Will you give information about Hz. Uzayr (Ezra)? Why did Jews call him - God forbid - Allah's son? Was Hz. Uzayr a prophet?

Details of the Question
Will you give information about Hz. Uzayr (Ezra)? Why did Jews call him - God forbid - Allah's son? Was Hz. Uzayr a prophet?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

HZ. UZAYR (EZRA)

He is a prophet sent to Children of Israel.  Allah removed the Torah from Children of Israel. They lost the chest (the Ark of the Covenant) in which the Torah was kept. The Torah was also removed from their minds. Children of Israel, especially Hz. Uzayr (Ezra) became very sorry because of this. He worshipped Allah a lot. He begged Allah. A light came from Allah and entered his heart. He remembered the Torah He had forgotten. He taught Children of Israel the Torah again. Then, the Ark of the Covenant was found. Thereupon, they saw that the Torah was the same as Ezra taught. Therefore, they loved Ezra a lot. However, they went too far regarding the issue and said, "He is nobody but son of Allah." He avoided bad deeds and did a lot of good deeds to attain the consent of Allah. He called the people around him to believe like him and to obey the orders and prohibitions of Allah. 

Will you give information about Hz. Uzayr (Ezra)? Why did Jews call him - God forbid - Allah's son?  

Answer 1:

Hz. Uzayr (Ezra) is known as the person who discovered the Torah again and who revealed it again based on inspiration. Jews enshrined him in their hearts, though not as much as Hz. Musa (Moses), due to his service to the Torah.

Christians called Hz. Isa (Jesus) Allah's son acting upon his extraordinary birth; similarly, Jews called Hz. Uzayr Allah's son acting upon his being a means of the rebirth of the Torah. This attitude was the attitude of the people who lived in his age.   

The Jews of today regard Hz. Musa, who is the real owner of the Torah, superior. They love Hz. Uzayr but they regard Hz. Musa, who established their religion, who saved them from the oppression of the Pharaoh and who led them through the Red Sea as a miracle.

Answer 2:

Hz. Musa was sent to Children of Israel and the Torah was sent down to him. After completing the duty of prophethood, he died. After his death, Children of Israel were divided into seventy-one groups.

Then, Hz. Dawud was sent to them and became their king. He laid the foundations of Masjid al-Aqsa; his son, Hz. Sulayman, completed the mosque. He placed the chest in which the Torah and some other holy relics were in a room in the mosque. The tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written were also there.

After the death of Hz. Sulayman, The Jews were divided into two states. The states of Israel and Yahuda were founded after this division. However, they attracted the wrath of Allah because they overstepped the limits and deviated from the right path. After a while, both states declined. The state of Israel was demolished by Assyrians; they also burnt Jerusalem down. Most of the Jews were killed. Those who survived were exiled to Babylon. Among the people who were exiled to Babylon was a young man called Uzayr.    

Hz. Uzayr came from the progeny of Hz. Harun (Aaron). The Torah, which had been kept without being distorted until the invasion of Jerusalem, disappeared when Jerusalem was burnt down. The original Torah was very big and nobody except Uzayr had memorized it. Besides, he was known as a learned person among his nation. He tried to reassure people even during the exile and demolition telling them that their trouble would end one day; he tried to find solutions to their problems and to console them.

There was nobody else except Hz. Uzayr who knew the Torah. He taught the Jews the Torah. However, this holy book was forgotten in the course of time and many places of it were changed. Different versions called the Torah written by various people started to appear. The Torah called the Old Testament, which exists now, was written from the copies that were collected by a person called Azra.

A long time passed after the life of slavery. After being freed from slavery, Hz. Uzayr went to Jerusalem. The city was in a ruinous state. He became very sorry for the city. It had been demolished so badly that it seemed impossible to be built up again. After eating his meal, Hz. Uzayr fell asleep in a pensive and worried state. This sleeping lasted for about a hundred years due to a wisdom of Allah Almighty. When he woke up, he saw a very different environment. This incident is narrated as follows in the Quran:

"Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! How shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" But Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: "(perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: and that We may make of thee a Sign unto the people Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh! When this was shown clearly to him he said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things." (al-Baqara, 2/259).

When Hz. Uzayr saw Jerusalem, he had become very sorry for the city and thought, "Can this ruinous city be built up again and become lively again?" (Ömer Faruk Tunalı, Peygamberler Tarihi, İstanbul, 1985, p. 6?). This thought of his was answered in the verse; he died and he was revived after he was kept asleep for a hundred years. When Hz. Uzayr woke up, he saw that the animal he rode had died and its bones had decayed. However, his fruits were kept fresh as a miracle. This incident was kept as a secret from people by the will of Allah Almighty.

When this incident happened, the area had been freed of the invasion and the invading king had died. The people who had lived in captivity started to return to Jerusalem; the city was rebuilt. Thus, it became a lively city as before. Meanwhile, Hz. Uzayr received the grace of Allah Almighty: The decayed bones of the animal he rode were brought together and his animal revived. Hz. Uzayr rode his donkey to Jerusalem. However, since everything and the people had changed, he did not recognize anybody. He went to the part of the town that he thought he had lived. There was a very old woman there. He asked her about the house of Uzayr. The woman showed him the house and said that she was a maid of Uzayr and that Uzayr had been lost for a long time. He told her that he was Uzayr. When she asked for a miracle, he cured the woman's eyes with the permission of Allah.   

The woman who got well as a result of the miracle of Hz. Uzayr went to his relatives to inform them. Hz Uzayr's son and relatives gathered around him. Hz. Uzayr looked much younger than his son. He introduced himself to his son and relatives. He started to read verses from the Torah, which only he knew by heart and which had disappeared years ago. Those who knew how to write recorded what he read. Meanwhile a very old person approached them and said that the Torah was buried in a place where their vineyards were by his ancestors; he said he did not know where his vineyards were and asked if anybody knew where their fields were. Thereupon, those who knew where the vineyards were went there. They found the Torah by digging the ground. They observed that the verses in the Torah were the same as the ones read by Hz. Uzayr and recorded by the people there.  

Some people believed in Hz. Uzayr but others held the view that it was impossible for a human being to do it. The following verse of the Quran indicates the aberration of those people: "The Jews call Uzayr a son of Allah and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths; (in this) they but imitate what the Unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!" (at-Tawba, 9/30). In Risale-i Nur, it is stated in the interpretation of the chapter of al-Ikhlas that the phrase "lamyalid" that is,"(Allah) did not give birth" in the verse rejects the idea of having a child and the name of Hz. Uzayr is also mentioned. (Sözler, 1993, p. 638)

Hz. Uzayr invited people to guidance with patience. However, his nation caused a lot of problems and acted hypocritically. After calling them to believe for fifty years, Hz. Uzayr died in Jerusalem.

Was Hz. Uzayr a prophet?

According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "I do not know whether Tubba (deprived of the mercy of Allah) is a cursed person or not and I do not know whether Uzayr is a prophet or not." (Abu Dawud, Sunnah 14, 4674)

According to the explanations of the scholars, what is meant by Tubba mentioned in the hadith is the greatest and most famous of Tubbas, Asad Abu Kurayb. He is the first person who covered the Kaaba with a covering (kiswah). One thousand years ago, he was aware of the fact that Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) would come to the world and that he would be a prophet; and he believed in the Prophet. However, the Prophet (pbuh) was not informed that he had died as a believer. Therefore, when the name of Tubba was mentioned, he said he did not know whether he was a believer who was honored with belief or a cursed person who was deprived of the honor of belief and hence the mercy of Allah.

Similarly, he did not know whether Hz. Uzayr was a prophet or not at that time; therefore, he said he did not have definite information about him. For, a person cannot know ghayb (the unknown/unseen) even if he is a prophet unless Allah informs him. However, Allah informed the Prophet afterwards that Tubba was a Muslim and that he died as a believer. The Prophet told his ummah that Hz. Uzayr was a prophet of Allah. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a hadith: "Do not curse Tubba because he became a Muslim." (see Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 340; Sunan Abu Dawud Translation and Explanation, Şamil Publications: 15/445-446)

Acting upon the narration above and similar ones, some scholars accepted that Hz. Uzayr was a prophet. (Abulfida, al-Bidaya wa’n-Nihaya, 2/43-46; see Asım Köksal, Peygamberler Tarihi, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı Yayınları: 2/279)

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