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The Preparation of Piety

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(Sayyidah Maryam [‘alaihas salaam] – Part Five)

Allah Ta‘ala instructed the angels to give Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) the glad tidings that she would give birth to a son named ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) without the medium of a father. The angels also gave her the glad tidings that this son would be the Nabi of Allah Ta‘ala who would invite people towards Him while still a child. However, Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) was instructed to exert herself in ‘ibaadah so that she would become worthy of this great favour and bounty of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, she exerted herself in ‘ibaadah and performing salaah to such an extent that her legs would become swollen.

Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) would only leave Musjidul Aqsa when she was impure or when she had a need to fulfill. Once, while she was out, Allah Ta‘ala sent Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) to her in the form of a man. As soon as she saw him, out of her extreme purity, chastity and shame, she exclaimed, “I seek the protection of the Most Merciful from you! If you possess taqwa (then do not come close to me)!” Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) assured her that he was an angel sent to her by Allah Ta‘ala to bless her with a child. She asked, “How will I give birth to a son whereas no man has touched me (I am unmarried) and I am not unchaste?” Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) replied, “So it will be. Your Lord has said, ‘It is easy for me.’” Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) then blew into her collar through which Allah Ta‘ala caused Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) to be conceived.

References: Surah Aal ‘Imraan v45-46, Surah Maryam v16-21, Tafseer Ibni Katheer vol. 2, pg. 346 and Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 2, pgs. 67, 73 and 74.

Lessons:

1. Allah Ta‘ala had honoured Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) above all the women of the world to be the mother of Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) without the medium of a father. However, in order to become worthy of this bounty, she was instructed to exert herself in ‘ibaadah. Similarly, Allah Ta‘ala loves all His servants and wishes to bless them and shower His favours upon them. However, the general system of Allah Ta‘ala is that He blesses His servants when they strive and show that they are eager for His blessings. Hence, together with making du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala for Him to bless us, we have to exert ourselves in His ‘ibaadah and in acquiring His pleasure.

2. As soon as a strange man had come close to Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam), she sought the protection of Allah Ta‘ala and reminded the man to adopt taqwa. This is the automatic, spontaneous reaction of a person who possesses hayaa (shame and modesty) – that they are always on their guard and are wary of non-mahrams coming close to them or approaching them.