An account of Dhulkifl
According to reliable sources ‘Abd al-‘Alim has said that he sent a letter to Imam Muhammad al-Taqi to ask him the name of Dhulkifl and whether he was a Prophet? In reply the Imam stated that Allah has sent One lakh and twenty four thousand Prophets in the world. Among them three hundred and thirteen were apostles. Dhulkifl was one of them and he was appointed after Sulayman. He was very quiet and calm-natured person. Allah, the great stated in the Qur’an,
‘Remember Isma‘il and Dhulkifl and Yasa’a they all were good and true believers.’
Ibn Babawayh has stated that the people asked the Prophet about Dhulkifl and he said, “Dhulkif belonged to Hadarmaut and his first name was Owaidya. His father’s name was Oriyan. Yasa’a once asked, “Who will be successor after me upon certain conditions, and preach the people calmly and never became angry with them?” According to another tradition he used to fast in the daytime and pass the night in prayers, and not to be angry on anyone. Owaidya stood up and said, “I accept your terms. Again Yasa’a repeated twice, Owaidya said, “I will follow your terms.” After that Yasa’a died and Owaidya became the successor and preached the people. One day Iblis asked one of his companion, “Which one of you would go to Owaidya, make him angry and compel him to break his promise?” A companion of Iblis, named Abyaiz said, he was prepared to do this. Iblis ordered him to go and try.
At that time the Dhulkifl was resting after solving the problems of the peoples. The Satan came and said that he has been harassed by someone. The Prophet said to him to go and call the person who has harassed him. He said, “He will not come if I ask him.” The Prophet gave him his ring as a sign and told him to show him and bring him. The Satan took Prophet’s ring and went away. Dhulkifl could not take rest and could not sleep at night. The next day after solving the problems of his people decided to take rest. Again that Satan approached to him and said, “The person, who harassed me had not accepted the ring and refused to come.”
The servant of Dhulkifl told him to wait or go away. Prophet was taking rest as he could not sleep last night and the whole day he was busy. But Satan said he wanted justice that very moment. The servant informed him. The Prophet wrote a letter and gave him and told him to show it to his enemy. The Satan took the letter and moved away. The Prophet could not sleep and passed the night in prayers. It same was repeated the third day. He came and said that his foe had not accepted his letter and denied to come. Then Prophet arose, held his hand and went alone with him. It was very hot and Prophet was walking in the severe heat of the Sun. He felt ashamed seeing the Prophet’s patience. He became disappointed and thought that he can’t control over him. He left his hand and disappeared.
For this reason he is called Dhulkifl because he was firm to his promise. Allah, the Almighty stated about his patience to his last Prophet so that he can also have patience on the troubles give by his community.
Shaykh Tabarsi has stated that many seditious people said, “He was a good person but he was not a Prophet. To get the Prophethood he was fasting in the daytime and was praying in the night and did not get angry on anyone, and followed the Divine orders. Dhulkifl acted upon all the practical laws.” Other people believe that he was a real Prophet and his name was Dhulkifl and Allah has increased his rewards for his deeds.
Some say he was Ilyas and belonged to the family of Yasa’a. Allah says in Qur’an that he was Prophet Ilyas and Dhulkifl was another Prophet after him.
Note: A narrator has described in his book that Dhulkifl was the son of Ayyub the patient one and Allah granted the apostleship after his father and sent him to Rome. The people accepted him as his Prophet. Allah ordered them to fight the enemies. But they said they like to live in the world peacefully and do not like to die and “we do not want to go against Allah and his Prophet. O Prophet: pray for us. We die according to our own will. So that we can pray to Allah and join the battle. Dhulkifl prayed to Allah, “You have ordered me for the battle with the enemy but You know better what my community says. You are knowing and hearing I am afraid of Your chastisement.” Allah revealed to him that He has heard him and to tell the people that their wish is granted. “They will not die unless and until they ask. Make them follow you and My orders.” That is why he is called Dhulkifl.
The population of the community increased day by day and their condition became weak, then again they requested the Prophet to pray to Allah for them, to let them live and die according to Allah’s desire. Allah revealed that your community was not knowing what was better for them. After that they were dying according to Allah’s will.