Mary and the Holy Spirit

I’d like you to look at the following ayats from the Holy Quran:

“And Mary the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We gave to her of Our Spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).”

— Qur’an, sura 66 (At-Tahrim), ayat 12

“And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.”

— Qur’an, sura 21 (Al-Anbiya), ayat 91

They clearly refer to Mary the mother of Jesus. Now compare them with these verses taken from the Christian Bible:

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

It’s quite surprising (at least it was to me) how similar these accounts of the same incident are. Mary – a virgin. The Holy Spirit coming upon her and overshadowing her. Sura 66 speaks of her testifying to the truth of the Lord’s words and His revelations, and the Christian Bible later records a song which she sings in praise of Allah and His glorious dealings with men.

This again is a wonderful example of how the Holy Spirit inspires quite ordinary people.




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