Hazrat Maryam Bint Imran (رضي الله تعالا عنها)

اَعُوْذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْمِ
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمن الرَّحِيْمِ

Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaathu everyone!

This is my first post on Woman of the Week. I do hope to update this weekly every Saturday. With the lockdown, that shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Except the fact that my mum is always on my case for being on my laptop all the time, which is not untrue. But the only way I can do this website is on my laptop. Apart from the cooking, which I do in the kitchen (obviously). This post was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be to write. I had to do a lot of prior research for this article. It took me the whole week practically and I did not realise how much misinformation out there. I stuck to reading books that have been written by Sunni scholars, but then the difficult thing was knowing which authors were Sunni. Anyways due to the time it actually takes to put together an article, I think I will have to stick to posting once a week, because I don’t want to rush this. That and the fact that it is alliteration…

Obviously by the title, you probably already know who this post is going to be about. Now when I first started my research, I had absolutely no idea who to begin with. I mean, who is considered the greatest woman of Islam? Because there are several. Due to this I wasn’t sure exactly who to do this first post about. That is when I decided to ask my brother. He recommended that I write about Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها). I went along with what he said and that is how I began my research on Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها).

I think most people know who Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) is and know of her revered status in Islam. The majority of people also know Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالا عنها) as the virgin mother of the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام), but what may not be as common knowledge is that Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالا عنها) was also closely related to not one, but two other famous prophets. These two prophets are Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) and Prophet Yayha (عليه السلام). Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) was the father of the Prophet Yayha (عليه السلام), who was the maternal cousin of Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها). Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها)’s mother was sisters with the wife of the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام). Maybe I am really ignorant, but I actually did not know that prior to the writing of this article. One thing I did know was that Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) father’s name was Imran and her mother’s name was Hinnah. Some people do speculate that Imran may have been a Prophet. However, there isn’t any concrete evidence for this.

Now whilst I was doing my research, I came across a story about the chamber of Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) and the blessings that occurred in there. Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) lived and grew up in a private chamber, where she remained isolated and secluded from the rest of the world praying to Allah (سبحانه وتعلي). Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) had been in the private chamber since birth as when Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was in the womb of her mother, her mother made a vow that she would devote her unborn child, i.e. Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها)، in the way of Allah (سبحانه وتعلي). So, when Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was born, her mother took her to the mosque in Jerusalem called Bayt ul-Muqaddas. This is where Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) remained under the care of Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام). Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) was the head of the Bayt ul-Muqaddas and created a special room for Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) which is where she remained busy in the worship and remembrance of Allah (سبحانه وتعلي).

Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) would often visit Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) to check up on her and provide her with food. Many times, Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) would discover fruits growing there that were out of season. This surprised Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) as how could these fruits possibly be here? When the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) asked Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) where she was getting the fruits from, Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) replied that the fruits were from Allah (سبحانه وتعلي).

I had previously known of the story of the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) and how he was blessed with children at an old age after supplicating to Allah (سبحانه وتعلي), but I did not know of this part of the story that I am going to tell you now.

During the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام)’s visits to Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها), old age was slowly reaching the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام). When the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) reached old age, he had yet to be blessed with any children. The Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) had supplicated to Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) many times for the blessing of child. An idea came to the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) that he should supplicate in the chamber of Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) as this is where fruit grew out of season in the hope that Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) would grant him a son despite being of old age. So, the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) prayed in this chamber so that Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) may grant him a child despite old age. This prayer was accepted by Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) and not only was the Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) blessed with a child, but this child was blessed with Prophethood. This child was the Prophet Yayha (عليه السلام).

This event reflects the importance of the Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) and how high the status of a woman can be. Many people make wrongful allegations against Islam for denying women their rights, but how can that be the case when so many women of Islam have such high ranks? But if you truly look at the history books you can see how Islam has raised the rights of women so high that the doors to Paradise lie underneath the feet of the mother.

Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) holds an exalted place in Islam as being the only woman to be named in the Quran. Although many women are mentioned in the Quran, they are never mentioned explicitly by name. The nineteenth chapter of the Quran, Surah Maryam, is named after her. The Quran has 114 surahs and Hazrat Maryam is one of only eight people that have a surah named after them. In addition to this, she is also mentioned in the Quran a total of 34 times. Since birth, Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was surrounded by miracles and her sainthood can be seen in the fact that the Quran she was regarded as the best of the women in her time.

وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلىٰ نِسَاءِ الْعَالَمِينَ

And (remember) when the angels said, “O Maryam! Indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you, and today (in your era), exalted above all the women of the world.”
– Quran [3:42]

In this ayah, it can be seen that Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها)’s was the greatest above all women in her time.

To continue with the story, whilst in her private chamber, the angel Jibraeel was sent to her and she was informed that she would have a child. Being a chaste woman, Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was perplexed as to how this would happen. However, through the miracle of Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was destined to give birth to one of the greatest prophets.

As the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) was to be born without father, when the time came for birth Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) left and distanced herself away from all people. She left and travelled far away. When she was tired, she reached a stream. Next to the stream was a date tree. She sat underneath the date tree. Underneath this date tree was where the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) was born. When the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) was born, Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) consumed the dates from the tree and the water in the stream to regain strength. With Allah (سبحانه وتعلي)’s commands, Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) picked up the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) and returned to her village.  

Upon returning to her village, the villagers accused of her shameful acts for how could a child possible be born without father? Despite Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها)’s innocence, she was severely persecuted and taunted. When the villagers made these accusations against Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها), she did not retaliate and remained silent in the face of the allegations. Instead she simply pointed to the new-born baby, i.e. the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام). This is when Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) spoke of his Prophethood whilst in the cradle. The village people were amazed to hear the words coming from a baby, but this was a miracle of Allah (سبحانه وتعلي). This baby was Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) and in his lifetime Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) granted the Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) the ability to perform many miracles such as healing the incurable sick. Not only was Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) status raised through being the mother of Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) but her status was of high standing on its own as well. The high status of Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) is reflected in the Quran.

وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ

And the (example) of Maryam the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, We therefore breathed into her (through Jibraeel) a Spirit from Ourselves and she testified the Words of her Lord and His Books, and was amongst the obedient.
– Quran [66:12]

Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was raised to have such glorified ranks and is one of the most honoured figures in Islamic history. She is one of the most righteous women to have lived. Not much is written about her later life, but one thing is certain Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها) was a women of great importance and significance. As Muslim women, we should look upon her character and piety as an example of how we should live our lives. She remained steadfast in the worship and remembrance of Allah (سبحانه وتعلي). We should aim to learn about these great women in Islam and strive to make these women our role models so that we may enter Paradise.

Sources / Further Reading:

English:

Quran Translation – Kanz ul Iman
Quranic Wonders

Urdu:

Waqia e Hazrat Maryam (رضي الله تعالي عنها)
Quran Translation – Kanz ul Iman
Quranic Wonders