Lessons from the Stories of the Prophets in the Quraan by Mufti Menk – Idrees AS
This Ramadan 2011 Tafseer series is originally posted by Du’aa a Day on Facebook. – A transcript of Mufti Ismail Menk’s post Taraweeh Series in Cape Town, South Africa
Shared on 6 August 2011 – See original
الحمد لله و كفى و صلى الله و سلّم و بارك على عباده الذين اصطفى و بعد
All praise is due to Allah Subhana Wa ta’aala, Blessings and salutations upon Muhammad SAW
Idrees AS, also known as Enoch, was one of the great grand children of Aadam AS. Idrees AS was born during the lifetime of Adam AS when Adam was 840 years old. He was the seventh generation of the children of Adam, being linked to him through Sheeth AS. He was given Prophethood by Allah Almighty after the death of Sheeth AS. Many of the people of Sheeth”s Ummah had already joined Qabil’s group which grew larger every day. The people were attracted by the evil of Shaitaan – who had promised Allah that he would lead the children of Adam astray. Idrees AS was the first Prophet after Adam and Sheeth AS.
He is described in the hadeeth as being very tall and big built, good looking with a full beard. He was a calm and quiet person. When he spoke he would speak slowly and clearly. When he walked he would look down on the ground. If he was made angry he would raise his voice slightly. He used to move his index finger whenever he spoke – a sign that Allah is One and has no partner.
Allah says in the Qur’an: “And make mention in the Book of Idrees. Surely he was Truthful, A Prophet.” I another verse Allah says, ‘And we raised him to a high level.” He was elevated in that he was a Prophet. Yet, in another verse Allah says, “ Isma’eel, Idrees and Dhul-Kifl, all were among the patient ones.” They were put in Allah’s mercy and were among the pious.
It is reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim that Rasulullah SAW met Idrees AS in the fourth heaven – which is a lofty place – when he went up for Mi’raaj. The Mufassireen have given another explanation regarding the meaning of “raised him” – and though the authenticity is not guaranteed, it has been mentioned in almost all books of Tafseer. It is reported that Allah revealed to him that He would give him a daily reward equivalent to all the good deeds that are fulfilled by his Ummah. This was an honour to Idrees AS and would raise his rank.
Idrees AS now wanted his life to be increased so that he can get as much rewards as possible. Idrees AS spoke to an angel who was very close to him saying, “Allah has told me this, so please can you speak to the angel of death and ask him to (ask Allah to) increase my life”. The angel responded saying, “This is not possible because it is decreed already but let us try”. There was hope of achieving this because Allah Almighty has decreed to the angels not to take away the souls of the Prophets until they seek permission from the prophets to take their lives away.
The angel carried Idrees AS on his wings and when they got to the fourth heaven they met the angel of death. The angel of death, who did not see Idrees AS immediately asked where Idrees AS was. When he was shown Idrees AS he glorified Allah and said, “Allah Almighty had commanded me to proceed to the fourth heaven and take away the soul of Idrees AS there. I was surprised and asked Allah how that would be possible when Idrees AS was on earth but I was told to proceed!”
Idrees AS was blessed in that his life was taken away whilst he was on the fourth heaven. Some say this is what is meant by “We have raised him to a very lofty place” in Surah Maryam. This narration of his death is an Isra’eeli narration we do not deny it nor confirm it but we do know from authentic narrations that the Prophet PBUH did meet Idrees AS in the fourth heaven during his ascent on Mi’raaj. And Allah knows best!
و صلّى الله و سلّم و بارك على نبيّنا محمّد و آله و أصحابه أجمعين ، سبحان الله و بحمده سبحانك اللهم و بحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت أستغفرك و أتوب إليك! والسلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته!