Mary and Jesus

The Muslim News, January 2014 Issue (pp. 1–2)

“Set forth an example for those who believe … Mary … who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into true believers of Our inspiration, and she accepted the truth of the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was of the obedient ones.”

These words give the status of Mary, mother of Jesus in a ma‍jor world religion. When I asked someone who might have said these words, the reply was that it was probably a Catholic. It surprises people, especially our Christian friends, when we tell them that these are the words of the Holy Quran in Chapter 66, verses 11 and 12.

The Holy Quran says that when a true believer accepts the words of Allah the way Mary accepted them, and when he is as obedient to Al‍lah as she was then Allah breathes into such a person His spirit and grants that person inspiration. Thus the highest status a true Muslim can achieve is to become like Mary.

Can anyone give an example from any other religion where the mother of the founder of a different, nay a differing, religion is granted such high status?

Elsewhere the Holy Quran says:

وَ جَعَلۡنَا ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ وَ اُمَّہٗۤ اٰیَۃً

“And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign ….” (The Holy Quran, 23:50)

Here, the Holy Prophet Jesus and his mother are made a sign of righteousness for all humanity. I say this because the Holy Quran has guidance and a message for all people for all time.

The verse quoted above is just one example of the high station awarded by Allah to Jesus. It says about him:

وَ اٰتَیۡنَا عِیۡسَی ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ الۡبَیِّنٰتِ وَ اَیَّدۡنٰہُ بِرُوۡحِ الۡقُدُسِ ؕ

“… We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.” (The Holy Quran, 2:87)”

Allah did not keep the Truth reserved for a chosen people, but through his prophets gave it to all nations, eventually bringing all the truths together in the Holy Quran. Just as the honey bee collects nectar from many different flowers and combines it to make health-giving honey, in the same way the Holy Quran provides us with spiritual honey for our spiritual health.

Let no one be in any doubt of the respect, nay reverence in which Muslims hold all prophets, all holy scriptures and all righteous people.

The Holy Quran says:

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا وَ النَّصٰرٰی وَ الصّٰبِئِیۡنَ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَہُمۡ اَجۡرُہُمۡ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ ۪ۚ وَ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve (The Holy Quran, 2:62)”,

showing that no one is deprived of Allah’s grace or bounties in this world or the next. All those who believe shall be rewarded, so long as belief is accompanied by action and they do good.

So we request our friends not to be afraid of Islam and not to think that it excludes non-Muslims from the fold of love or friendship.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.