Mary the daughter of Imran
Fatwa No: 86320

Question

I want to know about the life of Maryam (Mary)?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Allah, the Praised, made some rough references to the life of Mary (peace be upon her) as concerns her birth, her upbringing, her selection, and giving her the glad tiding of Jesus (peace be upon him), her pregnancy, her giving birth to Jesus ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )), and her returning home with him as a newborn. 1) As regards her birth, Allah Almighty Says: Allâh chose Adam, Nûh (Noah), the family of Ibrâhim (Abraham) and the family of 'Imrân above the 'Alamîn (mankind and jinn) (of their times). Offspring, one of the other, and Allâh is the All-Hearer, All-Knower. (Remember) when the wife of 'Imrân said: "O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.[3:33-35] Thus, the wife of Imran ( Mary 's mother) vowed that if she bore a child she would make him her especially dedicated for serving in Bait Al-Maqdis (sanctuary in Jerusalem). Then when she delivered her [child Maryam (Mary)], she said: "O my Lord! I have delivered a female child," - and Allâh knew better what she delivered, - "And the male is not like the female, …[3:36] Meaning that a male is unlike a female in terms of serving in Bait Al-Maqdis. …And I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You (Allâh) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast.[3:36] Allah Almighty answered her prayer and saved Mary and her child Jesus (peace be upon both) from the accursed Satan. It was narrated in the Sahihain (two most authentic books of Hadith- Prophet's sayings), that Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (peace be upon him) as having said: Satan touches every baby when it comes to life (during birth) causing him/her to cry except for Mary and her son (peace be upon them). Abu Hurairah then says: 'read if you like the verse: …and I seek refuge with You (Allâh) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast.[3:36]. Another narration by Imam Muslim from Abu Hurairah : The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus , the son of Mary , whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead. 2) As regards her upbringing and her being taken care of, Allah Says: So her Lord (Allâh) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariyâ (Zachariya)….[3:37]. And He Said: This is a part of the news of the Ghaib (unseen, i.e. the news of the past nations of which you have no knowledge) which We inspire you with (O Muhammad). You were not with them, when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam (Mary); nor were you with them when they disputed.[3:44]. What is meant by this dispute is that when her mother brought her to Bait Al-Maqdis to be dedicated as a servant, worshippers there disputed among themselves as to who will be charged with taking care of her. So they cast lots with their pens and ordered a boy under the age of puberty to choose one of them randomly. The pen chosen happened to be that of Zechariah (peace be upon him) who was her sister's husband. 3) Concerning honouring and selecting her, Allah Almighty Says: …and put her under the care of Zakariyâ (Zachariya). Every time he entered Al-Mihrâb to (visit) her , he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Maryam (Mary)! From where have you got this?" She said, "This is from Allâh." Verily, Allâh provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.[3:37]. It was said that Zechariah used to find with her summer fruits in winter and winter fruits in summer. Allah Says: And (remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allâh has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the 'Alamîn (mankind and Jinns) (of her lifetime). O Mary! "Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allâh, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and Irkâ'i (bow down etc.) along with Ar-Râki'ûn (those who bow down etc.).3:42-43]. Mary was obedient to her Lord and committed herself to worshipping Him day and night so much that she became an example for worship and piety for the Children of Israel . According to the Sahihain, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari reported the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) as having said: Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia , Pharaoh 's wife, and Mary , the daughter of Imran . And no doubt, the superiority of Ayisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) over other meals. Allah (SWT) described her as Siddiqah (one who believes in Allah's Books): The Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allâh and His Books]…..[5:75]. Some scholars such as Ibn Hazm thought that she was a Prophet. Yet, the majority of Muslim scholars hold the opinion that she was a righteous woman, for Prophethood is limited to men only. 4) Allah Almighty tells of the coming of the Angels to Mary bearing the glad tidings of Jesus (peace be upon him): (Remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allâh gives you the glad tidings of a Word ["Be!" - and he was! i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allâh. "He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous. She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me." He said: "So (it will be) for Allâh creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: "Be!" and it is.[3:45-47]. 5) Allah also tells that Archangel Gabriel (peace be upon him) came to Mary in the guise of a man and breathed in her and she became pregnant. Exegetes said: "Gabriel breathed in her part of garment (opening) covering the chest and then this opening descended to her female organ and she became pregnant right away." In 'Qasas Al-Anbia'' (Prophets' Stories) Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What can be understood is that her pregnancy lasted for nine months as other ordinary women (in terms of the period of pregnancy and childbirth). Had it been otherwise, it would have been stated. When she felt the childbirth pains and was afraid of accusation, she hid from the people's sights and secluded herself in a faraway place. Then the childbirth pains overwhelmed her and drove her to the trunk of a date palm. The Qur'an describes this in the following verse: And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight![19:23]. She said so because she was sure that people would accuse her of debauchery and would not believe her. Jesus (peace be upon him) then called her from below her: …saying: "Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream (river) under you. And shake the trunk of date palm towards you; it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you.[19:24-25]. Allah mentioned the food and drink He gave to her. He then said that she came to her people with her baby (Jesus, peace be upon him). They said to her: …O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing).[19:27]. So she pointed to her baby, meaning for them to ask him and know the matter. They said wonderingly: …How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?[19:29]. The child (peace be upon him) spoke eloquently and proclaimed that he was Allah's slave and Messenger: 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 (charity), as long as I live.[19:30-33]. Allah then says: Such is 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). (it is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute). It befits not (the Majesty of) Allâh that He should beget a son [this refers to the slander of Christians against Allâh, by saying that 'Iesa (Jesus) is the son of Allâh]. Glorified (and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, "Be!" and it is.[19:34-35]. For more details, you may check the interpretation of the verses relevant to Mary (peace be upon her). Allah knows best.

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