Prophet Dāniyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام (Part 1)

Stories of the Prophets

Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام 

(Part 1)

Adnan Ahmad Attari

A righteous woman from the Israelites went to a garden where she was approached by two men. They threatened her, “Commit adultery with us or we will claim that we caught you committing adultery with a man who ran away and so we seized you.” The righteous woman replied, “I will never agree to this demand.”

They took her into public and accused her of wrongdoing. In that era, an adulterer would be taken to a specific place and forced to remain there for three days. A fire would then descend from the sky and burn them if they were guilty. The righteous woman was made to wait there, and on the third day, a dignified young boy of 7 or 13 years arrived.

A chair was respectfully put out for him. Taking his seat, he summoned the two men who had accused the righteous woman. They both came, quite nonchalant about the whole issue. The boy ordered, “Take each of them to separate places.” He then called one of them and asked, “Behind which tree did you see this woman committing adultery?” The man replied, “Behind an apple tree.” The boy then called the other and asked him the same question, to which he gave a different answer. At that very moment, a fire descended from the sky and engulfed both dishonest men. The deep wisdom of the dignified boy exonerated the righteous woman of any wrongdoing and brought the two men to their just outcome.[1]

This dignified, wise boy was the beloved prophet of Allah, Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام.

A brief biography

Allah granted him prophethood and wisdom.[2] He spoke the Hebrew language, was a prophet sent to the Israelites, and observed the laws of Prophet Mūعَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام.[3] Lions did not cause him any harm in childhood. When he grew older, he was imprisoned in a dry well with a lion. However, the lion began to lick his feet and shake its tail in submission. With the command of Allah, an angel[4] or Prophet Armiyāˈعَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام brought food to him during this period.[5]

He was also once placed in a fire but remained completely unharmed, and was also granted knowledge of how to interpret dreams by Allah.[6]  His interpretations can be found in books of dream interpretation even today. According to one opinion, he also had knowledge of authentic geomancy (ilm al-raml).[7] [8]

Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام spoke highly of the Muhammadan Ummah and was lauded by kings of various eras. After his demise, people would supplicate to Allah for rain with the wasīlah of his blessed body. His burial was conducted by believers, and his personal wealth was deposited in a treasury.

Let us read some events in more detail:


Before his birth, astrologers and people of knowledge said to the ruling king, “Tonight, a child who will bring an end to your kingdom will be born.” The king ordered that every child born that night is killed. When Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was just born, he was taken away by soldiers and placed in front of a lion and lioness, who both proceeded to lick his feet and cause him no harm. In order to preserve this memory of Allah’s favour upon him, he had an image of himself and two lions etched on the gemstone of his ring, in which both lions are licking his feet.

Words of praise for the Muhammadan ummah

He praised the Ummah of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم with these words:

The nation of Nū would not have drowned had they offered salah like them. The nation of Ād would not have had punishing winds cast upon them, had they offered salah like them. The nation of Thamūd would not have been seized by that severe and terrifying sound, had they offered salah like them. [9]

From freedom to slavery

When nations would exceed all limits in their disobedience of Allah, they were ultimately ruined and destroyed. When the latter took place, then along with wrongdoers, the righteous also faced trials. The tyrannical king, Nebuchadnezzar II (Bukht Nar), caused destruction in Jerusalem and took 70,000 Israelites to Babylon. There, he distributed them as slaves amongst his chiefs but kept some for himself. Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was among the captives.[10]  His imprisonment by Nebuchadnezzar II was a test from Allah, which he responded to in the best of manners.[11]

The king saw a dream

One night, Nebuchadnezzar II had a startling dream but forgot it by morning. He gathered astrologers and sorcerers, asking them about this. They replied, “If you tell us the dream, we can inform you of its interpretation.” The king thundered, “I am giving you three days to tell me regarding the interpretation of this dream, otherwise I will kill you all.”

News of this spread until eventually reaching Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام in prison. He said to the guard, “I know how to interpret dreams. Can you inform the king regarding me? Consequently, you will gain a lofty position before him.”

The guard replied, “I fear that you will face his anger. Perhaps the sadness of being confined in prison has affected you, and you are only using this to get out. You do not actually possess such knowledge.”

Prophet Dānyāl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام then declared, “My Lord grants me the knowledge I require.”

Eventually, the guard sent news of this to the king.

To be continued in the next instalment.

[1] Maāriʿ al-ʿUshhāq, vol. 1, p. 74

[2] Zurqāni ʿala al-Muwāhib, vol. 1, p. 214

[3] Al-Tadhkirat al-Qurubi, p. 1,196

[4] Zurqāni ʿala al-Muwāhib, vol. 1, p. 214

[5] Qaa al-Ambiyā li-Ibn Kathīr, p. 649

[6] Shar al-Shifā li-ʿAli Qāri, vol. 2, p. 373

[7] To learn more about geomancy and its legal rulings, refer to page 151 of Sīrat al-Ambiyā.

[8] Mirqāt al-Mafātī, vol. 8, p. 358, hadith: 4592

[9] Durr al-Manthūr, part 29, vol. 8, p. 284

[10] Tarīkh Ibn ʿAsākir, vol. 71, p. 353

[11] Umdat al-Qāri, vol. 9, p. 355, hadith:  2548




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