Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verses 18-20
18. " She said: 'Verily I take refuge in the Beneficent (Allah) from you! if you are God-fearing."
19. " He (the angel) said: 'Verily I am only a messenger of your Lord that I bestow on you a pure son'."
20. " She said: 'How shall there be for me a son while no man has touched me, neither have I been unchaste."
One of the recommendations of Allah to His Messengers is that they should take refuge in Allah. Therefore, this state has been the moral life of the prophets and the saints of Allah, and that is why when the pious persons feel the probability of committing sin, they tremble in fear and take refuge in Allah, The Beneficent.
It is evident that, at that time, a great fear overcame her when this pious woman saw that a handsome foreigner had entered her sanctuary, therefore, she immediately said:
" 'Verily I take refuge in the Beneficent (Allah) from you! if you are God-fearing."
Her Mentioning the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, and qualifying Him by His general mercy, on the one hand and encouraging the man to piety and being God-fearing, on the other, were all intended to deter that unfamiliar man if he had intended something evil.
By saying these words, Mary was expecting a reaction from the stranger, an expectation laden with fear and abundant anxiety. But this situation did not last very long, and the stranger spoke and stated his great mission:
" He (the angel) said: 'Verily I am only a messenger of your Lord …"
This statement comforted Mary's pure heart, as if water was poured over a fire.
But this relief did not last long, because immediately after that he added that he had come to bestow on her a son who would be pure from the point of temper, manner, body, and spirit. The verse continues saying:
"…that I bestow on you a pure son'."
However, the term /zakiyy/, used in the verse, is derived from /zakat/ in the sense of: 'purity, growth, and blessing', while the word /baqyan/, here, means 'a prostitute'.
In this Sura the subject of being granted a child from Allah has been mentioned several times: the bestowal of Jesus to Mary in verse 19; that of Isaac and Jacob to Abraham in verse 49. Moreover the remittal of Aaron to Moses in verse 53; and the glad tidings of a child to Zechariah in verse 7 are among them.
Having a child is something of great value, but greater than this is the purity of the child.
By hearing these word, Mary was seized with a severe trembling and again she became very worried. In that situation, and only thinking about the natural means of having a child, she wondered and:
" She said: 'How shall there be for me a son while no man has touched me, neither have I been unchaste."
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Maryam" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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