Quran mentions Zulkifl, which literally means possessor of or giving double portion or requital or one who uses a cloak O double thickness.


“And Ishmael, Idris and Zulkifl were very patient and We covered them with Our Mercy, indeed they were amongst the virtuous people. ”

(S1 21.V 34-35)



“And think of Ishmael, Elisha and Zulkifl, each of them was of the company of righteous ones.”

(S: 38, V: 48)


It is said that when Elisha grew old, he gathered the children of Israel and told that assembly of men that he wanted to appoint his successor and heir. And that he would take the one who would promise him three things. That he would fast in the day, keep vigil in the night to worship God and would never get angry.


Listening to these terms only one young man stood up from all those who were present there. And said, “I will!” Elisha dismissed the assembly. Next day he once again called them and repeated his three conditions for nominating his heir and predecessor. The same man stood up again and said, “I will!” Elisha said to him, “Are you sure that you would be able to fulfill all these three conditions?” That man nodded in positive. Elisha dismissed the assembly without saying anything further- The third time again that same man stood up and offered himself. Elisha appointed him to be his heir and successor.


Worried Satan


It was the routine of Zulkifl to have a nap only once in the afternoon through the day and night and refrained from showing his temper. This grieved Satan and he kept a watch over him. One day the Satan approach Zulkifl disguising himself as an old wretched man at the time of his nap. Satan knocked at the door. He answered the door personally and Satan started telling him his story of miseries and cruelty of others and prolonged his narration till the time of Zulkifl nap was over. He told him to come in the evening. Satan went away with a promise to come in the evening but did not turn up. Next day exactly when Zulkifl was about to doze off, he again came and engaged him in his vain gab so much so that his time of nap was again over. He again told him to come in the evening and he again did not turn up. Third day again exactly when he lied down, he knocked at the door. ‘  Zulkifl had instructed his family not to disturb him no matter what might happen or whosoever might come, so they forbid him and told him that he might come later on. But he insisted that he had an appointment with him so he should be allowed to see Zulkifl. But they refused him. And when he failed in his every effort, using his devilish powers, he entered the room where Zulkifl was resting. When he awakened Zulkifl, he immediately realized as to who he was and what his actual purpose was. So he asked the Satan, “Aren’t you the Satan?” He said, “Yes, I am Lucifer, despite all my efforts I couldn’t trick you to fall away from the right path nor could I mislead you to make you unable to keep your promise of not ever getting angry. But alas, I couldn’t succeed.”


After this incident he was given the title of Zulkifl.


Point to note:


Moral of this story is that Satan is our enemy and he tries to trick the prophets and attempts to mislead them. Zulkifl used to retire for a nap. Satan had planned that if he would disturb his sleep, he would certainly get exited and in that state of excitement he would not be able to keep _his.prom1se of not getting angry. But when he couldn’t succeed in his plan he forced his way into his chamber using his evil powers. Since it was not possible for anybody to get into the closed doors, Zulkifl recognized him and inquired him if it wasn’t the Satan. And, thus the evil trick of the devil fell apart and caused embarrassment for him and thus God protected His friend.


When the three conditions, which Elisha had laid down, are deliberated upon, one concludes:



1)        God has said, “I am the reward for that who fasts for Me.” That is, the senses of the fasting person become so sharp and delicate that he can witness the Beatific Vision of God Almighty.


2)        The person who keeps vigil and remains awake in the night gets the opportunity of becoming closer to God. Holy Prophet (PBUH) was directed in Surah Muzzammil to keep himself directed towards God and to recite from the holy Quran in the night.


3)        It is the holy Command of God, “And, those who refrain from getting angry and excuse others, God loves such kind people. This can also be inferred from this dictum that God loves not those who get angry or lose their temper.