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Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets out of which one was Hazrat Elias عليه السلام who was a Nabi from Bani Israel. Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام was not only a Prophet but a Rasool of Allah.
- Biblical Name: Prophet Elijah.
- Full Name: Elias Ibn Yasin Ibn Fanhas Ibn Eleazar Ibn Harun عليه السلام.
- 6 differences between a Rasool and Nabi
Prophet Elias Birth
Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام was born in 900 BC in present-day Palestine and died in 849 BC at the age of 51 years. His life was full of many challenges, miracles, and adventures that were given to him by God.
Although most Muslim scholars believed that Elijah preached in Israel, some early commentators on the Quran stated that Ilyas was sent to Baalbek, in Lebanon.
Prophet Elias in Quran
The name of Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام has been mentioned 3 times in the Holy Quran.
- Elias was indeed one of the messengers. – As-Saffat 37:123
- Peace be upon Elias. – As-Saffat 37:130
- We guided Zakaria, Yahya, Isa, and Elias, who were all righteous. – Al-An’am 6:85
King Ahab and Queen Jezebel
After the death of Prophet Sulaiman عليه السلام, Israel was divided into two Kingdoms in 930 BC i.e. Kingdom of Judah (southern Israel) and Kingdom of Israel (northern Israel).
In 874 BC when Prophet Elias عليه السلام was 26 years old, King Ahab became the 7th King of the Kingdom of Israel (northern Israel). He was married to Queen Jezebel who was a pagan who used to worship the idol, Baal.
They ruled the Kingdom of Israel for 20 years until 854 BC and were the biggest enemies of Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام.
Allah has also mentioned the idol of Baal in the Holy Quran.
- Do you call upon ˹the idol of˺ Baal and abandon the Best of Creators? – As-Saffat 37:125
Idol Baal was as tall as 136 meters. Seeing an idol so big, people fell for its might and started worshiping it. More and more people fell into the trap of the devil and got strayed.
Prophet Elias continue to preach
Prophet Elias عليه السلام was heartbroken by this. His people were falling for a trap and would not listen to him. He would tirelessly preach the message of Allah and would tell them not to fall for the devil.
But the followers of Baal were stubborn. They were easy to mislead. It was very difficult to guide them.
Bani Israel had started worshipping the helpless, powerless, and senseless idols. Idols that they had created themselves and would now ask them for all their needs. They were getting involved in sin of Shirk.
Jezebel ruthless killing of believers
During the reign of King Ahab, many believers were persecuted for their belief in Allah. King Ahab allowed Jezebel to kill off the followers of Allah, and the situation was so bad that many Muslims had to go into hiding just to survive.
3-years of famine
Prophet Elias عليه السلام was a Rasool and it is Allah’s sunnah to punish the people who do not follow the instructions of a messenger of Allah.
The Kingdom of Israel was cursed with a drought that lasted for three years. People were facing a shortage of food and water and thus were dying. They started praying from Baal, but for no use.
Prophet Elias challenged Baal
Obadiah was a believer but he was serving King Ahab. There was a famine in the land at the time, and King Ahab told Obadiah to go and find some suitable cattle and horses.
While Obadiah was out fulfilling his duty he met Prophet Elias عليه السلام who told Obadiah to tell King Ahab that he was going to stop Jezebel from persecuting believers.
Obadiah told King Ahab that Hazrat Elias عليه السلام had issued a challenge to Baal and his followers. King Ahab and the followers of the idol Baal contested with Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام to see who had the strongest god.
Baal’s priests lost the competition, and they were killed by Prophet Elias عليه السلام and his followers. – Deuteronomy 13:5
King Ahab told his wife Jezebel about the incident and how the priests of Baal failed miserably against the God of Prophet Elias عليه السلام but it just made her furious.
Upon this, Jezebel wanted to destroy Prophet Elias عليه السلام for the damage that he had done to her false religious system.
Cave of Prophet Elias
It is said that Prophet Elias عليه السلام kept on hiding for 10 years in a cave on Mount Carmel, in Haifa, Israel which is known as the cave of Elijah today.
It is also said that Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام was so fed up with this situation that he prayed to Allah to take his soul and let him die but he was encouraged to continue.
Meeting with Prophet Al-Yasa
During the last days of his life, Allah told him to make a man named Al-Yasa (Elisha) the next leader. Prophet Elias عليه السلام found Prophet Al-Yasa عليه السلام plowing in a field and placed his cloak over his shoulders.
Prophet Al-Yasa عليه السلام then left his family and friends to learn about Islam.
Is Elijah dead or alive?
Allah told Prophet Elias عليه السلام to travel to three places Bethel, Jericho, and the Jordan River before He took him up to heaven.
Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام visited all these places along with Prophet Al-Yasa عليه السلام and finally died at the Jordan river in 849 BC at the age of 51 years.
Some people say that Hazrat Elias عليه السلام is alive and he was taken to the heavens on the Jordan river. However, according to Islamic beliefs, he is dead.