Today's choice: Hesham A. Hassaballam, an American Muslim, on the Quran and Mary:
No male child she might have hoped for could ever have been like this female, Mary. She was the mother of Christ; bearer of the Word of God, which was communicated unto her. Mary took on a terrifying task: having a son without a father and having to face the utter shock and likely disgust of her community.
She would have to face horrific accusations and terrible maligning of her character. This character was so impeccable, in fact, that her people—as the Quran mentions—nicknamed her "Sister of Aaron"—and not just any old "Aaron," but the brother of Moses himself. It was an enormous test, and it was so difficult that she cried out as Christ was being born:
Oh, would that I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten! (Quran 19:23).But, she did it with grace, faith and a fortitude that would shame most of the staunchest believers. She was an amazing woman, and I am truly blessed that my faith calls upon me to honor this Mary in the most reverent way possible. In fact, the Quran challenges me to be like Mary:
And [We have propounded yet another parable of God-consciousness in the story of] Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, whereupon We breathed of Our spirit into that [which was in her womb], and who accepted the truth of her Lord's words—and [thus] of His revelations—and was one of the truly devout (66:12).The Quran holds up the example of the Virgin Mary as how one should be God-conscious. And, the Quran holds up the example of the Virgin Mary for all believers—male and female—for all time to come. Truly, truly, no male child could ever have been like this female, Mary. I pray that one day I can enter His highest of Gardens and get to see the Holy Virgin, the magnificent mother of my Master Jesus, and enter into her presence and kiss her hand.
Amen, O my Beautiful Lord, Amen.