- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS
MARY or Maryam was the mother of Jesus Christ. It is noteworthy that the Quran mentions about Mary several times, whereas it does not do so for any other woman by name. By this fact, we can estimate the eminence of Mary in Islam. Here below is the translation of the references to Mary in the Quran.
Remember when the wife of ‘Imran said, ‘My Lord, I have dedicated what is in my womb entirely to Your service. So accept this from me. You are the One who hears and knows all.’ When she gave birth, she said, ‘My Lord, I have given birth to a girl’ God knew very well what she had given birth to: a male is not like a female ‘I have named her Mary and placed her and her children in Your protection from the rejected Satan.’
Her Lord graciously accepted her and made her grow in goodness and entrusted her to the care of Zachariah. Every time Zachariah visited her in her chamber he found some provision with her. He asked, ‘Mary, where did this provision come from?’ She replied, ‘This is from God. God provides for whoever He wills without measure.’ (3: 35-37)
Quran mentions about Mary several times, whereas it does not do so for any other woman by name. By this fact, we can estimate the eminence of Mary in Islam.
What was this provision that God provided for? It was the provision of wisdom and the knowledge of realities of life. Mary had dedicated her life to the service of God, so God had opened for her the doors to the treasures of wisdom and truth. The Quran further says:
The angels said, ‘Mary, God has selected you and purified you. He has selected you over [all] the women of your time. O Mary! Remain truly devout to your Sustainer, and prostrate yourself in worship, and bow down with those who bow down [before Him].’ This is an account of the unseen, which We reveal to you. You were not with them when they drew lots as to which of them should be Mary’s guardian and you were not with them when they disputed with one another. When the angels said, ‘O Mary, your Lord gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next and one of those who are granted nearness to God. And he shall speak to men in his cradle, and as a grown man, and shall be one of the righteous.’ ‘Lord,’ she said, ‘how can I have a child when no man has touched me?’ [The angel] replied, ‘Thus it is: God creates what He wills: when He wills a thing He need only say, “Be,” and it is. (3: 42-47)
In a similar manner, the Quran says:
Recount in the Book how Mary withdrew from her people to an eastern place and kept herself in seclusion from them. We sent her Our angel, who presented himself to her as a full-grown human being.
When she saw him, she said, ‘I seek refuge in the compassionate God from you; [do not come near] if you fear the Lord.’ ‘I am only the messenger of your Lord,’ he replied.
‘I shall bestow upon you the gift of a son endowed with purity.’ She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me; and neither have I been unchaste?’ [The angel] replied, ‘So shall it be; your Lord says, “This is easy for Me; and We shall make him a sign to people and a blessing, from Us. This has been decreed.” (19: 16-21)
So she conceived him and withdrew with him to a distant place. The pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said, ‘Oh, if only I had died before this and passed into oblivion!’
But a voice called out to her from below, ‘Do not despair. Your Lord has provided a brook that runs at your feet, and if you shake the trunk of this palm-tree, it will drop fresh ripe dates on you. Eat and drink and rejoice. And if you see any human being say, “I have vowed a fast [of silence] to the Gracious God, and will not speak with any human being today." (19: 22-26)
God chose such a woman to be the mother of Christ. A mother, who would have no husband and who’s son would have no father.
Carrying her child, she brought him to her people. They said, ‘O Mary, you have indeed done something terrible! Sister of Aaron, your father was not an evil man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman!’
She pointed to the child. They said, ‘How shall we talk to someone who is a child in the cradle?’ [But] he said, ‘I am God’s servant. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and has enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving throughout my life. He has made me dutiful toward my mother, and He has not made me arrogant or wicked. Blessed was I on the day I was born, and blessed I shall be on the day I die and on the day I am raised to life again.’ (19: 27-33)
The Quran further says: We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign and gave them shelter on a peaceful hillside watered by a fresh spring. (23: 50)
[God gave another example in the story of] Mary, ‘Imran’s daughter, who preserved her chastity and We breathed Our spirit into her; she testified to the words of her Lord and His Scriptures, and was truly devout. (66: 12)
Mary or Maryam is a word derived from the Aramaic language meaning exalted. Mary the mother of Christ was born in a Jewish family. God dealt with her miraculously in every respect. Her birth was answer to a special prayer made by a righteous woman. Her upbringing and learning were done in the Jewish temples. From childhood itself, she was consigned in service to the temple.
During her days in the temple, because of her spiritual life and her knowledge of realities, she was known by all as a pious and saintly woman. It was impossible to have any doubts on her chastity.
Mary had dedicated her life to the service of God, so God had opened the doors to the treasures of wisdom and truth.
God chose such a woman to be the mother of Christ. A mother, who would have no husband and whose son would have no father. She conceived by a direct commandment of God and after the full term of her pregnancy, she gave birth to a pure and healthy child. For a chaste woman such as Mary, it was an extremely sensitive issue for her to be a mother of such a child who would have no father. Because of this very sensitivity, God sent His angels to Mary who reassured her and saved her from grief due to this matter.
Together with this, God made miraculous arrangements to provide food and drink for her in her retreat, outside the city.
Source: The Spirit Of Islam