Our verse today is from Sura Aal-Imran verse 37:
** So her Lord accepted her graciously and blessed her with a pleasant upbringing—entrusting her to the care of Zachariah. Whenever Zachariah visited her in the sanctuary, he found her supplied with provisions. He exclaimed, “O Mary! Where did this come from?” She replied, “It is from Allah. Surely Allah provides for whoever He wills without limit.” **
the story in a nutshell
Maryam’s mother died while she was a child. Because she was from the noble family of Imraan, everyone wanted to sponsor her. In few verses later we come to know how this problem was solved. I mean the problem of everyone wanting to take care and be guardian of Maryam. We will tell that story in its proper place. Anyway, Maryam ended up being sponsored by her uncle (her mom’s sister’s husband) whose name was Zachariah – the prophet. Allah wanted Maryam to grow up under the care of a prophet. When she grew up Zachariah brought her into the service of the Mosque.
the power of Dua (supplication)
If you connect the previous verse with this verse, you would notice that in the previous verse the mother of Maryam made a supplication to Allah, and this verse is the answer of that supplication and the connecting letter between the two verses is the Arabic letter “Fa”, which means immediately afterwards.
When the supplication is sincere, the answer comes like a bullet, immediately with a “fa”.
Just ponder on the power of this dua. The dua was so powerful that Allah arranged a prophet to be the guradian and mentor of a little girl.
Acceptance of Dua
Dua is like sending an application. But what happens at the receiving end is very important. Will be application reach destination? Will the recipient accept the application? How we know if our supplications are accepted by Allah?
The story of Maryam’s mother is a story where a supplication is indeed accepted. Allah says
Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. [5:27]
and because the Allah has blessed the family of Imraan, his wife Hennah is a fearful servant of Allah and Allah accepts her supplication.
a gracious acceptance
Here we are not talking about a mere acceptance of supplication, rather it is a “gracious” acceptance of supplication. If this is an exam, she is passing with not a passing mark, but with outstanding grades. All this story is leading to is a pavement for prophet Issa (Jesus) peace be upon him. Reaching to Issa needs not only a befitting mother but also mother’s mother.
a child is a tree
Upbringing kids is not an easy job, especially in the digital and online age like ours. Parents get puzzled and search in frustration the best ways to upbring kids.
Here Allah is taking this parenting burden on His shoulder. He is the one who is taking care of this tree called Maryam from the time when she was a seed till she grew up to a big and beautiful tree.
A child is like a tree, and parenting is like gardening. In this verse Allah used the word (نبات) which means growing tree. This verse thus is giving us hints that parenting is not a trivial task. It requires patience, daily care, proving water, sunshine, fertilizer, minerals. It also requires protection from external hazards.
She is growing to be the womb that carries Issa, and that womb needs a special preparation and housing and nursing which Allah managed to make such arrangement in such an early period.
We often miseducate our kids. We upbring them choosing wrong role models and celebrities. Here Allah Himself made arrangement that Maryam grows up under the mentorship of a prophet: Zachariah. That means from the very early age she gets to know who Allah is, His power and beautiful names and qualities. Through a miraculous way Allah guaranteed that Maryam gets a best quality of education. This is a big hint to those who think Islam does not encourage girl’s education.
When a person is engaged with Allah, miracles come. Maryam was busy in her worship in a very private corner in the temple. That is the time and place when a person is closest with Allah and away from all worldly distractions. That is the secret of engagement with Allah. That creates such a positive energy, and fruits of summer starts to come miraculously in the middle of winter.
Allah is preparing Mary for a great event in her life. Allah wanted her to get used to the power of Allah. He can bring her from heaven special fruits in the winter that can grow only in the summer. So, tomorrow, when she gets a baby in her womb without a father, she better not panic.
Allah is the source of provision
We run after provision east and west. The source is much closer than we think. It requires engaging with Allah. Let us stop dialing wrong numbers.