The Beautiful Qualities of Yahya alayhi salaam

Bismillah walhamdolilah wassalatu wassalam ‘ala rasool Allah

Allah subhaanhu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an (the meaning of which is):

“(It was said to his son): “O Yahya! Hold fast the Scripture (Torah).” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. And (made him) sympathetic to men as a mercy (or a grant) from Us, and pure from sins and he was righteous, and dutiful towards his parents, and he was neither arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah or to his parents). 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)! [19:12-15]

Here we see that Allah gives certain people honor and nobility over others. Allah begins by telling us that Yahya alayhi salam is given knowledge, understanding, and adherence to the scripture. On top of that, he is given wisdom. In this is a great lessons for mankind. Verily, knowledge of scriptures is useless without the ability to exercise wisdom in teaching it and learning from it. Thus we see that in knowledge and wisdom is true nobility and status.

Ibn Kathir rahimuhallah says in his tafsir:

This means he (Yahya alayhi salam) was given understanding, knowledge, fortitude, diligence and zeal for good and the pursuit of good. He was blessed with these characteristics even though he was young. Then Allah mentions: “And (made him) hananan from Us”. Ibn Abbas radhiAllah anhu and others such as ‘Ikrimah and Qatada rahimuhumallah said: ”This means mercy from Us.” Ad-Dahhak rahimuhallah added, “Mercy that no one would be able to give except Us.”  This means that he (Yahya alayhi salam) was a compassionate man, who was righteous.

After Allah mentioned Yahya’s obedience to his Lord and that Allah created him full of mercy, purity and piety, He attached to it his obedience to his parents and his good treatment of them. Allah mentioned that he refrained from disobeying them in speech, actions, commands and prohibitions.

Then, after mentioning these beautiful characteristics, Allah mentions his reward of security and safety in three circumstances. Sufyan bin `Uyaynah rahimuhallah said, “The loneliest that a man will ever feel is in three situations. The first situation is on the day that he is born, when he sees himself coming out of what he was in. The second situation is on the day that he dies, when he sees people that he will not see anymore. The third situation is on the day when he is resurrected, when he sees himself in the great gathering. Allah has exclusively honored Yahya, the son of Zakariyya, by granting him peace in these situations.”

SubhanAllah! Indeed, these are qualities that we should aim to cultivate in our own lives. Maybe through it, we also can attain peace the day we die and day we are raised up in front of Allah.

Here’s a quick recap of the 8 characteristics mentioned about Yahya alayhi salam:

1) He was given knowledge and understanding of the scripture
2) He was granted wisdom
3) He was compassionate to mankind
4) He was pure (i.e. from sins)
5) He was righteous (i.e. was aware of Allah, had taqwa)
6) He was dutiful of his parents
7) He was not arrogant towards Allah or his parents
8) He was not disobedient towards Allah or his parents

May Allah give us the ability to follow the guidance given to us by our Lord. Ameen.


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