Imran was a learned and pious man, a descendant of the prophet David and brother-in-law to the prophet Zachriah Imran was one of the elders of his people and was held in great respect by them. He was often consulted on difficult matters and his advice always showed great wisdom. Now, Imran and his wife longed for children and they had none. They frequently prayed to God for a child, and lmran’s wife promised that if they had a child she would consecrate it to the service of the temple.
Imran’s wife became pregnant and with great joy and longing she awaited the birth of her child. When her time came, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl whom she named Mary:
One night, at his Lord’s behest, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) left Makkah for Madinah along with Abu Bakr, on camel back, so as to escape to being murdered by certain Makkans who resented the success of his message. To throw the attackers off the scent, they left Ali Ibn Abi Talib lying in the Prophet’s bed. Once out of Makkah, they sheltered in the nearby cave of Thawr. On their third day there, Abu Bakr trembled at the approach of a search party. But the Prophet (pbuh) consoled Abu Bakr by saying that Allah was with them. Their pursuers soon having gone away, they looked out of the cave and were amazed to see a newly spun spiders web across the entrance and a newly built pigeon’s nest to one side of it.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would often sit alone in the cave of Hira. near Makkah. He would pray and meditate there, surrounded by nature, and would ask the Creator of the heavens and earth for answers to questions such as: “What is man’s true role in life? What does the Lord require of us? From where does man come, and where will he go after death?”
When the Makkan persecution of the Prophet and his family seemed about to crush Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had an extraordinary experience, known as al-Isra and al-Mirai, or the Night Journey and the Ascension.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would often sit alone in the cave of Hira, near Makkah. He would pray and meditate there, surrounded by nature, and would ask the Creator of the heavens and earth for answers to questions such as: “What is man’s true role in life? What does the Lord require of us? From where does man come, and where will he go after death?”
After the death of Moses, the Children of Israel put all the things they considered sacred into a special chest called the Ark of the Covenant. Among the things included in the Ark of the Covenant were the clay tablets on which their sacred book, the Torah, was written as well as the staff of Moses which God had transformed twice into a snake. Whenever the Children of Israel went into battle, they would send the Ark with the vanguard. This reassured them greatly and gave them certainty of victory.
It was about A.D. 250, during the rule of the Roman King Decius (Daqyanus) that seven young men of a noble family accepted the teachings of the Prophet Isa (Jesus). But King Decius took up arms against them. When they realized that the king’s soldiers were about to capture them, these young believers ran away from the town to take refuge in a dark cave. There they prayed to Allah: “Qur Lord! Bestow Your Mercy on us and save our lives.” Allah heard their prayers and, when they lay down to rest, He made them fall into a deep sleep lasting 300 years.
The day agreed upon was called the Day of the Feast, and the Pharaoh had gathered all the best magicians of the land to compete with Moses e. During the course of the morning, people began assembling in a large square outside the town. By the time the Pharaoh arrived accompanied by the highest magicians, a huge crowd had already gathered. Everyone was curious to see how Moses with his brother by his side, would confront the Pharaoh.
It was decided that the magicians should start the contest.
The magicians began by throwing ropes on the ground and, us ing their magic, they made the ropes appear to move like snakes. On seeing this, Moses was frightened. But God inspired him to cast down his staff which became a large snake at swallowed up all of the magicians’ ropes.
Moses left Eypt secretly on foot. He walked day and night through the desert, eating berries and grass until he reached the edge of the desert. There he came upon a group of shepherds with their flocks at a well. The shepherds were arguing over who should water his sheep first. Moses was able to quench his thirst at the well, then he sat down to rest in the shade of a tree. As he sat, he saw two girls with their sheep some distance away from the crowds.
He went over to them and asked them why they had not joined the other shepherds. They replied that they were forced to wait until the other shepherds had finished, for their father was very old and they had to take care of all the sheep. Upon hearing this, Moses immediately took their flock and drove it through the crowd to the water. When the sheep had been watered. the girls thanked him and Moses returned to rest under the tree.
Jacob and his sons settled in Egypt at the invitation of Joseph whose power in the land was second only to that of the King. When Jacob sensed that his death was near, he summoned his sons and questioned them about their faith:
“What will you worship after me?” They said “We shall worship your God, the God of your fathers, Abraham, lshmael and Isaac, One God, and to Him we have surrendered.”