14 Nov The birth of Jesus (pbuh) & The family of Imran (Joachim): Part 1
Due to their pure devotion to Allah, the family of Imran, [linked back to Prophet Dawud ( David) peace be upon him], was granted a special status on earth. His daughter, Maryam (Mary) peace be upon her had been mentioned 31 times in the Noble Quran , and has even an entire surah (chapter) named after her, as well as her parents, the best of people of their time.
Not only that , but in the sight of Allah, Maryam’s status was so high ranked , her son had never been mentioned in the Noble Quran without the mention of his mother’s name right after his. Historically and socially , this was a very uncommon event as children are attributed to the father or main male figure in their family. Through this, Allah pointed towards the miraculous birth of Isa ibn Maryam ( Jesus son of Mary ) peace be upon him but also to his mother’s importance.
Surat Al-Imran in particular ,reveals important aspects of the story of Maryam peace be upon her, specifically her upbringing , her elevated rank and relates the taintless conception and birth of her beloved son, soon to be one of the greatest prophets of Islam.
(They refuse belief in you and some of the Prophets because you did not appear among them, but God favors whomever He wishes with Messengership, and) God made pure Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of Imraan, choosing them above all humankind,
As descendants of one another (and they were following the same way. Therefore, do not, in respect of believing in them as Prophets, make any distinction between the Prophets and do not think or speak ill of God’s preference). God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ( Holy Quran , Al-‘Imran 33-34 )
Imran was a very virtuous man whose devotion , morality and righteousness exceeded those of the rest of the pious Children of Israel. Only due to the piety of this family , Allah saved their generation from grief and misfortune.
Hannah bint Fakood, Imran’s wife , was unable to give birth to children.
It is said that one day while she was watching a songbird feeding its own baby birds, she started to desire children for herself. Sadly, due to her old age, this was quite impossible to acomplish.
Hannah, as a true worshipper of Allah, turned to Him and asked for offspring . Her prayer had been answered right-away.
Right after sensing her pregnancy and feeling the movements of a baby in her womb, she made a vow to lead her child on a path of sincerity, piety and devotion to the Creator . This promise was made out of gratefulness and her own loyalty to Allah Himself.
(Remember) when the woman (from the House) of Imran entreated: “My Lord, I have dedicated that which is in my womb to Your exclusive service. Accept it, then, from me. Surely You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. ” ( Holy Quran , Al-‘Imran 35 )
Back in those days, Beit Al Maqdis was one of the most important places of worship in Jerusalem . Regarding its charge, maintenance and preservation , male worshippers were favoured due to the social traditions of the society along with the care and protection that should be granted to a woman. Such a position, since it required a potential female worshipper to live inside or in the imediate proximity of the Temple, could have easily put her in danger.
Due to all these factors, Imran’s wife hoped to give birth to a son.
When she was delivered of it, she said: “My Lord, I have given birth to a female. ” God knew best of what she was delivered, (so she did not need to be sorry, because) the male child (she expected) could not be the same as (the) female child (whom We bestowed on her and would honor with a great favor). I have named her Mary, and commend her and her offspring to You for protection from Satan eternally rejected from God’s Mercy. “( Holy Quran , Al-‘Imran 36)
Regardless of Hannah’s disappointment and fear that ultimately she wouldn’t be able to keep her promise, Allah had the perfect plan. Maryam peace be upon her was going to become the first female caretaker of the Temple , an amazing role model for the muslims , and the mother of one of the most important figures in Islam – our beloved Prophet Isa (Jesus) peace be upon him.