The Name Mary And How It Is Essay

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The name Mary, and how it is used in the Koran


April 9, 1999

The function that Mary has played in the history of faith is a subject that can be debated. Harmonizing to the Koran, the lone importance of Mary, is that she is unarguably the female parent of Jesus. Besides, the lone proper name of a adult female to be used in the Koran, is the name, Mary ( Maryam ) . However, she has ne’er been referred to as the Virgin Mary in either the Bible or the Koran.1 This is important in comparing and contrasting some of the importance of this adult female and her boy to Christianity and Islam faiths.

The adult female known as Mary, is a name that many faiths of the universe award. She was born to Anna, the married woman of Imran and when she was born her female parent Anna prayed to God:2

O my Lord, I vow to thee what is in my abdomen

dedicated ( to thy service ) ; accept ( it ) from me

verily thou art one who hears and knows. 3

After she had made this vow to God, she was so baffled when He gave a female kid. She did non understand how illustriousness was to come from a female kid.

As written in the 3rd sura of the Koran, Mary was raised in a manner which was devoted to functioning God. She worshiped in the temple, merely as her female parent promised she would if God would let her to hold this particular kid. It is said that Mary was assisted by angels throughout her childhood, and the Islamic faith regarded her as sinless.4 The Koran implies this pure, sinless and Godly divine position of Mary by saying in sura three verses 30-35:

And I have named her Mary,

and commend her to Thee

with her seed, to protect them

from the accurst Satan5

Although it was non obvious at first, Mary would finally play a big function in Christianity and other faiths, due to the fact that she would be the female parent of Jesus.

Moslems and Jews besides recognize the importance of Mary to their faiths. They agree that she is the true female parent of the prophesier Jesus. Muhammad, when glade and cleansing the Ka Ba of graven images, is said to hold spared the remotion of a image of Mary and Jesus.6 The phrase, Son of Mary is besides written more times in the Koran than it is in the Bible. She is besides extremely respected in Judaism, and it is considered a mighty slander for a Judaic individual to talk against her. Although these and other narratives may non be true, it shows that Muhammad and Muslims hold a great trade of regard for Mary and her boy Jesus.7

The phrase, Son of Mary, is one that refers to Jesus, and occurs much more often in the Koran than in the Bible. In fact, it is merely used one clip in the Bible compared to 23 times in the Koran.8 This shows that the Muslims acknowledge Jesus, and the impact he had on that clip period.

Some feel that the primary message that is delivered by the Koran to Muslims is that the term Son of Mary is used in a negative manner. Parrinder nevertheless disagrees with this position. He feels that when the Koran uses the term Son of Mary, it is in a more positive and honest manner. The Muslims, unlike the Jews, do non hold such harsh and negative positions towards Jesus, and this is one of the chief grounds why Parrinder feels that the term is used in a honest way.9 The Muslims believe that Jesus was non godly, but they do experience he was a prophet worthy of their regard and worship. Muslims feel that he was no more of import than any of the other Prophetss, which were all worthy of their worship. The Jews on the other manus, do non admit him as a prophesier or being godly. They do non acknowledge him as a chosen individual of God.10

Moslems see Jesus as a adult male. He, along with his female parent Mary, were non considered Godhead or Godly by the Muslims. This is one ground for the usage of the phrase, Jesus, Son of Mary, in the Bibles of these faiths. It implies that he was no more than a human being. He had a female parent, he was the Son of Mary, which implies that he was a human merely like everyone else.11

The virgin birth is besides agreed upon by Muslims, and is discussed in the Koran. It does non reject these positions about a virgin birth, unlike the Jews who do. In sura 3, 37/42, it states that:

Mary, God gives thee good

newss of a Word from Him

whose name is Messiah,

Jesus, boy of Mary ;

high honoured shall he be

in this universe and the following,

nigh stationed to God.12

This transition implies that the Muslims believed that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. However, they do non hold wholly with the positions that are portrayed in Luke, chapters one and two, of the New Testament of the Bible.13 Christians portray Jesus one of the most of import figures in their faith. This allows us to better understand Islam, because the fact that Muslims believed in the Virgin Mary helps to turn out that Christians and Muslims came into contact with each other in Syria and other parts of the west.14

Some have argued, including R. H. Lightfoot, that it was an abuse to hold Jesus take on his female parents name instead than his male parents. It is believed by many that in the 7th century, most males took on the name of their male parent, and the lone ground for holding a female parent s name was for negative grounds. Parrinder contradicts this by giving illustrations of some of the poets of that clip period, like Ibn Aisha, Ibn Mayyada, who wer

e given the name of their female parent. It is besides argued that Ali, one of the four justly guided calif, had a boy who was named after his female parent in order to distinguish him from some of his brothers. It is even said that Muhammad himself was frequently known as Ibn Abi Kabsha, thought to be a connexion to one of his ascendants. Harmonizing to Parrinder, it was non an abuse to hold taken on the name of your female parent. He feels that the phrase Son of Mary, became so broad spread due to the popularity she gained through being the female parent of the prophesier Jesus. The point that Parrinder is emphasizing with this subject is that the term, Son of Mary, when used to mention to Jesus was in no manner calumniatory or implied in a negative intension. In all ways, they were utilizing the term in an honest and dignified manner.15

Another argument about the usage of the phrase Son of Mary, trades with the fact that it is mentioned in the book of Mark, chapter 6, verse 3.

Isn T this the Carpenter?

Isn T this Mary s boy

and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon?

The book of Mark is believed to hold been one of the first books to be written, and the referral to Jesus being Mary s boy is written here merely. Parrinder believes that the mention to Jesus being the boy of Mary is no longer mentioned in the Bibles that follow Mark because there was merely no demand to compose it once more. Other names for Jesus were used in these chapters alternatively, like boy of the carpenter, Son of God, Lord, and Christ. 16

Monophysite Christians, which are outstanding in Ethiopian and Coptic churches, have a certain nonreversible position towards Jesus. They believe he has merely one true religious nature. They do non believe he had both a human and a Godhead features, they saw him merely as a God-like person. This is a different position of the Nycians. They felt that Jesus represented two individuals in one being. They saw him as holding both a human and a godly side. This position of the Nycians, the two facets of Jesus, finally won out in popularity. This Nycian position besides was the official faith of the Byzantine Empire, which helped to do this position a more normally excepted one. This is the ground for some credos, like the Apostles Creed and the Nycian Creed, which are used extensively in today s Christian religion.17

The Koran s position of Christianity is besides more closely related to that of the position of the Nycians. This is apparent by the Koran s recognition of Mary, and the award that is bestowed upon her. The award that is given to Mary besides represents the importance of the Nycian s position of the human facet of Jesus along with the spirit portion.18

The phrase Son of Mary is besides found in apocryphal books and Gospels that were non mentioned in the cannon of Orthodox Bibles. This proves that Syrian Christians had contact with the Islamic religion, leting them to intermix civilizations, linguistic communication, and knowledge.19 Parrinder and other bookmans argument at the cogency of these apocryphal texts, they truly are non valid and do non state much. The one thing that these texts do is that they prove the fact that close ties between these two groups of people did exist.20

There are two chief decisions to be made about the usage of the word Mary in the Koran and the significances behind it. The first decision trades with the female parent of Jesus, Mary. She holds a great trade of regard in the heads of Muslims. They see her as a individual who is worthy of their award. In those times, it was non common to see a adult female who was every bit admired as Mary was.21

The concluding decision to be made trades with Jesus being known as the Son of Mary. It is argued that the usage of this phrase is done so in a negative manner. However, a closer expression at some true readings of the Koran will assist to back up the fact that it is a term that holds a great trade of award and regard when used to depict both Jesus and his female parent Mary. The phrase, Son of Mary, appears in both the Bible and the Koran, and is used by both Christians and Muslims today in an honorable way.22

Plants Cited

1. Parrinder, Geoffrey. Jesus in the Koran. Oxford: Oneworld, 1995, pg. 60.

2. Parrinder, pg. 63-64.

3. Arberry, A. J. The Koran Interpreted. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996, pg. 77-78.

4. Parrinder, pg. 62.

5. Ali, A. Yusuf. The Holy Koran. Amana Corp. 1983.

6. Parrinder, pg. 65.

7. Class talk and notes from April 7, 1999.

8. Parrinder, pg. 22.

9. Parrinder, pg. 23

10. Class notes.

11. Class notes.

12. The Holy Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984. Book of Luke, chapters 1 & A ; 2.

13. Arberry, pg. 79.

14. Class notes.

15. Parrinder, pg. 23-24.

16. The Holy Bible, Book of Mark.

17. Class notes.

18. Class notes.

19. Parrinder, pg. 26-28.

20. Class notes.

21. Parrinder, pg. 67.

22. Parrinder, pg. 29.


1. Ali, A. Yusuf. The Holy Koran. Amana Corp. 1983.

2. Arberry, A. J. The Koran Interpreted. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996, pg. 77-79.

3. Parrinder, Geoffrey. Jesus in the Koran. Oxford: Oneworld, 1995, pg. 22-29 & amp ; 60-67.

4. The Holy Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.

5. Class talk and notes from April 7, 1999.

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