How Surah Maryam can inspire your family?

Quran Contributor
Photo 166342037 © Ilham Saputra |

Allah has placed in us beautiful and natural instincts like getting married, having a family, raising children etc. Surah Maryam discusses this tendency while adding the spiritual dimension to the parent-child relation. What is your real purpose behind marriage and child rearing? Do you desire your children for the life of the Hereafter as you desire in this worldly life? Surah Maryam has taught us that one of the main purposes of raising children is to make them obedient to Allah.

The purpose of family formation

The surah begins with a prayer by the Prophet Zachariah (peace be upon him) that when he reached old age he prayed for a child:

“And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir. Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You].” (Maryam- 19: 5-6)

Allah answered Zechariah’s prayer and blessed him with a son named Yahya (peace be upon him), who, like his father, began to call the children of Israel to Allah:

“[Allah] said, “O John, take the Scripture with determination.” And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy. And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah. And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant.”(Maryam- 19: 12-14).

Then in this Surah the birth of ‘Isa (peace be upon him) is discussed. And highlights the righteousness and chastity of his mother Maryam

She said: “How can I have a son when no man has touched me and I have never been an adulteress?” (Maryam- 19: 20).

Reflective message

Why did Allah choose the name ‘Maryam‘ for naming this beautiful Surah?

Perhaps, Allah wants us to understand the value of our mothers. This is a very important message for all believers.

Muslim women, please try to understand how Islam evaluates you. And also understand your role in bringing stability and spirituality to the home.

Married Muslim men, respect and love your wife, because she is the main driving force of your family.

Unmarried Muslim men, the first criterion for choosing your future spouse is how she relate to Allah.

A righteous son and his disobedient father

A little further on in the Surah we see the story of Ibrahim (peace be upon him), whom Allah saved from the misguidance of his father. He was fortunate that he was not an idol-worshiper like his father. Yet he tried to use the best words in his conversation with his father.

“O my father, do not worship the devil. Surely the devil disobeys the Beneficent Allah. O my father! I fear lest a chastisement of the Beneficent may afflict you, and then you may become a companion of the Satan (in Hell).”(Maryam 19: 44-45)

This story inspires all those who are living with difficult families. Here they are taught to be polite to their families.Children who become religious and start treating their family harshly did not truly grasp the legacy of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).

Some more righteous families

In Surah Maryam, Moses (peace be upon him) is briefly mentioned, how Allah chose Haroun (peace be upon him) from his family as his companion.

Then the Surah mentions Isma`il, the son of Ibrahim. He was a gift to the pious, patient Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Isma`ilused to order his family to perform prayers and offer charity.

In this book, the story of Isma`ilis also described. He was faithful to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. He used to instruct his family to perform the prayer and pay the obligatory charity, and he was pleasing to his Lord.” (Maryam- 19: 54-55).

A beautiful verse of the Surah discusses Prophets Adam, Noah, Jacob and many other pious families.

“When the verses of the Beneficent Allah were recited to them, they fell down in prostration and wept” (Maryam 19: 58)

Since the Qur’an offers a completeeducational and spiritual experience, we are encouraged to fall in prostration when we read this verse in addition to thirteen other verses in the Qur’an.

The idea is to acquire the qualities from the role models mentioned in the Qur’an, and to follow their example in submitting yourself fully to Allah’s command and prostrate to Him.

However after a group of honored families of faith, the following generations did not hold on to the message. This was a result of ignoring prayers and following temptations.

“But there came after their generations who neglected prayers and were driven by their own desires. These will come face to face with Satan” (Maryam- 19:59)

Allah does not need any family

‘Isa (peace be upon him) said, “I am the servant of Allah.”

Towards the end of the Surah, the discussion takes another turn and a very important concept of the Islamic faith is discussed. That is, people need families,

but they are not dependent on Allah. Allah has no partner, wife or children. Glory be to Allah from now on.

“The disbelievers say: ‘The Beneficent Allah has taken to Himself a son!’ You have indeed made a strange claim. Either because of this the heavens will burst now, the earth will be torn to pieces, and the mountains will be crushed. That is because they make children for the Merciful Lord.” (Maryam- 19: 88-91)

Action Items

Reading this beautiful Surah we notice the frequent use of the term ‘Mercy’ and ‘Beneficent’. And it accumulates the use of the name of Allah “The Lord of mercy”. This motivates us to reflect on our relationship with our family members and how much mercy we should show them.

It is significant and also a motivation to properly adjust our intentions. So that, worldly affairs like marriage and having children become means for lofty purposes. Like raising a righteous family which worships Almighty Allah and shows mercy to other creations.

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