Ezra Sleeps For 100 Years
Ishaaq Ibn Bishr reported, on the authority of Ibn Abbas and others, that Ezra was a saint and a wise man. He went out one day to his own farm, as was his custom. About noon he came to a deserted, ruined place and felt the heat. He entered the ruined town and dismounted his donkey, taking figs and grapes in his basket. He went under the shade of the khaiba tree and ate his food. Then he got up to look at what remained of the ruins. The people had long been lost, and he saw bones. “Oh! How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death?” Surah 2: 259
He said this not out of doubt but out of curiosity. Allah sent the Angel of Death to take his life. He remained dead for one hundred years.
After the one hundred years had passed and there had been changes in Israelite affairs, Allah sent an angel upon Ezra to revive his heart and his eyes in order for him to feel and see how Allah revives the dead. The angel said: “For how long did you sleep?” He said: “A day or part of a day.” He said this because he knew he had slept early in the afternoon and woke up late in the afternoon. The angel said: “You remained asleep for one hundred years.” He ate and drank the food which he had prepared before he was overtaken by that long sleep. Then the angel revived his donkey.
Almighty Allah said: “And look at your donkey! And thus We have made of you a sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.” When this was clearly shown to him he said: “I know (now) that Allah is able to do all things.” Surah 2: 259
Ezra Returns Home
He rode on his donkey and entered his native place, but the people did not recognize him, nor did his household, except his maid, now an old woman. He asked her: “Is this the house of Ezra?” She said: “Yes, but the people have long forgotten Ezra.” He said: “I am Ezra. Allah had taken my life for a hundred years and has now returned it to me.” She said: “Ezra used to be answered when he prayed to Allah. Pray to cure me of blindness if you are Ezra.” He prayed for her and massaged her eyes and took her by the hand. “Get up by the power of Allah,” he said. The crippled woman stood up and walked; she opened her eyes and saw: her blindness was gone. She said: “I bear witness that you are Ezra.”
Ezra Finds and Copies the Torah
She rushed to the assembly of the Israelites. Ezra’s son was one hundred eighteen years old, and his children’s children now were lords of the assembly. She called out to them saying: “This is Ezra come to you.” They accused her of lying. She said: “I am your old maid. He has just prayed to Allah for me, and here I am whole again, walking and seeing.” The people stood up and looked at him. His son said: “My father had a mark between his shoulders, a black mole,” and they discovered it. They said: “None among us memorized the Torah since Neabuchadnezzar burnt it, except Ezra; and there was only one copy of the Torah, which was hidden by Sarukha. He buried it in the days of Nebuchadnezzar in a place none but Ezra knows.” Ezra led the people to the hidden place and took out that copy of the Torah. Its leaves had rotted, and the book itself crumpled.
Ezra sat under the shade of a tree surrounded by the children of Israel and copied out the Torah for them from that script. Henceforth the Jews said that Ezra is the son Allah, for the two pieces of evidence which came down from Heaven: for his copying the Torah and for his fighting the cause of the Israelites. He had been copying the Torah for Ezekial in the land of darkness in the hermitage of Ezekiel. The village which was in ruins is said to be Sayrabadh.
Ibn Abbas commented: “So it is as Allah said: “We have made of you a sign for the people.” Surah 2: 269 That is, for the Israelites, in that he was sitting among his children, they old men, and he a youth. He died as a forty-year-old, and Allah resurrected him at the same age on the day of his death.”