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Last Updated: 2013/12/05
Summary of question
Who became prophets in their childhood?
question
Who are the 3 personalities who became prophets in their childhood?
Concise answer
Following a research in the verses of the Holy Quran and sayings of the Infallibles (A.S) about the prophetic mission of the prophets, we came t the conclusion that only two prophets were appointed as prophets in their childhood and God granted them knowledge, wisdom and books.
The first prophet was Jesus son of Mary, peace be upon them, about whom the Holy Quran says, "But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? (Then all of a sudden, Jesus started to speak and) He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet."[1]
The second person appointed as prophet in his childhood was Prophet Yahya (John) son of Zechariah about whom the Quran says:  "O Yahya! take hold of the Book with strength, and We granted him wisdom while yet a child."[2]
It has been reported from Yazid Kannasi that he said, "I asked Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) if Jesus son of Mary was a divine authority (hujjah) of his time when he spoke in his cradle? Imam Baqir (A.S) answered, "He was then a prophet and an unsent divine authority."
I asked, "Was he at the time and condition, when he was in the cradle, an authority over Zechariah?
Imam answered, "Jesus was at the same time a sign from God for the people and when he spoke, he just defended her mother. He was a divine blessing for the people and a proof or authority from Allah for those who heard him.
Thereafter he uttered no words until he was two years old. During these two years, God's hujjah (authority) over the people was Prophet Zechariah but then Zechariah passed away and his son John inherited his book and wisdom when he was still a young child.
When Jesus, peace be upon him, turned seven, God the Exalted sent down revelations upon him. He then started to speak to people about his prophethood and prophetic mission. He became an authority over Zechariah and the people. O Abu Khalid, the land was never ever devoid of God's hujjah (authority) even for one day from the time he created Adam (A.S) and made him settle on earth.[3]
 

[1].«فَأَشارَتْ إِلَیْهِ قالُوا کَیْفَ نُکَلِّمُ مَنْ کانَ فِی الْمَهْدِ صَبِیًّا* قالَ إِنِّی عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتانِیَ الْکِتابَ وَ جَعَلَنی‏ نَبِیًّا» Maryam, 29 – 30.
[2]  «یا یَحْیى‏ خُذِ الْکِتابَ بِقُوَّةٍ وَ آتَیْناهُ الْحُکْمَ صَبِیًّا»، Maryam, 12.
[3]  Kulayni, Muhammad Ya'qub, Al-Kafi, edited and researched by Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, Akhundi, Muhammad, vol.1, p. 382 – 383, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, fourth edition, 1407 A.H.
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