Mary the Mother of Jesus is one of the most honored women in history.
- The two largest religions of the world hold her in high esteem.
- We’ll discuss the different views of Mary from different religious groups
- The Muslim view is that she was one of the few women to reach the level of spiritual excellence. http://sunnah.com/urn/637660
- She was also the mother of Prophet Isa, who Muslims view as the Messiah.
Maryam is one of the most popular names for girls among Muslims.
– Christians generally hold her in high esteem as well.
– Catholics and Orthodox Christians hold her especially high, almost to the point of deification.
– She is considered a saint to them who can take their prayers to Allah.
– Protestants have high respect for her also, but do not quite as highly as Catholics.
– Jews don’t really have any view on Mary. They don’t honor nor dishonor her.
– They don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah nor that he was born of a miraculous birth.
– There have been many discussions of the Jewish Talmud claiming Mary committed adultery and made up the virgin birth.
– There is some truth to this but it needs more nuance.
– The Talmud is like the Tafseer of the Quran and expounds and explains the Torah.
– But Jews see it as more religious than we see the tafseer.
– The Talmud began to be compiled about 200 years after Jesus.
– Since it is from man, Jews often have no problem removing parts of it and putting it back.
– This has been done in the past regarding phrases referring to Jesus and Mary to avoid upsetting Christians.
– Parts of the Talmud mention a Mary who was married to a man named Strada and was the lover of a man named Panthera.
– There was a Roman soldier named Panthera who was stationed in Jerusalem around the time that Jesus lived.
– It’s pretty clear these verses indirectly refer to Mary.
– But since most Jews don’t really have a strong opinion of Mary, it doesn’t matter much to them.
– Essentially, Jews believe that if she existed, then Mary was either fictionalized by Jesus’ followers, was raped, or committed adultery.
– Christian views on Mary run the gamut
– Protestants do not worship her but Catholics and Eastern Orthodox come very close.
– Roman Catholics study Mary the way Muslims study Prophet Muhammad.
– They study her physical life as well as her connection to Jesus, God, and Salvation.
– They’ve made a science of her life and it continues to be developed by Popes, bishops, and prominent Catholic scholars even to today.
– They venerate her daily, there are hundreds of pieces of art commissioned by the church honoring her,
– Also poems and prayers and monuments and songs all honoring Mary.
– They believe she was conceived herself without having any original sin, unlike all other humans.
– They believe she was always a virgin and died as a virgin
– Catholics see her as the Mother of God.
– Many of their prayers are asking her for help and protection.
– Eastern Orthodox Christians also believe Mary was mother of God; her title is Theotokos.
– She is above all humans, prophets, and even the angels, but is not divine.
– They sing hymns praising her, and also hold icons of her image in great honor.
– Like Catholics, Orthodox Christians have created many poems, songs, prayers, and art pieces honoring Mary.
– Both Catholics and Orthodox say they do not worship Mary.
– Many of their scholars approve venerating 2D paintings but forbid the venerating stautes of Mary.
– Protestants do not venerate Mary. They see her much like Muslims do as a pious and righteous woman.
– There aren’t many Protestant holidays glorifying Mary like there are for Catholics and Orthodox.
– Most Protestant groups strongly reject any worship or requesting intercession of Mary.
– The Bible doesn’t say much about her early life.
– (3:35) The Quran does state how her mother, Anne, promised to devote her child to Allah’s service.
– She was expecting a boy to become a priest in the Temple.
– (3:36) Her mother was a little surprised when she had a girl, but was determined to keep her promise.
– She was most likely born in the city of Nazareth in Galille, but no definitive proof of this.
– Both the Bible and the Quran say that she was given to Prophet Zakariyya for religious teaching.
– Tafseer says when she brought her to the temple, the Rabbis disputed as to who would take care of her.
– (3:44) The Rabbis cast pens and disputed as to who would take her in.
– Ultimately, Zakariyyah won whose wife, Elizabeth, was also Mary’s Aunt.
– Zakariyya and Elizabeth were both from the Hebrew priestly line of descendents of Aaron. Elizabeth was called a Daughter of Aaron.
– (3:37) The Quran mentions how Allah blessed her with miraculous provisions while studying under Zakariyya.
– (3:38) Her devotion was so pure that it made Zakariyyah wish for a son, even though he and his wife were in their old age.
– In the next verse his prayers are answered.
– ***(3:42-43) After several years of study and training under Zakariyyah, Allah sends an angel to Mary commanding her to increase herself in worhsip.
– She didn’t know it at the time, but it was preparing her for the miraculous birth of Jesus.
– (19:16) So she secluded herself from everyone else to devote herself ot woshiping Allah.
– (3:45) While she was in seclusion, Allah sent Angel Jibreel to inform her of Jesus’ birth.
– Most likely she was around 12-13 years of age at this time this was traditional age of marriage back then.
– (19:18) When she saw the angel she thought he was a man and prayed to Allah for protection.
– (19:19)The angel confirms he’s just a messenger from Allah.
– (3:47) She asks how will she have a child as a virgin herself, and the angel says Allah will do as He pleases.
– (19:22-23) Mary delivers the child and withdraws away from the temple and her family. She is very concerned about what will happen when her people
find out she gave birth out of wedlock, so she wishes she had died or was a forgotten thing.
– This part departs slightly from the Biblical narrative which says she was engaged to a man named Joseph.
– They were traveling in Bethlehem when she went into labor and tried to stay at an inn but there was no room.
– So she wound up giving birth in a barn and using a manger as his cradle.
– (19:24-26) Allah eased Mary’s pain by providing her with several miracles similar to those she received as a child.
— A voice called from beneath her. Not sure if it was an angel or Isa, but probably Isa.
— Allah caused a small stream to begin to flow right out of the desert floor.
— She was instructed to shake the palm tree and Allah allowed fresh dates to fall towards her.
— She was also instructed to avoid contact with any human and tell them she was fasting if they came near her.
– (19:27-28) Eventually she has to go back to her family and they see the child and begin questioning her about it.
– They use the phrase “Sister of Aaron” which we’ll cover later.
– (19:29) So she pointed to the child again as it has been talking to her all this time. But her people ask how can the child explain anything?
– (19:30-34) But Isa does speak and explains all the things he’s been blessed with.
– Neither the Bible nor Quran say much about her relationship with Jesus or how she raised him.
– Catholics and Orthodox say she did not die but became a spirit and ascended to heaven in permanent company with Allah.
– Protestants believe she died a normal death, but it isn’t emphasized.
– As Muslims, we should take the same route. There’s no evidence of anything besides that.
– Differences between Mary in the Quran and Mary in Christianity.
– Sister of Aaron comment
— Old Testament says Musa and Haroon had a sister named Miriam
— OT also says Musa and Aaron’s father was named Amram.
— Christians say Prophet Muhammad got Miriam from OT mixed up with Mary from NT
— And that he got Mary’s father Imran mixed up with Amram from OT.
— Most likely just a coindcidence they have similar sounding names.
— This idea assumes the Bible is correct since it came first; Bible also says Amram married his sister.
— This same question was posed to Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime
— He said they used to take the names of Prophets and righteous people http://sunnah.com/muslim/38/13
— An example is Zakariyyah’s wife Elizabeth was from the priestly clan and was called Daughter of Aaron.
– Family of Imran was very righteous: Mary had a righteous mother, father, aunt, and Prophets as an uncle and son.
– As Muslims we take her just like we take Khadijah and Fatimah; righteous pious women who were connected to Prophethood.