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May 1, 2019

Hannah, the grandmother of Jesus,
the mother of Mary,
the wife of Aaron,
the mother-in-law of Zachariah,
the daughter of Fazuka.
On realizing that she is pregnant,
prayed to God in utmost sincerity:
“O my Lord! I do dedicate to You
what is in my womb for Your special service,
free from all worldly work,
to serve Your temple. 
So accept this, from me.
You are indeed All-Hearer and the All-Knowing.”

Though she knows that
God knew best what she brought forth,
when she delivered, she said:
“O my Lord!
I have given birth to a female child.
The male is not like the female.
I have named her Mary.
I commend her and her offspring
to your protection from Satan, the Rejected.”

So her Lord accepted her prayer graciously.
He made Mary grow in purity and beauty,
like a beautiful flower ...
Yet Mary was an orphan at birth,
for she lost her father
while she was in her mother’s womb,
and soon after her mother too
bid farewell to the world.

Thereupon all her kith and kin came together
and decided to contend between them
By casting lots with their pens
as to which of them should be charged with
the honor of taking care of Mary.

The family of Aaron was such a blessed one
In the eyes of each and every one.
And then they threw their lots into the river,
It turned out to be in favor of Prophet Zachariah,
the husband of Mary’s aunt.
Mary grew under God’s special protection,
Her growth was indeed a “goodly growth.”

One day the angels said to her:
“Mary! God has chosen you above the women of all nations,
and gave you such blessings.
Therefore, O Mary,
Worship your Lord devoutly.
Prostrate yourself and bow down
along with those who bow before Him.”
Thereupon Mary took refuge
in one corner of the temple,
behind the curtains,
where she submitted herself with obedience
to worship and remembrance.

Again, she was addressed by the angels:
“O Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word:
his name will be Jesus, the Messiah, the son of Mary,
held in honor in this world and the next,
and of those the nearest to the Almighty Creator.
He shall speak to the people
in the cradle and in manhood.
He shall be of the righteous indeed.”

Jesus was an extraordinary wonder,
blessed with a special creation.
a manifest “Word” of God.
Therefore, the age in which he speaks
would be unlike any other.
“Word” is but speech,
designated by the Creator, All-Mighty God.

Mary said: “O my Lord,
How can I have a son
when no man has ever touched me?”
The angles answered
“Thus shall it be.
God creates whatever He wills.
When He decrees something,
He but says: ‘Be’ and it is.
And God will teach your son the Book,
the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel.
And he will be a messenger to the Children of Israel.”
And when Jesus came to them he said:

“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord
I will make for you from clay the likeness of a bird
and then I will breathe into it.
And by the leave of God, it will become a bird
I will also heal the blind and the leper,
and, by the will of God, will bring the dead back to life.
I will also inform you of what things you eat
and what you treasure up in your houses.

Surely this is a sign, a message, for you
if you are true believers.
And I have come to confirm the truth of Torah,
and to make lawful to you
some of the things which had been forbidden to you.
I have come to you with a sign from your Lord;
so have fear of God and obey me.
Surely God is my Lord and your Lord;
so serve Him, worship Him alone.
This is the straight way.”

This is how the angels heralded
the glad tidings to Mary.
Whenever Zachariah went into her sanctuary
He would find various kinds of food and fruits,
even some of which were
at that time out of season.
And he asked:
“O Mary! From where did this come to you?”
She said: “God provides sustenance,
beyond all reckoning, without measure,
to whom He wills and He pleases.”

Devoting all her time to remembering God,
Mary withdrew from her people
to a place in the east;
drawing a curtain, to screen herself from people.
God says:
“Whereupon we sent to her Our spirit
and he appeared to her as a well-formed man.
Seeing him in her private compartment,
Mary exclaimed: ‘I surely take refuge from you with the Most Compassionate Lord.
If you're at all God-fearing
Do not come near or touch me.’

He said: ‘I am a bearer of a message from your Lord
to give you the good news of a most pure son.’
Mary said:
‘How can a son be born to me
when no man has even touched me,
nor have I ever been unchaste.’
He said: ‘Thus shall it be.
Your Lord says, ‘it is easy for Me
and We shall do so
in order to make him a sign for mankind
And a mercy from Us.
This has been decreed.’”

Annunciation and conception.
As is destined beyond time,
In the eternity, God’s will has come true,
And she conceived Jesus.
She left her sanctuary
and retired to a remote place.
Then the pains of childbirth
drove her beneath a palm tree.

She said:
“Would that I had died before this
and had been forgotten and out of sight!”
But a voice cried to her from beneath:
“Grieve not, for your Lord has provided
a rivulet beneath you, at your feet.
Shake the trunk of the palm-tree
and fresh and ripe dates shall fall down for you.
So eat and drink and cool your eyes.
If you see any person say,
‘I have vowed a fast for God,
the Most Compassionate,
and so I shall not speak with
any human being this day.’”

Why a date palm and rivulet
at the time of Jesus’ birth?
What could be the wisdom?
Alas, only recently science has discovered
that the date is healthy
for a breastfeeding mother;
and the fresh water of the rivulet
and the sound it makes
give comfort and ease the birth.
This is a message
to modern science and
to those who can think.

And Prophet Muhammad said:
“Were there something else better than the date
God would have granted it to Jesus
when his mother gave birth.”

At length, Mary brought the baby
to her people carrying him in her arms.
They said: “O Mary!
Truly an amazing thing you have brought.
O sister of Aaron!
Your father was not an evil man,
nor was your mother an unchaste woman.”
Thereupon Mary pointed to the child.
They said: “How can we speak
to a child in the cradle?”
And then one of God’s miracles
took place.

Whereupon the child said:
“I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me the Revelation, the Book,
and has made me a messenger
making me blessed
wheresoever I might be,
enjoining upon me
prayer and charity
as long as I live,
and making me dutiful to my mother.

“He has not made me oppressive,
nor bereft of God’s blessings, or wicked.
So peace be upon me the day I was born
and on the day I will die,
and on the day I will be raised up to life again.”