The Qur’an’s nineteenth surah, or chapter, can give immense strength and hope to those that are experiencing hardships or disappointments. For Muslims seeking to strengthen their relationship with Allah, Surah Maryam is filled with wisdom; three takeaways from this inspiring chapter are the following to illuminate your spiritual journey towards understanding.
1. Allah never forsakes us.
“And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, ‘Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.’ But he called her from below her, ‘Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.’” (19:23-25)
Maryam, may Allah be pleased with her, left her family to live in solitude. She preferred to lead a life of prayer, contemplation and absolute commitment to Allah. When the angel Jibreel appeared to her and broke the news of her pregnancy, Maryam was afraid of what society might think and how she could do this alone.
She gave birth without the help of a midwife, partner or relative. When the pain was intolerable, she found heaven, and the everlasting mercy of Allah. At this moment of obvious defeat, Allah led her to a stream and a date palm to quench her thirst and feed her body. Maryam was not alone and was rewarded by Allah for her strength, bravery and dependence.
2. Allah can lift you out of your adversity.[An angel] said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.’” (19:9)
Zechariah pondered his legacy in old age and longed for him and his wife to enjoy the blessings of parenthood. He begged for an heir to Allah and got this reply. The good faith of Zechariah had been rewarded by being raised out of this misery. Although what we want may or may not come and our plans may be postponed, Allah is the best of planners and grants us what we need when we need it. If we hold fast to prayer and faith, we can ease our struggles in very unexpected ways.
3. Allah regards women as spiritual beings.
“Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping.” (19:58)
Maryam was chosen for his title among all the great prophets and descendants of Adam referred to in this surah. Here Allah sends a clear reminder to us: women are spiritual beings too. Women are judged not on appearances alone, but on piety, consciousness and trust in Allah. She was looking for refuge in Allah when the Angel Jibreel appeared to her with news of a son. She received the message and acknowledged her Lord’s decree. Then, she submitted only to the will of Allah, trusting that her faith would be rewarded and not abandoned.
Maryam was a person who was chosen and directed to exemplify our Lord’s mercy and message. She was a Muslim who we can all admire and learn from. Women are not small, superficial beings but solid, spiritual, God-conscious, and deserving of our appreciation, reverence, and consideration.