Virgin Mary in the Qur’an – Is Mary really Virgin?

Hai Guys! Here I am already 1 year half at Korea. Personally speaking, it’s one of wonderful experience I ever involved to live at different land and people. I should write something about my experience about this country at special article. But, anyhow, I would like to share my religious experience I encountered recently.

Anyway, I liked reading al-Qur’an. Very much! Hahaha… If I want to read this book, I have to make sure that I have enough time to explore my feelings. Because once I read this book, I just cannot get enough to read more and read more. Not only this book language is beautiful yet hard to understand, but at the same time my brain is worked so hard to think back and forward understanding this book. That’s why I usually read this book at night where I can concentrate my feelings utmost while reading this book.

There is one Chapter or Surah in Qur’an that captivated me so much recently. It’s Chapter of Mary, or Surah al-Maryam. One of the best recitations that I ever heard is from Mishary Alafasi. He recited this Chapter in purely beautiful tone. And at certain part of this Chapter, when I heard the recitation, sometimes I cried unexpectedly. Haha. T_T

OK, so here I would like to share one of the most beautiful stories I ever heard. This Chapter is started with the story of Zachariah, and followed by John the Baptist, the pregnancy of Virgin Mary, and then the birth of Jesus. The Chapter actually continues to talk about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Ishmael, Idris, Adam, Noah. However, I will limit my sharing from Mary pregnancy until the birth of Jesus.

Why she is called as Virgin Mary?

So one day, somebody asked, “Why Mary is called Virgin Mary? Didn’t she has premarital sex?”

Well, it is hard to prove physically nowadays that she is virgin. One of the most intriguing questions about her status is whether she is really virgin or not. Why people on the days where Mary lived called her as the Virgin Mary? There is must be one unavoidable reason why this title is being entitled to this woman. But, let me share to you one beautiful story why she got that title from her people at her time, at least from Islamic view.

مريم - מרים - Mary

مريم – מרים – Mary

Why? Because, when there is a girl who suddenly became pregnant, the thinking should be look like this. “Come on, a girl pregnant suddenly? She must be done something secretly with somebody!” And if this girl asks to her people to believe her that she is virgin because it is God’s work, it will be some kind of what-the-heck things like, “Surely? You asked us to believe your shameful act as virginal act with divine intervention?” No matter how story this girl would tell, it surely will be like one of the laughable reason that will be laughed to the people long generations after her. Surely, this title should be come up with stronger reason to prove her virginity. There should be strong and better story came up to give reason why she is virgin.

And here, this Chapter gives the strong story why she is being called as Virgin Mary. The story that IF IT WAS REALLY HAPPENED, it would be unavoidable prove that she is special. So, here is one of the most beautiful scenarios that will be used to defend her honor.

The truth is singular. If you want to prove something about you to people, you would need eye-witness. Much is better. And those eye-witnesses should be testified and qualified to give testimony. BUT, sometimes, no matter how much eye-witness saw something, sometimes what they saw is just not true. The simplest example about this is the trick show. No matter how much people saw something on the trick show, the truth is, what they thought that they saw actually not as what as it seems.

Back to the story of Mary, what kind of event that can defend the honor of Mary as virgin? Now, here the scenario came to flow.

فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنْسِيًّا


So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.'”

Quran Mary:26

As perquisite, according to Qur’an, Mary gave birth to Jesus, alone. There are no people surrounding her, nor close people giving her cheer and congratulation. She is facing this birth process alone in the middle of somewhere. She is alone. After facing this burden alone, now come the real problems to her. How did she explain this baby to her people? How and how? This is scandalous and bizarre. She left her people so sudden, and now suddenly she will come back to her people, with baby in her arms. Not to mention that she is chaste. People will think she is such a whore.

But, God gave Mary instruction that; if she found anyone then she should say that she has vowed not to speak.

فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهُ قَالُوا يَا مَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئًا فَرِيًّا
يَا أُخْتَ هَارُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيًّا


Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.”

Quran Mary:27-28

Yes, and that is the first reaction from her people. Those accusations, the judgment that you have done something bad but you were not is just unbearable. If you not speak up, you will be deemed as the person that indeed did that thing. If you speak up, there are still chances that people will accuse her as liar. The best scenario in this event is somebody must speak up defending her honor.

فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَنْ كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا


So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?”

Quran Mary:29

And, yes, she pointed out to Jesus. Jesus that was still a child, a child that just born. No wonder everybody become weird that they had been asked to ask the child directly. But, this was actually the sweetest moment that would happen to Mary.

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا
وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُ ‎وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا
وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا
وَالسَّلامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدْتُ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا
ذَلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِي فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ


[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive
And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.
And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”

That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute.

Quran Mary:30-34

That is, the first miracle from Jesus, speaking while he was still in the cradle. This is sweet story where the speaking child defending her mother’s honor for being virgin. But, wait, did this event prove the virginity of Mary? There is no direct speaking that Mary is virgin except the story before she came to her people. Instead, this story is such a twist. First, the audience is concentrated regarding the story of Mary, and how she feels when she has to come back to her people. And the people are asking her and starting judging her. But, more bizarre event is happening while Jesus is suddenly speaking. That is a kind of sudden distraction. The situation is similar with the following similitude.

The Similitude

Once upon time, there is a big tree that stands on the street. This tree seems like so old and dangerous. So people are coming and surrounding this tree and asking each other. People say, “Should we cut this old tree? This tree seems like has no benefit at all to us. This is really ugly tree. If the wind blow, we afraid that this tree will down and make a mess to our houses.” And people are making buzz about this poor tree. In fact this tree already stood at the road for hundred years, giving shadow to people who travelled, and giving fruits to people who were seeking shelter in it. People seem forget about this tree. And when this people are ready to cut this tree with their axes, suddenly, one of the tree fruit is speaking to them from above. “O people! Here I am the apple, the fruit of this tree! I am one of the rarest fruit in this country! And I will be the most wanted fruit in the future. People will seek me and bring me with highly cost. But I am not arrogant. I am the fruit who will protect my mother tree until the right man come and take me to their kingdom.”

The tree and its fruit

The tree and its fruit

Imagine this event happened to them. Surely, people will stop to cut this tree. Instead, they get an answer by two strange events at the same time. First, the fruit is speaking. And second, what the hell with this tree? People will start to wonder and ask what makes this tree so special. People will start to give spare to the tree, to give time to the people to inspect this tree and its history. If at the sudden, the tree also speaks, and says to the people, “I was the orange tree at the past”, surely, people will believe. Because those freak events are weird enough to make them wonder.

That is it! That is the same condition applied to Mary. If after that event Mary speak to people that, the Angel Gabriel gave her tidal news that she would pregnant while she is virgin, surely, people will believe. Moreover, Jesus already said that he will be dutiful to his mother. He didn’t say anything about his father. Two possibilities, he had father but the father is not good enough, or, he had no father. Thus if Mary is truly virgin, people start to make sense with all of Jesus statement, that he will be dutiful only to his mother and not to his father, because he has no father at all. Well, this miracle is similar with Adam, he had no father, but he also had no mother.

So, on what statement that Mary said to her people that she is virgin? The Qur’an itself let people imagine how Mary explain his condition to her people that she met with Gabriel and soon and soon. Surely, that will be easy job for her after this event.

Aftermath

Anyway, whenever I remember this story, sometimes I remembered my mother. I couldn’t imagine Mary feeling at the time. If there are some guys accused my mother for giving birth to me, and I know it is not her fault, I want to be her innocent defender like Jesus. But yeah, I am not Jesus. So, I guess I should defend every good guys in my ways. Hahaha.

I remember that prophet Muhammad SAW once told us that, one of the best woman in paradise, she will be Mary. Yes, and I just obsessed to see her. Hahaha. I mean, she must be one of the best woman on there with such exceptional wonderfulness among others there.

And now, one thing I want to do is, I want to go to the place where Jesus and Mary faced this accusation. Oh, I remember, it’s in Jerusalem. =____=’ With current diplomacy between my country and Israel, it seems like impossible for me to go there. So sad. Even I want to go to al-Aqsa. I really really really hope, someday, there are miracle that those Israel-Palestine problems can be solved so that I can go there.

But hey, I found another place that maybe I can go there, to the Mary house. I heard it’s in nowadays Turkey, around Ephesus, that Mary spent her last time.

thanks to Radomil, House of Virgin Mary

thanks to Radomil, House of Virgin Mary

فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِن دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا
قَالَتْ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَٰنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيًّا
قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا
قَالَتْ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيًّا
قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ ۖ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا


And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah.”
He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy.”
She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.'”

Qur’an Mary:17-21

And, that is the digest story of Mary from Quran perspective. One moral of this story that I can take is, I want to be a good defender to whoever need my help, with wisdom and dignity. So, let’s be good people guys. The world will be better place if we all people defend and take care each other back. 😀