It is stated in one verse that Hz. Maryam talked to the angels and in another verse to the spirit. Is it not a contradiction?

Details of the Question
In the verses that mention Hz. Maryam's conversation with angels, it is stated in one verse that she talked to the angel and in another that she talked to the angels. Is there not a contradiction between these verses?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

In fact, the being that gave Hz. Maryam the glad tiding is Hz. Jibril. There are two reasons why he is mentioned in plural:

Firstly, the word “angels” is used because Hz. Jibril is one of the angels. This kind of usage is present in conversations. For instance, when we say, “this man eats very nice meals and wears very nice clothes”, he does not have to eat all of the nice meals or wear all of the nice clothes.

Secondly, Hz. Jibril has many assistants. The word “angels” (plural form) is used since Jibril is the leader of a group of angels as an expression to show that he represents their spiritual personality. (see Razi, Abu’s-Suud, the interpretation of verse 39 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran)

It is possible to evaluate the issue as follows too: The incidents mentioned in those two chapters may have happened at different times.  

“Behold! The angels said "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary...' ”

She may have been given this glad tiding mentioned in verse 45 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran.  In verses 17-19 of the chapter of Maryam, only Hz. Jibril is mentioned. As a matter of fact, the glad tiding of the angels was given to her when she had not been pregnant yet and when she was living in the mosque. It is possible to see it in the verses:   

"O Mary (Maryam)! Worship thy Lord devoutly; prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." This order and the explanation below show it:

"Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him."

It is claimed that in the verses in which Maryam talked to angels, there is one angel in one verse and the plural form (angels) is used in another verse and hence there is a contradiction between these two verses. Let us look at the verses first in order to find about this claim:

He (Zakariyya) said: "O my Lord! Give me a sign!" "Thy Sign" was the answer "shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three days but with signals. Then celebrate the praises of thy Lord again and again and glorify Him in the evening and in the morning." Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee;―chosen thee above the women of all nations. "O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly; prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down."  (Aal-i Imran, 3/41-43)

She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." (Maryam, 19/17-19)

It is seen that two different incidents are mentioned when these two groups of verses are read. In the verses in the chapter of Maryam, Maryam's meeting Jibril is mentioned. What is mentioned in the verses of the chapter of Aal-i Imran is a different incident. In these verses, Maryam speaking to angels at some other time is mentioned.

Therefore, there is no contradiction between mentioning angels (in plural form) in one verse and one spirit (Jibril) in another verse. Showing two different incidents and times mentioned by verses as one incident causes a misunderstanding. The two incidents that are mentioned and the two times are different. It is enough to read the verses in order to understand that the places and issues that the two incidents narrate are different. As it is understood from the verses, the time and places the angels speak and the time and place the Spirit speaks are different.

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