Yusef read about Dhul-Kifl and about the scholarly debate on whether he was a prophet or just a pious man (taken from Ibn Katheer’s Stories of the Prophets).
- His name means “One who took the responsibility and fulfilled it”.
- The preponderant opinion of the scholars is that he was a prophet. This is proven by the fact that Allah mentions him with the prophets (surah al-Anbiyaa’ 21:55-56 and Saad 38: 45-48)
- The evidence that he was a pious man (and not a prophet) is a report from Mujaahid. He told the story of how, when he became old, Elisha gathered all the people to look for someone who could judge between them after him. The man he was looking for had to fulfil 3 conditions: he had to fast all day, pray all night and never get angry. he asked twice and twice Dhul-Kifl replied he fulfilled those conditions, so he was appointed. At the time of his afternoon nap, he was visited by Shaytaan in the form of an old man. He kept Dhul-Kifl busy with a made up story of how his people had wronged him and asking for his help, so Dhul-Kifl couldn’t get any sleep. The same happened the second day. By the 3rd day, Dhul-Kifl was exhausted. He put a guard at his door, instructing him not to let anyone in because he really needed some sleep. When the old man arrived, the guard told him Dhul-Kifl could not be disturbed. But he managed to sneak I through a wall. He knocked from the inside and woke Dhul-Kifl up. He saw that the old man had enter without opening the door, so he asked him “Are you the enemy of Allah?” he replied: “Yes, and I did all this just to try to make you angry!” (But he didn’t manage.)