THE PROPHET Jacob (YA'QUB) (peace be upon him)
Allah conveyed to the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) glad tidings regarding the birth of elite Prophets, Ishaq and Ya'qub (peace be upon them). The Holy Qur'an says:
"We gave him Ishaq and Ya'qub. Each of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our mercy and assigned to them a high and true renown." (19:49,50)
Qualities of the Prophet Ya'qub:
The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was the son of Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) and his wife Rebecca. He was born at Palestine. He passed his life exactly in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He had full faith in the Oneness of God. He directed his followers to do good and shun evil. He advised them to keep up prayer and give alms. He was a man of parts and wisdom. God showered His blessings on him and his kith and kin. The Holy Qur'an affirms:
"And We gave him tidings of the birth of Ishaq, a Prophet of the righteous and We showered Our blessings on him and on Ishaq and of their off-spring are some who do good and some who plainly wrong their own selves." (37: 113)
At the age of sixty the Prophet Ishaq (peace be upon him) was blessed with a pair of twins namely Esau and Ya'qub. Esau was a hunter and provided his aged parents with meat. Ishaq was chosen to be the Prophet of the Bani Israel.
His marriage and off-spring:
It is narrated that his uncle Laban made Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) serve him for seven years on promise to marry Rachel with him. At the end of this period the marriage was solemnised. Later on he entered into matrimonial contract with three more women. The Prophet Ya'qub(peace be upon him) had four wives and twelve sons who became the progenitors of twelve tribes. The Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) and Benjamin were from Rachel. The Prophet Ya'qub(peace be upon him) had great affection for them.
Plot against Prophet Yusuf:
As the off-springs of his other wives were jealous of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) they hatched out a plan to separate Yusuf from his father. They took him out on a lame excuse of tending sheep and threw him into a waterless well. They came back home shedding crocodile tears and said: A wolf has devoured Yusuf. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) suspected foul play on the part of his sons. He bore with patience the mental torture to which he was subjected in his old age. He wept bitterly day and night and lost his eye-sight. After a long time he came to know that Prophet Yusuf (peace Be upon him) was alive. He was the custodian of storehouse in Egypt. The Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) along with the whole family proceeded towards Egypt on the invitation of his son. They were awarded a warm reception. He settled in Egypt. He died at the age of 140 years. He was buried in Hebron (al-Khalil) according to his will.
When the Prophet Ya'qub (peace be upon him) was on the point of death, be called his sons and held conversation, with them. It is mentioned in the following Verses of the Holy Qur'an:
"The same did Ibrahim enjoin upon his sons, and also Ya'qub (saying): O' my sons! Lo! Allah has chosen for you the true religion, therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him) or were you present when death came to Ya'qub when he said to his --sons: What will you worship after me? They said: We shall worship your God, God of your fathers Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq, One God and unto Him We have surrendered." (2: 132, 133)