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Elias (a)

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Elias (a)
Name in
the Qur'an:
Elias
Name in
the Bible:
Elijah
Place(s) of
Residence:
Baalbek
Name of People: Israelites
Before: Al-Yasa'
After: Hizqiyal
Well known
Relatives:
Prophet Harun (a)
Religion: monotheism
Repeat in
the Qur'an:
3 times

Elias b. Yasin (a) (Arabic: إلياس بن ياسين) or Elijah known as the Prophet Elijah (a) was among the Prophets of Israelites, whose name is mentioned in the Qur'an.

He became a prophet at the time of Ahab, a king of Israelites. Elias (a) was given the mission to prevent people from idol-worshipping. After he (a) was disappointed about guiding his people, asked God for his own death; but God sent him a chariot by which he (a) ascended to skies and left al-Yasa' (Elisha) as his vicegerent.

Identity

Elias b. Yasin b. Finhas (a)[1] was among the prophets of Israelites[2] and in the progeny of Prophet Harun (a).[3] His name has been mentioned in the Qur'an once as "Il Yasin"[4] and the second time as "Elias (a)".[5][6] In some Islamic sources, the identity of Elias (a) is confused with Khidr (a) and some hadiths considered them as one person.[7]

After Prophet Hizqiyal (a) passed away, Elias (a) became the prophet.[8] He had the mission to invite his people who lived in Baalbek to monotheism, obeying God and abandoning the sins.[9] His main task was to fight with idol-worshipping which the king of Israelites, Ahab and his wife, Jezebel had spread.[10]

In the Bible, Elias (a) is mentioned as "Elijah". Most stories in the Bible which describe Elias (a) are also mentioned in Islamic hadiths with some differences; events such as the curse of Israelites with drought by Elias (a),[11] healing Al-Yasa' by Elias (a)[12] and fighting with Ahab.[13]

According to many Islamic sources and the Bible, Elias (a) is alive and ascended to skies.[14] However, Ibn Kathir did not accept these hadiths and considered them among Isr'iliyat.[15] In Mu'jam al-buldan, Yaqut al-Hamawi mentioned a grave for Elias (a) in Baalbek.[16]

Prophethood

Elias (a) became a prophet during the rule of Ahab, a king of Israelites.[17] Ahab and his wife, Jezebel led people toward idol-worshipping.[18] Elias (a) began to fight with them and prohibited Israelites from idol-worshipping. After he faced persistence of his people for many years, cursed them with drought and people were inflicted with starvation.[19]

By the passage of time, drought spread and many died. When they saw themselves inflicted, regretted their past deeds, turned to Elias (a), and accepted his invitation.[20] Then, due to the prayer of Elias (a) a heavy rain came and the land was satiated; however, after a while, people forgot their covenant with God and returned to idol-worshipping. When Elias (a) saw this, asked God for his own death; but, God sent him a chariot of fire and he ascended to the skies and chose Al-Yasa' who was his pupil as his vicegerent.[21]

Notes

  1. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 273.
  2. Ashʿarī, al-Maqālāt wa l-firaq, p. 173.
  3. Ṣadīq Ḥasan Khān, Fatḥ al-bayān, vol. 5, p. 594.
  4. Qurʾān, 37:130.
  5. Qurʾān, 6:85; 37:123.
  6. Most exegetes considered Il Yasin another name for Elias (a) based on the context of the verse. (See: Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Sawa'iq al-muhriqa, p. 148-149; al-Tusi, al-Tibyan, vol. 8, p. 523-534).
  7. Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, al-Iṣāba, vol. 1, p. 261.
  8. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 273.
  9. Ashʿarī, al-Maqālāt wa l-firaq, p. 173.
  10. Maqdisī, al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh, vol. 3, p. 99; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 713.
  11. Kings 1, chapter 17.
  12. Kings 2, Chapter 2.
  13. Kings 1, chapter 18.
  14. Kings 2, Chapter 2; Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāwandī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, vol. 2, p. 119; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 274.
  15. Ibn Kathīr, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, vol. 2, p. 243.
  16. Yāqūt al-Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 1, p. 454.
  17. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 273.
  18. Maqdisī, al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh, vol. 3, p. 99.
  19. Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 23, p. 59-60; Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 223.
  20. Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 23, p. 59-60. Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 223.
  21. Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 23, p. 59-60. Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ, p. 223.

References

  • Ashʿarī, Saʿd b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Al-Maqālāt wa l-firaq. Edited by Muḥammad Jawād Mashkūr. Second edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i ʿIlmī wa Farhangī, 1360 Sh.
  • Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Al-Iṣāba fī tamyīz al-ṣaḥāba. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1415 AH.
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. Edited by Muṣṭafā ʿAbd al-Wāḥid. Cairo: Maṭbaʿat Dār al-Taʾlīf, 1388 AH.
  • Maqdisī, Muṭahhar b. Ṭāhir al-. Al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh. Port Said: al-Maktaba al-Thiqāfa al-Dīnīyya, [n.d].
  • Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāwandī, Saʿīd b. Hibat Allāh. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. Qom: Maktabat al-ʿAllāma al-Majlisī, 1430 AH.
  • Ṣadīq Ḥasan Khān. Fatḥ al-bayān fī maqāṣid al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1420 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Jāmiʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Qom: Maktab al-Aʿlām al-Islāmī, 1409 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Second edition. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1408 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1406 AH.
  • Thaʿlabī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. Port Said: al-Maktaba al-Thiqāfa al-Dīnīyya, [n.d].
  • Yāqūt al-Ḥamawī. Muʿjam al-buldān. Second edition. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, 1995.