Prophet Dāniyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام (Part 2)

Stories of the Prophets

Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام

(Part 2)

Adnan Ahmad Attari

The King was Impressed

In a display of authority, the king summoned Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام to grace his court. It was customary for anyone entering the king's court to prostrate before him. However, when Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام stepped into the chamber, he refused to bend his knee. Sensing a disruption of protocol, the king dismissed his retinue, leaving only himself and the illustrious prophet. With a tone heavy with curiosity, the monarch demanded an explanation. “Why, in my presence, did you neglect to pay homage?” he inquired, his voice laced with a hint of offence. Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام answered with wisdom, “My Lord gave me knowledge of interpreting dreams upon the condition that I do not prostrate to anyone else. I fear that this knowledge will be taken from me if I bow down to you, and then I will be of no benefit to you, and you will kill me.”

The king spoke, “I find no one more admirable than you because you have fulfilled your promise to your Lord. In my eyes, the people who fulfil their promise to their Lord are remarkable folk. Do you have the interpretation to my dream?” Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام answered, “Yes. I am aware of the dream and of its interpretation too.” He then proceeded to mention what the king saw and explained its meaning, which greatly impressed the king.[1]

3 proposals

The king then presented three options to him:

1.   Go back to your desolate city and I will rebuild it.

2.   Live under a peace agreement anywhere in my kingdom.

3.   Or you can stay with me.

Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام said, “Regarding your first proposal, I believe that Allah Almighty has destined destruction and ruin for my people and their land. Without His will, it will be impossible for you to restore it. This affliction will only conclude when Allah Almighty decrees it. As for your second offer, it is not fitting for me to seek your protection when I am already under the guardianship of Allah. However, your third proposition is more acceptable to me, unless Allah Almighty directs me otherwise.”[2]

The king made him a close companion

The king summoned his son, learned courtiers, and advisors, and announced, “This is an exceptionally intelligent man. He has resolved my concerns, and I urge you to respect and learn from him. If you receive messages from both of us, prioritise his needs over mine.” After witnessing Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام attain such a high position in government matters, the dignitaries of Babylon were filled with envy[3]  and attempted to belittle his rank in the eyes of the king.

The tribulation continued

According to certain accounts, a grand festival unfurled in Babylon, where the people gathered to worship their false gods. They urged Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام and his loyal followers to prostrate to these lifeless idols, but they firmly refused. Enraged by this defiance, the people kindled a raging inferno, hurling Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام and his believing followers into it, where they remained till the next morning when King Nebuchadnezzar arrived. The king surveyed the scene from his palace to find five people in the fire. Confused, he asked the people, “How many did you put in the fire?” They replied, “Four! We do not know about the fifth.” Intrigued, the king summoned Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, seeking clarity about the enigmatic fifth presence. Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام explained, “Allah Almighty sent him to turn the fire into ice, but in such a way that its coolness does not harm us.”[4]

The lion’s pit

According to some narrations, it is mentioned that the people were burning with jealousy so they complained about the believers to the king. They mentioned how the believers would neither worship the false gods nor eat the meat they slaughtered. The king had a pit dug, and the six believers were put into it along with a hungry lion. When the disbelievers returned in the morning, they saw the lion sitting calmly with the believers, not having harmed any of them.[5]

In a well with a lion

Like this, the respect for these believers increased in the eyes of the king, but the people continued to complain. So, the king threw them into a well with another hungry lion.[6]

Worshipping Allah Almighty in the well

One account reveals that two bloodthirsty lions were put into the same well as him, and it was covered from the top. He عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was trapped with the lions for five days and when the well was finally opened, Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was seen offering salah whilst the lions were sitting in a corner. They had not harmed him at all.[7]


When he was in the well, he made the following plea to Allah Almighty, “O my Lord! Due to our nation’s shameful words, You have granted the one (Nebuchadnezzar) who is unaware of Your authority over us.”[8]


Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمَا states: The one who fears a beast will be granted protection from its harm if he recites this dua:

اَللّٰھُمَّ رَبَّ دانِیالَ و رَبَّ الجُبِّ وَرَبَّ کُلِّ اَسَدٍ مُسْتَاسِدٍ اِحْفَظْنِی وَاِحْفَظْ عَلَیَّ

O Lord of Dāniyāl! O Lord of the wells and lions and beasts! Protect me and keep me safe.[9]

[1] Al-Muntazam Fi tareekh al-Umam, vol. 1, p. 418; Dalā'il al-Nubuwwah li-Abi Nu’aym, p. 43

[2] Al-Muntazam Fi tareekh al-Umam, vol. 1, pp. 418,419

[3] Al-Muntazam Fi tareekh al-Umam, vol. 1, p. 420

[4] Tarīkh Ibn ʿAsākir, vol. 71, p. 354

[5] Tafsīr al-abarī, Bani Isra’eel, under verse no: 7, vol. 8, p. 31

[6] Tafsīr al-abarī, Bani Isra’eel, under verse no: 7, vol. 8, p. 31

[7] Mawsu’ah Ibn Abi Dunya, vol. 1, p. 523

[8] ilyat-ul-Awliyā, vol. 7, p. 84, raqm: 9,739

[9] Tarīkh Ibn ʿAsākir, vol. 71, p. 348




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