Tafseer Maryam Day 1 Introduction

  • introduction before we begin studying any surah in Quran:
  • when revealed, circumstances, overview, primary objective,

in terms of surah Maryam:

  • not just what is noteworthy about its time, place of its revelation but there is a significant point in its placement in the Quran
  • it’s surah #19
  • some great observation can be made from its placement
  • it talks about period and time and circumstances of revelation of this surah
  • it was revealed very near the time, immediately before 1st migration to Abyssinia
  • brief synopsis of that:
  • when dawah began in Makkah, the 1st few years were very private spreading of the message
  • in 4th year of prophethood, dawah went public, permission came from Allah to make it public
  • immediate response was opposition with cynicism, refusal, denial
  • prophet saw didn’t back down, nor did the Muslims gave up their faith, so people of Makkah resorted to violence and oppression
  • a good size of the Muslims then were the downtrodden part of the society, slaves, ‘lower class’
  • though to us there is no lower class in the society, but to them, to their eyes
  • they didn’t have protection f tribe, money, powerful relatives
  • their backs were up against wall
  • they were fighting for their lives at that point in time
  • they expressed their need and situation
  • narration about Khabaab al Araat – when will help come from Allah?
  • Prophet saw reprimanded him to a certain extent
  • “they were from among ppl before you, for sake of their iman and beliefs they were skinned alive with iron cones, and a sword wld be placed on top of their heads and they wld be chopped into two and burned alive…so you need to continue to be patient. Don’t be hasty.”
  • but Prophet saw did understand their dire situation, so he mentioned about a king who is just, in eastern Africa, Habasha, and told these Muslims to go

2 narrations:

  • 8 men 3 women the first to migrate there
  • 11 men 3 women in a nother narration
  • when leader of Quraysh heard, they rushed after them but ship had already left when they reached the port
  • a convoy designated headed by Amr Ibn al ‘Aas to go after the Muslims in Abyssinia to try to bring them back
  • Muslims who migrated lived quietly, peacefully, practicing Islam, and more Muslims on way to join them
  • some narration said more Muslims did join them
  • convoy arrived bearing lots of gift for the king and ministers
  • they went to ministers and said they want face time with king and want ministers to side with them
  • they said to king: -“we have ppl who have run away from us, these are felons. We were putting them in their place, but they escaped.”
  • king said he couldn’t just hand them over but need to investigate the situation
  • so king brought them and mentioned these allegation and Muslims said it’s not the case
  • they explained the oppression done to them in Makkah and that they escaped to seek refuge and means no harm
  • King says he can’t hand them over to Quraysh convoy and that they haven’t caused any trouble here
  • convoy regrouped and came next day to king and said “these people have left religion of their forefathers, and in their beliefs they don’t respect other people’s beliefs and they deride other beliefs. you’re a Christian and these people probably talk bad about your religion as well.”
  • King is religious and he was offended so he called the Muslims up and asked them what they had to say about Isa ibn Maryam
  • Jaafar ibn abi talib the older brothers of Ali,was leader of the Muslims there
  • “what do we do?”
  • they decided to speak the truth
  • Jaafar began to recite ayat in surah Maryam to king and king was crying profusely
  • these are the most beautiful words I have heard in my entire life and everything I heard is true
  • narration says : king bends down and picks up a piece of straw or grass and holds it up and says “I swear by Allah that Isa is not this much more than what you have stated him to be.”
  • “Take your gifts back and I want you to leave you’re not welcome here, You’re just here to make trouble.”
  • Muslims told to live freely and that if anyone bothers them to personally let him know – personal protection
  • this occured in 5th – 6th  year in prophethood
  • they migrated to Habasha in beginning of 5th year
  • scholars confident that Maryam was most probably revealed before that -> end of 4th year of prophethood
  • there is consensus on that
  • one of objectives of revelation of this surah: this was given as a parting gift and provision for the Muslim that were to migrate to Abyssinia bec they were migrating to land of the Christian
  • Quran is ultimate provision for people in all circumstance
  • its revelation , time and situation of revelation miraculous

objective of surah:

  • great consistency found in it
  • looking at it from grander scheme you can break it into 3 sections

1. Zakariya a.s. and miraculous conception and birth of his son Yahya a.s.

  • numerous narrations say different ages of them, many sahabah of opinion they were past 100
  • interesting choice of words in terms of balaagh
  • he said, “I’m extremely old”
  • not only is my wife old but when she was younger, she couldn’t conceive
  • he used word kaanat ->implies that they wanted children but they couldn’t bear children
  • then mention of birth of Isa Ibn Maryam
  • beginning: addressing christians
  • middle:about Ibrahim and his progeny
  • end :stark and stern message to idolaters of Makkah
  • begins with addressing Christians and ends with addressing the mushrikoon
  • a beautiful layout here
  • consistency is found in the middle
  • connection :
  • that which is consistent and universal is Ibrahim a.s.
  • Mushrikoon didn’t believe in entire system of divine scripture and guidance, but they still hold Ibrahim at a high regard and they still perceive him to be a man of great virtue and they feel a sense of affiliation to him
  • Zakriya – Yahya -Mrayma – Isa – Ibrahim – Ismail _idris -ishaq yaqoub – emphasize fact that they advocated, taught tauheed of Allah, salah, zakaat, being good to one’s parents [ basic core virtues, universal values]
  • subtle message : this message that is revealed and the man it is revealed on, his message is not something radical, or goes against grain, but his message is consistent with message that has come throughout time
  • surah talking about importance of passing deen on, teaching deen to one’s own children
  • as practitioners of proper way of life, we have a concern across the board to pass deen onto others
  • the best way to achieve that is through one’s own children
  • raising a future generation who will live this deen and carry it forward
  • investing into one’s own children in terms of their deen is best way to ensure carrying on message of deen
  • taking care of children is universal concern for parents
  • any healthy human being will want best for his own child
  • this surah letting us know that like we ensure for protection and financial well-being, social respect and education of our children, we should also make sure to work hard in religious upbringing of our children
  • teach them to build connection with Allah
  • this is the ultimate protection for our children
  • Zakariya a.s. didn’t just say “Give me a child” but he says “Give me a child that will inherit from me and the associates of Yaqoub a.s. and make him one that is pleasing to You.”
  • he emphasizes spiritual aspect of his child
  • he wants his child to be able to pass the deen on
  • Isa finding tarbiyyah at hand of his mother Maryam who is an amazing woman
  • in surah Aali Imran, Allah says she’s chosen on basis of her purity, virtue
  • when reading of Ibrahim we see the reverse, a righteous child versus disbelieving father, even when he finds parent off track, he’s advising the parent, not in disrespectful tone
  • surah talks about Ismail, son of Ibrahim a.s., Yaqoub, Idris, etc
  • son amazing because father was amazing
  • this message found throughout
  • very relevant to our time and situation
  • tragedy of our time is not just family, but the biggest issue is issue of parenting
  • we talk a lot about youth and children and lack of tarbiyyah
  • but where are they supposed to get it from? parents
  • if our youth are suffering in their deen, we should understand that we are failing as parents today
  • this surah is relevant to us today

layout of Surah

  • 1st 15 ayah talks about Zakariya, Yahya, Isa
  • then 10-11 ayaat it absolves Maryam of any blame, slander that was pointed towards her
  • a segment of population slandered Maryam at that time, they didn’t accept Isa a.s. either
  • surah also reprimands people who took miraculous birth of Isa a.s. too far
  • next few ayah concludes that whole argument by talking about Day of Judgment
  • “here’s the message, a little incentive , here is what’s coming for you if you listen.”
  • next talks about Ibrahim and his father and how is he pleading
  • talks to certain demographic of Muslim community today
  • children who are more in tune with their deen than their parents are
  • this is an extreme situation – boy with father who is a polytheist
  • before transitioning into rebuke of people of Makkah, it tells prophet saw in a couple of ayat to stay steady, be patient and that things will work out and to not be drastically impacted by the situation
  • next few ayat are very direct and harsh address to the people of Makkah and people who are refuting, denying hereafter and entire message
  • surah concludes by refuting the mindset of Quraysh and consoling Prophet saw and the believers
  • “….situation is difficult right now, but on flip side, will be the reverse”
  • it ends with emphasizing message of Quran that it is ultimate message, means to deliver message to people whether by encouraging, or warning
  • whether at initial stage of encouraging of inspiring people or you have reached point where you have to warn the people and say it like it is
  • make sure Quran is primary vehicle for you to deliver your dawah
  • it finally tells the Prophet saw that “you don’t need to be concerned with them, Allah will take care of the rest.”
  • surah before Maryam is Kahf – recited on weekly basis, powerful surah
  • Surah Kahf – talks about 4 key incidents and stories, a number of very miraculous events, things that defy logic and reason
  1. sleepers of the cave sleeping for long time and woke up
  2. Musa a.s. akhidr
  3. Zulkarnain
  4. two men with two gardens
  • goes into Maryam that talks about the most miraculous event on earth :- birth of Isa a.s without a father
  • smooth transition from miraculous events to the most miraculous event between these 2 surahs
  • in 2nd to last ayah in surah Kahf
  • 18:109
    Sahih International

    Say, “If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.”

  • kalimaat :- praises, blessings, word of praises
  • that’s why ni’mat, ni’am, hamd not used
  • kalimaat – anything that capttures greatness of Allah
  • albahr -> all oceans included in this
  • key discussion in Maryam is Maryam and birth of Isa a.s.
  • passage refers to Isa a.s. as kalimah (sign of greatness of Allah, blessings)
  • Surah Maryam : ‘abdahu Zakariyya
  • 19:2
    Sahih International

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

  • a title is given to Zakariyya, (abd)
  • back to Kahf (abd)
  • 18:1
    Sahih International

    [All] praise is [due] to Allah , who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance.

  • surah israa (abd)
  • 17:1
    Sahih International

    Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

  • consistent theme througout and 3 times it talks about 3 miracles
  • Surah Israa:- Miracle = isra miraaj ; ‘abd = Muhammad saw, so believe in him
  • Surah Kahf ‘abd = Muhammad saw, so believe in him
  • Surah Maryam ‘abd = Zakariyya a.s. , so believe in him

Link to the series on MuslimMatters


2 thoughts on “Tafseer Maryam Day 1 Introduction

  1. Salam,

    It’s good to see you continuing from Surah YaSeen last Ramadan the practice of taking and sharing notes on the Tafsir series, mashaAllah. May Allah bless and reward you abundantly. May Allah grant you the understanding of His book and make you a means of others coming closer to Him!

    JazakAllahu khayran.

    Abdul Nasir Jangda

    • Waalaikumsalam Sheikh,

      Jazakallah khair for dropping a comment, Sheikh. This is a nice surprise. Ameen to the dua! This is one of the things I look forward to every Ramadan ever since I heard your Ramadan tafseer sessions online. I have truly benefited from your tafseer series and also from Ustadh Nouman’s and Sh Omar Suleiman’s ILF Tafseer class, among other resources. I’m hooked on Tafseer and Quran as a result. I live in a city that has no live resources, so online resources and classes have been a boon to me. We as a family also have traveled to Dallas, Phoenix, Houston to attend programs, but when we can’t we rely on these online resources. So May Allah bless you and your family in the dunya and akhirah and enable you and the Dallas team and others to continue and increase in this and more. Ameen.

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