Will you give information about Hz. Maryam's birth? They say Maryam has an interesting creation like the miraculous creation of Hz. Isa, her son. Where was Hz. Maryam born? How long did she live?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to what Muhammad b. Ishaq and others write, Maryam’s mother could not become pregnant for a long time. Once, she saw a bird giving food to the mouth of her young and desired to have a baby. She vowed that she would settle her child in Masjid al-Aqsa if she became pregnant and devote her child to the mosque. According to what is written, she became pregnant after that vow.  

"When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!"- and Allah knew best what she brought forth And no wise is the male like the female..."»

That is, women are not as skilled as men in terms of serving Masjid al-Aqsa. At that time, people devoted their children to serve Masjid al-Aqsa. (Tafsiru Tabari, III, 157)

It is not known how old Hanna was when she became pregnant with Hz. Maryam (Mary).

According to Islamic resources, Hz. Maryam's father is Imran. Imran comes from a family that reaches Hz. Ibrahim with an honorable chain. Hz. Maryam's mother is Hanna, the daughter of Faduqa. Hanna's sister (or according to another narration Maryam's sister) Iysha was Hz. Zakariyya's wife and Hz. Yahya's mother. The Prophet Muhammad said, "Yahya (John) and Isa (Christ) were cousins (their mothers were sisters)."

The following is stated in the Quran:

"Behold! A woman of ´Imran said: ‘O my Lord! I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me: For Thou hearest and knowest all things.’ When she was delivered, she said: ‘O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!’- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- ‘And no wise is the male Like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected.’ Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty: To the care of Zakariyya was she assigned. Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: ‘O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?’ She said: ‘From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.’" (Aal-i Imran, 3:35-37)

Maryam means servant in the Assyrian language.



She is the mother of Hz. Isa, who was one of the greatest (ulul-azm) prophets. She is the daughter of Imran, one of the notables and scholars of Sons of Israel and a descendant of Hz. Dawud. Allah shows believers Maryam, daughter of Imran, as an example of those who guard their chastity (at-Tahrim, 66/12). Maryam means "a religious woman". She is also called "Batul", which means chaste, avoiding men.  Imran's wife, Hanna, was an infertile woman who did not have any children. Once, she was sitting in the shade of a tree and saw a bird trying to feed her young; this increased her desire to have a baby. (Ibnul-Athir, al-Kamil fit-Tarikh, Beirut 1979, I, 298). She asked Allah to give her a child and she said she would devote her child as a servant to Bayt al-Maqdis: "Behold! A woman of ´Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me…" (Aal-u Imran, 3/35). When Hanna made this vow, she did not think that the child could be a girl. How could a girl serve in Bayt al-Maqdis. The menstruation of women did not allow it; besides, it was impossible according to the rules.  Therefore, “When she was delivered, she said: ‘O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!’- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- ‘And no wise is the male Like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected.’” (Aal-u Imran, 3/36). Maryam’s father Imran died before she was born.

Hanna swaddled the baby and took her to the authorities in Bayt al-Maqdis. Hz. Zakariyya, Hz. Yahya’s father, undertook the duty of taking care of the baby. For, his wife was Maryam’s maternal aunt or sister. (Ibnul-Athir, ibid, I, 299; Ali Sabuni, an-Nubuwwa wal-Anbiya, Damascus 1985, 201)

Thus, Hz. Maryam was raised under the protection of a prophet. Hz. Zakariyya allocated a special place for her in the mosque. She spent her time worshipping and praying there. Only Hz. Zakariyya was allowed to enter that place. Whenever Hz. Zakariyya went to her to give her some food, he saw some food there. There were summer fruits in winter and winter fruits in summer. Allah sent sustenance to this honorable woman, who would be the mother of a prophet. This incidence is narrated as follows in the Quran:

"Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty: To the care of Zakariya was she assigned. Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: ‘O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?’ She said: ‘From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.’" (Aal-u Imran, 3/37)

Maryam was raised in a chaste and honorable manner in that clean environment. Angels frequently visited Hz. Maryam, who spent her life in and around Bayt al-Maqdis under the protection of Allah; they informed her about her rank in the eye of Allah and gave her the glad tiding that Allah chose her among women as a mother of a prophet.   

"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, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; "He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.’" (Aal-u Imran, 3/45, 46)

Hz. Maryam was astonished by this news given to her. Her state is expressed as follows: in the Quran: She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ´Be,´ and it is!’ (Aal-u Imran, 3/47)

Once, Allah sent Hz. Jibril (Gabriel) in the form of a young and handsome man with a bright face: "Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects." (Maryam, 19/17) Hz. Maryam was astonished because she thought that he was a man and that he could harm her. There was nobody around whom she could ask help. She had nothing to do but to take refuge in Allah. She said, "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." (Maryam, 19/18)

If Jibril had come in the form of an angel not a man, she would have been terrified and escaped from him; she would not have been able to listen to what he would say. In order to eliminate her fear and to tell her about the reason why he had come, Jibril    said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." (Maryam, 19/19)

When Hz. Maryam realized that he was Jibril, she calmed down; although she had already been informed about the news he gave her (Aal-u Imran, 3/45, 46), she could not help expressing her astonishment and wanted to find an answer about how it could happen. She said, "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" (Maryam, 19/20)

Hz. Jibril answered her as follows: He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ´that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us´:It is a matter (so) decreed." (Maryam, 19/21)

Since Allah predestined that Isa would be born without a father, He created him by breathing into her from His spirit in order to make him come to the world in a miraculous way. Allah explains how Maryam became pregnant as follows: So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. Finally, the order of Allah was fulfilled. Maryam became pregnant with Isa." (Maryam, 19/22); And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples." (al-Enbiya, 21/91) "…And We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants)." (at-Tahrim, 66/12)

When Hz. Maryam became pregnant, she went to a place where there were no people and started to wait there alone: "She retired with him to a remote place." She retreated to a remote place in order to be saved from the doubtful and accusing looks of people. Besides, she was in trouble and did not know what to do since he did not know how she would explain this great incident to people.

There are different views regarding the period of the pregnancy of Maryam. Some scholars say it was one hour or nine hours while others say was eight months. (Sabuni, ibid, 202). According to the sound view of the majority of the scholars, she was pregnant as long as an ordinary woman would be and gave birth to her baby in the same way. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, Istanbul 1985, V, 216)

When her labor pains started, she had to go under a palm tree in the remote place where she had retreated. The following verse expresses clearly what a great depression she had then due to what people would accuse her of: And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" (Maryam, 19/23)

Hz. Maryam was addressed as follows in order to eliminate her mental depression and to console her by reminding her that she was under the protection of Allah: "But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! For thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee." (Maryam, 19/24, 25)

Tafsir scholars hold different views about who addressed Hz. Maryam. Some of them say Jibril addressed her. He addressed her from the valley below. According to this view, Hz. Isa did not talk until her mother took him to her tribe. Some other scholars say the one who addressed her was Hz. Isa. (see Ibn Kathir, ibid, V, 218)

Hz. Maryam gave birth to her child. However, how could she return to her tribe, whose state of mischief she knew? They would accuse her of unchastity though she did not deserve it. How could she persuade them about the real nature of the incident? While she was thinking like that, the voice that addressed her told her to eat and drink easily and what to do when she went to her tribe as follows: So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ´I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being. (Maryam, 19/26)

Ibn Zayd states the following: When Hz. Isa said to his mother, "do not worry", she said, "How should I not worry when I have you with me? I do not have a husband and I am not a slave of anybody. What kind of an excuse can I tell people? I wish I had died and been forgotten before this happened to me. Hz. Isa said to her, "I am enough for you to speak. If they ask you anything, say, "I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being." Ibn Zayd states that those words were told her by Hz. Isa. (Ibn Kathir, ibid, V, 220)

Hz. Maryam attained peace given to her by the realization that her Creator guarded her and that He would not embarrass her in the presence of her tribe when she saw the miracles of her Lord. For, there was an absolute evidence with her and it was easy for Allah to prove that miraculous incident.

With this belief, she took Hz. Isa and went to her tribe. This was not an easy situation to solve for her tribe. When they saw the pure, chaste virgin, who had been devoted to the mosque before she was born and who had been worshipping there, with a baby, they were terrified and astounded. 

Hz. Maryam' carrying her baby in her arms, going to her tribe like that and the reaction of her tribe are expressed as follows: in the Quran: At length she (Mary) brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! "O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!" (Maryam, 19/27-28)

The Aaron (Harun) mentioned in the verse is Hz. Harun, the brother of Hz. Musa (Moses), from whose descendants Hz. Maryam comes. Her tribe addressed her like that because they wanted to show how strange what she had done was by  emphasizing the great contradiction between the deed they thought she had done and the lifestyle of Hz. Harun. According to what Ibn Jarir states, Harun was a sinner among them and they wanted to despise Maryam when they accused her by calling her a brother of a bad person. (Ibn Kathir, ibid, V, 221)

In the face of their accusations, Hz. Maryam showed the baby to those who blamed her as if she was mocking them and wanted them to ask him about the incident. However, they got angry and asked in astonishment how a child in the cradle talk: But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" (Maryam, 19/29). Thereupon, the divine miracle that acquitted Hz. Maryam  took place and Hz. Isa started to talk. He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; "And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; "(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)." (Maryam, 19/30-33)

However, it is understood that they preferred to deny him despite miracles like the nations of the other prophets. For, when the reasons for the damnation of Sons of Israel are stated in the Quran, their slander against Hz. Maryam is also mentioned: "That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge; That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’..." (an-Nisa, 4/156-157)

According to the information given in the Bible, Hz. Maryam took her son, Isa, and went to Egypt with Yusuf Najjar. According to the information in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Barnabas, the reason why they went to Egypt was the fact that when Herod, who was a cruel king in Quds (Jerusalem), was informed by his soothsayers that a boy that was born in Bayt al-Lahm would dominate all Jews, he ordered all of the boys that were born in Bayt al-Lahm to be killed. Thereupon, Yusuf Najjar was ordered in his dream to go to Egypt with Hz. Maryam and the boy. (Sabuni, ibid, 206)

However, this narration and similar ones reported in the Gospels related to the return to Jerusalem cannot be true because Hz. Maryam was under the protection of Hz. Zakariyya. Since he acted based on the instructions of Jibril, why should he need the instructions that Yusuf an-Najjar, who is mentioned in Christian resources, received in his dream?  

The incidents from the birth of Hz. Maryam to her giving birth to Hz. Isa in a miraculous way are included in the Quran in detail. The reason why the issue is dealt with in detail is to clarify the basic issue, which was deviated by Jews and Christians. After mentioning the birth of Hz. Isa and his introducing himself to his nation in the cradle, Allah states the following: "Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute." (Maryam,19/34)

Allah likens the state of Hz. Isa to that of Hz. Adam: The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was."(Aal-u Imran, 3/59) Hz. Adam’s creation from soil is something related to belief; similarly, Hz. Maryam's giving birth to Hz. Isa without a father is related to belief. Those who have mischief in their hearts fall into doubt about his state like Jews and Christians. The hearts that surrender to Allah accept the incident as it is mentioned in the verses and approve it. Allah warns all believers by addressing His messenger as follows: "The Truth (comes) from Allah alone; so be not of those who doubt." (Aal-u Imran, 3/60).

Hz. Maryam, Hz. Asiye, Khadija and Hz. Fatima are the most superior women of Paradise. (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, III, 135)

There is no information about Hz. Maryam’s death and grave in the Quran and hadith resources. The details regarding the issue are generally based on Christian resources and historical resources.

It is not included in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew-Mark-Luke); it is stated in the Gospel of John’s Bible that Hz. Maryam took part in the Cana miracle (N. Testament, John 2:1-11) and the incident of Cross (John 19:25-27) and that she prayed together with the disciples after Hz. Isa was ascended to the sky (N. Testament, Acts 1:14); there is no information about the rest of her life, her death, age and physical appearance in the Gospels.

It is estimated that Hz. Maryam was about fifty years old when Hz. Isa left the world and that she died at the age of fifty-six, seventy or seventy-two; there are also views that she lived much longer; it is debatable where and how she died, where her grave is and whether she died or was raised to the sky.

According to the Islamic sources, when Allah wanted to raise Hz. Isa into the heavens, He asked the disciples Sham'un as-Safa and John to take care of Maryam. These two apostles went to the Roman Emperor Nero with Hz. Maryam, but Peter and Taddeus, who was one of the disciples, were killed. Hz. Maryam and John escaped; when they were about to be captured, the earth was split and they were lost. Hz. Maryam lived for six years after Hz. Isa. (see Tha'labi, Araisul-Majalis, p. 308)

According to the information reported by Hakim, Hz. Maryam was 13 years old when she became pregnant with Hz. Isa.  Hz. Isa was raised to the sky at the age of 32 (33). After his ascension to the sky, Hz. Maryam lived for 6 years. Accordingly, she died at the age of 56. (see Hakim II, 596) However, this determination is not true. For, the sum of 13 + 32 + 6 is not 56 but 51. For this reason, after giving the same information given by Hakim, Tabari made the following statement: “Accordingly, Hz. Maryam died when she was fifty odd years old. (see Tabari, Tarikh-Shamila, 1/345)


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