Idrīs (ادريس) in the Quran has been mentioned twice. He was one of the prophets of God Almighty who appeared after Adam and before Noah. His biblical name is Enoch. In fact, he was one of the descendants of Adam and the ancestor of Noah. In this article on Islam4u, we will take a look at:
Idrīs in the Quran: Surah Maryam
The very first time God mentions the name of this great prophet in the Quran is in surah Maryam verse 56. The verse reads:
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِدْرِيسَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيًّا ﴿56﴾
And mention in the Book Idrīs. Indeed, he was a truthful one and a prophet,
وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا ﴿57﴾
and We raised him to an exalted station.[Translation by Qara’i]
From the above verse, we learn that Idrīs or Enoch was a truthful prophet of God. Verse 57 says that God raised him to high station. Historians say that Idrīs asked God to raise him to the heavens as he did not want to see the sins of the children of Cain , and that now he is in the fourth or sixth heaven. 1 Nevertheless, narrations state that this exalted station was not a place but rather a high spiritual proximity and station with God.
Idrīs in the Quran: Surah al-Anbiyā’
The second and last time God mentions the name of this great Prophet in the Quran is in surah Anbiyā’ (الانبياء):
وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِدْرِيسَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ ۖ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿85﴾
And [remember] Ishmael, Idrīs, and Dhul-Kifl—each of them was among the patient.
وَأَدْخَلْنَاهُمْ فِي رَحْمَتِنَا ۖ إِنَّهُم مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿86﴾
We admitted them into Our mercy. Indeed, they were among the righteous.
Idrīs, just like all other prophets of God, was a patient servant of God. He went through a great deal of hardship in guiding his people. That is why the Quran mentions him among the patient and the righteous.
Idrīs in the Quran: The Pioneer
According to narrations, Idrīs was the first person who sewed clothing and used a pen to write and also studied astronomy and mathematics. The reason he is called Idrīs, which comes from dars (lesson or study), is because he taught people many sciences. He was a tailor and his home was the current Sahleh mosque (مَسجِد السهلة). There is a difference of opinion among exegetes of the Quran on whether he has actually died or whether he is still alive, as the Quran says that God raised him to a high station. In fact, some say that God took away his soul between the fourth and fifth heaven, while some say he is still alive and lives in the fourth, fifth, or sixth heaven.
Idrīs in the Quran: Prophethood
Idrīs was the third prominent Prophet after Adam and Seth (شَيث) who was charged with the duty of guiding the people and tribe of Cain. The people of Cain were bad people in that they were polytheists, drank wine, and worshipped idols. They did not believe in the one and only God. Idrīs invited them to monotheism and told them to believe in the one God and also invited them to follow the religion of Adam and Seth. Furthermore, he told them to:
- Be fair toward each other.
- Help the weak ones.
- Be ready to fight the enemies of religion.
- Help the poor by giving alms.
- Fast during the appointed days
There is a difference of opinion regarding how many years Idrīs lived. Some say that he lived around 300 years. 2 As for what happened to Idrīs and whether he died or not, some have said:
- According to some narrations, Idrīs chose a hundred people from among his followers. Then from among those one hundred he selected seventy people. Then he selected ten people. From those ten people, he selected seven people. He, together with these seven extremely pious people supplicated God and worshipped him. This continued until God took Idrīs’s spirit to the heavens. 3
- As I have noted, some others say that God took him with his body and spirit together to the fourth or sixth heaven. However, some have said he was raised to the fourth heaven and died there.
- Some people believe that he entered paradise while he was still alive and never went out of it. 4
- Narrations say that the reason Idrīs was taken to the heavens was that an angel had given him the good news that his acts of worship have been accepted. Idrīs wished that he stays alive. The angel asked why. He said, “I want to give thanks to God
,because while I was alive I used to pray that my deeds are accepted. Now that they have been accepted, I want to give thanks to God. Therefore, the angel opened its wings, embraced Idrīs, and took him to the heavens. 5
Idrīs in the Quran is depicted as a righteous and patient prophet and servant of God whom God raised to an exalted station. Idrīs was the first person to sew clothes, as before that people used to cover themselves with skins of animals. However, Idrīs used cotton and cloth to sew clothes. He was also the first person to use a pen to write things. Idrīs was a descendant of Adam and an ancestor of Noah , and was a prophet who preached to the people of Cain. He was raised to the heavens at the end of his life. Some say he is alive while some say his soul was taken in one of the heavens.
- Al-Burhān fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān (البُرهان في تفسير القُرآن), vol. 6, p. 350.
- Jazāyerī (جَزایِري), Al-Nūr al-Mubīn (النّور المُبين), p. 107.
- Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar (بِحارُ الانوار), vol. 11, p. 271.
- Ibn Jawzi, Al-Muntaẓam fī Tārīkh al-Mulūk wa al-Umam (المنتظم في تاريخ الملوك و الأمَم), vol. 1, p. 234.
- Daylamī (دَيلَمي), Irshād al-Qulūb, vol. 1, p. 326.
Read More on Islam4u