19) سورة مريم
كهيعص (مريم: 1).
ذِكْرُ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّكَ عَبْدَهُ زَكَرِيَّا (مريم: 2).
إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَاءً خَفِيًّا (مريم: 3).
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا وَلَمْ أَكُنْ بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا (مريم: 4).
وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِنْ وَرَائِي وَكَانَتْ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا (مريم: 5).
يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيًّا (مريم: 6).
يَازَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلاَمٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَى لَمْ نَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا (مريم: 7).
قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي غُلاَمٌ وَكَانَتْ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنْ الْكِبَرِ عِتِيًّا (مريم: 8).
قَالَ كَذَلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكَ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَمْ تَكُنْ شَيْئًا (مريم: 9).
قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِي آيَةً قَالَ آيَتُكَ أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلاَثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيًّا (مريم: 10).
فَخَرَجَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِنْ الْمِحْرَابِ فَأَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ أَنْ سَبِّحُوا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا (مريم: 11).
يَايَحْيَى خُذْ الْكِتَابَ بِقُوَّةٍ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا (مريم: 12).
وَحَنَانًا مِنْ لَدُنَّا وَزَكَاةً وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا (مريم: 13).
وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ جَبَّارًا عَصِيًّا (مريم: 14).
وَسَلاَمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَيًّا (مريم: 15).
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَرْيَمَ إِذْ انتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَانًا شَرْقِيًّا (مريم: 16).
فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا (مريم: 17).
قَالَتْ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَنِ مِنْكَ إِنْ كُنتَ تَقِيًّا (مريم: 18).
قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ ِلأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلاَمًا زَكِيًّا (مريم: 19).
قَالَتْ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي غُلاَمٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُنْ بَغِيًّا (مريم: 20).
قَالَ كَذَلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِنَّا وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَقْضِيًّا (مريم: 21).
فَحَمَلَتْهُ فَانتَبَذَتْ بِهِ مَكَانًا قَصِيًّا (مريم: 22).
فَأَجَاءَهَا الْمَخَاضُ إِلَى جِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ قَالَتْ يَالَيْتَنِي مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْيًا مَنْسِيًّا (مريم: 23).
فَنَادَاهَا مِنْ تَحْتِهَا أَلاَّ تَحْزَنِي قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيًّا (مريم: 24).
وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا (مريم: 25).
SURAH MARYAM (Mary) AYAH NO 1 TO 25
19. Surah Maryam (Mary)
It takes its name from v. 16.
Period of Revelation
It was revealed before the Migration to Habash. We learn from authentic Traditions that Hadrat Ja’afar recited vv. 1-40 of this Surah in the court of Negus when he called the migrants to his court.
We have already briefly referred to the conditions of that period in the introduction to Surah Al-Kahf. Here we shall give rather fuller details of the same conditions, which will be helpful in grasping the meaning of this Surah and the other Surahs of the period. When the chiefs of the Quraish felt that they had failed to suppress the Islamic movement by ridicule, sarcasm, 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 laborers 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:
“IT 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 Allah, now persecution has gone to its extreme; why do you not pray to Allah (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 Allah will fulfill this Mission, and there will come a period of such peace that one would travel from Sanna to Hadramaut, and he will have no fear from anyone, save Allah. 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 Allah 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 another 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 toward 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 Allah is open for us. Now we are going to a place where Allah 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 inquiry. 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 (Allah’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 Surah Maryam which relates the story of Prophets John and Jesus (Allah’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”.
The 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 learned 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 Allah 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 Allah and His Messenger. He was a Spirit and a Word of Allah 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 Surah 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. Therefore you should plainly say to the Christians that Prophet Jesus was not the son of God.”
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 (Allah’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
In the concluding passage (vv. 66-98), 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.
(19:1) Kaf. Ha’. Ya’. Ayn. Sad.
(19:2) This is an account! of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah 2
1. For comparison please see the story of Zachariah as given in (Ayats 34-57 of Surah Aal- Imran) and the E.Ns thereof.
2. In order to understand the position held by Zachariah, a descendant of Prophet Aaron, one should be acquainted with the system of priesthood among the children of Israel.
After the conquest of Palestine, the entire land was divided among the 12 tribes of the descendants of Prophet Jacob as inheritance, and the 13th tribe, the Levites, was entrusted with religious services and duties. Even among the Levites, the house that was separated to sanctify the holiest things, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name forever was the house of Prophet Aaron. The other Levites were not allowed to enter the Temple. Their duty was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the Sabbaths, in the new moon, and on the set festivals. The descendants of Aaron were divided into 24 families, who came to serve the house of the Lord by turns. One of these families was Abiah whose chief was Zachariah. Thus it was Zachariah’s duty to go into the house on his family’s turn and burn incense before the Lord. (For details, see 1 Chronicle, chapters 23, 24).
(19:3) when he cried to his Lord in secret.
(19:4) He said: “Lord! My bones have grown feeble and my head is glistening with age; yet, never have my prayers to You, my Lord, been unfruitful.
(19:5) I fear evil from my kinsmen after I am gone;3 and my wife is barren, so grant me an heir out of Your special grace,
3. That is, I see none among my kinsmen, the family of Abiah, who is religiously and morally sound and capable of carrying on the work of the mission that has been entrusted to me.
(19:6) one that might be my heir and the heir of the house of Jacob; 4 and make him, Lord, one that will be pleasing to You.
4. That is, I do not pray for a successor to inherit me alone, but a successor who may inherit the good ways of the house of Jacob.
(19:7) (He was told): “Zechariah, We bring you the good news of the birth of a son whose name shall be Yahya (John), one whose namesake We never created before.”5
5. In Luke the words are: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. (1: 61).
(19:8) He said: “My Lord! How can I have a boy when my wife is barren and I have reached extreme old age?”
(19:9) He answered: “So shall it be.” Your Lord says: “It is easy for Me,” and then added: “For beyond doubt, I created you earlier when you were nothing.”6
6. This dialogue is meant to impress that Allah is able to do whatever He wills and can make an impotent man and a barren woman give birth to a child, and likewise, a virgin can be made to conceive a child.
(19:10) Zechariah said: “Lord, grant me a Sign.” Said He: “Your Sign is that you shall not be able to speak to people for three nights, though you will be otherwise sound.”
(19:11) Thereupon Zechariah came out from the sanctuary 7 and directed his people by gestures to extol His glory by day and by night.8
7. For the explanation of mihrab (sanctuary), see (E.N. 36 of Aal-Imran).
8. Below we reproduce the details of this event as given in Luke’s Gospel so that the reader may study and compare the Quranic version with the Christian version. The references and additions within the brackets are ours:
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, see (Surah Bani-Israel, E.N.9) a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abiah: and his wife was of the daughter of Aaron, and her name wag Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child because Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; (there is no mention of Zacharias’ prayer anywhere in the Bible) and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John (that is, Yahya). And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord (Sayyidun: a great leader according to the Quran, (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 39), and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink (the Quranic version: Tagiyyun, pious and pure); and he shall be
filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb (the Quran says: We blessed him with judgment while he was yet a child). And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit of the power of Elias, to turn the
hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this for I am an old man, and my wife struck in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God, and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.
And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
(This is different from the Quran, which gives it as a sign, whereas according to Luke, it was a punishment. Moreover, the Quran mentions it as the silence for three consecutive days, but Luke says that Zacharias remained dumb till the birth of John). And the people waited
for Zacharias and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. (Luke 1: 5-22).
(19:12) “O, John! Hold the Book with all your strength.”9 We had bestowed wisdom upon him while he was still a child; 10
9. The details regarding the birth of Prophet John (peace be upon him), according to the divine will, and his coming of age, have been left out. Here, in one sentence, the mission of Prophethood entrusted to him on attaining maturity has been stated, which was to observe and follow the Torah in letter and spirit, and to exhort the Israelites as well to do the same.
10. The Arabic word hukm implies the ability (1) to make decisions, (2) to form the right opinions, (3) to interpret the divine law, (4) to solve problems, and (5) it also means authority from Allah to decide affairs.
(19:13) and We also endowed him with tenderness” and purity, and he was exceedingly pious
11. The Arabic word Hanan is almost synonymous with mother’s love. In other words, Prophet John bore in his heart the same kind of intense love for Allah’s servants as a mother has for her child.
(19:14) and cherishing his parents. Never was he insolent or rebellious.
(19:15) Peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day he will die, and the day he will be raised up alive.12
12. In order to have a full understanding of the mission and the pure character of the Prophet John, about which brief references have been made in this Surah and Surah Aal- Imran, it will be useful to study this story as given in different Books of the New Testament in the
According to Luke, Prophet John was older than Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them) by six months and their mothers were cousins. He was appointed a Prophet at the age of 30 years, and according to the Gospel of John, he started his mission of inviting the people toward
God in Jordan. He would say: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord. (John, I: 23)
According to Mark: John did baptize in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mark, I: 45). He thus came to be known as John the Baptist, and the Israelites held him as a prophet. (Mat. 21: 26). Prophet Jesus said about John: Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a man greater than John the Baptist.” (Mat. 11 : 11). John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Mat. 3: 4). He would say: Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven, is at hand. (Mat. 3: 2). By this he meant that very soon Prophet Jesus was going to start his mission of Prophethood. The same thing has been said about him in the Quran: He (John) will come to confirm a command from Allah. (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 39). For the same reason, he has been called a sign of or pointer to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him).
He urged the people to observe the Fast and Prayers. (Mat. 9: 14, Luke, 5: 33, I1: 1). He would also tell them: He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. (Luke 3: 11). When the tax-collectors asked: Master,
what shall we do? He said unto them: Exact no more than that what is appointed you. (12- 13). And when the soldiers sought his guidance, he said: Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (Luke, 3: 14).
When the corrupt scholars, Pharisees, and Sadducees of the Israelites, came to be baptized by him, he rebuked them, saying: O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Think not to say within yourselves: We have Abraham to our father, now
also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Mat-3 :7-10).
The Jewish ruler of his time, Herod Antipas, in whose government he was performing his mission of inviting the people to the truth, had been so deeply influenced by the Roman civilization that he was causing sin and evil to spread freely in the land. He had kept
Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, was unlawfully in his house; when Prophet John reproved him for this and raised his voice against other evils being committed by him, Herod got him arrested and sent to jail. However, he held him in high esteem for his piety and righteousness and even feared him on account of the great respect he enjoyed among the people. On the contrary, Herodias thought that the moral consciousness that Prophet John was producing among the people was directly aimed at women like herself and pulling them down in the public eye. Thus she nursed a grudge against him and would have him
killed but could not. Soon an opportunity came her way. On the birthday banquet of Herod, her daughter danced and so delighted Herod and others that the king said to her: Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. The girl asked her mother what she should ask for. The mother said: Ask for the head of John the Baptist. The girl went back to the king and requested to have there and then the head of John the Baptist on a dish. Herod felt sorry to hear this, but could not reject the demand of the daughter of his beloved. He at once got
Prophet John was killed in the prison and presented his head on a dish to the dancing girl. (Mat. 14: 3-12, Mark, 6: 17-29, Luke, 3: 19-20).
(19:16) (O Muhammad), recite in the Book the account of Mary,2 when she withdrew from her people to a place towards the east;
13. For comparison, see( Surah Aal-Imran, Ayats 34-57), and (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 156) and E.Ns thereof.
(19:17) and drew a curtain, screening herself from people“after that We sent to her Our spirit and he appeared to her as a well-shaped man.
14. The Sanctuary where she had retired for devotion was an eastern chamber in the Temple, and as was customary she had hung a curtain to conceal herself from the people. It cannot be Nazareth as some people have wrongly taken it to be because Nazareth is to the north of
(19:18) Mary exclaimed: “I surely take refuge from you with the Most Compassionate Lord if you are at all God-fearing.”
(19:19) He said: “I am just a message-bearer of your Lord, I have come to grant you a purest boy.”
(19:20) Mary said: “How can a boy be born to me when no man has even touched me, nor have I ever been unchaste?”
(19:21) The angel said: “Thus shall it be. Your Lord says: ‘It is easy for Me, and We shall do so in order to make him a Sign for mankind? 15 and a mercy from Us. This has been decreed.'”
15. The word “Thus shall it be” is very significant as has been stated in (E.N. 6). The plain meaning is this: A pure son shall be born to you just as your Lord has decreed, even though no man has touched you. The same was the response to prophet Zachariah as stated in(_Ayat 9) above. And it is a sheer perversion to interpret it as: So shall it be that a man will touch you and a son will be born to you. For, if it were to mean: You will bear a son like all other women of the world, the subsequent two sentences, Your Lord says: This is an easy thing for Me to do, and We will make that boy a sign for the people, would have become meaningless. Had this birth been an ordinary birth like the birth of every other child, there would have been no occasion to boast: It is an easy thing, and that it will be made a sign (miracle). This will be so because the child will speak in the cradle.
(19:22) Then she conceived him and withdrew with him to a far-off place.
16. When she conceived the child, she left the sanctuary and went to a distant place (Bethlehem) in order to escape the bitter criticism of the people. They would have said: Look at the virgin daughter of the pious house of Aaron! She has conceived a child and that, too, in the sanctuary where she had retired for devotion! Thus she temporarily succeeded in concealing the shame of the conception, but this event itself is proof that the prophet Jesus was born without a father. Had Mary been married and had a husband, she would not have left
his or her parent’s house by herself and chosen a distant place for the purpose of delivery.
(19:23) Then the birth pangs drove her to the trunk of a palm tree and she said: “Oh, would that I had died before this and had been all forgotten.”
17. The words “Would that…” show the extreme state of anxiety in which Mary found herself at the time. She did not utter these words on account of the labor pains but due to the pangs of sorrow as to how she would conceal the child from her people. The angel’s words,
grieve not at all explain why she had spoken these desperate words. When a married girl is delivering her first baby, she might be dying from pain, but she is never so sorrowful and grieved.
(19:24) Thereupon the angel below her cried out: “Grieve not, for your Lord has caused a stream of water to flow beneath you.
(19:25) Shake the trunk of the palm tree towards yourself and fresh and ripe dates shall fall upon you.