It is stated by Mohammad ibn Ishaaq that Prophet Hizqeel alaihissalam succeeded the Israelis as a prophet after Prophet yusha Alaihissalam. Though Prophet Hizqeel alaihissalam is not mentioned in the Quran by his name, however, ALLAH SWT mentioned him in the Holy Quran in surah Al-Baqarah.
The literal meaning of Hizqeel is Might of ALLAH SWT.
As we all know from the story of Prophet Musa alaihissalam about the stubbornness of the Bani Israel and the struggles of Prophet Musa alaihissalam and other Prophets in guiding them to the right path. Despite witnessing many signs of ALLAH SWT, they were disbelievers. Due to their perseverance of not believing in ALLAH SWT, they were punished with plague and were dying in huge numbers. Ibn Abbas states that the place was called “Damardan”.
Fearing death, the people of Israel fled towards mountains far away from the afflicted city and settled on a plateau. Their ignorance did not let them realize that no one can escape ALLAH SWT’s punishment and they thought they would survive. Some of them remained in the city and they all died due to the plague.
ALLAH SWT commanded to all those who fled from Palestine for the fear of death “die you all” and all of them perished at once. It is said that they were dead for almost 800 years.
ALLAH SWT mentions in the Quran:
“Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, ‘Die.’ And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men think not.” (Al-Baqarah:243).
After a few centuries, Prophet Hizqeel alaihissalam passed by the dead bodies which turned into boned scattered everywhere. He stood there wondering and then heard a voice. ALLAH SWT asked him “do you want to witness how I can bring them back the dead ones to life?” Prophet Hizqeel alaihissalam said yes!
Then ALLAH SWT commanded him to say “Call: ‘O you bones, Allah commands you to put on flesh and blood and the clothes in which you died.'”
And a voice said: “Allah commands you to call the bodies to rise.” And they immediately rose. When they returned to life they said: “Blessed are You, O Lord, and all praises are Yours.”
This incident shows how we all will be returned to life after death on the day of judgment. The people who returned to life thanked ALLAH SWT and accepted the true religion Islam, however, they later deviated from the true path as they have always been doing and started worshiping idols again.
It is not mentioned for how long Prophet Hizqeel alaihissalam lived before ALLAH SWT took him away.
Umar Ibn Al-Khattab reports that Prophet Muhammad SAW said: “If it (plague) be in a country where you are staying, do not go out fleeing it, and if you hear it is in a country, do not enter it.”.