Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verses 54-55
54. " And mention 'Isma'il in the Book, verily he was (ever) true to (his) promise, and he was an apostle, a prophet."
55. " And he used to enjoin on his family prayer and almsgiving, and he was well pleased in the sight of his Lord."
The appellation Ism'il, mentioned in this holy verse, refers either to Abraham's son, or another prophet from the prophets of the Children of Israel, by the name of Isma'il-ibn-Hizqil (Ishmael the son of Ezekiel). The verse says:
" And mention Ismail in the Book, verily he was (ever) true to (his) promise, and he was an apostle, a prophet."
It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who says: "He (Isma'il) used to invite people to Monotheism. His people stood against him so hard that they scalped him out of his head and face. Allah made him optional for their punishment or forgiveness. Isma'il also left their affair to Allah whether He would punish them or forgive them. (Majma'-ul-Bayan, the Commentary)
All prophets were loyal in promise, but the appearance of this quality had been more manifest in Isma'il. Being true to promise is a Divine attribute. The Qur'an says: "Verily Allah never fails (His) promise", 56 because breach of promise is a sign of hypocrisy.
Some Islamic traditions indicate that there are three signs for hypocrite: abuse of confidence, falsehood in speech, and breach in promise. 57
The second verse implies that, at last, Ismail enjoined his family, or his people, to perform prayer, almsgiving, night prayer, charity and fast, so that Allah was well pleased of his manner, because he did nothing but obeying Allah and never committed any vice. The verse says:
" And he used to enjoin on his family prayer and almsgiving, and he was well pleased in the sight of his Lord."
Some commentators have said that the term /mardiyy/, used in this verse, means: 'righteous, pious, and worthy'. It was for the sake of these very qualities that he gained a great honour with Allah, since the rank of Divine pleasure had been the greatest desire and goal of the prophets.
Some Islamic traditions denote that when the people of Paradise settle in Paradise, there comes a call saying: "Do you want anything else?" They will say: "Our Lord, we wish Your pleasure!' (The commentary of 'Atyab-ul-Bayan)
56. Sura 'Al-i-'Imran, No. 3, verse 9
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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