Dhu al-Kifl (Arabic: ذُو ٱلْكِفْل, lit.‘Possessor of the Fold’; c. 600 BCE), also spelled Zu al-Kifl, pronounced Zu l-Kifl, is an Islamic prophet who has been identified with various Hebrew Bible prophets, most commonly Ezekiel. It is believed that he lived for roughly 75 years and that he preached in what is modern day Iraq. Dhu al-Kifl is believed to have been exalted by Allah to a high station in life and is chronicled in the Quran as a man of the “Company of the Good”. Although not much is known of Dhul-Kifl from other historical sources, all the writings from classical commentators, such as Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Kathir, speak of Dhu al-Kifl as a prophetic, saintly man who remained faithful in daily prayer and worship.
According to reliable sources ‘Abd al-‘Alim has said that he sent a letter to Imam Muhammad al-Taqi AlahisSalam to ask him the name of Dhulkifl and whether he was a Prophet? In reply the Imam stated that Allah has sent One lakh and twenty four thousand Prophets in the world. Among them three hundred and thirteen were apostles. Dhulkifl was one of them and he was appointed after Sulayman. He was very quiet and calm-natured person. Allah, the great stated in the Qur’an,
Hazrat zulkifl alaihis salaam kaa wakiya
Quraane Majeed mai RABB TA’ALA irsaad Fharmataa hai“Aur Yaad karoo Ismaail Aur Yasa’a Aur Zul-kifl ko Aur Sab Acche hai”(Surah Saad, Aayat-48)
Aapkaa Naam ‘Bashar’ hai yah ‘Sharf’ hai, Aap Hazrat Ayyub Alayhis Salaam ke Beite hai, (Aapke Muta’alaq Aur vi Mukhtelaf Aqwaal hai),ALLAH TA’ALA ne inko inke Baap Hazrat Ayuub Alayhis Salaam ke Baad Nabi Banaa kar Bheija Aur Hukm diya kee Aap Logo koo Meri Wahdaaniyat par Imaan Laane kee Taraf Bulaaye, kee Meire Bageir Koi Ma’abud nahi,Aap Umar bhar Saam ke Ilaaqe mai hi rahe, ALLAH TA’ALA ke Ahkaam Logo tak Pahonchate rahe, 75 Saal kee Umar mai Duniya se Rukhsat huye,Hazrat Zul-kifl Alayhis Salaam ne Apne Beite Ebraan koo Wasiyat kee thi kee Meri Wafaat ke Baad Neiki ke Amal par Qaayam rehna, Lougo koo vi Imaan Aur Neik Aamaal kee Targib deina,Hazrat Zulfikal Alayhis Salaam Yatimo, Mohtaajo, Garibo, Beiwa Aurato par Reham Fharmaate, Unki Zaruriyaat kaa Khyaal rakhte, Unhi Mohtaaj Lougo kee Kefaalat kee Wajah se hi Aapka Naam ‘Zul-kifl’ (Kefaalat Karne wala) Padh gaya tha.(Roohul Ma’ani, Jild-9, Hissa-2, Safa-82)
Allah has said in the Qur’an
And as to Isma’il and Idris and Zul Kifl, each was of the persevering one; and We admitted them to Our mercy; surely they were of the righteous. 85-86)
ones. And remember Our servants Ibrahim and Ishaq and Ya’qub, men of might and vision. Surely We purified them with a quality most pure, the remembrance of the Abode. And surely they are with Us of the chosen, the excellent ones. And remember Isma’il and Al-Yas’a and Zul Kifl, and they were all of the excellent (Sad, 38:45-48)
The consensus of opinion also holds him as a Prophet From the context of the Qur’an, it seems obvious that Zul-Kifl AlahisSalam was Prophet.
He had taken it upon himself to preach and guide his people and to judge between them with fairness, and that is why he was called Zul-Kifl.
Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abu Hatim have cited Mujahid as saying that when Al-Yasa’ grew old, he wished to choose someone to guide men during his lifetime, so that he could see how he carried on. He, therefore, assembled the people and expressed his desire to appoint someone who fulfilled three conditions. He wanted a man who fasted during the day, kept vigil in the night praying to Allah, and who never lost his temper. One of the men with defective eyes, stood up, and said, “l”. Do you observe fast in the day, keep awake at night and never get angry?” “Yes”, said the man in the crowd. That day, he did not select him.
The same thing happened the next day. None of the people spoke at all but the same man arose again and claimed to fulfil the conditions, and was selected.
Iblis, the devil, set his team of devils against this man, but they could not succeed against him. So he decided to deal with him himself and misguided him.
Iblis came to him in the afternoon when he used to have a short nap. This man did not sleep in the night or at any other time during the day, but for this short nap. Iblis knocked at the door and he was in the guise of an old man, “Who is there?” asked Zul-Kifl. “An old Shaikh, destitute” came the reply. He hurried to the door and opened it. Iblis narrated a long grievance, “I have a dispute with my people who oppress me…” and he carried on and on until the time of Zul-Kifl’s nap was over. He assured him that if he came to his courts, he would look into the matter. But, he did not find him there that evening or the next morning.
Again, as he prepared for the nap, there was a rap at the door, “Who is that?” he asked, “An old, helpless Shaikh.” Came the answer. “Did I not ask you to see me in court?” “My people are wicked. At the court, they told me that they would give me my rights but then denied it as we were out of it.” Zul-Kifl asked him to come to the courts for redressal. His time for the afternoon siesta was again over.
At the courts, he did not find the old man. The next morning he looked for him again but the old Shaikh was not there. The previous evening and the morning he was feeling drowsy from lack of sleep; so, that afternoon he gave instructions that no one should be allowed to disturb him while he had his short sleep.
At the particular time, the old Shaikh kept his appointment as he had been doing the previous two afternoons but there was a man, at the door this time who asked him to go away. He protested that he had come the previous day and submitted his supplication, but the gate keeper did not allow him in, “We are commanded not to let anyone in.”
The old man climbed in the house and knocked the door from inside. Zul-Kifl woke up and asked the gatekeeper if he had given him any instructions. He explained that he had not allowed him in and he could see that the door was shut as before.
Zul-Kifl now recognised who the old man was and asked him point blank, “Are you not the enemy of Allah?” He answered, “Yes, You did not let me succeed in my strategies so I hoped to anger you.”
Thus, Allah called him Zul-Kifl, for he fulfilled the responsibility that he had taken over himself.
Ibn ‘Abbas Radiallahu anhoo, Abdullah bin Al-Harith, Muhammad bin Qays and Ibn rah Al-Akbar and others have narrated about the same thing.
Dhu al-Kifl would literally mean “possessor of, or giving, a double requital or portion”; or else, “one who used a cloak of double thickness,” that being one of the meanings of Kifl. The commentators differ in opinion as to who is meant, why the title is applied to him. I think the best suggestion is that afforded by Karsten Niebuhr in his Reisebeschreibung nach Arabien, Copenhagen, 1778, ii. 264–266, as quoted in the Encyclopaedia of Islam under Dhul-Kifl. He visited Meshad ‘All in ‘Iraq, and also the little town called Kifl, midway between Najaf and Hilla (Babylon). Kefil, he says, is the Arabic form of Ezekiel. The shrine of Ezekiel was there, and the Jews came to it on pilgrimage. If we accept “Dhul al Kifl” to be not an epithet, but an Arabicised form of “Ezekiel”, it fits the context, Ezekiel was a prophet in Israel who was carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar after his second attack on Jerusalem (about B.C. 599). His Book is included in the English Bible (Old Testament). He was chained and bound, and put into prison, and for a time he was dumb. He bore all with patience and constancy, and continued to reprove boldly the evils in Israel. In a burning passage he denounces false leaders in words which are eternally true: “Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken..
THE PEOPLE WHO WERE ANNIHILATED BY PUNISHMENT
It was only before the revelation of Torah, that people were destroyed by heavenly punishment. This is very clear from the verse 43 of Surah Al-Qasas
And certainly We gave Musa the Book after We had destroyed the former generations. (Al-Qasas 28:43)