Allah has said:
, And mention in the Book Idris. Surely he was a truthful man, a Prophet. And We raised him to a high position. (Maryamn, 19:56-57)
Surely, Allah has praised Sayyidina Idris AlaihisSalam and described him as a Prophet and as truthful. He was Khunukh. As more than one genealogists mention he was an ancestor of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on the line of genealogical tree.
He was the first to be made a Prophet after Sayyidina Aadam and Sayyidina Shith AlaihisSalam
Ibn Ishaq has mentioned that he was the first man to write with a pen. He was the contemporary of Sayyidina Aadam AlahisSalam for three hundred and eight years. It is indicated in the Hadith of Mu’awiyah bin Al-Hakam that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about drawing lines, he said, “There was a Prophet who drew lines, so if they do it as they did, that is allowable.”O
The words of Allah about him “We raised him to a high position” are corroborated by the Hadith of Al-Isra’, the night journey in Bukhari and Muslim. It is revealed there that the Messenger of Allah ﷺpassed by him while he was on the fourth Heaven.
Hilal bin Yasaf has said that Ibn Abbas asked Ka’b while he was there, “What do the words of Allah about Sayyidina Idris AlaihisSalam imply – and we raised him to a high position?’ Ka’b answered, ‘As for Sayyidina Idris, Allah had revealed to him: ‘I will raise for you ery day the like of the deeds of the children of Aadam.’
Perhaps Allah meant during the era of Sayyidina Idris AlaihisSalam.So, he yearned to increase his deeds. With this urge within him he met his friend among the angels and confided to him what Allah had said and what he hoped and added, ‘Recommend to the angel of death to increase my age that my deeds may multiply.’ The angel took him up on his wings and flew with him to the heavens upto the fourth heaven where they met the angel of death. The angel put in a word in favour of Sayyidina Idris and he asked, ‘Where is he?’ ‘Oh, here over my back!’ (They angel of death remarked, ‘How surprising! I was sent and told to extract his soul on the fourth heaven. And I said to myself, how could I take out his soul on the fourth heaven while he was on
earth? Thus, the angel of death took out his soul there. And this is the meaning of We raised him to a high position).
Ibn Abu Habim has said in explanation of this verse that Sayyidina Idris AlaihisSalam asked the friendly angel to find out from the angel of death how long he would live. The angel of death looked up and replied, “he has just the time it takes an eye to twinkle,” and spied him on the wings of the angel and took out his soul. But this is a fabricated Isra’ilite story. Ibn Abu Najeeh has said on the authority of Mujahid that this verse means that Sayyidina Idris AlahisSalam has never died but has been raised up as ‘Eesa was raised. If he means that he has not died till now then that is questionable but if he means that he was raised to the heavens and died there then that is what Ka’b has said. Allah knows best.
There are other opinions too, some suggesting that he was taken to the sixth heaven where he died but we know from the, Hadith that he met the Prophet on the fourth heaven. Hasan Basri has said it means that he was raised to Paradise and some say that he was raised while his father, Yard bin Mahlaleel, was alive. Allah knows best. Some people contend that he did not exist before Sayyidina Nuh but he lived in the times of the Banu Isra’il.
Bukhari narrates from Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn ‘Abbas that Ilyas and Sayyidina Idris were one and the same person. This opinion is based probably on the way he greeted the Prophet in the night journey, “Welcome pious brother and Prophet.” He did not say, “Pious son…” in the manner of Sayyidina Ibrahim and Sayyidina Aadam . If he were from his lineage, he would have said as they had said.” But, this argument is not strong for he may have said it out of humility and love.