Table of Contents
Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets out of which one was Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام, the son of Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام and Rebecca.
- Biblical name: Prophet Jacob or Prophet Israel.
- Father: Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام.
- Son: Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام.
- Grandfather: Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام.
Prophet Yaqub Birth
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام was born in 1836 BC in present-day Palestine as a twin and died in 1689 BC at the age of 147 years. Esau (his brother) was the first to be born with Yaqub following, holding his heel.
In 1897 BC, almost 61 years before his birth, Allah had given the good news of the birth of Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام to his grandfather Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام.
We gave her good news of ˹the birth of˺ Isaac, and, after him, Yaqub. – Hud 11:71
Prophet Yaqub in Quran
The name of Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام is mentioned 16 times in the Holy Quran at different places. Allah talks about 3 generations of Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام, Isaac, and Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام at so many places together.
Fight between Yaqub and Esau
The twins grew up very differently. Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام was a quiet man, staying among the tents and his mother’s favorite. Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the open country” and his father’s favorite.
When the time came for Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام to bestow his blessing on his sons, Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام and his mother Rebecca contrived to deceive Isaac (due to his weak eye-sight) into blessing Yaqub in Esau’s place.
When Esau found that his blessings had been given to Yaqub, he threatened to kill his brother. Upon this, his mother advised him to travel to her brother Laban’s house in Haran (present-day Turkey), until Esau’s anger subsided.
- Haran village in Turkey location.
Prophet Yaqub Dream
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام traveled to Haran in 1761 BC when he was 75 years old. On the way to Haran, he slept (on the present-day Masjid al-Aqsa) and saw a dream of a ladder, or staircase, reaching into heaven with angels going up and down it. He also heard the voice of Allah coming from the top of the ladder sending blessings upon him.
When Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام woke up, he was so happy that he pledged to Allah that he will make this place a house to worship Allah and continue to donate 1/10th of his wealth.
Prophet Yaqub Marriages
Laban had two daughters Leah and Rachel. Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام liked his maternal uncle Laban’s younger daughter Rachel as she was more beautiful.
He asked for her hand and his uncle agreed in an exchange for working for 7 years on his farms as a shepherd which he accepted.
In 1754 BC, after 7 years, when Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام was 82 years old, Laban married him to his elder daughter Leah instead of Rachel. Later, Laban justified it by saying that in their tradition, they do not give a younger daughter before an older one.
- Laban had gifted a slave girl Bilhah to Leah.
Laban agreed to give Rachel in marriage as well if Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام would work another 7 years which he agreed. He married Rachel within a month of that and continued working for Laban for the next 7 years. At that time, it was allowed for a man to marry two sisters.
- Laban had gifted a slave girl Zilpah to Rachel.
12 sons of Prophet Yaqub
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام was blessed with 12 sons and 1 daughter.
Leah gave birth to 4 sons one by one Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah while Rachel remained barren.
Upon this, Rachel offered her slave girl Bilhah to Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام who gave birth to Dan and Naphtali.
Following her sister, Leah offered her slave girl Zilpah to Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام who gave birth to Gad and Asher.
After that, Leah became fertile again and gave birth to Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah. Dinah was the only daughter of Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام.
Finally, Rachel gave birth to two children Yusuf عليه السلام and Benjamin.
- Reuben Ibn Yaqub – mother Leah.
- Simeon Ibn Yaqub – mother Leah.
- Levi Ibn Yaqub – mother Leah. Prophet Musa and Prophet Harun were born in the 4th generation of Levi Ibn Yaqub from his son Azar.
- Judah Ibn Yaqub – mother Leah.
- Dan Ibn Yaqub – mother Bilhah.
- Naphtali Ibn Yaqub – mother Bilhah.
- Gad Ibn Yaqub – mother Zilpah.
- Asher Ibn Yaqub – mother Zilpah.
- Issachar Ibn Yaqub – mother Leah.
- Zebulun Ibn Yaqub – mother Leah.
- Yusuf Ibn Yaqub was born in 1747 BC – mother Rachel.
- Benjamin was born in 1740 BC – mother Rachel.
- Dinah bint Yaqub (daughter) – mother Leah.
Yaqub became Israel
In 1741 BC, after spending 20 years in Haran, Allah instructed Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام to migrate back to Canaan to his home where Prophet Ishaq and his Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام and his brother Esau were living.
At the age of 97 years, Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام left with his 11 sons and a daughter to Canaan. On his way to Canaan at the time of Fajr when Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام was all alone, a mysterious man (angel) appeared and the two wrestled until daybreak.
When the man saw that he did not overpower Yaqub, he touched the sinew of his thigh. As a result, Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام developed a limp.
After that, the man told him from this day onwards, your name is Israel (one that struggled with the divine angel). At that time Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام realized that he was an angel.
Prophet Yaqub welcomed Esau
In the morning, they met Esau who came with 400 horsemen. Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام performed Sajda to him 7 times. He was scared that Esau will take revenge on him for what happened 20 years ago.
However, he came down from his horse, hugged him, and asked about his wives and children. All his children and wives performed Sajda to Esau. At that time, it was allowed to perform Sajda to others out of respect. Esau and his men lead them to Palestine.
Settlement in Shechem
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام then arrived in Shechem, where he bought a parcel of land and constructed a house of Allah there which is known today as Prophet Yusuf’s tomb. Shechem is the biblical name of the city of Nablus in Israel today.
- Prophet Yusuf’s tomb location.
Kidnapping of her daughter
In Shechem, Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام daughter Dinah was kidnapped and raped by the ruler’s son, who desired to marry the girl.
Simeon Ibn Yaqub and Levi Ibn Yaqub permitted marriage as long as all the men of Shechem first circumcised themselves.
On the third day after the circumcisions, when all the men were still in pain, Simeon and Levi put them all to death by the sword and rescued their sister Dinah.
After that, Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام moved to Bethel, the place where he dreamed of a ladder. Later on, Masjid al-Aqsa was constructed in this place.
In 1740 BC, Rachel gave birth to their son Benjamin Ibn Yaqub but could not survive the labor pain and died. Rachel was buried in Jeruselum.
- Rachel’s Tomb location.
Prophet Yusuf Dream
In 1735 BC when Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام was 12 years old, he saw a dream which has been narrated in the Holy Quran.
Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام told his father: I dreamt of 11 stars, and the sun, and the moon—I saw them prostrating to me. – Yusuf 12:4
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام said: Do not relate your vision to your brothers, or they will devise a plot against you. – Yusuf 12:5
In Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام dream, the 11 stars represent his 11 brothers, and the sun and the moon represent his father and mother.
Yaqub’s love for Yusuf
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام used to love Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام and his brother Benjamin more than the other brothers. There could be many reasons for that such as;
- They were both born of Rachel who was Yaqub’s, first love.
- Rachel had died at the birth of Benjamin.
- Both of them were the youngest.
- He knew that Yusuf is going to be a prophet.
Brother threw Yusuf into a well
The 10 brothers of Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام were jealous of him so they thought to kill him and send him to a distant place to attract the attention of their father.
One of his brothers (either Reuben, Simeon, or Judah) opposed killing him and suggested throwing him in the depth of a well so perhaps he may be picked up by some travelers. – Yusuf 12:10
In 1730 BC, when Yusuf was 17 years old, they approached their father and convinced him to send Yusuf with them to play. They took him with them and threw him in a well which is called Jubb Yusuf today. Jubb Yusuf is located near Ami’ad in Galilee, Israel.
- Jubb Yusuf location.
After throwing him into the well, they went back to Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام and told him that a wolf killed Yusuf. They stained Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام shirt with blood from a sheep but forgot to tear his shirt. So Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام became suspicious when he saw the intact shirt.
Actually, Allah saved him, and later Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام became the Minister of Finance of Egypt.
Prophet Ishaq Death
Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام came to Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام and got settled in the place called Hebron today.
Isaac عليه السلام died in 1716 BC at the age of 180 years and got buried in the cave of the Patriarchs along with many of his family members including Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام, Sara عليه السلام, and his wife Rebecca.
Hazrat Yaqub عليه السلام and Esau both were present at the time of the burial of Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام.
- Prophet Isaac Grave location.
Yusuf dream came true
In 1706 BC, the entire family went to Egypt along with Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام, Yusuf raised his parents to the throne, and they all fell down in prostration to Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام.
Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام said: “O my dear father! This is the interpretation of my old dream. My Lord has made it come true.” – Yusuf 12:100
In this way, Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام met his son Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام after almost 24 years in 1706 BC. At that time, Prophet Yaqub was 130 years old while Yusuf was 41 years old.
Prophet Yaqub Grave
Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام died in 1689 BC at the age of 147 years in present-day Egypt.
Later on, Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام took him to Palestine for the burial and got him buried in the cave of the Patriarchs (Palestine) along with many of his family members including Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام, Isaac عليه السلام, and his mother Rebecca.
- Hazrat Yaqub Grave location.