Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verses 4-5
4. " He said: 'My Lord! verily my bones are weakened and my head is all aflame with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unblessed in prayer to You."
5. " And verily I fear my kindred after I am gone, and my wife is barren. So grant me from your presence a successor (a child)."
Zechariah invoked Allah saying that his bones, the pillars of his body and its most solid parts, were weakened and his head was all aflame with hoariness. By this statement, Zechariah might have wanted to say that the harbinger of death had been placed on his head and he had to get ready for death. Here is the verse:
" He said: 'My Lord! verily my bones are weakened and my head is all aflame with hoariness, …"
Then, immediately after that statement, he adds that he had been accustomed to the acceptance of his supplications by his Lord and that He had never withheld His blessings from him. Now that he was old and feeble, he was more in need of answers to his prayers, and that he would not be unblessed. The verse continues saying:
" …and, my Lord! I have never been unblessed in prayer to You."
After that, he explained his supplication to Allah, as follows:
" And verily I fear my kindred after I am gone, and my wife is barren. So grant me from your presence a successor (a child)."
The Arabic word /'aqir/ is applied for a man or a woman that cannot produce offspring.
The term /'is(ti'al/ means: 'the blaze of a fire when it flames and spreads'. Thus, the holy phrase 'and my head is all aflame with hoariness' means that the whiteness of the hair on my head blazed like fire and has spread.
Some of the commentators have said that the objective meaning of the Qur'anic word /waliyy/, mentioned in this holy verse, is 'a righteous son who succeeds the father'. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said that Zechariah's anxiety was about his uncle and his cousins. 2
2. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the Commentary
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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