Prophet Zacharias (Zakariyya) and Prophet John (Yahya), his son, are cited in the Qur’an. Prophet Zacharias is the son of Barkhiya, from the children of David.

Prophet Zacharias was married to Elizabeth (Isha^), the sister of Lady Mary. Isha^ was barren. Prophet Zacharias used to work as a carpenter and eat from what he earned.


When Elizabeth’s mother gave birth to Mary (Maryam), after a long time of not conceiving, she had made a vow that the child born would be dedicated to serve the House of God. When Mary was born, the people competed over who would raise her. Prophet Zacharias said, “I have the priority because her sister is my wife.” The people refused, and went out to the river Jordan. Each person threw his pen. All the pens sunk to the bottom, except the pen of Prophet Zacharias. Hence, Zacharias became the custodian of Mary.

When Mary grew up in obedience, Prophet Zacharias saw Lady Mary having fruits of the summer with her in the winter, and the fruits of the winter with her in the summer. When Zacharias saw that sign with Mary, while she was in the place of prayer, Zacharias became hopeful that he would have a son, even with him and his wife having advanced years.

In verses 38 and 39 of Suratu Al ^Imran, there is the meaning that Zacharias made a supplication to God, “O God grant me a good child. You are the One Who answers the supplication.” God answered the supplication.

Angels called Zacharias while he was praying in that niche saying, “God gives you the good news that you will have a child named John (Yahya), believing in Jesus, the son of Mary. He will be a master. He will not desire to be married (in this life). He will be a Prophet and among the righteous.”

When Zacharias heard that, he did not doubt in the Power of God. He believed that for sure this would happen. However, Prophet Zacharias did inquire as to how it would happen, considering that he was so well advanced in years and his wife was barren. God revealed to him that God did that which He willed.

God made the wife of Zacharias become pregnant, although she had been barren for so long. God made the sign of her pregnancy be that Zacharias would stop talking to people for three days. For those three days, he only used signs to communicate to people, although he did not suffer a speech impediment. However, during that time, when Prophet Zacharias wanted to mention God, his tongue would speak freely.


Then John was born, looking very beautiful. Since a young age, John was physically strong, and had great strength in obedience and comprehension as well. John adhered to the laws of the Torah, and was strong with the truth (Surah Maryam, verses 12-14).

God made John a noble Prophet. Among the Children of Israel, there was a king who married a woman who had a high status. When the wife of the king got older, she was scared that the heart of the king would move away from her to someone else. She was afraid that she would lose the luxury that she had. Due to all of this, she asked the king to marry her daughter from another man. This was his stepdaughter and was still forbidden to him, according to the Islamic laws.

The king asked Prophet John about this matter. John told him that it was unlawful to marry one’s stepdaughter. The king told his wife what Prophet John said. The wife ranted, “How could John disobey you, the king, and give you such a judgment?!” Then she started to incite the king to kill Prophet John.

She ordered this daughter to give the king wine to drink and then to seduce him, so that he would try to commit adultery with her. The woman told her daughter that when the king gets to the point right before sexual intercourse, she should prevent him and tell him, “I will not let you until you bring me the head of John.”


All of this happened as planned and the king ordered the beheading of John. Prophet John’s head was cut over a container. Some of the blood fell outside of the container and that blood kept on flowing. The blood kept on flowing on Earth until an unjust blasphemous king came and killed 70,000 of the Children of Israel. This is because those Children of Israel did not protect and defend John, a Prophet of God, from being killed. After the king had John killed, the followers of the king went to look for Zacharias, to kill him also.

Prophet Zacharias passed by a tree and the tree called him. The tree split open and Zacharias went inside the tree. The devil, however, found out that Prophet Zacharias was in that tree. The devil went and told the followers of the king that Prophet Zacharias was in that particular tree. Those followers of the king went and sawed the tree in which Prophet Zacharias dwelled, and Prophet Zacharias died as a result.

Some people misinterpret the verse in the Qur’an that mentions that Prophet John did not desire women in this life. Those who misinterpret this verse, say that Prophet John was unable to have sexual intercourse. This is incorrect. The truth is that in this life, Prophet John did not have a desire to have a wife or slave woman with which to have sexual intercourse. John was physically able, but simply did not desire it in this life.

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