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136890: Is the raising mentioned in the verse about Idrees, “And We raised him to a high station”, raising in a literal or symbolic sense?


Allah, may He be exalted, says concerning Idrees (peace be upon him): “And We raised him to a high station” [Maryam 19:57 – interpretation of the meaning]. What is the interpretation of this verse? What is the evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah?

Praise be to Allah.

Idrees (pace be upon him) is one of the Prophets, whom Allah mentioned in His holy Book, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And mention in the Book (the Qur’an) Idrees (Enoch).Verily! He was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet. And We raised him to a high station” [Maryam 19:56-57]. That is: mention by way of respect and honour, and with attributes of perfection, “Idrees (Enoch).Verily! He was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet” Allah combined in him truthfulness, which is a high level of faith, perfect knowledge, steadfast certainty and righteous deeds, with choosing him to receive His revelation and to receive His message.

End quote from Tafseer as-Sa‘di (p. 496) 

And Allah praised him by saying (interpretation of the meaning): “And We raised him to a high station”

The commentators differed concerning the interpretation of this verse; there are two opinions: 

1.     That what is meant by raising in this verse is symbolic raising; in other words, We raised him to a lofty status among people, namely the status of Prophethood which is the highest status and standing. 

Al-Baydaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “And We raised him to a high station” means: the noble status of Prophethood and closeness to Allah.

End quote from Anwaar at-Tanzeel wa Asraar at-Ta’weel (4/22) 

Al-‘Allaamah as-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “And We raised him to a high station” means: Allah raised his reputation among all nations and raised his status among those who are near to Him, so he was held in high esteem and was given a high status.

End quote from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan (p. 496) 

2.     That what is meant by raising in this verse is raising in a literal, real sense. 

This is the view of the majority of commentators, but they differed concerning the place to which he was raised, and the reason for it and the story behind it. They also differed as to whether he died: was he raised and his soul taken in death, or was he still alive? 

Ibn Jareer at-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What is meant is that he was taken up to a high, lofty place. Some of the scholars said: He was taken up to the sixth heaven. Others said that it was the fourth heaven.

End quote from Jaami‘ al-Bayaan (18/212) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Sufyaan said, from Mansoor, from Mujaahid: “And We raised him to a high station” – he said: He was taken up to the fourth heaven. 

Al-‘Awfi said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas: “And We raised him to a high station” – he said: He was taken up to the sixth heaven and died there. This was also stated by ad-Dahhaak ibn Muzaahim. 

Al-Hasan and others said concerning the words “And We raised him to a high station”: (That is,) Paradise. 

End quote from Tafseer al-Qur’an al-‘Azeem (5/240-241) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The idea that Idrees was alive when he was taken up is not proven in any strong, marfoo‘ report (i.e., it cannot be attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)).

End quote from Fath al-Baari (6/375) 

What is most likely to be correct is: 

These words are to be understood in the light of what is mentioned in the hadeeth of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) about the Isra’ (Prophet’s night journey) in which it says: “… Then we were taken up to the fourth heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for it to be opened. It was said: Who is this? He said: Jibreel. It was said: And who is with you? He said: Muhammad. He said: Has (revelation) been sent to him? He said: It has been sent to him. So it was opened for us, and I saw Idrees; he welcomed me and prayed for good for me. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And We raised him to a high station.’” Narrated by Muslim (259) 

This indicates that he is in the fourth heaven; that does not contradict the idea of being raised in a symbolic or metaphorical sense, that resulted from Prophethood. 

Ibn Jizziy described this view as being more well-known, then he said: The hadeeth makes it more likely to be correct. 

End quote from al-Tasheel (3/7) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah (1/100): Allah, may He be exalted, says: “And We raised him to a high station”, and it is proven in as-Saheehayn in the hadeeth about the Isra’, that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) passed by him in the fourth heaven… And the agreed-upon hadeeth which states that he is in the fourth heaven is more saheeh. End quote. 

And Allah knows best.

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