By: Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, December 23, 2011
Glory is to God, who is One, Alone, without any partners, nor associates. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. He is the Supreme. His authority extends beyond the universe, the Disposer of all affairs, He says in the Quran:
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ ۚ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّـهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ ۚ انتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا اللَّـهُ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ وَكِيلًا ﴿١٧١﴾
“O people of the scripture do not commit excess in your religion or say anything about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist-it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but One God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belong whatever is in the heavens and on earth, and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of all affairs”. (Nissa: 171)
Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Messenger, which has said:
أنا أولى الناس بعيسى بن مريم في الدنيا والآخرة، والأنبياء أخوة لعلات، أمهاتهم شتى ودينهم واحد ) .البخاري(
“I am the closest person to Isa, the son of Mary, in this world an in the hereafter, because all prophets are brothers of one family, with different mothers, but their religion is one.” (Buhari)
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Ehlu Beyt of Rasulullah, upon his companions, and upon all those who pursue his path with justice, without exceed their limits, until the Day of Judgment.
Dear believing brothers and sisters, today, with the help of God, we will speak about one of the miracles of God, about a messenger whom He sent, Isa (a.s.) , the son of Mary, because one of the articles of beliefs is believing in all messengers of Allah sent by the Almighty to mankind.
God Almighty when He decrees a matter, He merely says: “Be and it is” as it is with the birth of Isa a.s.
He is among the five great messengers, “ulul azmi”, which he comes from the family of Imran, and prophets after prophets were sent from this noble family, continuously as was Suleiman, Dawud and so on to their predecessors Isaac and Ibrahim.
The story begins when the mother of Mary, the wife of Imran, which prayed to God saying:
إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ عِمْرَانَ رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٣٥﴾
“When the wife of ‘Imran said, “My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Al Imran:35) God accepted her prayer giving her a daughter whom she named her Mary.
While she knew, that among the children of Israel was a tradition than only a male could serve Allah in worship at the temple, the wife of Imran, with the birth of Mary was in despair for the birth of Mary, because she thought that a female could not serve in the temple in praising and being devoted to God. But Allah accepted her commitment, making Mary special and favored her among all women in the world.
فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا
“He (Allah) made her grow with good manners, purity and beauty” (Al Imran: 37) This happens when a servant of God prays and supplicates to Allah with devotion and sincerity; He accepts the prayers of His servants and grants them whatever they want. Does not God say in the Quran: “Your Lord has said: Pray to Me, I answer your prayers”? (Gafir: 60) Also it has been transmitted by Selman El-Farisiu that:
عن سلمان رضي الله عنه قال : “إن الله يستحي أن يبسط العبد إليه يديه فيهما خيرا فيردهما خائبتين” . ” هذا إسناد صحيح على شرط الشيخين “
“God would be ashamed when a servant asks Him for something good and then God to leave him empty handed”. (Sahih)
Mary would spend all her time in the temple serving God and every time Zachariah would go to see Mary, he would always find food there and he would wonder asking her:
كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًا ۖ قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَـٰذَا ۖ قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّـهِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿٣٧﴾
“Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.” (Al Imran: 37) While seeing all this goodness that Allah was supplying for Mary, Zachariah prayed to Allah saying:
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ ﴿٣٨﴾
“O my Lord! Grant to me from You, a generation that is pure: For You are who hears the call of prayer.” (Ali Imran: 38) Indeed, God answered his prayer giving him a son, Jahya.
Listen my brothers and sisters as how man sees the goodness of Allah in another person, not with envy or jealousy , as it is the case with most of the people today, but rather he prays to God to give him from His goodness and pure successors.
God tells us in the Quran, as how He sent Gabriel to Mary to give her the news of a child, Isa (a.s). Surely, even for Mary this was something not only unbelievable but it was difficult and surprising.
قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا ﴿١٩﴾ قَالَتْ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيًّا ﴿٢٠﴾ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ ۖ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا ﴿٢١﴾
“He said: “I’m a messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a righteous son: She said: “How shall I have a son when no man has touched me, and I am not immodest? He said: “It will be so: Your Lord says ‘that it is easy for Me, and we wish to appoint him as a sign to men and a Mercy from Us, it is a matter already ordained.” (Imran:19-21).
The birth of Isa without a father for many people in the world is unbelievable, for some this seems unordinary thing, but they haste to contemplate about the creation of the first man Adam. See how Allah draws their attention to think that:
إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ اللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴿٥٩﴾
“The Similitude of Isa is that of Adam. He created him from clay, then said to it: “BE! And it was.” (Imran:59). The creation of man, was created by Allah in four different forms: A man created without a mother and without a father, like Adam (a.s), a person created without a mother as is the case with Hawa, Person created without a father Isa (a.s) and people born of a mother and a father as are all humans.
But where does the miracle of Isa stand?
His first miracle is that he was born without a father. Whilst the second miracle is that he spoke as an infant. God tells us through Quranic verses as how Mary took the child (a baby) and went to the people, when they saw her with a child in her arms they were amazed and shocked and said:
يَا أُخْتَ هَارُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيًّا ﴿٢٨﴾ فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ ۖ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا ﴿٢٩﴾ قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّـهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا
“O sister of Harun! Your father was not an evil man and your mother was not an immoral woman. Then she pointed to the baby. They said: “How can we speak to a child in a cradle”? He Isa said: “Indeed I am the servant of Allah, He has given me the Book and made me a prophet.” (Mary: 28-29)
Other miracles of Isa (a.s) are curing the sick of various diseases by Gods leave. Healing the blind, giving life to birds made of clay, raising the dead. All these miracles are confirmed in the Quran, where Allah while telling us about the truth of Isa (a.s) says:
وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٤٩﴾
“And a messenger to the children of Israel: ” I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and by Allah’s leave, it becomes a bird; and heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I wake up the dead, by Allah’s leave: And I declare to you what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, in there is a sign for you, if you only believe.” (Imran: 49)
Miracle from the hands of Isa is the table from heaven, which his companions asked for it, and Allah accepted his request saying in the Quran:
قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّـهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيدًا لِّأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآيَةً مِّنكَ ۖ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ ﴿١١٤﴾
“Isa the son of Mary said: “O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set with foods, that there may be for us- for the first and the last of us-A true and holy feast an a Sign from you; And provide for us the means of live, for You are the best Provider.” (Al Maida: 114)
Brothers and sisters, it is impossible with one hutbah to talk about the miracles and the history of Isa a.s, but whoever wishes to learn an read about Isa, should read the Quranic verses which tell the story of Isa in the chapters: Al Imran, Nissa, Maide, Mary and so on.
Even so, knowing that we are approaching these holidays which are observed by the Christians, it is important to shed some light as what should a muslim know and how to act with the people of the book, the Christians, which God says that they are closest to us from other people.
Allah tells us in the Quran about the Christians:
وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُم مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّا نَصَارَىٰ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾
“And you will find nearest in love to the believers those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” (Maide: 82)
Allah teaches us in the Quran saying: وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ
“Do not argue with the people of the book except in a good way (with reason and facts)” (Anekbut: 46) so, it is not allowed for a Muslim to offend the beliefs of other people, regardless if in our eyes seems to be incorrect or deviated, because Allah teaches us to deal with them with kindness and reason. Here is what Allah says about this matter:
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّـهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٠٨﴾
“And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return and He will inform them about what they used to do.” (Al-Anam: 108).
We must be respectful and honored when they visit our Mosque, but at the same time we should make an effort to go and visit them in their houses and their churches. For this we have arguments and examples from Prophet Muhammad (a.s), which in the beginning, when he was at the most difficult situation and oppressed by the disbelievers, he sent his companions to Abyssinia to be protected by the Christian king Najjass. Also when a Christian delegation, made of 60 people came to visit the Prophet (a.s), he received them with the utmost honor and respect telling them to use his Mosque for prayers.
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّـهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿٦٤﴾
“Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Al Imran: 64).
O God, guide us in the right path, give us from your goodness and do not harden our hearts after You have guided us, Indeed you are Giver of all. Amin