24 December 2012

The Islamic view of Mary, mother of Jesus

From an op-ed piece in the StarTribune this week:
Much has already been written about Jesus's exalted position in Islam. At this time, I would like to focus on how Mary (peace be upon her) is viewed in Islam.

Mary is mentioned in the Qur’an in several chapters, including chapter 19 that is named after her. Mary is revered by Muslims on account of her chastity and devotion to God. The Qur’an makes clear the exalted status of Mary as follows:
And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]." (3:42, 43) 
According to the exegesis of the Qur'an by Ibn Katheer, Mary was born in a noble family from the lineage of David (peace be upon him). The Qur’an mentions the story of her mother’s pregnancy with Mary in the third chapter called Al ‘Imran and how she dedicated Mary to the service of the Bait Al Maqdis (the mosque of the sacred house) in Jerusalem...

During one of the interfaith discussions, a Christian friend remarked that the Qur’an is very kind and compassionate to Mary. She explained that the Bible mentions the first miracle of Jesus when he was 33 years old whereas the Qur’an narrates the first miracle of Jesus when he was a newborn and thus saving Mary from the humiliation of having to wait 33 years to be absolved from the calumny that was heaped upon her by the people at that time.

The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims honor Mary (peace be upon her) and her son the Messiah Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). They send blessings on them when they mention their names, they recite these verses from the Qur’an in their prayers, and they name their children after them as a mark of respect. 
Additional explication and citations at the link.  See also my post from last Christmas:

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