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Enoch (Prophet Idris)

In the Holy Qur’an, we read,

“And mention Idris (Andreas?) in the Book; surely he was a truthful man, a prophet, and We raised him high in heaven” (Qur’an, 19:56-57).

Idris is the great-grandfather of prophet Noah (‘a). He was a tailor, the first to employ this profession, and it is said that Allah (SwT), Glory to Him, taught him astrology, mathematics, and forms, making that his miracle. He was the first prominent descendant of Adam (‘a) after Sheth who was honored with Prophethood. He was Idris son of Bard, or Yarid, son of Mahail son of Kenan son of Anoosh son of Sheth son of Adam (‘a). The name of his son was Akhnoo’. He was called”Idris” due to the extent of his study of the books and tablets of both Adam (‘a) and Sheth; his mother’s name was Ashoot. Idris was the first to use the pen. Physically, he had a large belly and broad shoulders.

Wahab ibn Manbah has said,”Every day, he used to adore the Almighty as much as He was adored by all his contemporaries combined, so the angels were amazed at him, and the angel of death was eager to meet him. The latter asked permission of the Almighty to do so, and permission was granted to him. The angel of death came to Idris in a human form. Idris used to always fast. When it was time for him to break his fast at sunset, it so happened once that he invited none other than the angel of death himself to share his food, but the latter refused to eat. Angels do not eat. He kept doing so for three days till Idris became suspicious of him. On the third night, he asked him,”I would like to know who you are.” He said,”I am the angel of death. I have sought my Lord’s permission to come and visit you and keep you company, and He granted me permission to do so.”

Idris said to him,”I have a favor to ask of you.” He asked him,”What is it?” He answered,”Take my soul away.” The Almighty inspired to the angel of death to take Idris’s soul away, and so he did. Then the Almighty returned the soul back to Idris’s body one hour later. The angel of death asked him,”What is the benefit of you asking me to take your soul away?” He answered,”So that I may taste of the tribulation of death and its agony and thus become better prepared for it.” Then he said to him,”I have another favor to ask of you.” The angel of death asked,”And what is it this time?!” He said,”I would like you to raise me to the heavens so that I may see it and to show me Paradise.” The Almighty granted the angel of death permission to do so. When Idris came close to Paradise, he asked his escorting angel,”Is it possible that I ask you for another favor?!” He said,”And what exactly do you want?!” He said,”Ask Riwan [custodian of the eternal garden of bliss] to open the gates of Paradise for me so that I may see it.” This, too, he was permitted to do, so he escorted Idris to Paradise and asked that its gates be opened, and they were opened, so Idris entered it.

Then the angel of death ordered him to get out of it so that he would escort him back to his place, but Idris firmly took hold of one of its trees and said,”I shall never get out of it!” Allah (SwT), therefore, sent an angel to arbitrate between Idris and the angel of death. The arbitrator asked him,”Why don’t you leave?” He said,”Because Allah (SwT) Almighty has said,

‘Every soul shall taste of death,’ and I have tasted of it already. And Allah (SwT) Almighty has said, ‘Each one of you shall come to it,’ and I have already come to it! And the Almighty has also said, ‘And they shall never be taken out of it,’ so I do not wish to be taken out of Paradise!’ The Almighty said to the angel of death,”Leave him! By My permission has he entered Paradise, and by My permission shall he remain therein;” so, he remains alive there till the Day of Judgment. He sometimes adores the Almighty in the fourth heavens, and sometimes he enjoys Paradise, and Allah (SwT) knows best.

Idris had contemplated on the greatness of the Creator and said,”These heavens and this earth, and this great creation, have to have a God Who manages their affairs and keeps them aright; I wish I know how I can adore Him as He deserves.” He invited some of his people to share his views and started admonishing them, inviting them to worship the One Who created everything.

One thousand from among them responded to his call from whom he hand-picked seven. He addressed everyone saying,”Let these seven men supplicate, and let the rest of you say, ‘Ameen;’ perhaps this great Lord will lead us to the way we are supposed to worship Him.”

They put their hands on the ground and kept supplicating for a long time, but nothing happened.Then they raised their hands to the heavens, and it was then that Allah (SwT) inspired to Idris how he and those who believed in him should worship their Lord. They kept worshipping Allah (SwT) without associating anything with Him till Allah (SwT) raised Idris to heaven and most of those who had followed his creed died. After that, people differed among themselves, introducing many innovations and doing so till the time of Noah (‘a).1

Abu Ja’far, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a), has said that at the beginning of Idris’s prophethood, there was a tyrannical king who one day went out riding on an excursion. He passed by estates which were green and very pleasing to the eyes belonging to one of the believers. He liked the land very much and inquired of his viziers who exactly it belonged to. They said to him,”It belongs to one of the slaves of the king, so-and-so who rejects our form of religion.”

The king asked the owner to sell him his land.”My children,” said the owner,”need it more than you.” He kept asking him to sell him his property and the man kept refusing, so much so that the king became very angry and went back annoyed.

He contemplated on what he should do. His wife looked at him and saw anger painted all over on his face, so he told her about the land and about its owner. She said to him,”If you hate to kill him without a valid reason, I can spare you his headache and legally transfer the ownership of his land to you.” Her folks used to follow her creed, and they regarded the killing of those who refused to share their views perfectly permissible. This is similar to most Wahhabis and all Salafis of our time, folks! She invited some of them to go to meet with her.

She ordered them to testify against that man in the presence of the king that he had dissociated himself from the king’s creed. They testified, so the king killed the man and confiscated his land. Allah (SwT) became very angry at what happened to the man who believed in Him. It was then that Allah (SwT) inspired to Idris thus:

“When you see this tyrant, say to him, ‘You killed a believer in God. As if that was not enough, you even confiscated his land and caused his family after him to be in a great deal of difficulty.

God tells you that He will soon avenge his killing and take the kingdom away from you, reduce your town to rubble, and feed the dogs with the flesh of your wife. You have taken God’s Clemency for granted.’”

Idris went to the king and conveyed his Lord’s message to him. The tyrant said to Idris,”Get out of here, Idris, lest I should kill you right now!” The king’s wife said to him,”Do not be frightened on account of his Lord’s message, for I shall dispatch someone to him to kill him and to thus void his Lord’s message.” He granted her permission to do so.

Idris had a number of those who believed in him and whose company he very much enjoyed. He informed these friends of his about his Lord’s message to the tyrant king, so they feared lest he should be killed. The queen sent Idris not one but forty men from her own kinfolks to kill him.

They came to his house but did not find him. Idris’s friends saw those would-be assassins, so they went out seeking him till they found him. They said to him,”O Idris! You should be on your guard, for the tyrant is surely going to kill you. Get out of this town.” Idris followed their suggestion and got out of that town accompanied by a number of his close friends.

Shortly before fajr, Idris supplicated to his Lord and complained to Him about the tyrant being bent on killing him. Allah (SwT) inspired to him saying,”Get out of his town, and let Me deal with him. By My Honor! I shall carry out what I had warned him about.” Idris said,”Lord! I have a plea to make to You!” Allah (SwT) said,”Name it.” He said,”I plead to You not to permit the rain to fall on this town and its surrounding areas till I ask You to do so.” Allah (SwT) said to him,”The town will then deteriorate, and its people will starve.” Idris said,”So what if it deteriorates and if they starve?” Allah (SwT) said,”I have granted you what you have pleaded Me for.”

Idris informed his friends that the rain would not fall, so they got out of the town, and they were twenty men. They scattered throughout the villages, and Idris became a household name throughout all the village because of his plea to Allah (SwT).

Idris sought seclusion in a mountain cave, and Allah (SwT)assigned an angel to send him food every evening. Allah (SwT) stripped that tyrant of his authority, reduced his town to ruins, and fed the dogs with the flesh of his wife on account of His wrath because of what happened to that believer.

But another tyrant appeared in that town, an oppressive one who did not believe in God. Twenty years passed since Idris had left that town. During that entire period, no rain fell at all. People’s condition was extremely bad, and they started begging food from other towns.

They said,”What has befallen us is due to Idris pleading to his Lord not to permit the rain to fall till he asked Him to. We do not know where Idris now is, but God is more merciful to us than he is.” They all decided to repent to God and to plead to Him to let the rainfall. They put ashes on their faces, put on very coarse clothes, and kept pleading to the Almighty to have mercy on them.

It was then that Allah (SwT) inspired to Idris saying,”The people of your town have returned to Me repentant, and I am the most Gracious, the most Merciful. I accept repentance, and I have decided to have mercy on them, and nothing stops Me from responding to their pleas with regard to the rain except My promise to you not to let it fall on them unless you ask me; so, Idris, do ask Me.”

Idris said,”Lord! I do not ask You to do it!” Allah (SwT) ordered the angel who used to bring food to Idris not to do so any more. When night came and Idris did not receive any food, he felt very sad and hungry. On the next day, no food came to him, either, so his hunger intensified.

The same happened on the third night. He, therefore, addressed his Lord saying,”Lord! You have deprived me of Your sustenance even before taking my soul away!” Allah (SwT) inspired to him saying,”O Idris! You have lost your patience only three days and nights since I did not let any food reach you, and you did not feel sorry, nor did you show any concern about the hunger of your town’s people and their pathetic condition which has lasted for twenty years!

Then I informed you of their serious attempts to please Me and that I decided to be merciful to them, and that you should ask Me to let the rain fall on their land, but you did not! You were too miser to ask Me to do so; therefore, I wanted you to taste of hunger, whereupon you ran out of patience and you expressed your frustration! Get down from your place and seek your own sustenance, for I have entrusted seeking it to your own endeavor.

Idris had no choice except to get down from that mountain and look for food. When he entered the town, he saw smoke coming out of a house. He went in its direction and rushed to an old woman who was baking two loaves of bread. He said to her,”O lady! Please feed me, for hunger has taken its toll on me!” She said to him,”O servant of Allah (SwT)! Because of Idris’s supplication, we have nothing beyond our means whereby we can feed anyone,” and she swore to him that that was all the food she had had adding,”Ask someone else from the people of this town to feed you.”

He said to her,”Give me enough just to keep me alive so that my feet can carry me to where I can ask for food.” She said,”I have only two loaves, one for me and one for my son. If I give you mine, I will die, and if I give you my son’s, he will die.” Idris said to her,”Half a loaf should be sufficient to sustain your son. It will keep him alive while the other half will sustain me.” The woman ate her loaf and divided the other between Idris and her son.

When her son saw Idris eating his loaf, he was shaken, and he instantly died. His mother said to Idris,”O servant of Allah (SwT)! You have now caused my son to die on account of his fear for his food!” Idris said,”I shall, by the will of Allah (SwT) ‎, bring him back to life; so, do not be upset.”

Idris took hold of the boy’s arm and said,”O soul departing from the body of this boy! Return to it by the will of Allah (SwT)! I am Idris the prophet.” The soul went back to the boy with the permission of the Almighty. Having heard Idris say so, and having looked and seen her son coming back to life, the old woman went out and as loud as she could kept shouting,

“Good news! Idris has entered your town!” Idris left and went to the town where the first tyrant had ruled, and it was on a hilltop. The residents of the town came to him and said,”O Idris! Won’t you have any mercy on us?! Twenty years have annihilated us! We are starving and worn out; so, do supplicate to Allah (SwT) to bring us rain from the sky.” Idris said,”I shall not do so until your tyrant and all the people of the town come to me barefoot and beg me to do so.”

When the tyrant heard what Idris had said, he sent forty men to bring Idris to him. They came to Idris and said,”The king has dispatched us to you to bring you to him.” Idris supplicated against those men, so they died instantly.

When the news of their death reached the tyrant, he this time sent five hundred men to bring Idris to him. They said to Idris,”The king has sent us to you so that we may escort you to him.” Idris said,”Look and see how I have caused those who came to me before you to perish!” They said,”O Idris! You have already killed us with starvation during the past twenty years, and you still threaten us with annihilation! Do you not have any mercy at all?” Idris said,”I shall not go to him, nor shall I plead to Allah (SwT) to let the rain fall on you till your tyrant comes to me barefoot and so should all the people of your town.”

They went back and told the king about what Idris had said to them, and they requested him to go out with all the people of the town and walk barefoot to meet Idris. The king reluctantly agreed, and everyone came to Idris in submission pleading to him to pray Allah (SwT) to let the rain fall on them.

It was then that Idris said,”Yes, now I shall do so.” He, therefore, pleaded to Allah (SwT) to permit the rain to fall on them and on all the surrounding areas. A cloud suddenly appeared in the sky. Thunder and lightning followed, and rain instantly started pouring on the dead land. It kept raining so hard that they thought they would all be drowned. When they went back to their homes, water was now their problem!2

Invocation Of Idris (Enoch)

It contains Attributes of Allah (SwT), forty in number, as many as the days of penitence. It is included by Shaikh al-Tusi in his Misbah al-Mutahajjid. It is also reported by SHayyid Ibn awoos in his Muhaj al Da’awat through al-Hassan al-Bari with a minor variation. He said that when Allah (SwT) Almighty sent Idris to his people, He taught him these attributes and inspired him to articulate them silently, not to reveal them to his people so they would call Him by them.

Therefore, he invoked Allah (SwT) through them and was raised to a sublime status. Then Allah (SwT) Almighty inspired them to Moses (‘a) son of ‘Imran (Amram) then to Muhammad (S) who invoked Him through their power during the war of coalitions.

Al-Hassan al-Basri reports saying,”I had sought to hide myself from (the tyrant) al-Hajjaj ibn Yousuf al-Thaqafi3, so I pleaded to Allah (SwT) through them and He kept his mischief away from me. Six times did he come to my house, and every time he did, I would plead to the Almighty through them, and He would make the man incapable of seeing me.”

So, you, too, dear reader, ought to invoke Allah (SwT)’s forgiveness from all sins through them, then state what you desire in this life or in the life to come, or in both, for your plea, by the Will of Allah (SwT), will then be granted.

The Attributes mentioned in this invocation are forty. They are esteemed very highly by the Almighty Who appreciates them. They have merits too many to enumerate here, and the invocation is as follows:

Praise be to You, there is no god but You, Lord and Heir of everything You have created! O Lord of Alords highly Exalted! O Allah (SwT), Who is praised in everything He does! You Are indeed Merciful and Compassionate to everything! You are the Everlasting while nothing alive needs to sustain Your domain! O You Sustainer of everything from Whose knowledge nothing escapes, nor keeping it tires You! O One Who remains when everything starts, then ceases to be! O You Who is Everlasting without an end, nor does

Your domain ever ceases to be! O One Who is unlike any other! O You Who starts the creation of everything, Who has no peer, nor can anyone truly describe Him! O Great One! No mind can ever grasp Your greatness! O Originator of everything without a peer, Unique! O Pure and Purifier of every ill through His sanctity! O You Who suffices everyone, Who gives His creation in abundance out of His bounty! O Pure of any injustice which displeases Him, nor does injustice ever mingle with His doings!

O Compassionate One Whose mercy has encompassed everything! O Giver Whose bounty has overwhelmed all His creation! O One to Whom all servants owe everything, and through Whose power all are subdued! O Creator of those in the heavens and those on earth, and to Whom all shall return! O Helper of everyone who pleads to Him, everyone in distress, everyone who needs to be helped, and the One Who can be relied on! Lord! No tongues can ever do justice while attempting to describe the greatness and dignity of Your domain! O Originator of everything that needs to be originated, without being in need of Your creation to originate anything You please!

O Knower of the unknown! Nothing that you safeguard can tire You! O You Who shall repeat the creation after its extinction, when the creation are raised again, responding to and fearing Him! O Clement One, Patient! Nothing in Your creation may be compared to You! O You Whose deeds are praised, Who is ever-giving to His creation out of His Grace! O Gracious One Who has nothing in existence to compare to Him!

O Vanquisher Whose Might is devastating, Whose revenge is unbearable! O Lofty One Who is near despite His Loftiness! O Powerful One Who makes everything easy through the might of His domain! O You, Light of Everything! Your Light dispels every darkness! O Holy and Pure One! There is nothing like You! O near One Whose nearness is nearer than everything else! O Sublime One in the heavens Whose loftiness is more sublime than anything else! O Originator of everything!

You repeat the creation of things even after their extinction through Your might! O Great One Who is above everything! Justice is Your command; true is Your promise! O Glorified One Whose Glory no minds can ever conceive! O Generous One when Forgiving, Just! Your Justice has filled everything! O Great One worthy of all the best praise and glory! Your Greatness never humiliates! O Wonderful One! All tongues can never count Your Signs or utter the praise due to You!

I pray You, on Whom I rely in every distress and with Whom I seek refuge in every calamity, by the greatness of these Attributes to grant me a security against the penalties of this life and the life to come, and I ask You to shun through them everything evil and everything I dread, and to divert the eyes of those wrong-doers who wish to inflict on me the wrong which You have prohibited of the evil of what they hide and change it into the goodness which they do not have and which none has other than You! O Glorious One!

Do not let me, Lord, rely on my own self so I become unable to bear it, nor on people so they might inflict harm on me! I pray You not to disappoint me while I have set my hopes on You, and do not torment me while I have invoked You! Lord! I plead to You as You have enjoined me to plead; so, answer my plea as You have promised! Fill my life-span with goodness and my fate too, and do not change the soundness of my body nor let my luck fail! I invoke You not to change my friend into a foe, and I seek refuge with You against all deadly illnesses, against poverty, humiliation, and bad company! Lord!

Divert my heart from anything which does not benefit me on my journey to You, nor do I benefit from it on the Day when I meet You, be it permissible or prohibited, and grant me the ability to shun it and despise it seeking Your pleasure in its regard! O You Who Has mercy more than all those who are merciful! Lord! Praise is due to You for all Your generous gifts, and praise is due to You for all Your successive boons whereby You shielded me against evil consequences, and my deeds did not dissuade You from forgiving me, and

You protected me and endeared to me the blessings with which You have blessed me and even continued to grant me out of Your generosity and forgiven the ugly sins I have revealed to You which I have committed! Lord! I pray You in every Attribute which is Yours and which obliges You to answer the plea when invoked! I pray You in the right of everyone who has a right with You of those who are Your servants to send blessings unto Muhammad (S),

Your servant and Messenger, and unto his progeny, and to effect evil against anyone who plots evil schemes against me, to take away his hearing and sight from before him, from behind him, from his right side and from his left, and to keep him away from me through Your Might! O You with Whom there is no other god to call on! O You besides Whom there is no creator to be feared! And O You besides Whom there is no other god to be feared, nor a vizier to be approached, nor a care-taker to be bribed, nor a door-man to be called on!

O You Who does not topple His generosity of giving except by giving even more, nor does He follow up His forgiveness of the sins except with more forgiveness! I pray You, Lord, to send blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) and to deal with me in a way worthy of You, for You are worthy of all piety and of forgiving. Lord! This is my plea, and from You do I seek the favor of a favorable response. This is my endeavor and on You do I rely; and there is no power nor might except in Allah (SwT), the Sublime, the Great.

  • 1. Ilal al-Shara'i’, Vol. 1, pp. 40-41.
  • 2. al-Saduq‎, Kemal ad-Deen, pp. 76-77.
  • 3. His kunya was”Abu Muhammad”. Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the Umayyad king, appointed him commander of his army, so he killed the sahabi Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr. Then Abd al-Malik installed him as governor of Mecca, Medina, and aif, then added to them Iraq. He remained governor for twenty years. He built the city of Wasit (located between Kufa‎ and Basra) where he died in 95 A.H./714 A.D. He is proverbial in his passion for shedding blood, ridiculing the Sunnah, and deliberately violating the Islamic code of conduct.