THE PROPHET YAHYA (peace be upon him)
Yahya (John the Baptist) was the son of Prophet Zakariyya (peace be upon him). His birth was a miracle because. He was born of a barren mother and an aged father. In the fagging part of life Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) prayed to Allah to bless him with a son who could prove to be a successful heir and preacher of the religion of Allah. His prayer was promptly granted. The Holy Qur’an says:
“0′ Zakariya! Lo! We bring you a glad tidings of a son whose name is Yahya. We have given the same name to none before him.” (19: 7)
The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) was dedicated to the noble work of leading men to the path of salvation. He exhorted his people to have unstinted faith in God. He moved among the humble and despised sofe raiment. He was not arrogant. He spent most of his life in wilderness. He was pure and devout. He was dutiful towards his parents. The Holy Qur’an says:
“(And it was said unto his son) 0′ John! Hold fast the scripture. And We gave him wisdom when he was a child! And compassion from Our presence and punity, and he was devout. And dutiful towards his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious. Peace on him the day he was born and the day he dies and the day he shall be raised alive.” (19: 12-15)
The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) moved to the desert of Judea. He dressed himself in a robe made of camel hair. He ate simple food and wild honey. His sermons were most impressive and people flocked to hear his trumpet message. The whole of the Jordan valley was baptised due to his preaching. The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) was the precursor of Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ). He was his cousin and contemporary as well. His fidelity to his mission as a preacher soon deprived him of his liberty and subsequently his life.
The Roman Ruler Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee. He had an adulterous relations with Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip. The Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) reproached him for this grave sin. Herod Antipas got annoyed and imprisoned him till his execution. Once Herod Antipas arranged a grand feast. Herodias allowed her daughter, Salome to dance. The Ruler was fascinated with the performance of the dancing girl. He declared that he would grant whatever Salome wanted. She immediately made a demand for the head of Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him). Herod was in a fix what to do. He had no alternative to adhere to his words. So Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) was beheaded at the instigation of the mother of that girl with whom Herod was infatuated. His grave is in Umayyah Mosque in Syria.