(A painting of John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness)
John the Baptist is a major figure in both Christianity and Islam.
To Christians John the Baptist was one of the greatest Prophets, and the final Prophet before Jesus Christ began his ministry and he was to prepare the way for the first coming of the Saviour. John the Baptist was also a cousin to Jesus and he held the Aaronic Priesthood which allowed him to baptise. When John lost his life the ministry of Jesus began.
In Islam John the Baptist is known as Yahya (يحيى) (in the Qu’ran John is referred to as Yahya, the Arabic for John). Muslims revere John the Baptist as one of the greatest Prophets who prepared the way for the coming of Jesus (Isa). Jesus was to bring with him the Injeel or Gospel (much like Muhammad was to bring the Qu’ran) so much like the Christian accounts, Islamic accounts also say that John played a pivotal role in bringing the Gospel to the world. John was also one of the Prophets with whom Muhammad spoke with during his famous Isra and Mi’raj (Night Journey).