Perry Rubin: Chapter 19 response “Maryam”

The 19th chapter of the Quran, entitled Maryam, elaborates on many stories present in both the Bible and Torah to underscore or expand on particular moral contentions. Three themes stuck out in particular; Jesus is not the son of God, Idol worship is a Sin and one’s actions/faith now will determine their fate on the Day of Judgment . These principals are highlighted in the stories of Mary’s immaculate conception, Angel Gabriel’s address and Abrahams journey. This Islamic reiteration is unique in its focus and brings these principals to the forefront. The chapter opens with the story of Zachariah’s miraculous son John, another child conceived against the odds because it was willed by god. It then moves to Mary’s pregnancy declaring [19:35], “It is not befitting for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, he only says to it “Be,” and it is.”. In essence trying to say that God never claimed Jesus as his son he simply willed the pregnancy of Mary much the same way he willed humankind. We are all equally “children of god”. Jesus goes on to say [19:36], “and indeed, Allah Is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him. That is a straight path” That Allah is above all Jesus’s Lord and should be worshiped by all with equal devotion for a righteous life. The chapter then transitions into the story of Abraham leaving his family who were Pagan. Abraham tries to convince his father that his worshiping of multiple Gods is both pointless and insulting to the singular Higher Power.  This is a very intentional restatement of the importance to only recognize Allah as God. Then after making brief mention of a variety of other prophets and how they became such (extreme piety, belief, etc.) the chapter concludes in some commentary by the Angel Gabriel and a series of highly explicit TO-DO’S for paradise.  The Quran states, “And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone… Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection.” When discussing non believers the text reads, “So by your Lord, We will surely gather them and the devils; then We will bring them to be present around Hell upon their knees.” This section is filled with such strong language it can’t help but be impressed upon the reader the necessity of getting to Paradise through Islamic convention.