IN the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
The Holy Qur’an, Al-Al-An’am 6:83-85 says, “That was the reasoning about Us which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) We guided: and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron: thus do We reward those who do good:And Zakariya and John and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous.”
The miraculous birth of Prophet Isa (AS) without a father was in fulfillment of the prayer of his grandmother, Hannah, who was descendant of the priestly house of Imran and the wife of Imran, the father of Haroun, Musa, and Mariam.
Indeed, Mariam was a cousin of Elizabeth, mother of Yahya and daughter of Haroun (Luke 15; 3:23; 4:1; Qur’an 3:35). And Zakariya was the husband of Elizabeth, and father of Yahya. So, Yahya (John the Baptist) and ‘Isa (Jesus) were cousins by blood and there was a Spiritual Cousinhood in their birth and career.
At pregnancy, Hannah dedicated the foetus in her womb to the service of Allah alone. But it turned out to be a female child instead of a male being expected (Qur’an 3:36). She was named Mariam (We accept) and Hannah commanded her and her offspring to Allah’s protection from the accused devil And truly, she grew under God’s special protection. Her sustenance under the guardianship of Prophet Zakariya (AS) was good of a steady growth. Her physical needs and spiritual food came from God through the angels, which made her growth steady, pure, and beautiful (Qur’an 3:37).
In fact, Zakariya at old age of 98 years and a wife of over 85 years, prayed to God to grant him a child as pure as Mariam and his prayer was answered with the birth of Yahya, with three days of fast without verbal utterance with anyone just as did by Mariam(Qur’an 3:38; 19:211).
The Holy Qur’an, Al-Imran 3:39 confirms, “While he was standing in prayer in the chamber the angels called unto him: “God doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya witnessing the truth of a Word from God and (be besides) noble chaste and a Prophet of the (goodly) company of the righteous.”
Just as message came to Zakariya granting his prayer for a son, Almighty Allah granted the prayer of Hannah for a pure son through Mariam. He made her give birth to a son, Isa, by a special miracle without the intervention of the customary physical means. This was unique and does not mean that she was more than human nor that her son was more than human. This negates the idea of the Jews calling Uzair (Ezra) a son of God (Qur’an 9:30) and the Christians (except the Unitarians) calling Isa (Jesus) God and the son of God and the Roman Catholics as endorsed by the Council of Ephesus in 431 A. D. calling Mary, the mother of God.
The Holy Qur’an, Mariam 19:16-40 relates the true story of the birth of Prophet Isa, the Messiah: “Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them. Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: ‘I seek refuge from thee to (God) Most Gracious: (come not near) If thou dost fear God.’ He said: ‘Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son’. She said: ‘How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?’ He said: ‘So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’. It is a matter (so) decreed’. So, she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth Drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): ‘Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!’ But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm tree): ‘Grieve not! For thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; and shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. So, eat and drink And cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to (God) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’ At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: ‘O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!’ But she pointed to the babe. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’ He said: ‘I am indeed a servant of God: He hath given me Revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)’ Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary. (It is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be’, and it is. Verily God is my Lord And your Lord. Him therefore serve ye: this is a way that is straight. But the sects differ among themselves: and woe to the unbelievers because of the (coming) judgment of a momentous day! How plainly will they see and hear, the day that they will appear before Us! But the unjust today are in error manifest! But warn them of the Day of Distress, when the matter will be determined. For (behold,) they are negligent and they do not believe! It is We Who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to Us will they all be returned.”
May Almighty Allah guide us aright in accepting the truth on the birth and elevation of Prophet ‘Isa (AS) to heaven. Amen.