The Story of Mary’s (Jesus’ Mother) Birth According to Islamic Teachings

This article reviews the history related to Maryam’s (Mary’s) birth based on the teachings of Islam.

The Quran has covered the birth of Maryam in Surah Al Imran’s verse number 35 and 36. In Quranic interpretation “Tafsir ibn Kathir”, Ismail ibn Kathir has elaborated on these two verses and provided information about Maryam’s parents. According to him, the name of Maryam’s father was ‘Imran’. He was an imam (prayer leader) in Bayt Al-Maqdis (Al-Aqsa site in Jerusalem that Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.) Bayt Al-Maqdis at that time was under the care of the descendents of Prophet Harun (Aron), the brother of Prophet Moosa (Moses). Imran was a very pious man and well respected by those who took care of religious affairs in Bayt Al-Maqdis. The name of Imran’s wife was Hannah bint Faqudh (Hannah daughter of Faqudh) (Kathir I. , Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p. 771).

According to Ibn Kathir, Hannah didn’t have any children before Maryam. One day, she saw a bird feeding its chick. Seeing that, her longing for a child grew intense and thus she made a sincere prayer to Allah (God) to grant her an offspring. In that prayer she made a promise to Allah that if He gave her an offspring, she would dedicate her child to His worship and in taking care of the holy places in Bayt Al-Maqdis. Hannah’s prayers were accepted, and soon she became pregnant. The Quran narrates her response in the following verse:

O my Lord! I have vowed to you what (the child that) 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-Knowing (Quran 3:35).

And after giving birth Hannah said (as narrated in the Quran):

Then when she gave birth to her [child Maryam (Mary)], she said: “O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child,” – and Allah knew better what she brought forth, – “And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with you (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast” (Quran 3:36).

After the birth of Maryam, Hannah decided that she would fulfill her promise and give the newly born child to the service of Bayt-Al Maqdis. The Quran recorded this event in the following verse:

This is a part of the news of the Ghaib (unseen, i.e. the news of the past nations of which you have no knowledge) which We reveal to you (O Muhammad) You were not with them, when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam (Mary); nor were you with them when they disputed (Quran 3:44).

Ibn Kathir explains the above mentioned verse by stating that “Maryam’s mother left with Maryam, carrying her in her infant cloth, and took her to the rabbis from the offspring of Aaron, the brother of Prophet Moses. They were responsible for taking care of Bayt Al-Maqdis (the Masjid) at that time, just as there were those who took care of the Kaabah (in Makkah). Maryam’s mother said to them, “Take this child whom I vowed – to serve the Masjid, I have set her free, since she is my daughter, for no menstruating woman should enter the Masjid, and I shall not take her back home.” They said, “She is the daughter of our Imam, as Imran used to lead them in prayer, “who took care of our sacrificial rituals.” Zakariyya said, “Give her to me, for her maternal aunt is my wife.” They said, “Our hearts cannot bear that you take her, for she is the daughter of our Imam.” So they conducted a lottery with the pens with which they wrote the Tawrah, and Zakariyya won the lottery and took Maryam into his care (Kathir I. , Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p. 763).”

Ibn Kathir also gives an account of the lottery by stating that “Rabbis went into the Jordan River and conducted a lottery there, deciding to throw their pens into the river. The pen that remained afloat and idle would indicate that its owner would take care of Maryam. When they threw their pens into the river, the water took all the pens under, except Zakariyya’s pen, which remained afloat in its place. Zakariyya was also their master, chief, scholar, Imam and Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings are on him and the rest of the Prophets (Kathir I. , Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p. 763).”

Thus, Maryam came under the guardianship of Prophet Zikariyya (Zechariah).
Sabung Ayam
David Grissom

David Grissom has toured and recorded with artists such as John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, Storyville, The Allman Brothers Band, The Dixie Chicks, Chris Isaak, Robben Ford, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Montgomery Gentry, Ringo Starr, Buddy Guy, and John Mayall, . His songs have been recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, John Mayall, Shannon Curfman and Storyville among others. He has been featured several times in Guitar Player, Guitar World, Musician, and Vintage Guitar magazines. He is the author of the "Lone Star Guitar" instructional video and the book "A Guide To Blues/Rock Guitar Soloing."David moved to Austin in 1983 and quickly became a stalwart on the vibrant local scene. He joined Texas legend Joe Ely's band in 1985 and toured and recorded nonstop until 1991 when he joined John Mellencamp's band. David made 3 records with John and toured extensively from 1991 through 1993. After, Mellencamp, David went back to Texas to form Storyville, the band that included the Double Trouble rhythm section and powerhouse vocalist Malford Milligan. Storyville made 2 records for Atlantic Records. Since 2000, David has divided his time between commuting to Nashville to do recording sessions and touring as the Musical Director for the Dixie Chicks in 2003 and 2006.His first solo CD entitled "Loud Music" was independantly released on the Wide Lode label in July 2007. His second Cd, "10,000 Feet" was released in March of 2009. He is currently working on his third solo effort. Most recently, he played on Buddy Guy's Grammy Award winning Living Proof CD and produced Texas artist Ryan Beaver's second CD.In 2007 Paul Reed Smith introduced the DGT, David's signature model guitar which represents the culmination of a 25 year relationship working with Paul on the design and improvements of their guitars from a touring/session players perspective. He is also currently working with Doug Sewell and PRS to help develop their new line of amps.

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