him a beneficial wife so that he makes haste in kind deeds and call me with fear and hope. He and his son are among my signs.
The historical events: The family lineage of hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam is unknown. It is not even mentioned in the Taurat (the heavenly book of Musa alaihis salam). In one of the books of the Christians it is mentioned that Zakaria bin Barkhia’s period was contemporary of the Daryush. In this book the capture of Omar bin khattab on Jerusalem was described.
Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam was the caretaker of the Aqsa mosque. When he and his wife became old they pleaded to the Merciful God for a child and their request was accepted.
Sura Maryam (Mary)
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا وَلَمْ أَكُن بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا
· 19:4 he prayed: "O my Sustainer! Feeble have become my bones, and my head glistens with grey hair. But never yet, O my Lord, has my prayer unto Thee remained unanswered.
He was one of the respectable prophet of Bani Israil who was the descendant of Hazrat Dawood alaihis salam. He was the head in charge of the Baitul Muqaddas and was inviting the people towards the divine laws introduced by Musa alaihis salam.
Her wife name was Eesha whose sister was mother of Hazrat Maryam alaihis salam . They were the daughters of Imran bin Mata who were living in the house of hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam.
Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam was 75 years old when his wife Eesha’s became pregnant. Hazrat Maryam alaihis salam was given the place to live upstairs of the Aqsa Mosque. He used to visit her every day to provide her things for daily needs. He used to observe there the fruits of the season which was miracle from God. One day he prayed to the Almighty God and said: O Benevolent God when you can provide Maryam the new fruit of the season in her chamber, bestow me a child who becomes the successor of my Knowledge and wisdom. The same time an angel descended and said: The Merciful God gives you the Glad Tiding of a son whose name will be Yahya alaihis salam. These are the words of God and it is wanted by God. The Almighty said: I never gave such a name to any prophet before.
Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam expressed: How can I have a child when I have got old and my wife is barren.
The Benevolent God replied: This is very convenient for me.
In a short period of time Eesha became pregnant and within six months she gave birth to a baby boy. In the same period hazrat Maryam alaihis salam got pregnant and conceived Isa alaihis salam.
The infidels of Bani Israil planned to kill Zakaria alaihis salam and by the fear of the cruel people he hid himself in between the tree. They divided the tree with a saw (a thin blade of metal with a series of sharp teeth) and martyred the prophet. He was buried in Baitul Muqaddas after which Yahya alaihis salam was raised by Eesha. The life of prophet Zakaria alaihis salam , birth of Isa alaihis salam and Yahya alaihis salam were remarkable in the human history. The two third people brought faith in them.
This noble, magnificent, small and limited family was trained and grown up in the divine school. They owned the praiseworthy character and admirable natural dispositions and with a firm belief they profoundly embraced the love of God. They altered the line of the journey of humanity.
All the training schools of the human creation watched this family with amazement and knelt down before their threshold with humbleness.
These stories of Quran are excellent patterns for the upliftment and progress of humanity. The more we concentrate upon them; more we get impressed and refined.
Hazrat Yahya alaihis salam, Zakaria alaihis salam, Isa alaihis salam and Maryam alaihis salam were the family of chastity, modesty, purity and prophecy. The entire monotheists of the world respect and pay regards to them. Their birth and death is astonishing and filled the human kind with amazement. The noble Quran praised them and introduced their piety, spirituality, fidelity in an excellent manner. They preached and guided the humanity carefully with pure hearts. Muslims of the world have full faith in their pure nature and obedience towards God. They are selected infallibles of God.
Hazrat Yahya (Alaihis salam)
He was mentioned in the chapters of the noble Quran such as sura e Ale Imran, An’am, Maryam and Anbia. Among all the heavenly scholars and the prophets of the Bani Israil prophets Yahya alaihis salam was the most magnificent prophet.
Yahya alaihis salam was born in the sixth month of his mother’s pregnancy. The Almighty God rendered the parents the news of his birth in advance. At the age of three while playing with children’s he used to guide them towards his teaching and advise them with his exhortations. He used to tell them: The Benevolent God did not create us only for playing. We have to reach our main object of our life which is our lives destination.
At the age of 7 years he reached to the status of prophet hood as the Omnipotent God wanted to show the mankind that the rank of the prophecy did not pertain to the minor or a grown up man. In the beginning of his teaching he professed the teachings of Hazrat Isa alaihis salam.
When Yahya alaihis salam was engaged in his Adytum worshiping the Omnipresent God, he was addressed: O Yahya! Hold the Heavenly book by the divine power and I will bestow you the blessing of Justice. Do not forget Kindness, purity, cleanliness, piety, doing good and being obedient to parents.
All salutes are upon him who was born, then died and one day will rise up again.
The chronicles of the noble Quran
Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam asked his creator: O God! The Provider, bless me a child with pure and clean character, refined and polished culture. O God! The Omnipresent you are the hearer of the prayers.
At his Adytum when he was attentively engaged in worshipping. The angels arrived to him and said: God! The Provider conveys you the glad tiding of a son and named him Yahya alaihis salam. He will profess the divine words of Isa alaihis salam and train the people, he is the most capable among the messengers. He said: How can I beget a child when I have got old and my wife is barren. Absolutely what the God wishes it happens.
The historical events
Hazrat Yahya alaihis salam used to cry to a great extent in the fear of Almighty God. The mode of the birth of Yahya alaihis salam was similar to hazrat Ismail alaihis salam, as his mother gave him birth when his father was at his old age and her pregnancy was familiar to Hazrat Maryam alaihis salam.
The people of Bani Israil decided to kill prophet Zakaria alaihis salam, so he took refuge in the tree which opened wide apart by the power of Almighty God. Hazrat Zakaria alaihis salam hid himself in the tree. Satan informed the infidels so they cut the tree into half along with the Zakaria alaihis salam and martyred the messenger. The angels gave him ablution, wrapped him in the shroud and buried him in the Baitul Muqaddas, 8 years before Christ.
The contemporary king of Hardush by the name Caesar of Rome was ruling Baitul Muqaddas. The brother of Hardush by the name Filyus had a very beautiful and elegant daughter by the name Hirodia and the king felt in love with his niece and the girl too was enamoured by him. Hardush married the wife of Filyus after his death and when the woman got old she told the king to marry his daughter as Hardush was very much handsome.
Hardush called hazrat Yahya alaihis salam to Baitul Muqaddas because he wanted to practice according to the judicial decision given by the prophet Yahya alaihis salam.
Yahya alaihis salam said: this marriage is against the divine law and this girl can never be legitimate to you. Hardush was not expecting this kind of answer so he got extremely enraged and commanded imprisonment of prophet Yahya alaihis salam.
According to the custom the king was celebrating his birthday. That day mother of Hirodia dressed her daughter in her best attire, jewels and with the goblet of wine sent her to the king.
They got engaged in the pleasures and joys of the luxurious celebration, got drunk and Hirodia entered the party dancingly snatched the hearts of the entire nobles of Bani Israil. Hardush watching the beauty of the girl got amazed and her love captured his heart’s nest. He told her: O the disaster of the life and death ask me whatever you want and let it be half of my country.
Hirodia returned to her mother and related the entire event. Her mother told her: It is the best chance to demand the king to behead the imprisoned prophet Yahya alaihis salam because he did not allowed you to marry the king and until he is alive you will be deprived from marrying him.
Hirodia in the banquet of the king again entered coquettishly with thousand delicate manners expressing extreme love which her mother had taught her and in return for making the king happy she demanded the head of the prophet Yahya alaihis salam. She insisted upon it until the king send his men to the prison and ordered them to bring the head of Yahya alaihis salam in a tray of gold. The lovesick king surrendered himself before the girl and married her.
The sacred head of the prophet Yahya alaihis salam spoke in the tray of gold to the king and said: The daughter of your wife is illegitimate for you to marry.
The martyrdom of Yahya alaihis salam happened on Wednesday of the last month. The disciples of Yahya alaihis salam gathered and took out the body of Yahya alaihis salam from the prison and buried him in the Baitul Muqaddas.
The life of hazrat Yahya alahis salam was very much similar to the life of hazrat imam Husain alaihis salam.
Allama Majlisi rahmatullah alaih according to the authentic and accurate documents narrates: Before Yahya alaihis salam no one got his name therefore before Husain alaihis salam no one got the name of Hussain.
No one can kill the children of prophets except those who are adulterated by birth. The one who killed the camel of prophet Salih alaihis salam, the person who killed prophet Yahya alaihis salam, the assassin of Ali ibn Abi Talib alaihis salam, the murderers of imam Husain alaihis salam and other infallible imams all of them were the debase and illegitimate by birth.
On the death of hazrat Yahya alaihis salam the earth and sky wailed and cried bitterly. He was known as the infallible martyr in the divine introduction. Hence on the principal of the martyrs the sky poured the tears of blood and the colour of the sun got red.
The head of Yahya alaihis salam was presented to the whore likewise the head of the principal of the martyrs Husain alaihis salam was rendered before the son of a whore.
Hazrat Yahya alaihis salam was a great teacher his status was highly exalted. He used to educate and preach the people towards the piety and spirituality. He spent his entire life training the people the excellence and purification of oneself. He invited them into the bright and distinct space. He was always tearful in the fear of Almighty God and engaged in the meditation.
What we learn from the outcome of the life history of the prophet Yahya alaihis salam is that the cruel and heedless kings were incessantly in the grip of their lustful desires. And the ill character women for the fulfilment of their evil longings with much craftiness committed deceits to get the joy ride for acquiring their harmful wishes.
The prophets and messengers came to prove the truth of the God, moral obligations, excellence in virtues and morals but it did not affect the evil hearts.
Hazrat Zakaria alahis salam nurtured Hazrat Yahya alaihis salam and raised him very dearly. They surged in the people the act of doing good deeds, restricted and warned them not to get involved into the evil acts, not to get impressed by the power of the rulers, not to be filled with fear by the villainy acts of mischievous people and not to get intoxicated by the jovial manners of the woman. They were stating the truth without hesitation and forbidding people the evil acts. To give thanks for their services of the prophets the Merciful God made immortal their names and granted them honourable and highly favourable status.