Surah Maryam Ayat 24-45

{24. Then he cried unto her from below her, saying: “Grieve not: your Lord has provided a Sariy under you.” 

25. “And shake the trunk of date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you.” 

26.”So eat and drink and rejoice. And if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily, I have vowed a fast for the Most Gracious so I shall not speak to any human being today.”}

 

What was said to Her after the Birth
Some reciters read the Ayah as, “Who was below her” Meaning the one who was below her called to her. Others recited it as,“from below her” With the meaning of a preposition (from) instead of a pronoun (who). The scholars of Tafsir have differed over the interpretation of who was calling out. Al-Awfi and others reported from Ibn Abbas that he said, “Then cried unto her from below her” “This is referring to Jibril (At-Tabari 18:173) because Isa did not speak until she brought him to her people.” Similarly, Said bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Amr bin Maymun, As-Suddi and Qatadah all said, “Verily, this is referring to the angel Jibril.” (At-Tabari 18:173) This means that he (Jibril) called out to her from the bottom of the valley. Mujahid said,“Then cried unto her from below her” “This is referring to Isa bin Maryam.” Likewise, Abdur-Razzaq reported from Mamar that Qatadah said that Al-Hasan said, “This is referring to her son (Isa).” This is also one of the two opinions reported from Said bin Jubayr – that it was her son, Isa, speaking. Said said, “Have you not heard Allah saying, “Then she pointed to him.” Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jarir preferred this opinion in his Tafsir. Allah said, “Grieve not” He called to her saying, “Do not grieve.” “your Lord has provided a Sariy under you.” Sufyan Ath-Thawri and Shubah reported from Abu Ishaq that Al-Bara’ bin Azib said, “your Lord has provided a Sariy under you.” “This means a small stream.” (At-Tabari 18:175) Likewise, Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Sariy means a river.” (At-Tabari 18:176) Amr bin Maymun held the same view, as he said, “It means a river for her to drink from.” (At-Tabari 18:176) Mujahid said, “It means river in the Syrian language.” (At-Tabari 18:176) Said bin Jubayr said, “Sariy is a small flowing river.”(At-Tabari 18:176) Others said that Sariy refers to Isa. This was said by Al-Hasan, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Muhammad bin Abbad bin Jafar, and it is one of the two opinions reported from Qatadah. It is also the view of Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. However, the first view seems to be the most obvious meaning.
For this reason, Allah said after it, “And shake the trunk of date palm towards you” meaning, “Grab the trunk of the date-palm tree and shake it towards yourself.” Therefore, Allah blessed her by giving her food and drink. Then He said, “It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and rejoice.” Meaning to be happy. This is why Amr bin Maymun said, “Nothing is better for the woman confined in childbed than dried dates and fresh dates.” Then he recited this noble Ayah. (At-Tabari 18:179)
Concerning Allah’s statement, “And if you see any human being” This means any person that you see, “Say: ‘Verily, I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being today.” Meaning, by signaling with gestures, not a statement by speech. This is so that she does not negate her oath itself, “so I shall not speak to any human being today.” Anas bin Malik commented on, “I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious” He said; “A vow of silence.” (At-Tabari 18:182-183) Likewise said Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak. (At-Tabari 18:182-183)
The meaning here is that in their Law, when fasting, it was forbidden for them to eat and speak. As-Suddi, Qatadah and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd (At-Tabari 18:183) have all stated this view. Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd said, “When Isa said to Maryam, “Grieve not” She said, ‘How can I not grieve when you are with me and I have no husband nor am I an owned slave woman? What excuse do I have with the people? Woe unto me, if I had only died before this, and had been a thing forgotten and unknown.’ Then, Isa said to her, “I will suffice you with a statement, “And if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily, I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious so I shall not speak to any human being this day.” All of this is from the speech of Isa to his mother.” Wahb said the same as well.

 

{27. Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said: “O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariy.” 

28. “O sister of Harun! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.” 

29. Then she pointed to him. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle” 

30. He said: “Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet” 

31. “And He has made me blessed wherever I be, and has enjoined on me [Awsani] Salah and Zakah, as long as I live.” 

32. “And to be dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblessed.” 

33. “And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!”}

 

Maryam with Al-Masih before the People, Their Rejection of Her and His Reply to Them

Allah, the Exalted, informs of Maryam’s situation when she was commanded to fast that day and not to speak to any human being. For verily, her affair would be taken care of and her proof would be established. Thus, she accepted the command of Allah and she readily received His decree. She took her child and brought him to her people, carrying him. When they saw her like this they made a big deal about her situation and they sternly protested against of it, and “They said: “O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariy.” Fariy means a mighty thing. This was said by Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others. (At-Tabari 18:185) Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Nawf Al-Bikali that he said, “Her people went out searching for her, she was from a family that was blessed with prophethood and nobility. However, they could not find any trace of her. They came across a cow herder and they asked him, ‘Have you seen a girl whose description is such and such?’ He replied, ‘No, but tonight I saw my cows doing something that I’ve never seen them do before.’ They asked, ‘What did you see?’ He said, ‘Tonight I saw them prostrating in the direction of that valley.” (At-Tabari 18:187)

Abdullah bin Ziyad said (adding to the narration), “I memorized from Sayyar that he (the cattle herder) said, ‘I saw a radiant light.” So they went towards the direction that he told him, and Maryam was coming towards them from that direction. When she saw them she sat down and she was holding her child in her lap. They came towards her until they were standing over her. “They said: “O Mary! Indeed you have brought a mighty thing (Fariy).” This means it was a mighty thing that she had brought. “O sister of Harun!” This means, “O one resembling Harun (Aaron) in worship.”

“Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.”

They meant, “You are from a good, pure family, well-known for its righteousness, worship and abstinence from worldy indulgence. How could you do such a thing?” Ali bin Abi Talhah and As-Suddi both said, “It was said to her, “O sister of Harun!” referring to the brother of Musa, because she was of his descendants. This is similar to the saying, ‘O brother of Tamim,’ to one who is from the Tamimi tribe, and ‘O brother of Mudar,’ to one who is from the Mudari tribe. It has also been said that she was related to a righteous man among them whose name was Harun and she was comparable to him in her abstinence and worship.

Concerning Allah’s statement, “Then she pointed to him. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” This is what took place while they were in doubt about her situation, condeming her circumstances, saying what they wanted to say. At that time they were slandering her and falsely accusing her of a horrendous act. On that day she was fasting and keeping silent. Therefore, she referred all speech to him (the child) and she directed them to his address and speech to them. They scoffed at her because they thought that she was mocking at them and playing with them. They said,“How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” Maymun bin Mahran said, “Then she pointed to him.” “She indicated, ‘Speak to him.’ They then said, ‘After she has come to us with this calamity, she now commands us to speak to one who is a child in the cradle!” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 5:507)  As-Suddi said, “When she pointed to him they became angry and said, ‘Her mocking us, to the extent of commanding us to speak to this child, is worse to us than her fornication.” “They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” This means, “How can someone speak who is in his cradle, in the state of infancy and a child”. Isa said, “Verily, I am a servant of Allah” The first thing that he said was a declaration of the lofty honor of his Lord and His being free of having a child. Also, he affirmed that he himself was a worshipper of his Lord.

Allah said, “He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” This was a declaration of innocence for his mother from the immorality that was attributed to her. Nawf Al-Bikali said, “When they said what they said to his mother, he (Isa) was nursing from her breast. At their statement he released the breast from his mouth and reclined on his left saying, “Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” And he continued speaking until he said, “as long as I live.” Concerning his statement, “And He has made me blessed wherever I be,” Mujahid, Amr bin Qays and Ath-Thawri all said that this means, “And He made me a teacher of goodness.” (At-Tabari 18:191)  In another narration from Mujahid, he said, “A person of great benefit.” (At-Tabari 18:191)  Ibn Jarir reported from Wuhayb bin Al-Ward, a freed slave of the Bani Makhzum tribe, that he said, “A scholar met another scholar who had more knowledge than himself. So he said to him, ‘May Allah have mercy upon you, what acts of mine should I perform openly’ The other replied, ‘Commanding good and forbidding evil, for verily, it is the religion of Allah, which He sent His Prophets with to His servants.’ The scholars have indeed agreed upon the statement of Allah, “And He has made me blessed wherever I be” Then it was said, `What was his blessing?’ He (Wuhayb) replied, ‘Commanding good and forbidding evil wherever he was.” (At-Tabari 18:191)

His saying,“and He has enjoined on me [Awsani] Salah and Zakah, as long as I live.” This is similar to the statement of Allah to Muhammad , “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” (15:99) Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Qasim reported from Malik bin Anas that he commented on Allah’s statement,“and He has enjoined on me [Awsani] Salah and Zakah, as long as I live.” He said, “Allah informed him of what would be of his affair until his death. This is the firmest evidence against the people who deny Allah’s preordained decree.” (Al-Qurtubi 11:103) [That is, he understood Awsani with its alternative meaning: ‘He decreed for me.”]

Concerning Allah’s statement, “And to be dutiful to my mother.” This means, “He (Allah) has commanded me to treat my mother well.” He mentioned this after mentioning obedience to his Lord, Allah. This is because Allah often combines the command to worship Him with obedience to the parents. This is similar to Allah’s statement,“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents.” (17:23) And He, the Exalted, said, “Give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (31:14)

Concerning his statement, “and He made me not arrogant, unblessed.” This means, “He (Allah) has not made me too proud or arrogant to worship Him, obey Him and be dutiful to my mother, and thus be unblessed.” Concerning Allah’s statement, “And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!” This is his affirmation that ‘he is a worshipper of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and that he is a creature created by Allah. He (Isa) will live, die and be resurrected, just like the other creatures that Allah has created. However, he will have peace in these situations, which are the most difficult situations for Allah’s creatures.’ May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.

{34. Such is Isa, son of Maryam. Qawlal-Haqq [it is a statement of truth] about which they doubt (or dispute). 

35. It befits not (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glorified be He. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: “Be!” – and it is. 

36. [Isa said] : “And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. That is the straight path.” 

37. Then the sects differed, so woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.}

 

Isa is the Servant of Allah and not His Son

Allah, the Exalted, says to His Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon, ‘This is the story which We have related to you about Isa, upon him be peace. “(It is) a statement of truth about which they doubt.” This means that the people of falsehood and the people of truth are in disagreement, of those who believe in him and those who disbelieve believe in him. For this reason most of the reciters recited this Ayah with Qawlul-Haqq (statement of truth) as the subject, referring to Isa himself. Asim and Abdullah bin Amir both recited it Qawlal-Haqq (statement of truth) referring to the story in its entirety that the people differed about. It is reported from Ibn Masud (At-Tabari 18:194) that he recited it as Qalal-Haqqa, which means that he (Isa) said the truth. The recitation of the Ayah with the Qawlul-Haqq being the subject referring to Isa, is the most apparent meaning grammatically. It has support for it in the statement of Allah [after the story of Isa], “(This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.” (3:60) When Allah mentioned that He created him as a servant and a Prophet, He extolled Himself, the Most Holy, by saying, “It befits not (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glorified be He.” Means glory be unto Him, He is far exalted above that which these ignorant, wrongdoing, transgressing people say about Him. “When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: “Be!”- and it is.” Whenever He wants something, He merely commands it and it happens as He wills. This is as Allah says, “Verily, the likeness of Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be” – and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.” (3:59-60)

Isa commanded the Worship of Allah Alone, then the People differed after Him

Allah said; “And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. That is the straight path.” Among those things which Isa said to his people while he was in his cradle is that Allah was his Lord and their Lord, and he commanded them to worship Him alone. He said,“So worship Him. That is the straight path.” Meaning, “That which I have come to you with from Allah is the straight path.” This means that the path is correct; whoever follows it will be rightly guided and whoever opposes it will deviate and go astray. Allah’s statement,“Then the sects differed” means that the opinions of the People of the Book differed concerning Isa even after the explanation of his affair and the clarification of his situation. They disagreed about his being the servant of Allah, His Messenger, and His Word that He cast upon Maryam and a spirit from Himself. So a group of them – who were the majority of the Jews (may Allah’s curses be upon them) – determined that he was a child of fornication and that his speaking in his cradle was merely sorcery. Another group said that it was Allah Who was speaking (not Isa). Others said that he (Isa) was the son of Allah. Some said that he was the third part of a divine trinity with Allah. Yet, others said that he was the servant of Allah and His Messenger. This latter view is the statement of truth, which Allah guided the believers to. A report similar with this meaning has been reported from Amr bin Maymun, Ibn Jurayj, Qatadah and others from the Salaf (predecessors) and the Khalaf (later generations). Allah said, “so woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.” This is a threat and severe warning for those who lie about Allah, invent falsehood and claim that He (Allah) has a son. However, Allah has given them respite until the Day of Resurrection, and He has delayed their term out of gentleness and confident reliance upon His divine decree overcoming them. Verily, Allah does not hasten the affair of those who disobey Him. This has been related in a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs,

“Verily, Allah gives respite to the wrongdoer until He seizes him and he will not be able to escape Him.”

Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah, “Such is the punishment of your Lord when He punishes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His punishment is painful, (and) severe.” (11:102) (Fath Al-Bari 8:205, Muslim 4:1997)

In the Two Sahihs it is also reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“No one is more patient with something harmful that he hears than Allah. Verily, they attribute to Him a son, while He is the One Who provides them sustenance and good health.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:205, Muslim 4:2160) 

Allah says, “And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. Then I punished it. And to me is the (final) return (of all).” (22:48) Allah, the Exalted, also says, “Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrongdoers do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.” (14:42) This is the reason that Allah says here, “So woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.” referring to the Day of Resurrection. It has been related in an authentic Hadith that is agreed upon (in Al-Bukhari and Muslim), on the authority of Ubadah bin As-Samit who said that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and that `Isa was Allah’s servant and Messenger, and His Word that He cast upon Maryam, and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are both real, then Allah will admit him into Paradise regardless of whatever he did.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:546, Muslim 1:57)

{38. How clearly will they see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us! But the wrongdoers today are in plain error. 

39. And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not. 

40. Verily, We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned.}

 

The Disbeliever’s warning of the Day of Distress

Allah, the Exalted, says informing about the disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection that they will be made to have the clearest hearing and sight. This is as Allah says, “And if you only could see when the criminals hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard.” (32:12) They will say that when it will not benefit them, nor will it be of any use to them. If they had used these senses properly before seeing the torment, then it would have brought them some benefit and saved them from the Allah’s punishment. This is why Allah says, “How clearly will they (disbelievers) see and hear” This means that no one will hear and see better than they will. “the day when they will appear before Us.” The Day of Resurrection. “But the wrongdoers today are…” now, in the life of this world, “…in plain error.” They do not hear, see or think. When they are requested to follow guidance, they are not guided and they succumb to those things that do not benefit them. Then, Allah says, “And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets” warn the creation of the Day of Distress,“when the case has been decided” when the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will be sorted out, and everyone will reach his final abode which he was destined to remain in forever. “while (now) they are” today, in the present life of this world, “in a state of carelessness.” with the warning of the Day of grief and regret, they are heedless. “and they believe not.” meaning they do not believe that it is true. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Said said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“When the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of the Hellfire enter the Hellfire, death will be brought in the form of a handsome ram and it will be placed between Paradise and the Hellfire. Then, it will be said, “O people of Paradise, do you know what this is” Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, “Yes, this is death.” Then, it will be said, “O people of the Hellfire, do you know what this is” Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, “Yes, this is death.” Then, the order will be given for it to be slaughtered and it will be said, “O people of Paradise, eternity and no more death, O people of Hellfire, eternity and no more death.”

Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, recited the Ayah, “And warn them of the Day of grief and regret, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.” Then, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, made a gesture with his hand and said,

“The people of this life are in the state of heedlessness of this life.” (Ahmad 9:3)

Thus recorded Imam Ahmad and it was also recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs (Fath Al-Bari 8:282, Muslim 4:2188) with wording similar to this.

It is reported from Abdullah bin Masud that he mentioned a story in which he said,

“There is not a soul except that it will see a residence in Paradise and a residence in the Hellfire, and this will be the Day of distress. So the people of the Hellfire will see the residence that Allah prepared for them if they had believed. Then, it will be said to them, `If you had believed and worked righteous deeds, you would have had this, which you see in Paradise.’ Then, they will be overcome with distress and grief. Likewise, the people of Paradise will see the residence that is in the Hellfire and it will be said to them, ‘If Allah had not bestowed His favor upon you (this would have been your place).” (At-Tabari)

Concerning Allah’s statement, “Verily, We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned.” Allah is informing that He is the Creator, the Owner and the Controller of all matters. All of the creation will be destroyed and only He, the Most High and Most Holy, will remain. There is no one who can claim absolute ownership and control of affairs besides Him. He is the Inheritor of all His creation. He is the Eternal, Who will remain after they are gone and He is the Judge of their affairs. Therefore, no soul will be done any injustice, nor wronged even the weight of a mosquito or an atom.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Hazm bin Abi Hazm Al-Qutai said, “Umar bin Abdul-Aziz wrote to Abdul-Hamid bin Abdur-Rahman, who was the governor of Kufah: ‘Thus, to proceed: Verily, Allah prescribed death for His creatures when He created them and He determined their final destination. He said in that which He revealed in His truthful Book, which He guarded with His knowledge and made His angels testify to its preservation, that He will inherit the earth and all who are on it, and they will all be returned to Him.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 7:2410)

{41. And mention in the Book, Ibrahim. Verily, he was a man of truth, a Prophet. 

42. When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything” 

43. “O my father! Verily, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.” 

44. “O my father! Worship not Shaytan. Verily, Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.” 

45. “O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan.”}

 

Ibrahim’s Admonition of His Father

Allah, the Exalted, tells His Prophet, Muhammad , “And mention in the Book, Ibrahim.” “Recite this to your people who are worshipping idols and mention to them what happened with Ibrahim, the intimate Friend (Khalil) of the Most Beneficent. These idol worshippers (Arabs) are his descendants and they claim to follow his religion. Inform them that he was a truthful Prophet. Tell them about what took place with his father and how he forbade him from worshipping idols.”

Ibrahim said, “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything” Meaning that these idols will not benefit you, nor can they protect you from any harm. “O my father! Verily, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not unto you.” This means, “Even though I am from your loins and you see me as inferior to you because I am your son, know that I have received knowledge from Allah that you do not know and it has not reached you.” “So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.” meaning, “a straight path that will carry you to the desired objective and save you from that which is dreaded (Hell).” “O my father! Worship not Shaytan.” This is means, “Do not obey him by worshipping these idols. He invites to this (idolatry) and he is pleased with it.” This is as Allah says,“Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan. Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.” (36:60) Allah also says, “They invoke nothing but females [idols] besides Him (Allah), and they invoke nothing but Shaytan, a persistent rebel!” (4:117) Concerning Allah’s statement, “Verily, Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.” This means obstinate and too arrogant to obey his Lord. Therefore, Allah expelled him and made him an outcast. Therefore, “do not follow him or you will become like him.” “O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you” “because of your associating partners with Allah and your disobedience in what I am commanding you with.” “so that you become a companion of Shaytan.” This means, “there will be no one who will protect you, or help you, or assist you, except Iblis. However, neither he, nor anyone else, has any power over the outcome of matters. Following him will only cause you to be surrounded by the torment (of Allah).” This is as Allah says, “By Allah, We indeed sent (Messengers) to the nations before you, but Shaytan made their deeds fair seeming to them. So he is their helper today (in this world), and theirs will be a painful torment.” (16:63)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 6 Pages 247-267

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