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Allah then adresses Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} in the Quran:

“O Yahya! Hold fast the book, with strength.” And we gave him wisdom while yet s child.

{Surah Maryam,ch-19,Ayat no-12}

His father Zakariya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} was given the glad tidings of the birth of Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}} and then the son is told that he should hold fast book. He was given wisdom while he was yet a child.Abdullah bin Mubarak and Muammar have said that children called Yahya to play with them but he reminded them they were not created to play.


The quran then tells us about Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}, the son of Zakariya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} that he was “tenderness from us” [Allah] implying that Allah thereby showed mercy to Zakariya {ALAIHS SALAAM} and to the child too. It also implies that the child possessed those charactertics in treatment of his parents and in dealing with other people.

He is also described as ‘purity’ meaning purity of character and manner and purity from defects,He was devoted and God -fearing obeying His commands, doing what he allowed and shunning what he disallowed.He was dutiful to his parents not arrogant or rebellious.

There are three times in a person’s life that are most trying and difficult and in each of theses he moves from one world into another.

He loses one after having becomes used to it very well, and he goes into another not knowing what is in store for him there. When he comes into this world after he has to give up where he was, he cries because of the separation.The same story repeats when he has to part with this world and go into world of Barzakh [The intervening period between death and resurrection] and he has to forsake his dwellings and palaces to die and live in a grave. He waits there until the Trumpet is blown for resurrection and The Gathering. There could be happiness waiting for him or sadness.There could be bliss in the paradise or remorse in Hell.

So, when these stages are difficult for the son of Sayyidina Aadam {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}, Allah assured Sayyidina Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} of his peace on the three occasions.

Peace be upon him, the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up alive.

{Surah Maryam,ch-19,Ayat no-15}

Qatadah has quoted Al – Hasan as saying,

‘ Yahya and Isa met each other. Isa said to Yahya, ” Seek forgiveness for me, you are better than me.” But, he said to other, [Nay] you seek forgiveness for me you are better than me.” Then Isa said to him, You are better than me for I invoked peace upon myself but Allah sent peace on you.’ So he knew. May Allah excel them both.”

His charactistics are further described in Surah Aal – Imran as a leader, a chaste one and a prophet. It is said that he is called chaste because he did not approach women and other reasons are also put forth. Anyway, this was the answer to the prayer of his father Zakariya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} when he said,” Great us righteous offspring from Your presence.”

Imam Ahmed has transmitted a Hadith from Ibn Abbas that the messenger of Allah {Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam} said:-

There is not a son of Aadam who has not sinned, but not Yahya bin Zakariya.And it does not behove anyone to say that I am better than Yunus bin Matta. [Ahmad,Hadith no-254,292]

Ibn Wahb has said on the Authority of Ibn Shihab that the Messenger of Allah {Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam} came upon his companions one day while they were remembering the Prophets of Allah.Some said that Musa was Kaleem Allah,others that Isa was Ruh Allah and His words.Yet others said that Ibrahim was Khaleel Allah.He said, “Where is the Shadeed son of Shaheed? He was Hairy,ate plants and feared sin.” {Ibn Asakir [Kaleem Allah is the one who speaks to Allah, Ruh is the spirit of Allah,Khaleel Allah is the friend of Allah.]

Ibrahim ibn Wahb explained that he referred to Yahya bin Zakariya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}.

Sa’ib bin Al- Musayyib has said on the authority of Ibn Al- Aas that he heard the Messenger of Allah { Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam} say: ‘Every son of Aadam will come on the day of Resurrection and he will have sin against him except Yahya bin Zakariya. {Al- Hakim [379]

Similarly ,Abdullah bin Amr said, ”There is no one who will meet Allah with out [his] sin except Yahya bin Zakariya.” This explains the word chaste.He then picked up something from the ground and said, ”It was something like it with him, but then he was slain!”

Ibn Asakir has transmitted from Mu’ammar the Hadith of Ishaq bin Bishr narrated by Ma’s as also Abu Dawood At- Tiyalilsi from Abu Sa’id that the Messenger of Allah {Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam} said, “Hasan and husayn are the chiefs of the youth of paradise except the cousins Yahya and Isa {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} [Al- Hakim [373]. here Ibn kathir has presented an account which he has called Israilite and then a Hadith form Ahmad about five commands and report about the death of Zakariya which we have presented later on.]


Imam Ahmad has said that Allah commanded Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} with five duties. He was asked to command the Banu Isra’il with that. The gist of this is that he had a discussion on that with Isa {ALAIHIS- SALAAM} too. The five were: worship Allah and associate none with him, offer prayer, observe fasting, give charity, and remember him often. The Holy Prophet{ Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam} said, “I command to you five things which Allah has commanded me: maintain religious identity, obey, perform hijrah (migration) and Jihad [ war in the cause of Allah].” {Ahmed [202]},Tirmizi.

Sayyidina Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} perfered solitude to company. He ate leaves of trees and somtimes locusts or grasshoppers and drank the water of springs. He wept much from fear of Allah.

It is reported by Ibn al Mubarak from Wahib Al -Ward that Zakariya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} lost him and could nit fear him for three days, Finally, he found him at graves weeping over himself. He said, ” O son, I have been looking out for you for three day and you here at a grave that you have dug and at which you weep.” Sayyidina Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} said,” O Father! Was it not you informed methat between Paradise and Hell is a desert that cannot be cut across through tears that flow in weeping?” Sayyidina Zakariya { ALAIHIS- SALAAM} affirmed that he said those words and added, “Weep, O son!” and the two of them wept.


There are two opinions on whether Zakariya {ALAIHIS- SALAAM} died a natural death or wad martyned. Boththe opinions come to us from Wahb bin Munabbih.In the first one which he has transmitted from Abdul Munim bin Idris,Zakariya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} is said to have sawed into two pieces when he fled from his people and a tree opened up for him.But, it is also said that this thing happened with Prophet Shay’ ya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}.The other assertion is that he died a natural death.And Allah knows best. [Ibn Kathir has narrated this case after the description of Hasan and Husayn as chiefs of youth of paradise and before the observation of the five duties on Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}.]


Many reasons are advanced for the murder of Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}.The most circulated of them is that a king in Damascus of that time intended to marry a woman who was one of those forbidden by religion because of a relationship [Such relationships are known as Maharim.A man’s mother, sisters, daughters are his Maharim. He can never marry them. Certain other Maharim are by virtue of his marriage to a woman and they include her mother, etc]. Sayyidina Yahya {ALAIHIS -SALAAM} forbade the king from marrying the woman and his displeased her although she did not disclose her displeasure to anyone.

When the king wished to joy her again, she demanded the blood of Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} first. The king acceded to her demanded and got him killed, and his head with blood on it was presented to her in a platter.But she died on the spot when that was done.

There is another version of the same story but the end is that Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} was murdered. {Ibn Kathir has narrated here a story about the prophet {Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam} meeting Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} during the night journey and discussing this issue but has then rejected the story as untenable}

There are also differences of opinion where Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} was murdered.Thawri has said that he murdered at the rock where seventy Prophets were killed.Yahya bin Zakariya was one of them.

Sa’id bin al Musayyib has said that Bakht when he was in Damascus, came across blood boiling. He asked about it and was told that it was the blood of Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM}.In retiation, he killed seventy thousand men of Banu Isra;il, the blood then cooled down.Allah knows best.

Hafiz Asakir has transmitted from Zayd bin Waqid that he saw the head of Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} when they intended to rebuild the mosque in Damascus. It was found under a pillar on the direction of the Qiblah. There had been no alteration or decay on the head and hair. Allah knows best

There is also a version in which Hadad bin Radar king of Damadcus divorced his wife three times. She was queen of Sayda. Then they intended to revoke the divorce but Yahya {ALAIHIS- SALAAM} disallowed that and told them that the women first marry someone else before she can marry the king again {If that second man divorces her after consummating the marriage with her then she may be allowed to the first husband} . This displeased the queen and she demanded that Yahya {ALAIHIS – SALAAM} be killed.

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