Prophet Yahya alaihissalam ibn Zakariya alaihissalam was the only Prophet sent to Bani Israels who was named by ALLAH SWT itself. The name Yahya means “Life” as He gave life to His mother’s barren womb. ALLAH SWT gave him the most unique name which nobody ever had. It is mentioned in the Quran: His name shall be Yaḥya, no none by that name have We conferred distinction before” (Quran 19:7).
Prophet Yahaya possessed the most magnificent characters and qualities since his childhood. He used his time wisely reading and worshipping ALLAH in seclusion inside his Chamber, unlike other kids who played and wandered around uselessly. He never cared about food or comfort. It is reported that Yahya alaihissalam used to feed animals from his food and ate leaves and fruits from trees himself. He slept anywhere in open areas, caves, mountains. It is said that the endangered animals would easily recognize Him as He used to feed them and care for them. They never harmed Him and they would leave the cave bowing their head if Yahya alaihissalam was praying inside.
Even as a child, Yahya alaihissalam excelled in reading and understanding the religious scripture. He used to spend his nights weeping and praying ALLAH SWT and called people to worship the One true God and to repent and leave their wrongdoings.
Prophet Zakariya alaihisslam, Yahya alaihissalam, Maryam alaihissalam, and Isa alaihissalam are closely linked to each other by relations.
Prophet Yahaya alaihissalam is mentioned 5 times in the Holy Quran in 5 verses, describing his kindness, modesty, and sincerity.
And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias – and all were of the righteous (Quran 19:7)
ALLAH SWT granted Yahya alaihissalam with great wisdom and understanding of the religion and He was one of the most knowledgeable men during that time. He was very focused and used to guide people towards the teachings of ALLAH SWT and to worship ALLAH alone from a very early age. He was extremely humble and dutiful towards his parents and was protected by ALLAH SWT from sinful things.
ALLAH says in Quran: And he (Yahya)was good to his parents, and he was not oppressive (or) disobedient(Quran 19:14)
Prophet Yahya alaihissalam was given the Prophethood at a very young age. Once, while He was reading/praying in solitude, He received the revelation.
ALLAH SWT said: “O Yahya, (John) take the Book powerfully.” And We brought him judgment (when) a young boy (Quran 12:19)
It is stated by Ibn Mubarak that Wahb Ibn Al-Ward narrates an incident when Yahya alaihissalam was missing for three days. Zakariya alaihissalam searched for his beloved son everywhere and found Him weeping inside a grave dug by Yahya alaihissalam himself. He said, “My son, I have been looking for you, and you are dwelling in this grave weeping!” “O father, did you not tell me that between Paradise and Hell is only a span, and it will not be crossed except by tears of weepers?” Father then said to him: “Weep then, my son.” Then they both wept together.
In some other narrations, it is mentioned that Yahya alaihissalam said: “The dwellers of Paradise are sleepless out of the sweetness of Allah’s bounty; that is why the faithful must be sleepless because of Allah’s love in their hearts. How far between the two luxuries, how far between them?” They say Yahya alaihissalam cried so much that his cheeks got permanent tear marks.
Some reports mention, on one occasion, Yahya alaihissalam was missing and His parents found him sitting in the River Jordan, weeping and pray ALLAH the exalted. He told his parents that the people of Jannah never sleep from the pleasure of Allah that they received. How can he now sleep, not knowing if he had attained the pleasure of Allah?
Such was His obedience and great devotion to ALLAH SWT.
Prophet Yahya alaihissalam was one of the exalted and honorable Prophets with the most unique characteristics.
ALLAH SWT says in Quran: So Peace on him the day he was born the day that he dies and the day that he will be raised to life (again)! (Quran 19:15)
During the time of the Prophethood of Yahya alaihissalam, there was a tyrant ruler of Palestine named Herod Antipas who wanted to divorce His first wife and marry his beautiful niece named Salome. It said that his niece was extremely attractive and graceful. This illegitimate marriage was encouraged by Salome’s mother other people as well out of fear of the king or to gain favors in the eyes of the king.
When Prophet Yahya alaihissalam came to know about this news, He completely resisted this incestuous marriage as it is prohibited in Islam and unlawful according to Torat.
When Salome came to know that Yahya alaihissalam is making people aware of this prohibition, she realized that this can obstruct their marriage as she was greedy for the kingdom. Then she decided to get rid of Yayha alaihissalam. She tried her best to seduce the king until He told her to do anything to get married to her. The ruthless Salome then asked Him the head of Yahya alaihissalam served to her in a platter. She said: “I would love to have the head of Yahya because he has defiled your honor and mine throughout the land. If you grant me this wish, I shall be very happy and will offer myself to you.”
The king agreed to her wish and sent his people to decapitate the Prophet and His head was served in a platter to Salome. She was delighted at her victory but ALLAH SWT destroyed their entire kingdom in retribution for his beloved Prophet Yahya alaihissalam.
ALLAH SWT gives Him salam in each of the three stages of life that is His birth, His death, and His resurrection.
ALLAH the Almighty mentions in the Quran: So Peace on him the day he was born the day that he dies and the day that he will be raised to life (again)! (Quran 19:15)