One figure that is generally accepted in the Islam and Christianity is Mary though there are some disagreement as regards the level of veneration she attained in the three religions.
This article is about the Holy Mary in Islam. Mary is the mother of Jesus christ, the Israeli slave, prophet and messenger of God.
Mary is one of the most important and righteous women in Islam. Allah called her the most blessed of women thus defining how venerated she is in Islam.
While she is an example of piety and an obedient slave of Allah, she is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an. Allah says,
Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations.
- —Quran, sura 3 (Al Imran), ayah 42.
Mary is so highly placed in Islam that a whole Surah (Surah Maryam) was dedicated to her with Suratul Imran being in the name of her family.
Born to old parents, her mother had promised that her child would be dedicated for Allah’s service prior to her birth.
Prophet Zechariah was chosen to be her guardian after a dice was cast to determine who would be her guardian. Allah had always provided Maryam with food to the amazement of Zechariah but not to his disbelief.
Birth of Jesus is in sura 19 (Maryam)ayah 20. The Quran tells us that the Angel Gabriel (Arabic: الروح القدس, al-Ruḥ al-Quds, Jibra’il) came to the Virgin Mary and told her that she would soon be pregnant with a holy child. The Virgin Mary asked how it would be possible for her to become pregnant when no man had touched her. The Angel Gabriel replied that nothing is impossible for Allah, and that the Birth of Jesus would be a sign for all mankind. The birth is mentioned later at sura 66 (At-Tahrim) ayah 12, where the Quran says that the Virgin Mary remained pure while Allah created Jesus inside her womb.
The birth of Jesus in the Qur’an is different from that of the new testament. Firstly, she had no pregnancy of the holy spirit rather Allah breathed upon Maryam when she was chaste.
The Quran says that Mary was suffering childbirth pains, when she saw a nearby palm tree and held on to it. While she was holding on to the tree, she heard a voice that seemed to come from the earth beneath the tree. The voice said, “Grieve not! Thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thy feet. Shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards thyself and It will drop its fresh ripe dates upon thee.” Mary then promised not to speak with any man that day.
Later, after Jesus’ birth, Mary brought him to the temple. All of the men in the temple mocked her, except Zechariah, who believed in the virgin birth. The Israelites demanded to know how she could possibly have had a baby without a man, whereupon the Virgin Mary responded by pointing to Jesus who then spoke his first prophecy.
Mary was not a Christian, she was a Muslim, an obedient slave of Allah that bowed down in worship to Allah. The Quran states that Mary prostrated to Allah:
“O Mary! Worship your Lord devoutly: prostrate yourself”
- The Quran states that Mary bowed down to Allah in worship:
“O Mary! Bow down in prayer with those men, who bow down.” This is believed to be the command to Mary by the Angels.
Though Mary is highly regarded in Islam, she is not celebrated nor worshiped. It is common in churches today to worship or celebrate Mary especially the Catholic Church. All these over-veneration of Mary are alien to her.
One question we should ask is, where in the Bible did Mary order people to organize feasts in her name or carve her image which negates the commandant that “Thou shall make no graven image”
It is time Christians started to follow what is written in the Bible. Jesus, the son of Mary also knew nothing about Easter, Christmas. He had no idea of himself being worshiped or called the son of God and there is no where in the Bible where he asked us to organize feasts for his Mother.
If Mary should be celebrated, if feasts should be organized in her name, Jesus should have started it in the Bible and he did not…
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman @knowislam.com.ng
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