Story of Prophet Ilyas: Prophet Ilyas (Elijah), also known as the prophet Elias alaihissalam was Prophet Harun alaihissalam’s descendant. He was sent to lead the Israelites toward Tawheed and to direct them to the truth. In the verse “And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias” of surah Al-Anam, Prophet Ilyas alaihissalam is first referred to as a prophet (Al-Anam:85). He is also mentioned in numerous more Quranic ayahs. Islamic sources state that His full name is Ilyas ibn Yasin, as He is referred to in the surah As-Saffat “Salamun Al’aa il Yaseen: Peace be upon Ilyas” (As-Saffat 37:130). After the passing of Prophet Sulaiman al-aihissalam, the Prophethood of Ilyas al-aihissalam began. Following the demise of Sulaiman (A.S.), his kingdom was split into Israel and Yahuda.
The Yahuda kingdom was stable for a long time because it encompassed Quds (Jerusalem) and sacred relics, scholars guided the people, and the Torah was recited at Masjid al-Aqsa.
Due to the loss of such strongholds, the state of Israel began to depart from the shari’ah of Hazrat Musa (Moses), and the practice of idolatry among the Children of Israel began to spread.
The name of the idol worshipped by the citizens of the state of Israel was Ba’l. It was a four-faced idol that stood 20 ells (13,6 metres) tall and was fashioned of gold. The location of this idol was referred to as Ba’lbek by adding the prefix “bek” to the word “Ba’l”. Currently, the town of Baalbek in Damascus still has this name.
The entire kingdom was led astray and caught in the shaitan’s trap. Except for a handful, they all practiced shirk, began worshipping idols, and committed wicked activities. Those who refused to rebel against the prophet and ALLAH SWT were subjected to terrible torture and eventually executed.
In an effort to compel them to the truth, the Prophet Ilyas alaihissalam advised them against shirk (worshipping idols) and forbade them from doing so. He made a concerted effort to convince them that their idols were weak and powerless, but the unbelievers paid little attention to his messages.
ALLAH SWT mentions in Quran: Verily Ilyas was one of the apostles. When he said to his people: “Will you not fear God? Will ye call upon Ba’al and leave the Best of Creators, God, your Lord and Cherisher and the Lord and Cherisher of your fathers of old?” (As-Saffat 123-126 )
Ilyas alaihissalam prayed for Allah SWT to punish the ignorant people and asked for assistance. Allah SWT heeded his prayers. A drought spread throughout Ahab’s whole kingdom and lasted for three protracted years. Famine was killing people, and they were constantly pleading with Ba’al for assistance. People regretted their past actions and implored Prophet Ilyas to ask Allah SWT for the rain to end the drought when nothing helped and they found themselves starving to death.
Ilyas alaihissalam prayed; ALLAH SWT heard him; it rained; people were liberated from perpetual famine and accepted Ilyas alaihissalam’s invitation.
But many simply forgot about it and kept worshipping idols and denying reality.
It is related that when Ilyas al-aihis-salam saw their ignorance, he prayed Allah SWT for his death and then ALLAH raised him to the heavens in a chariot of fire. And Allah is the wisest.
May we learn something valuable from the Story of Prophet Ilyas and become pious and Trust Allah in challenging times.