The Muslims are closer to Maryam the daughter of ‘Imraan than the Christians
Praise be to Allah
Maryam the daughter of ‘Imraan (may Allah be pleased with her) is one of the devoted worshippers and righteous women. She is mentioned in the Book of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and in the Sunnah of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), where she is described as possessing the characteristics of the people of faith. She was a believer whose faith, affirmation of Allah’s Oneness and obedience to Him were perfect, and whoever is like that, the Muslims are closer to him. She also has nothing to do with the ascription of partners to Allah or with the Christians who worship her, just as her son ‘Eesa (Jesus – peace be upon him) has nothing to do with them either, and he will declare that disavowal before all witnesses on the Day of Resurrection.
The closeness of the Muslims to her is apparent from the following:
The Christians have taken her and her son as two gods besides Allah, and they worship them besides Allah, whereas the Muslims worship only One God, and those who believe in Allah alone are closer to one another. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say)’”
“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is no ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God -Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them”
The Quran describes Maryam as a true slave of Allah, who was humble and obedient to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinns) (of her lifetime).
‘O Mary! Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allah, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and Irka‘i (bow down etc.) along with Ar-Raki‘oon (those who bow down etc.)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:42, 43].
This is a description of the believers and Muslims, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and Irka‘ (i.e. bow down or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar-Raki‘oon”
And Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husbands absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husbands property, etc.)”
“It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, Muslims (who submit to Allah), believers, obedient to Allah, turning to Allah in repentance, worshipping Allah sincerely, fasting or emigrants (for Allah’s sake), previously married and virgins”
The Muslims respect Maryam the daughter of ‘Imraan, and believe in what is mentioned in the Holy Quran about her, namely her purity and innocence of what the enemies of Allah accused her of; they believe that Allah made her and her son a sign to all mankind, and a testimony to His Oneness, Lordship and might. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“(Remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word (“Be!” - and he was! i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)) from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah’”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:45]
“Because of their breaking the covenant, and of their rejecting the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, and of their killing the Prophets unjustly, and of their saying: "Our hearts are wrapped (with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers say)" - nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little.
And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (Mary ) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse)”
[an-Nisa’ 4:155, 156]
“The Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (‘Be!’ - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him”
“The Messiah (‘Eesa (Jesus)), son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother (Maryam (Mary)) was a Siddiqah (i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books). They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat)”
“And We made the son of Maryam (Mary) and his mother as a sign”
She and her son are a criterion that distinguishes between people of faith and people of shirk. Whoever believes in them as two obedient slaves of Allah is one of the people of faith, which is the case with the followers of Islam. Whoever believes that both of them, or that her son, possesses anything of divinity is one of the people of shirk, which is the case with the Christians.
Al-Bukhaari (3435) and Muslim (28) narrated from ‘Ubaadah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: Whoever testifies that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and that ‘Eesa is the slave and Messenger of Allah, His Word which He bestowed upon Maryam and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true and that Hell is true, Allah will admit him to Paradise on the basis of his good deeds.”
Ahmad (1742) narrated that the Negus sent for Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who had migrated to Ethiopia, asking them about the Messiah (peace be upon him): What did they say about him?
Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The people gathered and said to one another: What will you say about ‘Eesa when he asks you about him? They said: By Allah, we will say about him what Allah says, and what our Prophet brought, come what may.
When they entered upon him (the Negus), he said to them: What do you say about ‘Eesa ibn Maryam? Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib said to him: We say concerning him what our Prophet taught us: he is the slave of Allah and His Messenger, a spirit created by Him and His Word which He bestowed upon Maryam the Virgin.
She (Umm Salamah) said: The Negus put his hand on the ground and picked up a twig, then he said: ‘Eesa ibn Maryam never differed from what you say, not even as much as this twig.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh as-Seerah
Among the Muslims, she is the perfect Muslim woman, one of the most virtuous of the women of Paradise, as al-Bukhaari (3411) and Muslim (2431) narrated that Abu Moosa (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Many men have attained perfection but no women have attained perfection except Aasiyah the wife of Pharaoh and Maryam bint ‘Imraan...”
And Ahmad (2668) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of the women of Paradise are: Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad, Aasiyah bint Muzaahim the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam the daughter of ‘Imraan.”
Classed as saheeh by the commentators on al-Musnad.
But among the Christians she is worshipped besides Allah.
Undoubtedly she (may Allah be pleased with her) and her son (peace be upon him) would not approve of the corrupt beliefs of the people of shirk concerning them; rather they approve of the beliefs of the people of Islam. Therefore she and her son are closer to the people of Islam than to the people of shirk among the Christians.
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has told us that on the Day of Resurrection the Prophet of Allah ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary – peace be upon him) will disavow the shirk of those who associate him with Allah and exaggerate about him and his mother. Let us reflect upon that sublime exchange that will take place between the Lord of Glory and majesty and His slave and Messenger ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him). Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my innerself though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.
‘Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).
‘If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’
Allah will say: ‘This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) - they shall abide therein forever. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great success (Paradise).’
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is Able to do all things”
And Allah knows best.