Tafseer Maryam Day 9 Ayat 21-23

  • Maryam, a young woman, approached by a handsome young man and her reaction is to immediately seek refuge with Allah and even challenged the man that is he has any ounce of taqwa that he would back off
  • scholars say this is proof that Maryam is a chaste pure woman
  • this happened before birth of Isa a.s.
  • so it’s established that she is modest, chaste
  • angel at that point in time revealed who he is
  • rooh7ana – Jibril’s nickname is rooh
  • she says how can I have a son when I am not married and I have not had marital relationships outside of marriage


Ayat 21

Sahih International

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.’ “

  • kazhaliki because the addressee is feminine
  • huwa alayaa hayyin – this is very easy for Me [this requires no effort on my part, I don’t even have to break a sweat (that type of expression in Arabic)]

walinaj’alahu ayaat – We have made him a sign

  • ayah – refers to a sign that can’t be ignored, overlooked, stares you in the face, the only you way you don’t see it is if you don’t want to see the sign
  • 2nd implication of ayah :- a sign that leads to something
  • analogy – like the highway sign, a big old sign that is well lit, it’s directly pointing to direction of exit, you can’t help but see it
  • blatant unmistakable open sign
  • this sign leads you to Allah, to understanding who Allah truly is

linnaaas :-

  • meant for people, lesson, reminder to people of who Allah is
  • warahmatan minnaa : a mercy from Us
  • wa kaana amran maqdhiyya – this is an affair that has already been decided


  • comes from root word qadhaa
  • qadhaa in Arabic is different from faSala or other term in similar meaning
  • it doesn’t just mean to decide something, but more like decree
  • refers to when someone makes the decision, they have authority, backing to implement that decision
  • that’s why judge called qadhi , because he will make you implement it
  • ayah kept in common form, (nakirah)
  • one of effects of nakirah is tanawwu’ :- creating diversity of meaning, can refer to different things and different types of things
  • can be different signs for different people
  •  sign for people who choose to disbelieve – that they need to believe in power of Allah
  • sign for people who will deify this child, what they really need to pay attention to, that he’s like a sign, he’s not the objective, destination but he is a sign that gives you direction on how to reach your objective and destination (Allah)
  • he’s a very revered and dignified means to that end

warahmatan :

  • here it’s nakirah too
  • how is it a mercy?
  • different ways for different people
  • there are people who are willing to believe in Allah regardless of the miracle
  • they are so in touch with their fitrah, clean-hearted, focused on that which is good and beneficial
  • but when a miracle does arrive, like birth of Isa a.s., Quran, staff of Musa a.s. that is a mercy on those people
  • because you have those firm believers, ones who stick with the truth, and they take a beating and continue to stand firm, and then when something like this happens, it’s finally getting a win, like a mercy upon them
  • while it’s something that leave critics completely silent, baffles them, it serves as a moment of celebration and relief for the believers who have believed the entire time even though the miracle wasn’t there
  • when that miracle does arrive there is another category of people who have been towing the line, who hesitates from believing for whatever reason but are on the verge of accepting and that miracle was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the last nudge they needed to believe
  • Maryam is being told all of this, that the birth of this child will be a sign, something that will lead people to Allah and a mercy, for her, for that child, and for so many others
  • people of the caliber of Maryam and Isa a.s. are satisfied to hear this is a form of mercy for them
  • these are special types of people – who care about others , put others above themselves
  • in surah Anbiyya – we made her and her son a sign for all people
  • 21:91
  • 21:91
    Sahih International

    And [mention] the one who guarded her chastity, so We blew into her [garment] through Our angel [Gabriel], and We made her and her son a sign for the worlds.

  • Muminoon 50
  • 23:50
    Sahih International

    And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign and sheltered them within a high ground having level [areas] and flowing water.

  • wa kaana amran maqdhiyan – the motivational part
  • as if to remove any hesitation in mind of Maryam, angel is saying, this is a done deal, it’s already happening ‘as we speak’
  • now it’s time to come to this is expressed in a different way in Aali Imran in ayat 47
  • 3:47
    Sahih International

    She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.


Ayat 22

Sahih International

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

  • now we get to the actual incident
  • fah7amalathu – she carried him, pregnant now with the child

fantabazhat bihi

  • she secluded herself
  • bihi:-
  • the letter ba here is like a preposition
  • ba is very versatile, has many different meanings
  • here, it’s ba sababbiyyah
  • ba which explains the reason for something happening
  • she separated herself BECAUSE of the child, as a consequence of the child
  • what is that alluding to?
  • modesty of Maryam is a contributing  factor here
  • consider everything we talked about at this point
  • we talked briefly about parents of Maryam – good righteous people
  • her mentor/teacher – Zakariyya a.s. – prophet of Allah
  • Maryam herself worships, a full time worker of the deen
  • she has such a strong powerful relationship with Allah, while she was a student she was eating fruits out of season
  • she has righteous parents, student of a prophet, serves the house of worship full time and she’s now pregnant without having being married
  • imagine how difficult it is for her to deal with
  • yes it is a miracle, she has full conviction and she knows she’s out there in line of fire and she’s willing to be out there, she’s ok with it
  • but it doesn’t change that fact that someone who is so full of modesty and comes from a good lineage, it must have been a trial for her to walk around, having to deal with people
  • this is a real situation, a real human being
  • it’s not always visible that someone is expecting a child, and there is little adjustments you can make to conceal the child
  • but as pregnancy progresses you can’t hide it anymore
  • everyone will be pointing fingers, not just at her but at her family, her teacher who is a prophet, some people will even stoop low enough to point fingers at Allah, deen, masjid
  • “Yeah, she’s that pious person, these religious people are like this.”
  • we talk like this, we need to be careful
  • she’s worried and conscious of this
  • we shouldn’t engage in this type of talk, not only are we gossiping and backbiting and slandering, but at same time we are violating the honor and dignity of other people
  • Prophet saw swore and pointed at the Kaabah and said that the dignity of a Muslim is more than you (Kaabah) are
  • if we are blessed enough to be in a position of representing the deen (maybe we are khateeb, give weekly halaqa etc), know that there is always going to be people out there who will relate anything we do wrong, they’re not just going to implicate us but also the deen and Allah
  • this is another trick of shaytaan
  • ” Hey, it’s my personal life, when I do khutbah I do it, but other than that, I can do whatever I want.”
  • that means there is strong lacking in my practice of my deen
  • the longer I keep this situation up, I’m only damaging reputation of deen amongst the people
  • the deen will be fine but I will be accountable to Allah for how I represented the deen
  • look at the dignity of Maryam by secluding herself
  • “I’m not going to turn my parents, teacher, relationship with Allah to fodder for gossip”

makaanan qasiyyan :-

  • makaan – place (mausoof)
  • qasiyyan – description of the place (sifah)
  • comes from root word which means for something to be very very far, farthest corner of something
  • used in surah Yaseen
  • 36:20
    Sahih International

    And there came from the farthest end of the city a man, running. He said, “O my people, follow the messengers.

  • here, qasiyyan used in its hyperbolic form, so it’s a very very very far place
  • she completely isolated herself
  • imagine a young woman going out to nowhere, how alone she must have felt, scary it is
  • when woman is expecting, usually we bring people over to be taken care of, when we give them even more company, surround them with even more love, affection and kindness
  • imagine at this moment you have to isolate yoourself, imagine how difficult that is
  • in surah Tahreem 66:12
  • 66:12
    Sahih International

    And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.

  • there is a reason for that description of her, this woman’s strength is remarkable
  • even men can’t even display an iota of the level of strength and conviction Maryam had
  • there is a discussion where this place is
  • scholars across disciplines say it’s called baitul lahm , in English Bethlehem, at that time uninhabited
  • Surah Muminoon 50
  • 23:50
    Sahih International

    And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign and sheltered them within a high ground having level [areas] and flowing water.

  • ma’een is a place where water is easily accessible, where water rises up through the surface
  • so it’s a place where she would secure and has what she needs
  • we have this problem
  • when we talk about seerah we take it as something heroic, we don’t extract practical life benefits
  • there is day to day aspect of daily life that we can extract benefit from
  • same thing with Quran, it has a lot of these subtleties built into it
  • one of rules, when a woman is pregnant there should be no stress, people around her should not stress her out
  • medically speaking, and personal experience, high level of stress can cause complications within the pregnancy
  • where it seems like a source of stress for a woman to go out, once she gets there, she finds the place elevated (you can see what’s around you, a good vantage point, it’s a place where you might say “yeah, I can stay here for a few days)
  • so Allah made that kind of arrangement
  • it saved her from the stress of rumor, slander that people would have made
  • that would have been something she wouldn’t have been able to recover from
  • so Allah is removing the stress from Maryam


Ayat 23

Sahih International

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.”

  • fa ajaa ahal makhaadhu
  • al makhaadh :-
  • root of the word refers to when you have a liquid in a canister and you shake it around, used in figurative sense to refer to the movement of the child inside womb of the mother
  • some scholars refer to the fact that it can refer to the contractions she starting to experience
  • fa ajaa ahaa – it forced her
  • jaa a, yajee u
  • al majee – to go somewhere
  • ajaa a – the transitive form -> to force someone to go somewhere
  • the contractions is the thing that forced her to get up and look for something
  • she’s nervous noe, this is first time she is experiencing this
  • ilaa jizh’i nakhlah
  • jizh’i – trunk of a tree
  • nakhlah – date palm
  • she goes to a trunk of a date palm to get support, to lean against it
  • when she started having contractions, she panics and starts to move around and she looks for something and goes to the trunk of the date palm and leans against it
  • ya laytani – she expresses sympathy for herself, “Look what I’m doing through.”
  • this is very overwhelming

mittu qabla haazha – I wish I would have died before all of this

  • a profound question asked here :- how do we reflect on this, she’s wishing that she was dead. what does that mean
  • you have a judge a person statement in context
  • when we are trying to understand what that means we have to read the ayaat before it
  • from what we know of Maryam, we know she is not one to back down from a challenge
  • one thing most unbearable in the world is the blemish to her modesty, chastity
  • part of her relationship with Allah is that modesty, self dignity and respect and we know how strongly she feels about that
  • this is reality, she is going to give birth to a child, it’s happening!
  • in earlier stage of pregnancy, she was hiding it, then as it progressed, she got away but now it’s about to really happen, this is a living human being, how is she going to handle that?
  • no more hiding, she will be forced to live among the people now
  • she know the slander will come that’s why she expressed this wish to die
  • Maryam 27 and 28 – people literally called her out, “Oh Maryam what did you do?!”
  • 19:27
    Sahih International

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

    Sahih International

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

  • now it will affect an innocent child too
  • there was a segment of people at that time who sees Maryam as a sinful woman and Isa a.s. as a product of an illicit relationship and she didn’t want that to happen, that’s why she said mittu qabla haazha

wa kuntu nasyan mansiyya – and I would have become nasiyan

  • nasiyan
  • comes from root which means to forget something but can also be used as a noun
  • nasyun, nasiiyyun
  • nisyaan = gerund
  • but others are all derivatives
  • refers to things you very easily forget
  • e.g. when someone traveling, these things easy to forget, maybe you wanted to take your lunch with you and you forget, it will be called nisiyyun, nasyun – differnt derivatives
  • Arabs had figure of speech that whenever people woudl travel the leader of the pack would say ihfadhu ansaa akum/unzhuruu ansaa akum – make sure you take account for things you usually forget
  • Maryam saying “I wish I could have become something that is just forgotten, easily forgotten”
  • for extra emphasis she adds mansiyyan
  • not only forgotten, but there is a figure of speech in urdu that when you forget something so bad that you forget that you forgot it
  • mansiyyan – completely wiped from record, memory banks of people, as if she never existed
  • scholars says that more than anything this is a testament to the honor, distinction, chastity of Maryam that she would forgo her own existence than compromise her modesty and chastity
  • she has such strong motivation and conviction about modesty and chastity and she enforces that standard upon herself
  • modesty is supposed to be self driven, self-motivated
  • you have to hold yourself to a standard
  • we can create an environment that facilitates, encourages, inspires that, but we can’t create a judgmental environment that holds other people to standards
  • because what starts happening after a while is it’s all about other people and you no longer care about yourself
  • e.g. we create a very hypocritical attitude about modesty, where the sisters are all expected to be modest and chaste so the brothers don’t have to
  • they’re expected to be modest and chaste because Allah wants that of them
  • if another man never existed in the world ever again women still need to be chaste
  • litmus test – when you are alone in your own home, aren’t you supposed to still be modest? yes
  • because it’s how much you respect yourself, your relationship with Allah
  • predicament that we have today, the standard at some level is we have an expectation of the sisters
  • on the brothers’ side if a sister shows up immodestly dressed, that’s it, there’d be a khutbah on the topic
  • but on brother’s side we see situation where a brother is wearing a T shirt from Baby Gap, when he makes ruku’, he is showing too much
  • but there is no problem with that?
  • brother or sister, old or young, married or single, we all need to hold ourselves to standard of modesty
  • long discussion about this wishing of death
  • asking death from Allah is prohibited if done out of discontentment with decree of Allah
  • “I’m so miserable with my life that I’d rather die”
  • but to create the balance here, Prophet saw was said to have said  a beautiful dua
  • allahumma ahyini ma kaanatil hayaatu khayran li watawaffani ma kaana wafaatu khayran li
  • Oh Allah keep me alive as long as life is good for me and but take me up, when this is best for met


Link to video series on MM



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