It was for some time that Zakariyya, son of Ibrahim, felt attracted towards Islam although his father, mother and all the family members were Christians and he too was the believer of Christianity. Both his conscience and heart were inviting him towards Islam. At last, against the liking of his father, mother and family-members, he accepted Islam and surrendered himself to the commandments of Islam.
The Hajj pilgrimage season commenced. Young Zakariyya left Kufa, Iraq with the objective of performing Hajj pilgrimage and had the honour of meeting Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) in Madina. Zakariyya narrated to Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) the incident of his acceptance of Islam. Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) enquired:
"What virtue of Islam attracted your attention?" Zakariyya replied: "I can only say that it was Allah's words in Noble Qur'an which impressed me and holds true in my case. Allah says to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny in Noble Qur'an: "O Prophet! Earlier you didn't know what the Book is and didn't know what the faith is, but We revealed to you this Qur'an and made it a light by which We guide whomsoever We wish."
Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: "I confirm Allah has guided you."
Then Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said thrice:
"O Allah! You Yourself be a guide to him."
Afterwards Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said:
"My son, now whatever questions you have, asks me".
The Youngman said: "My father, mother and family-members, are all Christians. My mother is blind. I am associated to them and I am compelled to eat with them. What am I supposed to do in such circumstances?"
Imam Jafar Sadiq (as): "Do they eat pork?"
Zakariyya: "No, O son of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny! They don't even touch pork."
Imam Jafar Sadiq (as): "Then, there is nothing wrong in your association with them."
Then Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: "Be careful about your mother's health. Be kind to her till she is alive. When she dies, don't give her body to anyone else. You personally take charge of her corpse." Here, don't tell anyone that you have met me. I will also come to Makkah. Insha Allah (Allah willing), we will meet in Mina.
In Mina, the Young Zakariyya went in search of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as). There was a huge crowd around Imam Jafar Sadiq (as).
The people, like the children surrounding their teacher and asking questions one after the other without giving any time, were asking questions one after the other from Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) and were listening to his replies.
The Hajj pilgrimage season came to an end and the Young Zakariyya returned to Kufa, Iraq. He had kept in mind Imam Jafar Sadiq's (as) advice. With firm determination, he started serving his mother and never failed to be kind and loving to his blind mother. Zakariyya served food to her with his own hands. He even used to check her clothes and head to see that no lice might be present. This change in the behavior of the son, mainly after his return from Makkah, was surprising for his mother. One day she asked her son:
"Dear Son! Earlier, when you followed our religion Christianity, you were not so kind to me. Now what has happened to you that though I and you are not the same in respect of religion, you are more kind to me than before?"
Zakariyya: "Dear mother! A person from the descendants of our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny has told me to do so."
Mother: "Is he himself a Prophet?"
Zakariyya: "No, he is not a Prophet. He is the son of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny."
Mother: "My son! I think he himself is a Prophet as this type of advices and preaching's not given by anyone except the Prophets."
Zakariyya: "No mother! Be sure that he is not a Prophet. He is the son of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. Basically, no Prophet is supposed to come to earth after our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny."
Mother: "My son! Your religion Islam is very good. It is better than all the other religions. Teach me your religion Islam to me."
The Young Zakariyya told his mother the 'Shahaadatayn' (meaning: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad (pbuh) is his Messenger").
Thus, the mother became a Muslim. Then the Young Zakariyya taught his blind mother the process of reciting salat (prayer). The mother grasped it and recited the Zuhr (noon) and the Asr (afternoon) salats. It became night. She succeeded in reciting both the Maghrib (evening) and the Isha (night) salats. Suddenly, late in the night, the mother's condition (of health) changed; she fell sick and got bed-laid. She called her son and said:
"My son, once more teach all the things you had taught me."
Once again, the son taught his mother the Shahaadatayn and all the principles of Islam, that is, belief in Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), angels, the Divine Books and the Ma'ad (Day of Resurrection). The mother repeated all these as a symbol of her belief and acceptance and offered her life to the Creator.
In the morning, the Muslims gathered for giving her Ghusl-e-Mayyat (obligatory bath to the dead) and her burial. The person, who recited Salatul Maiyyat (prayer for the dead) and buried her, was none but her young son, Zakariyya.