The story of ^Uzayr

^Uzayr, whose story was briefly mentioned in the Qur’an, was a pious Muslim from the descendants of Prophet Israel, also known as Ya^qub. This story shows God’s great Might. The descendants of Prophet Israel, the Israelites, had split into several groups. Some stayed as they were: believing Muslims who adhered strongly to the rules of the religion. The others blasphemed and perverted the religion. This caused great tribulation unto the Muslim nation of the time, which often led to the killing of some honored prophets at the hands of some of the Jews. After their corruption had spread and they had unjustly ruled, and ruthlessly killed two honorable prophets, our masters Zakariya and his son Yahya, Allah inflicted upon them a blasphemous ruler named Bukhtanassar....

Prophet Zakariyya and His Ward Lady Maryam

It was narrated that Lady Maryam’s father, ^Imran, the son of Mathan, was a Muslim scholar from the descendants of Prophet Ya^qub, also known as Prophet Israel. ^Imran married Hannah, the daughter of Faqoudh, and she bore him a daughter, whom they named Isha^. Prophet Zakariya, who was a carpenter and Hannah’s cousin, married Isha^. It is permissible in the rules of Islam for cousins to intermarry. Prophet Zakariya used to worship a great deal even before receiving the Revelation. At that time, there were no prophets in Baytul-Maqdis (Jerusalem). One day, after he had finished praying in the mihrab, a slightly raised section in the front of the mosque, where his grandfather, Prophet Dawud used to pray, Angel Jibril came to Zakariya with a Revelation from Allah,...

Iram with Pillars

It was narrated in the explanation of the holy verse that the city of Iram, built by Shaddad ibn Aad, was situated in Yemen, between Hadhramout and Sanaa. The people of Aad were so huge in size, measuring at least six meters each. Aad had two sons, Shaddad and Shadeed, who ruled after their father, establishing themselves as rulers, unfairly suppressing the country and forcibly oppressing its people. Shadeed soon passed away, however, and Shaddad continued to conquer other countries until he dominated the earth, and all its kings submitted to him. Shaddad was a tyrant, a stubborn idolater who was fascinated with reading old books. Whenever he read about Paradise and what God had prepared for His fearing worshippers, such as the golden and silver palaces and the...

The Story of Qaroun

Qaroun was a cousin of our master Musa, peace be upon him. God gave Qaroun many benefits and so much money that his treasuries overflowed with it, and his boxes were so full with what it contained that even a group of strongmen could not carry the keys of these boxes. Qaroun used to live among his people a luxurious life, dressing extravagantly in elegant clothes. It was his habit to go out with his ornaments. He used to live in palaces and choose for himself servants, and he used to enjoy the worldly pleasures that will certainly come to an end. But Qaroun was not a thankful slave, for instead of obeying God, he was conceited and he treated his people with arrogance, and took pride in the abundance of his benefits that God granted him in money and treasures. He...

The Two Honorable Angels, Haroot and Maroot

Allah, ta^ala, told His Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, some of the disgraces of the Jews, the descendants of Prophet Israel. They didn’t believe in either Prophet Muhammad or the Holy Qur’an, which agrees with the original Torah that was descended on our Master Musa, peace be upon him. The original Torah included the call to the belief that Allah, ta^ala, was the only God, and that nothing whatsoever resembles Him. It also ordained the belief that Musa was a Messenger of God and a prophet, and that Islam was a religion and a commandment. One of the disgraces, which were committed by infidels among the descendants of Prophet Israel, happened during the era of our master, Prophet Sulayman. They had rejected the Zabur, the book of God, and followed the...

The Pious Believer and the Ruthless Nonbeliever

Allah revealed in the Holy Qur’an many examples of His wisdom, concerning the nature of our actions and deeds and their consequences. Among these is the story of the two men who were mentioned in Surat al-Kahf. One was a pious believer, and the other was a ruthless nonbeliever. Allah, by His justice, revealed their story so that people would not get carried away with this world and forget the hereafter. Among the children of Prophet Israel, known in English as Jacob, were two brothers: one was Yahoutha, a pious Muslim believer, who loved to do good deeds; the other was Fartous, an idol worshipper, who was stingy and bad-tempered. Upon their father’s death, each took his share of the inheritance and spent it the way he liked best. Yahoutha bought captive slaves...

Our Master Yahya Remains Steadfast to the Truth

When he was older, Prophet Yahya became well known for being knowledgeable. He knew all the subjects in the Torah, and their accompanying details. It was known amongst the people that he was courageous in saying the truth and severe in speaking out against the misguided. He did not fear anyone’s blame, nor any tyrants’ attack. One day, Prophet Yahya learned that Hayroudus—Herod—the king of Palestine and one of the Israelite kings, had fallen in love with Hayroudiya, his stepdaughter. She was beautiful and seductive, and he had decided to marry her, even though this was a sin. Her mother and relatives were encouraging this and helping him. It was mentioned that this king respected Prophet Yahya and treated him well. He used to grant Prophet Yahya private sessions...

The Birth of Prophet Yahya

Prophet Zakariya asked Allah for a child, whom he needed because he was old, and his bones were weak. Also, he feared that there would be less interest in Islam when he died, because his uncles, cousins, and family in general, were careless in the matters of the religion and spread misguidance amongst the Israelites. Thus, he was afraid that they would mismanage matters after him. He supplicated to Allah, saying what means, “Oh Allah, grant me a pious offspring, for You are the One who hears the supplication.” Allah answered his supplication and granted him a son, despite his old age, just as Prophet Ibrahim had a son late in his life. Prophet Zakariya was in charge of slaughtering the animals that were slaughtered for the sake of Allah. He was also in charge of...

Al-Khadir, the Longest Living Person

After Allah saved the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army, and after their affairs were settled, Prophet Musa addressed the Muslims, admonishing them and reminding them of all the endowments Allah granted them over time. He did not overlook a single blessing, and made it clear that Allah had blessed them with these endowments. A man among the Israelites asked, “Oh Prophet of Allah, is there anyone on earth more knowledgeable than you?” Musa replied, “No.” Allah revealed to him that he should have said, “Allah knows best.” Furthermore, Allah also revealed to him that he does not know to whom Allah bestows His knowledge, for a man by the seashore was more knowledgeable than Musa in some matters, and he was the slave of Allah al-Khadir. Here, “more knowledgeable”...

Al-Khadir

According to one narration, al-Khadir is a direct offspring of Adam, peace be upon him. Others have mentioned that he is Balya’ ibn Malkan ibn Falagh ibn ^Abar ibn Shalikh ibn Qaynan ibn Arfakhshadh ibn Sam ibn Nuh, peace be upon him. Hence, according to both narrations, he was born before Prophet Ibrahim, because Ibrahim’s grandfather and Al-Khadir were first cousins. He was called al-Khadir—a word extracted from the Arabic word for green)—because he once sat on an arid piece of land that had no plants, and as a result, it turned leafy, swaying with greenness. He was also known as Abul-^Abbas. Wherever he prayed, the earth around him would turn green, by the Will of Allah, as an endowment from God to him, indicating his high rank in piety. It was narrated that...

Dhul-Qarnayn

Dhul-Qarnayn, may Allah raise his rank, was a great Yemeni king as well as a pious man. Allah gave him many extraordinary matters and his story was mentioned in the Qur’an. His name was as-Sa^b ibn al-Harith, according to some scholars. Others said that his named was as-Sa^b ibn Dhi Mara’id. He was the most famous among the Yemeni kings, called the Tababi^ah, of that era. One of his grandsons recited a poem about him, saying: My grandfather Dhul-Qarnayn was an undefeated Muslim king He traveled from East to West, gathering a reign over all the lands As was granted to him by Allah, the generous Lord           Muslim scholars mentioned that Dhul-Qarnayn’s minister was Prophet al-Khadir, who led his army. Dhul-Qarnayn’s also met with Prophets Ibrahim and Isma^il,...

The People of the Trenches

This story is about a blasphemous king about whom, history tells, that he dug trenches and lit fires in them to torture and kill the Muslims. Among the Muslim followers of Prophet Jesus, the son of Maryam, was a man whose name was Faymyoun, a pious, humble man who worked diligently for the Hereafter and devoted himself to worship. He was among those whose supplication was accepted, and he used to travel between the villages. Every time he became known in one, he would go to another in which he wasn’t known. He would not eat except from that which he earned for himself. He used to work as a builder, and another builder named Saleh met him and embraced Islam. While they were traveling through various villages in the Arabian Peninsula, a group of way-layers captured...

The Story of Saba’

Saba’a Bin Yashjob was an Arab Muslim and generous man, giving people his gifts without being stingy or materialistic. It was narrated that he was also the first to put on a crown. Saba’a wrote a poem in which he gave the good news expecting the coming and revelation of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, may God grant him peace and protect his nation from what he fears for them. The poem said: A great king will reign after us, a prophet who wouldn’t legitimize the sinful. His name is Ahmad. I hope I will live long enough and I hope to be there one year after his coming and revelation. I would then support him and I would aid him to victory using my full arms and by shooting all kinds of arrows, and whenever his revelation starts be his helper and his aide to...

The Owners of the Garden

Allah states in the Holy Qur’an, in Surat al-Qalam, something about the story of the owners of a great garden, who did not obey God’s orders. Thus, He deprived them of it as a punishment for their evil intentions. We will describe the events behind this story. In Yemen, which was known for its fruitful gardens and fertile land, a pious man lived a good life with his children, near its capital, San^a’, in a territory called Dawran. He had a large piece of land with a wide variety of vegetation, numerous trees and an abundance of fruit. Palm trees, vineyards and foliage made it a joy to look at, for those who visited it for relaxation and enjoyment of its beauty. This pious man, who was a Muslim follower of Prophet ^Isa, was grateful for what God had blessed him...