Prophet Yaqub [Jacob] (Peace be upon him)
He (Yaqub) said: "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not. (Yusuf, 86)
Hz. Yaqub and Children of Israel
As it is known, when Hz. Ibrahim died, Hz. Ismail, one of his sons, became a prophet in Makkah and Hz. Ishaq, another son of his, became a prophet in Kenan. Hz. Ishaq had two sons: one of them was Ays and the other one was Yaqub. Ays settled in Damascus while Yaqub stayed in Kenan. He was given the duty of prophethood by Allah there. Hz. Yaqub called people to obey and worship Allah for fifty years. He is also one of the restorers of Masjid al-Aqsa after the Prophet Nuh (Noah).1
The Prophet Yaqub married Layya, his maternal uncle's daughter first. He married Rahil, the younger daughter of his uncle, after that. He had sons called Rubil, Yahuza, Shemun and Lawi form Layya; He had sons called Yusuf and Bunyamin (Benjamin) from Rahil.
When Layya and Rahil married the Prophet Yaqub, their father, Laban, gave a woman slave to each. They gave these women slaves to their husband, Yaqub, so that they would give birth to sons. He had three sons from each of these two women slaves. Thus, he had twelve sons altogether.2
The youngest and cutest son of Hz. Yaqub was Yusuf. When he was little, all of the members of the family including his elder brothers loved him very much.
Hz. Yaqub’s nickname was Israel. Therefore, his sons were called "Banu Israel" (Children of Israel). The nation that came from their progeny and Hz Musa (Moses) was sent as a prophet to was known as Children of Israel; finally, a state called Israel was founded in the last century.
The clan of each of them was called "sibt", which meant grandchild; they were called "asbat" (grandchildren) as a whole. In several verses of the Quran, they are referred to as "asbat".3
The incidents of the Prophet Yaqub's going to Egypt with his family, begging Allah for his guilty children, giving his last will to his children and his death will be included in the life of Hz. Yusuf in the next chapter.
1 M. Asım Köksal, ibid. p. 267.
2 ibid. p. 264.
3 al-Baqara, 136.