Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) 5:11
Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) 5:11
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَإِنِّی خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِیَ مِن وَرَائِی وَکَانَتِ امْرَأَتِی عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِی مِن لَّدُنکَ وَلِیًّا ﴿۵﴾ یَرِثُنِی وَیَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ یَعْقُوبَ ۖ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِیًّا ﴿۶﴾ یَا زَکَرِیَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُکَ بِغُلَامٍ اسْمُهُ یَحْیَىٰ لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِیًّا ﴿٧﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ یَکُونُ لِی غُلَامٌ وَکَانَتِ امْرَأَتِی عَاقِرًا وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ الْکِبَرِ عِتِیًّا ﴿٨﴾ قَالَ کَذَٰلِکَ قَالَ رَبُّکَ هُوَ عَلَیَّ هَیِّنٌ وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُکَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَمْ تَکُ شَیْئًا ﴿٩﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّی آیَهً ۚ قَالَ آیَتُکَ أَلَّا تُکَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَ لَیَالٍ سَوِیًّا ﴿١٠﴾ فَخَرَجَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَیْهِمْ أَن سَبِّحُوا بُکْرَهً وَعَشِیًّا ﴿١١﴾
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful
Indeed, I fear my kinsmen who will succeed me, for my wife is barren. Grant me a kinsman (Guardian-Wali) (5) Who will be my heir and an heir to the House of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, satisfied’ (6) ‘O Zachariah, We give you good tidings of a son, and he shall be called John (Yahya); a name We have never given before’ (7) ‘How shall I have a son, Lord’ he asked, ‘when my wife is barren, and I am advanced in age, dried out’ (8) He replied: ‘It shall be so’; your Lord says: “It is easy for Me, indeed, I created you before time when you were not a thing.” (9) He (Zachariah) said: ‘Lord, make for me a sign’ He replied: ‘Your sign is that you shall not speak to people for three nights being without fault’ (10) Then he came out from the Sanctuary to his nation, and gestured to them to exalt (their Lord) at the dawn and at the evening. (11)
When the Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) was upset about something, he raised his head to the sky and said:
“Kaaf-Ha-Ya-‘aeen-Saad; I seek refuge in You from the sins that destroy the blessings; I seek refuge in You from the sins that are wanted by my enemies. I seek refuge in You from the sins that the prevent the rain from heaven”.
Mystic Ibn Arabi said, “it is a prayer (Dua) that is experienced”.
وَإِنِّی خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِیَ مِن وَرَائِی وَکَانَتِ امْرَأَتِی عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِی مِن لَّدُنکَ وَلِیًّا ﴿۵﴾
Indeed, I fear my kinsmen who will succeed me, for my wife is barren. Grant me a kinsman (Wali) (5)
Note: “My wife is infertile.” He attributes the defect of not having children to his wife and not to himself. Why? Because the prophets did not have a defective temperament. For example, Prophet Ibrahim (A) did not have children and that was a defect of Sarah.
What was Prophet Zachariah afraid of his Mawali (relatives) in Verse 5? He was afraid of dispute after him. “Had your Lord wished, He would have made mankind one community; but they continue to dispute, (118) except those whom your Lord has mercy on—and that is why He created them—and the word of your Lord has been fulfilled: ‘I will surely fill hell with jinn and humans, all together!’”(119)
The root of the differences between humans are two things, either ignorance or the selfishness. God mentioned an exception in the above verse, “except he who has mercy on your Lord, then that person is neither ignorant nor selfish“.
Prophet Zachariah was afraid of their (relatives’) dispute, He was thinking that as long as I am with them, I am the Imam and have the authority over them, but when I pass away ” O Lord, Grant me a Wali (successor)” who has your mercy and free from ignorance and selfishness”.
يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ ۖ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيًّا ﴿٦﴾
who will be my heir and an heir to the House of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, satisfied’ (6)
This verse clearly indicates that it is possible to inherit from prophets. Prophet Zachariah wanted an heir who is Wali (successor) such that he become his heir and the heir of Jacob family. This includes both personal belongings and spiritual inheritance. Prophet Zachariah also asked, “Grant him (Wali) satisfaction for what you decided for him in the difficulties that will happen”. Allameh Tabatabaei in Tafsir of Quran (Al-Mizan Book) explained this subject in detail.
Mr. Alusi (Suni Scholar) said: “The prophets inherit just their knowledge”.
In reply we would say that “This is about the inheritance of the scholars, but the children of the Prophets inherit their properties. This verse talks about the inheritance from Prophet Zachariah (A) and the inheritance of Jacob’s family (Ale Ya’qub). The Jacobite’s are the children of Israel, and Prophet Zachariah (A) himself is from the children of Israel, so from Prophet Jacob (A). In this verse two inherits are mentioned: 1- inherit from me (Prophet Zachariah (A)) 2- inherit from the family of Jacob, so there are two inheritances. One is spiritual inheritance, and one is material inheritance. Verse did not clearly say to get knowledge from Prophet Zachariah (A) or them. Inherit is comprehensive and it covers both spiritual and physical heritage.
يَا زَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَامٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَىٰ لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا ﴿٧﴾
‘O Zachariah, We give you good tidings of a son, and he shall be called John (Yahya); a name We have never given before’ (7)
In Quran, the names of 27 Prophets are mentioned and there are only a few Prophets whose names are called by God in the revelation. Most of this communication is related to Prophet Moses because his name is referred as “Kalim o Allah”.
“Qulam” in Arabic means a boy, his name is Yahya (John), a name We have never given before.
Is it God who names everyone or this grant is only for special people? According to the narration from Imam (A), “on the Day of Resurrection, people will be called by the name of their mother, except our followers, who will be called by the name of their father?” Why is that?
Another narration said, “believers are brothers together from their parents, their mother is mercy, and their father is light, God calls people by the name of their mother out of mercy, but our followers will be called by their light because their father is light, and this is the light of the Guardianship (Welayat). “The Day (will surely come) when you shall see believing men and women with their light running before them on their right hands“(Al-Hadid:12).
On the Day of Judgment, some people might be called by a name that is not his worldly name. for example, a tradition says, “One who learns for God and acts for God and teaches others for God, the angels of God call him “Azim” (the great).
The name of Yahya (John) was not mentioned in the children of Israel. It is strange that Yahya (John), who his name rooted from alive, is slaughtered in the world. Allameh Tabatabaei says that ” سَمِيًّا, Samiya” may mean the degree or level.
What happened to prophet Zachariah (A)? Was he martyred or died with a natural death?
In the Holy Quran, the martyrdom or death of none of the prophets are mentioned, except for two prophets, one of whom, Prophet Solomon (A), “stood up and died”, and Prophet Joseph (Yusuf (A)) in Surah Al-Ghafir:34, “after Yusuf perished”.
The martyrdom of Prophet John (Yahya (A)) is not mentioned clearly in the Holy Quran, but implicitly. Prophet Zachariah asked, “to make him satisfied”. Satisfied him for what? So, it should be something difficult happening for him, that is, martyrdom. The name “Yahya” is from “Hay” in Arabic which means alive. Prophet Zachariah asked for a Successor “Wali” to be fully slave of God.
The similarities between Prophet Jesus (Isa (A)) and Prophet John (Yahya (A)):
“And for their saying, ‘We killed the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger (and Prophet) of Allah’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but to them, he (the crucified) had been given the look (of Prophet Jesus). Those who differ concerning him (Prophet Jesus) are surely in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of supposition, and (it is) a certainty they did not kill him. (157) Rather, Allah raised him up to Him. Allah is Almighty, the Wise. (158)”(An-Nisa:157-158). So, Prophet Jesus is alive.
Prophet John (Yahya (A)) is also alive to keep the status of worship alive after Prophet Zachariah (A). Because the martyrs are alive, then Yahya is alive. “You must not think that those who were killed in the way of Allah are dead. But rather, they are alive with their Lord and have been provided for” (Al-Imran:169).
Similarities between Prophet Yahya (A) and Imam Hussain (A):
Imam Hussein was martyred, but his life continues. Imam Sadiq (A) said: “We, ‘Imams’ have a mission that ends when we die, but the mission of Imam Hussain (A) keeps going”. Hussain’s blood is still boiling and alive. It was said in the world of dreams: “conquest in this world is achieved by two people, one is Imam Hussain (A) and another is Imam Mahdi (Imam of Time (AJ)), and while the Imam of the Time is absent, the flag of conquest is in the hands of Imam Hussain (A)”.
A Letter from Imam Hussein (A): “Whoever joins me will be martyred, otherwise he will never be conquered”. And this conquest continues in the world. Great Shia 12 imams, Sayyed Ali Ghazi (RA) said: “the conquest and the beginning of the intuition of one of his cases is obtained in the mourning of Imam Hussain (A)”. Imam Hussain is like Prophet Yahya (A) in the nation of Israel. And the Imam Mahdi is like Jesus (PBUH) in the Children of Israel. Someone said to Imam Sadiq (A), “Sir, we love you, but Imam Hussain more. Imam Sadiq (A) replied: Ironically, we love Hussain more”.
In narration we have that death will be brought forward in the Day of Resurrection and will be slaughtered by Prophet Yahya (A). Death itself stands in the line of the living things in the day of Judgement because the Hereafter is alive world.
قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ یَکُونُ لِی غُلَامٌ وَکَانَتِ امْرَأَتِی عَاقِرًا وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ الْکِبَرِ عِتِیًّا ﴿٨﴾
‘How shall I have a son, Lord’ he asked, ‘when my wife is barren, and I am advanced in age, dried out'(8)
In old age, a person dries out the moisture of his body and Prophet Zachariah (A) said: I have reached dryness with my age (I do not have semen) and My wife is also infertile. There are similarities between Prophet Zachariah (A) and Prophet Ibrahim (A). Both of their wives were infertile and had children in old age (Refer to Qosn Al-Fusus by M.M.Me’marian for more detail similarities).
Why was Prophet Zachariah surprised from the acceptance of his prayer and said that I am in old age and my wife also is infertile?
Whenever Prophet Zachariah (A) saw Lady Maryam (A), He saw some foods and fruits in the altar with her that was granted her directly from heaven. He said to himself, “It is good for me to ask for a child from God directly without intermediary. “There upon Zachariah supplicated to his Lord, saying: ‘Lord, grant me from You a good offspring. You hear all prayers’ : (Aal-i-Imran:38).
When God told him, ‘We will give it to you through you.’ He was surprised that how is it possible him and his wife are mediation for this child!
Prophet Jesus (A) and Prophet Yahya (A) both were cousins. They were born with miracle, one of them without father and the other with very old father and infertile mother. Both also did not marry.
قَالَ کَذَٰلِکَ قَالَ رَبُّکَ هُوَ عَلَیَّ هَیِّنٌ وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُکَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَمْ تَکُ شَیْئًا ﴿٩﴾
He replied: ‘It shall be so’; your Lord says: “It is easy for Me, indeed, I created you before time when you were not a thing.” (9)
Because they were not a thing, they later became a thing. I created your origin from nothing, now I am unable to create anything from you?
Can God be called an object? Narration: “God is a thing but indeed He is the truth of thing”.
قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّی آیَهً ۚ قَالَ آیَتُکَ أَلَّا تُکَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَ لَیَالٍ سَوِیًّا ﴿١٠﴾
He (Zachariah) said: ‘Lord, make for me a sign’ He replied: ‘Your sign is that you shall not speak to people for three nights being without fault’ (10)
Here are two points! 1-Why did Prophet Zachariah (A) ask for a sign, but Lady Maryam did not? 2- Why his sign was “you shall not speak to people for three nights being without fault'”?
Because it was a call for Prophet Zachariah from a distance, he wanted to see if his revelation and intuition was correct or not? There are many degrees for intuitions. It is narrated that he recited the Psalms. He was able to pray, but he could not speak to people.
Why did he want a sign? There is a narration which said, “he wanted it to be understood that it was not received from Satan”. Because the angels called him as he called God, call from a distance. He heard it far away, so he wanted to know if he was right in his finding.
Why could he not speak to the people, but he could worship? And it happened for three days and nights. A narration says, “Because Satan cannot take possession of the body of the prophets. When he noticed that he cannot speak to people, then he found that it is a sign from God”.
فَخَرَجَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَیْهِمْ أَن سَبِّحُوا بُکْرَهً وَعَشِیًّا ﴿١١﴾
Then he came out from the Sanctuary to his nation and gestured to them to exalt (their Lord) at the dawn and at the evening. (11)
When a person wants to worship, it needs to be in a secluded place. The angels do not come if other people are in the worship room. That was the reason that Prophet Muhammad used to go in a room to worship and avoid people entering the room. Verse above shows that Prophet Zachariah (A) was alone in the “Altar” and was separate from his people.
Another point is that Prophets are able to reveal something to their nations. Revealed to his people? Yes, prophets and Guardians of God have the power to reveal to others. Below is another proof from the Holy Quran: “Say: ‘I warn you only by the Revelation’ But the deaf hear nothing when they are warned” (Al-Anbya:45)
Note: Sometimes things come to a person’s heart from his master and guardian of God.
All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.
Tag: Allah, God, Lord, Quran, Prophet Muhammad (S), Ahl Al-Bayt, Prophet Ibrahim (A), Prophet Jesus (A), Prophet Zachariah (A), Lady Mary (A), Maryam, Prophet Jacob (A), Prophet Yahya (John) (A), Heaven, Hell, Wali, Revelation, Intuition, Heir, Divine, Blessing, Huruf Muqata’ah, Guardian, Successor, Welayat.