17 July 2014

Answered Prayers

When the wife of Imran said: ‘O my Lord! I have vowed to you what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.’

Then when she gave birth to her (child, Mary), she said: ‘O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child,’ – and Allah knew better what she brought forth, - ‘And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast.’

So her Lord accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariyya. Every time he entered Al Mihrab (a praying place) to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: ‘O Maryam! From where have you got this?’ She said, ‘This is from Allah. Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.’

At that time, Zakariyya invoked his Lord saying: ‘O my Lord! Grant me from you a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.’

Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in Al Mihrab (a praying place): ‘Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya (John), confirming the Word from Allah, noble, keeping away from sexual relations with women, a Prophet from among the righteous.’

He said, ‘O my Lord! How can I have a son when I am very old and my wife is barren?’ (Allah) said: ‘Thus Allah does what He wills.’

He said: ‘O my Lord! Make a sign for me.’ (Allah) said, ‘Your sign is that you shall not speak to mankind for three days except with signals. And remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the afternoon and in the morning.’

And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the Alamin (mankind and jinn) (of her life lifetime).’

O Mary! ‘Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with those who bow down.’

This is a part of the news of the Ghaib (Unseen, the news of the past nations of which you have no knowledge) which We reveal to you. You were not with them when they cast lots with their pens as to whom of them should be charged with the care of Maryam, nor were you with them when they disputed.

(Remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam, held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.’

‘He will speak to the people, in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.’

She said, ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.’ He said: ‘So for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” – and it is.’

And he will teach him the Book and wisdom, the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel).

And will make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): ‘I have come with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.

And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Taurat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me.

Truly Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.

3: 35-52

Starting from the 35th verse of Surah ‘Ali Imran, there are narrations of invocations and answered prayers about the family of Imran.

In spite of their old age, we come across many stories in the Qur’an where people were given glad tidings of prayers being answered. No matter how long time had passed or will pass, the Lord never neglects those who constantly turn to Him. They include the story of Abraham and his being granted righteous children who were chosen as Prophets, the story of Moses’ mother and her trust in her Lord when she cast her child unto the river, the story of Joseph and his fulfilled vision, the despair and hope of Jacob for his son Joseph and being reunited with him.

His word, ‘Be and it is!’ makes all things possible, when man never expected will ever happen.

These are stories of patience, of striving in the midst of hardship, of living a pure and virtuous life despite being surrounded with trials and sin, of overflowing hope in His Mercy and Power, of miracles, signs, fulfilled promises, and reliance upon Allah and in His wisdom.

These people remained true in their covenant with God, and their lives were dedicated to Tawheed and in conveying its message to the people. Their prayers were answered, they were granted children and families whom they dedicated for His worship, and set example to the rest of those whom they lived with and for generations to come.

Whether male or female, they conveyed God’s word and lived by His commandments.

It was not an easy task, nor a life of pleasant enjoyment. They are near to God, but they were the ones who were tried the most. Many of them were killed, suffered persecution and countless hardships. After giving birth to Jesus, Mary was accused of immorality by her people. But as a miracle from Allah, her child Jesus defended her by speaking while in the cradle. John, despite living a pure life, was martyred by being beheaded by a king upon the order of vengeful woman.

Jesus commanded the people to worship Allah alone, but his people refused to believe in his message and even tried to harm him. When he was taken by Allah to be saved from persecution, those with whom he was not sent to as a messenger worshipped him as a god.

And (remember) when Allah said: ‘O Isa (Jesus), I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that Jesus is Allah’s son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute.

3: 55

During these times when many of us are being tried, these narrations serve as reminder that we are not alone, that trials (both hardship and ease) are a shared reality, a part of our existence in this world.

Consolation lies by being reminded of the fact that those nearest to God are the ones who are made to suffer the most difficult trials. But their nearness to Him is increased by their patience, in sincerity and steadfastness in adherence to their faith, in hope for His mercy and protection, His justice, and a good return unto Him in the end.

…Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise.

3:10