The Seal of the Wisdom of Majesty in the Word of Yahya (John the Baptist)
This is the wisdom of firstness in the names. Allah called him Yahya, i.e. the memory of Zakariyya was (yahya) brought to life by him, and "a name We have given to no one else before." (19:7) He joined the attainment of the attribute, which is in the one who has passed on but left a son to revive his memory and his name through him. He called him "Yahya". His name Yahya is like knowledge by tasting. The memory of Adam, peace be upon him, was revived by Shith and that of Nuh by Sam. It is the same with the Prophets, peace be upon them; but Allah did not combine the name of knowledge from Him and the attribute for anyone before Yahya. It was an act of concern for Zakariyya from Allah, since Zakariyya said, "Give me an heir from You." (19:5) He mentioned Allah before the mention he mentioned his son, as Asiya 1 mentioned the Neighbour before the abode when she said, "Build a house in the Garden.for me in Your presence." (66:11) Allah was generous to Zakariyya, for He granted his need and named him by His attribute. Yahya's name was a remembrance for what His Prophet Zakariyya asked of Him; because he preferred the going-on of dhikru'llah after his death, since the son is the secret of his father.
He said, "to be my inheritor and the inheritor of the family of Ya'qub." (19:6) Nothing is inherited in respect of these except for the station of dhikru'llah and calling to Him. Then Allah gave him the good news of what He appointed for him from His words, "Peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he is raised up again alive." (19:15) He brought the attribute of life, which is his name, and He informed him of His peace upon him. His words are true. He completed it, even if it is the word of the spirit, "Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised up again alive," (19:33) and this is more sublime and more perfect in oneness and belief in the interpretation. That in which the order of nature 2 was broken in respect to 'Isa was articulation. His intellect was given mastery and perfected at that time when Allah made him speak. In any case, mastery of articulation is not necessary.
'Isa spoke the truth in what he articulated but this is different than the one who was testified to, as in the case of Yahya.3 Allah's greeting on Yahya was higher than the greeting of 'Isa on himself in this way since the ambiguity occuring in divine concern was removed. The immediate circumstances indicate his proximity to Allah in that and his sincerity, since he spoke in the cradle the form which indicated the innocence of his mother. He was one of the two witnesses. The other witness was the shaking of the dried trunk of the palm tree.4 Fresh, ripe dates came tumbling down without the male palm tree or pollination. In the same way, Maryam bore 'Isa without a man, that is, without normal and customary intercourse. If a Prophet had said, "My sign and my miracle is that this wall will speak," and then the wall speaks and says, "You have lied, you are not the Messenger of Allah," then the sign is proven and it is confirmed by it that he is the Messenger of Allah. One does not pay any attention to what the wall said.
He introduces this probablity into the words of 'Isa when his mother pointed to him while he was in the cradle. Allah's greeting on Yahya is higher than this element. The passage which indicates that he is the slave of Allah is in respect of the claim made about him that he was the son of Allah. The indication is completed by sheer articulation. He is the slave of Allah according to another group who speak of prophethood. It increases the principle of probability in logical thought until his truthfulness appeared in the future regarding all that he spoke about when he was in the cradle. So understand our allusion!
1. The wife of Pharoah who was one of the perfect women.
2. Kharq al-'adat, miracle, literally, the breaking of the normal pattern of things.
3. 'Isa was a witness, not one who is the object of witness, since he testified on behalf of his mother.
4. See Qur'an 19:29
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