"And mention in the book, Idris. Indeed he was a man of truth and a prophet. And We raised him to a high station." --Chapter 19:56-57 Quran
Prophet Idris AS was born and raised in Babylon. He was the first of the children of Prophet Adam
to be given prophethood, after Adam and Seth
(peace be upon them). He practiced the religion of these two prophets, calling the community back to his forefathers’ teachings, however the majority of people turned away from this.
With his followers, Prophet Idris AS left Babylon, moving to Egypt where he continued his mission. There, he called the people to monotheism, to what is fair and just, to fast on certain days, taught them certain prayers, and to give of their wealth to the poor and needy. It is reported that he was the first to invent the basic form of writing.
Of his character, it is said he persevered, was pious and patient. In the Quran, he is mentioned alongside Prophets Ishmael and Dhul Kifl (peace be upon them), as being 'of the patient' (chapter 21:85).
It is reported through the majority of books on tafseer, Islamic exegesis / interpretation, about him, that Allah SWT reveals to Prophet Idris AS: From those that follow you, anyone who does good deeds, you will receive the reward of those deeds for yourself.
Prophet Idris AS wanted to increase the number of his good deeds and devotion, yet knew he was approaching the end of his life. He speaks to his friend among the angels of what Allah SWT has promised, and asks him to fly him to the angel of death to request to have his life extended. The angel advises Prophet Idris AS that his life is a matter decreed by Allah SWT but takes Idris AS to meet the angel of death to make the request. They fly up into the skies, crossing the first, second and third heavens. In the fourth heaven, they encounter the angel of death, who reveals he has been sent by Allah SWT to take away Prophet Idris’s soul.
In a confirmed hadith (saying), the Prophet Mohammed SAW says he met Prophet Idris (AS) in the fourth heaven, during hi Isra wal Miraj – the Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens. (Sahih Al Bukhari)
Teachings of Prophet Idris AS:
- “None can show better gratitude for Allah’s favours than he who shares them with others.”
- “Do not envy people for what they have as they will only enjoy it for a short while.”
- AS is an abbreviation of the Arabic honorific phrase alayhi salam, which translates to "peace be upon him".
- SWT is an abbreviation of the Arabic honorific phrase, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, which means, "May He be glorified and exalted".
- SAW is an abbreviation of the Arabic honorific phrase, Ṣallallāhu ′alayhi wassallam, which means, "May Allāh send blessings and peace upon him" and is used when referring to the Prophet Mohammed.