Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verses 34-35
34. " This is Jesus, son of Mary, a statement of truth, concerning which they doubt."
35. " It is not befitting to Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing, He only says unto it: 'Be', and it is."
Formerly the Qur'an illustrated clearly the event of the birth of Jesus through previous verses. Now, it refers to the negation of the superstitions and the polytheistic words that they have said about Jesus (a.s.). It says:
" This is Jesus, son of Mary, …"
The Qur'an emphasizes on the fact that Jesus is the son of Mary, in order to negate his being as the son of God, and then, it adds:
"… a statement of truth, concerning which they doubt."
Then, in the next verse, it explicitly says:
" It is not befitting to Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! …"
But, if He intends something and commands, He says to it 'Be' and it will come into being, too. The verse continues saying:
" … When He decrees a thing, He only says unto it: 'Be', and it is."
This statement indicates that having son for Allah, in the form that the Christians imagine it unto Him, does not fit the sanctity of the Rank of Allah. On one side, its requisite is the existence of body, and on the other side, there should be considered a limitation for Him, and on the third side, Allah does not need anything.
The expression saying "'Be' and it is" is a very lively illustration unto the vast power of Allah and His domination and sovereignty over the subject of creation.
Jesus Christ (a.s.) has been introduced through the afore mentioned verses by seven outstanding epithets and two accomplishments.
A. The epithets of Jesus Christ
1. To be a servant of Allah: "Verily am a servant of Allah."
2. To bring a heavenly Book: "…He has given me the Book."
3. To be a prophet: "…and made me a prophet."
4. To be blessed: "And He has made me blessed."
5. To be kind unto the mother: "And (He has made me) kind to my mother."
6. Not to be arrogant and unblessed: "He not made me arrogant and unblessed."
7. To be humble, gratitude, and prosperous: "And peace be on me."
One of them is prayer and the other is almsgiving (zakat). The above mentioned verse says that the truth about Jesus is just what Allah said: "This is Jesus, son of Mary".
In the holy Qur'an, the Christians have been repeatedly mentioned as deviated whose belief about Christ, as the son of God, is wrong. For example, in Sura Al-Ma'idah, No. 5, verse 73, it says: "certainly they disbelieve who say: 'Verily Allah is the third of the three', …" And, in Sura At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 30, it says: " …and the Christians say: 'The Messiah is the son of God' …". But, this verse, shows the correct argument in response to these erroneous claims regarding the characteristics of Jesus.
There is no need to say that the Will of Allah comes into being, even without the expression of 'Be', but Allah has described His Will for us in this manner so that we could understand it.
Allah is Omnipotent, and He is not in need of anything or any means in creating, His infinite Power is a reason why He is far exalted from powerlessness and from begetting a son.
The Qur'an and the Christ
As a result of the stiff pressure that the pagans of Mecca put upon the followers of the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) , a group of Muslims, accompanied by Ja'far-ibn-Abitalib, by the order of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) , migrated to Ethiopia (Abyssinia). The pagans of the Quraysh thought that if the Muslims could become powerful there and form a government, they would be able to root out the idolatry that the polytheists practiced. They sent 'Amru'as and with a delegation to Ethiopia bearing presents for the ministers of Najashi, the king of Abyssinia.
Those ministers took the presents from them to put Najashi to motion against the emigrant Muslims. But Najashi decided to personally summon the Muslims and hearken to their sayings. Ja'far, who was the representative of the Muslims, began speaking at the presence of the king of Ethiopia. He said his words about the wrongdoings of idolatry, superstitions and transgressions of the Age of Ignorance. He informed Najashi of the advent of Islam and luminosity of the religion of Hadrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) . Ja'far spoke so influentially that Najashi wept and sent the pagans' presents back to them. He said: "The Lord, Who gave me power, did not take bribery from me. Why should I take bribery from you?"
That meeting ended with the benefit of Muslims and the loss of infidels. After this defeat, 'Amru'as contemplated and, on the following day, offered the king a new suggestion. In order to excite the religious zeal of Najashi, he told him that Muslims had some notions which were against his belief. Najashi summoned Muslims once more and asked them their belief about Messiah (a.s.). In answer to him, Ja'far Tayyar recited some verses of the Qur'an from Sura Maryam up to the verse which says: " This is Jesus, son of Mary, a statement of truth, concerning which they doubt.". By hearing the verses of the Qur'an, Najashi shed tears and said: "This is the truth". After this second defeat, when 'Amru'as? wanted to start another new effort, Najashi raised his hand and gave him a sharp slap in his face.(1)
1- Furugh-i-'Abadiyyat, vil.1, p.253 narrated from Kamil-i-Ibn-i-'Athur, vol.2, p.54 & Bihar-ul-'Anwar, vol.18, p. 415
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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