ELIJAH AND ELISHA
(19) Elijah (Heb.) `ēlīyāh - Ilyās and (20) Elisha (Heb.) `ēlīšâ`- Alyasa` and associated sacred Books.
19. Elijah Ilyās , M [=R?]+N (= Heb. ; , `ēlīyāh, Gk. Elias,
Elijah (fl. mid. 9th cent. BCE.,1 Kings 17ff; 2 Kings 1-2) is three times mentioned in two surahs of the Q. He is referred to as a sent messenger and a prophet. Ilyās is reckoned "among the righteous"
(Q.6:85) having been a staunch opponent of the cult of Baal (Q. 37:123ff).
Elijah is not mentioned very frequently in Bābī-Bahā’ī sources though the biblical story of the confrontation between Elijah and the priests of Baal was demythologized by `Abdu'l-Baha'. The "altar of sacrifice" represents the human heart, the "heavenly fire" divine love and the "bullocks" sacrificed carnal desires entirely consumed by the fire of divine love (StarW VII:27). The biblical Elijah is regarded by Bahā’īs as one whose spiritual "return" has taken place twice: first as "John the Baptist" as the NT indicates (--> 26) and again as the person of the Bāb (SE* GPB: 58; Citadel, 95). BA* and AB* are both said to have reverentially visited the traditional site of the Cave of Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
The Cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel.
20. Alyasa` most likely the biblical prophet Elisha son of Shaphat (? 9th cent. BCE), the (Heb.) `īsh `ēlōhîm ("man of God") commissioned by Elijah (no.19) whom he succeeded (1 Kings 19:16f; 2 Kings 2f).
In the Qur'an Alyasa` is only mentioned in two lists of prophet figures, "Ishmael, Alyasa` [Elisha], Jonah and Lot / Dhu’l-Kifl" (Q. 6:86; 38:48). He is only very rarely mentioned in Bābī- Bahā’ī sacred writings (cf. `Abdu'l-Baha' in Promulgation, 2).