Story of Prophet Zakariya: In the Quran, Allah specifically names a number of prophets. But we are aware that there are a great number more prophets. Allah sent prophets to many nations and tribes in the past to guide them, according to the Sunnah. But most of the time their people weren’t approachable. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the last prophet that Allah sent to humanity. There are numerous well-known prophets from earlier times. The story of Prophet Zakariya (AS) is one of the most interesting stories in the Quran. The story of Prophet Zakariya (AS) is known to Christians and Jews as the Story of Prophet Zachariah.
“And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias – and all were of the righteous.”
Story of Prophet Zakariya (AS)
One of the prophets from Bani Israel was Zakariya (AS). He was one of the prophets whom Allah sent to this people, as we already know. He was a descendant of Prophet Sulaiman (AS). He worked as a carpenter to support himself. He was also a highly righteous person. He was in charge of a mosque, where he offered homage to Allah in accordance with the principles of a devout believer.
Prophet Zakariya (AS) was an extremely modest person who never stopped being grateful to Allah. He had a straightforward life and did not engage in any lavish behavior. The majority of others in their immediate vicinity lacked traits like being submissive worshipers of Allah. However, Zakariya (AS) adhered to Musa’s law and lived according to what Allah had ordered of people. He would preach and pray for several hours.
The conviction he had was stronger than that of those around him. They disobeyed Allah and disregarded His instructions in favor of acting on their own whims and desires. As a result, they would engage in sin and conduct various forms of wrongdoing. They were departing from Zakariya’s (AS) firm course as a result. Because he was concerned about what might occur, he desperately tried to persuade the populace to revert back to the right path by preaching to them.
The Imran Family
Although we are unsure of their exact relationship, Imran and Prophet Zakariya (Zachariah A.S.) were connected. A girl named Maryam was born to Imran’s wife. They also swore to make Maryam one of those people who only thought about worshipping Allah. However, her father, Imran, passed away when she was still pretty little. There was much discussion about who should take care of her as a result.
Various reports claim that Zakariya (AS) was either Maryam’s uncle or brother-in-law. He was also a prophet, well-known for his moral principles and upright conduct. It was only natural for him to step in as her protector after that. However, the inhabitants of Israel wanted to have this honor themselves.
“And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Mary. Nor were you with them when they disputed.”
In the Quran, Allah describes how the populace chose Maryam’s guardianship. They eventually suggested that they place their names in a container and write them down. Then a kid would choose one at random. Zakariya was there (AS). The people, however, weren’t happy with the outcome and decided to cast more lots. Once more, the outcome favored him. The obstinate folks rejected it once more. They drew lots once more, and this time it was in his favor. As a result, the populace had to accept the result and allow Allah’s will to play out.
Maryam Is Taken Care of by Prophet Zakariya (AS)
“So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.”
Maryam’s upbringing as a devout woman is described by Allah in the Quran. She was usually polite and concentrated on worshipping Allah. She would also remain alone in her prayer chamber, away from the rest of the community, as Allah commands in the Quran. Zakariya (AS) frequently went to see how she was doing. When he arrived, he would discover a variety of foodstuffs nearby. He didn’t bring it for her, so he questioned her about how it got there. She responded by stating that it was a gift from her Lord, Allah.
As a result, Zakariya (AS) saw these miracles firsthand. After Maryam’s father died, he witnessed how Allah had blessed and taken care of her. He was merely a means Allah might use to look after her and give her a place to live. As a result, he always had faith that Allah would make everything work out for the best. At this point, he was driven by a strong desire to become a father so that he could carry on preaching about Allah and Islam. He was getting on in years, yet he never gave up.
Zakariya (AS) Prays for a Child
“[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah when he called to his Lord a private call [i.e., supplication]. 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 [i.e., disappointed]. And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You].”
Zakariya (AS) was an old man at this time in his life. His wife was equally infertile and unable to conceive. He still said the dua to Allah, nonetheless, because he was aware that nothing is insurmountable for Him. The dua is mentioned by Allah several times in the Quran. In addition to the aforementioned, he also recounts this episode in Surah al-Imran and Surah al-Anbiya, demonstrating the enormous significance of what happened.
Zakariyah (AS) prayed to Allah in his dua to grant him the blessing of a child who would inherit from him and his family. He also specifically requested an offspring who would please Allah rather than one who would offend and disrespect Him. It was a really tender and beautiful dua that came from the heart.
Allah responds to His Prayer
“So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, “Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of John, confirming a word from Allah and [who will be] honorable, abstaining [from women], and a prophet from among the righteous.” He said, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when I have reached old age and my wife is barren?” He [the angel] said, “Such is Allah; He does what He wills.”
[He was told], “O Zechariah, indeed We give you good tidings of a boy whose name will be John. We have not assigned to any before [this] name.” He said, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age?” [An angel] said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.’”
Zakariya (AS)’s supplication was answered by Allah, who also told him that his wife would bear a child. Furthermore, He also revealed to him that the child will be a prophet. The son was given the unique name Yahya by Allah, which had never been used before. So, in addition to having his prayer granted, Zakariya (AS) also received a huge benefit from Allah.
The prophet found it difficult to accept what he had heard. How could he have a child with a barren woman, he questioned. In response, the angel assured him that everything was simple for Allah. He carries out His will. Consequently, we can consider this to be one of His miracles.
Zakariya (AS) Asks for a Sign and Yahya (AS) Is Born
He said, “My Lord, make for me a sign.” He said, “Your sign is that you will not [be able to] speak to the people for three days except by gesture. And remember your Lord much and exalt [Him with praise] in the evening and the morning.”
(Quran 3:41)[Zechariah] 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.” So he came out to his people from the prayer chamber and signaled to them to exalt [Allah] in the morning and afternoon.
Again, the Prophet requested a sign from Allah, and this time, the prayer was granted. As a result, Zakariya (AS) rejoiced and expressed gratitude to Allah for all of His bounties while accepting what was ahead.[Allah said], “O John, take the Scripture [i.e., adhere to it] with determination.” And We gave him judgment [while yet] a boy and affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah and dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant. And peace be upon him the day he was born and the day he dies and the day he is raised alive.
In his youth, Allah bestowed knowledge to the Prophet Yahya (A.S.). The traditions and narrations of Islam claim that he was a kind boy who loved to learn. He would later develop into an honorable man who frequently remembered Allah and worshipped Him. In addition, he was interested in the concerns of those around him. Due to his love for and dread of the Almighty, he frequently sobbed while he delivered the message of Allah to them.
Lessons from the Story of Prophet Zakariya (AS)
This remarkable Story of Prophet Zakariya (AS) is of one of Allah’s most cherished prophets and contains a wealth of lessons for us.
The Best Planner is Allah.
Numerous times in the Quran, Allah affirms that He is the finest planner. This is something that repeatedly happens. Regardless of the plans one may have, everything that will ever occur has already been predicted. Whether we agree with it or not, whatever Allah wants to happen will finally happen.
This is illustrated in the life of Prophet Zachariah (Zakariya AS), who was concerned about succession. He was concerned that no one would continue his message and speak up for iman and believe in him. Even though he was old and his wife was barren, Allah provided him with children after he prayed for them.
This influence was also evident when it came time for the people to choose a caretaker for Maryam. Israel’s citizens aspired to this honor. They, therefore, conducted a lottery, and each time they chose Zakariya (AS). Thus, even though they may have desired something different, Allah’s command takes precedence.
The Prayer of Zakariya (AS)
The prophet never prayed to Allah with the intention of taking advantage of Him. In order for the child to carry on spreading the message of Islam, he prayed to Allah for the blessing of a kid. He had no concern about maintaining his family name or passing on his possessions and fortune to his heirs in the future.
Instead, he desired a child to enable him to continue praising Allah among people. It took a messenger to keep them in proper guidance at the Israelites and make sure they stayed on the right path because they weren’t very receptive to his message. The descendant of Zakariya (AS) would be able to comprehend Islam and continue to promote it.
This also puts into perspective some of the selfish behaviors we encounter in today’s world. Children are desired for all the wrong reasons by people. They seek to impress others, have them inherit money, and in some cases, start ruling dynasties! These are in no way justifications for desiring children.
True Faith and the Power of Allah
Sometimes we may wish for something that is absurd, impossibly difficult, or extremely unlikely to occur. The truth is that Allah is the universe’s Lord and Creator, and nothing is impossible for Him. But in order for that to happen, we need to make sure that we meet a specific set of requirements.
Many people make requests without truly believing they will receive them. They may have faith in Allah, but they will disregard some fundamentals like performing daily prayers, giving the poor due on a yearly basis, and fasting throughout Ramadan. A Muslim must make sure he follows the fundamental rules of Islam. Then, like Zakariya (AS), he should sincerely request what he wants.
We must also keep in mind that although Allah has the authority to grant any of our prayers, He might not always do so. This is so because only Allah possesses absolute wisdom. Even while we may think we are asking for something useful, it may not be in our best interests. Only he is aware of what is ideal for us and provides us accordingly.
Continue doing what is right.
The Prophet Zakariya (AS) had a long life story. It is stated that Allah ultimately bestowed upon him a son, Yahya when he was in his 90s. Zakariya (AS) continued to urge his followers to submit to Allah and recognize him as the only one who is their Lord and Creator during all of these years. But the crowds continued straying from the correct course.
The Israelites would engage in a variety of bad activities during Zakariya’s (AS) reign. They would engage in a variety of misdeeds. The prophet, however, never felt discouraged in his work. He persisted in his endeavors, and Allah appreciated his perseverance. So much so that he immediately complied with his wish for a child.
People nowadays may learn a lot from this. We frequently begin acting morally upright, but if others don’t concur with us or follow our example, we become discouraged. But that is the incorrect outlook. It shouldn’t matter what other people do to us. We should continue to act in the same manner, emphasizing doing good and always adoring Allah while encouraging others to follow suit.
Prophet Zakariya (A.S.)’s Death
As was already noted, there are connections between the story of Prophet Zakariya AS, Yahya AS, and Isa AS. As a result, Yahya AS and Zakariya AS passed away shortly after one another.
Yahya AS was cruelly killed by being beheaded and having his head displayed to the king after the killing. When we discuss his life, we will go into more detail.
Imagine the sorrow Zakariya AS must have had. Against all chances, Yahya AS was born so late in his father’s life. He lived an admirable life and granted all of Zakariya’s AS requests. He was the perfect son because, in addition to being an incredibly committed servant to Allah, he was also kind and generous to his parents.
No matter if one is a Prophet or not, losing a kid is a dreadful thing for any parent to go through. The pain must have been nearly terrible to discover that one’s child, who is innocent of any guilt or transgression, had been senselessly and mercilessly murdered.
But the crisis got worse. The killing of Yahya AS reportedly gave Bani Israel the confidence to turn on his father as well. To kill Zakariya AS, a mob driven by anger and destruction set out. They were willing to kill their own Prophets because of their conceit and lack of faith.
Zakariya AS was able to escape, according to Jewish tradition (and since nothing in Muslim sources contradicts this, we are neither to accept nor deny this). By Allah’s command, a tree permitted Zakariya AS to enter its interior and then enveloped him in its depths. But Shaitan pulled a piece of Zakariya’s AS clothing through the gaps, revealing him.
Some sources claim that the pursuers initially intended to set the tree on fire but instead chose to saw the tree in half, severing it with Zakariya AS. His life was quickly ended in this manner: in the most heinous, murderous manner possible, by the depraved hands of the very people he was.
Prophet Zakariya (AS) was a prophet who Allah cherished. Many lessons can be learned from his narrative, and it’s also heartwarming to see how he cared for Maryam. Even though he didn’t have much success in his preaching to his people, he persevered because that is what Allah ordered him to do and why He sent him down.
All of Allah’s prophets, including Zakariya (AS), must be revered and loved. He is clearly a role model for Muslims with the other prophets because of his character and outlook. It is intended to learn from such stories, but it is also possible to be inspired, and that is also a wonderful thing.
May we learn something valuable from the Story of Prophet Zakariya and become pious.