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Mary in Islam

Muslims regard Mary, or Maryam, as one of the greatest women who ever lived, chosen by Allah as the mother of Esa (Jesus).

There is a whole chapter in the Quran, the Muslim holy book, dedicated to Mary, describing how she was sustained by Allah during her childhood and the good news from the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) of the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus.

Mary has a special place in Islam. However, Muslims do not consider her as mother of God and it is forbidden to worship her or Jesus.

  • Mary’s father was Imran, who prayed to Allah for a boy so she could dedicate the child to His worship. The latter part of Surah Imran, verse 36 in the Quran reads: “I have named her Mary, and I command her and her offspring to Thy protection from the evil one, the rejected (Satan).”
  • Mary came under the care of Zakariya, who would enter her chamber and find that she was supplied with food and drink. When he inquired where she got it from, Mary said: “From Allah, for Allah provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.” (Quran, surah Imran, verse 37).
  • Perfection – Mary attained perfection, in terms of closeness to Allah, as the Prophet said: “Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women none attained the perfection except Maryam (Mary), the daughter of 'Imran, and Asiya, the wife of Fir'aun (Pharaoh). And the superiority of Aishah (the prophet’s wife) to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (an Arabic dish) to other meals.” Sahih Al-Bukhari- Volume 5 (Book 62).
  • Honored – no woman is honored more in the Quran than Mary, mother of Jesus. Chapter 19 of the Quran is entiled Surah Maryam, which chronicles her upbringing and the miraculous birth of Jesus.
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