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Chapter of Mary



Part One



Part Two





Historical Background


When the chiefs of the Quraish felt that they had failed to suppress the Islamic movement by ridicule, sarcasm, and by holding out promises and threats and by making false accusations, they resorted to persecution, beating and economic pressure. They would catch hold of the new Muslims of their clans and persecute them, starve them and would even inflict physical torture on them in order to coerce them to give up Islam. The most pitiful victims of their persecution were the poor people and the slaves and the proteges of the Quraish. They were beaten black and blue, were imprisoned and kept thirsty and hungry and were dragged on the burning sands of Makkah. The people would get work from the professional labourers but would not pay them their wages. As an instance we give below the story of Hadrat Khabbab bin Arat, which is given in Bukhari and Muslim:


"I used to work as a blacksmith in Makkah. Once I did some work for As bin Wa'il. When I went to ask for my wages, he said, 'I will not pay your wages unless you disown Muhammad'."


In the same connection Hadrat Khabbab says, "One day the Holy Prophet was sitting in the shadow of the Ka'abah. I went to him and said, '0 Messenger of God, now persecution has gone to its extreme; why do you not pray to God (for relief)?' At this the Holy Prophet was greatly moved. He said, 'The believers before you were persecuted much more than you. Their bones were scraped with combs of iron and their heads were cut with saws, but still they did not give up their Faith. I assure you that God will fulfill this Mission, and there will come a period of such peace that one would travel from San’a to Hadramaut, and he will have no fear from anyone, save God. But you people have already become impatient'." (Bukhari)


When the conditions became unbearable, the Holy Prophet, in the month of Rajab of the fifth year of Prophethood, gave advice to his Companions to this effect: "You may well migrate to Habash, for there is a king, who does not allow any kind of injustice to anyone, and there is good in his land. You should remain there till the time that God provides a remedy for your affliction".


Accordingly, at first, eleven men and four women left for Habash. The Quraish pursued them up to the coast but fortunately they got a timely boat for Habash at the sea-port of Shu'aibah, and they escaped attest. Then after a few months, other people migrated to Habash and their number rose to eighty-three men and eleven women of the Quraish and seven non-Quraish. After this, only forty persons were left with the Holy Prophet at Makkah.


There was a great hue and cry in Makkah after this Migration, for every family of the Quraish was adversely affected by this. There was hardly a family of the Quraish which did not lose a son, a son-in-law, a daughter, a brother or a sister. For instance, there were among the Migrants the near relatives of Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan and other chief of the Quraish who were notorious for their persecution of the Muslims. As a result of this, some of them became even more bitter in their enmity of Islam, while there were others who were so moved by this that they embraced Islam. For instance, this Migration left a deep mark on Hadrat Umar. One of his relatives, Laila, daughter of Hathmah, says, "I was packing my luggage for Migration, while my husband, Amr bin Rabiy'ah, had gone out. In the meantime Umar came there and began to watch me, while I was engaged in preparation for the journey. Then he said, 'Are you also going to migrate?' I answered, 'Yes by God, you people have persecuted us much. But the wide earth of God is open for us. Now we are going to a place where God will grant us peace'. At this, I noticed such signs of emotion on the face of Umar as I had never seen before. He simply said, 'May God be with you' and went away."


After the migration, the Quraish held consultations, and decided to send Abdullah bin Abi Rabiy'ah, half brother of Abu Jahl, and Amr bin As to Habash with precious gifts so as to persuade Negus to send the migrants back to Makkah. Hadrat Umm Salmah (a wife of the Holy Prophet), who was among the migrants, has related this part of the story in detail. She says, "When these two clever statesmen of the Quraish reached Habash, they distributed the gifts among the courtiers of the King and persuaded them to recommend strongly to him to send the migrants back. Then they saw Negus himself and, presenting rich gifts to him, said, "Some headstrong brats of our city have come to your land and our chiefs have sent us to you with the request that you may kindly send them back. These brats have forsaken our faith and have not embraced your faith either, but have invented a new faith". As soon as they had finished their speech, all the courtiers recommended their case, saying, "We should send such people back to their city for their people know them better. It is not proper for us to keep them here". At this the King was annoyed and said, "I am not going to give them back without proper enquiry. As these people have put their trust in my country rather than in any other country and have come here to take shelter, I will not betray them. At first I will send for them and investigate into the allegations these people have made against them. Then I will make my final decision". Accordingly, the King sent for the Companions of the Holy Prophet and asked them to come to his court.


When the migrants received the message of the King, they assembled and held consultations as to what they should say to the King. At last they came to this unanimous decision: "We will present before the King the teachings of the Holy Prophet without adding anything to or withholding anything from them and leave it to him whether he lets us remain here or turns us out of his country". When they came to the court, the King put this problem abruptly before them:"I understand that you have given up the faith of your own people and have neither embraced my faith nor any other existing faith. I would like to know what your new faith is." At this, Jafar bin Abi Talib, on behalf of the migrants, made an extempore speech to this effect: "O King! We were sunk deep in ignorance and had become very corrupt; then Muhammad (God's peace be upon him) came to us as a Messenger of God, and did his best to reform us. But the Quraish began to persecute his followers, so we have come to your country in the hope that here we will be free from persecution". After his speech, the King said, "Please recite a piece of the Revelation which has been sent down by God to your Prophet". In response, Hadrat Jafar recited that portion of Chapter Maryam which relates the story of Prophets John and Jesus (God's peace be upon them). The King listened to it and wept, so much so that his beard became wet with tears. When Hadrat Jafar finished the recital, he said:"Most surely this Revelation and the Message of Jesus have come from the same source. By God I will not give you up into the hands of these people".


Next day `Amr bin `As went to Negus and said, "Please send for them again and ask them concerning the creed they hold about Jesus, the son of Mary, for they say a horrible thing about him". The King again sent for the migrants, who had already learnt about the scheme of Amr. They again sat together and held consultations in regard to the answer they should give to the King, if he asked about the belief they held about Prophet Jesus. Though this was a very critical situation and all of them were uneasy about it, they decided that they would say the same thing that God and His Messenger had taught them. Accordingly, when they went to the court, the King put them the question that had been suggested by Amr bin As. So Jafar bin Abi Talib stood up and answered without the least hesitation: "He was a Servant of God and His Messenger. He was a Spirit and a Word of God which had been sent to virgin Mary." At this the King picked up a straw from the ground and said, 'Bye God, Jesus was not worth this straw more than what you have said about him." After this the King returned the gifts sent by the Quraish, saying, "I do not take any bribe". Then he said to the migrants, "You are allowed to stay here in perfect peace."




Theme and Subject


Keeping in view this historical background, it becomes quite obvious that this Chapter was sent down to serve the migrants as a "provision" for their journey to Habash, as if to say, "Though you are leaving your country as persecuted emigrants to a Christian country, you should not in the least hide anything from the teachings you have received. There- fore you should plainly say to the Christians that Prophet Jesus was not the son of God."


After relating the story of Prophets John and Jesus in vv. 1-40, the story of Prophet Abraham has been related (vv. 41-50) also for the benefit of the Migrants for he also had been forced like them to leave his country by the persecution of his father, his family and his country men. On the one hand, this meant to console the Emigrants that they were following the footsteps of Prophet Abraham and would attain the same good end as that Prophet did. On the other hand, it meant to warn the disbeliever, of Makkah that they should note it well that they were in the position of the cruel people who had persecuted their forefather and leader, Abraham, while the Muslim Emigrants were in the position of Prophet Abraham himself.


Then the mention of the other Prophets has been made in vv. 51-65 with a view to impress that Muhammad (God's peace be upon him) had brought the same way of Life that had been brought by the former Prophets but their followers had become corrupt and adopted wrong ways.


In the concluding passage (vv. 66-98), a strong criticism has been made of the evil ways of the disbelievers of Makkah, while the Believers have been given the good news that they would come out successful and become the beloved of the people, in spite of the worst efforts of the enemies of the Truth.


Chapter: 19 Verse: 001

Kaf, Ha, Ya, 'Ayn, Sad.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 002

[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah




Chapter: 19 Verse: 003

When he called to his Lord a private supplication.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 004

He said, "My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 005

And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir




Chapter: 19 Verse: 006

Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You]."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 007

[He was told], "O Zechariah, indeed We give you good tidings of a boy whose name will be John. We have not assigned to any before [this] name."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 008

He said, "My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 009

[An angel] said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.' "




Chapter: 19 Verse: 010

[Zechariah] said, "My Lord, make for me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights, [being] sound."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 011

So he came out to his people from the prayer chamber and signaled to them to exalt [ God ] in the morning and afternoon.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 012

[ God ] said, "O John, take the Scripture with determination." And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy




Chapter: 19 Verse: 013

And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of God




Chapter: 19 Verse: 014

And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 015

And peace be upon him the day he was born and the day he dies and the day he is raised alive.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 016

And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 017

And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 018

She said, "Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of God ."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 019

He said, "I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 020

She said, "How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 021

He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.' "




Chapter: 19 Verse: 022

So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 023

And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, "Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 024

But he called her from below her, "Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 025

And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 026

So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, 'Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.' "




Chapter: 19 Verse: 027

Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 028

O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 029

So she pointed to him. They said, "How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 030

[Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of God . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 031

And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive




Chapter: 19 Verse: 032

And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 033

And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 034

That is Jesus, the son of Mary - the word of truth about which they are in dispute.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 035

It is not [befitting] for God to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 036

[Jesus said], "And indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 037

Then the factions differed [concerning Jesus] from among them, so woe to those who disbelieved - from the scene of a tremendous Day.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 038

How [clearly] they will hear and see the Day they come to Us, but the wrongdoers today are in clear error.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 039

And warn them, [O Muhammad], of the Day of Regret, when the matter will be concluded; and [yet], they are in [a state of] heedlessness, and they do not believe.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 040

Indeed, it is We who will inherit the earth and whoever is on it, and to Us they will be returned.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 041

And mention in the Book [the story of] Abraham. Indeed, he was a man of truth and a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 042

[Mention] when he said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all?




Chapter: 19 Verse: 043

O my father, indeed there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you, so follow me; I will guide you to an even path.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 044

O my father, do not worship Satan. Indeed Satan has ever been, to the Most Merciful, disobedient.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 045

O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful so you would be to Satan a companion [in Hellfire]."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 046

[His father] said, "Have you no desire for my gods, O Abraham? If you do not desist, I will surely stone you, so avoid me a prolonged time."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 047

[Abraham] said, "Peace will be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 048

And I will leave you and those you invoke other than God and will invoke my Lord. I expect that I will not be in invocation to my Lord unhappy."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 049

So when he had left them and those they worshipped other than God , We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each [of them] We made a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 050

And We gave them of Our mercy, and we made for them a reputation of high honor.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 051

And mention in the Book, Moses. Indeed, he was chosen, and he was a messenger and a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 052

And We called him from the side of the mount at [his] right and brought him near, confiding [to him].




Chapter: 19 Verse: 053

And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron as a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 054

And mention in the Book, Ishmael. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 055

And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakah and was to his Lord pleasing.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 056

And mention in the Book, Idrees. Indeed, he was a man of truth and a prophet.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 057

And We raised him to a high station.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 058

Those were the ones upon whom God bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 059

But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil -




Chapter: 19 Verse: 060

Except those who repent, believe and do righteousness; for those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged at all.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 061

[Therein are] gardens of perpetual residence which the Most Merciful has promised His servants in the unseen. Indeed, His promise has ever been coming.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 062

They will not hear therein any ill speech - only [greetings of] peace - and they will have their provision therein, morning and afternoon.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 063

That is Paradise, which We give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of God .




Chapter: 19 Verse: 064

[Gabriel said], "And we [angels] descend not except by the order of your Lord. To Him belongs that before us and that behind us and what is in between. And never is your Lord forgetful -




Chapter: 19 Verse: 065

Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them - so worship Him and have patience for His worship. Do you know of any similarity to Him?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 066

And the disbeliever says, "When I have died, am I going to be brought forth alive?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 067

Does man not remember that We created him before, while he was nothing?




Chapter: 19 Verse: 068

So by your Lord, We will surely gather them and the devils; then We will bring them to be present around Hell upon their knees.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 069

Then We will surely extract from every sect those of them who were worst against the Most Merciful in insolence.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 070

Then, surely it is We who are most knowing of those most worthy of burning therein.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 071

And there is none of you except he will come to it. This is upon your Lord an inevitability decreed.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 072

Then We will save those who feared God and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 073

And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Which of [our] two parties is best in position and best in association?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 074

And how many a generation have We destroyed before them who were better in possessions and [outward] appearance?




Chapter: 19 Verse: 075

Say, "Whoever is in error - let the Most Merciful extend for him an extension [in wealth and time] until, when they see that which they were promised - either punishment [in this world] or the Hour [of resurrection] - they will come to know who is worst in position and weaker in soldiers."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 076

And God increases those who were guided, in guidance, and the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for recourse.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 077

Then, have you seen he who disbelieved in Our verses and said, "I will surely be given wealth and children [in the next life]?"




Chapter: 19 Verse: 078

Has he looked into the unseen, or has he taken from the Most Merciful a promise?




Chapter: 19 Verse: 079

No! We will record what he says and extend for him from the punishment extensively.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 080

And We will inherit him [in] what he mentions, and he will come to Us alone.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 081

And they have taken besides God [false] deities that they would be for them [a source of] honor.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 082

No! Those "gods" will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgement].




Chapter: 19 Verse: 083

Do you not see that We have sent the devils upon the disbelievers, inciting them to [evil] with [constant] incitement?




Chapter: 19 Verse: 084

So be not impatient over them. We only count out to them a [limited] number.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 085

On the Day We will gather the righteous to the Most Merciful as a delegation




Chapter: 19 Verse: 086

And will drive the criminals to Hell in thirst




Chapter: 19 Verse: 087

None will have [power of] intercession except he who had taken from the Most Merciful a covenant.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 088

And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son."




Chapter: 19 Verse: 089

You have done an atrocious thing.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 090

The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation




Chapter: 19 Verse: 091

That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 092

And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 093

There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 094

He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 095

And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 096

Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds - the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 097

So, [O Muhammad], We have only made Qur'an easy in the Arabic language that you may give good tidings thereby to the righteous and warn thereby a hostile people.




Chapter: 19 Verse: 098

And how many have We destroyed before them of generations? Do you perceive of them anyone or hear from them a sound?





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