Prophet Yahya, also known as John the Baptist, is a prophet in Islam who is revered for his message of repentance and purification. He is mentioned numerous times in the Quran and is considered one of the most important prophets in Islam. According to Islamic tradition, Yahya was born to Prophet Zakariya and his wife, Elizabeth, who was Mary’s cousin. He was raised in the desert and began preaching at a young age, calling people to repent and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. He baptized people in the Jordan River, including Prophet Isa (Jesus), who was his younger cousin. Yahya was eventually imprisoned by King Herod Antipas for criticizing his marriage, and he was later beheaded at the request of Herod’s stepdaughter. His martyrdom is commemorated in Islamic tradition on the 7th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal.
The following Quranic verses mention the story of the prophet Yahya peace be upon him. Prophet Yahya is the son of prophet Zacharia.
Sura Al Imran Ayah (Verse) 37-40
٣٧ فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنْبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا ۖ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِنْدَهَا رِزْقًا ۖ قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
37 Her Lord accepted her with a gracious reception, and brought her a beautiful upbringing, and entrusted her to the care of Zechariah. Whenever Zechariah entered upon her in the sanctuary, he found her with provision. He said, “O Mary, where did you get this from?” She said, “It is from God; God provides to whom He wills without reckoning.”
٣٨ هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
38 Thereupon Zechariah prayed to his Lord; he said, “My Lord, bestow on me good offspring from Your presence; You are the Hearer of Prayers.”
٣٩ فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَىٰ مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
39 Then the angels called out to him, as he stood praying in the sanctuary: “God gives you good news of John; confirming a Word from God, and honorable, and moral, and a prophet; one of the upright.”
٤٠ قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِيَ الْكِبَرُ وَامْرَأَتِي عَاقِرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ اللَّهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ
40 He said, “My Lord, how will I have a son, when old age has overtaken me, and my wife is barren?” He said, “Even so, God does whatever He wills.”
٤١ قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ لِي آيَةً ۖ قَالَ آيَتُكَ أَلَّا تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلَّا رَمْزًا ۗ وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ
Sura Maryam Ayah (Verse) 1-15
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.
1 Kaf, Ha, Ya, Ayn, Saad.
٢ ذِكْرُ رَحْمَتِ رَبِّكَ عَبْدَهُ زَكَرِيَّا
2 A mention of the mercy of your Lord towards His servant Zechariah.
٣ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ نِدَاءً خَفِيًّا
3 When he called on his Lord, a call in seclusion.
٤ قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا وَلَمْ أَكُنْ بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا
4 He said, “My Lord, my bones have become feeble, and my hair is aflame with gray, and never, Lord, have I been disappointed in my prayer to you.
٥ وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِنْ وَرَائِي وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا
5 “And I fear for my dependents after me, and my wife is barren. So grant me, from Yourself, an heir.
٦ يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ ۖ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيًّا
6 To inherit me, and inherit from the House of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, pleasing.”
٧ يَا زَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَامٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَىٰ لَمْ نَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا
7 “O Zechariah, We give you good news of a son, whose name is John, a name We have never given before.”
٨ قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ الْكِبَرِ عِتِيًّا
8 He said, “My Lord, how can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have become decrepit with old age?”
٩ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكَ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئًا
9 He said, “It will be so, your Lord says, ‘it is easy for me, and I created you before, when you were nothing.’”
١٠ قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ لِي آيَةً ۚ قَالَ آيَتُكَ أَلَّا تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيًّا
10 He said, “My Lord, give me a sign.” He said, “Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights straight.”
١١ فَخَرَجَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَيْهِمْ أَنْ سَبِّحُوا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا
11 And he came out to his people, from the sanctuary, and signaled to them to praise morning and evening.
١٢ يَا يَحْيَىٰ خُذِ الْكِتَابَ بِقُوَّةٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا
12 “O John, hold on to the Scripture firmly,” and We gave him wisdom in his youth.
١٣ وَحَنَانًا مِنْ لَدُنَّا وَزَكَاةً ۖ وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا
13 And tenderness from Us, and innocence. He was devout.
١٤ وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ جَبَّارًا عَصِيًّا
14 And kind to his parents; and he was not a disobedient tyrant.
١٥ وَسَلَامٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَيًّا
15 And peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the Day he is raised alive.