Ezekiel : biography

The Qur’an mentions a prophet called Zul-Kifl. This prophet is sometimes identified with Ezekiel although Zul-Kifl’s identity is disputed. Carsten Niebuhr, in his Reisebeschreibung nach Arabian,Reisebeschreibung nach Arabian Copenhagen, 1778, ii. 264–266 says he visited Al Kifl in Iraq, midway between Najaf and Hilla and said Kifl was the Arabic form of Ezekiel. He further explained in his book that Ezekiel’s Tomb was present in Al Kifl and that the Jews came to it on pilgrimage. The name Zul-Kifl would mean "One of double", as Kifl in Arabic means "double". Some Islamic scholars have likened Ezekiel’s mission to the description of Dhul-Kifl. When the exile, monarchy, and state were annihilated, a political and national life was no longer possible. In the absence of a worldly foundation it became necessary to build a spiritual one and Ezekiel performed this mission by observing the signs of the time and deducing his doctrines from them. In conformity with the two parts of his book, his personality and his preaching are alike twofold, and the title Zul-Kifl means "the one of double" Aside from the possible identification of Zul-Kifl with Ezekiel, Muslims have viewed Ezekiel as a prophet, regardless of his identification with Zul-Kifl. Therefore, two main views on Ezekiel are popular in Muslim theology:

  • One views Ezekiel and Zul-Kifl as two different prophets.
  • One views Ezekiel and Zul-Kifl as the same prophet.

Ezekiel appears in all Muslim collections of Stories of the Prophets.Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Story of Ezekiel (Hizqil) Muslim exegesis further lists Ezekiel’s father as Buzi (Budhi) and Ezekiel is given the title ibn al-adjus, denoting "son of the old", as his parents are supposed to have been very old when he was born. A tradition, which resembles that of Hannah and Samuel in the Hebrew Bible, states that Ezekiel’s mother prayed to God in old age for the birth of an offspring and was given Ezekiel as a gift from God.Encyclopedia of Islam, G. Vajda, Hizkil


  • Ibn Kutayba, K. al-Ma’arif ed. S. Ukasha, 51One traditional depiction of the [[cherubim and chariot vision, based on the description by Ezekiel.]]
  • Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, 2, 53–54
  • Tabari, Tafsir, V, 266 (old ed. ii, 365)
  • Masudi, Murudj, i, 103ff.
  • K. al-Badwa l-tarikh, iii, 4/5 and 98/100, Ezechiel
  • Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary, Note. 2473 (cf. index: Ezekiel)
  • Emil Heller Henning III, "Ezekiel’s Temple: A Scriptural Framework Illustrating the Covenant of Grace." 2012.

Interpretation as reports of alien spacecraft

Erich von Däniken and others have interpreted Ezekiel’s visions as evidence of visits from intelligent extraterrestrial beings.Roy Stemman: Das Weltall und seine Besucher (German; orig. English: Visitors From Outer Space, Aldus Books, London 1976). Translated by Eva Brückner-Pfaffenberger. Ullstein publishers, Frankfurt / Berlin / Vienna 1979, p. 74-75. "Das Buch Hesekiel beginnt mit der bemerkenswerten Vision, die einige Aufregung unter modernen Ufologen verursachte. […] Erich von Däniken gehört zu den Verfassern, die eine außerirdische Erklärung für Hesekiels Vision angenommen haben." English: "The book of Ezekiel begins with the remarkable vision that caused a considerable excitement among modern ufologists. […] Erich von Däniken belongs to the authors who have supposed Ezekiel’s vision having to be explained on an extraterrestrial basis."Roy Stemman: Das Weltall und seine Besucher (German; orig. English: Visitors From Outer Space). Ullstein publishers, Frankfurt / Berlin / Vienna 1979, p. 75. "Hesekiel gibt viele […] Details seines Erlebnisses an, das gewöhnlich als visionär betrachtet wurde – einfach als ein weiterer Versuch, mystische Erfahrungen so zu beschreiben, dass andere sie verstehen können. Es unterscheidet sich jedoch von anderen biblischen Visionen, weil Hesekiel, ein Priester, auf überraschende Weise ins Detail geht. Wie auch immer sein Glaube an Gott und die Engel ausgesehen haben mag, Hesekiel scheint eine Erfahrung gemacht zu haben, die seinem Wissen und Verstehen so fremd war, dass er sich daranmachte, so viele Einzelheiten wie möglich über die Konstruktion dessen, was er sah, zu berichten. Diejenigen, die an Fliegende Untertassen glauben, waren rasch mit der Interpretation seiner Vision als Beschreibung eines Raumschiffs und seiner Besatzung bei der Hand." English: "Ezekiel notes many […] details of what he had experienced and what had usually been considered visionary—simply one further attempt to describe mystic experiences so that others can understand them. [His experience], though, differs from other biblical visions in so far as the author, a priest, in a surprising way goes into detail. How ever his belief in God and the angels may have looked, Ezekiel seems to have experienced something so strange to his knowledge and understanding that he went to report as many details of the design of what he had seen as possible. Those who believe in flying saucers quickly came forward with an interpretation of his vision as a description of a spaceship and its crew." See also The Spaceships of Ezekiel.