Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim (In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful)
One of four most perfect women of all time, these stories aren’t without reason. They are for us to look at how we can relate to them.
Reflection: Mariam means one who loves to worship Allah swt. We should try to live up to the meanings within our names.
A lot more specific detail about her in the Quran. Her description is found in Surahs:
Surah Mariam ayahs 16-36,
Surah Al Imran ayahs 42-49,
Surah Mariam was revealed in Makkah because the Quran was being revealed in a time and place where women had no rights. When the Muslims were going to Abyssinia this gave them ways to talk to the Christians about Islam.
Mariam AS is described in different ways in the Quran:
- A person chosen above others, in Surah Al Imran, she is declared the best woman created. She has complete Yaqeen, or certainty in her belief in Allah.
Prior to the birth of Mariam, her parents were known for their pious. She is the descendant of Imran, a pious lineage, which continued after her. Her parents were very old, her mother makes dua that she has her own child when she is feeding the bird. Many times this comes up; Allah swt grants these people the impossible and grants them miracles. Allah swt granted her dua but Imran passes away before her birth.
Reflection: Know that Allah has given these examples of miracles to motivate us to make dua during times of need. Mariam AS mother made the vow that whatever is in her womb would be for Allah swt. She was sure it would be a boy because that is what the men do. Through her birth, Allah swt is bringing back honor and the proper status of women in society.
Shortly after she is born, her mother passes away as well. Many people wanted to care for her because she came from a pious family. To decide who raises her they through their names into the river and Zakariyyah AS name came up and he is chosen.
One day Zakariyyah AS finds Mariam AS surrounded by fruits that are out of season. Mariam AS tells him it is from Allah swt. When he saw all of this he knew that it had to be from Allah swt. It reminded him that all things are possible.
Reflection: She is teaching a Prophet that Allah swt can give us anything. Like him we have to look at these stories beyond the surface. You can ask for anything that you need because Allah swt can provide it.
Zakariyyah AS was so moved he prayed for a child on the spot.
Reflection: Part of dua is to mention your weakness and your needs to Allah swt.
Mariam is told that she will have a son as well. She gets this news and goes to a faraway place to give birth to Isa AS. He speaks to her and tells her not to despair. He tells her to fast from speaking. Meanwhile, Allah swt provides her with dates and water.
Reflection: We should attempt to fast from speaking, even if it is just a couple of hours in order to give us time to reflect on ourselves like Mariam AS.
Reflection: Throughout the Quran whenever Isa AS is mentioned Mariam AS name is with it. This achieve two things: It is confirming that he didn't have a biological father but it is also a way of honoring Mariam AS and her status.
After the birth she returns to the village. Now, these villagers who once were fighting to take care of her are furious. Because she is fasting from speaking she points to the baby. They continue to slander her. She knows that Allah swt will give Isa AS the ability to speak, “I am the Prophet of Allah…” He addresses the people and also gives comfort to his mother in two sentences.
In most of the other stories people slowly believe. But this is such a powerful sign that the entire village accepted her at once.
Reflection: With every trial and tests, Allah swt brings ease and protection. As we go through these tests we don’t need to concern ourselves with where that ease might come from but just to know with certainty that that ease will come.
Reflection: When we lose people it is hard to think that the pain will go away but Allah swt always mends our heart, over time. Even though in that moment we don’t think it’s possible.
Mariam AS, role model:
Two qualities she had were: Patience and Yaqeen-certainty in her Imaan. These two qualities make people leaders and closer to Allah.
All of us have the ability to be patient, but it is something we have to work on. But sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for our patience. Are we using this patience for something more positive? We wait for something fun, but when it comes to something more difficult we don’t. Where are we using our patience?
While Mariam AS questioned if it was possible for her to give birth she stayed obedient to Allah swt even after she gave birth and had to face the village. She spent her whole life to please Allah swt and then she had to face the world in a way that made her look as if she is a transgressor.
She was also always remembering Allah.
When people asked her about Isa AS. She could have tried to speak but she knew there was hikmah in Allah swt's command. Focus on the hereafter and know that everything that we say and do will tie into it.
As we grow in our piety, Allah will test us more. Passing tests isn’t about where we end up but how we get through it. The absence of this test doesn’t necessarily mean there is an absence of love; it is just a waiting period before the big test. Sometimes we cannot rationalize these tests; we just have to get through it.
What are things that we can do:
By studying her story we can see that the relationship between Allah swt and Mariam was possible with no one involved. Your growth and forgiveness is only between you and Allah, because of this, we should devote time to ibadah. Spend a little bit more time after Fajr to make dhikr, get up early and pray tahajjud. In order to strengthen the protection of Allah try to commit to spending at least ten minutes each day making dhikr without doing anything else.
Human beings naturally want to be in the company of others, Mariam AS was alone in her situation. When you feel like you can’t connect with others, just go outside and make dhikr and think about the fact that the trees, wind and all of nature are all in submission to Allah.