THE PROPHET DHUL-KIFL (ISAIH OR KHARQIL BIN THAURI) (peace be upon him)
Dhul-kifl (peace be upon him) was the Prophet of Allah. The Holy Qur’an has made mention of him in the following two Verses:
And Isma’il and Idris and Dhul-kifl; all were men of constancy and patience. We admitted them into out mercy because they were of the righteous ones. (21:85. 86)
And remember Isma’il, Elisha and Dhul-kifl. Each of them was of the company of the good. (38:48)
Al-Baizawi says that he was so called because he had to do double the work of the Prophets of his time.
He is identified with Ezekiel of the Bible who was carried away to Babylon after the destruction of Jerusalem. He was chained and imprisoned. He bore all hardships with patience and continued reproving the evil sin the Bani Israel. Ibn Jarir, an interpreter has narrated an event which throws some light on his life. When Al-Yasa (peace be upon him) grew old, he wished to appoint a suitable person as his successor to guide the Israelites. He declared: Only that person will be considered competent to become his successor who observes fast during the day remembers Allah throughout the night and refrains from flying into a rage. One among the crowd stood up and said: (I will adhere to all these conditions. The Prophet Al-Yasa (peace be upon him) repeated these conditions thrice and the same person promised solemnly to fulfil the conditions. Thereupon he was appointed as a vicegerent.
After some time he was subjected to a trial. One day the Satan in the disguise of an old man knocked at his door. He was allowed to get in. The visitor lodged a complaint against the cruel treatment of the people towards him. The vicegerent directed him to come in the evening. He assured the visitor that all his grievances shall be redressed. He promised but did not turn up at the appointed time. Next day he came again and complained as usual. The vicegerent commanded him to come in the evening. He made a solemn promise to come but did not abide by it. On the third day he came again and knocked at the door but it was not opened. The Satan in the disguise of an old man managed to slip into the room and presented himself before the vicegerent. He was wonder-struck at the sudden appearance of the old man. The vicegerent interrogated the visitor. He admitted that he was Iblis who assumed the likeness of an old man and was trying to enrage him. He endeavoured to make him back out of his promise but failed in his mission. Thereupon the vicegerent became known as Dhul-kifl because he maintained his solemn promise with the Prophet Al-Yasa (peace be upon him). He refrained from losing temper though the Satan left no stone unturned to annoy him. Soon after Allah chose him as His Prophet.
He commanded the Israelites to wage holy war against those who made mischief on the earth and opposed the religion of Allah. His followers, the Israelites refused to carry out his orders because they were afraid of death. As a retaliation for the utter disobedience of the Commandment of Allah and His Prophet, most of the people were overtaken by calamity. Plague broke out and numerous people died miserably. They deserted their houses in terror and ran away to save their lives. When they covered some distance, they heard a dreadful sound and the death prevailed over them. None remained alive to bury them. The corpses were putrefied in the scorching heat of the sun. The Prophet Dhul-kifl (peace be upon him) came out of the seclusion after seven days. He was overwhelmed with grief to see the predicament of his followers and supplicated: O’ Allah! You have perished my followers. Take pity on them and give them a new life. Allah granted the prayer of His Prophet, the dead persons regained their lives. The Holy Qur’an Affirms:
Have you not thought on those who quitted their dwellings–and they were thousands for fear of death. Allah said to them: Die! Then He restored them to life, for full of bounty towards man is Allah. But most men give not thanks. (2: 280)
Afterwards the Prophet Dhul-kifl (peace be upon him) left his followers and migrated to Babylon. He died there.