(This chapter is) a mention (story) of the Mercy of your Lord to His servant Zachariah.
He had called out his Lord (Allah) a call in secret.
(He) said: “Surely I (am weakened) and my bones (too) are weakened and my head (hair) is filled with gray. And, my Lord, I have never been ungrateful in my prayer to You”.
And surely I feared my relatives after me (that they will not behave like me) and my wife is now barren. Therefore give me from Your Presence a Walî (a friend, a helper, a son, an heir).
Who should inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob and make him, my Lord, one who is Well-Pleased with You.
O Zachariah! Surely We give you the glad tidings of a son, whose name shall be John (Yahyâ). We have not given this name to anyone before.
(Zachariah) said: “My Lord! How shall I have a son when my wife is barren and I myself have reached extreme old age”?
(The angel) said: “Just like that”. Your Lord says: “It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing”.
(Zachariah) said: “My Lord! Appoint for me a sign”. (Allah) said: “Your sign is that you will not speak to the people three nights while in sound health”.
So he went forth to his people from Al-Mihrâb (the Shrine), and he revealed to them (he had them hear with his inner voice without speaking) that they should glorify (Allah) night and day.