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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Prophets Zackariah and Yahya (John, the Baptist)


Prophets Zackariah and Yahya (John, peace be upon them both) are amongst the prominent  from the lineage of Prophets Ibraheem (Abraham), his son Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqoob (Jacob), Dawood (David) and Suleiman (Solomon). Their mention is found in the holy scriptures Torah and later in all following holy scriptures including the Bible and Holy Qur'an.

Like many unprecedented miracles and events, the birth of Prophet Yahya to Prophet Zackariah is unique as Prophet Zackariah was blessed with a son at a very later age, around 100 years to his barren wife. Prophet Zackariah was a God fearing man and always invited his people to follow the path shown by none other than one Allah (God) and be righteous in their dealings.

Reaching the old age, he feared that after his death, his people might go astray and no one would remember his teachings and forget praying to Allah. So he earnestly wanted a son to carry on with his prophet-hood and continue to enlighten the hearts of his people. His prayers were thus answered and a son whose name was to be Yahya as decide by Allah, for before his birth the name Yahya never existed, was born to him.

The mention of these two early prophets is mentioned in Al Qur'an Surah Al Maryam, 9:2-14 as under:
2:  [This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zackariah,
3:  When he called to his Lord a private supplication.
4:  He said, "My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.
5:  And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir.
6:  Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Yaqoob (Jacob). And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You]."
7:  [He was told], "O Zackariah, indeed We give you good tidings of a boy whose name will be Yahya (John). We have not assigned to any before [this] name."
8:  He said, "My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age?"
9:  [An angel] said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.' "
10: [Zackariah] said, "My Lord, make for me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights, [being] sound."
11:  So he came out to his people from the prayer chamber and signaled to them to exalt [ Allah ] in the morning and afternoon.
12: [ Allah ] said, "O Yahya, take the Scripture with determination." And We gave him judgment [while yet] a boy
13: And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah
14: And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant.
This is all about both the prophets as mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Prophet Yahya continued to preach just like his father for as long as he lived. 

Prophet Yahya is buried in the the Prophet Yahya Masjid, Jamia Nabi Yahya, is located in the village of Sebastia, near Nablus, Syria. It is located in the central square of the village. There are six burial niches here, among them are tombs traditionally identified as the burial places of Elisha, Obadiah, and Yahya. It is believed that the masjid stands at the place where Prophet Yahya's body was buried by his followers. 

A church was erected on the spot of the tomb during the Byzantine era and then superseded by a Crusader-built church in 1160. It was transformed into a masjid by Saladin in 1187, although some sources say it was converted by the Mamlooks in 1261, later restored and mostly rebuilt during the 19th century while Palestine was under Ottoman rule. Watch the video below showing the Prophet Yahya Masjid and his burial chamber inside the masjid:



In Torah and Bible, the mention of both the prophets is also found in the older scriptures of Torah and Bible in more details, wherein Prophet Yahya is mentioned as John, the baptist.

References: | 1 | 2Photo
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