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Mary in Islam (Part 3)

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Muslims believe that Lady Mary gave birth to Jesus under a palm tree.
Muslims believe that Lady Mary gave birth to Jesus under a palm tree.

The Birth of Jesus

At the onset of her labor, Mary was in extreme pain, both mentally and physically.  How could a woman of such piety and nobility bear a child out of wedlock? 

We should mention here that Mary had a normal pregnancy which was no different than other women, and delivered her child as others do.

In Christian belief, Mary did not suffer the pains of childbirth, for Christianity and Judaism regard menstruation and labor to be a curse upon women for the sin of Eve. (Genesis 3:16)

Islam neither upholds this belief, nor the theory of original sin, but rather strongly emphasizes that none shall burden the sin of others.

Mary, due to her anguish and pain, wished that she had never been created, and exclaimed:

[ Would that I had died before this, and become forgotten.] (Maryam 19:23)

After delivering the child, and when her distress could not be any more, she heard a voice appeasing her and reassuring her that God will protect her:

[And he called to her from beneath her, "Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, 'Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to (any) person.'"] (Maryam 19:24-26)

Mary felt reassured. She returned carrying her newborn baby. When her people saw her, they accused her saying:

[O Mary, truly a strange thing you have brought!...] (Maryam 19:27)

She merely pointed to Jesus, and he miraculously spoke, just as God had promised her.

[He shall speak to people while still in the cradle, and in manhood, and he shall be from the righteous.] (Aal `Imran 3:46)

Jesus said to the people:

[I am indeed a slave of God.  He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet, and He has made me blessed wherever I may be.  And He has enjoined upon me prayers, and to pay the alms, as long as I live and (He has made me) kind to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed. And may peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and on the day I shall be raised to life.] (Maryam 19:30-33)


From here starts the episode of Jesus, his lifelong struggle to call people to the worship of God, evading the plots and plans of those who would strive to kill him.

Mary in Islam


We have already discussed the great status which Islam gives to Mary. Islam gives her the status of being one of the most perfect women created.  In the Quran, no woman is given more attention than Mary, even though all the prophets, with the exception of Adam, had mothers. 


Of the Quran's 114 chapters, she is among the eight people who have a chapter named after them, the 19th chapter "Maryam", which is Mary in Arabic.  The third chapter in the Quran is named after her father, Imran. In addition, Mary is the only woman specifically named in the Quran.  Prophet Muhammad said:


The best women of the world are four: Mary the daughter of Imran, Asiah the wife of Pharaoh, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (the wife of Prophet Muhammad), and Fatimah, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad. (
At-Tirmidhi)


Despite all these merits which we have mentioned, Mary and her son Jesus were only human, and they had no characteristics which were beyond the realm of humanity. 

They were both created beings and both "born" into this world.  Although they were under the special care of God from committing grave sins (total protection, as other prophets, in the case of Jesus, and partial protection as other righteous persons in case of Mary, if we take the position that she was not a prophetess), they still were prone to make mistakes. , None is given the quality of perfection except God alone.


Islam commands the belief and implementation of strict monotheism; that none has any supernatural powers other than God, and that He alone deserves worship, devotion, and adoration. 


Even though miracles may have occurred at the hands of prophets and righteous people during their lives, this was merely by God's permission. Also, they have no power to help themselves, let alone others, after their death. All humans are slaves of God and are in need of His help and mercy.


The same holds true for Mary. Although many miracles occurred in her presence, all this ceased after her death. Any claims people have made that they saw apparitions of the virgin Mary, or that people were saved from harm after invoking her  are mere apparitions made by Satan to steer people away from the worship of and devotion to the One True God. 


Mary was a maidservant of God, and she was the purest of all women, especially chosen to bear the miraculous birth of Jesus, one of the greatest of all prophets. 


She was known for her piety and chastity, and she will continue to be held in this great regard throughout the ages to come. Her story has been related in the Glorious Quran since the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, and will continue to be so, unchanged in its pristine form, until the Day of Judgment.

 

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