Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) 12:14

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Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) 12:14

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
يَا يَحْيَىٰ خُذِ الْكِتَابَ بِقُوَّةٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا ﴿١٢﴾‏ وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَاةً ۖ وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا ﴿١٣﴾‏ وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّارًا عَصِيًّا ﴿١٤﴾‏

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful

[Allah] said, “O John, take the Scripture with determination.” And We gave him judgment [while yet] a boy (12) And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah (13) And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant. (14)

يَا يَحْيَىٰ خُذِ الْكِتَابَ بِقُوَّةٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا ﴿١٢﴾‏

[Allah] said, “O John, take the Scripture with determination.” And We gave him judgment [while yet] a boy (12)

From here we enter the story of Prophet John (A) (Yahya). It says, “take the book”. What is the book? Most commentators say it is the Torah. In regard to “Torah”, we have the following verse.

And We wrote for him on the tablets [something] of all things – instruction and explanation for all things, [saying], ‘Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it. I will show you the home of the defiantly disobedient.’” (Al-A’raf:145).

What is meant to take the book with determination? One of the meanings is that do not earn money through the book.

“(Quran is) descended from the Lord of all the Worlds (80) Are you negligent about this discourse (81) You make it the way for provision, you deny it (82)” (Al-Waqi’a:80-82).

Prophets’ books did not descend for people to earn money or position. Prophet Muhammad (S) will complain of people about the way they follow Quran on the Day of Judgment.

The Messenger says: ‘O my Lord, my people have taken this Quran while giving it up’ ” (Al-Furqan:30). They took the Holy Quran but took it loosely. Prophet Muhammad (S) will not complain about the people who did not recite the Holy Quran but instead, he complains of people who took Quran but abandoned it. Taking the book with determination means reading and implementing it in our life.

Therefore, Prophet John (Yahya (A)) took the book with such determination until he was martyred. As Imam Hussain took Quran firmly and was martyred.

A verse in the Quran sometimes occurs for seekers as well. For instance, Allameh Hassan Zadeh said in “Ilahi Nameh”, O God, bless the success of obeying my sweet dream that told me: “O Hassan, take this book with determination”. Allameh Hassan Zadeh had a divine vision that a book had given to him, and he had been told to take this book with determination. One day later, he got a book from the bookstore that was exactly the same as what he dreamed of. We do not know what book it was.

What is meant by “And We gave him (Prophet John (A)) judgment [while yet] a boy”?

Some Quran interpreters have said that judgment (Hukm) in this verse means prophecy, but the judgment is different from prophecy. But no one expects a three-year-old child to judge. Some commentators say that judgment in this verse means to distinguish between right and wrong, but knowledge of the truths is not judgment. Some commentators say judgment in this verse means wisdom and plan for living.

While wisdom is obtained in adulthood through study, it’s a blessed miracle and a divine intuition in childhood.

وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَاةً ۖ وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا ﴿١٣﴾‏

And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah (13)

One of the Names of God is “Hannan” (حنان). In prayer we have, “O Hannan, O Mannan” (یا حنان ، یا منان)

“Hannan” means mercy with special compassion. People were kind and compassionate to Prophet John (Yahya (A)). Everyone who had seen Prophet John (A) loved him. Prophet John (Yahya (A)) baptized others. It was known as kindness within people.

Did Prophet John (Yahya (A)) has compassion for God? Or did God have compassion for Prophet John (Yahaya (A))? A verse in Quran about Khidr (A) says, “We gave him the knowledge from ourselves”. So, It was compassion from God for Prophet John (Yahya (A)). It is narrated that whenever Prophet John (Yahya (A)) said “O God”, God replied, “Yes, what do you want?” This was God’s mercy for Prophet John (Yahya (A)), as for Imam Hussain.

There is a narration from Prophet Muhammad (S) which said, “There is special warmth in the hearts of the believers who love Imam Hussain in a unique way”. Imam Hussain (A) was the mirror of the blessing of God like Prophet John (Yahya (A)). Imam Hussain’s (A) remembrance has been in people’s hearts for 1400 years and believers love him. People will be forgiven when going to “Karbala” for pilgrimage.

According to a narration, Prophet John (Yahya (A)) was crying when people talk about the Hereafter. Once, Prophet Zachariah (A) said to God about his child crying: “I wanted a child to be the peace of my heart”, God replied, “You asked for a guardian and a guardian of God must be like this”.

Wherever Prophet Zachariah (A) wanted to talk about hell, he looked around to ensure that Prophet John (Yahya (A)) was not there. Once, Prophet Zachariah (A) did not see him around and was talking about hell, all of a sudden Prophet John (Yahya (A)) heard and got up and went out. People followed him and saw that he was praying and crying and seeking refuge in God out of fear. Yahya was always fasting and worshiping and always crying. Even though Prophet John (Yahya (A)) was martyred but he is still alive like Prophet Jesus (A).

There are three meanings in “Zakat” in Arabic. One is purification, another meaning is a blessing, and the last is growth and development. These three meanings are related. All three attributes were in Prophet John (Yahya(A)), He was purified and blessed, and developed by us. But here he says that Yahya himself is “Zakat”. When a person reaches a high degree, he becomes the pray himself. Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said, “I am the prayer of the believers, I am the pray itself and I am the Quran that speaks”. As Jesus said, “I am blessed wherever I am”.

“Taqwa” (Piety) has two meanings, one is austerity, and the other is fear. When these two are together, it becomes piety. If you avoid sins because of fear of God, it is piety. It is like when you want to pass a floor full of small broken glasses with your feet. You are very careful with full attention to not place your feet on the broken glasses.

وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّارًا عَصِيًّا ﴿١٤﴾‏

And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant. (14)

Prophet John (A) fully obeyed whatever his parents said. Bayazid Bastami, the great mystic who was working in Imam Sadiq’s house, said: “I reached the position to be known as a mystic because of my mother’s prayers”.

There was a mystic that advised whoever went to him for asking guidance: “Go and serve your mother. Paradise is under the feet of the mother; mercy is under the feet of the mother”. The Holy Quran emphasizes kindness to parents after monotheism. A young Muslim came to Prophet Muhammad (S) and said: “My mother is infidel, what shall I do?” Prophet replied: “Go and kiss her hand”. Out of this love, her mother converted to Islam.

Some people came to Prophet Muhammad (S) and asked for the guarantee of Paradise, and the Messenger of God replied: “I guarantee you Paradise if you have long prostrations”. This news was heard by other companions. They went to Prophet Muhammad (S) to get the guarantee of Paradise. This time, the Messenger of God said: “Do not want anything from anyone, I guarantee you Paradise”. Allameh Hassan Zadeh did not ask anyone for anything and did not allow anyone to do anything for him.

In summary, Prophet John (Yahya (A)) was very kind to his parents, and he was not disobedient and a tyrant.

All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.

Tag: Allah, God, Lord, Quran, Prophet Muhammad (S), Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A), Imam Hussain (A), Imam Javad (A), Imam Hadi (A), Prophet Jesus (A), Prophet Zachariah (A), Lady Mary (A), Prophet Yahya (John) (A), Khidr (A), Heaven, Hell, Wali, Revelation, Intuition, Divine, Blessing, Guardian, Successor, Wilayat, Bayazid Bastami, Taqwa, Jabbar, Hannan, Ilahi Nameh, Karbala.

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