Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Maryam, (Mary), (Alaiha Salaam), Mother of Prophet Isa (Jesus) (Alaihi Salaam)
A role model for all of my dear sisters in Islam.
Maryam (AS), the mother of Prophet Isa (AS) was a remarkable woman. She was one of the greatest women of her time. She was devoted to the worship of Allah (SWT) and remained on the straight path despite many hardships and trials.
Below is her story (in brief) beginning with her mother’s supplication to Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, and through the birth of Maryam’s son, Prophet Isa (Jesus) (AS).
May we all learn from her devotion, her sacrifices, and her obedience to Allah (SWT), Insha’Allah!
Maryam’s (AS) mother, Hannah bind Faqudh was the wife of Imran. Hannah wanted very much to have children, but she was unable to conceive. She supplicated to Allah (SWT) to grant her offspring and Allah (SWT) accepted her supplication. Hannah soon became pregnant with child.
When she became aware that Allah (SWT) had accepted her supplication, she was so thankful to Allah for answering her supplication that she said:
“O my Lord! I have vowed to You what 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-Knower.” (3:35)
Hannah certainly did not know whether or not she was carrying a male or female child when she made this supplication. When she finally gave birth, she said:
“Oh my Lord! I have given birth to a female child” – and Allah knew better what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (AS). I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.” (3:36)
Although Hannah was worried that a daughter may not be able to fulfill her vow to Allah (SWT), He accepted Hannah’s supplication for the protection of her newborn child, Maryam (AS).
He provided for her, and put her under the care of Zakariyya (AS), her brother in law, who was a Prophet of the Children of Israel at that time.
Whenever Zakariyya (AS) visited Maryam (AS) as she was growing into adulthood, he always found her supplied with an abundance of provision. He would find her with winter fruit during the summer, and summer fruit during the winter.
Zakariyya (AS) would ask Maryam (AS):
“From where have you gotten this?” Maryam (AS) would reply, “It is from Allah (SWT). Verily, Allah (SWT) provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limits.” ( 3:37)
As Maryam grew up and became a woman, The angels said to her:
“O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you and chosen you above the women of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns) of her lifetime.” “O Maryam! Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with those who bow down (Imran: 42-43)
Maryam eagerly accepted Allah’s (SWT) command and she became devoted to the worship of Allah (SWT). She would often seclude herself from her family to worship Allah (SWT), and she became well know for her remarkable acts of worship, devotion, and perseverance.
Allah (SWT) made her grow in good manner, and be well liked. He made her accompany the righteous peoples so that she learned righteousness, knowledge, and religion.
During her time in seclusion, Allah (SWT) sent down the Angel Jibreel and he appeared to Maryam (AS) in the form of a man. When Maryam (AS) saw this man, who had come to her while she was in seclusion, she became very afraid of him. She thought that he had come to hurt her.
She said to him, “I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you, if you do fear Allah.” (Maryam: 18).
(Maryam was trying to remind him, The Angel Jibreel, of Allah (SWT).
Jibreel responded: “I am only a Messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a righteous son.
”Maryam (AS) asked, “How can I have a son? I have no husband and I do not commit any wicked acts – no may has touched me.” (Maryam: 19-20).
“Verily, Allah has said that a boy will be born to you. Verily, Allah is the Most Able to do whatever He wills. Allah wished to a appoint this child as a sign to mankind. A mercy from Allah, and it is a matter already decree by Allah.” (Maryam: 21)
Maryam knew that this was going to be a difficult trial for her and she feared what would happen when she returned to her people. As Maryam (AS) was giving birth in seclusion and was in the pain of childbirth, she said that she wished that she had not been created. She knew what lay ahead and that when she brought her baby back to her people, they would surely reject her.
Through Prophet Isa (AS), Allah (SWT) told her not to grieve, she would be taken care of and her proof would be established.
“Then the baby cried unto her from below her, saying, “Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you” (Maryam: 24)
Maryam gave birth to Isa [Jesus] (AS).
As Maryam (AS) prepared to bring her child back to her people, she was instructed by Allah, through the infant Isa (AS) to fast and to use gestures, no words, to let others know that she had vowed a fast unto Allah (SWT) and would not speak to any human on that day, a vow of silence. Maryam (AS) accepted this command from Allah (SWT).
Maryam (AS) was told that Prophet Isa (AS) would make a statement to the people. Maryam (AS) again accepted the command of Allah (SWT) and took her child back to her people.
When she arrived, the people did reject her. They accused her of committing adultery!
Throughout all of the ridicule and degradation that she was enduring, Maryam (AS) continued to direct the people’s attention to Isa (AS). They began to get very angry and felt that she was mocking them. Maryam (AS) however persisted with Allah’s (SWT) command. She remained silent as her people doubted her, slandered her, and condemned her. She pointed to Isa (AS) in his cradle, as a sign to have the people listen to him, but they asked:
“How can we talk to a child in a cradle?”
“He, Isa, said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” (Maryam: 29-30)
This statement would be a declaration of Maryam’s (AS) innocence from all of the horrible allegations made against her.
We all know that Prophet Isa (AS) was a great Prophet of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) honored Maryam (AS), due to her obedience to Him, by allowing her to be the mother of Prophet Isa (AS).
Allah (SWT) provided for her always and she praised Him and thanked Him throughout her life.
All of these acts of worship and obedience to Allah (SWT), before, during, and after the birth of Prophet Isa (AS) show us of the devotion of Maryam (AS) in worship to Allah (SWT). She was put through a tremendous test and she put all of her trust in Allah (SWT). She had been tormented, ridiculed, and accused of horrendous acts, but she remained steadfast throughout.
Allah (SWT) chose Maryam (AS) to be the mother of Prophet Isa (AS) because of her service to Him, her modesty, her honor, her innocence, her piety, and her conviction.
Allah (SWT), through the angels, commanded Maryam (AS) to increase acts of worship, humbleness, submission, prostration, bowing, and so forth so that she would acquire what He had decreed for her.
Maryam’s (AS) acts earned her a higher grade in this life, the honor to be the mother of Prophet Isa (AS), and a higher grade in the Hereafter.
Maryam (AS) was the best woman of her time. She achieved a level of perfection. During Maryam’s lifetime, only two women had reached this level of perfection: Maryam (AS), daughter of Imran, and Asiah, wife of Fi’raun.
Dear Sisters in Islam, let us not forget what Maryam (AS) had done (total devotion and worship) and the rewards that she received from Allah (SWT).
How can Maryam (AS) teach us through her behavior?
How can we learn from her?
How can we learn to put complete trust in Allah (SWT) as she did?
Allah (SWT) has provided us with a gift by sharing the revelations regarding Maryam (AS). He has provided us with a great role model.
Just as Maryam (AS) had done, let us increase our acts of worship, our humbleness, our modesty, our submission, our devotion, and our perseverance.
Let us be in the company of righteous people so that we may stay on the straight path towards Allah (SWT).
We, as Muslims, have been given a gift, a great blessing from Allah (SWT).
We have been chosen by Him to worship Him!
We need to be mindful of this great blessing throughout our trials, our suffering, and throughout all of the blessings bestowed upon us. We must be forever thankful that we were chosen by Allah (SWT).
As we prepare for each of our Salah, let us put aside our distracting thoughts, our “list” of things to do, our frustrations and our desires.
Let us ask of Allah (SWT) to guide us, to help us perfect our Salah.
Let us remember to be thankful to Allah (SWT) throughout our day.
Let us make Duaa asking for Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness, guidance, and strength throughout the day.
Let us be role models for our young sisters, our daughters, and our new sisters.
Let us protect or modesty, increase our khushoo, be charitable, be kind, and continue to nourish our hearts with Islam, Insha’Allah.
May we all be rewarded with Jannatul Firdous. Ameen.
Remember my dear sisters in Islam, Allah (SWT) said:
“When My servants ask about Me, I am indeed close to them.
I listen to the prayer of every supplicant, when he calls on Me.
Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me, so that they may walk in the right way” (2:186)