The genealogy of Mary the mother of Jesus according to Ali, 1935, started from the bloodline of Moses and Aaron’s father Imran and wife Hannah. Imran’s wife Hannah (Anne) was very excited that she conceived of a child so she offered it to God’s service again even when it was still in her womb. Hannah was thinking it was a male. After giving birth and realizing it was a baby girl, Hannah named her Mary. The people cast lots with bows and arrows and disputed over the care of the baby girl Mary. Hannah then sought God’s guidance, protection, and sustenance for her daughter Mary because during those times the Mosaic Law was in force and it prohibits females from temple service. After realizing that God must have plans for giving her a baby girl, she was inspired to commit Mary to the care of people who were directly related to her family. Hannah entrusted Mary to a priest Zacchariya who was already an old man and wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth was her cousin as she was the daughter of Aaron. She was already past her menopausal age so she does not have a child at the moment. Zacchariya and Elizabeth took Mary just like their very own and housed her in a place that was secured and protected from harm. Every now and then just like a real daughter, Zacchariya would check on the condition of Mary in her room. Zacchariya would offer her food and other needs but all the time Mary was found to have an abundant supply. As a priest, Zacchariya could not question Mary’s faith.
Mary never lacks in any material needs. When Mary was asked where she got all those stuff, her answer would be God provided her everything she needs. This kind of secluded life, a life away from socialization was the lot of Mary the daughter of Imran and Hannah up until she was about twelve when lo and behold! Angels who were in human form from nowhere appeared. They said God has picked you above all women on earth. At first, she was adamant and scared and so she sought God’s help. She then pleaded for them not to approach her until after she could veil herself up. Covered with a veil she conceded talking to her visitors. The visitors informed Mary that they were messengers of God and they are here tasked to deliver to her some lessons to learn. They taught her whom to worship alone. The visitors who were actually angels in the human form taught her also how to properly prepare herself before worship and the proper way of doing worship to God. She was told to bow down like a Muslim does and stand humble before God as those Muslims who bow down and worship God Alone. She was very obedient and receptive that she followed all that they taught her. So, the angels went away. After some time, one of them name Jibril (Gabriel) came back. He said this time he has a new message from God. Mary was told that she will conceive a child. Of course, she was stunned and dumbfounded.
But the angel relieved her by saying only through the words of God “Be and it is”, then, this will be realized. She submitted to the call but she added in her innocence saying, how will I ever get pregnant when I do not have any relationship with any male? The Angel answered that it is up to God on how to go about it. Whatever God plans, it can happen there is no question on that. The angels told her that she will be pregnant with a boy. This boy will have to name Christ Jesus (Isa), the son of Mary. Mary conceived while she was in Nazareth of Galilee some 65 miles North of Jerusalem. Because this pregnancy condition was a taboo in her country and people, and people would kill her for immorality, Mary must keep herself away from the probing kinsfolk and neighbors. So she was led by the Angel to a place called Bethlehem, around six miles south of Jerusalem. She stayed in seclusion until she delivered Jesus nine months later. Mary was all alone when she delivered her child, so, she held on to the trunk of a palm tree to pull her strength up as she felt the pangs of birth and she cried because of pain that she said to herself, it could have been better if she died before and just laid to rest, but she was able to push out the baby successfully. Alas! She heard a voice telling her not to be sad and to quench her thirst, wipe away her tears, and cool herself down with the spring water just flowing beneath the palm tree, and if she shakes the trunk of the tree the ripe dates would fall down for her to eat with delight. Amr bin Maymun said, "Nothing is better for the woman confined in childbed than dried dates and fresh dates''.
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When Mary regained her composure, she was also instructed not to talk to anyone, and if ever there are those who persist, just to tell them with a hand sign that she was fasting. The area where she delivered Jesus was an obscure place and so she was thought to have moved the child to the manger in a stable. After gaining back her much-needed strength and confidence, she decided to go back to her hometown carrying along with the baby Jesus. But, to her dismay, her townmate slapped on her face the fact that she was the sister of Aaron and that her father was not a bad man so her mother was not a bad woman. To all these however she did not say anything, but, she just pointed out her finger to the child she was carrying. The people said how on earth a child can talk to us. And to their amazement, the baby Jesus on her mother’s arms talked. This was in defense of His mother Mary whose chastity was a special virtue and became an ideal for all nations to learn.
- Ali Yusuf, Abdullah. The Holy Qur’an. Lebanon: Beirut. 1935.
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