The Story of Prophet Zakariya (Zechariah)
Did you know?
1) Prophet Zakariya was a very pious and respected person. He was a biras to Imran, a sheikh who was also very pious and always led prayers in Jerusalem. Their wives are siblings (who are also very pious and respected) and both their wives are barren so they do not have children until a time when they are old.
2) One day, while Imran’s wife named Hannah was worshiping, she saw a mother bird feeding the birds and when the wind blew, she spread her wings and protected her children from the wind. Hannah suddenly felt that she really wanted to have a child of her own even though she was old. So he prayed to God earnestly to give them a child. And Allah granted his request.
3) Hannah vows, the child in her womb will be dedicated to serve in the way of Allah and will live and grow up in a mihrab – Refer to the Quran (3:35). Soon after, a baby girl named Mary was born. Hannah prays that Mary and the children born of Mary will always be protected from the devil – Refer to the Quran (3:36). The special thing about Mary and Jesus (son of Mary) is that they were never bothered by the devil. His father, Imran had died while Mary was still in the womb so he was born an orphan. Therefore, the pious people have debated the right of custody of Maryam.
4) Prophet Zakaria said, “Of course I am the most deserving to take care of him because I am his uncle”. They feel so unfair. Then they want to make a draw. Each puts their pen into a container then they call a boy to pick up a pen. The pen taken was the pen of the prophet Zakariya so the prophet Zakariya should have won. They cancel the draw and restart the draw. They put the pens into the flowing water and the condition is, whoever does not follow the water current is the winner. All pens move according to the current of water except the pen of the prophet Zakariya. They cancel the second attempt and make another attempt but the condition is that whoever moves according to the current, he wins. By the power of Allah, only the pen of the prophet Zakaria moved according to the current and the others moved against the current. When he has won three times, it is clear that God wants him. So the prophet Zechariah was the one who had the right to take care of Mary.
5) Maryam grew up in a mihrab as a daughter who was very pious, kind, holy, and always loved by God. He seems to often get special attention from God. Prophet Zakariya once saw in winter Maryam brought fresh fruit that only grows in summer; and in summer he brings fresh fruit that only grows in winter. When asked how he got the fruits, Maryam replied, “Allah gave me” – Refer to the Quran (3:37).
6) Witnessing the incident, the prophet Zakariya realized that God can do anything. Prophet Zakariya and his wife from a young age wanted children and they never gave up hope. Then the prophet Zechariah prayed to God, “O God, my bones are weak, my hair is white, but I never stop expecting good from you. And verily I fear my people and my wife is barren. So give me offspring, from Your side, who can inherit my prophethood and the descendants of Jacob. ” – Refer to the Quran (19: 5-6). And Allah granted his prayer. God sent down the angels to convey the news that the prophet Zechariah would embrace the light of the eyes of the man whom God named John; there is no one else named Yahya before – Refer to the Quran (19: 7). His son will confirm the verses of the testimony of Allah (which will be conveyed by the prophet Jesus), he will be the head of the pious and he will not marry because he will surrender his whole life to Allah. – Refer to the Quran (3:39). God had told all this to the prophet Zechariah before it happened again.
7) Prophet Zakariya was shocked and asked God, “How can I have children in old age and my wife is barren?” And Allah answers that Allah can make something when He wills it – Refer to the Quran (3:40). Then the prophet Zakariya asked for signs when the time came that his wife was pregnant. God said, “The sign is that you are not able to speak for 3 days except using sign language. At that time, glorify and recite dhikr every morning and evening. ” – Refer to the Quran (3:41). Shortly after that, the day came when the prophet Zakariya could not speak for 3 days but he continued to preach using hand gestures, glorifying and reciting dhikr. After 3 days, the news spread that the wife of the prophet Zakariya, Elisha, was pregnant when the prophet Zakariya was 90 years old.
Detailed of story
General Description of Zakariyah
The years had taken their toll on the Prophet Zechariah (Zakariyah) (PBUH) . He was now old and bent with age, in his nineties. Despite his feebleness, he went to the temple daily to deliver his sermons. Zechariah was not a rich man, but he was always ready to help those in need. His one disappointment in life was that he had no children, for his wife was barren. This worried him, for he feared there was no one after him to carry out his work. The people needed a strong leader, for if they were left on their own, they would move away from Allah’s teachings and change the Holy Laws to suit themselves.
Zakariyah Talks to Mary
During one of his visits to the temple, he went to check on Mary, who was living in a secluded room of the temple. He was surprised to find fresh out-of-season fruit in her room. Besides him, no one had entry to her room. When he inquired, she told him that the fruit was from Allah. She found it every morning. But why was he so surprised, she asked him. Did he not know that Allah provides without measure for whom He wills?
This noble girl had opened his eyes to a startling idea. Could he not ask his Lord to bless him with a child in his old age? Even if his wife was past child-bearing age, nothing was impossible for his Gracious Lord!
Zakariyah Asks for a Son – Quranic
Allah the Almighty revealed:
‘Kaf, Ha, Ya, Am, Sad, These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings. (This is) a mention of the Mercy of your Lord to His slave Zechariah. When he called out his Lord (Allah) – a call in secret, saying: ‘My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and grey hair has spread on my head, and I have never been unblest in my in vocation to You, 0 my Lord! And Verily! I fear my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir, – who shall inherit me, and inherit (also) the posterity of Jacob (inheritance of the religious knowledge and Prophethood, not the wealth, etc.) And make him, my Lord, one with whom You are Well-pleased!” (Allah said): “0 Zechariah! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son. His name will be John (Yahya). We have given that name to none before (him).”
He said: ‘My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age.”
He said: “So (it will be). Your Lord says, It is easy for Me. Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing.” (Zechariah) said: ‘My Lord! Appoint for me a sign.”
He said: ‘Your sign is that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect.”
Then he came out to his people from Al-Mihrab (a praying place or a private room, etc.), he told them by signs to glorify Allah ‘s Praises in the morning and in the afternoon.
(It was said to his son): “O John! Hold fast to the Scripture (The Torah).” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child, and (made him) sympathetic to men as a mercy (or a grant) from Us, and pure from sins (i.e. John) and he was righteous, and dutiful towards his parents, and he was neither an arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah or to his parents). And Salamun (peace) on him the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)! Al-Quran [19: 1-15]
Almighty Allah also said:
At that time Zakariyah invoked his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.”
Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in Al- Mihrab ( a praying place or a private room), saying: “Allah gives you glad tidings of John confirming (believing in) the Word from Allah (“Be!” – and he was! (i.e. the creation of Isa (Jesus), son of Mariam (Mary), noble keeping away from sexual relations with women, a Prophet, from among the righteous.”
He said: “O my Lord! How can I have a son when I am very old, and my wife is barren?”
Allah said: “Thus Allah does what He wills.” He said: “O my Lord! Make a sign for me.” Allah said: “Your sign is that you shall not speak to mankind for three days except with signals. And remember your Lord much (by praising Him again and again), and glorify Him in the afternoon and in the morning.” Al-Quran [3: 38-41]