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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Maryam: Purest Of Womankind

She is Maryam bint Imran the daughter of the priest Imran and his wife Hanna, who when pregnant with Maryam vowed to dedicate the child she bore to the service of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and at her birth accordingly named her Maryam, meaning “servant of her lord” Allah the Almighty said

{Behold! A woman of 'Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me: For Thou hearest and knowest all things." When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!"- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- "And no wise is the male Like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected.} 3: 35-36

The mother of Maryam expected a male child. Was she disappointed that it was a female child? No for she had faith and she knew that Allah’s Fate was better than any wishes of hers. Maryam was no ordinary girl: only Allah knew what it was that he mother brought forth.

Maryam grew under Allah’s special protection. Her sustenance, under which we may include both he physical needs and he spiritual food, came from Allah, and he growth was indeed a “goodly growth” some apocryphal Christian writings say that she was brought up in the Temple to the age of twelve like a dove and that she was fed by angels.

The purest of woman kind, she was a great- faithed one, and miraculously conceived the prophet Isa (pbuh). Allah the Almighty said

{Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations} 3: 42

Mary the mother of Jesus was unique, in that she gave birth to a son by special miracle, without the intervention of the customary physical means. This of course does not mean that she was more than human any more than that her son was more than human.

Being chosen as the purest of womankind, she was told that she would beget a child without wedlock. Maryam was still a virgin. No human had touched her no was she married or engaged. Therefore she was stunned and wondered saying.

{She said: "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?} (Maryam: 20 )

She at once heard the Divine reply :

He said: "So (it will be), your Lord said: 'That is easy for Me (Allâh): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allâh), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allâh).' " (Maryam:20)

Allah had destined her to be the mother of the prophet Isa (Jesus Christ) in a miraculous way.

Allah’s creation is not dependent on time, or instruments or means, or any conditions whatsoever. Existence waits on His will, or plan, or Intention. The moment He wills a thing it becomes His Word or command, and the thing forthwith comes into existence.

Allah created Adam without a father and mother. There was no man or woman before Adam, Hawwa was created after Adam and she was created from a male without a female parties. Both Maryam and her son, Isa were unfortunately taken as objects of worship by some sects of Christians because of the strangeness of Isa’s birth without a father, though as commentators point out by such reasoning the prophet Adam might better deserver to be worshipped, since he neither had father not mother.

The amazement of the people knew no bounds, in any case they were ready to think the worst of her, as she had disappeared from her kin for some time, but now she came, shamelessly parading a babe in her arms. How she had disgraced the house of Aaron, the fountain of priesthood. The people then reminded her of her high lineage and the unexceptionable morals of her father and mother, how they said she had fallen and disgraced the name of her progenitors. What could Maryam do? How could she explain would they in their censorious mood, accept her explanation? All she could do was to point to the child, who, she knew was no ordinary child. And the child came to her rescue. By A miracle he spoke defended his mother, and preached to an unbelieving audience. Allah the Almighty said.

{Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing). "O sister (i.e. the like) of Hârûn (Aaron) [not the brother of Mûsa (Moses), but he was another pious man at the time of Maryam (Mary)]! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman." Then she pointed to him. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? "He ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of Allâh, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;[ "And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salât (prayer), and Zakât, as long as I live." "And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest. "And Salâm (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!" ( Maryam:27:33)

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