Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) 17:18

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Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) 17:18

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِن دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا ﴿١٧﴾ قَالَتْ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَٰنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيًّا ﴿١٨﴾

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

She screened herself away from them, and We sent to her Our spirit, and He appeared to her as an immaculate human. (17) She said, “I take refuge from you in the Most Merciful, should you be righteous.” (18)

The name of angels Gabriel and Michael exist in the Holy Quran.            

Say, “Whoever is hostile to Gabriel—it is he who revealed it to your heart by God’s leave, confirming what preceded it, and guidance and good news for the believers.” (97) Whoever is hostile to God, and His angels, and His messengers, and Gabriel, and Michael—God is hostile to the faithless. (Al-Baqaara:97-98)[1]

In the Quran, we have also the “Spirit” (Rauh)[2].

It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. (192) The Honest Spirit came down with it. (193) Upon your heart, that you may be one of the warners. (194) In a clear Arabic language. (195) And it is in the scriptures of the ancients. (196) Is it not a sign for them that the scholars of the Children of Israel recognized it? (Ash-Shu’ara:192-197)[3]

We gave Moses the Scripture and sent a succession of messengers after him. And We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear proofs, and We supported him with the Holy Spirit. Is it that whenever a messenger comes to you with anything your souls do not desire, you grew arrogant, calling some impostors, and killing others? (Al-Baqara:87)[4].

O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion, and do not say about God except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, is the Messenger of God, and His Word that He conveyed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So, believe in God and His messengers, and do not say, “Three”. Refrain—it is better for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him that He has a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth, and God is a sufficient Protector(An-Nisa:171)[5]

He sends down the angels with the Spirit by His command, upon whom He wills of His servants: “Give warning that there is no god but Me and fear Me.” (An-Nahl:2)[6]

And they ask you about the Spirit. Say, “The Spirit is from the command of my Lord, and you were given only a little knowledge.” (Al-Isra:85)[7]

Is the Spirit the same as the angels?

In a hadith, Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) was replied, “No. The Spirit is surrounding the angels”. The Spirit is mentioned in the Quran as singular. “The Spirit is from the command of my Lord” and “And Our command is but once”[8]

Therefore, the Spirit which is from the “command world” is one. But angels are plentiful. A narration says, “The Spirit is the guardian of angels and surrounding them”. In other words, angels are the forces of the Spirit. The Spirit has no shape or form in its reality. When it appears to someone, it finds a form and takes shape. “He appeared to her as an immaculate human”. The Spirit appeared for Lady Mary (A) as an immaculate human. The appearance was only for Lady Mary (A) and no one else could see it. It is one type of intuition.

In the next verse of the Holy Quran, Lady Mary (A) said, “I take refuge from you in the Most Merciful, should you be righteous”.

Why was Lady Mary afraid of a human? Tradition said, “She was taking a bath, so she was afraid to see the angel as a human being. That was the reason she said, “I seek refuge in the Merciful God if you are righteous“. This divine angel appeared as an immaculate human and Lady Mary (A) felt he is a righteous man, so she took refuge in Ar-Rahman Name of God. If he was not righteous, she would take refuge in Allah similar to when Prophet Joseph (A) took refuge in Allah from Zulaikha.

She in whose house he was living tried to seduce him. She shut the doors, and said, “I am yours.” He said, “I seek refuge in Allah”! He is my Lord. He has given me a good home. Sinners never succeed” (Yusuf:23)[9]

Man is placed in the path of sins and evil during his life, and he should seek refuge in God. Whether it is a woman like Lady Mary (A) or a man like Prophet Joseph (A), They seek refuge in God. If a person seeks refuge in God, he will not sin even if he wants to.

In a state of fear, the human will be discontinuous from worldly life and seek refuge. Lady Mary needed to refuge to God with all her being to receive the blessing of God (His son, Prophet Jesus (A)).

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


[1] -قُلْ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ‎﴿٩٧﴾‏ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّلَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِّلْكَافِرِينَ ‎﴿٩٨﴾

[2] -الروح

[3] – وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ‎﴿١٩٢﴾‏ نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ ‎﴿١٩٣﴾‏ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ ‎﴿١٩٤﴾‏ بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ ‎﴿١٩٥﴾‏ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِي زُبُرِ الْأَوَّلِينَ ‎﴿١٩٦﴾‏ أَوَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُمْ آيَةً أَن يَعْلَمَهُ عُلَمَاءُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ ‎﴿١٩٧﴾

[4] -وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ ۖ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۗ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لَا تَهْوَىٰ أَنفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ ‎﴿٨٧﴾

[5] -يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ ۚ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ ۚ انتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

[6] -يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ بِالرُّوحِ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرُوا أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاتَّقُونِ ‎﴿٢﴾‏

[7] -وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

[8] -وَمَا أَمْرُنَا إِلَّا وَاحِدَةٌ

[9] – وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الْأَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۚ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ

Tag: Allah, God, Lord, Quran, Prophet Muhammad (S), Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A), Prophet Jesus (A), Messiah, Lady Mary (A), Prophet Joseph, Resurrection, Day of Judgement, Holy Spirit, Angel Gabriel (A), Angel Michael (A), Blessing.

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