Jacob (AS) was the son of Is’haq (AS) and grandson of Ibrahim (AS). He was a messenger of God. God’s good news of births of Is’haq and Jacob to Ibrahim (AS) has been mentioned in the Quran.
Is’haq went to a town named Fadan Aram to his uncle to work as a shepherd there for some time.
His nickname is Isra’il and according to narrations in Islamic and Jewish books, it was given to him by God as a blessing. Isra’il is said to mean servant of God.
The name of Jacob (AS) is mentioned i16 times in 10 Surahs of the Quran, and his nickname Isra’il is mentioned twice in Surahs Al-Isra and Maryam.
Sheikh Tabarsi in his book Majma' al-Bayan fi-Tafsir al-Quran says Isra’il is Jacob (AS) and that Isra means servant and ‘il means God, and therefore the meaning of Isra’il is servant of God.
Jacob (AS) is the father of Bani Isra’il and many of the prophets of God were from his descendants. The Quran also gives the title of Imam to Jacob (AS).
Is’haq urged his son Jacob to marry a girl from those living in Mesopotamia who were among the survivors of Noah’s flood. He did so, marrying two sisters named Eliya and Rahil. He married the second sister after the death of the first one.
He had six sons with his first wife Eliya, two others, namely Joseph and Benjamin, with Rahil, and four with his two other wives.
The Quran mentions Jacob in different cases but the story of his separation from his son Joseph has been given in more detail in Surah Yusuf.
The Quran also points out that Jacob went blind after crying for years for missing his son, Joseph. According to historical accounts, this separation lasted for 50 years.
After finding his son again Jacob went to Egypt and lived there for 17 years. Before his death, Jacob gathered all his children and advised them to follow the path of his grandfather Ibrahim (AS).
Like other messengers of God, Jacob (AS) was known for special characteristics. He was a pious and devout man, had great knowledge, and knew interpretation of dreams. His fortitude and patience in the face of hardships were also exemplary.
Jacob was the first person who entered the mosque and the last to leave it.
He died at the age of 140 or 147 and was buried in Al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestine.