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Maintaining Modesty

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

Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) bore Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) for the normal period of pregnancy. Thereafter, when the labour pains commenced, she went to the jungle, far away from people, to give birth to her child. As it was difficult for her to sit and stand, due to the labour pains, she went to a date palm and used it for support.

This was indeed a great test for Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam). She was all alone with nobody to assist her. She was in pain, she had no food or drink with her, and she anticipated that people would accuse her of being unchaste and committing zina. In this state of desperation, she exclaimed, “If only I had died before this and was totally forgotten!” In order to console her, Allah Ta‘ala sent Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) to her. He stood away from her, on an area that was lower than the place she was standing on and said, “Do not grieve! Allah Ta‘ala has provided a small river below you. And shake the trunk of the date palm, it will drop fresh dates for you.”

In this manner, Allah Ta‘ala made divine arrangements for Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam). On her command, the small river would flow, and on her command, it would cease. Similarly, it was a miracle that the date palm bore fruit for her to eat, as it was not the season for dates.

After the period of nifaas (postnatal bleeding) terminated, approximately forty days later, Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) returned to the people carrying Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam). As soon as they saw her, they began to rebuke and chastise her, as she had born a child without being married. They asked her how she could have stooped to such behaviour, whereas she hailed from the most pious of families.

Placing her complete reliance on Allah Ta‘ala, Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) remained silent and gestured towards the infant child. The people thought that she was mocking them, as a child cannot speak. However, as a miracle, Allah Ta‘ala allowed Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) to speak. He informed the people that he was the Nabi of Allah Ta‘ala, and in this manner, the name and reputation of Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) was preserved.

(Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 2, pg. 74-78, Tafseerul Madaarik vol. 2, pg. 37 and Ma‘aariful Quraan vol. 6, pg. 22-28)

Lessons:

1. When people still possessed shame and modesty, they frowned on immodest behaviour. Today, with the surge of immodesty, people regard dating and other illicit relationships to be the norm. This shows how far we have drifted from the values of Islam. Sayyidah Maryam (‘alaihas salaam) preferred to be dead than to be accused of indecent and unchaste behaviour.

2. When a believer leads a life of piety and chastity, has a strong link and relationship with Allah Ta‘ala and places his reliance and trust in Him, then Allah Ta‘ala assists him in his hour of need and comes to his rescue.