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Zacharias and John (PUT)
Zacharias was mentioned many times in holy Quran in many chapters like: Âl-`Imrân, Al-An`âm, Mariam, and Al-Anbiyâ'. He was married to Ishâ` (Elisabeth) the daughter of `Imrân (Amram) ben Mâþân, the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus (PUH) as it was mentioned. He asked God to give him a good son and that was when he saw the virtues of Mary the daughter of Amram and how God did take care of her, and he used to take care of her and guarded her among all of the Israelites, because it was vowed that she would be a servant for the holy House or Temple as her story was told by holy Quran by saying: (Remember) when the wife of 'Imran said: My Lord! I have vowed unto Thee that which is in my belly as a consecrated (offering). Accept it from me. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower!(Âl-`Imrân:35), and the details will come in their place by God's will.
It might be that the name of Amram's wife was Hannah and she gave birth for Elisabeth, the wife of Zacharias and the mother of John and then to Mary the mother of Jesus (PUT), and Zacharias had no children and he got so old and his wife was barren, and she was the sister of Mary the daughter of Amram as we mentioned before. Amram had a brother that was called Jacob ben Mâþân, and the children of Mâþân at that time were the leaders of the Israelites and they were the children of the kings and descendants of Solomon ben David (PUH), and Zacharias was the archpriest and he took care of gifts and vows that were made for the Temple and received them, and they argued with him about Mary and whether he is the one that should take care of her and he was the one to take care of her because he was appointed to take the vows made for the Temple and she was vowed with for the Temple and because he is the husband of her sister Elisabeth the daughter of Amram, but they didn't accept that and decided to make a lot, and God said: Thou wast not present with them when they threw their pens (to know) which of them should be the guardian of Mary, nor wast thou present with them when they quarrelled (thereupon)(Âl-`Imrân:44).
It is mentioned that Hannah the wife of Amram when she gave birth to Mary, she covered with vlothes and carried her to the Temple and she gave her to the rabbis and said: take the one that was vowed to be for the Temple, and when they looked at her and they knew that she is the daughter of their master, they struggled and competed for which one of them shall take care of her, and we've pointed out that the children of Mâþân were the leaders of the Israelites and their kings, and then Zacharias said: I am the one to take care of her, and we've mentioned before the reasons for his right, but they denied to do so except by a lot, and they were twenty seven rabbis, and they walked to the nearest river they had and that was the Jordan river, and they threw their pens, but all pens were drowned except that one of Zacharias and so Zacharias took care of her, and he made a house for her and appointed a maid to serve her, and he checked her from time to time until she grew up and she stopped using the maid to help her and took care of herself alone, and every time he was to get into her champer of praying, he would find a gift with her, so he asked: from where you got this? and so she answered: this is from God, He gives whoever He wants without an account for it.
it is narrated that when she grew up and used to pray in her praying champer, the champer would be enlightened by her halo, and when Zacharias visited her he did find the fruit of winter with her in summer time, and the fruit of the summer during winter, so he asked her: from where you got this? and she answered: it is from God, and then he prayed to God saying: My Lord! Bestow upon me of Thy bounty goodly offspring, meaning a good blessed son as You gave Hannah and her husband Amram Mary, and then the angels called him while he was standing for praying in his champer: Allah giveth thee glad tidings of (a son whose name is) John, (who cometh) to confirm a word from Allah lordly, chaste, a prophet of the righteous..etc(Âl-`Imrân:39), and lordly meaning that he will overcome his people and be their master, and without a doubt he was the lord of his people in every good thing and never did a sin, and he was the leader of all of those who obey God, and chaste because he kept his much so far away from entertainements and lusts.
It is narrated that once he passed by some kids when he was a kid and they were playing and so they invited him to play with them and he answered them: not created for playing, and he never came to women, and God mentioned the will of his father Zacharias by: Oh, give me from Thy presence a successor Who shall inherit of me and inherit (also) of the house of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, acceptable (unto Thee)(Mariam:5-6), and the answer of God was: O Zachariah! Lo! We bring thee tidings of a son whose name is John; we have given the same name to none before (him)(Mariam:7). Before this holy phrase he asked God for a son and he used to hide his request and ask God and show sorrow for the turning of his hair into white and that his bones were weak and he is depaired, but God is able for everything and he had the hope in Him and if God willed He would do it with no obstacles, and he explained the reason for his request that he was afraid of the kinsfolks after his death that they would not be good successors and that they would change the faith and work with their opinions, and the answer from God was the good tidings about John (PUH).
It is narrated and it is a famous thing that the pregnancy period for John was six months only and it was in the same time that Mary was pregnant with Jesus (PUT), and they mentioned that John (PUH) was a brilliant in the laws of Moses and he was a well-known resource for everyone asking about the conditions and regulations of such laws, and he was complete with all characteristics of faith and goodness, and he was giving away the life since he was a kid and hanged on to worshipping, so God said about him: And we gave him wisdom when a child(Mariam:12).
It is apparent from the holy phrase that he was given the prophecy and he was a prophet since he was a kid and he used to call for God and call the people to ask God for forgiveness for their sins, and it is mentioned that he ordered them to wash themselves in the river Jordan for forgiveness against their sins, and God said: O John! Hold fast the Scripture. And we gave him wisdom when a child, And compassion from Our presence, and purity; and he was devout, And dutiful toward his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious. Peace on him the day he was born, and the day he dieth and the day he shall be raised alive!..etc(Mariam:12-15). As attributed to Al-Ridhâ (PUH) that he said: the most awful moments for this creation lie in three positions: the day he is out of his mother's womb and see life, and the day when he dies and see the after-life, and the day when he is resurrected and see laws that he didn't see in his life, and God greeted John in these positions and made him safe against their terror, so He said: Peace on him the day he was born, and the day he dieth and the day he shall be raised alive!(Mariam:15), and Jesus also greeted himself in these three positions and God mentioned what he said: Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!(Mariam:33). As attributed to Abi-Hamzah Al-Þumâli from Al-Bâqir (PUH) that he said: I asked him (PUH) what is the meaning of "And compassion from Our presence, and purity?" he (PUH) said: it is meant here how compassionate God was with him so that whenever John says: O Lord, God would answer: command O John.
As attributed to the prophet (PUH) that he said: John ben Zacharias was so faithful that he went one day to the Temple and he saw the priests and rabbis with shileds made of hair and woolen hooded cloaks and they holed on the side of their collar-bone and chained it to the fences of the Temple, so when he saw that he went to his mother and said: O mother, weave for me a shield of hair and a hooded cloak of wool to go to the Temple and worship God there with the priests and rabbis, then his mother said: I shall do it when the prophet of God (Zacharias) allows me to, and his father then heard his speech and said to him: O son, what made you to think about it and you are still a young kid, so he answered: O father, didn't you see someone younger than me dying and feeling how bitter it was? He answered: yes I did, and then he ordered his mother to weave for him a shield of hair and a hooded cloak of wool, and so she did and he wore them and went to the Temple and worshipped with priests and rabbis until the shield started to take off some of his body and one day he looked into what was taken away from his body and he cried, and then God inspired to him: O John, do you cry for what was taken away froim your body, by My Glory if you saw the hell for just a glance you might even wear a shield of iron instead of this one made of hair, and then he cried until the tears dug off his cheeks and his teeth turned apparent for the people, and his mother knew that so she went to him and then came Zacharias and the priests with the rabbis to him and his father said to him: O son, what made you do this to yourself, I prayed to God to give you to me for my happiness, so he said to him: you ordered me with that O father, he wondered and said: and when was that O son? He answered: didn't you say that there is an obstacle between paradise and hell that is not to be passed except by those who cry for their fear of God? He answered: yes, work as hard as you can and you are on your own. Then John stood up and cleaned his shield and his mother took him and said to him: O son, do you permit me to make for you two pieces of felt to cover your teeth and dry out your tears, he said to her then: up to you, and so she made for him two pieces of felt to cover his teeth and dry out his tears..etc, and the narration is long with details about his strange situations and amazing conditions that has nothing like them in the field of serving God, the Exalted.

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