And when the angels said…and bow down with those who bow down. "
And recollect the time when the angels led by Archangel Jibril-AS told Maryam-AS that Allah-SWT had accepted her-AS and chosen her. He-SWT had spiritually elevated her by His-SWT Everlasting Personal Splendour. This Personal Divine Splendour is peculiar to Prophethood and the Prophets-AS receive it individually and directly without any intermediary. Through them it can be attained by selected and prominent Aulia, and Maryam-AS happened to be a Siddiqah!
Certain Stations Of Suluk
Siddiqiyyat is the highest station of Wilayah, which is only attained by the top Aulia by virtue of closely following the Prophet-AS in just the same way as trusted servants of an emperor live with him in a royal palace. Of the Circles of ‘Alam-e-Amr, the excellence of Prophethood and Messengership are the thirteenth and fourteenth respectively. And Maryam-AS was cleansed of all feminine and sin-orientated impurities and given superiority over the entire women folk contemporary to her.
The sayings of the Holy Prophet-SW also refer to the excellences and virtues of his-SW wife Hadhrat Khadijah-RAU and his-SW daughters-RAU. According to an authentic Hadith there have been many accomplished men but amongst women Maryam-AS, daughter of ‘Imran and Asia, wife of the Pharaoh were the accomplished ones. The superiority of ‘A’ishah Siddiqah-RAU (Holy Prophet-SW's wife) over other women is like the superiority of Thurid (a delicious dish) over other foods. Allah-SWT commanded Maryam-AS to establish her-AS Salat in congregation and to stand for long hours in worship. She-AS was instructed to do Sajdah and bow down along with those who bow before Allah-SWT.It must be remembered that congregational Salat is always performed and led by men. Women, however, are allowed to join the congregation by standing behind separately.
A seeker must understand that for the attainment of higher levels in Suluk, congregational Salat supported by substantial voluntary Salat, standing before Allah-SWT for long hours, and careful observation of all the constituents of Salat is a panacea.
(O’ Prophet-SW!) This is a part of the unseen ...when they disputed.
It is most evident that all the events recounted by the Holy Prophet-SW regarding Maryam-AS’s life are revealed unto him-SW by Allah-SWT , which is a clear proof of his-SW Prophethood. He-SW was not present at the time when people were arguing over her guardianship and were putting their pens in the river to determine the winner. According to the commentators these pens were made of iron. It was decided that the person, whose pen would not sink and float against the current, by Allah-SWT’s Command, would be her guardian. This honour, of course, went to Prophet Zakariyya-AS.
According to Ahl-e-Sunnah it is unlawful to draw lots for rights already determined. It is a form of gambling, whereby lots are drawn for something commonly held by many people. And only the person whose name is drawn acquires the desired thing while all others stand deprived. This is not correct. However, when the determination of rights has to be done by consensus, it is permissible to resort to lottery. For example, if a common possession is to be divided into equal shares, it is permissible to decide by drawing lots as to who will get which portion.
The Holy Prophet-SW is being told that he-SW was not present when the people were arguing over the custody of Maryam-AS. The knowledge of an incident can be acquired, firstly, through seeing or hearing it. But this was impossible above case as five centuries stood between that era and the Holy Prophet-SW. Secondly, knowledge can be attained through books while the Holy Prophet-SW was unlettered. The third method of acquiring knowledge is through a teacher or a scholar. The Holy Prophet-SW neither received any lessons from any teacher nor sought the company of any scholar. In fact until the Day of Judgment, all scholars will depend on the Holy Prophet-SW for knowledge. Therefore, the only source left behind is the Divine Revelation, which is a proof of his-SW Prophethood. Now an account of the entire episode in all its details.
Recall when the angels said, ... and be one of the righteous. "
It is worth remembering when Angel Jibril told Maryam-AS that she-AS was to be blessed with a son who would be born to her without a father by His-SWT Will. He would be known as Kalimah-tu Allah-SWT (Allah-SWT ’s Word) and his name and title would be Masih ‘Isa-AS bin Maryam-AS.
Wali's Conversation With Angel
Now the excellence of Prophet ‘Isa-AS is being revealed that he-AS would be an exalted and honourable man in both the worlds. He-AS would be blessed with Prophethood in this world and would enjoy a high status in Paradise in the next. He-AS will be blessed with Allah-SWT’s Personal nearness and His-SWT perpetual Personal Refulgence. Amongst his-AS miracles would be that he-AS would speak from his-AS cradle firmly and authentically as he-AS would in his-AS manhood. Now to be able to speak in infancy is a super natural phenomena and a miracle, but how can speaking as a grownup be mentioned as something special?
Miracle Of Prophet Isa-AS
The commentators explain that when Prophet Isa-AS was raised to the heavens he-AS was between thirty and thirty five years of age, a period of youth, whereas manhood generally refers to the period beyond forty years. Therefore, his-AS descent from the heavens and his-AS invitation to mankind towards guidance is indeed a greater miracle than the declaration made by him-AS in the cradle “I am servant of Allah-SWT who is given a Divine Scripture and made a Prophet-AS.”
She said, "O my Rabb-SWT ! ... This is the straight path. "
Maryam-AS said: ‘O Allah-SWT ! How can I have a child when I have never been touched by any man?’ She was told that the child shall be born, as Allah-SWT creates what He-SWT Wills. And when He-SWT decrees the creation of something He-SWT just commands ‘Be’ and it is. Just as He-SWT is Potent over creating man from matter in a particular sequence, so is He-SWT capable of creating against the set pattern.
Allah-SWT shall teach this child how to write and bless him-AS with wisdom and knowledge of Torah and Bible. He-AS will be sent as a celebrated Messenger-AS of Allah-SWT unto the Bani Israil. It is established here that the Prophets-AS and Messengers-AS of Allah-SWT receive all their knowledge directly from Him-SWT .
Wisdom And The Wise
Wisdom is the knowledge which the Prophets-AS receive from Allah-SWT and convey to mankind. Likewise, the wise are those whose hearts are filled with the knowledge delivered by the Prophets-AS, unlike the secular intellectuals of today who neither know nor practice Islam. That is why they cannot even think straight.
Allah-SWT says that Prophet ‘Isa-AS will proclaim ‘O Bani Israil! I have been appointed as a Prophet-AS unto you by your Rabb-SWT , supported by miracles. One of them is that I will shape a bird out of clay and blow on it and by Allah-SWT’s Leave it will become a living bird. This blowing is a miracle.
Manifestation Of Karamah
The miracles of the Prophets-AS are often manifested in the form of Karamah by the Aulia, but only for the corroboration of Din and not to seek material gains. Since Karamah takes place only by Allah-SWT’s Will; the use of such words which might lead to distortion of beliefs and practices are strictly forbidden, and are devoid of any effects. It is, however, a separate issue that something turns up coincidentally by Allah-SWT’s will, and the ignorant attribute it to profane impostors and sorcerers.
Prophet Isa-AS also told people that he-AS could, by Allah-SWT’s Will, cure the congenitally blind and heal the lepers. He could also, by Allah-SWT’s Will, bring the dead to life. Since quickening the dead could mislead people into associating Divine Powers with him-AS, so he-AS repeated twice that it would be by Allah-SWT’s Will out only executed at his-AS hand. Tafsir-e-Mazhari lists the names of three persons, who were raised from the dead due to Prophet ‘Isa-AS’s prayer and lived long enough to have children before they died a natural death. Although after witnessing the realities in Barzakh it is not possible for a human being to return and live a normal and accountable life because he has actually seen the things he is required to believe in, and his faith is no longer valid as it is not belief in the unseen, yet there are exceptions to every rule, which manifest that Allah-SWT can do things the way He-SWT wants to.
The birth of Prophet ‘Isa-AS by itself is an exception to the rule of procreation. So are the miracles given to him-AS such as quickening of the dead, curing the leper and the blind. Many exceptions from natural laws can be seen in this world too. For example, amongst birds the bat is unique in many ways. It has a fleshy mouth with teeth, has breasts and even goes through menstrual cycle; and perches upside down. So many exceptions are there in a single species. Similarly, all animals cry out if water enters their noses but the elephant first takes up water in its trunk and then sprays into its mouth. In all animals, movement of the lower jaw is a common feature but the crocodile moves its upper jaw. All animals have two lungs, but the snake has one. All animals preserve their species through procreation but a mule regardless of gender is sterile, even then its race flourishes. Many such animals and instances are available which are exceptions and proof of Allah-SWT ’s Omnipotence. Prophet Isa-AS would tell the people what they had eaten, what was left in their homes and what they had set aside for the next meal.
All these miracles provided substantial evidence of his-AS Prophethood for those who had the capacity to believe. Besides, he-AS did not invite people to something unheard of. They were familiar with Torah, which was given to one of the Messengers-AS. He-AS also verified the Torah and his-AS Message was the same.
All the Prophets-AS of Allah-SWT , right from Aadam-AS to Prophet Muhammad-SW, extended the same invitation to mankind, and each one of them corroborated the other. The only difference was in the methods of worship, or certain things declared unlawful previously by Torah were made lawful through Prophet Isa-AS as a favour. That previous austerity regarding permissible and prohibited was due to the misdeeds of Bani Israil; for example the meat of an animal was permissible but its fat was prohibited, or all the portions of the animal were permissible except the loins. Such alterations, however, do not indicate any conflict. The amendment in the Divine Injunctions is not unusual. A certain Command was valid for a particular period and when it lapsed, another replaced it, though both were valid in their own perspectives and time. The Quran itself has such instances.
Prophet ‘Isa-AS informed his-AS people that he-AS had brought unto them a great symbol of blessing in the form of Bible from their Rabb-SWT . Here Allah-SWT’s Providence is mentioned together with endorsement of the Book to prove that whereas the provision of good food is a manifestation of His-SWT Providence for health sustenance of the physical body, the recital and understanding of the Divine Book with devotion is essential for spiritual health and eternal life.
He-AS warned the people against Allah-SWT’s Wrath, which they would invoke by opposing him-AS. He-AS invited them to believe in Allah-SWT , Who is the Creator, the Owner as well as the Provider of everyone, i.e. theirs as well as his-SWT Rabb-SWT .
This negates the false belief that Prophet ‘Isa-AS is Allah-SWT’s son, rather is His-SWT servant and a Prophet-AS and he-AS directed his-AS people to worship and obey Allah-SWT.The correctness of one’s beliefs is endorsed by a strict observation of the enjoined and the forbidden, which indeed is the straight path. According to the Holy Prophet-SW “Say, I believe and then stand firm on it”. In other words the acknowledgement of Allah-SWT’s Unity along with a practical compliance to His-SWT Commandments is indeed the path of guidance.
Then when ‘Isa-AS became aware ... Allah-SWT is the Best of Plotters.
When, after witnessing all the miracles and proofs there was no change in the behaviour of the people and their actions remained tainted with disbelief, Prophet ‘Isa-AS inquired: ‘Who will help me in the Cause of Allah-SWT ?’ He-AS wanted to know whether, after all the efforts he-AS had made, were there people who truly sought Allah-SWT and were ready to go along with him-AS?
The noble ones who came forward are termed as Hawwarin (helpers) just as the devotees of the Holy Prophet-SW are known as Sahabah (the Companions-RAU). They stepped forward and offered their services for Allah-SWT’s Din, reaffirming their faith in Allah-SWT and His-SWT Attributes. They requested Prophet ‘Isa-AS to be a witness to their obedience and prayed: ‘O Allah-SWT ! We believe in Your-SWT Unity, in the truth of Your-SWT Prophets-AS and we declare our devotion to Prophet ‘Isa-AS, so write us amongst the firm believers.’
The word Shahidin in this Ayah refers to bearing witness to the truth of the conveyed beliefs. According to Ibn ‘Abbas-RAU, the Hawwarin had actually longed for their inclusion in the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad-SW, as on the Day of Judgment, it will bear witness to the fact that all the Prophets-AS had fulfilled the task assigned to them by Allah-SWT .
The non-believers made a secret plan against Prophet ‘Isa-AS. The Arabic word Makr is translated to mean conspiracy in Urdu language, but in Arabic it means a secret plan, which if made for a noble purpose will be taken in good sense, otherwise in bad sense. They conspired secretly to harm Prophet ‘Isa-AS and provoked the king against him-AS, saying that he-AS had become a heretic who wanted to destroy their religion through distortion of the Torah. Thus they succeeded in obtaining orders for the execution of Prophet ‘Isa-AS.
But on the other hand, Allah-SWT’s Wisdom was also at work. Allah-SWT willed to save the one they were planning to kill, and He-SWT is the Best of Planners.