Virgin Mary – The Mother of Unity
By closing the doors on trying to understand Muslims, are we really closing our hearts on Virgin Mary who can be a protector and nurturer of both Muslim and Christian unity? God chose Virgin Mary because she was special. She gave birth to Jesus whose mission was to bring righteousness, justice, and unity on earth. She is highly respected by all Muslims. In fact, “…there are more verses in the Qur’an which name the Blessed Virgin Mary than there are in the whole New Testament!” Cardinal Keeler stated “… while Muslims do not believe that Mary is the mother of God, they hold her in great esteem.”
To Muslims (or In Islam),Virgin Mary was faithful and submissive to God. He reigned in her heart and made her a blessing to her family. She possessed an inner beauty that was granted to her by birth by God. She sought God’s will in everything that she did and offered Him total compliance. She remained a virgin and as such, God chose her above all women to be the mother of Jesus. She is one of eight people in the Quran who has a chapter named after her. There are thirty-four direct and indirect references to her name in the Quran where information about her life is more thorough than in the four Gospels. She was born to Joachim (Imran) and his wife (Saint Ann) at an old age. Ann had been barren and she prayed that God grant her a child. After she became pregnant, she took an oath to commend her child to God’s service.
According to the Quran, Virgin Mary is the most revered woman in the universe. She was pure and immaculate. She was sinless from the moment she was conceived and remained as such throughout her lifetime. As a young woman, she dressed modestly and spent most of her time in the Temple of Prayer. God sent his angels at all times to keep her satisfied and well fed. Even though there is not much literature about her childhood, according to the Quran, she remained under Divine protection until her death. This may be why God chose her to carry out one of the most arduous missions on earth – to bear a child when no man had touched her.
Virgin Mary was of Jewish decent and was marked out for a special destiny. She was destined to be the mother of the miracle-child Jesus who was always referred to in the Quran as Jesus, the son of Mary. When she became of childbearing age God sent the angel Gabriel to visit her in the form of man. Gabriel notified her that she would conceive a child and that this child will be honored in this world and in the hereafter. From fear that her pregnancy would draw negative attention, Virgin Mary secluded herself from the rest of society. To comfort her, God sent Zachary (Zakariya) to check on her at all times.
In Islam, the Virgin Mary has a unique place, in that God lifted her above all women and breathed Jesus into her womb. Her miraculous pregnancy proved that God made her special and that she was destined to submit herself and her offspring to Him. Yet, giving birth to Jesus was difficult, both physically and mentally. Before Jesus was born, she moved to East Jerusalem. Overcome by the quandary of her pregnancy and childbirth, Virgin Mary was sad. She feared that she would accused of fornication and when people questioned her newborn, she pointed to her her son. He was an infant, yet, he spoke to them to clarify his mother’s innocence. Jesus was special in that God granted him the ability to perform miracles that in normal conditions – no human could perform.
God dignified Virgin Mary by making her the mother of Jesus and classifying her as the most faithful and distinguished woman in the universe. After Jesus’s departure, it is believed that Virgin Mary spent the rest of her life in a small stone structure located in Ephesus, Turkey. It is referred to as the “House of Mary” and is surmised to be where she lived for the rest of her life. Today, her presumed final residence is visited annually by thousands of people whose desire is to gain a spiritual connection with her. Her role in this world was to support her son and create unity among mankind.
The content of this article has been vetted by religious Muslim and Christian scholars.