Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And mention in the Book, Maryam…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641 :
Narrated by Said bin Al-Musaiyab
Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child.” Then Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) recited: “And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan” (3.36)
Chapter: “And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 642 :
Narrated by ‘Ali (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best amongst the women. (of this nation).”
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “When the angels said: O Maryam! Verily, Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 643 :
Narrated by Abu Musa Al-Ashari (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The superiority of ‘Aisha to other ladies is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. meat and bread dish) to other meals. Many men reached the level of perfection, but no woman reached such a level except Mary, the daughter of Imran and Asia, the wife of Pharaoh.”
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Amongst all those women who ride camels (i.e. Arabs), the ladies of Quraish are the best. They are merciful and kind to their off-spring and the best guardians of their husbands’ properties.’ Abu Huraira added, “Mary the daughter of Imran never rode a camel.”
Maryam bint Imran, the mother of Prophet Isa, was no ordinary lady. Allah had chosen her for the extraordinary and miraculous birth of Isa. Studying her life as described in the Quran and Hadith, we see how pious and dedicated she was. Her belief in Allah was so strong that it also inspired her guardian, Prophet Zakariya, to ask Allah for a righteous child. A dua and faith in Allah can go a long way! You’ll see when you read the story of the birth of Maryam.
The Story of Maryam’s Birth
The wife of `Imran mentioned here is the mother of Maryam, and her name is Hannah bint Faqudh. Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned that Hannah could not have children and that one day, she saw a bird feeding its chick. She wished she could have children and supplicated to Allah to grant her offspring. Allah accepted her supplication, and when her husband slept with her, she became pregnant. She vowed to make her child concentrate on worship and serving Bayt Al-Maqdis (the Masjid in Jerusalem), when she became aware that she was pregnant. She said,
﴿رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ﴾
(O my Lord! I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.) meaning, You hear my supplication and You know my intention. She did not know then what she would give birth to, a male or a female.
﴿فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّى وَضَعْتُهَآ أُنثَى وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ﴾
(Then when she gave birth to her, she said: “O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child, ـ and Allah knew better what she bore.)
﴿وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالاٍّنثَى﴾
(And the male is not like the female,) in strength and the commitment to worship Allah and serve the Masjid in Jerusalem.
﴿وَإِنِّى سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ﴾
(And I have named her Maryam,) thus, testifying to the fact that it is allowed to give a name to the newly born the day it is born, as is apparent from the Ayah, which is also a part of the law of those who were before us. Further, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah mentioned that the Prophet said,
«وُلِدَ لِيَ اللَّيْلَةَ وَلَدٌ، سَمَّيْتُهُ بِاسْمِ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيم»
(This night, a son was born for me and I called him by my father’s name, Ibrahim.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.
They also recorded that Anas bin Malik brought his newborn brother to the Messenger of Allah who chewed a piece of date and put it in the child’s mouth and called him `Abdullah. Other new born infants were also given names on the day they were born.
Qatadah narrated that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«كُلُّ غُلَامٍ رَهِينٌ بِعَقِيقَتِهِ، يُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ سَابِعِهِ، وَيُسَمَّى وَيُحْلَقُ رَأَسُه»
(Every new born boy held in security by his `Aqiqah, until his seventh day, a sacrifice is offered on his behalf, he is given a name, and the hair on his head is shaved.)
This Hadith was collected by Ahmad and the collectors of the Sunan, and was graded Sahih by At-Tirmidhi. We should mention that another narration for this Hadith contained the wording, “and blood is offered on his behalf,” which is more famous and established than the former narration, and Allah knows best.
Allah’s statement that Maryam’s mother said,
﴿وِإِنِّى أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ الرَّجِيمِ﴾
(“…And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.”) means, that she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him. Allah accepted her supplication, for `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ إِلَّا مَسَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ حِينَ يُولَدُ، فَيَسْتَهِلُّ صَارِخًا مِنْ مَسِّهِ إِيَّاهُ، إِلَّا مَرْيَمَ وَابْنَهَا»
(Every newly born baby is touched by Shaytan when it is born, and the baby starts crying because of this touch, except Maryam and her son.)
Abu Hurayrah then said, “Read if you will,
﴿وِإِنِّى أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ الرَّجِيمِ﴾
(And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast).” The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
Maryam Grows Up; Her Honor is with Allah
Allah states that He has accepted Maryam as a result of her mother’s vow and that He,
﴿وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا﴾
(made her grow in a good manner) meaning, made her conduct becoming, her mannerism delightful and He made her well liked among people. He also made her accompany the righteous people, so that she learned righteousness, knowledge and religion.
(And put her under the care of Zakariyya) meaning, Allah made Zakariyya her sponsor. Allah made Zakariyya Maryam’s guardian for her benefit, so that she would learn from his tremendous knowledge and righteous conduct. He was the husband of her maternal aunt, as Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Jarir stated, or her brother-in-law, as mentioned in the Sahih,
«فَإِذَا بِيَحْيَى وَعِيسى، وَهُمَا ابْنَا الْخَالَة»
(I saw John and `Isa, who are maternal cousins.)
We should state that in general terms, what Ibn Ishaq said is plausible, and in this case, Maryam was under the care of her maternal aunt. The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah decided that `Amarah, the daughter of Hamzah, be raised by her maternal aunt, the wife of Ja`far bin Abi Talib, saying,
«الْخَالَةُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْأُم»
(The maternal aunt is just like the mother.)
Allah then emphasizes Maryam’s honor and virtue at the place of worship she attended,
﴿كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًا﴾
(Every time he entered the Mihrab to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance.)
Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ash-Sha`tha, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and As-Suddi said, “He would find with her the fruits of the summer during winter, and the fruits of the winter during summer.” When Zakariyya would see this; d
﴿قَالَ يمَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا﴾
(He said: “O Maryam! From where have you gotten this”) meaning, where did you get these fruits from
﴿قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ إنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ﴾
(She said, “This is from Allah.” Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.)