Hadrat Maryam (AS) – The Blessed mother of Hadrat Isa (AS)
The Quran mentions and highlights many “Holy families”. In fact , the 3rd chapter of Holy Quran is named after one such family i.e. Aal-e-Imran(The family of Imran). Here, Allah highlights the virtues of a daughter of two very pious parents. This is Hadrat Maryam(AS).Not only is she the daughter of pious parents, but she is also the mother of a pious child, i.e. Prophet Jesus (AS).
Hadrat Maryam (as) was the answer to a du’a made by Hadrat Imran(AS) ’s wife, Hannah. According to Muhammad bin Ishaq (rh), the famous Prophetic biographer, Hadrat Hannah could not have children, but one day, she saw a bird feeding its chick and she asked Allah for a child. When she fell pregnant, she vowed that she would raise her child to concentrate on worshipping Allah and serving the Blessed Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. ►[Tafseer ibn Katheer: Commentary on 3:35]
The time in which Hadrat Maryam(AS) was born – was a time in which the tyranny of materiality held full sway over his community. The interests of the world dominated them completely. They even altered the word of Allah for the purpose of their buying and selling – the rulings of the sacred Law. Allah forbade usury in all the dispensations, so they altered the rulings and made usury permitted to themselves. They permitted to themselves much of what Allah had forbidden them. They became slaves of materialism.
Among the Jews there remained some righteous souls such as the Prophets and their entourage and those that affiliated themselves to them. Among these righteous souls was Hadrat Hanna the mother of Hadrat Maryam, upon both of them peace. Hanna was one of the righteous women, one of the Godwary, worshipful, devoted to prayer and good works. She had great love for Prophets,
saints, and the devotees that were in Jerusalem. When she became pregnant from her husband, she felt that she might give birth to a boy and so she vowed that what she carried in her womb would be dedicated to the service of God. Lord, I have vowed to You, in dedication, what is in my womb ►(Surah 3:Verse 35).
She vowed that the newborn would serve the temple of Jerusalem so as to become prepared for the service of the Religion. Look at the effect of intention. What is our goal when we want to have children?
What is our intention? For she possessed an intention with God! Look at this fortunate woman who, when she intended that in her offspring there would be someone who serves Allah, someone who would serve this Religion, when she was truthful in such an intention, God honored her because of her intention, but not in the way she thought. For she gave birth to a female child.
So when she delivered a baby girl, she submitted: ‘Lord, I have given birth but to a female child.’ But Allah knew best what she had given birth to. (She said:) ‘And the boy (that I prayed for) could never (be) like the girl (that Allah has blessed me with); and I have named her Maryam (Mary, the worshipper); and, surely, I commit her and her children to Your protection against (the mischief of) Satan, the outcast.’►(3:36). So, her Lord graciously accepted her (Maryam [Mary]) with excellent acceptance and brought her up immaculately and entrusted her guardianship to Zakariyya (Zacharias).►(3:37).
Fruits and sustenance descended from heaven and were laid before Hadrat Maryam(AS) without her asking. She was told that she would give birth without outward nor sensory cause and without connection to any man, again, without her asking.
The Reverence of Prophet Isa(AS)’s birth
After detailing the birth of Maryam(AS) ,Allah most High detailed the birth of her son Isa(AS). A portion of Surah Maryam speaks about him and the glad tidings of his birth that that reached his sanctified mother. It also highlights the respect and reverence that is due to the day of his birth. The Quran states that regarding the birthday of Prophet Isa(AS):
وَ السَّلٰمُ عَلَیَّ یَوۡمَ وُلِدۡتُّ وَ یَوۡمَ اَمُوۡتُ وَ یَوۡمَ اُبۡعَثُ حَیًّا ﴿۳۳﴾
And peace be upon me on the day of my birth, the day of my demise and the day I shall be raised up alive!’►(Maryam, 19 : 33)
The Reverence of Bethlehem as Prophet Isa(AS)’s birthplace
Hadrat Anas bin Malik(RA) related that the Prophetﷺ while narrating his journey of the night ascension said,”Jibril said to me at Bethlehem: ‘Alight (from the heavenly steed) and offer prayer’, and so I dismounted and prayed, whereupon he asked, “Do you know where you offered prayer? You prayed in Bethlehem where Isa was born.'”►[Narrated by al-Nasai in al-Sunan Kitab al-Salat [The Book of Prayer],1:122 Hadith #450;al-Tabarani, Musnad al-Shamiyyin 1:194 Hadith #341;and Tafsir Ibn Kathir 3:7]
Reverence of the day in which the Table-spread descended
Asking for a table spread from Allah, Prophet Isa(AS) supplicated:
قَالَ عِیۡسَی ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ اللّٰہُمَّ رَبَّنَاۤ اَنۡزِلۡ عَلَیۡنَا مَآئِدَۃً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ تَکُوۡنُ لَنَا عِیۡدًا لِّاَوَّلِنَا وَ اٰخِرِنَا وَ اٰیَۃً مِّنۡکَ ۚ وَ ارۡزُقۡنَا وَ اَنۡتَ خَیۡرُ الرّٰزِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۴
‘Isa, the son of Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) said: ‘O Allah, our Lord, send down to us from heaven the table spread (with bounties) so that (the day of its descent) becomes (‘Id) a festival day for us, and for our predecessors (as well as) successors, and that (spread table) comes as a sign from You, and provide us with sustenance, and You are the Best Sustainer.’►(Sura al-Mā’idah, 5 : 114)
Through the supplication of Prophet Isa(AS) , Allah has revealed that the day when His bounty descends that day must be revered by thanking Him for His mercy and favour.
- Book of Divine Oneness by Shaykh ul Islam Dr. Tahir ul Qadri
- Tafseer Ibn Kathir