[Women of Paradise] Maryam bint ‘Imran

And (remember) when the angels said:
“O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you
above the women of the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinn) (of her lifetime).”
(Ali ‘Imran 3:42)

Maryam a.s. is the best woman of her time. Notice that she is never mentioned in the Qur’an as Maryam the mother of Isa a.s., although she is mentioned as Maryam the daughter of Imran [At-Tahrim 66:12]. The wisdom behind that is to show that her greatness is not necessarily tied to Isa a.s. She is great because of who she is!

She is a woman who has perfected her faith, who is so devoted to her ibadah, who has real tawakkul in Allah s.w.t. in her most difficult times, and she is an example of modesty for both men & women.

Every time when Zakariya a.s. visited Maryam, he always found her supplied with fruits that were out of seasons. So he asked Maryam, from where did she get them. Maryam said:

“This is from Allah.
Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.”
(Ali ‘Imran 3:37)

Maryam a.s. didn’t claim to have an exclusive, special relationship with Allah s.w.t., where only she can ask Allah, and will be the only one to receive it. She said Allah s.w.t. gives to whomever He wants.

This is a wonderful story of a pious, righteous, and beloved slave of Allah but did not feel self-entitled. Instead she advised that everyone has equal chance infront of Allah SWT when it comes to His sustenance.

But today, the more successful we are – either in Deen or worldly affairs – the more we feel self-conceited, arrogant, that we are better than others. We even feel envy when others are as successful, or more successful, than us!

The Qur’an reminds us that the more successful we become, the more we should feel humbled. The more we should realize that everything we own comes from Allah. And the more we should have rahmah towards others.

So this was a beautiful advice given to Zakariya a.s. who was having difficulties having a child. Zakariya a.s. understood the depth of this response, and he made du’a to Allah to grant an offspring afterwards, no matter how impossible it may look at that time since he and his spouse were already at old age. And subhanallah, Allah s.w.t. granted his du’a.

When Jibril a.s. came to Maryam, he was in the form of a beautiful man. Maryam was so modest that even before Jibril spoke to her, she said:

“Verily! I seek refuge with Ar-Rahman from you, if you do fear Allah.”
[Maryam 19:18]

In this one sentence, she showed so much of her modesty and wisdom:
1. She said: I don’t know what you’re going to say, but you need to know I’m not interested.
2. She didn’t know who he was, so she tried to scare him by mentioning the name of Allah s.w.t. But she chose to say Ar-Rahman. Why this name? Because she was implying that he can still turn around and make tawbah.

Maryam is not just a devout woman, but holds a special rank amongst all men and women. May Allah s.w.t. bless us with her qualities and reunite us with her in Jannah!

Please watch the video, you will find many amazing gems and lessons to ponder insya Allah.