I had related an event in one of my Qur’an expositions about my conversation with a Christian pastor. The rev. pastor was pleasantly surprised to know that the status of Mary described in Qur’an has been in much more dignified words than in Bible. A Christian brother’s response has been conveyed to me who disagreed with the above, quoting Luke 1:42 and 1:28. With love and regards, my rejoinder is as under:
Let me discuss the first of the above mentioned two verses
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” (Luke 1:42)
Kindly read the full context of the above verse which is as follows.
Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth:
In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed! (Luke 1:39-42)
This certificate of exaltation in Bible comes from Elizabeth and not from God while in Qur’an, Mary has been declared the Chosen One among women of all the worlds by God Himself. There is as much difference between the two descriptions as there is difference between Elizabeth and God.
And now the second verse.
In Luke 1:28
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Please compare the above with Qur’an.
In Qur’an 3:42
And when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary), surely Allah has chosen you and has blessed you with purity and has exalted you over all the women of all the worlds.’
Don’t you notice the difference? Please consider the following example:
An education director compliments different students as:
ii. Very good
iii. Highly appraisable
iv. Best in your class
v. Best among all the students of your school and…
vi. Best of all the students of the country.
Is there no difference between these? The last one is probably the best possible thing that may be said to a student.
But it is still a microscopically insignificant phrase compared to the following:
vii. The best among all the students of (not one world, but) all the worlds!
The difference between Biblical and Qur’anic praise is like the difference between (iii) and (vii) above.
But that is not all! Please compare the Jesus’ sentiments to her mother described in the Bible and the Qur’an.
Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “WHO IS MY MOTHER, and who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers.” (Mat. 12:47-49)
And Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” Jesus said to her, “WOMAN! WHAT DOES YOUR CONCERN HAVE TO DO WITH ME? My hour has not yet come.” (Jn 2:2-4)
(Jesus said to people) AND HE (God) HAS MADE ME TREAT MY MOTHER WITH EXCELLENCE AND HAS NOT MADE ME ARROGANT, GRACELESS.” (19:32)
I have read all the philosophical explanations of the above noted two verses of the Bible and (please excuse me) I think that only a committed blind follower can justify the behaviour of Jesus towards her mother as reported in the gospel. But we are not discussing Jesus here. We are comparing the dignified status and exaltedness with which Mary has been mentioned in the Bible and Qur’an. Please give these instances of the Bible and Qur’an to an unbiased, neutral person and ask him, “Which of the two eulogizes Mary with more glory and respect?”
And finally, I had told in that lecture that Qur’an has titled one of its Surahs as ‘Maryam’. The Bible has the books of Job (Ayyub), Jonas (Yunus), Zechariah (Zakariah) and many other pious ones in O.T. and the books of James, Peter, John and Jude in N.T. but has no Book of Mary.
Is it not enough proof of Qur’an lauding Mary more than Bible does?
Please understand that in the above reply I am not comparing the Bible with Qur’an. I have only discussed the status of Mary in both the scriptures.
Syed Abdullah Tariq
Watch the Full Dars on Fellow Feeling is necessary to resurrect a people.