Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Eesa bin Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) Part I

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The story of Prophet Eesa (as) is one full of miracles and blessings from before the moment this great prophet was born and will be until Eesa (as) returns to earth to live out the rest of his life and finally taste death, by Allah's decree.

The birth of Eesa (as) was miraculous as he had no father, only his mother Maryam (as).  Allah mentions in the Quran how Maryam (as) was shocked at the news when she was told by Angel Jibreel she was to have a son:

Mention in the Quran the story of Mary. She withdrew from her family to a place to the east and secluded herself away; We sent Our Spirit to appear before her in the form of a perfected man.  She said, ‘I seek the Lord of Mercy’s protection against you: if you have any fear of Him [do not approach]!’  But he said, ‘I am but a Messenger from your Lord, [come] to announce to you the gift of a pure son.’  She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me? I have not been unchaste,’ and he said, ‘This is what your Lord said: “It is easy for Me- We shall make him a sign to all people, a blessing from Us.” ’ (Surah Maryam: 16- 21)

Maryam (as) was the best woman of all creation, honoured by Allah to be the mother of Eesa (as).  The Quran says:

The angels said to Mary: ‘Mary, God has chosen you and made you pure: He has truly chosen you above all women.  Mary, be devout to your Lord, prostrate yourself in worship, bow down with those who pray.’ (Surah Al Imran: 42- 43)

The angels said, ‘Mary, God gives you news of a Word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, who will be held in honour in this world and the next, who will be one of those brought near to God (Surah Al Imran: 45)

So, by Allah's decree, she bore and gave birth to Eesa (as):

And so it was ordained: she conceived him. She withdrew to a distant place and, when the pains of childbirth drove her to [cling to] the trunk of a palm tree, she exclaimed, ‘I wish I had been dead and forgotten long before all this!’ but a voice cried to her from below, ‘Do not worry: your Lord has provided a stream at your feet and, if you shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you, it will deliver fresh ripe dates for you, so eat, drink, be glad, and say to anyone you may see: “I have vowed to the Lord of Mercy to abstain from conversation, and I will not talk to anyone today.” ’ (Surah Maryam: 22- 26)

As Eesa (as) has no father he is known as Eesa bin Maryam, Jesus the son of Mary, whereas a person's lineage is normally ascribed from the father's side. Ibn Katheer also relates that Eesa (as) and Prophet Yahya (as) were cousins on the maternal side, the stronger opinion amongst the scholars being that the wife of Prophet Zakariyyah (as) was the sister of Maryam (as). 

Prophet Eesa (as) was therefore born in the blessed land of Ash-Sham, where he grew up and preached the message of Islam to his people, Banu Isra'il.

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