Our verses today are 35 and 36 from Sura aal-Imran

Recall when Imran’s wife said, “My Lord, I have indeed vowed(to dedicate) to You what is in my belly, dedicated(solely to You) , so accept from me; indeed, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” So when she gave birth to her, she said, “My Lord, I have indeed given birth to her, a female,” and Allah knows better what she has delivered1 , “and the maleis not like the female, and I have indeed named her Mary, and I do seek refuge with You for her and her offspring from Satan, the outcast.”

The mother of Mary was the wife of Imran. Her sister was married to another prophet named Zakariyya. Both sisters had problem in conceiving child. We will come to the wife of Zakariyya later. Let us talk about the wife of Imran, who will be the mother of Mary, or Maryam, and yes, she is the mother of Issa – peace be upon them all.

where to rush for help

Wife of Imran, saw once a bird nursing her child. Her heart trembled with joy, hope and longing for a child.

It is important to decide what to do in such situation. A situation when doctors do not have treatment. The contemporary science is of no use. What to do in such situation?

Some tend to seek help from sorcerers or rush to graves of saints and Sufi pirs, thinking they have a solution. This is a grave sin and does bring no good.

The right approach is what wife of Imran did: she supplicated to Allah, and to Allah alone. Allah did answer her call and she conceived.

being thankful

She passed the first test, which is to supplicate to Allah alone at time of need.

Now comes the second test: to thanks Allah, attribute the bounty to Him, and not to forget Allah at the time of prosperity and ease.

Wife of Imran did pass the second test as well. She immediately thanked Allah not only through saying, but also through doing. She vowed to gift this child to the house of Allah. She sacrificed the benefit of the child to Allah. Her husband died after she conceived with Maryam (She did not know the sex of the child yet). After losing husband, a single mom and a widow is in dire need to keep her child with her so the child can take care of the mom in her old age, but Hennah (which was the name of Imran’s wife) never rescinded her vow. She decided to dedicate her child to the altar to be in the service of God, the passionate God who gifted her child at a time where doctors, science or technology were of no use.

divine acceptance

Hennah teaches us something more. She is demonstration her gratitude to Allah, but she is not sure if Allah will accept her gift or not. She is afraid that Allah might not accept her vow.

Such is the case of a believer: he or she tries her best and worships Allah sincerely, yet she is afraid that there might still remain some shortcomings that anger Allah and make Him reject these good deeds.

The hypocrite has totally different attitude. Whenever he or she performs an act of worship, he goes on public and boasts doing a service to God and brining victory and honor to Islam work.

it is a girl

When Hennah made her vow, she might have assumed that she would get a baby boy. To her surprise, what she delivered was a baby girl. Girls are not like boys. Males are not like female.

Did Quran come to refute her sensible and naturally flowing statement “and males are not like females”? No, this is so obvious and common sense: “Males are not like females”. Females have physical and psychological qualities different than males. Allah created each with different set of roles, responsibilities, and capabilities so that human race can flourish on earth and societies and civilizations grow.

However, male and female are same when it comes to reward and punishment. Four places in the Quran testifies to this fact:

So their Lord responded to them: “I do not waste the work of any worker of you, whether male or female [3:195]

But whoever does of righteous deeds, whether male or female, and is a believer—those will enter the Garden (of Paradise) and will not be dealt with unjustly by as much as the dint on a date-stone. [4:124]

Whoever has acted righteously, whether male or female, while being a believer—We will most surely grant him a good life, and We will most surely repay them1their reward in accordance with the best of what they used to do. [16:97]

Whoever has committed an evil deed will not be repaid except with its like, but whoever has acted righteously, whether male or female, while a believer—then those shall enter1 the Garden (of Paradise) where they shall be provided for without measure. [40:40]

The western civilization got these subjects wrong. When human tries to find solutions for fellow human their errors are more than their successes. French revolution wanted to emancipated women. However, what they ended up with is emancipation of men’s sexual desire towards women outside the framework of marriage which is protected by tradition and religion in all societies. They often wrap up this desire with words like freedom and mutual consent.

seeking refuge from Satan

Hennah’s intelligence and piety shows up again: She knows very well who her deadliest enemy is. Her deadliest enemy is ferocious, invisible and no human force can stand in his face: the Satan.

She knows as well the only source that can check the Satan, so she rushes to him and seeks shelter: He is Allah.

And since she is already with Allah, why to restrict the scope and ask for little, especially if the One being asked is so generous. She goes to ask protection from the deadliest enemy not to her newborn, but also to the would-be descendants of the new born. She is asking protection to an entire generation.

The Lesson: let us follow Hennah and know our enemy and know the art of asking, if we master the art of asking, we can rest assure that Allah will answer our call.

women empowerment in its most glorious form

This story is the story of women empowerment. Masterfully Allah brings in the name of “Imran” early on -and very briefly- in the story, and then leaves everything afterwards to his wife. In fact, Imran was dead when Maryam was in the womb. This unnamed lady then becomes the heroine of this movie. She manages to promote her daughter and position her in a role which is traditionally being played by males only. She assumes the right of the mother in naming her child. She is a scholar who studies history and knew the names of past celebrities among her ancestors, and then gave her child one of those names: Maryam. While doing all these, she also acknowledges the distinction between male and female. She knows her rights and acknowledges her weaknesses.