Four of the Prophets are Alive / two are in the Heavens and tow are in Land

Question 277: Assalamu alayka ya dear brothers and sisters wa rahmatullahi wa barakatoh. Can someone briefly relate me what states have Hazrat Idris (a.s.), Hazrat Khidr (a.s.), Hazrat Iliya (a.s.) reach, if there are differences between each of theirs states, how they reach these states, and what is their present and future relation with our 12th Imam (mAhhr) ?

I ask this because, I heard that there are five persons that literaly elevated to heaven before death and taken to unknown celestial realm and continue to live there, each one of them are in different state, until the reapparenc oh the Mahdi (mAhhr).

May Allah reward you.

Answer 277: Four of the prophets are alive two of whom are in the heavens: Jesus and Edris, and two of them are in the land: Khidr and Elias, Ilyas (Elias). As for Khidr, he is in the sea but his companion is in the land.”[1]

Prophet Jesus: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says about the Prophet Jesus (as) as follows: “and for their saying,” We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of Allah” though they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. Indeed those who differ concerning him are surely in doubt about him: they do not have any knowledge of that beyond following conjectures, and certainly they did not kill him”.[2]

In other verse of the holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “When Allah said,” O Jesus, I shall take you] r soul [, and I shall raise you up toward Myself[3]”.

According to the previous verses of the holy Quran, we can come to the conclusion that the Prophet Jesus (as) is still alive. He is in the Heaven, though, considering the meaning of the word ‘Mutawaffika‘’ mentioned in the verse, the Prophet’s soul had been taken and He brought back to Allah, according to some interpreters of the holy Quran. [4]

Prophet Ilyas: It is said that Prophet Ilyas (Elias) is in the Heaven, too. He had been inviting people of the Baalbek to the Prophet Musa’s Shariah Law for 22 years. Some say that Prophet Ilyas is Prophet Idris (Enoch). They say: He was one of the Harun’s children and the Prophet Khidr’s brother.[5]

Prophet Khidr: Khidr is one of the four prophets recognizes as being alive. It is said that He drank from the water of life and is alive forever. He is at the Sa’sa’ah and Sahlah Mosques. Sayyid ibn Tawus narrated that when Imam Ali (as) martyred Prophet Khidr participated in the funeral. He went to Imam Hasan and Hussain (pbuth) condoled them and showed them the place of the Prophet Noah’s (as) grave.[6]

Some hadiths and verses of the Quran imply that he was a prophet and messenger of Allah (swt) to his tribe and people, to invite them to tawhid (the oneness of God) and accepting Allah’s (swt) prophets and the divine books. His miracle was that whenever desired, he could revive any dead and dry branch or dry and barren land, making it green again, thus being given the title “Khidhr”. His real name is Talya ibn Malekan ibn Aber ibn Arafkhshad (ارفخشد) ibn Sam ibn Nuh.

As for the prolonged life of this prophet, we would like to draw your attention to a hadith from Imam Sadiq (as): “… As for the servant of Allah (swt) Khidr, Allah (swt) extended his life, but not because of his prophetic mission, nor in order to reveal a book onto him, nor to nullify through him, the religion of the past prophets, nor for him to become leader to a nation following him, nor for the obedience that Allah (swt) had made obligatory upon him, but He (Allah (swt)) extended his life because He chosen to lengthen the occultation of the Qa’im (Imam Mahdi (as)) and knew that some of the people would begin doubting about him as a result, so He lengthened the life of this good servant of His in order for it to be reason for accepting the long life of the Qa’im and so that his life would be compared with the imam’s, rejecting the objection and criticism of the enemies and the bad-minded.[7]

He is, without a doubt, still alive and is currently more than six thousand years old.[8]

Prophet Idris: According to the following verse of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says about the Prophet Idris, He is still alive. “And mention in the Book Idris. Indeed he was a truthful one, a prophet”.[9]

The two Prophets who are in the Heaven, Prophet Idris and Jesus. And the two are still alive and are in the land, Prophet Khidr and Ilyas.

Prophet Idris’ name mentioned twice in the Quran, he has revered and celebrated as truthful, prophet, patient, righteous etc. Prophet Idris is among the grandsons of Prophet Seth reaching Adam (a.s.) through five intermediaries. One of his grandfathers is Prophet Noah (a.s.). Most historians have said that he lived 365 years before his ascension, or his death according to another report. Based on narrations, four of the prophets are still alive two of whom i.e. Prophet Khizr and Prophet Ilyas (Elias), peace be upon them, are living on earth and the two others i.e. Prophet Idris and Prophet Jesus, peace be upon them are in the heavens.

Allamah Tabatabai (RA) interpreting the verse 65 of Surah al-Kahf (Then they found one from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves[10]) appertained to Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Khidr (AS) quotes narrations from a number of Sunni and Shia sources about some prophets being alive.

Among the narrations he has quoted is a tradition from Jalaluddin in his Al-Durr al-Manthur which is narrated from Shahin from Khasif that says:[11]

«أربعة من الأنبیاء أحیاء اثنان فی السماء: عیسى و إدریس، و اثنان فی الأرض الخضر و إلیاس- فأما الخضر فإنه فی البحر و أما صاحبه فإنه فی البر»

It is noteworthy that this narration is also available in Shia sources but it is narrated from Sunni sources.[12]

Those Prophets and Imams (pbuth) who will return and accompany Imam Mahdi’s (ajtf) reappearance: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: “When the Twelfth Imam (aj) appears and leadership is passed on to him, at that time, the Prophet (pbuh) and Amir al-Muminin (as) shall appear. Amir al-Muminin will carry with him a cane and a branding iron.[13]

Upon the cane there is a figure which reads ‘bismillah’ (in the name of Allah), which he will use to mark the foreheads of those who are believers. The figure upon the branding iron reads ‘bismilkafir’ (in the name of disbelievers), which he will use to brand the foreheads of the disbelievers. This way, believers and disbelievers will once again be distinguished. At that time, all of the Imams (as) shall return to assist Amir al-Muminin (as) and Imam Mahdi (aj). Prophets who endures much hardship and strife in the way of Allah, such as Zakariyyah (Zachary), Yahya (John), Hizqil (Ezekiel), and other Prophets which were injured or killed at the hands of the disbelievers shall also return to this world. Verily, news has been given to me of their reappearance to bring about swift retribution to their killers and oppressors as well as seek justice from those who spilt the blood of Hussain (as).”[14]

Narrations pertaining to the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam (aj) state that Prophet Isa (Jesus) (as) shall be once again sent to this world at the permission of Allah. He shall appear before everyone as one of the companions of Imam Mahdi (aj) and shall stand in prayer behind the Imam. It is narrated that the Holy Prophet said: “I swear by that which has instated me as a bearer of the truth, if there remains but one day to this world, Allah shall prolong that day until my son Mahdi (aj) reappears. After his reappearance, Prophet Isa (Jesus) Ruhollah (as) will descend to this world and will stand in prayer behind the Imam. It is then that Allah shall light up the world with His Light, and the government of Imam Mahdi shall encompass everywhere from east to west.”

Imam Sadiq (as) says: The first Imam to return is Imam Hussein (as), after which he will govern [the Islamic nation] for a lengthy period of time. He will govern for so many years that his eyebrows will cover his eyes as a result of old age.[15]

[1] . Tabatabai, Sayyid Muhammad Hussein, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol.13, p. 353, Islamic Publications Office, Qom, fifth edition, 1417.

[2] . Surah al-Nisa, verse 157.

[3] . Surah Ale Emran, verse 55.

[4] . Tafsir Nemooneh, Vol. 2, Pg. 431.

[5] . Emad Zadeh Esfahani, Qasas Qurani, Pg. 680.

[6] . Ibid.

[7] . Kamaluddin, vol. 3, pg. 357; Biharul-Anwar, vol. 51, pg. 222.

[8] . Yawmul-Khalas, pg. 157.

[9] . Surah Maryam, verse 56.

[10] . Surah Kahf, verse 65. «فَوَجَدا عَبْداً مِنْ عِبادِنا آتَیناهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنا وَ عَلَّمْناهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْماً»

[11] . Suyuti, Jalaluddin, al-Durr al-Manthur fi Tafsir al-Ma’thur, vol.4, p. 239, Ayatollah Mar’ashi Najafi Library, Qom, 1404 A.H.

[12] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Behar al-Anwar, vol13, p. 402, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, second dition, 1403 A.H; Ibn Tavus, Ali bin Musa, Sa’ad al-Saud Lil-Nofus Mandhud, p. 163 – 164, Dar al-Dhakhaer, Qom, first edition (date missing).

[13] . In Arabic: میسم.

[14] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, translation of 13th volume by Davani, pg.1165.

[15] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, vol. 53, pg.46.