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Prophet Yaqub (PBUH)
Allah conveyed to the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) glad tidings regarding the birth of elite Prophets, Ishaq and Ya'qub (peace be upon them). The Holy Quran says:
"We gave him Ishaq and Ya'qub. Each of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our mercy and assigned to them a high and true renown." (Surah 19: Verses 49-50)
Qualities of the Prophet Ya'qub
The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was the son of Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) and his wife Rebecca. He was born at Palestine. He passed his life exactly in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He had full faith in the Oneness of God. He directed his followers to do good and shun evil. He advised them to keep up prayer and give alms. He was a man of parts and wisdom. God showered His blessings on him and his kith and kin. The Holy Quran affirms:
"And We gave him tidings of the birth of Ishaq, a Prophet of the righteous and We showered Our blessings on him and on Ishaq and of their off-spring are some who do good and some who plainly wrong their own selves." (Surah 37: Verse 113)
At the age of sixty the Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was blessed with a pair of twins namely Esau and Ya'qub. Esau was a hunter and provided his aged parents with meat. Ishaq was chosen to be the Prophet of the Bani Israel.
His marriage and off-spring
It is narrated that his uncle Laban made Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) serve him for seven years on promise to marry Rachel with him. At the end of this period the marriage was solemnized. Later on he entered into matrimonial contract with three more women. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) had four wives and twelve sons who became the progenitors of twelve tribes. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) and Benjamin were from Rachel. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) had great affection for them.
Plot against Prophet Yusuf
As the off-springs of his other wives were jealous of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) they hatched out a plan to separate Yusuf from his father. They took him out on a lame excuse of tending sheep and threw him into a waterless well. They came back home shedding crocodile tears and said: A wolf has devoured Yusuf.
The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) suspected foul play on the part of his sons. He bore with patience the mental torture to which he was subjected in his old age. He wept bitterly day and night and lost his eye-sight. After a long time he came to know that Prophet Yusuf (peace Be upon him) was alive. He was the custodian of storehouse in Egypt.
The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) along with the whole family proceeded towards Egypt on the invitation of his son. They were awarded a warm reception. He settled in Egypt. He died at the age of 140 years. He was buried in Hebron (al-Khalil) according to his will.
When the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was on the point of death, be called his sons and held conversation, with them. It is mentioned in the following Verses of the Holy Quran:
"The same did Ibrahim enjoin upon his sons, and also Ya'qub (saying): O' my sons! Lo! Allah has chosen for you the true religion, therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him) or were you present when death came to Ya'qub when he said to his --sons: What will you worship after me? They said: We shall worship your God, God of your fathers Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq, One God and unto Him We have surrendered." (Surah 2: Verses 132-133)
Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) Isaac's Sons - Jacob and Esau
Isaac married Rebekah Bint Bethuel, Ibn Nahor, and she gave birth to a set of twins, Esau (Al
Eis) and Jacob (Yaqub). Ill feelings developed between the two brothers when they grew into
manhood. Esau disliked the fact that Jacob was favored by his father and by Allah with
prophethood. This ill feeling became so serious that Esau threatened to kill his brother. Fearing
for his life, Jacob fled the country.
Isaac's Sons - from the People of the Book
The People of the Book said that when Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, Bint
Bethuel, during his father's life. They said she was sterile, so Isaac prayed to Allah and then she
became pregnant. She gave birth to twin boys. The first one was called Esau whom the Arabs
called Al-Eis. He became the father of Rum. The second one was called Jacob, which means
Isreal, (belonging to the people of Israel).
The People of the Book claimed that when Isaac (pbuh) grew old and his eye sight had
weakened, he had a desire for food, so he asked his son Esau to go hunting and bring him some
cooked game. Esau asked him to bless the food and pray for him. Esau, a hunter, went out to get
his father the meat. Rebekah, overhearing this, ordered her son Jacob to slaughter two goats of
his best flock and cook them as his father liked and bring it to him before his brother returned.
She dressed Jacob in his brother's clothes and put goat skin on his arms and neck, for Esau was
hairy while Jacob was not. When he approached his father with the food, his father asked: 'Who
are you?' Jacob answered: 'I am your son.' When his father finished eating, he prayed for his son
to be the more blessed brother and to prevail over them and all people, and for Allah to sustain
him and his children.
When he left his father, his brother Esau, who had carried out his father's command, entered.
Isaac asked him: "What is this my son?" He answered: "This is the food you like." Isaac asked:
"Did you bring it an hour ago and ask me to pray for you?" Esau said: "No, I swear I did not,"
and he knew his brother had preceded him in this matter and he was sick at heart.
Jacob Leaves his Home - from the People of the Book
The People of the Book said Esau threatened to kill his brother when their father was dead. They
also said that he asked his father to pray for him that Allah make the earth good for his offspring
and multiply his sustenance and fruits.
When their mother knew that Esau threatened his brother Jacob, she commanded her son Jacob to
go to her brother Laban in the land of Haran and abide with him for a time until his brother's
anger had abated, and to marry one of the Laban's daughters. She told her husband Isaac to
command him with that advice and pray for him, and he did.
Jacob (pbuh) left his family, when night came he found a place to rest. He took a stone and put it
under his head and slept. He dreamed of a ladder from heaven to earth. Angels were ascending
and descending and the Lord addressed him and said to him; "I will bless you and your offspring
and make this land for you and for those who come after you."
When he awoke he felt joyful from what he had seen in his dream and vowed, for Allah's sake
that if he returned to his family safely, he would build here a temple for Allah the Almighty. He
also vowed to give one tenth of his property for the sake of Allah. He poured oil on the stone so
as to recognize it and called the place "Ayle's House" (Bethel), which means "House of Allah". It
was to be the location of Jerusalem later.
Jacob's Wives - from the People of the Book
The People of the Book also said that when Jacob came to his maternal uncle in the land of
Haran, his uncle had two daughters. The elder one was called Leah (Lia) and the younger one was
Rachel (Rahil). The latter was the better and lovelier of the two. His uncle agreed to marry his
daughter to him on the condition that Jacob pasture his sheep for seven years.
After a period of time, his uncle prepared a feast and gathered people for the wedding. He married
Leah, his elder daughter, to him at night. She was weak-sighted and ugly. When morning came,
Jacob discovered she was Leah and he complained to his uncle. "You deceived me; I was engaged
to Rachel and you married me to Leah." His uncle said: "It is not our tradition to marry the
younger daughter before the elder daughter. However, if you love her sister, work another seven
years and I will marry you to both of them."
Jacob worked for seven years and then married Rachel. It was acceptable in their time, as
described in the Torah, for a man to marry two sisters. Laban gave a female slave to each
daughter. Leah's slave was called Zilpah and Rachel's slave was called Bilha.
Jacob's Children - from the People of the Book
Almighty Allah compensated Leah's weakness by giving her sons. The first one was named
Rueben (Robel), after whom there were Simon (Shamun), Levi (Lawi), and Judah (Yahudh).
Rachel felt jealous of Leah's having sons, as she was barren. She gave her slave Bilha to her
husband and he had relations with her until she became pregnant. She gave birth to a son and
named him Naphtali. Leah was vexed that Rachel's slave had give birth to a son, so she in turn
gave her slave Zilpah to Jacob (pbuh), Zilpah gave birth to two sons, Gad and Asher. Then Leah
got pregnant and gave birth to her fifth son, Issaacher, and later she gave birth to a sixth son
Zebulun. After this Leah gave birth to a daughter named Dinah. Thus, Leah had seven sons from
Then Rachel prayed to Allah to give her a son from Jacob. Allah heard her call and responded to
her prayer. She gave birth to a son, great, honorable, and beautiful. She named him Joseph
(Yusuf). All of this happened when they were in the land of Haran and Jacob (pbuh) was
pasturing his uncle's sheep, which he did for a period of twenty years.
Jacob's Request - from the People of the Book
Jacob then asked his uncle Laban to let him go and visit his family. His uncle said to him: "I have
been blessed because of you; ask for whatever money you need." Jacob said: "Give me each
spotted and speckled goat born this year and each black lamb."
But at Laban's command his sons removed their father's goat that were striped, spotted or
speckled, and the black lambs, lest others should be born with those traits. They walked for three
days with their father's goats and sheep while Jacob tended the remaining flock.
The People of the Book said that Jacob (pbuh) took fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane. He
peeled streaks in them and cast them into the water through for the goats to look at. The young
inside their abdomens were terrified and moved and they were born striped, spotted or speckled.
When the sheep were breeding, he set their faces towards the black sheep in Laban's flock and put
the rods among them. Their lambs were born black. This was considered an example of
supernatural powers, a miracle. Jacob had many goats, sheep, beast and slaves. His uncle and his
sons faces changed as if they the sheep and goats had been stolen from them.
Jacob Accused of Taking Idols Allah the Almighty inspired Jacob to return to the country of his father and people, and He
promised to stand by him. Jacob told his family that, and they responded and obeyed him. Jacob
did not tell Laban of his plans, however, and left without bidding farewell.
Upon leaving, Rachel stole her father's idols. After Jacob and his people had fled for his country,
Laban and his people followed them. When Laban met with Jacob, he blamed him for leaving him
without his knowledge. He would have liked to know so that he could have made them leave with
celebration and joy, with drums and songs, and so that he could have bidden his daughters and
sons farewell. And why have they taken his idols with them?
Jacob had no knowledge of his idols, so he denied that he had taken them from him. Then Laban
entered the tents of his daughters and slaves to search, but he found nothing, for Rachel had put
the idols in the camel saddle under her. She did not get up, apologizing that she had her menses.
Thus, he could not perceive what they had done.
Then they sat on a hill called Galeed and made a covenant there. Jacob would not ill treat Laban's
daughters nor marry others. Neither Laban nor Jacob would pass the hill into the other's country.
They cooked food and their people ate with them. Each bade the other farewell as they departed,
each returning to his own country.
Jacob Prepares to meet Esau
When Jacob approached the land of Seir, the angels greeted him. He sent a messenger ahead with
greetings to his brother Esau, asking forgiveness and humbling himself before him. The messenger
returned greetings and told Jacob that Esau was riding towards him with four hundred men. Thismade Jacob afraid and he entreated and prayed to Allah Almighty. He prostrated in humiliation
and asked Him to fulfill His promise which He had made before. He asked Him to stop the evil of
his brother Esau. Then Jacob (pbuh) prepared a great present for his brother: two hundred female
goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, and thirty milch camels, forty
cows and two bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
He commanded his slaves to take the animals, each drove by itself, and pass on ahead of him with
a space between the droves. He instructed them: "When you meet my brother Esau he will ask
you, 'to whom do you belong? where are you going?' you shall say, 'they belong to your servant
Jacob; they are a present to my master Esau. Moreover, he is behind us.
Jacob stayed behind with his two wives, his slaves and his children for two nights, then continued
walking by night and resting by day.
Jacob becomes Israel
When the dawn of the second day came one of the angels appeared in the shape of a man. Jacob
began to wrestle with him. They were neck and neck until the angel injured his thigh and Jacob
became lame. When the day was breaking, the angel said to him: 'What is your name?' He
answered: 'Jacob.' The angel said: "After today you shall not be called anything but Israel." Jacob
asked: "Who are you? What is your name?" He vanished. Then Jacob knew that he was one of the
angels. Jacob was lame, and for this reason the children of Israel do not eat the thigh muscle on
the hip socket.
Jacob and Esau Meet
Jacob raised his eyes and saw his brother Esau coming. Jacob prostrated seven times before him
for it was their salutation in that time. It was lawful for them just as the angels had prostration in
salutation to Adam.
When Esau saw him, he ran towards him, embraced and kissed him and wept. When Esau raised
his eyes and saw the women and children he asked: "Who are these with you?" Jacob answered:
"Those whom Allah has given me, your servant." Leah, Rachel, their slaves, and all the children
approached and prostrated before him. Jacob asked Esau to accept his gift and insisted until he
did so. Esau returned and went in advance before him. Jacob and his family followed with the
flocks and herds and slaves to the mountains (Seir).
Jacob Builds Ayl
When he came to Succoth (Sahur), he built a house for himself and shades for his beasts. Then he
passed by Jerusalem, the village of Shechem, and camped before the village. He bought a farm
from Shcehm Ibn Hamor with one hundred goats and built an altar, which he called Ayl, as Allah
commanded him. He built the altar where Jerusalem stands today and later Solomon son of David
(pbuh) rebuilt it. It is in the place of the stone which he had earlier anointed with oil as was
Dinah's Story - from the People of the Book
The people of the book tell a story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. Shechem Ibn Hamor
seized her and lay with her by force. Then he asked her father and brothers to let him marry her.
Her brothers said : "Circumcise all of you, and we will give our daughters to you, and we will
take your daughters for ourselves; but we do not marry with uncircumcised people." They (the
men of the city) agreed to that, and all of them were circumcised. When the third day came, the
pain from the circumcision had increased, Jacob's sons approached and killed them till the last
one. They killed Shchem and his father for the evil they had committed against them and for their
worship of idols. That is why Jacob's sons killed them and seized their money as spoils.
Then Rachel got pregnant and gave birth to a son, Benjamin, but she had a hard labor and died
after delivery. Jacob buried her in Ephrath (afrath). The tomb of Rachel is there till the present
The Sons of Jacob
Jacob's sons were twelve men. From Leah there were Rueben (Robil), Simon (Shamun), Levi
(Lawi), Judah (Yahudh), Issachar (Isakher), and Zebulun (Zablun). From Rachel there were
Joseph (Yusuf) (pbuh) and Benjamin. From Rachel's slave there were Dan and Naphtali (Neftali),
and from Leah's slave there were Gad and Asher.
Jacob came to his father Isaac and settled with him in the village of Hebron which lies in the land
of Canaan where Abraham had lived. Then Isaac fell ill and died when he was one hundred eighty
years old. his sons Esau and Jacob buried him with his father Abraham Al Khalil in a cave which
he had bought. It was said that Abraham died at the age of one hundred seventy five.
The Prophet's last Wish
Allah the Almighty declared in the Glorious Quran: "And who turns away from the religion of Abraham (Islamic Monotheism) except him who
befools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among
When his Lord said to him: "Submit (be a Muslim)!" He said: "I have submitted myself (as a
Muslim) to the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)."
And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Abraham upon his sons and by Jacob,
(saying): "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the true religion, then die not except in the Faith
of Islam (as Muslims -- Islamic Monotheism)."
Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob? When he said unto his sons: "What will
you worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship you (Ilah (God - Allah) the Ilah (God) ofyour fathers, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, One Ilah (God), and to Him we submit (in Islam)."
That was a nation who had passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and
you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.
Quran's Way of Confronting People of the Book
They say: "Be Jews or Christians, and then you will be guided." Say (to them O Muhammad):
"Nay (we follow) only the religion of Abraham, Hanifan (Islamic monotheism, i.e. to worship
none but Allah Alone, and he was not of the Al Mushrikeen (those who worshipped others along
with Allah)." Say (O Muslims): "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which
had been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and to Al Asbat (the twelve sons of
Jacob), and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus and that which has been given to the
Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have
submitted (in Islam)."
So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they
turn away, then they are only in opposition. So, Allah, will suffice you against them. He is the All
Hearer, the All Knower.
(Our Sibghah, religion is) the Sibghah (religion) of Allah (Islam) and which Sibghah (religion)
can be better than Allah's. We are His worshippers.
Say (O Muhammad, to the Jews and Christians): "Dispute you with us about Allah while He is
our Lord and your Lord? And we are to be rewarded for our deeds and you for your deeds. We
are sincere to Him in worship and obedience (i.e., we worship Him Alone and none else, and we
obey His Orders)." Or say you that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Al Asbat (the twelve
sons of Jacob) were Jews or Christians? Say: "Do you know better or does Allah know
better....that they all were Muslims? And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony
(to believe in the Prophet Muhammad, when he comes written in their books) he has from Allah?
Allah is not unaware of what you do."(Ch 2:130-140 Quran)
In another surah (Ch 3:65-68 Quran) Almighty Allah declared: "O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Abraham, while the
Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense? Verily, you are
those who have disputed about that of which you have no knowledge. Why do then dispute
concerning that which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifan (Islamic
Monotheism), to worship none but Allah Alone and he was not of the polytheists (he joined none
in worship with Allah).
Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and
this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali
(Protector and Helper) of the believers.
Allah the Exalted also affirmed:
" Then verily! Your Lord for those who do evil (commit sins and are disobedient to Allah) in
ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds, verily, your Lord thereafter to such isOft Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Verily, Abraham was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities or a nation),
obedient to Allah, Hanifan (to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al
Mushrikeen (polytheists, idolaters, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah and those who joined
partners with Allah). He was thankful for His (Allah's) Graces. He (Allah) chose him (as an
intimate friend) and guided him to a Straight Path (Islamic Monotheism, neither Judaism or
Christianity). We gave him good in this world and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous.
Then, We have inspired you (O Muhammad saying): "Follow the religion of Abraham Hanifan
(Islamic Monotheism to worship none but Allah) and he was not of the Mushrikeen (polytheists,
pagans, idolaters, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad, those
who worship others along with Allah or set up rivals with or partners to Allah)." (Ch 16:119-123