Saturday, September 11, 2010


Trans N.J Dawood. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1956, 1994. Pp. 53-55.

Remember the words of Imran’s wife [Anne]. ‘Lord’, she said, ‘I dedicate to Your service that which is in my womb. Accept it from me. You alone hear all and know all’.
And when she was delivered of the child, she said, ‘Lord, I have given birth to a daughter’. God well knew of what she was delivered: the male is not like the female. ‘and have called her Mary. Protect her and all her descendants from Satan, the Accursed One.’
Her Lord graciously accepted her. He made her grow a goodly child and entrusted her to the care of Zacharias.
Whenever Zacharias visited her in the Shrine he found that she had food with her, ‘Mary’, he said, ‘where is this food from?’
‘It is from God,’ she answered. ‘God gives without stint to whom He will’.
Thereupon Zacharias prayed to his Lord, saying: ‘Lord, grant me upright descendants. You hear all prayers’.
And as he stood praying at the Shrine, the angels called out to him, saying ‘God bids you rejoice in the birth of John, who shall confirm the Word of God. He shall be princely and chaste, a prophet and a righteous man.’
‘Lord,’ said Zacharias, ‘how shall I have a son when I am now overtaken by old age and my wife is barren?’
‘Such is the will of God’, He replied. ‘He does what He pleases’.
‘Lord’, he said, ‘vouchsafe me a sign’.
‘For three days and three nights,’ He replied, ‘you shall not speak to any man except by signs. Remember your Lord always, give glory to Him evening and morning’.
And remember the angels’ words to Mary. They said ‘God has chosen you. He has made you pure and exalted you above womankind. Mary, be obedient to your Lord; bow down and worship with the worshippers.’
This is an account of a divine secret. We reveal it to you. You were not present when they cast lots to see which of them should have charge of Mary, nor where you present when they argued about her.
The angels said to Mary: ‘God bids you rejoice in a word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the hereafter, and shall be one of those who are favoured.
He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life’.
‘Lord’, she said, ‘how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?’
He replied: ‘Even thus. God creates whom He will. When he decrees a thing He need only say: ‘Be,’ and it is. He will instruct him in the Scriptures and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel, and send him forth as an apostle to the Israelites. He will say: ‘I bring you a sign from your Lord. From clay I will make for you the likeness of a bird. I shall breathe into it and, by God’s leave, it shall become a living bird. By God’s leave I shall heal the blind man and the leper, and raise the dead to life. I shall tell you what to eat and what to store up in your houses. Surely that will be a sign for you, if you are true believers. I come to confirm the Torah which preceded me and to make lawful to some of the things you are forbidden. I bring you a sign from your Lord: therefore fear God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord: therefore serve Him. That is a straight path.’

P. 118
If the People of the Book accept the true faith and keep from evil, We will pardon their sins and admit them to the garden of delight. If they observe the Torah and the Gospel and what is revealed in them from their Lord, they shall enjoy abundance from above and from beneath.
. . .
Say, 'People of the Book, you will attain nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord'.
. . .
Believers, Jews and Christians - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right - shall have nothing to fear or to regret.

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