Introduction to Surah Maryam


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Thoughts on Surah Maryam, its merits and different shades of meaning- prepared by Maha Youssuf

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Introduction to Surah Maryam

  1. 1. Surah Maryam Morals and Lessons
  2. 2. The 19th in order in the Quran
  3. 3. Like most Surahs of the Quran, Surah Maryamtackles a variety of themes, yet the Oneness ofAllah remains its central subject matter,presented differently through a number oftopics and parables involving a variety offigures, including the noble Prophets such as;Zachariah, John, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses,Aaron, Ishmael, Idris, Adam, Noah and Jesus.And this is perhaps one element that makes itrich in lessons and morals that compel us toreflect and contemplate their meanings.
  4. 4. The Surah furthermore portrays scenes from theDay of Judgment, which also corresponds to thecentral theme that is stressing the Oneness of Allah,the Almighty.Another element that adds more value to thismeritorious Surah is the vivid description of humanemotions and spiritual interaction with eventsunfolding and the power of Allah manifesting inHis exemplary creation. The Surah speaks of thethe ebb and flow of human emotions representedby Lady Maryam or Mary in handling, in fear, yetdevotion, the major event of the Surah; that is themiraculous birth of Prophet Jesus.
  5. 5. Manners
  6. 6. MannersThe Story is rich in morality and fine manners represented in the figures of the manyProphets mentioned in it. It sketches the manners of Prophet Jesus and how he was kindand dutiful to his mother:“He has made me kind to my mother, not haughty or bereft of grace.” - (Verse 32)The Surah also touches on the notion of devotion and submission to Allah represented inthe figure of Prophet Zachariah, a devouted servant of Allah who implored Him andsupplicated to Him relentlessly, humbly, and submissively in hope of having a son. AndProphet John, who was obedient to his parents of a kind and gentle nature:”And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah. And dutiful to his parents, andhe was not a disobedient tyrant.”- (Verses 13 and 14)Over and above, words such as tenderness, compassion, devotion and their derivativesare mentioned repetitively and variously throughout the noble Surah, which invites us tostop and contemplate their connotations, being primary qualities shaping the Muslimcharacter.
  7. 7. Allah’s Attributes
  8. 8. Allah’s AttributesBesides the Oneness of Allah, that is the central theme of theSurah in hand, His Supreme Attributes, ranging from Mercy,Domineering Will, Power, Supreme Lordship, AbsoluteWisdom and Justice in compensating His obedient servantsand punishing those who’ve gone astray, are clearly stressedand portrayed through the noble verses of Surah Maryam.
  9. 9. Allah’s Attributes- continuedExamples from the Surah:- “ It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When Hedecrees an affair, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.”- (Verse 35)-“[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah.” –(Verse 2)-“He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them.”-(Verse 65)- [An angel] said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, It is easy for Me, for Icreated you before, while you were nothing. ” (Verse 19)-“Indeed, it is We who will inherit the earth and whoever is on it, and to Usthey will be returned.”- (Verse 40 )
  10. 10. The Will of AllahOnly Allah can suspend and change the universal law of procreation
  11. 11. MiraclesThe Surah involves TWO primary events involving the intervention ofAllah’s will and Supreme Power to suspend the law of procreation, anoutright miracle challenging the Human capacity and mind capabilitiesalike.The two incidents or rather miracles in the Surah are: FIRST the miraculousbirth of Prophet Jesus who was born to a virgin mother; the virtuous LadyMaryam.The SECOND is the birth of John who was born to an aged father who wasdesperate to have a son, even if he had reached such old age.All natural laws and order submit before the Will and Power of AlmightyAllah.
  12. 12. Last but not least, the Surah challenges claims and heresy attributed toAlmighty Allah, on top of which is the claim that He, Exalted be He, hasa son.Surah Maryam is one of the Surahs of the Quran that rejuvenates one’sfaith and certainty of the Supremacy and Lordship of Allah- The Oneand only Creator of the Universe who has no father or son. Wassalaam. Maha Youssuf