Resulting the prayer of Zechariah, god blessed him with Yahya. God suggested this name and told that before him nobody had this name. In the Gospels his name is given as John, the Baptist, because he baptized.
”O Zechariah! We give thee good news of a son: his name shall be Yahya: on none by that name have We conferred distinction before.”
(S: 19, V: 7)
Yahyah had an inborn quest of God and, worshipped God from the core of his soul and heart. God had blessed him with knowledge in his childhood. He was a forerunner of ‘Jesus Christ. He gave the news of coming of an apostle and prepared the people to receive him with open minds and hearts.
While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him.‘ "God doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from God, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet of the goodly company of the righteous."
(S: 3,V: 39)
God commanded him to follow the Law of Moses and to guide the people in the light of the same. Even from his childhood he was a different child. When the other children of his age wanted him to join them in their games, he used to say, “God has not brought me here to play.
"O Yahya! Take hold of the Book with might”: and We gave him Wisdom even as a youth, and piety for all creatures as from Us, and purity.’ He was devout, and kind to his parents, and he was not overbearing or rebellious. So Peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life again!
(S: 19,V: 12-15)
Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been reported saying that God had commanded Yahya to act upon ﬁve things and to preach them to the people of Israel.
It took him some time to start preaching those ﬁve things that God had commanded him to do and preach. Jesus Christ said, “If you allow me brother, I’ll preach those things to the people of ' Israel, for which you are delaying.”
Yahya replied, “My brother, If I allowed you, I fear that wrath of God would be upon me so I proceed.”
He gathered the people of Israel in the Holy Temple and addressed them: O people listen to me. Lord has commanded me to act upon five things and ask you too to act upon them, and these five things are:
First of them is that you should not serve anyone except your Lord God nor do you appoint any partner to Him because such a person is like that slave whom his master purchased from his money and now if that slave gives his earnings to someone else. Would anyone like to be such a slave of his master? When God has created you and provides you with all that you require to sustain, then you are, also required to serve Him alone and don’t hold partners to him.
Second thing, which God commands you, is to worship Him wholeheartedly and faithfully, that is, remain attentive towards Him with your fullest concentration and undivided attention because when you would not be distracted during your prayers, I-le will also remain attentive towards you with His mercy and kindness.
Third thing, which God commands you, is to fast for Him because fasting person is like the one who has musk and when he is sitting in the company of his friends they too will be amusing from the aroma of that musk.
Fourth thing, which God commands you, is to give charity from the earnings of your hand because one who gives charity is like the one who is caught by his enemies and when the enemies after tying him with ropes are taking him to slay him and in that hopelessness, if he says, “Is it possible that you people take my money and spare my life?’ And, when his offer is accepted he gives away everything to save his life.
And, the fifth thing, which God commands you, is to keep God in your remembrance and mention Him day and night as often as possible because a person who remembers is like the one who is running away from his enemy and the enemy is after him and runs into a strong fortress to seek refuge from his enemy. Indeed for combating the eternal enemy like Satan getting busy in chanting the holy name of God is like taking refuge in a strong fort. If a person remembers God, God also remembers him and if a person forsakes Him, He also forsakes him.
Most of Yahaya’s life was spent in the desert and he remained secluded in jungles. Word of God was delivered unto him in a jungle and he started preaching in the vicinity of the River Jordan and gave the tiding of coming of Jesus Christ. . The word of God "came unto John, the son of Zechariah in the Wilderness and became into all the country about Jordan, Preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of the sins.
(Gospel of St. Luke Ch: 3, 2-3)
John, the Baptist had such a tender heart and soul that tears had leﬁ their marks on his cheeks. Once when Zechariah searching aﬁer him reached a jungle and saw him in tears, he said to his son, “We feel concerned for you and you are sitting here in tears.”
The son replied, “Father once you had told me that between the hell and the heaven there is a wilderness, which cannot be crossed, if it is not socked with tears shed in God’ remembrance and without mourning for ones sin’s one cannot enter the heaven.”
Hodad Ben Hadar; King of Damascus, divorced his wife and after some time when he wanted a reunion, he asked Yahya as to what does the Law say. Yahya said. “No you cannot! She is forbidden for you.“ This judgment offended the queen more than her husband and she turned against him and eventually she persuaded the king to decree the murder of Yahya.
When Yahya was busy in worshipping his God in the temple of Hebron, he was slain and his head was presented to the queen. Even in that condition, the head lying in the tray was saying, “No, you are forbidden for the king."
In that afﬂiction from God seized her and the earth swallowed her.
According to a legend, the blood kept on oozing from his body until the Nebuchadnezzar had not conquered Damascus and killed seventy thousand people of that city.
As to those who deny the Signs of God and in deﬁance of right, slay the prophets, and slay those who teach just dealing with mankind, announce to them a grievous penalty. (S: 3,V: 21)
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