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Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verses 24-25

24. " Then (a voice) called out unto her from beneath her: 'Grieve not! Verily your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you'."

25. " And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards yourself. It will drop on you fresh ripe dates."

Commentary

The Qur'anic word /sariyya/ means 'a small stream'; and the term /janiyya/ is applied for 'a fruit which is ripe and ready to be picked off '.

Some commentators have said that the caller unto Mary has been Gabriel; but the context of the verses shows that the caller has been Jesus, in a manner that the mother hears his words and believes what he says, and, later with a calm mind, she tells people to ask about her chastity from the child in the cradle.

At the time of delivery and after it, women usually need tranquility, water and appropriate food, the things which have been mentioned in these verses.

The food which has been recommended in the Qur'an and by some Islamic tradition for the woman who has already delivered, is fresh ripe dates. Also, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "The first food for the women who have already delivered, should be fresh dates". 10

Hadrat Ali (a.s.) says: "The best food for the pregnant woman is fresh dates, and there is no medical treatment for her better than dates". 11

This is a Divine trial. The day when Mary was sound, a heavenly food was sent down for her, but today, when she is pregnant and has no assistant, she must shake the palm-tree to get some food. However, the verse says:

" Then (a voice) called out unto her from beneath her: 'Grieve not! Verily your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you'."

Some commentators have said that the caller has been Jesus Himself (a.s.), who, from beneath her, called out that she should not be grieved (Grieve not!), and she should not ask for death. She ought to be sure that Allah would protect her from accusation and, by the miracles of Jesus (a.s.), He removes all accusations from her. One of those miracles was that very spring which was found by one step of Gabriel or that of Jesus, from which she both drunk and expurgated herself. Another miracle of Jesus (a.s.) was that he called unto her to shake the trunk of the palm-tree, which had been dead for years, in order to become green alive again and give her fresh dates. Mary started at once and found that tree. She shook it when some fresh dates fell down for her. The verse says:

" And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards yourself. It will drop on you fresh ripe dates."

It seemed that Allah intended to show her that the similitude of her and Jesus was the similitude of that palm-tree and the dates; meaning that Allah is powerful to cause the fresh dates to fall from a dry dead palm-tree, to gash water from a plain land, and He is powerful to bring a complete human out of the womb of a husbandless woman during a few hours. This fact was made quietly manifest to Mary that that child was the great sign of Allah and also His condescension unto her, but she was amazed what to say to people so that it could remove the accusation from her. Then, the command of Allah came to her that 'she should eat and drink'.

It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that the best things which must be given to the ladies who have already conceived is dates and the dates produced in Medina in particular, but if it is not available, the fresh dates from other places might be given to them, or at least, some ordinary dates. 12

Mary was also commanded to drink the wholesome water of that spring, and to refresh her eyes by looking at that newborn child. What a refreshment of the eye can be better than this that Allah grants her a child with the rank of prophethood. A child who spoke at the beginning time of his birthday, and who had great miracles such as restoring to life the dead, healing the blind, and the like of them. (Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the Commentary)

Notes:

10. Al-Kafi, vol. 6, p. 22

11. Tafsir-i-Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Khisal by Sad?q, p. 637

12. Tafsir-i-'Atyab-ul-Bayan, and Majma'-ul-Bayan

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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